POLL: Favorite Attraction Queues at the Magic Kingdom
Ugh, lines! You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. Fortunately for us Disney lovers, Imagineers are amazing and decided that queues are just as important to the overall story at Disney Parks. There are so many interesting story details, hidden gems, and even fun activities that can found in the majority of attraction queues. Thank you Imagineers for making lines actually fun!
Since I wish I could be in an attraction line right now, let’s talk about our favorites! I want to share with you my favorite queues in the Magic Kingdom, and then I’d love for you to share with me your favorite by voting or commenting!
5. Peter Pan’s Flight
One word can be used to describe Peter Pan’s full queue line: Adorable! When they did the renovation, I was so excited to see it on my next trip. And of course, every time we passed by the attraction, they were only using the shorter queue. I should have been happy that the line was short, especially for Peter Pan’s Flight, but I really wanted to experience the new interactive additions. Finally, one day we walked by and it was open––I have never been so excited to wait in a longer line in my life! And it was worth it!
I love this queue because I feel like the Imagineers did such a wonderful job setting up the scene. Once you enter, the walls are lined with beautiful portraits that give you a glimpse of the magical journey that you are about to experience. Then you are transported right to the Darling’s home where you are greeted by cute silhouettes of Mr. and Mrs. Darling through their window. You enter their home which takes you into the best part of the queue, the nursery! I love everything about this room. There is so much to look at and you will see all sorts of references to the movies.
Disney has been adding interactive elements into their queues for years now. The activities are always a fun distraction, but what I enjoy most about them is seeing the Imagineers’ creativity. I thought it was so clever that they chose shadows for their interactive element! In the movie, the ordeal with Peter Pan’s shadow takes place inside of the nursery, so I really appreciate their attention to that detail.
Even though the shadows are cool, my favorite part might be watching Tinkerbell fly around the room and interact with items around her. The little touches make a big difference. With all of the elements inside of this queue, it truly helps the time pass which is what it is all about! If you have never experienced Peter Pan’s queue because you always get a FastPass (since the line is usually always extremely long), you can check it out right here.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean
Everything about the Pirates of the Caribbean entrance lures you toward it. If the epic pirate music does not already draw you in, the massive Castillo del Morro fortress will. I love the music from Pirates of the Caribbean, and it’s one of my favorite queue BGM loops. It totally gets me into the swashbuckling mood! Yo ho, let’s go!
As you pass by the large columns while entering the the Castillo del Morro fortress, you get a sense for the magnitude of the adventure that awaits. The mood changes immediately one enter the fortress itself. Dimly-lit pathways provided by flickering lanterns, massive stone walls, and barrels upon barrels… upon barrels. Which I can only assume is gun powder, because the place is a complete arsenal. This fortress is ready for anything and has also prepared all of us buccaneers for an adventure. I am all sorts of ready to take on the high seas now!
I love walking through this queue and seeing what all the fort has to offer. But much like other queues, it’s the small things that make me love them even more and help land them in my top 5 favorites. So I am going to start off with one thing that I love about this line that you may think is a little strange. The smell. Yep, you read that right. I love the smell. Any supporters out there? I do not know what it is exactly, but there is nothing better than walking through that door and being blasted with the cool air while getting a big whiff of that Pirates smell. I know some of you may think I’m a little crazy, but I just feel that something special about the aura.
Another element that I love is the music. I listen to the queue soundtrack all the time. Imagineers take so much into consideration and stage everything as if it were a scene straight from the movie. Outside, you come across this massive fort accompanied by an epic soundtrack, but once the scene changes to dimly lit (and amazing-smelling) corridors, the music changes with it. I love the discreet switches that make a big difference. And along with those discreet changes, I also appreciate the attention to detail, like the two skeletons playing chess in a dungeon cell. If you look closely, you might notice that no one will win this chess game––the pieces are arranged in an eternal stalemate!
3. Jungle Cruise
Jungle Cruise is one of my favorite rides in all of Disney World. I love everything about it. The jungle setting, the time period, the attraction history, the skippers, and of course the puns! I am a sucker for a good pun. I cannot even begin to count how many times I have gone on the Jungle Cruise. And each and every time, I eat up the jokes like it was the first time I have ever heard them. As amazing as the cruise is, the queue actually provides more puns, jokes, and play on words then the attraction itself, so naturally I am all about that!
I know what some of you might be thinking. How in the world can the Jungle Cruise queue be a favorite? It’s outside and sometimes it can feel tight when there are a lot of people. Convenience is a great thing, especially air conditioning in Florida. But I am okay without it, because I love how the queue mirrors what I believe waiting to board a jungle cruise would look like! No doubt the dock is packed to the rafters (literally) with the gear that you will need on the trip. There are posters that share information on guided tours and plenty of artifacts and animals (well, if they didn’t escape already) to look at from their ventures.
The decor is awesome, but what I love most about this queue is that if you pay close attention to your surroundings, you get so much more out of it. You will start to pick up more about the story and realize that this attraction is more in-depth than you originally thought. I know a good handful of people who have walked through the Jungle Cruise line and just thought it was all simply nice stuff to look at. Which is what I find so intriguing! Everything is right in front of your face, but still subtle at the same time.
The signs are the best. If you have never taken the opportunity to read the signs, please do so. You will not be disappointed. Another important part of the experience is the radio feed coming through the loud speaker. You will hear some music, announcements, and even the occasional radio communication between the Skippers. Pay close attention, those air waves are jam packed with antics! If you love the Jungle Cruise as much as I do, you must check out the Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen restaurant. I was completely sold the moment I walked in and Cast Member started with the jokes. Skipper Canteen is one of my new favorite places to eat in all of Walt Disney World.
2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
“Howdy Folks, hang on to your hats and glasses, because this here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!” By far one of my favorite Disney attraction quotes, and also one of my favorite Magic Kingdom queues! Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is one of my earliest Disney memories… in fact, it may be even one of my earliest memories ever. On our very first trip, I walked up to the height requirement stand and stood on my tippy toes to be tall enough to ride. I was certain someone would catch on and I would be found out… but weirdly enough, no one noticed and I ended up going for a ride! I loved it and it easily became my favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom at the time. There’s a lot of nostalgia associated with this attraction, but I love the queue for more than just that.
The attraction and the queue already land so many points with me because I love the wild west! Cowboys, runaway trains, honky-tonk pianos, and riding off into the sunset for endless adventures. I am all about that! Since Thunder Mountain is located inside of Frontierland, we are already living our best cowboy life. And when you enter the railroad’s queue, there is no question that you are in for a wild time. The story reveals itself right away with a large cart full of mining supplies and one of my favorite puns located on an explosives box “Lytum & Hyde Explosives.” And then the story unfolds further once you start to read all of the signs posted from the Big Thunder Mountain Mining Co. Our best cowboy life just turned into our best miner’s life. I’m cool with that, this looks like it could be fun!
Disney Imagineers always do an impeccable job at making you feel like you are part of the story, and this attraction queue makes me believe it from start to finish. There are signs posted all through the queue to provide reminders and give instruction during your employment with the Big Thunder Mountain Mining Co. You can stop at the Paymaster’s station to pick up your hard-earned wages and grab some much-needed supplies like shovels, lanterns, and of course, explosives! One of my favorite aspects of this queue is that you have some of the best views of the attraction. Very few Disney attraction queues let you see the majority of the attraction itself. The elevated view gives you a glimpse of the runaway train on top of the beautiful mountain (which is even prettier at night!)
Just like with Peter Pan’s Flight, I think the interactive aspects of this queue are so clever! In one section, you get to prime your charge and then push the plunger to set off the dynamite, which you can actually see explode somewhere on the mountain. You can check in on miners working below and even crank knobs that you find all throughout the queue that reveal fun surprises. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was always one of my favorite queues even before they added the interactive elements. But the fact that you can blow things up is awesome, and therefore makes it even better! If you have never experienced all of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad queue, you need to check it out. You can also watch it here.
1. The Haunted Mansion
“Welcome foolish mortals, to The Haunted Mansion.” Oh, I get the chills every time! The Haunted Mansion is one of my favorite attractions! Ever since I was a child, I have always loved visiting Master Gracey’s humble abode. Just like the Jungle Cruise, I love everything about this ghostly estate. It is beautiful and creepy all at the same time. I am completely fascinated by the history, its storyline, and all of the fun Imagineering secrets hidden throughout the attraction.
There are so many amazing queues in the Magic Kingdom, that it was hard to pick my number one. But as I was creating my countdown list, I kept coming back to The Haunted Mansion. It checked every box and even brought some things to the table that I did not think about initially. To tell the truth, I wish that the queue could actually be longer and cover more of the mansion’s grounds, like at The Hollywood Tower of Terror. I know, I know… we don’t want to wait in a longer line, we want to ride! I just think that the outside portion of the queue could be even better than it is already if it were set up just a little differently.
The beginning of the queue may not seem like much, but I really like how it slowly lets the guests approach the intimidating manor to get a closer look. You can examine the mansion to your right or even check out the beautiful river view to your left. The exterior of the building is even better at night when it’s accompanied by intense lighting and the presence of mysterious inhabitants in the windows. Even though I wish that it could be a little more extensive, I do like the graveyard portion of the queue. I was very happy to see that they incorporated the existing tombstones that pay homage to Imagineers that contributed to the attraction. I think the interactive elements are well thought out by matching the deceased’s crypt to the activity, and I always enjoy participating! What I love most about the entire graveyard is that they brought in some characters that were a part of the original mansion concept like the one-eyed cat and the Sea Captain.
As entertaining as the graveyard is, it gets real serious, real fast once you enter the mansion. Stoic Cast Members usher you in with looks that remind you that this is no laughing matter. The pre-show is perfect and timeless. The only thing that can ruin it is when you have someone on their cellphone, which happens more often than not. But when you get the chance to have that complete darkness as it’s intended, the ominous atmosphere prepares you for what is ahead. I know most people rush out of the room as soon as the pre-show is over, but if you linger, you will hear a ghostly message.
There is one more thing about this queue that impresses me. Like I mentioned above, I really appreciate the subtle changes that make a big difference. Once you leave the pre-show room, you will notice that the line starts to get tighter, funneling all of the mansion guests into a single-file line. My husband hates it, but the fact that he hates it shows that it works. The Imagineers designed it that way because they want guests to get the feeling of uneasiness. Details like that blow my mind. I love it!
Thanks for reading my countdown. Now, I want to know what your favorite queues are! Please vote below, and if your favorite queue is not listed, vote for “other” and comment to tell me what it is. I also love hearing about why you love what you love so keep the comments coming!
Here is your Extra Magic Tip: Download the Disney Play app! There are so many fun games and activities that are meant for you to play while you are in line.