Preschoolers and toddlers are not known for their patience, and even a short wait in line may be too much if they don't have something to occupy their time. There are a few things you can do to make the wait easier on your little one, and on the whole family as well.
1. Choose the Right Ride At the Right Time
Some of the rides at Disney World are busier than others, so make sure you hit the most popular rides early to cut down on your waiting time. Some of the best rides for preschoolers fill up fast, so take advantage of fast passes and extra magic hours to make the most of your time.
If your preschooler is already cranky and hungry, then it may not be a good idea to get into a 45 minute line — that 45 minute wait may feel like an eternity to you and everyone around you. Look for rides that have little or no waiting, or take a break from the park and head to your Disney resort for a swim or a nap.
2. Have a Snack Handy
If you anticipate a short wait, have a snack ready to go. Something that is not messy, and will fit in your pocket or bag is a great pick. Handing over a snack at the start of a line can help you pass the time as your preschooler focuses on the goodies, not the wait. There are some great snacks available at each Disney park, or you can pack a few choices of your own each morning.
3. Play a Game
A quick game of "I Spy" can really help your little one cope with the wait. There are plenty of things to see at Disney, and most ride areas have plenty of artwork to choose from.
4. Tell a Story
Many of the Disney World rides that appeal to preschoolers come with a ready made story line. Tell a story about Dumbo or Winnie the Pooh while you wait, and you will not only pass the time you will give your little one an idea of what to expect from the ride itself.
5. Alternate Long Waits with Short Ones
Try not to wait in too many long lines in a row. If you are visiting a ride packed part of a Disney theme park (think Fantasyland), then alternate between rides with a wait, and rides without. After waiting for and enjoying Dumbo, head over to Small World, and hop aboard with little or no waiting. Once you complete the "happiest voyage that ever sailed," your preschooler may be refreshed and ready to wait in line to experience something new.