Waiting is definitely not fun, nor is it easy! But at the Disneyland Resort, with the help of some talented imagineers, make waiting in some queues (fancy word Disney uses for the word “line”) engaging and interactive! And if you have to wait, some queues are an essential part of the attractions' story!
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Of course, long lines are always tempting to pass by using a Fastpass, however, if you are not able to obtain one, the following top ten Disneyland queues are so worth waiting in!
1. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
If you are brave enough to enter the dark and ominous Toontown Alley Street, then your wait for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin will be quite an interactive experience that will engage and entertain you!
The wait is completely indoors, filled with interactive props and black lights that surround Guests in a toxic glow. Listen closely as Jessica Rabbit, the weasel, and Baby Herman’s whispered scheming infiltrate the darkness throughout this shadowy back alley providing ride plot prep. Children afraid of the dark and sensitive to loud noises may want to skip the line and head straight for the FastPass line!
When entering the alley, take a minute to read the license plates on the walls. Each license plate pays homage to Disney, such as FAN T C (Fantasy), L MERMD (Little Mermaid), 101 DLMN (101 Dalmatians), 2N TOWN (Toontown), and ZPD2DA (Zip-a-dee-doo-dah).
Continuing on down the alley, if you wait a bit while passing the illuminated window, you’ll catch a glimpse of Jessica Rabbit’s silhouette saunter by. And why not stop awhile to read the notices pinned to the billboard before the Ink & Paint Club. It seems Dumbo lost his magic feather and is asking for anyone who finds it to return it to him.
At the Ink & Paint Club, Guests can knock on the door, however Bongo, the angry bouncer, will not answer the door to “Walt sent me,” as he does in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? All you will get is a nasty scowl through the tiny panel at the top of the door.
The back alley leads Guests past Baby Herman’s window where he can be seen kicking back in a baby stroller while smoking a cigar. Notice the newspaper he is reading about horse racing (the feature story, “Horace Wins Again!” refers to the classic Disney cartoon character, Horace Horsecollar, from the 1920's, 30s and 40s).
Lastly, enter, if you dare, the dangerous weasels' hideout where he mixes toxic chemicals in his chemical factory. If you make it through this explosive scene, you will make it to your destination: Toontown Cab Company where you will board Lenny, the twin cousin of Benny the Cab.
Although the wait can exceed 30 minutes at times, at least the wait is interesting enough to at least keep yourself and your family entertained so it secures itself at the top of our top ten Disneyland queues countdown!
2. Haunted Mansion
Tucked inside an ornate wrought-iron gate is an estate like no other. Enter (if you dare) into the shadow of this towering antebellum-esk Haunted Mansion where Guests are lured, I mean, directed through immaculate haunted grounds. Although the wait to board a Doom Buggy is partially outside and partially indoors, the queue has fun displays that will not leave you bored to death.
The front lush lawn of this haunted estate is dotted with pet tombstones. This pet cemetery was once located to the right of the Mansion where only the Cast Members were able to enjoy this burial ground. Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour still visits this location on their tours, however, now it is an empty lot.
Just past the pet cemetery, a mausoleum lines part of the wrap-around queue. Take a moment to read the humorous names etched in stone, such as U.R. Gone, G.I. Missyou, and Rustin Peece. They will rattle your bones with laughter!
Beginning in October for Halloween time and through the Holidays, the Haunted Mansion transforms into Haunted Mansion Holiday, which means, even longer lines. If you are brave enough to wait, the ambiance surrounding you is frightfully amazing (especially at night!). Dotting the hillside above the mausoleum is an array of spooky glowing Jack-o-lanterns that pierce the black night.
Excitement builds when the queue directs Guests onto the porch where the two lines combine to one. But the best part of this queue is when you actually make it into the foyer of the house. Right here, for me, is when the attraction begins! Pay attention to directions from a body-less soul who directs you through the dark ominous candlelit foyer, through a pair of sliding doors (there are a total of two of these elevator doors but only one that Guests will enter through at one time), and into a windowless chamber that is actually an elevator. Try not to panic since this Stretching Room has no windows and no doors! Once slowly lowered to your deathly destination, you are lead through the Portrait Gallery where you will view some ever-changing portraits.
Just pass the moving busts, enter a walkway lined with spider-webbed light fixtures where you will drag your body to your doom… buggy! This class attraction has a queue worthy of our top ten Disneyland queue list.
Guests with disabilities should acquire a return time from the Cast Members at the entrance to the queue. When returning, Guests with disabilities return to the handicap line where they will be directed to the front of the Mansion where a Cast Member will assist them.
3. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder Mountain’s queue does not offer Guests the most exciting experience, but it makes this list because the ambiance of the queue builds on the excitement of the wild, wild west experience. And something must be said about the elaborate entrance that was just recently updated that houses both the stand-by and Fastpass entrances.
But, before entering, take a look at the fun details Disney set up on the outermost perimeter of this attraction! If this queue is longer than 30 minutes and winds its way outside the actual entrance, you will have plenty of time to take in the small details. Look for a sign, close to the entrance, welcoming visitors to the small, once-booming town of Rainbow Ridge where the population of this town has dropped down to a mere 38. I wonder why…
Continuing on, look for the sign post pointing you to the four Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attractions around the world. Try to match the town to which Disney Park it is located in! All these fun details are fun to spot making it a must see on your top ten Disneyland queues adventure
One more fun detail found at the entrance of this attraction is the notice that relates to the documents related to the certificate of compliance for this attraction. Nothing fancy about this, however, the notice was signed by Willard P. Bounds, U.S. Marshall. This is a tribute to Lillian Disney’s father who was a blacksmith and U.S. Marshall in Idaho.
Once past the entrance, enter this western trail that carves its way through deep red desert rock. Adorned with wooden posts that hang rustic lanterns, this queue holds real antique mining gear, such as a century-old stamp mine, a hand-driven still, press gear, picks, shovels, and other artifacts, purchased from abandoned mines in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, and Wyoming. Look for one (or all) of the five horseshoes placed around the mountain by superstitious miners. Hint: One is hanging right-side-up in the loading station, while one is hanging (upside down – oh no!) on a cavern set to explode with dynamite!
From the queue, watch the runaway trains blaze through exposed dinosaur bones chipped from the mountain and past the old western miniature town of Rainbow Ridge that once stood over the loading area of the classic Disney attraction, Pack Mules, in Nature’s Wonderland from 1955-1973.
This top ten Disneyland queues winds its way up into a rickety mine shaft and exits at the loading area where Guests board a runaway train. Guests with disabilities should acquire a return time at the exit of the attraction.
4. Indian Jones Adventure: The Temple of the Forbidden Eye
One of the best immersive queues at Disneyland is the half-mile queue of Indiana Jones Adventure: The Temple of the Forbidden Eye which plays an intricate part in setting up the story of the attraction before Guests even board their off-road troop transport vehicle. We can't stress this enough- you have to make sure you take the time to experience this attraction on our top ten Disneyland queues list. There's so much to see.
In the shadow of Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones’ newly discovered Temple of the Forbidden Eye, Guests make their way past real props from the Indiana Jones movie – the troop transport truck is from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Take a closer look at the front bumper where movie crews placed golf balls for additional safety. Guests will move past a mine car that Indiana and Short Round used in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Guests who are fortunate enough to make it into the Temple have nothing to worry about because lucky for them, Indiana unarmed many of the booby traps set to deter Guests from reaching what everyone who enters are seeking: Deity Mara to look into their souls to grant one of three gifts: earthly riches, eternal youth, or knowledge of the future.
Move through this huge archaeological dig site and try to decode some Maraglyphics found inside this temple. When this attraction opened, Guests received a decoder card.
Indiana’s office is a treasure trove of hidden Disney inferences containing actual props from the movies. On his desk is a 1930's copy of “Life” magazine featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on the cover. The wall in his office is made up of crates. One crate is labeled, “Deliver to Club Obi Wan.” This references the opening scene in Temple of Doom, which takes place in Club Obi Wan, and of course, Star Wars. Also, look for the map of the Temple in its entirety, drawn by Jones, on the bulletin board.
One word of advice after you board your troop transport vehicle and enter the Chamber of Destiny… don’t look Mara in the eyes! This attraction is a classic with so much to see and do making it one of my favorite options on our top ten Disneyland queues list.
5. Jungle Cruise
What’s fun about the Jungle Cruise queue is how it is made to transport Guests back to the 1930's once they step inside this two-story rickety old boat house.
The boathouse is owned by the Jungle Navigation Company and allows Guests to feel as if they walked back in time. Playing overhead is staticky American tunes from the 30's where an occasional news bulletin interrupts with satirical stories. Take the time to listen to these hilarious stories as you experience this attraction on our top ten Disneyland queues list.
You’ll pass an empty ticket booth and proceed past many artifacts from the 30's. Stacked throughout the boathouse, luggage is piled high ready to be boarded. Check out the pinned insects lovingly displayed throughout the boathouse, framed old-time maps, boat blueprints, and old pictures of the jungle crew.
When the line is long, the queue winds its way up some stairs where an animatronic bird squawks at Guests. At the bottom of these stairs, the queue splits into two lines. There is no “faster” line. Both lines get you to the loading dock at the exact same time. If you don’t believe… than you are in de-nile!
6. Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues’ queue is another fan favorite because of its ability to transport Guests from Disneyland Park right into a spaceport terminal. No need to check your baggage on this galactic flight! Just pay close attention to the tons of fun experiences happening all over this spaceport as you make your way to board your very own Starspeeder 3000. This is a must see for any Star Wars fan tackling our top ten Disneyland queues list.
When you enter the spaceport terminal, it’s hard not to notice the large flight status board overlooking a stationed Starspeeder. R2-D2 is position on top of this spacecraft bantering with C-3PO. Amazingly, these two droids were actual droids used in the movie Star Wars! Opposite of C-3PO is Admiral Ackbar who overlooks the queue and acts as a flight controller (similar to the role he played in Return of the Jedi).
Listen closely to the overhead as Disney and Star Wars clues are mixed into announcements. Listen as an announcer pages a land speeder with the license plate THX1138 (George Lucas’ feature film debut). Another page calls for Egroeg Sacul, George Lucas’ name backwards. See what else you can decipher when you listen closely to the pagers overhead!
As Guests make their way through the terminal, the queue wraps around, past an illuminated window where hurried silhouettes of humans and space aliens pass by (watch for the droid wearing Mickey ears).
Pass a humorous G2-9T agent and get a glimpse into some of the baggage he is checking that has some hidden Disney and Star Wars items! You may see items from some of your favorite Disney movies!
Don’t forget to get a pair of glasses before your flight and listen to your flight attendant for all safety instructions! Have a nice flight and enjoy the view on the way of this top ten Disneyland queues experience!
7. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
What’s great about Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room queue is that there really isn’t an organized order to it. Rather, the area is a large tropical enchanted garden where Guests can leisurely enjoy a delicious Dole Whip treat from the Tiki Juice Bar and lounge among the talking totem poles who represent Island Gods.
Listen closely as they narrate the legends of the South Pacific and take great pride in welcoming Guests to this tropical hideaway. This may be a non-traditional attraction for our top ten Disneyland queues list but the Dole Whip you get to enjoy on the way in to the attraction makes it a must!
8. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run is one of the newer attractions in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and it does not disappoint. But one of the best parts of this ride is the long, interactive queue. The use of the Disney Parks Play App is huge in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and there are many places inside the queue itself to interact with the app while you wait.
Once you weave in and out around the Millennium Falcon you will enter the building and the first room you're brought into is where Hondo will give you your instructions. This animatronic is one of the most impressive creations Disney has ever done!
Once you're done receiving your ride instructions, you're then directed to a cast member who will assign your positions on the ship. This then leads you into the main room of the interior of the Millennium Falcon which is an exact replica from the films. Every Star Wars fan will be in heaven in this room!
You get to experience so many cool aspects of the Star Wars universe before the ride even begins making this attraction one of our favorites for the best queues inside Disneyland.
9. Radiator Springs Racers
Waiting in Radiator Springs Racer’s queue can reach anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes on busy days. If you are unable to obtain a Fastpass for this attraction and have no other choice but to wait, you may find yourself entering a little bit of Radiator Spring’s history. The story begins the minute you step foot onto this desert Route 66 path – home to Radiator Springs. You’ll first encounter two bridges, one of which is called Rusty Ridge Bridge, said to be built in the late 1940's in Radiator Springs. If you time it right, you can watch two racers speed across this bridge. The second bridge is a wooden bridge built in the 1920's.
Stanley’s Oasis is just beyond the bridge where you will see a rock formation in the form of old Stanley and a water tower where Stanley offered a cold drink to a passerby. The first building Guests encounter is the first building Stanley built in Radiator Springs – Cap ‘n’ Tap where Stanley sold all types of caps.The next building Guests wind through is Stanley’s Service Garage with memorabilia from Stanley’s once popular auto-care business.
One of the more interesting buildings that, for me at least, is reminiscent of the bottle house at Knott’s Berry Farm and Calico Ghost Town is the Oil Bottle House which is a fan favorite because of the cool rainbow blues, greens, and whites that stream in when the sun hits them just right!
Once in the caverns, you’re almost at the starting line where you will board your racer and explore more of Radiator Springs. But before you speed off, notice the Stanley’s Comfy Caverns Motor Court sign in the loading area. This quaint “lodge” was built by Stanley and his wife Lizzie to accommodate visitors who wanted to stay overnight.
Be warned: this queue can be a bit hot making it a much better choice to wait in at night during your scavenger hunt of checking out the top ten Disneyland queues.
10. Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: BREAKOUT!
The Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: BREAKOUT! queue brings Guests right into the story. If the queue is not over 30 minutes, Guests will walk right into the main floor of Taneleer Tivan, a.k.a. the Collector’s, massive collection of relics and species from across the cosmos.
Get closeup views of some amazing oddities, such as Cosmo the Spacedog, Vyloos – bird-like species who respond to noises around them from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, as well as a plethora of Marvel, Disney, and Guardians of the Galaxy artifacts! Pay close attention to the monitor that plays a video explaining how the Guardians got tricked into entering the Collector’s fortress and how now they are prisoners.
Guests become part of the story as they raise their hands to be scanned for clearance into the Collector’s office. After Rocket highjacks the Collector’s video to explain the plan to help the Guardians escape, take a look around this room because in here are tons of items related back to the original attraction – Hollywood Tower of Terror, Disneyland, and other Disney movies. I could easily tell you what to look for, but what would be the fun of that?
When entering the maintenance room, look for other awesome artifacts from Disney’s past, like the original Abominable Snowman from Matterhorn Bobsleds. The Guardians of the Galaxy queue is, by far, the most interactive queue in all of Disney California Adventure Park making it a must see on your top ten Disneyland queues adventure!
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