12 Theme Park Ride Lines That Are Actually Fun to Wait In

Waiting in line at a theme park is no longer a chore, thanks to these genius theme park line designs. At one time, the line for the rides was probably one of the biggest drawbacks about going to a theme park, but the folks at Disney, Universal Studios, and other big parks have made sure the line isn't just a place to wait, but a place to set up a whole new world.

Theme part line tricks like animatronic characters, videos, and play areas are what make these some of the best lines to wait in at theme parks. So check out the best Disneyland line hacks (and hacks from other parks) to see why the queue can be almost as fun as the ride itself. Why would you want to get out of line when you can play at Dumbo's circus, explore Hogwarts Castle, or see R2-D2 and C-3PO hard at work?

Photo: Scott Smith (SRisonS) / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

  • Mr. Potato Head Insults You While You Wait

    Mr. Potato Head Insults You While You Wait
    Video: YouTube

    At the Toy Story Midway Mania ride at Disney's California Adventure and Disney's Hollywood Studios theme parks, the wait time seems like a breeze, in part due to the animatronic Mr. Potato Head. Just like in the movies, he's voiced by Don Rickles, and he sings and hurls insults while people wait in line. He even has the ability to yank off his own ear. 

    Unlike many other Disney animatronics that have about a minute of prerecorded lines, Mr. Potato Head has over 20 minutes of dialogue and is even interactive. For example, if you shout things at Mr. Potato Head while in line, there's a good chance he'll call you a "hockey puck."

  • Winnie the Pooh Has a Hunny Wall

    Winnie the Pooh Has a Hunny Wall
    Video: YouTube

    At the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Disney's Magic Kingdom, the line is full of activities just as fun as the ride. These include Eeyore's Gloomy Place (his home that you can crawl through), Rabbit's Garden (a hide-and-seek game with vegetables and gophers), and Piglet's House (you can knock on his door and hear Piglet inside). But most impressive might be the Hunny Wall. You can touch the interactive screen and draw in the "hunny." Keep playing with the hunny and you might just see some of your favorite characters hidden underneath. Just make sure you have one person in your group save your spot in line while the rest run off and play.

  • Dumbo Takes You to the Circus

    Dumbo Takes You to the Circus
    Video: YouTube

    At Disney World, the line at the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride used to be rather drab. Now, it's a circus. Guests walk into a circus tent (air-conditioned, of course), where kids can play on slides, a climbing net, and trampolines. Best of all, each group gets a pager that holds their place in line. When the pager goes off, it's time to leave the play area and go on the ride. That is, as long as the kids can be pulled away from the big top.

  • Harry Potter Lets You Explore Hogwarts Castle

    Harry Potter Lets You Explore Hogwarts Castle
    Video: YouTube

    The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a section of the Universal Studios theme parks. Once inside, you're already immersed in all things Potter. But when you wait in line for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, you get to step inside of Hogwarts, where the attention to detail makes it seem incredibly real. You can hear Moaning Myrtle and screaming Mandrakes, send posts through the Owl Post, and take pictures in the Hogwarts Express. It also has paintings of the founders of Hogwarts - and the paintings even move and talk to each other (as well as argue with each other). Once you leave, you'll definitely believe that wizards are real.

  • You Can Explore Gringotts Bank at Universal Studios Orlando

    You Can Explore Gringotts Bank at Universal Studios Orlando
    Video: YouTube

    If you got to Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, you'll get a slightly different Harry Potter experience than the one in Hollywood. There, in addition to the Forbidden Journey, you can also ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. While you wait, you walk through the bank's marble lobby and see goblins hard at work. Leave it to Harry Potter to take banking and actually make it exciting.

  • Star Tours Takes You Up Close to R2-D2 and C-3PO

    Star Tours Takes You Up Close to R2-D2 and C-3PO
    Video: YouTube

    Airports generally aren't the place to go if you're looking for excitement. But what if the airport is a spaceport? That's the case at Disney Parks' Star Tours. The line takes you through the spaceport of a moon of Endor, while animatronic R2-D2 and C-3PO work on a Starspeeder 1000. It's definitely a lot more fun that waiting in line at airport security.