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So You Got Stuck in an Insane Theme Park Line With No Smartphone...

5. Role-play or write a story in your head

Avatar Navi in liquid tube from queue

Image: Disney

For creative types, especially creative introverts, theme parks can an interesting place to dream. On one hand, the huge amounts of people can feel draining, but for many, the stimuli to the imagination counteracts this. Richly designed environments like the interior queues of Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey, Avatar: Flight of Passage, Expedition: Everest, or even Space Mountain can prove a great space to let your creativity wander.

What would you do if you were a character in this environment? Play pretend while you’re in line. Use the same tools that kids use all the time. What is your story? What brought you to this place? What led you to climb Everest in search of the Yeti? How did you end up on Pandora? What’s your character’s tale in that galaxy, far, far away? For writers, role-players, or even just fans of good fiction, a little down time in a theme park queue can be a great time to massage the imagination and come up with new stories.

6. Practice mindfulness and acceptance

Purple flowers at Epcot

Image: Jett Farrell-Vega

One of the biggest issues with long lines is that they can be very, very stressful. The sheer combination of cranky people and boredom can test anyone’s sanity. If you try everything else we’ve mentioned and you’re still having issues, there is another tool you can use to keep your sanity.

Relax, breathe, and practice a little mindfulness.

While this may sound a little yoga-pants-and-mason-jar-kale-water for some, mindfulness is actually an easy mental-hack anyone can use. In its base form, it simply means centering yourself in the moment. Focus on steadying your breathing and become aware of your surroundings. Don’t worry about the length of the line or the stress of the past—just be in the moment. Observe the details. People watch (without staring lol). Accept that the line is part of the journey to get to the ride and go with the flow. Reflect on your surroundings, your posture, even the rhythm of the line. You can even practice calm breathing—try breathing through your nose for five seconds then out for ten. This is actually a common trick used for people having anxiety attacks. Long lines are boring, but that’s okay. You will reach your destination.

What’s your favorite way to keep sane in long theme park lines with no smartphone?

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