If 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- 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- 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- 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.