Nobody relishes a long wait in line before they get the chance to experience an attraction. Long queues also put a serious dent in the number of rides you can fit into your day causing more frustration. It can be really depressing crawling around endless twists and turns wondering when your ordeal will end. Most queue lines are pretty uninspired and do nothing to alleviate the boredom but occasionally you find a much better experience and the line truly becomes part of the overall experience.
I have to say that the best queuing area I have ever seen belongs to Wodan at Europa Park. The queue here moves very quickly anyway due to the efficiency and high through put but time seems to just fly by at his ride. The entrance is spectacular and then there is a short section without too much going on before you reach a refreshments hut and of all things a toilet. The toilet is a great idea and one wonders why more park operators don’t do this. After a rest stop you experience a walk around a spooky pond with statues, dry ice effects and all round great theming. The ride is constantly above your head providing the excitement of the trains thundering past and before you know it you are entering the building. Here you find yourself in a sparkling cave with crystals embedded in the walls and you pass a serious of interesting little features and walk underneath a section of roof which periodically rattles and shakes. You then see a spectacular forest scene with animated effects and you are now nearing the end of your journey. There is so much to see and do in this line that you arrive at the platform before you have even thought about the length of the wait.
I am also a fan of the Space Mountain Queuing area at Disneyland Paris. It is not as brilliantly distracting as Wodan but there plenty of features to look at on the way round and a couple of neon lit sightings of the ride as you progress. There is a feeling that you are in some futuristic bunker and anticipation builds nicely as you advance. I am not normally a fan of queue lines which trap you inside in corridors for too long but this one really works.
The Tower Of Terror
This is a magnificent attraction in both Florida and Paris and whilst the exterior section of the Queue is rather dull everything changes when you enter the building. You are instantly transported to into the past and the staging is magnificent. There is great attention to detail with a plethora of props and everything is highly convincing. Your walk in line is followed by a great preshow which builds tension nicely before you are disgorged into the bowels of the hotel building to board your lift. Of all the theme park rides I have experienced this is the one that manages to look the least like a ride and feels real from beginning to end.
These are my favourite places to queue and the brilliance of the areas really makes a difference when you have a lengthy wait. You know what it like when you have been on your feet all day, they are starting to howl and you just want to rips your footwear off! Standing in a boring interminable queue just makes everything seem much worse. Europa Park and Disney have shown that it is possible to make things a whole lot better.
Article by Sally Stacey