Mouse Vocabulary: Queue

Part of the Yeti exhibit in the Expedition Everest queue. Who doesn’t love a ‘museum’ devoted to a fictional creature?


This Mouse Vocabulary term seems, at first, to be just a regular vocabulary word.  After all, normal, non-Disney people use the word queue all the time. (Not to say that Disney people are abnormal–though I definitely am!)  But Disney people know the true meaning of the word.

queue /kyoo/–noun– traditionally just another word for ‘line,’ a queue in Walt Disney World is so much more than just a line; it is the beginning of the ride experience. 

When in WDW, never, ever say ‘standing in line.’ That sounds terribly dull and quite un-magical. Instead, you are experiencing the queue area. Doesn’t that sound far more exciting? And for a number of attractions, it really is. In fact, in my opinion, some queue areas are better than some rides.

Our Favorite Queue Areas

The queue area for Tower of Terror–terrifying, isn’t it?

It’s Tough to be a Bug–The subtlety of this queue  is easily missed, as you stare up at the Tree of Life and all of its carved animals.  But take a moment to notice what’s really happening–as you journey toward the theater, things are getting bigger. That’s because, as you wind your way through the root system of the Tree of Life, you are getting smaller, shrinking down to the size of the honorary bug you are about to become. And, of course, the view of the Tree of Life details is hard to beat, too.

Expedition Everest–My nerdy heart grew three sizes the first time I went through the queue area for Expedition Everest. After walking through the tour booking office, you’ll pass through a museum–yes, a museum–dedicated to the history of the Yeti. And who isn’t both entertained and educated by an exhibit on yeti poop?

Kali River Rapids–This is, hands down, an example of how a queue area can be better than the ride itself. The queue area of Kali River Rapids is photo worthy–you really feel like you’ve traveled to another country. On my first–and only–ride on the rapids, I spent a good twenty minutes taking photos of the queue area. Which was good because the ride is a tad disappointing. But check it out for the queue alone–I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Tower of Terror–It was my desire to see the queue area for Tower of Terror that made me overcome my all-consuming fear of rides that fall out of the sky. And do you know what? It was totally worth it, and now Tower of Terror is one of my favorite WDW attractions. But I still like the queue better than I like the drop! As soon as you enter the queue area, you begin experiencing the ride. You are no longer in central Florida. You are no longer in a theme park. You’re walking into a creepy old hotel. You will pass half-dead yet somehow overgrown gardens and walk by the abandoned check in desk and through the cobweb-strewn lobby before being escorted into the bowels of the hotel to board your elevator of doom (muahahahaha). Honestly, this may well be the best queue area in all of Walt Disney World; the line between, well, the line and the ride is almost imperceptible.

It should come as no surprise that our top queue areas are in the two newest parks–Holllywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. The reason is simple–queue areas have become far more elaborate over the years. But fear not–in typical Disney fashion, improvements are being made every day, month, and year. Case and point–the new interactive queue areas recently added to the Magic Kingdom’s Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and The Haunted Mansion, both of which would definitely make our top-ten list.

Of course, there are probably a dozen more queue areas we could list as equally enjoyable and entertaining.  After all, when in Disney World, you’re never just standing in line.  What are some of your favorite Disney queues? 

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