If you’ve ever visited a theme park, you are probably aware that part of the day is spent waiting in line. And Disney World theme parks are no exception. Disney’s FastPass+ service does help cut down wait times at each of the parks but it’s not available for every ride and attraction.
Waiting in line at the Disney parks can be a stressful, agonizing experience. Especially from the perspective of the children in your party!
Think about the anticipation they are feeling while waiting to board their FAVORITE attraction, or even the “fear of the unknown” on a new one. No matter what, waiting is part of the Disney experience.
As parents, it’s good to be prepared to entertain your kids while in line.
Today I’m going to share some ideas with you about keeping your kids entertained-and your stress level down while waiting in line.
1. Games & Apps
While standing in a particularly long line, it isn’t a bad idea to have a small portable game system in your backpack. Or, some fun games loaded on your child’s phone or tablet. We stow them in the backpack – which is with us at ALL times – and allow them to choose ONE game to play while waiting in line.
My iPhone has such apps as Pooh’s Birthday Surprise and Peter Pan, along with coloring pages for my little one to enjoy as well.
2. Look for Hidden Mickeys
Mickey is ALL OVER the Disney parks. In fact, there’s a whole guidebook devoted to finding them in obscure places.
Have your kids look around the attraction you’re waiting for, and in the park area around it, to find some Hidden Mickeys. How many can you find before the line moves?
Keep a running record of the most Mickeys found that day and whoever finds the most gets to choose that evening’s ice cream treat.
3. Play with Bubbles
We always have small bottles of bubbles stowed in our touring bag. These keep our three-year-old entertained-and sometimes those around us-for part of our waiting time.
4. Take Pictures or Sort Pictures
Spend some time in line scrolling through your Disney photos. My little one loves to look at pictures of herself!
You can also download a collage app and have your kids arrange their favorite vacation photos into a collage to share with friends and family later. Or, have some fun taking funny face pictures to entertain yourselves in line.
5. Plan a Scavenger Hunt on a Park Map
Kids love maps, of any kind! They love to scour their Disney park maps, reliving the previous attractions, planning what’s next, and discovering new paths to get to our next destination.
You can pick up maps and times guides as you enter each park, and grab some for everyone in your group so there isn’t any quarreling over who has the map.
6. Take a Snack Break
Stash some easy snacks in your park bag to pull out when the family is getting cranky. Everyone is happier when they are hungry, and it passes some time to eat while you are waiting in line.
7. Run Around and Play at Interactive Queues
There are several Magic Kingdom attractions with interactive queues. My two favorite at Dumbo and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I love the Dumbo queue especially, since they can run around and play in the circus tent while waiting for your spot in line.
Regardless as to how you spend your time in line, it is important to make sure you approach Walt Disney World with reasonable expectations. Make sure everyone is fed and has used the restroom before getting in line.
When your FastPass+ date opens, book those for attractions that have longer waits, and that are slow loading. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Frozen Ever After, and Peter Pan’s Flight are those that particularly come to mind. Even though the queues on those are cute and somewhat interactive, I don’t feel as if they are enough to keep kids focused and entertained while waiting standby.
Waiting in line will be part of any Disney vacation, regardless of the time of year. So with a few activities and some flexibility in your parental pockets, you will have a more enjoyable time while waiting in line!