/ Monday, August 12th, 2013

Under the Sea - Journey of the Little MermaidIf you have read any of my articles in the past, you will know that I love searching out small details which come together to form incredible attractions. Whether it is a detail adding to the theme, a nod previous history, or even a Hidden Mickey, details shape the way I see attractions and truly immerse me in their environments. Usually the best places to search for these details are in the queues of the attractions. There you spend the most time soaking in your surroundings and getting a picture of the adventure that is to come. Thus, some of the time I end up enjoying the experience of a queue just as much as the attraction itself. So I put together a list of what I think are the best queues in all of Walt Disney World. Most of them are merited on details, some on other things, but they all have one thing in common- they are fantastic in telling their stories. So come with me and let’s check out some of my favorite Walt Disney World queues!

Jungle Cruise- The Jungle Cruise’s queue is ripe with detail, both visual and audio. As you walk through the winding hemp-rope enclosed walkways, there are artifacts from expeditions, crates containing exotic goods, information notices, adventure schedules, and even some creepy crawlers. Essentially everywhere you look there are details to be found, and most of them have some form of that Jungle Cruise dry humor involved. If you listen closely too, there are notices every so often that interrupt the jungle themed music announcing some pretty humorous events and occurrences. Two of my favorite details are a sign advertising meals for the week (chicken anyone?) and a reference to Bill Evans, an Imagineering horticulturist who was greatly responsible for creating all of the exotic landscapes and greeneries you are about to experience on your journey through the rivers of the world.Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion- No surprise that this one makes the list as it is also full of details. The original queue holds a special place in my heart as those tombstones rhymes were some of my favorite things to check out as a child when visiting the Magic Kingdom. (Best one? Master Gracey of course- “Master Gracey laid to rest, no mourning please at his request.”) While I adore the original queue, more details and effects have been added over the years to contribute to its appeal. The Madame Leota tombstone that now opens her eyes from regions beyond and surveys all those that pass by adds a new level of eeriness and is one of my favorite touches. I am also a fan of the new interactive queue, which places Master Gracey prominently and highlights some of the other 999 happy haunts that we had never met before. Now that the Fastpass+ lines has been added, if you are waiting on the stand-by queue you will be forced to pass through the new interactive graveyard, so be sure to check out all of the new residents as you pass through!

Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid- This new queue makes my list due to sheer volume of detail. The Imagineers really outdid themselves on this one, and as soon as you step past the mast featuring Ariel and enter the line you become a part of her world (heh heh heh). From treasure scattered throughout Ariel’s collection, to flowing waterfalls, nautical touches, and a fantastic audio-animatronic Scuttle who interacts with guests, this line is completely immersive. Trust me that despite long waits, you won’t mind spending time waiting on this queue just to be able to look around.Living with the Land

Living with the Land- While this queue is relatively small and somewhat plain in comparison to some others on this list it has one shining set of details which made it a member of this list. The quotes lining the walls of the queue are a great way to introduce the principle of sustaining the land we love and taking care of Mother Earth. What I like best about these quotes is that they come from a wide range of individuals including children, politicians, and poets. Even if there is no wait to board the attraction, take a few minutes and read some of the quotes- you’ll be glad you did.

American Adventure- I love this queue for two different reasons, the first being that I am a big history buff and there are some pretty cool paintings and things to check out while waiting for your show to start. The second reason is the Voices of Liberty who are a truly phenomenal a capella group dressed in traditional colonial garb and singing songs of the era. With the acoustics created in the lobby filled with their voices as well as the patriotic memorabilia, you are truly in the spirit by the time you enter into the show itself.

Muppet*Vision 3D- This queue is dripping in visual sight gags and details from the second you approach the building to the moment you exit it. I dedicated an entire post to this attraction last week and touched on many of the great details there, so go check it out!

Tower of Terror- Of all the queues on this list, this one if my favorite. From the foggy gardens with mournful wailing jazz music in the background, to the dried up and cracking fountain, to the desolate lobby, you immediately know something went wrong here. The lobby itself features so many great small details including an abandoned game of mahjong, mail still waiting in slots to be delivered to guest rooms, and cups of tea left midway through. Fans of the show The Twilight Zone will recognize many small details paying homage to particular episodes throughout the lobby and the library. Just don’t get too caught up or you may find yourself in…the twilight zone.Rock n' Roller Coaster

Rock n’ Roller Coaster- While this queue has some great details which really make you feel as though you are in the middle of a fully functioning recording studio, it is something else entirely that makes this one of my favorite queues. Once you exit into that back alley and hear those tires screeching you immediately are drawn to watching the stretch limos before you take off at full speed. This builds such anticipation and excitement for your own ride and solidifies this coaster’s spot on the list.

Expedition Everest- This queue takes you through small prayer temples, a museum, and a base camp all while reminding you that you are in the yeti’s territory. What makes this queue so fantastic to me is the yeti museum featuring many original artifacts and art works while also adding in a little foreboding of your trip to come by showcasing what happened to a ‘lost’ expedition before you. I love looking at the intricate woodwork and carvings throughout the cue and always find that by the end of it I truly feel as though I was exploring the land around the Himalayans. Through detail and immersion, this queue is definitely one of the best on this list.

So there you have my favorite queues in all of Walt Disney World! Whether by detail, immersion, or other touches each of these attractions has a phenomenal queue which perfectly introduces the experiences to come. It was honestly really hard to cut this list down to only the few I featured here, and some really close runners were Splash Mountain, Test Track, Toy Story Mania, Dinosaur, and Kali River Rapids. But alas, I had to cut it someplace. But, I would love to hear what your favorite queue is and why, so be sure to leave it in the comments below!

What is your favorite queue in WDW? Think I left something off the list? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!

Caitlin Corsello was born and raised in New York. She graduated from Adelphi University with a Masters in Mental Health Counseling in 2012. Her love for Disney started as an infant and has continued to grow with family vacations to Disney parks almost every year since. She holds a particular interest in WDW’s parks and attractions, never passing up an opportunity to visit. She looks forward to continuing to explore and learn about all things Disney and to share that passion with readers.

12 Responses to "Disney From The Twenty-Something: Best Attraction Queues"

  1. Great summary! I would have promoted your mention of Kali River Rapids to the top of the list but that’s ok. Kali is one where the queue is better than the ride itself. Love the temple you walk through. We always try to make very efficient use of fast passes so unfortunately I don’t spend time in some of these great queues but Kali is one that, fastpass or not, will cause me to slow down and take pictures.

  2. Billy Latta says:

    Love the blog Caitlin! This was a great post and it was fun not only reading about some of the top queues you’ve put together, but to also think back and remember specific memories of being on some of those queues. The Imagineers do an incredible job and the queues are truly an addition to the parks that “plus” everyone’s experience. Lines are no longer a mental hurdle to jump over because it’s a pleasure once you cross that entrance threshold to the attraction. I really enjoy Muppet*Vision 3D’s queue and Journey of the Little Mermaid.

  3. Steamboat Eddie says:

    The Tower of Terror or Pirates of the Caribbean. In don’t know if I could pick a favorite between those lol.

    Have an awesome day!

  4. CriesDuringWishes says:

    Awesome list! I loved mentally walking thru the queues while reading your descriptions. I have not seen the new Big Thunder Mountain queue, I wonder if it will join this list?

  5. Great article.
    If I could, I’d have to add Splash Mountain and Pirates…

  6. Tony E (BacksideOfWater) says:

    I like the games in the Space Mountain queue and all the space items and the Gravity Wheel (with a hidden Horizons Logo) in Mission Space

  7. Becky Manion says:

    I do like POTC, its all dark tunnels and has that unique smell.

    I have never queued more than 15 minutes, so we always are walking quite quickly through, but I know there is lots of details on both side of the queues.

    The pirates stalemate game for one

  8. Tony E (BacksideOfWater) says:

    At first glance I thought the title said Best Attraction Quotes. Maybe an idea for a future blog hint hint

  9. Caitlin Corsello (giantnfl) says:

    Ben R — I know! It was tough to cut down the list, but Kali was a close miss!

    Billy — Gotta agree with you about Muppet*Vision!

    Steamboat Eddie — It’s a tough choice! I went with Tower of Terror out of those two picks since I usually end up spending more time waiting on line there than Pirates. Thus, I have more time to look around and take in the details a little more.

    CriesDuringWishes — The new Big Thunder queue is pretty great, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

    Richie — They were close runners up to the list.

    Becky — That’s part of why I left Pirates off the list- I never really end up spending a whole lot of time waiting on the queue. But it does have some amazing details- the chess game being my favorite!

    Tony E — The hidden Horizons logo is a great little hidden secret that a lot of people miss- I’m glad you have seen it and enjoy it. And as for doing a post on best attraction quotes, I already have! Here is the link from back in March, hope you enjoy it!

    http://www.wdwradio.com/2013/03/disney-from-the-twenty-something-the-best-disney-world-quotes/#.UgrSRm2p3IU

  10. Those are some great queues. I really enjoy Pirates, but go in January and never take the time to explore. Also – Expedition Everest – wow!

    Great post!

  11. Skipper Kyle says:

    Toy Story Midway Mania is one of my favorites. The theme of guests being shrunk to the size of the toy is perfectly executed and there are some great jokes to be found as well. My favorite is the toy box trademarked by “Wacka Wacka Toys” that sells for $4.95, $50.00 Canadian.

  12. Caitlin Corsello (giantnfl) says:

    WesTheTallGuy — I agree with you on Pirates, it’s usually not crowded so I don’t mill around often on the queue. But it is a great one!

    Skipper Kyle — I’ve never noticed the Wacka Wacka Toys box, thanks for letting me know about another great detail to look for on my next trip!

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