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How Interactive Lines at Disney's Parks Make Waiting For Rides Not So Bad

A child makes noise in the garden at the interactive queue at The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. A child makes noise in the garden at the interactive queue at The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh.

Over the last few months, I've written quite a bit about Disney's commitment to excellence. From films to television to the ultimate theme park experiences, Disney has worked to raise the bar in every arena. So it stands to reason that Disney would throw a lot of effort into improving the experience of waiting in line. Over the last few years, the company has introduced interactive and themed queues that make waiting half the fun.

These queue areas take several different forms - Disney won't settle for monolithic, even when it comes to waiting in line. Some of the queues provide learning experiences. The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios offers a museum of motion picture history, complete with props and costumes, along with classic trailers on a giant screen. The waiting area for Mission: SPACE contains factoids about the history of space travel as well as drawing and models of potential ideas for space vehicles.

Other queues create hands-on interactive experiences. At The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at the Magic Kingdom, the kids won't get bored crawling through tunnels and putting their hands on different tactile play pieces. Over at The Haunted Mansion (also at the Magic Kingdom), the entire family can play together. Press a key on the organ, or push that loose book in on the bookshelf - The Haunted Mansion's queue is a clever way to beat the heat.

Many of the queues set up the attractions that await in the most perfect of ways. The waiting area for The Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom features a jungle "radio station" broadcasting travel tips with an abundance of puns - perfect to prepare guests for the boat ride ahead. Over at Disney's Hollywood Studios as well as at Disneyland, Star Tours' queue immerses riders in the atmosphere of "a galaxy far, far away." The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland give guests the feel of a dilapidated hotel, frozen at the peak of its popularity.

While guests wait in line for Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain at Disney's Animal Kingdom, they are treated to the fictional Yeti Museum, which prepares them for any encounters that may lie ahead. At Disneyland, the queue for Soarin' Over California immerses guests in aviation history, while Space Mountain's queue conveys the feel of an futuristic spaceport. Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure gives guests a quick tour of the archaeological site that Indy is working on.