Six Tips For Dealing With Standby Lines

Waiting in lines is a part of most aspects of life – from the bank to the grocery store. And it is definitely a part of the experience at Disney World. Of course, Disney is working to minimize the number of lines we wait in with projects like NextGen, and they are trying to make the waiting process more enjoyable with interactive queues like the one at Big Thunder Mountain. But even with those efforts, you will still need to wait in lines.

While I would never suggest that you look for opportunities to wait around, or extend your wait, I have to say that waiting isn’t all bad. Really. It gives you a chance to soak up the environment of the show or attraction you are about to experience. Disney is probably the best in the world about creating stories, and the queue is often considered the first scene – setting the stage for what you are about to experience. And having a bit of time in a line gives you a chance to chat with friends and family that are waiting with you.

But enough with the positive spin. Waiting in a line isn’t all that much fun. So here are six tips on how to better use the time you have while waiting in line.

Games in the standby line can help pass the time.
Games in the standby line can help pass the time.

1 – Plan Potty Breaks Ahead Of Time

Some bladders are smaller than others – especially those on the younger and older spectrums of age. Even if everyone doesn’t have to go, they should try to do so before getting in a long line. During busy seasons you can easily spend an hour or more waiting for the most popular shows and attractions. Jumping out of line for a potty break and restarting the wait all over again can extend that wait significantly.

2 – Enjoy A Little Snack

Generally speaking, Disney doesn’t want you eating food in their queue lines. After all, it will create a mess. But many folks bring along quick snacks for just such occasions. A granola bar, and hand full of peanuts, or a piece of hard candy or two can help make a wait go by faster – and give you the energy needed to keep trudging forward in the line.

3 – Bring A Good Book

If you travel much, you know the importance of bringing along a good book for when the bus, plane, or train gets delayed. Same deal for Disney World. Bring along a good book – whether it be the old-fashioned paper kind or a newfangled eReader.

Be sure to take in all the details that Imagineering put in the queues.
Be sure to take in all the details that Imagineering put in the queues.

4 – Do A Bit Of Planning

Unless you have planned out each step of your Disney World vacation in advance (some folks do that), use the time that you stand in line to talk about what you would like to do next. Get out your Disney Guide Maps and plot your course of action.

5 – Share A Game

Many of Disney’s standby queues have interactive games, from queues of Soarin at Epcot to Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. They offer short, fun, interactive experiences. Try them out. Or try a low-tech game like “I Spy With My Little Eye.” Or ask everyone trivia questions.

6 – Use Your Electronics

This one might go without saying, and I would caution you to limit it, but you can entertain yourself and your party with your electronic gizmos. Play a game on your phone, scroll through the photos you’ve taken, or even (gasp) catch up on the e-mail from Aunt Sally. But do limit your electronic distractions – there are so many good things to check out all around you.

Time Flies

There are many ways to pass the time while waiting in line at Disney World. By following the tips above, you will be on the next show or attraction before you know it.

Do you like the games Disney has put in the standby lines?