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Journey of Water Virtual Queue Details and FAQ

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Journey of Water Inspired by Moana is the new hotness at EPCOT. Or maybe, if it’s a hot day, it’s the new coolness. Although Journey of Water doesn’t need the same kind of advance planning set your alarms for 7 a.m. go-go-go operation that’s used if riding Cosmic Rewind or TRON / Lightcycle Run, you might find that it’s using a Virtual Queue from time to time. Here’s what you need to know about how to experience this brand-new attraction.

Does Journey of Water Use a Virtual Queue or a Standby Line?

Yes – that is, it uses both. Much of the time, Journey of Water uses a regular standby line. But when the line gets long, a Virtual Queue will be turned on. It’s a little like taking a number when there’s a big backup at the deli counter, so that you can keep shopping while you wait. When demand ebbs, the Virtual Queue is turned off and Journey of Water uses the standby line again. Since Journey of Water only uses the Virtual Queue to manage demand from time to time, you can’t join the Virtual Queue until after you’ve entered the park.

How Do You Know If Journey of Water is Using a Virtual Queue?

EPCOT is a big park, and you might not want to walk over to Journey of Water to see what kind of queue is in use right now. You can check in the My Disney Experience app to see if it’s currently in Virtual Queue mode or has a standby line.

Tap the hamburger on the bottom right, then select the Virtual Queues tile. Make sure you’ve got EPCOT selected at the top so that you’re looking at EPCOT’s Virtual Queues. Scroll down until you see the Virtual Queue for Moana.

If there’s a Join button, then it’s definitely using a Virtual Queue right now! If you don’t see the Join button, you’ll need to read the text to see whether the standby line is available or not. If the Virtual Queue is full and a standby line is not available, that doesn’t mean the standby line won’t be available later. As the Virtual Queue empties the standby line may reopen, so check back in a bit.

How To Join the Journey of Water Virtual Queue

The internet is full of articles (including our own!) on the fast fingers that might be needed to get a Virtual Queue spot for Cosmic Rewind or TRON. The Virtual Queue for Moana fills more slowly. You shouldn’t need to do funky things like trying to figure out whether WiFi or data is faster in order to be successful.

If you see that the Virtual Queue is in use, press the join button. In the next screen, you’ll select your party. If you’re not in the park already, you’ll see that you’re not eligible! Once you’ve included everyone who wants to see the attraction with you, press Join again and you should get a Boarding Group number. If you have problems joining the Virtual Queue, head for the blue umbrellas of the Guest Experience team. They’ll get you straightened out.

You can check the status of your Boarding Group in the Genie My Day tab, or by returning to the Virtual Queues tile. Journey of Water does give an estimated return time, but those can change, so keep an eye on them. You should get a notification from the My Disney Experience app when your Boarding Group is called, but it’s not uncommon for those to get lost in the ether. The screenshots below are from Cosmic Rewind, but the Journey of Water looks similar.

panels from the virtual queues tab and My Day Genie tab showing the the same Boarding Group at different times
The display is a little different, but you can monitor a Boarding Group (here it’s Cosmic Rewind) from either the My Day or the Virtual Queues tile.

Once your group is called, you’ll have an hour to get back and enter before your Boarding Group expires. You should have a short wait of only 10 minutes or so once you arrive. The good news is that in our experience Cast Members will let you in even if you return late, although you might not want to rely on that.

Why is Disney Using A Virtual Queue for Journey of Water?

You might be thinking … 235 minutes??! That’s insane! Why doesn’t Disney just use a standby line and if it gets too long people won’t wait in it?

Well, we’re not Disney, so we can’t answer that for sure. But here are some reasons why they may have chosen to use a Virtual Queue:

  • There is a Moana Meet & Greet nearby, and the entrance to Journey of Water is on a major passageway. They want to make sure the line for Journey of Water doesn’t grow so large that it’s blocking access.
  • Many people will wait a surprisingly longer amount of time than you think.
The theming of the Moana Meet & Greet is similar to Journey of Water. But it’s a separate attraction nearby.

Remember, Disney could also lower the wait by letting as many people into the attraction as will fit in the space. But it’s meant to be interactive, and that would make it much less enjoyable. As frustrating as the queue might be, it’s probably helping you to have a better time when it’s your turn. And don’t forget — sometimes, you will find that the standby queue is in use! This is more likely later in the day or on low-crowd days.

Is It Worth It to Visit Journey of Water?

We think so. You can read about our preview experience: Journey of Water Splashes Into EPCOT. This is a park that has a long history of “edutainment” attractions, and we think this fits right in. If you enjoy your local science museum, you’ll probably enjoy this.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Can you have a Boarding Group for Cosmic Rewind and Journey of Water at the same time?

Yes, we’ve tested this. You can be in both the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Journey of Water Virtual Queues at the same time. You should also be able to be in the TRON / Lightcycle Run and Journey of Water Virtual Queues at the same time.

Can you use Disability Assistance Service with Journey of Water?

Yes. If the standby line is in use at Journey of Water, you can get a DAS if the line is longer than about 20 minutes. If the Virtual Queue is in use, you’ll need to get a Boarding Group. When you return for either your DAS time or your Boarding Group, you’ll enter with a short wait, similar to what you typically find when redeeming a DAS.

Can you join the Virtual Queue for Journey of Water if you left the park and didn’t come back yet?

Based on our testing, you can’t join from outside the park, even if you were in the park earlier in the day. But, once you’ve joined you can leave the park and return later if you’d like to.

What do you think about using a Virtual Queue for Journey of Water? Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

3 thoughts on “Journey of Water Virtual Queue Details and FAQ

  • Seventh paragraph: “If you’re not in the park already, you’ll that you’re not eligible!” I believe you need a verb between “you’ll” and “that.” Also, does “you’re” refer to you, the person making the reservation, or you, everyone in the group you’re trying to make the reservation for? I suspect the latter, but I don’t know. And if it is the latter, does MDE clearly indicate who isn’t eligible?


    • Seventh paragraph fixed! Thank you!

      To your second question, it’s more complicated than adds value in the article, so thanks for giving me a chance to address it in the comments. 🙂 It will show any eligible guests who are in your Friends and Family list. Guests that you are “sharing planning with” may be automatically selected. This is exactly the same as you’d see with any other Virtual Queue, or several other places where you might select a group for something in My Disney Experience. What’s complicated about this is that Disney does some guessing about who you’re planning with and it isn’t always right.

      For instance, if you are in the same Disney resort hotel room as a member of your party, you’ll always be “planning with” them during your stay. If you’ve selected them when you set up Genie for the day, you’ll always be “planning with” them for that day. But I’ve had MDE assume that I’m “planning with” people on my Friends & Family list just because we had MNSHHP party tickets for the same day, even though we weren’t actually going together. So for infrequent visitors who don’t have a lot of people in their Friends & Family list, they’ll see exactly what they should expect to see – the people they’re visiting with who are eligible. But for people who go more often, or have a lot of Disney friends, they might see some unexpected people suggested or automatically selected.

      • I guess it doesn’t pay to have a lot of friends. Thanks for replying.

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