Waiting Games: Fun Ways to Pass Time in Lines
Disneyland was made for kids, but that doesn’t mean the lines were. Here’s how to keep your little one entertained while you’re in wait-mode.
Employ a Stroller
You might be lucky enough that your baby or now-walking toddler will be content enough to sit in a stroller until the end of the line. If not? You can use it as a placeholder while you chase your little guy around. Most often, the people near you in line will be nice enough to move the stroller forward for you (they probably have kids of their own and have totally been there).
For babies and toddlers, nothing is more fascinating than people. Know what Disneyland has a lot of? People. “If you have older toddlers who can talk, you can use the people in line as your distraction,” Deborah Gilboa, M.D., a pediatrician and mother of four in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who blogs at Ask Doctor G. “Count the people behind and ahead of you. Name all the colors you see. Name the kinds of clothes you see. There are tons of things you can do, just using the people around you.”
Enjoy the Show
The good news: Disneyland lines are far from boring. Take the new Toy Story Mania ride, for example: With an animatronic Luxo Jr., a trio of green Army men, and an interactive Mr. Potato Head to watch, there’s more than enough action to distract from the fact that you and Baby aren’t moving very far or very fast.
Bribe 'Em With Food
Hey, it’s not totally a bribe – after all, a kid’s got to eat! Keep easy-to-serve, healthy snacks (such as dry cereal, animal crackers, and cheese crackers) in your bag and at the ready. A steady stream of mini-foods, doled out at regular intervals, will help keep your baby’s interest – and appetite – in check.
Bring Out the Contraband
There is nothing that gets a kid’s attention like access to the forbidden. We’re talking smartphones, mamas. Fully loaded, with age-appropriate apps. If your phone has a safe case (even Disneyland concrete can crack screens), you’ve just bought at least 15 minutes of tantrum-free almost-there-ness – which could mean the difference between getting to see the attraction and not.
Let it Out
Between rides (and lines), let your toddler loose. Well, not loose — let’s call it supervised roaming. Areas like Toon Town, Minnie’s House, and A Bug’s Land are great spots for stretching small legs. If your baby isn’t walking yet, or just starting to wobble around, there are plenty of benches and planters that are perfectly sized for cruising around.
Stick it to Them
Never underestimate the power of stickers. Stock up on colorful stickers that your kids have never seen before and let them peel and stick onto a blank pad or book. Just be prepared for the stickers to make themelves onto you, too.
Skip the Line (or at Least Make it Shorter)
Here’s one time that your kids’ break-of-dawn wakeups is a good thing: you can get to the park earlier and take advantage of the smaller crowds. Disneyland also offers a free service, FASTPASS®, that lets you save your place in line while you and your kids go enjoy something else in the park – like a hug from Winnie the Pooh or an ice cream cone. Or, in an ideal world, both.