The Best (And Worst) Queues at Walt Disney World

in Walt Disney World

Stormtrooper stare ahead in the Rise of the Resistance queue

Credit: Disney

When you visit Walt Disney World, three things are inevitable: Mickey Mouse, popcorn, and lines.

Over the years, Disney has introduced several systems (RIP FastPass) to help Guests cope with its Parks’ famously long lines. To say that its latest systems – Genie+ and Lightning Lanes – are unpopular is an understatement. Since their debut in 2021, Guests have blamed both for “ruining the fun” and actually increasing the time you spend in queues.

Child wearing Mickey Mouse hat with parents in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

Thankfully, spending a lot of time in queues isn’t always a bad thing. Okay, sure – nobody wants to spend their vacation squished like sardines behind a metal chain. But thanks to clever theming and the magic of Disney Imagineering, some of the queues are experiences in and of themselves. Here’s our guide to the best (and worst) across Walt Disney World.

What are the best queues at Disney World?

1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Yes, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has a virtual queue – but don’t let that deceive you. Once your boarding group is called up, you join an actual queue.

Thankfully, it’s one of Disney’s best. Guests enter EPCOT’s first extraterrestrial pavilion – Wonders of Xandar – where you enter the Galaxarium, a large, planetarium-like room that teaches you the difference between Earth and Xandar. Guests can then enjoy exhibits from Xandar and interviews with the Guardians themselves.

More of a walkthrough experience than your standard line, this is an immersive queue with enough throwbacks to classic EPCOT to entertain Marvel obsessives and casual fans alike.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at night with Spaceship Earth in the background at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

2. Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid

Imagineers went above and beyond to transport Guests under the sea without ever leaving Magic Kingdom.

Riders enter via a shipwreck with Ariel on the masthead before entering a queue in Prince Eric’s Castle. Not only is it beautiful, but it features a game where you interact with crabs to help them find the areas that don’t belong in Ariel’s collection (AKA Scuttle’s Scavenger Hunt) before coming face-to-face with Scuttle himself. A great way to pass the time and escape the sun. 

Ariel reaches out from the helm of ship at Journey of the Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

For kids, this is definitely one of Disney’s most exciting queues. In 2010, Magic Kingdom’s Winnie the Pooh attraction got an interactive overhaul. 

The line features a ton of games for kids (and kids-at-heart), as well as its centerpiece: the honey wall. This digital experience lets you move honey around the wall using your hands. Admittedly, this feels a little unsanitary post-pandemic, but slip a supply of anti-bacterial gel in your pocket, and you’re good to go.

Winnie the Pooh laughs while covered in honey
Credit: Disney

4. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

We’d go so far as to say that the queue for Smuggler’s Run is better than the ride itself. Located in the heart of Hollywood Studios, the simulator has a pretty lengthy line that weaves around Galaxy’s Edge’s lifesize Millennium Falcon before taking you aboard the ship itself.

Once inside, this is every Star Wars fan’s dream. You can walk in Han and Chewbacca’s footsteps, exploring the corridors of the Millennium Falcon, and even sitting down at the iconic Dejarik table. You really get to take your time with this queue, which makes Smuggler’s Run worth it – even if you do get the role of engineer once in the cockpit.

The sun sets over the Millennium Falcon at Hollywood Studios' Galaxy's Edge
Credit: Disney

5. Rise of the Resistance

Another fantastically themed entry from Galaxy’s Edge. The queue to Rise of the Resistance is actually an intrinsic part of the attraction itself. 

You start by entering the Resistance’s base, where you receive your mission from Rey. But before too long, you’re caught by the First Order. The sight of dozens of Stormtroopers awaiting your arrival is something you’ll never forget – as is the experience of being ‘interrogated’ by Cast Members while you wait. Immersive Disney storytelling at its best.

Stormtroopers in Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Credit: Inside the Magic

6. Peter Pan’s Flight

Once upon a time, Peter Pan’s Flight probably would’ve ranked as one of Disney World’s worst queues. Prior to its renovation in 2014, the line was down there with the dullest. Now, however, it’s up there with the best – which is a relief, considering how notoriously long it tends to be.

Before you board your flight over London, you get to explore the Darling family home. Sure, the first part of the queue is pretty dull, but once you get going you can gaze out of windows into the night sky, play with interactive shadows, and spot Tinker Bell sprinkling her pixie magic throughout the house. It’s a queue as classically Disney as the ride itself.

The exterior of Peter Pan's Flight lights up at night
Credit: Disney

7. Expedition Everest

Animal Kingdom’s Asia area is a masterclass in immersive theming. Expedition Everest is its crown jewel, with a line that recreates a travel agency operating trips to the Himalayas.

The queue is packed with detail after detail, to the point that you could easily spend hours poring over genuine artifacts from Nepal across the line’s booking office, yeti shrine, and yeti museum. It’s the best way to hype yourself up for a trip up the mountain to catch a glimpse of the yeti for yourself.

Credit: Luke D. ITM

8. Frozen Ever After

Thanks to the popularity of Frozen (2013), this is another attraction that racks up massive wait times. So really, the least Disney can do is make the experience entertaining.

Sat in Norway pavilion (on the grave of EPCOT’s beloved Maelstrom), Frozen Ever After’s queue sends Guests through the woods and mountains, past Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, and on towards Arendelle before you embark upon your voyage. There are loads of charming details to keep you occupied while you wait beneath a lantern-lit night sky. Disney queues don’t get more relaxing than this.

Anna, Elsa, and Olaf animatronics singing at the end of Frozen Ever After.
Credit: Disney

9. Kali River Rapids

Kali River Rapids isn’t Animal Kingdom’s most popular attraction. However, it’s worth the ride just to experience the queue. This is one of Disney’s most thought-out, detailed queues – even by the standards of this list.

As you pass through the line, you wind through temples, stores, and the ruins of ancient shrines and statues. You can also hear distant chainsaws, which is less scary than it sounds. The sound effects are there because the theme of the ride is illegal logging. Even if water rides aren’t your thing, the queue is worth a walkthrough (and you can always dip out just before the boarding area).

Guests experiencing Kali River Rapids, Disney ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Disney World
Credit: Disney

Honorable mentions: Toy Story Mania!, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Star Tours: The Adventure Continues, Haunted Mansion, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Tower of Terror (which would’ve made it to the main list if it weren’t for that lengthy outdoor section!)

What are the worst queue experiences at Disney World?

1. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Magic Kingdom’s Aladdin (1992) themed ride is pretty basic. Its queue is even more so. Filing in between a wall and a railing, Guests are left to bake in the Floridian sun before boarding a 90-second carpet ride. Minimal theming plus way much opportunity for heatstroke equals one of Disney World’s least enjoyable experiences.

A young boy and girl smile while riding the Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Credit: Disney

2. Astro Orbiter

A ride where you fly around in spaceships should, in theory, be much cooler than Magic Kingdom’s Astro Orbiter. It doesn’t help that the queue is so uninspired. Considering that you need to go up to the platform where you board your vehicle, you’re essentially just waiting between concrete and metal railings for an elevator. It’s also slow-moving, leaving you in the same spot for extended periods of time. Even a nice view of the Peoplemover isn’t enough to redeem this queue experience.

The sun gleams off Astro Orbiter
Credit: Disney

3. Slinky Dog Dash

Toy Story Land is a thematic victory in so many ways – except for the queue of Slinky Dog Dash. Like The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, this forces Guests to wait in the blazing hot sun. Even worse than The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, wait times can stretch as long as two hours. Some sections do have overhead shade, but these aren’t consistent enough for our liking.

Slinky Dog Dash at Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios
Credit: Disney

4. Soarin’ Around the World

EPCOT’s Soarin’ Around the World is a ride full of majesty and wonder. Its queue? Not so much. Guests can expect to shuffle down blank, dark hallways that are totally misaligned with the attraction you’re about to experience. On the plus side, it’s air-conditioned.

Riders smile while flying over the Great Wall of China on Soarin'
Credit: Disney

5. Living with the Land

It’s hard enough to convince the rest of your party that EPCOT’s greenhouse tour is worth their time without the unappealing queue. Living with the Land’s line consists of three things: poles, ropes, and walls. There’s not much more to it than that – although it at least moves quite quickly.

Living with the Land
Credit: Disney

6. Tomorrowland Speedway

This is another case of wasting precious time at Magic Kingdom by standing between railings and baking in the sun. What makes Tomorrowland Speedway’s queue even more unbearable is that you spend the whole time breathing in the pungent fumes of the ride, which you could get at your average gas station.

Tomorrowland Speedway
Credit: Disney

7. Space Mountain

It’s a Disney classic, but Space Mountain still ranks low for its queue experience. You get to wait indoors, which is a bonus. But that’s about as far as the pros list for this queue goes. While there used to be interactive games, these were removed back in 2018. Now you can enjoy spending most of your time trying to adjust your eyes to near-darkness and embarking upon a surprise calf workout thanks to the alternation between downhill and uphill sections.

Three riders sit in their vehicle preparing to ride Space Mountain
Credit: Disney

8. Jungle Cruise

The reason why Jungle Cruise lands on the “worst queues” list isn’t down to a lack of theming – the details as you prepare for your voyage are interesting if you’re close enough to look. Instead, it’s the queueing experience itself. This is possibly Disney World’s tightest queue, wrapping around and around poorly-spaced ropes so you’re packed far too close to comfort with your fellow Guests.

Jungle Cruise sign
Credit: Disney

9. Kilimanjaro Safaris

It feels rude to say anything negative about Kilimanjaro Safaris, considering how much time, energy, space, and money goes into looking after 34 different species of wildlife. However, the queue is nowhere near on par with the rest of the ride – leaving Guests to huddle under an empty wooden shelter while waiting for their turn. It’s covered, yes, so you don’t need to worry about sunburn, but it’s also pretty boring.

Kilimanjaro Safaris vehicle
Credit: Disney

(Dis)honorable mentions: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Spaceship Earth.

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