Home » 8 Incredible Disney Ride Queues You MUSTN’T Skip

    8 Incredible Disney Ride Queues You MUSTN’T Skip

    Haunted Mansion pet cemetary

    Waiting in lines is no fun, and chances are you’re organizing your Disney trip to minimize the time you spend in line — but that could be a mistake. Disney puts the same detail into theming queues as it does into any other aspect of the park, and sometimes skipping the line can mean missing out on some hidden Disney treasures.

    If you’re looking for lines that are worth waiting through, check out our favorite Disney queues.

    1. Haunted Mansion

    Haunted Mansion pet cemetary

    No matter which park you’re at, the Haunted Mansion has a queue packed with details and nods to Disney history. Most versions of the ride feature a cemetery and/or pet cemetery you wind your way through on your way towards the house itself, and on the tombstones are puns, jokes, and references to the Imagineers that worked on the ride — giving you plenty to look at while you wait.

    However, the Magic Kingdom’s interactive queue definitely beats out the others. Like the queues of most mansions, it’s themed like an elaborate graveyard, but here you can choose to go through the interactive queue (longer, but more fun) or just wait in a standard line. If you head to the interactive queue, you’ll find tombs with engraved instruments that play sound when you press them, a sea captain’s tomb that leaks water (and occasionally sings sea shanties), the tomb of a poetess who needs your help to finish a poem, a Madame Leota bust that occasionally opens its eyes to look around and, of course, plenty of the pun tombstones you’ve come to expect from the mansion.

    2. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

    Tower of Terror lobby

    Though it doesn’t have the great interactive elements you’ll find in the Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion, the Tower of Terror queue — whether you’re in California, Florida, Paris, or Tokyo — is packed with details that help tell the hotel’s tragic story. The hotel’s exterior is always beautiful but rather run-down, with overgrown gardens. And once you make it into the hotel’s lobby, you’ll find lots of little details: there’s mail waiting to be delivered in the slots behind the front desk, cups of tea forgotten, an abandoned game of mahjong, and numerous personal possessions scattered around.

    The fact that everything is covered with a heavy layer of dust and plenty of cobwebs suggests a bustling  space where everyone left suddenly, never to return — which perfectly sets the stage for the story to follow.

    3. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

    C3PO in Star Tours

    Star Tours can be a long wait, but it’s never a boring one, especially in the newly refurbished Star Tours: The The Adventures Continue ride. Though the exterior queue isn’t particularly noteworthy (especially at Disneyland, where it simply zigs up and down the main concourse of Tomorrowland), once you get inside the building you’ll find that even the queue is something that was worth waiting for.

    Inside, there are tourist videos playing for a wide range of Star Wars locations (giving you a preview of where your ride might take you), classic characters C-3PO and R2-D2 bickering with each other, and a variety of other droids working to scan luggage and passengers, with entertaining banter throughout. There’s enough variety in the queue that you never see exactly the same thing from wait to wait, so it’s always an entertaining time, even if you are just waiting in line.

    4. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye pre-show

    The wait for this Indiana Jones adventure can be a long one, so it’s a good thing the queue is perhaps the most elaborately themed at the Disneyland Resort. You start out by winding through the jungle of the exterior queue (right next to the Jungle Cruise) before heading into the Temple of the Forbidden Eye itself. Once inside, it’s not just a line: you’re in the middle of an archeological expedition as you venture through caves and down hastily reinforced tunnels.

    It’s a long trip (the ride itself is located beyond the park berm, so you have some distance to cover), and as you go you’ll find ancient artwork, bones (are those human bones?!), and treasures from the temple that are in the process of being packed up for shipment to museums.

    Here’s a tip: if you see a sign warning you not to do something, you should probably do it — this is where most of the queue’s interactive elements hide, like a spiked tunnel ceiling that will drop towards you if you push on a bamboo support. Towards the end of the queue, there’s a newsreel playing — featuring John Rhys-Davies reprising his role of Sallah from Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade. All in all, this really sets the tone for the ride to follow… and it’s quite an adventure in and of itself.

    5. Expedition Everest

    Expedition Everest entrance

    Though all of Disney’s Animal Kingdom has spectacular theming that makes you feel like you’re worlds away from Orlando, the Expedition Everest queue is some of its best, taking you through a Himalayan village on your way up to base camp. Once you’re inside the queue you would scarcely know you were in a theme park at all (save for the distant screams of riders), as all you can see is the village and the mountain range beyond.

    If you pay attention to details, there are hints that this Everest adventure will be a little more than a simple train ride, as you see numerous references to the snow monster who’s said to menace visitors… and may or may not have caused earlier expeditions to be lost. The further into the queue you are, the more Yeti details you’ll see, including blurry photos and casts of footprints the expedition has collected. But your trip will probably go fine, right?

    6. Space Mountain

    Space Mountain queue in Magic Kingdom

    Your mileage will vary with Space Mountain queues — at Disneyland you definitely want to skip it with a FastPass (there’s little to see and a distressing portion of the line is in direct sun), but at Walt Disney World, you might find the wait in line, though long, to be pretty fun. Though the queue has great space port theming, with galaxy maps and safety announcements, the best part of the wait is the video game stations that line the walls. The games on offer include a variety of space-themed training missions, like simple shoot-em-ups where you destroy asteroids or piloting droids to collect items for the lost and found.

    The problem? You won’t want to leave when the line starts to move again, but fortunately there are a lot of game stations to play as you go… and you’ll wind up at the front of the line before you know it!

    7. Muppet*Vision 3D

    Muppet*Vision 3D building at Hollywood Studios

    Though Muppet*Vision 3D doesn’t usually have much of a line, you should spend some time exploring it even though you don’t have to, because it’s packed with Muppets references and jokes. Keep your eyes open for parody movie posters and be sure to read the directory, which lists things like “Academy of Amphibian Science” and “Patriotic Analysis & Protocol.” In fact it’s best to take the time to read everything, from the office doors in the hallways to the labels on packages or the notes on clapboards, because there’s no detail that won’t reward you with a laugh for paying attention

    Before the show, there’s a pre-show that’s just as good as the actual show — plus the pre-show room is loaded with show gear, all of which has a pun or joke attached. There’s so much here that you aren’t likely to see it on one trip through, so any Muppet fan should be sure to spend some time exploring.

    8. Toy Story Midway Mania

    Toy Story Midway Mania Etch A Sketch

    Last but certainly not least is Toy Story Midway Mania. Sure the line is long, but it’s always entertaining to get shrunk down to toy-size to enjoy the fun of playing in Andy’s room.

    While you wait in the line, you’ll find Mr. Potato Head talking and telling jokes (and sometimes directly addressing people in line), a giant Etch-A-Sketch that draws word puzzles, and lots of other Toy Story details. Admittedly, the line often lasts longer than the entertainment options, but Mr. Potato Head, at least, is always worth visiting.