At Walt Disney World waiting in line for an attraction can be an attraction itself. The magic of the Disney parks extends well beyond the actual ride. An elaborately themed or fun interactive queue can not only help the time fly by, but it can be an integral part of the storytelling process. Here's our list of the 10 best queues at Walt Disney World.
1. Avatar: Flight of Passage – This new state-of-the-art simulator ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom has one of the most incredible queues in the world. Your journey to the top of the floating mountains begins with a trek through caves covered in colorful drawings depicting the flying banshees. Next is an area filled with glowing bioluminescent plant life. The science lab has experiments with weird Pandoran creatures in jars and an avatar incubating in an amino tube, just like we see in the film! There are so many details you can spend hours here and not take it all in.
2. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Right in the heart of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom is the tremendously fun Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The queue for this family coaster is not only one of the best looking, but it's also one of the most fun. Doc has left signs and notes all over asking for your help (but especially your kids' help) in several different tasks. You can sort gems, spin barrels and more to reveal hidden animations and really cool special effects.
3. The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror – No queue does a better job of setting the mood than the Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Once you step into the creepy lobby of this decrepit hotel, covered in spider webs and dust, you get the sense that something bad happened here. You hear the faint wavering sound of an old record player, leaving you feeling uneasy. As you make your way through the boiler room, edging closer to the maintenance elevator the tension builds, until it's your turn to cross into The Twilight Zone.
4. Peter Pan’s Flight – Recently upgraded, Peter Pan's Flight at Magic Kingdom now features fun interactive elements and advanced effects. Enter the Darling children’s nursery while making your way through the line. Here you'll spot Tinkerbell flying across the walls and into different objects causing them to move and sway. Kids will have a blast interacting with animated butterflies, ringing bells and more using nothing more than their own shadow. Look carefully and you may even spot Peter's elusive shadow.
5. Haunted Mansion – "Is this haunted room actually stretching, or is it your imagination?" This classic Disney attraction features one of the most memorable preshows of any theme park ride. Before entering the mansion you can pass the time reading absurdly funny tombstones outside and children can play with the new interactive elements in the courtyard. A favorite is the Musical Crypt where kids can make music by tapping on different instrument icons.
6. Pirates of the Caribbean – From the moment you enter the Spanish fortress and make your way through the winding shadowy queue you're transported to another time. An instrumental rendition of "Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)" plays quietly in the background as you pass by rows of cannons. Peer into a jail window to see two skeletons playing chess, locked forever in a stalemate. When you reach the boat dock you feel the wind blowing and see clouds moving above, making it seem like you're really outside on a dark foreboding night.
7. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Be immersed in the world of Star Wars at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Pass under the large-scale AT-AT Walker and the Ewok tree houses of Endow as you enter the Star Tours terminal. Set up like a crazy space airport you'll spot popular characters from the films including the lovable C-3PO and R2-D2. As you get closer to the ride you'll have to pass through luggage screening and security stations, both manned by funny droids with an odd sense of humor. The pre-flight experience is filled with references Star Wars fans will love.
8. Expedition Everest – The queue for Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom tells a subtle yet effective story of a legendary creature that is both feared and revered by the locals. You'll pass through a general store, travel company, shrine and finally a museum of native wildlife. Little touches throughout foreshadow your encounter including an exhibit on the mythic Yeti at the museum. A chilling cast of a giant footprint is one of the last things you see before boarding your train to the forbidden mountain.
9. Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid – The queue for this whimsical journey at the Magic Kingdom takes place inside an underground cavern beneath Prince Eric’s castle. The grotto is filled with shimmering waterfalls you walk under on your way to see Ariel. Inside, the cavern is lined with some of her stashes of shipwrecked artifacts. There are dishes, spyglasses, jewels and various ship parts. While you wait you can help adorable little crabs sort the junk from the treasure in a fun interactive experience.
10. Space Mountain – Before you blast off in your rocket you need to pass through the starport of Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. Make your way through a long corridor of the neon-lit space station. Look outside the windows to see starscapes and meteors pass by. Before reaching the control tower you can prepare for your space adventure with interactive training games. Large screens and big controls allow you shoot at dangerous asteroids and play other fun activities while you wait.
Orlando, FL – 9/15/17
By: Alicia Stella