How to brave long queues with kids
Updated: Apr 30
From previous experience, how easy it is to brave long queues with kids generally depends on their age and (surprise, surprise!) personality. I have seen kids have massive tantrums after just 5 minutes in a queue and equally I have seen kids, younger than mine, face a long queue with no problems at all (I was like “wow what a dream child! 😅).
I do think that, generally, if your child is used to going to theme parks, city farms, museums etc where crowds and queues are likely, even in smaller proportions, it is a LOT easier. If the concept if queueing up for their turn is alien to them, I would suggest that you take the time to explain what queues are, show photos / videos of how queues work even.
Explain that there is a reward for waiting patiently (getting to go to that amazing ride or meeting that amazing character). Explain that it is rude to cut in front of people. Explain that those who are disabled or are pregnant or elderly can go first. I had my kid asking me really loudly "those people are cutting in front of us!", which leads to frustration when they are already tired. Taking time to explain that there are separate access queues, pays off.
So basically what I am saying is that, spending 10 minutes before the trip explaining there there may be long queues and how they should behave in a queue, can save you frustration when you get there.
And here's 4 other practical things:
🚽If the queue is long, take everyone to use the toilet before joining the queue, even if they protest. Mine ALWAYS protest. But it's better to deal with the protest then queueing for 40 minutes then having to leave the queue and lose your place because someone needs the toilet!
🍿Bring water/drink and snacks. I find that little nibbles that take a while to eat and are fun are the best. On hot days especially, water is a must. For snacks, we use raisins, cheerios, yogurt bites and yes, Haribos! Things that will keep them busy while eating.
🧸I don’t let my kids use screens at Disney or when we are travelling in general (because I want them to fully immerse themselves in the trip), but it can work if you don’t mind it. It's common to see kids playing on their parents phone while waiting in queues. A pocket colouring book and a few crayons work for my daughter but not for my son. For him what works is a lot of chatting and talking about random stuff and playing made up games when Eye Spy gets old.
👶If your child is still small, put them in a baby carrier! Even aged two and half, my daughter would sleep in the carrier while waiting in queues. Everyone wins!