10 Ways to Keep Everyone Entertained While Waiting in Theme Park Lines

Waiting in lines can sometimes be an unavoidable part of any theme park vacation. But wait (not literally!)… there is always something to do while you wait in long tireless lines! Here is our go-to list that is designed to keep everyone in your party from young ones to adults entertained while you inch your way onto any attraction! Here are the top 10 things to do in line at Disneyland and other theme parks!

Of course, we recommend using our touring strategies for both Disneyland Park and California Adventure to avoid lines! But sometimes even the best of us get trapped in a line sometimes!

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1. Download the Play Disney Parks App

Screenshot of the Disney Parks play app in front of Splash Mountain

A great way to pass the time while waiting in any Disney line is to immerse yourself and your group in the interactive Play Disney Parks app. Designed for families, large groups, and single-users, the Play Disney Parks app turns wait time into play time! Select queues are set up with interactive elements to keep everyone in your party occupied while you wait in line! Not only that, this app will surely keep you and everyone in your party from little ones to adults busy with fun Disney trivia, playlists inspired by Disney Parks and attractions, and fun and exciting incentives just for playing within the app. This app is definitely a must to beat the boredom that comes with waiting to board any attraction!

Tip: Although the Play Disney Parks app is exciting and fun, don’t forget the real reason why you are waiting in line! As hard as it may be, keep the line moving while playing within this app!

2. Download the Disney Mobile App

Screenshot of wait times on Disney App

Use your time wisely while you wait! Take advantage of the loads of useful information the Disney Mobile app offers! Plot your next course by viewing up-to-the-minute wait times, character experiences, entertainment schedules, and much more! Even little ones can join in on the action and explore everything this app has to offer!

Tip: Use your imagination when using the Disney Mobile app by inventing fun seek-and-find games for your antsy little ones. Keep kids off the railings and line dividers by occupying them with games you can create yourself with the map feature! For example, have your child point out every attraction in New Orleans Square. Your imagination has no limits as to whatever clever game to invent when using this fun app!

3. Mobile Order Your Next Meal Right from Line

Hand holding cellphone looking at mobile ordering screen

Be productive while you wait and pre-order your next meal or snack with the Mobile Order feature of the Disney Mobile app! I absolutely love Mobile Ordering meals so that my family and I do not have to go from one long line right into another long line! I can’t stress enough the convenience of this time-saving feature!

On our last visit to Disneyland (and frankly on every visit) my family and I waited in the long and winding Pirates of the Caribbean line. We were starving. I opened the Disneyland app and mobile ordered our entire lunch from the Hungry Bear Restaurant. After riding the attraction, we walked over to the Hungry Bear Restaurant and right up to the counter to retrieve our lunch. No wait required!

4. Find Hidden Mickeys

Hidden Mickey on ceiling

A popular game to play while waiting in any attraction line is to find and point out all the Hidden Mickeys! Trust me, there are tons of them just waiting to be found.

What is a Hidden Mickey? A Hidden Mickey is an image of Mickey Mouse’s head and ears subtly incorporated into the environment in and around the Resort. A Hidden Mickey can be obvious; however, they are not called “Hidden” Mickeys for nothing! These little guys can be found in many queues (spoiler: the picture above was taken in the queue of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure. You can see the lights above positioned in the shape of Mickey's head!) on signage, lampposts, or anywhere you can imagine!

If you would like some help finding Hidden Mickeys, pick up the Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Disneyland Resort’s Best Kept Secrets (there is also one for Disney World) or download the Hidden Mickey app!

5. Play a Game – or Two or Three

Screenshot of game app

Cellphone games are a great way to pass time!

Tons of apps have been designed for the very purpose of keeping people preoccupied in Disney lines! A popular game that I see people playing all the time is Heads Up Disney. If you are into guessing games, you will love this app! The app is available for $.99 on iOS and free on Android. Unlock the Disney edition once inside the Park.

Tip: If you are short on battery life on your phone, stop by any Portable Phone Charging Systems Kiosks before heading into line to pick up an extra battery.

6. Recharge Your Cell Phone

Fuel Rod rechargers

While we are on the subject of cell phones, use your wait time to charge your cell phone. Yes, you will not be able to play a game or do all the other fun things on this list, but just think of all the magic you will be able to capture with a full battery life!

Tip: If you do plan on recharging your cell phone battery, pick up a paper map to utilize as a “game board” for bored kids! The possibilities are endless for fun games to play on paper maps. Play seek-and-find games or have your child close their eyes and point to a spot on the map. Wherever they point to is where your family can head to next!

7. Review Your Disney Pictures

Pictures at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

Something you can always find me doing while waiting in line is reviewing all the photos I have taken of our magical vacation. I sort through all photos I have taken, deleting any blurry or doubles. But most of all, I love to point out to my two daughters which are my favorite photos and why. I then love to hear their favorite photos and the memories that accompany them.

8. Apply Sunscreen

Daytime picture of the Matterhorn

Applying sunscreen may not be fun, but it has to be done, right? My daughters and husband are not pleased with me when I pull out the bottle of sunscreen at all the wrong times. Which I tend to do often like when we are speed walking to make our Fastpass times. I found that the best time to apply/re-apply sunscreen is while waiting in line. No more fumbling while walking! There is always plenty of time while you wait to cover every member of your family.

9. Have a Snack and Rehydrate

Churro at Disneyland in front of Incredicoaster

Churros make the best snacks

With so much to see and do in the Parks, use wait times as a convenient opportunity to have a snack! Pack some in your bag or grab a churro before getting in a line. Pull out that water bottle and re-hydrate while you wait! Just finish your snack before you board the attraction because snacks are not allowed on most attractions. Every queue has plenty of garbage cans throughout so you will be able to throw away your trash.

10. Get to Know Your Line Mates

Group of people waiting in line at Disneyland

Now I’m not one to do this, but on some occasions I have gotten to know the people around my family in line. Of course, not everyone is willing to socialize, but it can (and has been) fun to learn where other people are visiting from or what attraction is their favorite!

Article by Mickey Visit Writer Kim Schultz

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