8 {Mostly} Free Ways to Pass the Time in Line at Disney World

Version 2You’ve dreamt of Disney since you were little. And you’re finally here! The magic sets in, but then you see throngs of tourists and a queue line that could wrap around the Earth a time or two. UGH. You may plan your outfits and game plans for each day, but you probably didn’t take into account how much time you’d be spending just waiting to get on a ride. Unfortunately, Cinderella’s bippity-boppity-boo doesn’t work on the lines at Disney World (yes, even with Fast Passes). For my visit in mid-March, a 30-minute line was “decent” and “not too bad.” With typical waits longer than Fuller House episodes, you gotta find some ways to pass the time, and here are 8 mostly free ways to do exactly that!

1. Botticelli
This game was a winner for my crew. Here’s the rundown: one member picks a person (famous or friend) and only gives initials to the rest of the gang. The crew then has to ask yes or no questions to try to guess who the member is thinking of. (Is it a boy? Is she famous? Is he an entertainer? etc.) Our choices ranged from Nicolas Cage to Lizzie McGuire.

2. Language Learning
Riley and I even decided to pick up maps in Spanish and French respectively to see if we could read any of it, and sure enough, we could! Take a look at the foreign map, quiz yourself and check with an English map. You’d be surprised at how much you know (or how little!).

disney world palm trees

3. Photo Op
Some queue lines also have pretty backgrounds like the Kilamanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom with its beautiful array of trees and plants. So, snap some cute pics with your pals so you’re FB-ready!  You may also need to plan some fun poses for the on-ride snapshots.  Do I see a Christmas card pic in the the future?!

4. Take Notes
It may be vacay, but don’t let your brain take a total break.  Take some notes on your day.  Riley and I used several minutes during our wait to record what we’d done so far that day.  It helped me immensely when I went back later that night to journal about the day.

travel journal disney world

5. Heads Up! App
While I didn’t try this one, I saw several families playing Heads Up! to pass the time. Read more about it and download it here.  This is the only one of the list that costs money, but $1 may be just the perfect price for hours of fun.

6. Talk!  
Ugh, I know; eww, people.  BUT you should cultivate your relationships with your family and friends.  This is precious time off from work and school, so enjoy it!  While your dehydrated mind and hungry tummy may make it difficult to think of topics beyond “how are the kids” and “I’m hungry,” try simple questions that everyone can think about and answer: favorite part of the day?  Game plan for next ride?  Ideas for lunch?

hollywood studios disney world

7. Be Friendly
Okay, I get it.  That lady bumped into you.  That man with the stroller thinks he owns the sidewalk.  But be nice!  While in line for It’s a Small World, I complimented a little girl’s Belle dress, but she just gave me a blank stare.  After receiving the same look from her sister, I finally found out why: they were from Brazil and spoke Portuguese.  Although their mom had difficulty speaking and understanding English, it was cool to engage with other cultures.

8. Disney Games and Activities
Finally, Disney ain’t dumb. They know the waits are long, and that people (not just little kids) get bored. On a number of rides, they have activities to complete or play while in line. For example, in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom, there’s a Candy Crush-like game to play except with the Dwarfs’ jewels. On Test Track in Epcot, you can design a car from exterior to abilities.

I’m sure you love your family and/or friends (?!), but when heat and subsequent exhaustion set it, it’s hard to have a nice, jolly convo about politics and religion in line for Space Mountain. (Because I’m sure this is the norm for you and your fam… ish…) So, keep these tips in mind to pass the time and enjoy your trip.


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