When someone starts telling you about time when they were waiting in a line at Costco or Walmart, the responses may vary. If you are an experienced visitor to the Orlando area theme parks, like Disney World…then you know what a “real” bad lineup is.
Here are my picks for the worst queue lines (not FastPass+) that you can expect in Disney World.
Although Splash Mountain is one of my favorite attractions, as a whole, there are a few things that are going against you when you step foot in the queue line. First off, the ride itself is over ten minutes long which (on a hot day) is great! You’re going to be enjoying the water features, the drop and the memorable features that put the attraction on any Top 10 list. Since most guests make a B-line in the summer to cool off, the line gets long incredibly quickly. Most guests will start to get their ponchos on in the line once they get half way in…and forget about how long you may be waiting…which makes for an uncomfortable wait.
The other big issue with the Splash Mountain is that it’s incredibly well done, with details hidden all over the place…except for the line. It’s basically 60-120 minutes of waiting under the sun, in a barn, and in a cave. Very few elements of the attraction are explained in the line, which is actually known to Imagineers and Insiders as “Scene One”. Compare this to Haunted Mansion and you’ll see my point.
Although the attraction itself is breathtaking and a photographer’s dream, the queue brings nothing to the experience. The storyline that was present when the goal of the adventure was to save Big Red, the conservation message has become incredibly outdated and need a little work. Oh, and those tube television sets and looped footage recorded in the same generation of the original Boy Meets World episodes will make you want to stay glued to your phone playing PokemonGO.
What makes this one of the worst lines is that there are only so many seats in the ride vehicles, and the FastPass+ return line can sometimes get to 1hr+, which doesn’t help with the lack of air circulation in the outdoor (partially covered) queue.
Great Movie Ride (Closed – but not forgotten)
Before you get into the room with the never-ending loop of classic movies…you’re stuck in a never-ending land of velvet rope. If the line starts outside, you gonna be there a while!
Oh, and let’s talk about the movie props that are inside the first part of the theatre. Sometimes you’ll get an amazing feature, like the Arc of the Covenant from Indiana Jones, or a carousel horse from Mary Poppins. Other times, you’ll be stuck with “promotional” pieces from the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, so be prepared to be under-whelmed from time to time.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
One of the “Disney Mountains” with the best story that’s never been told, Big Thunder Mountain is filled with randomness that you almost need to research before setting foot in the queue line. The worst part about this line is that it’s packed full (and I’m not exaggerating) with switch-backs that will drive you nuts. The mix of kids who climb on the physical line separators, because they’re tired…or the families who insist on bumping into you for 45-60 minutes will make you never do the standby line again!
Oh, and you may be thinking that a line couldn’t get more annoying than having to deal with the heat in Florida, but then you add in that most of the guests who are in line JUST went on Splash Mountain and are soaked and kinda smelly.
Seas with Nemo
**The theming of this queue line is breathtaking! That’s not the reason why it’s on my list.
If the standby wait is 15-minutes, it’s a walk on because the queue feels like you’re walking from EPCOT to the ocean. That being said, the details that surround your journey from the beach under the sea is nothing short of spectacular, and you get a chance to see it all…at length if you want…because outside of mid-day crowds and rain storms, it’s a walk-on.
Tower of Terror
The Tower of Terror is one of the most deceivingly long queues in Walt Disney World. Starting outside in the lush flora that’s overgrown the once-pristine hotel, then you make your way into the lobby. This is where you get to see the amazing skills of the set designers, artists and all of the other parts of Imagineering coming together to bring the story alive. Then you make your way into the library…and then into the boiler room before getting to your elevator which will take you to your room;)
Although technically not a “bad” queue, the fact that you go through so many doorways and false-starts…it lands on the list of the worst queues at Disney:)
When Soarin’ added a third theatre in preparation of the technological advances of one of the busiest attraction at EPCOT, we were hoping and wishing that there would be a nice new addition to the queue line. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, so the guests who spend time in the Standby Queue are entertained with the best attraction music…and the most boring line. The attempt of entertaining guests was made with the addition of the “interactive games”, but let’s be honest…Space Mountain’s games are better.
The second part that still makes me giggle are the number of guests who end up in the line for Living with the Land when they are aiming for Soarin’. It’s hilarious!
Toy Story Midway Mania
Have you ever wanted to live at the circus under the bigtop? Well with the standby line ranging from 100-200 minutes regularly, this line brings that dream into reality. The saving grace is Mr. Potato Head and the performance that Don Rickles provided this attraction. Outside of that, you’re stuck in a world of carnival music, oversized toys and the smell of sweaty tourists.
Peter Pan’s Flight
Even with the addition of new features in the “scene one” (or queue line) for this Disney original attraction, it baffles the mind why this still has such a long line. There’s a line from open to close, so the only way to really experience it without standing in such a horribly long line is to get a FastPass+! Seriously…it’s an aerial omni-mover system and still has lines reaching 100+ minutes.
Jack and Sally @ Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
This is a knock on the location planners for Disney who have never stood in line for 4 hours to meet rare characters that are only out for one specific event a year.
It’s important to realize that guests are spending thousands of dollars to go on vacation to Walt Disney World for special events, like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. They don’t want to pay $80+ for an extra ticketed event, just to see that the line for meeting characters like Jack and Sally actually opened early and more than half of the guests in the queue actually haven’t paid to experience the special entertainment for the evening.
The planners have also forgotten that there are locations within the park that are built “specifically for a meet and greet” which would be perfect for these character interactions. It’s not too much to have Jack & Sally or the Seven Dwarfs move into Town Square Theatre or Princess Fairytale Hall for the evening, especially with the creative geniuses that see challenges like these as a way to show their problem-solving skills!
What was the longest lines at Walt Disney World that you had to wait in? Share in the comments!