Photos of kids waiting at Disneyland

Hugh sez, "Designer Arin Fishkin took some delightful photos on a recent trip to Disneylad -- all of kids waiting for rides."

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part (Thanks, HughElectronic, via Submitterator!)


  1. I noticed that in only one of the photos was someone (an adult) playing with a phone. I’m not up to date on all my amusement park rules, but I would think that smart phones would take away the excruciating element of waiting. I remember as a child in the ’70’s and ’80’s how endlessly boring it was to wait in line with my family–only when I went with a friend in my teens did the lines become an opportunity to chat.

    Now it’s probably the fact that I’m old(-er) that makes waiting kind of pleasurable.

    1. NO NO – Smart Phones are a MUST. You can actually get wait times with an ap and are able to best map out what rides to go on and when.

      Also – the science behind how Disney moves so many people through so efficiently is pretty neat.

    2. At least some of the rides have some interesting elements within the queueing area, like the kinda-funny headstones outside the Haunted Mansion (along with all the neat touches once you get inside… the elevator itself is sometimes the most fun part of the ride, and yet it’s not even part of the ride: you still have to shuffle down the hall for another 15 minutes or so!), or the serious production design outside Indiana Jones.

      With some of these pictures, part of the tragedy lies in knowing that once the wait is over, they’ll find themselves stuck in Small World hell.

    3. @yosemite…

      … that sounds very weirdly self-referential. You have to find ways of entertaining yourself, whilst at an entertainment facility, whilst waiting in line to be entertained?

      Then again, I’ve learned to be very resentful and bitter of Disney. This may just be spillover, on my part.

      1. Eh, I was a kid, and time moves slowly when it feels out of your control. But yeah, amusement parks are pretty weird, for that reason among others.

  2. If playing Rollercoaster Tycoon taught me anything, Disney needs to hire some more Entertainers and place some trees and animatronics along the queue, stat!

    1. I think they mentioned it here before, but they actually send out a parade to help the traffic move along to other areas.

  3. Someone taking pictures of other peoples kids in an amusement park eh?

    Paging angry paranoid mob. Would the angry paranoid mob please report to the roller coaster line up.

  4. From what I’ve read about the new Harry Potter theme park, they’ve done a reality-based design in which the queues are the key part of the entertainment.

    1. When I was down there a few months ago, yes, there was some neat interactive parts of the Harry Potter queue. However, there was nothing but rope for the first hour+ wait just to get to the lockers (no lose articles allowed on the ride) before getting in the main queue. And there was a good amount of unopened queue space that they hadn’t opened at that point in the day that also had no theming involved. But once you get to the last 45 minutes of waiting, it’s pretty cool.

      (Not to say that 2 hours of waiting in the sun for a 4 minute ride is something I’ll be willing to do again).

      1. You’d think that theme parks would work the queue thing more effectively. Every line could be a walk-through museum exhibit of costumes and props. If SFO can turn its slidewalks into a museum, Disney ought to be able to something pretty spectacular for their queues.

  5. I haven’t been to Disneyworld since the mid-90s, so maybe it’s all better now, but for me, and I admit I’m a bit of a crank, I cannot enjoy a ride, no matter how great or innovative the ride itself, if I first have to stand in line for 2 hours. I hope to never go back.

  6. I went to the Magic Kingdom in Florida for the first time on July 3rd, 2009 because I just got my US citizenship, and the ceremony, with a couple of thousand people from all over the world, was held at the iconic castle just after dawn. Afterward, everyone got to go on the rides and have the whole Disney experience.

    Yep, there were long lines and no way to avoid them. But my love and I had an audiobook, a splitter and 2 sets of headphones. We were so entranced in the story that the time flew by. We did the same thing in Disneyland the following year after having moved to the West Coast.

    Maybe it was my rosy goggles of non-boredom, but people just didn’t look that bored to me. I’ve heard about the stereotypical crying children and overheated, tired families, but that wasn’t the scene I saw those days.

  7. Everybody knows that shorter queues means shorter waiting!.
    Remember all those long theme park queues that as soon as you turn the corner thinking your closer…BAMM! theres a whole other mile to go or something

  8. I always wanted to take LSD and ride a rollercoaster. So, the last time I took LSD, it was on the bus on the way to a Six Flags park.

    But just waiting in the line at the front gate…watching all of these corpulent men waddling along behind their bellies, next to their wives and daughters both soaked in makeup..and realizing that I would be spending 90% of my time for the next few hours doing the exact same thing..oh man, I couldn’t deal with it.

    I hopped on my skateboard, and spent the next few hours dropping down big suburban hills – no lines ever! I think I made the right decision.

  9. Universal’s Back to the Future ride. (now replaced).
    Had a wonderful queue with bits about Dr. Brown’s workshop..commercials for his inventions, and back-story for the attraction; to the point that if it was a just a walk-on, you’d miss a big part of the enjoyment of the ride.

  10. I do this to amuse myself at Disneyland, but with kids who are crying. It’s become a game among my friends; every time we hear a child start to cry, our heads go up like pointers. It takes skill and a bit of sneakiness to get the photos. For some reason, parents don’t like strangers taking snaps of their kids throwing fits…

  11. A friend and Russ Johnson made a great video about miserable kids at Disneyland about 10 years ago. Check it out!

  12. I always bring several Japanese paper balloon balls, folded flat in my purse; we start up impromptu volleyball games in line with interested kids, and the balls are so light nobody minds if they get accidentally hit by one. We had a great game going on the Indiana Jones ride when we got stuck for 20 minutes, strapped in the jeep! Smartphone games are also helpful, but less social.

    Orlando has superior “line entertainment”, I noticed. I loved the “museum exhibits” at Expedition Everest, and the video games at Space Mountain…and Hogwarts was fan-freak’n-tastic!

    But Rule One: never, EVER, go to Disneyland/WDW during peak days. We visited WDW & Universal/Harry Potter in early December and never waited more than 20 minutes–often, no line at all, just a race through the serpentine (I kept slowing down and getting passed by in Hogwarts). Rule Two: Heaven forbid you MUST visit during peak days, use RideMax–it definitely helps.

  13. Pictures like this are like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s so darned hot down there that everyone looks miserable waiting in line, no matter how they feel.

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