Walt Disney World is not exactly synonymous with short lines. As one of the top vacation destinations in the world, one can expect to spend a great deal of time admiring the back of a stranger’s head, checking their watch in increasing intervals, and thinking, “Am I really waiting an hour and a half to sit on a flying ship for a two minute jaunt around Neverland?” Yes, yes you are. Waiting is the name of the game in these parks. There is, typically, a line for every attraction, every character experience, every food stop, every bathroom….Need I go on? Shuffling along some of these slow-moving, single-file lines can be a maddening, time-draining and joy-stealing experience, especially if you’re not FastPass+ savvy or aren’t familiar with the wait-time apps and the most opportune hours of day to experience the more popular attractions. While Disney has gone to great lengths to offer innovative and interactive ride queues that provide a nice diversion as the minutes tick by, patience is still pretty much required as waiting in lines can eat up quite a bit of your day. Are you ready for some great news? There are rides and attractions at Disney World that are notorious for shorter lines, shorter wait times, and shorter shoe-tapping, watch-peeking moments. So go ahead and secure your FastPass+ selections for the rides that really need them—these top 10 ride waits are reliably quick and can have you enjoying the attraction in a matter of minutes!
10. Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, Magic Kingdom
Okay, okay, you got me—this isn’t a ride by ANY stretch. In fact, if getting OFF your aching feet is the goal then you may want to skip this “treehouse-museum” which includes a 116-stair climb. But if you are looking to experience an attraction that doesn’t require an endless wait time, then proceed on over to Adventureland and climb, climb, climb! Here, you’ll get to enjoy all the intricately detailed rooms of the Robinson’s pioneer-style living quarters, pieced together with “nature” and a bevy of 19th century articles salvaged from their shipwreck. Oh, and that panoramic view from the top is totally worth the trek to get there.
9. PhilharMagic/Muppet Vision 3D, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios
I’m grouping these together because as 3D theater shows, they both require a small window of waiting time for the previous show to finish and let out. Aside from that, these shows rarely have lengthy lines as they seat a large capacity of guests during each viewing. If you need any more reasons to visit these attractions, then consider these: They are indoor, air-conditioned theaters offering a nice break from the Florida heat, they are 3D/4D shows which wonderfully and dynamically incorporate ALL your senses, and you will be smiling/laughing so much that your face will hurt on the way out!
8. Primeval Whirl, Animal Kingdom
Sure, this small coaster with spinning cars occasionally has a line that may appear daunting, but rarely will you have to wait longer than 20 minutes tops. I couldn’t tell you why this line is typically short—it certainly isn’t because the whimsical carnival-like attraction isn’t awesome! With all the whirly-twirly spins and drops—and because there isn’t another ride on Disney property like it—you will most definitely want to take it for another “spin!”
7. Spaceship Earth, Epcot
When you check the Wait Time Board at Epcot and see that this ride only has a 5-minute wait, be sure to thank the Phoenicians. I kid, but in all seriousness, this line IS reliably short. The inside loading platform—aside from the occasional mandatory stop—is constantly moving, boarding the steady stream of riders so seamlessly that it all but guarantees you’ll be enjoying Dame Judi Dench’s narration through history faster than you can say, “giant golf ball.” Except for the busiest of days, you will either be able to walk right on or will find yourself in a rarely stagnant, quick-moving line.
6. Country Bear Jamboree, Magic Kingdom
This cutesy, crowd-pleasin’ crooning-bear concert runs 12 minutes in length, which is usually about all the time you’ll have to wait to enjoy this attraction. On busy days, don’t be intimidated by the large throngs of people waiting inside the Grizzly Hall lobby—once the doors open for the next performance there should be enough available seating (and air-conditioning) for all!
5. Journey into Imagination with Figment, Epcot
Another ever-moving platform loads people onto their Imagination Institute vehicles and into the sensory labs on a journey with Figment through sight, sound and smell. The complete overhaul done to this ride still boils my blood a little, but because of the air-conditioning and low-wait times I can maaaaaaybe forgive it just enough to “enjoy” (I use this term loosely here) this latest 11-minute incarnation. One can typically expect to wait no longer than 10 minutes or so, though I recently was able to walk right on with no wait whatsoever (in the middle of the day, no less!).
4. Living with the Land, Epcot
As a kid, I thought this boat ride was a borefest. As an adult, I LOVE this attraction for so many reasons, the least of which is the short wait time. As your boat takes you on a tour of Disney’s 4 working greenhouses, you’ll learn about the agricultural systems and the evolution of production on property. It is educational and interesting, and the gentle, 14-minute boat ride gives you a nice break off your feet. The line is typically fast-moving and sometimes non-existent altogether, but if you ever find yourself caught having to wait you shouldn’t expect it to be longer than 20 minutes or so.
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3. Carousel of Progress, Magic Kingdom
Every time I visit this attraction located inside Tomorrowland I become instantly nostalgic, remembering how much I enjoyed the same rotating theater as a child. Even though I think it could use a few tweaking and updating here and there (the SOUND, for starters, as it’s hard to hear some of the dialogue), if they ever removed this attraction I’d cry. A lot. Big, fat angry tears. But I digress. What’s this article about again? Oh yeah, the wait time. Rarely longer than 5 minutes. Seriously.
2. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, Epcot
Located inside the pyramid-shaped Mexico pavilion, this musical-boat ride takes you on a tour with Panchito, Jose Carioco, and Donald Duck, exploring various sights and sounds of Mexico. This line is short and zippy pretty much ALL the time. If you even have to wait in line, don’t expect it to be more than 5 minutes.
1. Tomorrowland Transit Authority (People Mover), Magic Kingdom
This elevated, leisurely 10-minute tour of Tomorrowland will re-charge your batteries and have your tired feet thanking you. The best part? You’ll probably be able to walk right on without much of a wait (if any at all!). The loading platform is steady moving, ushering people on and off in a continuous and seamless fashion, so if you get stuck in a line, don’t plan on setting up camp! You’ll be out of it in no time!
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper