Things To Do While Standing in Line at Disneyland

So, you’re going to Disneyland. You’ve got your sunscreen, hat, brand new tennis shoes, fanny pack, snacks, and Mickey Ears—you’re all set!  Wait… what are you going to do when you’re standing in that long line?  I mean FastPasses are great and all, but sometimes they just aren’t an option.  So what then?

Here are a few little games and time-passers that do not involve you or your kid playing with your phone.  Don’t worry, it won’t hurt!

Some of our favorite things to do while standing in line at Disneyland

Indiana Jones Decoding

If you’ve ever been in line for Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, I’m sure you’ve seen the hieroglyphs on the ground, on walls, etched into the side of crates, etc, I’m sure you’ve seen them. Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 7.38.07 PM

When the ride first opened in March 1995, little decoder cards were given out to folks standing in the 2+ hour line to give them something to do other than think about their life passing them by.  Now that we have the FastPass, this line has become much more tolerable, but, if you end up without a FastPass for Indy or if you just feel like doing some detective work, download this decoder and see how many secrets you can find!


(Side note: while walking down the queue towards the ride, don’t forget to shake the well-worn piece of bamboo in the “Skull Tunnel” and pull the ‘Do not pull’ rope at the roundabout!)

Pirates of the Caribbean Jokes

Every once in a while, especially during peak summer days, you find yourself standing in a 20 or 30 minute line for Pirates. This may not be so bad, unless it’s 12:30pm, you haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast, it’s 80 degrees, and the kids are restless. In this scenario I like to tell pirate jokes. This is pretty easy and can be played by mostly all ages! It goes something like this:

“How was the pirate’s golf game last week?”
“It was ok, he managed to make paRRRRRRRR”


“What does the pirate suggest we should do after standing in this line?”
“Find the nearest baRRRRRRRR”

As long as you’re feeling creative, this game can go on foreverRRRRRRRR.

Toy Story’s Midway Mania Line Games

Midway Mania is arguably the best ride in Disney California Adventure. BUT (and it’s a big but) you rarely get to go on it without at least a 45 min wait time. On our last trip (Feb. 2014), Disney had started doing something we had never seen before.  They gave out Etch-A-Sketch’s to play with while you are waiting in line (you give them back before you get on the ride). On the second go-around (hours later), rather than the Etch-A-Sketch, this time we received a 2 sided I-Spy card with various checkboxes of things for us to “spy.” It was definitely nice to see the parks getting creative by providing cool things to do while standing in line at Disneyland. It is, however, unknown whether Disney will continue this trend (it felt as if they may have just been testing the idea), but we didn’t want want our fellow Disneyland fans to go without this fun, so we’ve recreated the I-Spy sheet given to us in line– you can download here, print and keep with you until you’re in line for Midway Mania!

Of course, this game can be played in any line, and with a little prep work on your end, you can make similar lists of your own for each ride.

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Guess the Blank

This idea came to me when a relative mentioned that every time she goes to Disneyland she counts the number of “Brand New Shoes” she sees. This seemed a little odd to me until I tried this out myself–as it turns out, there are a LOT of brand new shoes that people buy and wear just for their trip! (who knew?!)

And so the idea for this game was born. It’s very easy! Right before you get in line for a ride, get your group together and determine what you are going to count (Mickey Ear Hats, Social Club Vests, Children Sleeping, Tiaras, Donald Ducks, Etc…), then each make a guess as to what the final count will be. For instance: As a group you may decide that you will be counting Brand New Shoes while in line for Star Tours. Once you have determined what you will count, go ahead and have each person make guesses as to how many you will count. (“I think we will see 15 brand new pairs of shoes!”) Now, count as a group while you’re in line. Simple as that!

The Silent Game

And finally… someone had to say it! If you’ve ever been around a kid aged 5 – to about 12 you probably know that they talk… a lot. Especially at Disneyland. So when you just can’t hear another story about Minnie Mouse or about how unfair it is that we went on this ride and not that one– it’s time for the Silent Game. The rules are simple. Be quiet for the longest possible time. First one to speak loses.

Feeling like you really REALLY need some peace and quiet? Try upping the ante by offering the winner a Dole Whip or an extra souvenir.

We’d also love to hear any other ideas! Let us know your fun things to do while standing in line at Disneyland!



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