When Rise of the Resistance opened at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World it became the first attraction to use a virtual queue system. Rather than simply waiting in line, guests needed to check in on their phones via an app to get assigned a Boarding Group. Whatever group they were in determined when it would be their turn to get in line for the ride, and then guests simply waited for it to be their turn. Especially considering the need for social distancing during the pandemic, many expected the virtual queue systems to be expanded to include other attractions, and now it does, as Disneyland has now added Indiana Jones Adventure to the virtual queue system.
Before Disneyland even reopened it was noticed that the theme park’s app had changed the Virtual Queue section to read Virtual Queues, implying that at some point there would be more than one. And while Rise of the Resistance has continued to use the virtual system, up until now no other rides have begun using the system. However, the dam has now been broken as the first ride to exist before the virtual queue has now been added to it, indicating that we could see this happen more as time goes on.
According to Blog Mickey, the inclusion of Indiana Jones Adventure to the virtual queues was done because the stand-by line had begun to cause a problem in the park. Because of the need for social distancing, the line for the popular ride was extending outside of the show building space and into Adventureland. Adventureland at Disneyland is one of the smaller lands in the park and the walkway through it is narrow, so with the line extended that far it becomes a problem for people simply trying to get through, and defeats the purpose of social distancing.
While the reason Indiana Jones Adventure was added to the virtual queue system may have been specific to the current circumstances, that doesn’t mean that it will be removed once those circumstances change. We’ve already been told that some pandemic-era changes, like the reservation system, are likely here to stay. And the same could hold true for virtual queues.
And with us now seeing the first older ride adding virtual queues, we certainly could see more rides follow suit. If guests are ok, or even happy, with not having to physically wait in line for Indiana Jones Adventure, perhaps the option will be added for other rides as well. A virtual queue for multiple rides could potentially function similar to the FastPass system which both Disneyland and Walt Disney World have suspended for the moment.
In the same way that Disneyland is currently reviewing its Annual Pass program and plans to make significant changes to it, we can expect there will likely also be changes to FastPass if and when it comes back, and virtual queues could be a big part of that. There are few other attractions at Disneyland that would specifically benefit from a virtual queue for the same reason it’s important for Indiana Jones Adventure, but that doesn’t mean we won’t begin to see it more.