It is no mystery that we love going to Disney World- especially bringing our kids. But one thing we do not enjoy is standing in line. Of course lines are inevitable. You can minimize the amount of time you wait by utilizing fast passes and going early before the crowds arrive, but eventually, you will find yourself standing in a line somewhere. Lines are especially difficult for kids. They just want to move and play and standing around waiting, especially if they have no concept of time, might as well be a form of parental torture.
Thankfully Buddy is still in the I’m just happy to be here stage. He’s entertained by smiling at people and getting them to smile back. But Ladybug is older and a little harder to please. Here are a few ways that have helped her pass the time while standing in line.
We prefer to pack our own snacks rather than buy them in the park. Not only does it save us a little money, but we can eat them anywhere. Time is precious at Disney World- there is so much to do that it is impossible to accomplish everything. Not only does snacking in line free up time we would be using in the snack line, it keeps the kids happy (especially Ladybug) for at least a few minutes. It’s a win-win.
2. Coloring Books
Ladybug loves to color. She fills up multiple coloring books a month because she colors everywhere- at home, in the car, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, to name a few places. Our house is littered with pages from coloring books covered with marker and papers filled with her scribbles. I bought her a brand new coloring book and markers for our Disney trip in June and she almost filled the whole thing while we were there. We gave it to her when we entered the line and she plopped onto the ground and started coloring. When the line moved, she picked it up, followed the line, then sat down and resumed coloring when it stopped.
If you have a kiddo that loves to color, make sure you bring a coloring book and some crayons or markers to keep them busy during those times of waiting.
3. Sticker Books
While I was preparing for our trip, I took the kids to our local bookstore and let Ladybug pick out one book to take on the plane. She loves Sofia the First so when she spotted a Sofia the First sticker book she was sold. She slept most of the plane ride so she didn’t get to use it. Oh well, I just tossed it into our park bag just in case. It was a hit. Much like the coloring book, Ladybug just sat on the floor, in her own world, happily doing the pages of her book.
Bubbles were so fun for the outside lines. I’m not a fan of bubble solution on my floors at home so I only brought them out when we were outside. I picked up a small bottle from the dollar store before we left for Disney. I let Ladybug blow the bubbles and she entertained herself, Buddy, and the kids around us in line for quite some time.
5. Talk about what to say/ask the characters
The majority of time we spent in lines was to meet characters. We were able to get fast passes for most of the rides we wanted to go on, and the ones we couldn’t, we did during magic hours when the lines were shorter. But many of the characters don’t have fast passes so we had to wait. I admit that I was a little nervous about how the meet and greets would go. I’m an introvert- even thinking about starting a conversation with someone I don’t know is enough to make my anxiety soar. I’m usually fine if someone approaches me and starts talking but if I have to start the conversation? Cue the awkwardness. Ladybug is more outgoing than I am but she can still be shy around new people. But she wanted to meet her favorite princesses and of course we had to meet the icon of Disney. In order to better prepare ourselves, we talked about the characters and their story, coming up with comments or questions to ask. Ladybug loved talking about what to say to the characters. (Once she got up to the front, however, she was so starstruck that she didn’t say anything. But all of the characters were so sweet and took charge of the meet and greet so I got to stay behind the camera.)
Not only is talking about conversation topics a fun way to interact with your kids, it also keeps their attention away from the fact that they are standing in a long line and gets them excited about meeting their favorite characters.
6. Break out the phones
When all else fails, break out the electronics. We try not to let Ladybug use our phones too often. (Emphasis on try– sometimes, it’s a losing battle.) But when nothing else is working, we will hand her a phone. We’re boring- we don’t have any kid friendly apps on our phones but she’ll usually stay entertained by looking at pictures for at least 10-15 minutes. So we just pray that we’ll make it to the front of the line before the fun of the phone wears off.
Disney World and lines can sometimes seem synonymous. With so many people visiting the parks each year, you’re bound to find yourself in at least a few lines no matter how much you plan to avoid them. I hope these tips will come in handy during your next trip to Disney World.
What are your tips for keeping kids entertained while waiting in line?
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