6 Greatest Walt Disney World Line Queues
Nobody likes waiting in line for the attractions at Walt Disney World. In a perfect world, you could ride what you want when you want. Alas, that sort of virtual reality is many years away. Until that glorious day arrives, you’ll have to compete with tens of thousands of strangers to ride your favorites. Fortunately, Disney executives are aware of the issue. They want your time spent in the line queues to feel like another form of entertainment rather than a chore.
Sure, that’s a lofty goal that they don’t always meet, but they certainly try. Here are six great line queues that will keep you amused while you wait to ride.
Avatar Flight of Passage
Imagineers love to tell a story when they build attractions. What’s unprecedented about Avatar Flight of Passage is that it functions as a sequel to Avatar the movie, albeit an official one. During the film, humans are at war with the Na’Vi, the dominant race on Pandora. “Scientists” are trying to hoard Unobtanium, a precious mineral native to the planet. The Na’Vi are an environmentally conscious people and seek to protect Pandora from the aliens.
Avatar Flight of Passage takes place centuries after the conflict in the Avatar film series, even the ones that are still several years away from theatrical release. It exists at a time when humans and Na’Vi are allies, and a tourist company hosts guided tours of the old facilities.
When you walk through the line queue, you’ll see remnants of the previously militaristic base. They’re moldy and outdated, of course, since they haven’t been used since the end of the war. Later in the line, you’ll exit the developed portions of the area for a brief period. In this section, you’ll see the native flora on Pandora in all of its unadulterated bioluminescent glory. It’s grown unchecked for decades.
Finally, you’ll enter the research areas where humans now perform true scientific research as opposed to the sham stuff seen in the film. A walk through the line queue of Avatar Flight of Passage is like a history lesson for an entire (fictional) planet.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
I’m constantly frustrated when I stand in line at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I just don’t think that enough people appreciate just how involved the line queue is. The theme of this attraction is that a mining town suddenly suffered a reversal of fortune due to an unexpected weather event. It wiped out all the residents but not the mining equipment.
While waiting to ride this roller coaster, you can play with the buttons. In fact, Disney will reward you for doing so. You can trigger a detonation here! If that doesn’t get your kid’s attention, I don’t know what will. Several of the themed props in this line have certain functions. When you do the right ones and push the plunger, you will “detonate” an area that’s visible from where you’re standing. A pleasing puff of smoke will arise, signifying that you’ve just blown up a small part of the town. Isn’t that great?
This line is the showiest and most difficult to ignore of the ones listed here. I think most Mickey Travelers have a passing familiarity with the bells and whistles available in the Haunted Mansion line. You can play a few musical instruments or try to arrange some library books properly. In short, anyone who likes to grab or touch things while standing in line will find much to love here.
Perhaps the best part is an Easter egg. There are five stone busts in the line, and they discuss the deaths of all six people you see. The extra victim is the other twin, as the five stone busts have six heads on them. Wellington and Forsythia are the twins in question, and they committed a murder. Of course, they’re also victims of murder.
Yes, the busts are like an exaggerated game of Clue. Your job is to identify the murderer for each of the people plus the cause of the final victim’s death. That one’s not murder per se, simply a poor choice of hairstyle…whoops, I’ve said too much. The next time you stand in line here, test your sleuthing skills.
Peter Pan’s Flight
Out of all the attractions listed here, Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the two you’re most likely to wait an hour to ride. The next selection on the list is the other. Both are Magic Kingdom attractions whose FastPasses sell out quickly, leaving everyone else to stand in line. Not coincidentally, Imagineers have worked hard to make the line queue experiences as memorable as possible.
With Peter Pan’s Flight, Disney fans get to explore the bedroom of the children of the Darling family. Wendy and her brothers have special friends in Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, and these magical beings have sprinkled a great deal of fairy dust around the room. You can interact with both of them as well.
Peter Pan’s shadow appears on the wall and performs a bit of mischief. Meanwhile, Tinker Bell flits about the room, creating special effects wherever she goes. You can also play with butterflies and wear a special magical costume while you wait in line. This line queue feels like a child’s imagination has run wild while Imagineers have transcribed every idea and then brought it life.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
For a couple of years early in the life cycle of smart phone apps, Bejeweled-style games were all the range. They’re the ones where you match a few gems or something along those lines. At Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, one of the interactive activities in the line queue is a game similar to this.
As you walk through several rows, you can use your finger as a touch sensor to move objects around a display, just like you do on your phone. The difference is that you’re moving gems around on a digital display that doubles as a line prop. The game isn’t challenging since it’s something that a first-timer must be able to learn quickly. It’s still fun, though.
The even better game requires a great deal of organic crowd participation. At various points in the interior portion of the line, you may spin a barrel. When you spin it fast enough for long enough, Imagineering magic will cause an image of one of the Seven Dwarfs to appear above you. There’s an Easter egg to this one, though.
When all of the people standing near barrels play together, you can feasibly get them all going. Should you display all of the Dwarfs at once on the ceiling above you, Snow White will appear, too! It’s a fascinating social experiment trying to cajole strangers to spin barrels so that you can all bask in the modest group achievement.
Soarin’ around the World
When this Epcot attraction added a third theater, the average wait-time went down a great deal. As such, newer guests won’t have the same amount of distraction time as those of us who remember the lines prior to the summer of 2016. On those days when you do have a crowd in front of you, however, you’ll discover what us old-timers have known for a while. The line queue at Soarin’ around the World is thoroughly entertaining.
There are two main aspects to the interactive line games. One is a digital display wall that mimics movement. Think of it as a gigantic Nintendo Wii. Your movements track on the wall, determining what happens on these overhead screens. It’s strangely hypnotic and so engaging that you may need a few reminders to keep the line moving.
When you’re not in the mood to move around, you can plan the trivia app. Disney has set up a website, SoarinChallenge, where you can answer questions about various cultures and landmarks seen in Soarin’. These questions are only available when you’re in the ride queue due to special location-based software. This precaution ensures that you won’t face a ton of ringers when you plan.
Also, the official site tracks your progress and any achievements you earn while playing the Soarin’ trivia challenge. It’s one of the best timesavers at Disney, although the new Disney Play app has made it somewhat redundant.