Waiting in long lines. If you have been to any theme park in the world (or even if you haven't), you know that you should expect to face long wait times before boarding many of the more popular rides, especially during this time of the year. Many find this very stressful, but... is it really that bad here in Central Florida? The very first article by our friend Mike actually reminds us that quite a few of the rides in the area offer "more than meets the eye" while waiting in those queue lines. Take a look:
Don’t Be Afraid to Wait in Line
- By Mike Mack
One of the top reasons that keeps people from vacationing in Orlando to visit parks like Disney and Universal is the long lines of people that are sure to be in those parks almost every day. However, these parks have done an incredible job in recent years of making those lines a part of the ride experience.
Gone are the days of standing out in the Florida heat, zig-zagging through barricades that are packed with sweaty and uncomfortable park guests. These days, the lines for the park attractions, or ride queues, are interactive and immersive experiences that set the scene for the attraction that the guests are waiting for.
One of the first, and still best, examples of this is The Haunted Mansion queue in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. In 2011, the line for this classic attraction was transformed from a dull step-by-step crawl to the entrance into an interactive playground. Granted, that playground is in a simulated graveyard, but Disney found a way to make it fun, as only Disney can do. Some touch-to-play instruments, a shifty bookcase and a leaky water feature make the wait for this ride an enjoyable one.
The Haunted Mansion is not the only interactive queue Disney offers. Guests can see talking characters like Buzz Lightyear and Mr. Potato Head at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Toy Story Midway Mania respectively. And in one of their newest projects, guests can interact and play a scavenger hunt game with a playful crustacean while they wait for Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid.
Disney parks aren’t the only ones to feature these interactive ride queues though. Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure have some of the most completely immersive queues out there.
Universal Studios gives guests the chance to adventure through Egyptian tombs, tour the headquarters of N.E.S.T. and the Men In Black, and walk through wreckage caused by an F5 Twister. And of course, a park classic, the E.T. queue journeys through the forest where E.T. was last spotted before taking off on his magical bike ride.
As incredible as that sounds, Islands of Adventure may have that topped. There, guests can see models of the original Jurassic Park, check out the Daily Bugle and even the layer of Dr. Doom. Even the queues for the water rides take you into the story and set guests up for an incredible ride experience.
With the trend that is being set by these parks, don’t be surprised if in the near future, you don’t see anymore of those boring turnstiles anywhere. But instead, you get sucked into a story that the attraction you’re waiting for is about to portray perfectly.
So if you’re thinking about visiting one of these parks, don’t get discouraged by the imminent crowds. Instead, just enjoy all of the incredible detail, storytelling and interactive fun that these queues have to offer.
Do you agree with Mike? Or, would you still prefer to have them disappear (and therefore making use of service like Disney's FastPass+ or Universal's EXPRESS? Feel free to share your thoughts!
PHOTOS AND ARTICLE: Mike Mack. A big thank you to him for putting this article together.