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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Disney Waiting-in-Line Games (and other line strategies with small children)

No matter how well you plan, inevitably while at Disneyland or Walt Disney World you will have to do some waiting in line with your kids. Here are a few simple strategies and games that may help make it fun, or at least a little more bearable:

  1. This is the most important one - use FASTPASS whenever possible so you don't have to wait in line!
  2. Count how many Disney characters you see, or play other "I-Spy" games.
  3. Play "Name that tune" humming Disney songs to each other.
  4. If you're waiting for a show bring along some paper and play games like tic-tac-toe, hangman, etc. You could also play travel games, or color on paper or coloring books. (Of course, while waiting in lines that move, this is completely impractical)
  5. Take advantage of last-minute entry possibilities - in other words, if it is an attraction that holds many people at once, sit in the shade, eat snacks, play around, then when the line is almost in, go on in. This works on the Riverboat for example, where it holds around 450 people and that many are rarely in line to get on. For shows, ask the greeter how long until the show starts, then relax until just about show-time. Remember, now is a great time to use the bathroom, eat snacks, and get a drink as you can't do that once inside.
  6. If the line will allow it, have one adult stand in line while the other occupies the small children, then once you are close enough have the adult with the children pass the child to the one in line over/under the railing. Of course, make sure your child isn't too old (this doesn't work if you're trying to pass teenagers), but also is tall enough to meet any height restrictions.
  7. Switch off - most rides will allow you to all wait in line together when a ride has a height restriction. When you get to the ride just tell the greeter you want to swap and he/she will hand you a little piece of paper. Then one adult can ride the ride, and when finished the other can get on immediately with their pass. (FASTPASS rides are a little different - they essentially give you another FASTPASS for the non-riding adult & two other people, then the non-riding adult & child leave the line until ready)
  8. Here is one of my favorite strategies from The Unofficial Guide, and it's called the "Chucka Bubby Relay". This one allows a child to ride twice with no waiting. All you do is have one parent and the child go ahead while the other parent counts off a certain number of people in front of him, then gets in line. When the ride stops, the parent who just rode with the child hands him/her off to the other parent. If you would like to know how many people you should count off for specific rides, get the guide (see links to the right)!
The number one thing is to be creative. I have found that many of the same games that work on road trips also work in lines, so if your family has any favorites, you can use those. If you have any suggestions on ways to make lines more enjoyable, please share them!

Disney Waiting-in-Line Games (and other line strategies with small children)

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