I’d venture to say that not too many people enjoy standing in line. That’s why they invented the Disney FastPass, right? Although I will do everything in my power to keep your wait times to a minimum, sometimes you end up spending more time in a queue than you would like. So how do you pass the time with impatient, excited kids?
My first tip is that no matter what the posted waiting time is, ALWAYS insist on a potty stop before you enter. There is nothing worse than leaving a long line to take a child to the bathroom, then having to wait all over again. Additionally, you should always have full water bottles in case someone gets thirsty.
With just a little preparation, you can prevent unexpected waits from becoming stressful, and you might even be able to have a little fun while you’re at it!
But if you’re really trying to avoid waiting, check out my Youtube video on 5 Things to Do at Disney World Without Lines.
Take Care of Business
Use the downtime to reapply sunscreen, have a snack, or drink some water so that you feel refreshed. Ask your kids what they want to do next (or later, if you have something planned immediately after). If you have a counter service meal coming up, look at the menu and place your order using the mobile order feature. When you get off the ride and get close to the restaurant, click the “I Am Here” button and they will fire it up.
Look For Hidden Mickeys
Mickey is ALL OVER the Disney Parks. In fact, there’s a whole guidebook devoted to finding them in obscure places. Have your kids search for hidden Mickeys around the attraction you’re waiting for and in the park area around it. Turn it into a challenge—see how many you can find before the line moves!
Play Disney Trivia or iSpy
Before kids, I used to print out Disney trivia and paste them onto index cards. Now, I bring a set of kids Disney Trivia cards from an old Disney board game, or you could buy one from Amazon.. Geek Out is another fun trivia game that challenges players on countless pop culture topics. If you don’t have any of these, you could download a game on your phone or just look up the questions!
Play the Categories Game
Categories is a fun and easy game to play while waiting in line. Here’s how:
1: One person thinks of a category, such as Disney Characters, Disney snacks, Disney songs, Disney villains, Disney rides, etc.
2: Everyone takes turns (in order) thinking of something that fits the category.
3: If an item is repeated or if the person cannot think of something, they are out!
4: Keep going until only one person, the winner, is left.
There are lots of variations of this game you could play, such as giving a time limit or having everything start with a certain letter. The possibilities are endless, so just have fun!
Journal Your Memories
A small hardcover spiral notebook is perfect for jotting down special memories throughout your trip. This is also a great activity to do while waiting for a meal to arrive at a table service restaurant, or while waiting to check into a hotel. At every new line, pass the journal to a new family member so everyone has a chance to share their experiences! For little ones who can’t write yet, have them draw a picture of their memories, or ask them questions such as their favorite character they met or their favorite ride so far and transcribe their answers. Then, on your next trip, ask those same questions to see how the answers have changed!
Have a Photoshoot or Organize Photos
My daughter Annabelle loves looking at photos of yourself, and I’m sure a lot of you have children who are the same way! This is a fantastic time to have your kids look through the photos you’ve taken, relive their favorite memories, and choose the best ones to create a photo book after returning home. You could also have a mini photo shoot, or allow your child to take some photos of you.
If you’ve purchased Memory Maker, you’ll be able to access your Photopass pictures on the mobile app. We love passing the time in line by looking back through our photos of the trip so far.
Not sure whether or not you should get Memory Maker? My blog post has all the advice you need,
Phone Games and Apps
My daughter would be entertained for hours if I allowed her to just sit with my phone and watch Youtube videos all day. While I typically prefer non-electronic forms of entertainment for her, we do bring an extra phone into the park for long wait times. Since it doesn’t have a SIM card, it can’t be used without Wifi, so I keep some of her favorite videos and games downloaded if a meltdown seems imminent. Even before I had children, I loved playing Ellen’s Head’s Up app in line. It is basically like charades with talking—and the best part is, you can get the Disney pack for free if you access it while on Disney wifi. Another fun game is the Disney Play app, as it provides an interactive experience with everything around you.
Bring Some Toys
Toys are always a great option, but they don’t have to be expensive—you can pick up some great finds at your local dollar store! Rotate what you carry with you each day so the kids won’t get bored with just one thing. Here are my recommendations:
Bubbles: I am yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love bubbles, so I always carry the mini party favor ones with me. They are much less annoying for the people around you than the traditional bubble wands, and they might even help your child make a few new friends!
Cars/trucks: These are great for keeping little hands busy and off of railings.
Small notebooks and crayons/colored pencils: These are helpful to have if you are using rider swap, where one parent waits with one child while the other parent is riding. You could ask them to draw the things around them, or their favorite Disney character. Some other options are Hangman, tic-tac-toe, or spelling words. Shop some of my favorites here.
If you are ready to have the family vacation you’ve been dreaming of, without spending time researching, planning and making it happen, schedule a call today. I’m here to help busy working Moms plan, organize and book the perfect family vacation. With me, all you have to worry about is enjoying your well-earned time away with your family. If you are ready to stop trying to do everything on your own and see how I can help you schedule a complimentary trip planning session now.
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