As a long time lurker (as in several years) and a WDW veteran, I just got back from my first trip to DL (recently moved to Las Vegas, so splurged on the AP) and can say I am WHOLE HEARTEDLY converted! After years of pictures, videos, posts, comments, etc, I am finally able to put it all together and understand how the park "works" which brings me to the point of this post: congestion in New Orleans Square. As I'm sure everyone is well aware, the extended queues for PotC and HM cause some SERIOUS pedestrian issues in this area. After walking the area and looking at a few maps, I thought that there might solutions that don't involve drastic changes in the area and was curious as to what people thought.
The HM queue seems to be an easier fix due to the facade's proximity to the berm. The area highlighted in red below is outside the berm and seems to be accessible with a reroute of the HM sidewalk (though with proper theming, the sidewalk could remain and visitors could be taken through the "gardens"). Following the blue line could take you through a garden area and into a cemetery and into a low, themed building that went under the berm. The entrance could conceivably be a family mausoleum (or not, there are several solutions to this) and have a pre-show styled queue area (bring back the Museum of the Weird concept or maybe a catacombs feel, making it seem that you have gone underground) before bringing you back to the sidewalk and onto the front porch. I don't know how much the HM queue normally contributes to congestion in the area (I know the NBC overlay probably draws larger than average crowds), but could this be a workable solution?
The PotC queue is more difficult because the facade is so far from the berm and is boxed in by show buildings and JC, but I thought that an underground queue could present a solution. The highlighted yellow area is the outdoor seating for the French Market and the park-like area outside of HM. With no buildings above, structural issues should be minimal for an underground area. My primary concern would be the water table (I spent a bit of time searching online and couldn't find much info on the water table levels for DL. There were some unverified claims that Space Mountain's building begins 15 ft below grade, but I don't know how much credence to give those.) Following the green line would allow the entrance to remain under the bridge, though there may be a need to reconfigure the two-line approach, as there would be limited access from the left side. Following the green line should allow access from inside the lower courtyard in front of the PotC facade. If there were a way to enter on one side and then emerge on the other side of the courtyard, that would probably be ideal. I haven't spent much time brainstorming the theming for this, and I'm not even sure that the water table would allow it, but I thought it would throw it out there anyway. Thanks for indulging me and sharing your feedback!