Disney Tip #3: Waiting in line
All Disney guidebooks have the same goal: To keep you from waiting in line for rides. If you read enough of these guidebooks, you start to believe that long lines are something you can control. You start to believe that a good, smart, clever mother will not expose her innocent family to a 40-minute wait at Peter Pan's Flight. You know, deep down, that if you wait for more than five minutes at Pirates of the Caribbean, you are a failure as a human being.
Not wanting to risk such failure ("Well, yeah, we had to wait for an hour at the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Jay and WCK are moving out in the morning."), I studied all of the guidebooks. I made plans. I memorized maps. I found an app for my BlackBerry that would tell me what the wait times were for all of the rides at any given moment. I was prepared.
And it worked. We rarely waited in a line for more than five or ten minutes. A few times, we could just walk right on. I was triumphant.
Then we got to the last couple of days of the trip, when we went to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We were tired and hot and not quite as motivated, and all of my detailed plans started to break down. We showed up at rides willy nilly, without any kind of a plan. And yet ... we still rarely waited in line for more than five or ten minutes.
The only exception to this is Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios, but I've decided that ride doesn't count. It's obviously surrounded by some kind of magical force field that allows crowds of people to instantly beam into the line, Star-Trek-like, so that there's immediately a 40-minute line the second the park opens, and there's absolutely nothing you can do. That's my theory, and I know it's true.
But the other lines were perfectly fine, all day long, even when we didn't have a plan. I started to wonder if the wait times for rides come down to one simple, three-step formula:
1. If there are a lot of people at the ride you want to go on, you will wait in line for a long time.
2. If there are not a lot of people at the ride you want to go on, you will not wait.
3. You can't control other people or the universe, so you probably cannot control the Disney lines, either.
Ha ha! Just kidding. I mean, I have the Disney BlackBerry app. Of course I control the universe.