Long lines are an unfortunate part of the Disney World experience, particularly during peak season. While there are lots of tips you can employ to avoid excessive waits—booking Fastpasses far in advance, arriving at opening gate, visiting during the off-season, knowing crowd trends—even the sharpest trip planners will eventually spend some time waiting in line.
Disney has taken a number of recent steps to help guests pass the time during waits (such as the games you can play in the queues for Soarin’ Over the World and Space Mountain), but what are parkgoers to do for rides that don’t have these options?
Fear not, intrepid traveler. We’ve compiled a list of seven options for you and your family to keep occupied even during seemingly eternal waits.
1. Get ahead on My Disney Experience
Time spent in a long line is a great opportunity to get ahead on plans for your trip. Mega-trip-planners may scoff at this idea—after all, shouldn’t you reserve things like dining and FastPass+ ahead of time? The truth is, whether you’re a strict planner or a casual guest, ride queues are a fantastic time for a My Disney Experience checkup.
If you haven’t made dining reservations (or need to change one), you can peruse restaurant options and see what’s available. You can also look through menus, see wait times in the rest of the park, and make plans for what attractions and restaurants you’ll be hitting next. Savvy travelers can take time in lines to get familiar with maps of the park, and it can prove a fun exercise for kids to try to figure out the fastest routes from one attraction to another (particularly if you’re travelling a long distance, such as making the hike from Space Mountain to Big Thunder Mountain).
One particularly neat hack involves FastPass+, and don’t fear-- it isn’t a cheat. If you aren’t entirely satisfied with your FastPass+ choices for a given trip day, you can use My Disney Experience’s “Change FastPass” feature to try to get a better time for a ride or change attraction choices entirely. Using it won’t cancel your current Fastpass unless you confirm the change.
2. Line games
Both families and solo travelers can enjoy some creative fun by playing observation games in line. This can prove especially helpful for families with kids. Disney is a playground for the imagination, and simple games can be a great way to get your kids actively engaged instead of pining over long waits.
Obvious choices include I Spy, charades, and Simon Says. With a little preparation, parents can also plan trip-long scavenger hunts. Trivia challenges based on park themes or general Disney knowledge are another great choice, as are games revolving pin trading or spotting unique pins on cast members and other guests. Phone games are also an option, though you’ll need to watch your battery while using Disney Wi-Fi. The constant switching between network hubs can drain a phone like you’re standing on top of the Rockies.
One of the best line games of all surrounds a Disney classic: Hidden Mickeys! How many can your family find? You can easily turn Hidden Mickey hunts into a fun competition. As for recording them…