Part of visiting a Disney Park is waiting in lines, especially on high crowd days. But, there are ways to keep the kiddos entertained while you’re waiting for your next attraction or ride. Here’s the scoop on Disney lines with kids, especially when you’re waiting in line with toddlers.
- Look for Interactive Queues
- Look at Park Photos on My Disney Experience
- Take Inexpensive Toys
- Make Up a Song
- Play with Other Children
- Play simple Games
- Download Free Drawing Apps
When you’re at a Disney park, there’s so many happy things to see and do, especially when you’re with children. I mean, one look into those innocent eyes when they spy Mickey Mouse and it’s like the rest of the world went away. But, there are times when all of that happy energy needs channeled into fun things to do, especially when you’re in line. Here are my top tips for keeping toddlers entertained in line at Disney.
One more thing: keeping your wait times to a minimum is ideal, so consider rope drop (park opening) your golden hours. The first two hours of any Disney Park opening offers the lowest lines – that’s when you’re more apt to “hop” on and off rides.
Want to know all of the family-friendly rides at Walt Disney World? Here you go!
1. Look for Interactive Queues
If you can’t get a Fastpass for an attraction, you’ll have to wait in the standby queue. Happily, Disney Parks have a fun way of keeping small children entertained and that includes its lines. So, look for attractions that offer small play spots, touch screens, or highly-decorated walls to pass the time.
Many of the older rides have been updated with interactive queues (think Peter Pan’s Flight in Magic Kingdom) or even have waiting areas with a pager to alert you it’s time to join the line (Dumbo in Magic Kingdom).
2. Open My Disney Experience and Look at Photos
When my daughter was younger, to pass the time I’d let her look at the photos I took on my cell phone. With the creation of My Disney Experience app a few years ago, Photopass photos are available to look at – even if you don’t plan on buying them. The photos are available to see in your account for 30 days as well.
So, let them look at the ride photos and laugh. Even better, join in on the memory by reliving the moment with a song or explanation.
3. Buy Inexpensive Toys to Entertain
Remember when you were a kid and a new toy offered enjoyment, even if only for a little while? If you know a standby queue is going to be lengthy, consider buying a few age-appropriate toys from the Dollar Tree or Walmart and take one in line with you. Or, pack small toys that he’she hasn’t seen for a while. They’ll be like new!
I’m not saying you need to have a brand new toy for every standby queue, but in a pinch they can work. I’d also advise to not take in toys with plenty of parts- many of the standby queues can be dark and you could risk losing them.
So, think sticker books, small books, a small flashlight, etc.
As for bubbles, personally I can’t get enough of them at Disney Parks. But, in closed spaces there are folks that aren’t happy to see them. Just sayin’.
Headed to Disneyland with small children? Trips with Tykes has 20 tips for Disneyland with toddlers.
4. Make Up a Song
You don’t need to be musical to make up a simple song, trust me. When my daughter was afraid of a particular ride at Magic Kingdom, I created a distract-her-from-her-fear song on a whim – and it worked! It was super simple: “I’m so excited! Woot, woot, woot! Woot, woot, woo! I’m so excited! Woop! Woop! Woop!” and asked her to sing along with me. To this day (she’s 18 now, mind you), when we queue up to that particular ride, she sings it.
5. Play with Other Kiddos
You’re going to want to use judgement for this one, but if there are children near your child’s age, they’re probably going to want to play together. If both sets of parents are down for it, go for it! Having written that, don’t assume someone else will watch your child so always do the duty yourself.
6. Play Simple Games
What better time to brush up on colors or numbers than waiting in line, right? To distract my daughter, I would play the animal noise game (what does the cow say? What does the cat say?) Also fun, ask your child to find something red/blue/green with I Spy. Nothing like a little education while waiting!
I get a case of the grouchies when I’m hungry, so bring a snack for your wait in line. You’ll want to pack snacks that aren’t messy so you won’t have to jump out of line to wash hands and faces.
8. Download Free Drawing Apps and Get Creative
There are several free drawing apps that are both fun and work on fine motor skills, so bonus there. The two that are always at the top of the lists are Doodle Buddy and Draw Free for iPad, but take into account what your child likes and search free drawing in App Store or Google Play Store.
9. Let Them Sleep!
I know after a long day in the parks I’m exhausted, so I can only imagine the exhaustion for little ones! If your toddler falls asleep before you have to wait in line, go ahead and carry them through it, if you’re able. Sure, your arms and back will get a workout, so stick to lines with shorter standby queues and check the My Disney Experience app for the current list.