Line Etiquette

ETA: Particularly thinking of rope drop when there’s a long wait and kids are at peak morning energy.

We are going in 2023 and it will be my first time as a parent. We have a very active toddler who will be 2.5 years old at that time.

Is it acceptable for one parent to stand in a line to hold place while the other runs around with the toddler? Or is that considered bad form? In a larger group (four parents, three kids) are there other guidelines?

This kind of thing never bothered me except at fireworks, where you would stake out a great spot only to get compressed like a sardine by 15 people who would crowd in with the lone sucker holding the spot two secs before start.

As long as you rejoin the line before it gets to where it’s inside (or in a case like Na’vi River Journey when it enters the under-cover part outside), I don’t see a problem. It’s not my favorite thing, but if you must… It’s better than one being almost at the front and then someone else having to push through the rest of the line.


If you’re riding together you have to stand in line together.
Some lines have fun distractions.

There are rider switch options if there are non-riders in your party.


I’ll be honest. I hate this practice with a passion. And I am a parent, so I know kids can get antsy. Its one thing if you’re all in line and one parent leaves for a little bit to take kid to the bathroom or something. But when they never join the line until the end, that’s where it bothers me.
There are lots of other people in line, many with kids, we are all bored, we are all hot, we all want to be done with the line. Its inconsiderate in my opinion. No ones child is more important than any other. People think that its no big deal bc its only 2 people, but what happens when theres 3-5 other families in that line doing the same thing?
Please don’t.


Probably this is the thing.

There should be a point at which it’s too late to step out for the bathroom/snack/whatever - or to step in if you’ve been off doing those things.

Also not all lines are equal. Some lines, it doesn’t matter how many people are in your party - you take the same “spot” (like, for instance, character meets or HM up to 2 people or 2 and a small kid as you’re using one ride vehicle regardless). Other lines it absolutely does (many ride vehicles.beyond a certain number of people)


Personally, I think it’s also a question of ratio.
The part of your family in the queue isn’t supposed to be a single person acting as placeholder while everyone else gadflies merrily about with dole whips.



I know Na’vi River and Flight of Passage the CMs where the line gets out of the main sidewalk area are supposed to ensure that the entire party is there, often allowing those holding places to wait by them until the rest of the party gets there. But once past that point, it is supposed to be a no-go. Are there some who will lie? I’m sure - just like the vax rate at Disney is now 100% with no masks for vaccinated and no proof required. But in theory at least those two have gatekeepers in the CMs.

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Search for rider switch in the search. A lot of good info on how to use that program with little kiddos.


Thanks, I have read up on that. Thinking more of at rope drop or attractions that the whole group will want to ride.

At rope drop it won’t be an issue. For rides that a 2.5 year old will want to ride the lines won’t be long at all. In the afternoon a good ride to have in your back pocket is Dumbo. It’s the perfect ride for when lines are long and everyone is hot. The playground is perfect and my kids can stay in there for hours if I let them.


Please don’t do this. In December, my family stood in line to see Rapunzel and Tiana and when we were about 1/2 way through (inside the building), a group of people with toddlers and preschools pushed their way through the line to join the one person holding their place in line right in front of us. It was obnoxious and rude in my opinion. You may be only 2 people, but the people behind you will get annoyed. I understand a potty break with a toddler, but beyond that, just don’t do it.


Once I was at the end of a line that continued to grow (normal stuff), but I was waiting for DH. I let others go ahead of me while I waited for him, and it was just the 2 of us. I’ve had someone bring in their family mbrs in front of me before and it’s offensive to me as I’m sure it is to others. Please wait in line like everyone else.


If you are talking specifically about rope drop, I would be cautious about separating. It’s much more of a mob scene from what I recall. We did rope drop at Animal Kingdom years ago with young children, one in a stroller. We were literally 2nd in line at security and from there it was total craziness as we made our way to Avatar. Hundreds of people ran by us. I remember thinking the stroller might add a bit of decorum to anxious guests. Nope! If you are talking about a particular ride and waiting in line, I’d be happy to let you pass! Enjoy your time together

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Wow things sure have changed since I was there last and there was only one Dumbo.
Back then Unofficial Guide warned: If Dumbo is critical to your child’s happiness, make it your first stop, preferably within 15 minutes of park opening.

Nice to see that it’s not such a panic to ride now


We roped dropped MK for the first and last time in July. My DH and 2 kids started off being all together and then got separated when a man directly in front of me started intentionally pushing his stroller into other people and yelling at his wife to do the same. I slowed down with my son to get away from this person. As a result, my husband and daughter got in the 7DMT line and were confused as to where we went since we started off together. As I found them in the line, the people behind them started complaining that we were cutting. I explained that we had started together and about the man ramming his stroller and they calmed down. I’ll happily pay whatever ILL fee Disney wants to charge me to avoid that entire situation again.

My experience last summer where a lot of lines were in the heat and there was no FP or G+ yet really changed my perspective on lines. If you are in an hour long outdoor line and someone needs a drink or the bathroom, they should go deal with that. If you have a 2.5 year old that would be cranky, personally I would prefer you go off to entertain them and then rejoin the line before it gets inside vs. standing next to your crying toddler for 45 minutes.


I have not had to go with a toddler but will be in 2023 as well. I personally don’t mind someone with a small child jumping back in line as long as they don’t have to walk the queue to do it and it’s just you and the toddler. Maybe start in the line with the family and if you see an opportunity to jump under the ropes and let the toddler dance some energy out for a minute or two, ask the person behind you if they mind if you step out for just a minute. Bring an interactive toy in the line to help distract the toddler (is my plan anyways). Also, I’m ready to bail if the line is too long and the toddler is cranky/ antsy. I just wouldn’t do the entire line wait outside of the line and expect to jump in right before boarding. That will probably cause more discontent with the rest of the line.


:rofl: One night at DL, a young girl ran to Peter Pan after the post fireworks RD and got there ahead of us. Then we got to a certain point in the line and the rest of her family (4 of them) climbed through the landscaping and over the little fence to join her. I involuntarily said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” And they took offense. I just told them I’d never seen one person hold the line for five like that - and I never had. It’s one thing for a single person to join the group, but another for the group to join a single person. And the dad said to me, “We want to ride as a family!” as if that was there only way to do that? Also, I told him I was there with my daughter too and I think he was shocked because she is Asian and I am not. It was an uncomfortable wait in line. Meanwhile, my daughter was live texting her friend group a blow by blow of the encounter. It’s legend at this point. (And the landscaping they climbed through is gone! They’ve expanded the queue there.)

To the OP, I think it’s okay if it doesn’t disrupt the line for you to rejoin your party and if it doesn’t change the wait for people behind you. In other words, if you are all riding in the same ride vehicle and parties are seated separately.


Our first visit, my sister was 4 or 5 (I was 9 or 10 - it depends on when in the summer it was…my dad thinks it was earlier so we’d have been 4 and 9) and Dumbo was a BIG DEAL for her. And yes, it was when there was only 1 and a line just between metal chains in the sun. I remember being in that line FOR.EVER.

Of course now it’s almost a tradition to ride it first. LOL.


OP, Thank you for asking and not just assuming that it was OK.
Don’t take it personally when people talk about how horrible it is. You were polite enough to ask and therefore it isn’t you being complained about.


:joy: During my only July visit, South American touring was in full swing (at least it seemed). They were the worst for one person holding the line for the ENTIRE group.
Any ride with a line you could look back and see several people wearing a particular bright colored shirt weaving through the line to get to a particular person in the same color shirt holding a flag. I can not even remember the line we were in but it was hot, outdoors and coveredI think. In my head it felt like Peter Pan or Winnie the Pooh (before the line had the interactive playground). But then I also remember there was definitely a split like at Sorin.
Well 1 adult male squeezed through and aggressively bumped into DD who was young and stick thin at the time. She cried a bit and I thought no more! I got to the back of my family and grabbed the rails on both sides of me with my legs planted wide so there wasn’t a lot of space to squeeze thru under my arms. When the next guy tried to push my arms out the way I turned and said No! He tried a few more times, pointed to people in front of us. I just kept saying No! Well, the then tried to CRAWL BETWEEN MY LEGS. Oh Heeellllllll No! He got donkey kicked in the face.
The split was only about 20 people ahead if us and I did see a few shirts at the split so I’m guessing that was his destination. He stayed behind me until that point. I kept looking back and glaring at him. I noticed more in line were planting their arms on the rails and the shirts weren’t getting past them. (DH said the exchange was fairly loud so I’m assuming it caught some attention). I felt so proud of my fellow linesmen. At the split the CM was from a South American country, I can’t recall which (2006 visit). So the guy starts talking to her in a foreign language (sounded like Portugese but I could have been wrong, IDK). He motions a kick and I though this is it. I’m mentally preparing to press charges on this guy if I have to bc as he was attempting to go through my legs he bumped a particular area which prompted said donkey kick to the face. Well not needed, her eyes got wide and sent us in opposite directions at the split. After that I chatted my experience up in line with strangers and kept up my no-line -cuttie tactics.
No point, no moral to the story. Just reminded me of this when you said involuntary response :joy: