Friday, November 20, 2009

A Whole New World in the Queue

A cry for help crossed my radar, asking for ways to keep young kids entertained while waiting in a queue at Walt Disney World. I took a crack at it in 140 characters or less and determined to later devote more time to the topic.

This is me coming to fruition (and it only scratches the surface!)

Games and Activities

Trivia cards. If you’re as intense as me, you have a formidable stack of Disney board games at home. For example, we have two (2) – yep, two – Disney versions of Trivial Pursuit. We also have Disney Scene It, The Wonderful World of Disney Trivia 2… the list goes on.

If you look closely, you’ll see that all of these games I listed have something in common: stacks of trivia cards. Grab a handful and bring them in your diaper bag, camera bag, man purse or what have you, and bust them out whenever you need a diversion. It passes the time so well that you’ll even forget about the absence of the game board, let alone keeping score.

A-to-Z Scavenger hunt. This is a classic take on the game you play in the car – you know, the one where you look for signs, billboards or vehicles and work your way through the alphabet?  For our Disneyfied version, the same principles apply, but in this case, we’re looking for characters and other key story elements found in and around the queue. Start with “A,” then work your way down to “Z.” For example, if waiting in the queue for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, the “A” could be “astro,” the “B” could be “blasters” and the “Z” could be “Zurg.” You can collaborate and build a list as a team or you can compete with one another to see who can get to “Z” first.

I Spy. You can make this one as easy or sophisticated as you’d like. In the queue for the Haunted Mansion, for example, you could either say, “I spy something grey,” or, “I spy something with moving eyes,” both indicating the tombstone of Madame Leota.

Other tools to have up your sleeves (all available with Disney themes if you look!) Color Wonder activity books; sticker books and snacks!

Learn the Attraction’s Back Story; Discover Hidden Gems
Many queues at Walt Disney World have such rich back stories and hidden gems. Often dialogue and discussion surrounding these elements is enough to get you through the longest of standbys.

Don’t know where to start? Try these:

Imagineering Field Guides by Alex Smith. Get the big picture and minute details from the Imagineers who designed the attractions themselves.

Hidden Mickeys by Steve Barrett. Uncover over 800 images of Mickey Mouse blended into design elements throughout Walt Disney World,  categorized by park and land to make it easy to pull out in any queue.

Walt Disney World Trivia Books by Lou Mongelo. These books are down-right informative and essential for those pining for Walt Disney World details. They also lend themselves well for Q&A games. Be sure to check out the audio guides too.

The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World by Susan Veness. Features more than 600 tidbits about the parks and attractions.

Avoid Waits
Want to virtually eliminate your wait in queues or reduce waits as much as humanly possible? Len Testa has made the science of touring into an art form in The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.

Inevitably, use FASTpass wisely. (Another post, another time!) When FASTpass is not an option, and depending on the attraction, consider having one person in your group hold your place in line.

Let’s Hear from You
What are your favorite go-to ideas in queue lines to keep kids busy? Post a comment!

1 comment:

  1. I keep myself busy sometimes by making a video of myself, scrolling through pics taken on my camera, or taking pictures of interesting things on the queue!

    Oh, and thanks for contributing to the Flexible Disney Carnival - I appreciate your entry!

    The Whiz Kid Forte,
    Author of Flexible Disney