While we generally pass by lines with more than a 15-minute wait, we have been tricked into longer queues. I’m looking at you, Astro Orbiter! Or sometimes the wait for your dining reservation can be a little lengthier than anticipated. Maybe the monorail stalled again. In any situation, it’s nice to have a little bag of tricks, so to speak, to keep the kiddos happy.
1. Keep Easy Snacks in Your Park Bag
When anxiously awaiting your turn to soar over California after the FastPasses are gone for the day, a little treat can turn a frown upside down. We always pick up a box of Disney fruit snacks before a trip. They can quell the ‘I’m hungries’ in a pinch, and who doesn’t love munching on cute treats? Other convenient kid-friendly snacks – granola bars, crispy rice cereal treats and trail mix. We try to avoid anything that can explode in the bag or end up crushed.
Get Park Wise: Counter service kids’ meals tend to come with a pre-packaged component (often a cookie, carrots or grapes). If they don’t get eaten, stash them in your bag for later.
2. Go to the Restroom Before Getting in Line
Most parents know that all too familiar phrase: “But, I don’t haaave to go!!” If you know you’re getting into a long line, be sure to make the pit stop anyway. Not much annoys your line-mates quicker than shuffling back and forth to let you out of and back into the line when little Cinderella has an emergency. That said, if you do have to run out of line, make sure to smile and be polite on your way out, and they’ll be more inclined to let you back in.
3. Catch Up On Your Reading
My little Disney fan could keep himself occupied for a good while with Disney Parks maps. He loves studying every little detail and figuring out where he wants to go next. A friend’s daughter always has her latest chapter book in tow. Disney Parks guides and trivia books are great to read in line, too. Several titles point out little secrets hidden throughout the parks, which can be perfect while moving through attraction queues. My two park-goers are often happy thumbing through their autograph books, as well.
Get Park Wise: Pick up guide maps, brochures and other Disney reading material while walking through the park. Not only can these keep kids enthralled, but you may also learn about new-to-you experiences to try.
4. Play a Game
Several newer and newly refurbished attractions feature interactive and entertaining queues. These are actually a lot of fun, and sometimes we even go through the standby lines just to enjoy the detail Disney puts into them. When you’re stuck in the same place for a bit, start playing. Search for hidden Mickeys (and other famous silhouettes). Play I Spy. Pull out that trivia book you’re toting and play a little Disney Q and A. Keep physical games to a minimum, though. Remember, you’re stuck with the families on either side of you for the duration. Don’t make them mad.
5. Go Digital
Yeah, you knew this was coming, and I’m ready to be chastised for it. Let the kids bring handheld video games, or download some Disney game apps for your smart phone. I limit screen time at home, but sometimes I take the easy way out at Disney and allow a Where’s My Water? marathon while we’re waiting.
Get Park Wise: Keep electronic time to a minimum. Video games are an easy boredom fix, but make sure the kiddos are involved in the vacation. And the least amount of time the electronics are out, the less chance they’ll have of getting lost.
Of course, kids don’t have to be entertained 24/7. A lot of times, we use waits just to chat. We talk about our favorite thing so far, what we want to do next or what we’d be doing if we were at home. After all, standing in line at Disney beats math class, right?
Do you entertain the kids in line? What’s your must-have item or tip to make long waits more bearable?