If there’s anything Disney World guests are good at it, it’s standing in line. 😂
Let’s face it — you have to stand in line for everything at Disney World: for transportation, for rides, for food, for shopping, and for pretty much everything else. But not every line is created equal…
Standing in line is not always fun, but Disney World has actually made some lines so much fun that we don’t mind the wait. Others, though, are excruciatingly long AND hot, and we would rather be anywhere else. And when we’re not FastPassing our way through these lines (and we’re not now because the FastPass program is still suspended), we try to enjoy those lines that we can.
So here is a list of the BEST and WORST lines (or queues, as they’re often referred to) in the parks!
Best: Peter Pan’s Flight
One of the longest wait times at Disney World is often for Peter Pan’s Flight. This attraction is the perfect storm of being a classic “must-do” experience for almost every Disney guest AND it has such a small ride vehicle, so only a few guests can board at a time. This combination means it can get backed up pretty quickly!
Because of this, back in 2014, the Imagineers at Disney decided to sprinkle some pixie dust on the queue itself. Now, we almost enjoy waiting in this line as much as we love riding the attraction! Note this is one fun queue you’ll COMPLETELY miss if you use FastPass when it’s available.
Since that update, much of the queue is now indoors — out of the hot Florida sun. Oh, and it’s air-conditioned, which is always a bonus. But mostly, we love all the details in line — the beautiful paintings, the portraits of the children, and the nursery where Tinker Bell is flitting about. THE BEST.
Best: Haunted Mansion
We’re also big fans of the details in the queue for the Haunted Mansion. Some of it is outdoors, but you get to see the details of the well-thought-out cemetery and admire the architecture of the house itself. In 2011, when Disney updated this queue, they added in some more spooky stories to contribute to the details of the Haunted Mansion tale. The first part of this queue introduces you to 5 busts, but these aren’t just your run-of-the-mill monuments to loved ones. The inscriptions present you with a “whodunnit” game. Read the inscriptions on each to find out who killed who!
And that just at the beginning of the line! As you continue through the queue, you get to learn more about the happy haunts that reside in this abode. Be sure to read every tombstone and take in every detail along the path up to the Haunted Mansion, as it all tells a story (the tombstones are also fun nods to Imagineers that created the ride!). Every time you go through the queue, you’ll learn more about this spooky past! We love it so much, sometimes we’re disappointed when there’s little to no wait — because the details in the queue are truly part of the attraction!
Better yet, the famous Stretching Room scene is technically part of the queue! What a fun way to wait to ride the actual ride!
Best: Pirates of the Caribbean
We also love the line for Pirates of the Caribbean. Admittedly, one of the biggest selling points of this queue is the extensive air-conditioning!!! There are also a lot of fun details that make you feel like you’ve been transported into a cave where pirates are stashing their weapons and treasure or an armory. And you get to hear that jolly sea shanty all through the line!
A classic part of the Pirates of the Caribbean queue is the scene of the skeletons playing chess. Imagineer Marc Davis set up the chess pieces so that any move would create a checkmate thus resulting in an eternal stalemate. He even provided a cheat sheet under the chessboard for the piece positions, in case the play needed to be duplicated. Now, that’s dedication to the details!
A queue with salty pirates, air conditioning, earworm sea shanties, and storytelling details, and don’t forget the power of the wonderful Pirates of the Caribbean smell (it’s totally a thing!) are the makings of one of the best line experiences — and we haven’t even gotten to the attraction, yet!
Worst: Magic Carpets of Aladdin
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is already not going to make any of our lists with the word “best” in it, but the ride line is not just boring, it’s also outside. That means a lot of standing around in the sun waiting with your kid for what is, essentially, a version of Dumbo (and Dumbo has air conditioning while you wait!). But the good news is that the wait here is generally shorter than Dumbo, so there’s that.
We would love for the Imagineers to plus-up this queue. The location makes it difficult to provide anything indoors. Perhaps they can add some other Aladdin details? Some more fans to help cool off the weary Agrabah travelers who are waiting for their magic carpet? Or implement a Dole Whip delivery system so you can order and receive a Dole Whip while you wait? Dare to dream!
Worst: Splash Mountain
Another tedious line to stand in is the one for Splash Mountain. it’s usually long and it’s mostly outside. And that means LOTS of time outside, sweating and hoping with all hope that you actually get a little wet on the ride itself. However, there is a moment just before you get on the ride vehicle that rocks — when you go in the mountain itself. There’s some glorious air conditioning there that feels like heaven blasting on you!
Once upon a time, Splash Mountain had its own game in the Play Disney Parks app called Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-Day. Now that game has disappeared from the app’s options. So, now, we’re stuck waiting outside, sweating, with nothing to do but scroll through the Mobile Order options to find out next snack.
Worst: Astro Orbiter
Another line that we don’t like is the one for Astro Orbiter — you are standing in line for an elevator. And not the fun Tower of Terror kind of elevator, but the standard kind of elevator you’ll find in any ol’ parking structure. Not even a cool Tomorrowlandy elevator — LAME! Then, once you’re done riding the boring elevator (that you don’t even get to push the button on!), you ride yet another version of Dumbo that just goes around in some circles.
This ride has a SMALL capacity so it takes a looooong time to actually board. This means an often lengthy wait. Now, one concession we’ll make is that Astro Orbiters does provide a really cool view (especially at night) since it’s up so high. So maybe — MAYBE — if you gotta ride it, plan to do it at night. That way, at least you’re not getting burned in the hot sun, and you might get some cool views and photos from the experience!
So, we’re going to have to give credit where credit is due — the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge queues continue to blow us away. If you get in line for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, you feel like you’re inside some kind of galactic warehouse (and then inside the ship itself) and Star Wars fans are going to lose their minds over the level of detail here.
First, you get to be up close and personal with the ACTUAL Millennium Falcon. That alone amps up this queue’s coolness factor. THEN you get to go into an actual space smuggler’s hideout and see (and hear) all of the tinkering, demands, and schemes of some of the most notorious space pirates.
And, if seeing the Millennium Falcon and getting the inside peek at space pirate’s hideout isn’t cool enough, you can play along in your Play Disney Parks app to earn yourself some credibility in the smuggling circuit. And you’ll get to see Hondo Ohnaka, himself! (He’s one of the COOLEST animatronics at Disney World!)
BETTER YET, the end of the queue before you board places you smack dab on the Falcon. You can pretend you’re playing Dejarik with Chewbacca or chillin’ with Luke Skywalker. It’s seriously like walking into a movie!
We love the details, the theming, the interaction with the Play Parks App, and of course, the air conditioning — and we haven’t even gotten to the ride, yet!
Best: Rise of the Resistance
And the Rise of the Resistance line is even better! Technically, a large portion of the queue is so immersive that it’s actually considered part of the RIDE! You walk through some (air-conditioned) tunnels that eventually lead you to BB-8 and then a hologram of Rey, who gives you your mission. Then you get to see even more characters from the Star Wars sequel films before being sent on your way.
Without spoiling anything, this is probably the best ride line in all of Disney World because it’s all part of the ride experience and it never feels like you’re standing in line at all! There are moving ships, Stormtroopers, crazy projections, and more — and that’s before you ever board a ride vehicle! PRO TIP: do this line with Play Disney Parks on the My Disney Experience app because then it’s even MORE interactive!
Best: Star Tours
Long before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney World created Star Tours, and although it’s not quite as advanced of an attraction as Rise of the Resistance, its line is a lot of fun. It’s mostly indoors, with air-conditioning, and it sets up a scene inside a spaceport where it feels like you’re getting ready to board a spaceship. There are a lot of fun details and Easter eggs for Star Wars fans here, too!
(Are we the only ones that love the smell of this queue? It has a distinct “old ride” smell!)
Worst: Slinky Dog Dash
There is one line at Hollywood Studios that we loathe more than any other, although the ride itself is a lot of fun. That’s Slinky Dog Dash because the entire line is OUTSIDE in the hot sun with very little shade, and if you haven’t sensed a theme here, here’s a hint — we try to avoid standing in line outside in Florida, especially in the summer.
Once you get through the overflow line and into the actual queue itself, it does have a pretty neat theme. Guests …oh, sorry, we mean Toys get to see all of the bits and pieces and creativity that Andy took in creating the Slinky Dog Dash.
But it is still outdoors. It is still hot. Just now with some shade and some fans, so it’s…slightly more bearable.
OK OK, don’t come at us. HEAR US OUT! And although we adore The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, the majority of the line is also outside in the brutal heat (or sometimes, rain) and we’re not the biggest of fans.
Sure, once you get inside, the queue is AMAZING with some creepy details, but before that, it’s a little rough. We seriously can’t stress how much we love the queue once we get inside! The detailing and creepiness of it all is FANTASTIC. You get to see the lobby and boiler room of the abandoned hotel in all its glory!
That might be part of the plan, drain your good sense and sound judgment by making you stand in the heat and humidity, so you’re all too willing to voluntarily step into the Twilight Zone, just so long as it’s air-conditioned! 😉
Another line that gets brutal is the line for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster — because it’s usually long, it’s mostly outside, and again, it makes us stand in the sun with no shade.
Once the line creeps into the queue, it does have some great theming and you get to see some concert posters and album paraphernalia from some current musical talent as you saunter through G Force Records Studio. (Listen to the overhead announcements inside and behind the “recording studio” doors while you wait!)
Then there’s that incredibly quotable pre-show where you learn you’re taking a stretch…make that a SUPER stretch limo to the Aerosmith concert (Spoiler: it goes REAL fast! 😉) If we could just skip to the indoor portion of the line, we’d be some happy campers… er… happy groupies!
We love this hybrid indoor/outdoor queue. The parts that are outside have enough shade and air movement to make it bearable, even pleasant! And the queue for Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain has one of the most detailed backstories of any attraction.
You’ll get to wander through the Himalayan Escapes tour company offices, Tashi’s General Store and Bar for all of your travel supply needs, and the old tea warehouse that Professor Pumba Dorje converted into a Yeti museum. Then, as you move up in the line, you’ll board the Anandapur Rail Service, which was once used to transport tea.
Each twist and turn of this queue adds another layer to the story of the Forbidden Mountain. So, keep your eyes open and stay vigilant, because you never know when you might come face to face with the mythical Yeti!
Best: It’s Tough To Be A Bug
Although It’s Tough To Be A Bug isn’t one of our must-see attractions, everyone should do it at least once because the line is indoors and takes you INSIDE the Tree of Life, where you can feel like you’re as small as a bug inside the gigantic tree.
As you wait for this show, you get up close to the Tree of Life to see it from unique angles and some of the intricate carvings from perspectives that you’d never have otherwise.
We’ve definitely been guilty of holding up the line as we admire this massive monument and see how many animal carvings we can find and which ones are our favorite. It’s a queue that doubles as its own attraction!
Best: Kali River Rapids
This attraction sparks some controversy with us — our team is split on the actual ride itself (some love it, some hate it), but we all agree that the line for Kali River Rapids showcases the talents of Disney Imagineering. Once you’re in the line, you get the real sense that you’ve stumbled into a jungle where distant temples and ruins wait to be explored.
There are plenty of artifacts, carvings, and statues all waiting to be discovered along the way. It’s a lot of fun to see what’s waiting around the next bend. Keep an eye out for Michael Jackson! Yep, Captain EO himself got a nod in the queue!
Worst: Flight of Passage
Like some other AMAZING rides, the line for Flight of Passage has its issues. First of all, we’re pretty sure the queue is about 9.5 miles long in total. 😂 The actual queue itself takes guests through caves, the nighttime forests deep in the Valley of Mo’ara, and finally to the labs of Alpha Centauri Expeditions. It’s a journey through an otherworldly experience!
The hiccup is that you have to wait through the majority of the overflow line outside before you can even get to the cool indoor part! Most of it is outdoors, again in the Florida heat, and it’s ALWAYS long. (Sensing a pattern here? Cool indoor queues goooood. Hot outdoor queues baaaad!) And you don’t get to see a lot of cool details until you get inside, which can take forever. Sure, the beauty of Pandora is all around you, but you don’t have to stand in line to see it — you could always just grab a Night Blossom and sit somewhere in the shade to admire it.
Worst: Na’vi River Journey
The other Pandora ride, Na’vi River Journey, also has a long outside line. Once you get through the overflow line, the queue winds guests through the wild nature of the Mo’ara Valley. While you wait you can observe the plant life, waterfalls, and get some cool pictures of the floating mountains. But after about three minutes of doing that, you’re ready for some air conditioning!
Most of the queue is outside and guests briefly get a reprieve from the sun by entering a native nomad’s hut, but it isn’t air-conditioned. We welcome the shade and the fans, but feel that with all of the ingenuity that went into creating Pandora, perhaps a little more time could’ve been spent on providing some comfortable queues?
Worst: Kilimanjaro Safaris
We LOVE Kilimanjaro Safaris…not so much the Kilimanjaro Safaris queue. It is a fantastic attraction and we ride it as often as we can because no two rides are ever alike, but when the lines are long, it gets a bit hot and muggy waiting outside.
This line (and ride) is truly all outdoors, and though you do get a break by going into some open-air buildings, sometimes that just reduces air circulation as much as it reduces your exposure to the elements. And then you’ve got the videos playing on a loop that you have to watch over and over…and over!
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Best: Frozen Ever After
Hands-down, the best line at EPCOT — at least according to our team — is the Frozen Ever After line. And this is a good thing — because there’s always a line! It’s indoors, air-conditioned (always a big plus, as you’ve seen), and a LOT of fun. There are so many details connected to the Frozen movies that fans of Anna and Elsa will want to get in line JUST for the line alone!
OK, maybe that’s a stretch. The ride is always the best part, right? 🙂 Be aware that sometimes the popularity of this ride often means that this line extends out of the queue, out of Norway, and sometimes all the way to China!
But it does move fairly quickly and we think both the actual queue and the attraction are worth the wait.
Best: The Seas with Nemo and Friends
We feel like way too many people sleep on The Seas with Nemo and Friends and they are missing out. Although the ride itself is adorable, the line is super cool — it takes you from a beach into the depths of the ocean with theming that makes you feel like you’re going down to the bottom of the ocean. This one is underrated!
Keep an eye out for the “butt” in the water above you! The projected water caustics make this an oddly peaceful line to cool off in the AC.
So we’re going out on a limb here since this one ISN’T EVEN OPEN YET. One ride line we’re really looking forward to seeing is the one for the upcoming Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, which opens at the France Pavilion on October 1st.
If the queue from the original version in Disneyland Paris is any indicator, we could be in for a really fun time complete with a stroll around gorgeous Parisian rooftops at night.
Worst: Living with the Land
We often tell our readers not to miss out on Living With The Land, but we do have to warn you that the line for this attraction isn’t anything special. It’s pretty dull. So, sorry about that. But the ride itself is a nice, relaxing, and cool ride through Disney’s greenhouses.
Since it doesn’t USUALLY boast long lines, we can understand why not a lot of money or time was invested to spice up the queue. But we still wish there were more to it than just a few inspirational quotes on the back wall.
Worst: Soarin’ Around the World
We’re perplexed about the Soarin’ Around the World line, too. This ride is so much fun and we love flying over the world, but the lead-up to the adventure is so BLAND. There’s not a lot of theming, though at least it’s indoors and air-conditioned. But the line is otherwise forgettable until you get to the pre-show.
Occasionally, a trivia game will run on some of the screens throughout the queue, with does provide a moderate distraction. But otherwise, it’s just enjoying the air conditioning and your travel party (and maybe daydreaming about Patrick Warburton telling us we’re clear for take-off).
If you’ve been on the original attraction in Disney California Adventure, you know that ride has a much cooler queue with lots of great aviation theming!
Worst: Journey Into Imagination with Figment
Finally, we’re going to have to vote for Journey Into Imagination with Figment as one of the most annoying lines to stand in at Disney World. Those sound effects that play over and over dig into our skulls.
The queue is, thankfully, rather short and there ARE some fun nods to past Disney films hidden throughout. But we would rather have “it’s a small world” on a loop than listen to that loop for a long amount of time. Sorry, not sorry.
Okay, so we have a line that isn’t necessarily for an attraction, but it’s always long, and generally involves waiting outside. Did you even Disney if you didn’t wait in a neverending line for transportation?! We’re talkin’ the lines for the Skyliner, Disney Buses, and Monorail. These lines are generally pretty long, especially at the beginning and end of each day. And social distancing made the waits even longer.
But even before the pre-closure, we were never fans of waiting in line for transportation at Disney World. Sure, it’s convenient, but sometimes, that convenience comes with a long wait.
So those are our favorite and least favorite lines in Disney World, but we would love to hear what you think! What lines do you love and hate?
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What lines would you vote as best and worst at Disney World? Let us know in the comments!