Nobody likes waiting in line … especially when waiting means wasting precious vacation time. However, on a Disney parks vacation waiting becomes part of the fun, believe it or not! Disney has redefined waiting with interactive ride queues, where waiting for entrance to an attraction is actually part of the fun.
Here at Magical DIStractions, we asked our readers which interactive queue is their absolute favorite at the Walt Disney World Resort. You answered overwhelmingly in favor of Magic Kingdom queues, with Haunted Mansion emerging as the top vote-getter. Peter Pan’s Flight rallied for a second place finish, with the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain tied for third. The new queue over at Dumbo the Flying Elephant earned a mention as well. The only attractions to garner votes outside of the Magic Kingdom were Test Track and Soarin’ at Epcot. Soarin’ was a write-in choice of readers in our “Other” category.
It is clear that our readers love the Haunted Mansion, where the interactive queue sets you in the middle of a spooky graveyard, complete with eerie music and “pun”derful headstones. Updated in 2011, waiting for your entrance to The Stretching Room became a whole lot more immersive. The 5 busts (6 if you count the twins separately) of the Dread family stand as a mystery for Guests to solve, and each offers a clue as to how the previous family member met their untimely demise. The tombstone of Madame Leota is still present, of course, but in the expansion some really neat interactive features were added. The tomb of a composer displays various musical instruments that Guests can touch and actually hear the music … from beyond the grave. The tomb of a sea captain leaks real water and the crypt of a writer shows the eerie composition of a new novel – a murder mystery – but the novel seems to be writing itself.
Peter Pan’s Flight was an attraction that begged for an interactive queue, as waiting for that ride can take up a pretty serious chunk of the day during peak times. In late 2014, an interactive queue was added to the ride to ease the pain of waiting. Check out the article about the changes to the queue. Guests can now wait in an air conditioned hallway filled with spectacular artwork depicting scenes from the film. This hallway winds through the bedrooms of John, Michael and Wendy. Like Peter Pan himself, Guests can see their own shadows on the wall (they even appear to wear costumes!) and can set Tink free from her lantern as she lights up the room and many of its objects seem to come alive at her touch. This line queue definitely makes a very long wait in line much more exciting.
Our readers seem to love newer ride queues, like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The line winds through a dark, cavernous mine with several interactive features to help the time pass quickly. Using interactive touch-screens, Disney gives their Guests a chance to sort gems while waiting. Budding composers can activate water streams which in turn create music of varying pitches and tones. Another cool feature is the spinning barrel of gems. If you spin it just right it will reveal one of the dwarfs on the mine ceiling!
DIStracted Tip: The FastPass+ line often bypasses many of the interactive ride queues, so if you really want to experience the queues without a huge wait time, ride in the Standby line early in the morning or near the park’s closing time.
As much as Guests love the new rides and attractions, Space Mountain is always a fan favorite. Apparently, our readers love the ride queue as well. This is one long winding queue, dimly lit with futuristic music playing. Guests can play various interactive games on large screens, but the line moves fairly fast, so the time for play at each station is pretty limited if you don’t want to lose your place in line. By the time you reach your final destination, you definitely feel like blasting into outer space.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant was completely refurbished with New Fantasyland and the new set-up is great for families with small children. The ‘Big Top” boasts an interactive play area for kids while they wait to ride everyone’s favorite elephant. Parents can sit on benches and watch as toddlers and bigger kids alike climb play structures, play games, and just interact with other kids. And the best part is you can play without losing your spot in line. Guests are given a pager that alerts them when it is time to ride.
Test Track also features a new queue, culminating in a room filled with computer screens where Guests design their own car to enter into the big race during the actual ride. The queue for Soarin’ includes enormous video screens that line the walls, where Guests can play motion-detected interactive games while they wait.
DIStracted Tip: Soarin’ over California is currently undergoing refurbishment, but soon Guests will be able to take a sky high adventure around the world! The new “Soarin’ Around the World,” will open this summer, so you’ll have to wait to check out the interactive queue.
Our readers have spoken! Did your favorite queue make the list?
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