How To Make The Most Of Long Ride Lines At Disney World

With more than 160,000 visitors flocking to Disney World's parks every day, "The Happiest Place On Earth" is arguably the busiest, too. From the Disney-themed outfits to the bustling merch stores and nightly fireworks display, it's clear that Disney World isn't just a theme park — it's a global phenomenon.

With that in mind, it's no surprise that long lines snake around every corner both inside and outside the park — especially for the most popular attractions. So while rides like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Avatar's Na'vi River Journey might cost you between 58 to 80 minutes of your day, hopping aboard Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance can easily keep you waiting for up to 127 minutes. That's a whole two hours of waiting in line ... and then some!

While there are things you can do to secure shorter waits for rides at Disney World — signing up for the Genie+ program is one of them — the reality is that most visitors are going to have to put up with a bit of standing around. Luckily, every wait comes with a silver lining. When you look at things a little differently, a long line isn't just a test of your (and your family's) patience — it's an opportunity. With the right approach, you can easily turn any waiting time into a fun-filled part of your action-packed Disney adventure.

Keeping your kids entertained

In between the hustle and bustle, a long queue might feel like an endurance test for you and your family — especially if you're traveling to Disney with small kids. One trick to making the wait feel shorter? Keep those little minds and hands engaged. Whether you hand them an iPad, picture book, or toy, even the simplest form of entertainment can make the minutes fly by, ensuring that those tiny feet aren't itching for a wander.

Alternatively, Disney World itself has plenty of captivating ways to keep you and your kids busy as you weave your way through never ending lines. First, there are the famous "hidden Mickeys". These little Easter eggs, cleverly placed by Imagineers, are sprinkled throughout Walt Disney World in the most unassuming places. In spite of their "hidden" nature, many of them are strategically placed where they can be spotted from the lines, making the search a great way to pass time.

Long wait times are also the perfect opportunity for kids and toddlers (and adults!) to refuel and recharge. Most Disney days tend to be pretty long and hectic, and the excitement of children meeting their favorite characters can be incredibly taxing — especially for those on the younger side. That said, a long line is the perfect opportunity to let them catch a few Z's or munch on snacks. That way, they'll be less likely to burn out before the day ends.

Maximizing adult downtime

Meanwhile, for adults, standing in a Disney queue doesn't have to be just about patiently waiting — it can also be a golden opportunity to multitask. If you're with a partner or older kids, consider taking a quick detour to the restroom — and letting your neighbors know that you'll be right back. Make sure you go to the bathroom individually, so that the rest of your party holds your place in line. 

Additionally, while kids are hunting for hidden Mickeys, adults can also be on the hunt for food. While someone else in your group holds the spot in line, you can quickly dip out to one of the snack stands and grab anything from a signature Dole Whip to a waffle sandwich, jumbo pretzel, or even a hearty serving of corn dog nuggets and fries. That way, once you're back off the ride, you won't need to worry about finding a spot to eat — especially during the lunch and dinner rush — and can trek confidently toward your next adventure.

Lastly, there's the option of passing the time by planning ahead. Specifically, the Disney Mobile app is a great resource for real-time information on rides and attractions, estimated wait times, and upcoming scheduled events. Plus, you can even order your next meal through the app — which means skipping those lines when it's time for something a little more filling.