~ Updated March 4, 2020
No matter how well planned and scheduled your vacation may be, when you visit the theme parks, you are probably going to have to wait in lines at some point.
During the busier seasons, popular rides can have really long wait times – as long as 3 hours! If you aren’t able to snag a FastPass+, you may just have to wait it out. So, what can you do to pass the time and keep kids occupied? Here are a few options that don’t require you to bring along extra things like books or games and can be fun for everyone in your traveling party.
#6 Heads Up App
Have you ever seen Ellen DeGeneres play Heads Up with guests on her show? It is a fun and hilarious game that includes everything from naming celebrities, to singing, to silly accents.
The main goal is to guess the word on the card that’s on your head from your friends’ clues before the timer runs out! The game is family-friendly and can offer hours or silly, family fun right from your phone!
We actually played Heads Up, while we waited for the Happily Ever After Fireworks. We love this game!
#5 Disney Play App
We love the Disney Play App! It’s designed for families and friends to play together while on Disney property, so it’s a great way to pass the time when you are waiting in line.
You can take turns on one device or use group play games that allow family members to play together across multiple devices. With the app, you can play games and do activities that actually interact with certain attraction queues to bring favorite Disney stories to life in immersive new ways.
When you are signed into your Disney account, you can also earn, collect and share themed achievements, which are rewarded for playing games, answering trivia, completing challenges and experiencing select attractions.
You can also listen to playlists of Disney music via Apple Music (accessible through the app). Apple Music subscribers are even be able to add favorite tracks to their Apple Music library and continue to listen even after they’ve gone back home. The app is free to download on the App Store and Google Play.
Kelly and I played Disney Parks Play, while we waited for the Toy Story Mania ride. So much fun!
TIP: Bring a portable phone charger with you to make sure your phone lasts all day, especially if you plan to use the phone to play games like the above. You can also buy Fuel Rods (portable charges) from every park. We use these Fuel Rods all of the time at the Disney World Parks. Just a backup, if you forget your portable charger.
#4 Plan Your Next Disney World Parks Activity
Once you find yourself in a queue with a few minutes to spare, it’s a good time to check in with your group to decide what you will do next so you can maximize your time. Is it time for a snack? Maybe a rest back at the resort pool? Do you have a FastPass+ or dining reservation to get to? Use your time in line to make sure everyone is clear on and on board with the plans for whatever is next.
Also, if you have redeemed all your FastPasses, this is also a great time to open up the My Disney Experience app and select another! You can review menus, character meeting times or showtimes on the app as well. That can assist you with deciding what to do next so you don’t waste time fumbling without a plan after you exit the attraction you are waiting for.
#3 Play I Spy
A very simple game that doesn’t require any apps or precious cell phone power is “I Spy.” If you aren’t familiar with I Spy, it works like this. Someone in the group is designated as the “spy.” He or she looks around and selects an object that everyone can see but doesn’t reveal what it is to the group.
The spy announces a hint. For example, if the spy chose something that is red, he/she would say “I spy with my little eye something that is red.” Then each member of the group takes turn giving one guess at the object.
The first person who guesses correctly becomes the new spy. You can have more fun by changing the clues such as giving the first letter, the shape or some other characteristic about the object. There’s usually a lot to look at in Disney World Park queues, so there should be ample material to play with. Just make sure you choose items that you will still be able to see as you move along in the queue.
And don’t forget to look for Hidden Mickeys while you are spying items in the queue!
#2 Trade Pins
Disney Pin Trading is a popular activity at the Disney World Parks. If you aren’t familiar with pin trading, you can ask a Cast Member about it whenever you see pins available for sale.
The gist is that you can buy official Disney trading pins and trade them with Cast Members. You may have seen big boards with lots of pins on them in shops and hotel lobbies. That’s just one place you can trade one of your pins for another that you like.
You can also ask any Cast Member who’s wearing pins to trade look at their pins. If you see one you want to trade for, just ask. They will always trade with you (as long as you are trading an official Disney pin). While you are waiting in line, it can be fun to compare pins with other guests. You can ask them to trade with you, too. Just remember that other guests may not want to trade.
#1 Make Friends
Striking up conversation with other guests and families in line helps to pass the time and gives you something new and interesting to do! Every conversation is different, and you never know what you might learn or what you might have in common with someone you meet.
It can be hard to know what to say, so here are some things that might help — Does another guest in line near you have a cool shirt on? Maybe a funny hat or unique Mickey ears? Try giving them a compliment and asking where they are from.
Encourage kids to talk to other kids and give compliments, too. Asking where the other guests are staying or what their favorite ride is can also help get the conversation rolling. It’s fun to make new friends and the conversation really helps to pass the time for everyone.
These are a few of the things we like to do to help make wait times fly by. What are your favorite tips to have fun, while waiting in lines at the Disney World Parks?