No matter when you visit the Disney Parks, you’re going to have to wait for something. Whether it’s an attraction, to get into a show, or for your table to come available for your dining reservation. Waiting in line at the Disney parks can be a stressful, agonizing experience. Especially from the perspective of the children in your party! Think about the anticipation they are feeling while waiting to board their FAVORITE attraction, or even the “fear of the unknown” on a new one. No matter what, waiting is part of the Disney experience. As parents, it’s good to be prepared to entertain your kids while in line. Today I’m going to share some ideas with you about keeping your kids entertained-and your stress level down-while waiting in line.
*Screen power. While standing in a particularly long line, our boys like to play their 3DS game systems. We stow them in the backpack-which is with us at ALL times-and allow them to choose ONE game to keep in it all day. My iPhone has such apps as Pooh’s Birthday Surprise and Peter Pan, along with coloring pages for our four year old.
*Hidden Mickeys. Mickey is ALL OVER the Disney parks. In fact, there’s a whole guide book devoted to finding them in obscure places. Have your kids look around the attraction you’re waiting for, and in the park area around it, to find some Hidden Mickeys. How many can you find before the line moves? Keep a running record of the most Mickeys found that day and whoever finds the most gets to choose that evening’s ice cream treat.
*Bubbly Fun. We always have small bottles of bubble stowed in our touring bag. These keep our four year old entertained-and sometimes those around us-for part of our waiting time. Granted, these are going to float around all those people waiting with you. However, personally, I’d rather that than hear kiddos complaining and parents fussing at them because they are bored :).
*Picture It. Have you taken a lot of pictures? Spend some time in line scrolling through them and sharing them with your kids. My little one loves to look at pictures of herself! Or, have some fun taking funny face pictures to entertain yourselves in line. Now, you can download apps for adding text to your photos as well as funny faces.
*Map it Out. Our boys are obsessed with maps. Maps of ANY kind. They scour their Disney park maps, reliving the previous attractions, planning what’s next, and discovering new paths to get to our next destination. You can pick up maps and times guides as you enter each park, or order ones from Disney.com.
*Feed them! My children get super whiney when they are hungry. And even though they “just ate”, sometimes their boredom leads to hunger. To compensate for the fun food we eat in the parks, I make sure to have small boxes of cereal, granola bars, and sometimes pieces of fruit in our touring bag. Granted, these aren’t as fun as a Mickey Ice Cream bar. BUT, it makes me feel better as a mom that they have some better options while we are waiting in line.
*Take advantage of the Interactive Queues. Walt Disney World has done a marvelous job of creating interactive queues for their young guests. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Dumbo are excellent. There are little games to play while you are waiting, and that helps with the initial waiting in line.
What tips do you have for keeping your little Pirates and Princesses entertained while waiting in line? I’d love to hear them!