... And then the ride's only, like, two minutes long.
February 25, 2011 3:03 PM   Subscribe

"The Waiting Is the Hardest Part: Delayed Gratification in the Happiest Place on Earth" is a photo essay by graphic designer Arin Fishkin, depicting bored kids waiting in line at Disneyland. Want to avoid the "Cattle Yard?" Here are some tips.
posted by bayani (26 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Very very good, splendid theme!
posted by CitoyenK at 3:24 PM on February 25, 2011

If only they could have taken a picture of me and my family when we got stuck on Small World for an hour and a half. The workers said they couldn't turn off the music, because "it would spoil the magic." The gratification: we talked them in to free turkey legs from the nearby food stand to keep us "happy."
posted by Mister Fabulous at 3:30 PM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

"stuck on Small World"

I could see that generating a slew of assaults and, potentially, suicides. How have the mental health care bills been since that event?
posted by tomswift at 3:50 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Vague recollection of a Bertrand Russell (?) quote along the lines of if pleasure delayed is pleasure enhanced, then pleasure infinitely delayed is infinite pleasure.
posted by IndigoJones at 3:51 PM on February 25, 2011

How are your new turkey legs Mister Fabulous? Better grip?

(As someone who doesn't live in the USA, the mental imagery of someone receiving "free turkey legs" is hilarious, even though I assume that it's a foodstuff you can purchase from kiosks, erm, food stands, there)
posted by panaceanot at 3:58 PM on February 25, 2011

I don't like Disneyland. I don't like kids. Here we have the combo...thanks but no thanks.
posted by Postroad at 4:04 PM on February 25, 2011

Coincidentally, Disney has announced plans to allow guests to, among other things, reserve ride times from home.

Transcript of announcement (pdf) - Summary - Some opinion
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 4:10 PM on February 25, 2011

Actually, many of my favorite memories of Disney World took place in line.

1. There was the time that my dad got so mad at the guidebook that he through it down on the ground and stomped on it. It was the first time I had ever seen my dad actually angry. We all ended up laughing hysterically.

2. Seeing a family in matching American flag jumpsuits have an argument.

3. Singing 99 Bottles of Rum (all 99 verses!) while in line for Pirates of the Caribbean.*

Who would want to miss all that?

*I apologize to all those bystanders who stood annoyed but helpless in the face of our merriment.
posted by mmmbacon at 4:10 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

The stories I could tell about guests at Disneyland. Oh my. Do you have several hours? This book is excellent. I was a ride operator, and I was there for a few of the anecdotes in the book.

Stuck on Small World ... hah.

Before they built the Indiana Jones ride, you walked down the side of the Pirates of the Caribbean show building to get to an employee restaurant/break room called the DEC (Disneyland Employee Cafeteria).

On the way down, I could hear something through the outside wall of the Pirates building. Something rhythmic. Something not normal.

It got louder and louder as I approached the DEC, which was actually built inside the same building. A door located on the side of the DEC led directly into the ride itself.

Louder and louder, until I reached the DEC. And then I could hear it. Everyone could. It was coming from behind the door, which was being opened and closed by frantic Pirates employees, wearing hip-waders and scurrying to and fro.


The final lift on Pirates was broken down. This was the lift that carried the boats and their passengers to the exit. All of the boats had backed up at the last lift.

About 100 people were stuck on the ride. They were chanting...

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:12 PM on February 25, 2011 [9 favorites]

It's time's like these that I yearn for a de-vignetting browser plugin.
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:16 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I could see that generating a slew of assaults and, potentially, suicides.

I probably heard the words "If I hear that fucking song again, I'm going to *violent act*" 8-10 times in an hour. I was 9 years old at the time.

After about two years, when the therapy sessions ended, "Small World" became a way to piss off another family member. Mostly it was done in a prank/revenge way, like a Rick Roll, only a thousand times more seething. My best was after my parents decided to ground me, I got one of the recordable greeting cards from Hallmark. I recorded the harpy squeal of that song onto the card, and rigged the card so that as soon as you opened it, it would begin playing and not stop playing until the batteries died. I left the card on the kitchen table, closed and unmarked.

My dad returned the favor by getting me a "new CD player" for my truck for my birthday. He had already installed it, with a CD with the song "Small World." He also managed to disable all of the buttons from functioning on the stereo system from the inside. Could not eject, switch to radio, turn off or otherwise stop "Small World" from playing while driving. When I had a chance to finally take a look at it (3 days of driving in) I figured out how to kill that song. He then gave me a proper stereo to install.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 4:21 PM on February 25, 2011 [28 favorites]

Most depressing thing I've seen all day.
posted by docpops at 4:22 PM on February 25, 2011

we got stuck on Small World for an hour and a half. The workers said they couldn't turn off the music, because "it would spoil the magic."

I can't even imagine. Noriega would have fled the Vatican embassy after half an hour of that.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:29 PM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

De-anecdote this:

All the Toyota Hilux pickup trucks owned by QatarGas in the Gulf of Arabia play "Small World" as the backup warning.

It's a factory option.
posted by Kakkerlak at 4:35 PM on February 25, 2011

I will probably go there some day, but man, I have precious little interest in doing so. This photo essay decremented even that a little.
posted by everichon at 4:36 PM on February 25, 2011

Line World.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:36 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've heard a lot of rides have interesting wait lines that keep park attendees interested and not bored. The Indiana Jones one especially.

More interesting is the slideshow I learned this from about how Disneyworld relates to videogame level design.
posted by hellojed at 4:41 PM on February 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

First trip to Disney as little kid, I was scared of EVERYTHING. Would not go on any rides. Finally, my parents tricked me into going to the Haunted Mansion by telling me it was a lunch buffet line up. I must have been the happiest kid in that line - thinking about all the delicous things to eat. I thought to myself that the food must be excellent given how long people were willing to wait.

When it became clear I had been tricked, and it was too late to back out (even at 7, I knew that leaving the line was a walk of shame that I did not want to do) - I was horrified. Both by the ride and the lack of hot roast beef. But the trick worked - I loved the ride and could not wait to get on everything else after that.
posted by helmutdog at 4:41 PM on February 25, 2011

Don't quite know any way to say this without potentially coming off as a terrible person, but one of the greatest benefits to having an autistic kid is the front of the line passes Disneyland provides to special needs children.

The last time we were at Disneyland was during Spring Break a few years back, which is about as crowded a time as you'll ever find there. Being able to avoid the 1-2 hour lines at many of the rides and waltz right up to the front was very nice (being able to avoid a 3-year-old autistic kid meltdown was even nicer).
posted by The Gooch at 4:46 PM on February 25, 2011

I was that annoying kid who'd tell you exactly how many minutes of wait time per minute of ride time you'd get at various amusement parks / times of day. As the ratio crept up I stopped going to amusement parks.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:05 PM on February 25, 2011

From the "tips" link: Fine weather before forecast rain later in the week can cause lager attendance

It would take quite a few lagers to get me to attend. Ales, even.
posted by exogenous at 6:02 PM on February 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Jesus, there are entire books written about how to optimize your time at Disney. But the best way to beat the lines is to stay at an on-property Disney Hotel, which enables you to take advantage of special extended hours. (I am not a Disney shill.) You show your room card, get a wristband, and when the park closes at midnight and they shuffle all the riff raff out the gates, you pretty much have the place to yourself. Walk right on to Pirates of the Caribbean or Space Mountain! Last time there my daughter made me ride Splash Mountain over and over, six or seven times, mostly I think for the thrill of running through the empty ropes where earlier in the day people (including us) had been waiting an hour and 15 minutes.

At some point you may say to yourself, What the fuck am I doing in this fake log car atop a giant phony mountain at 2:30 in the morning, preparing to get soaking wet? But it beats the hell out of those lines.
posted by stargell at 9:08 PM on February 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

this is not what i wanted when i searched for "line rider"
posted by LogicalDash at 8:01 AM on February 26, 2011

I love the fifth picture with the raised-eyebrow dark-haired woman.

By the way, how do they get permission to use these candid photos? Do they take the pics, then give the subjects a form to fill out? Just curious.

Disclosure: I wanna go on the Small World ride. I have no kids.
posted by tamagogirl at 10:04 AM on February 26, 2011

Small World gets a bad rap. It's a pretty good ride. I would not want to be stuck on it, though.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:53 PM on February 26, 2011

Title reminds me of an old joke:
Q: What do Disney World and Viagra have in common?
A: A two-hour wait for a two-minute ride.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 9:03 PM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

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