With innovations like FastPass and FastPass+, you don't always have to wait in long lines at Walt Disney World. However, FastPass is still limited so you're going to wait in lines at some point, especially for the most popular rides, like Toy Story Mania and Soarin'.
How do you pass the time? Handheld games and smart phones are the obvious answers, and Disney even builds special games and interactive elements into some of the queue lines on rides like Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Soarin', and Space Mountain.
But what did people do in the Dark Ages, before technology came to the rescue? Put down the phones and games and try these strategies to help make waits a little more tolerable:
1) Search for hidden details. Hidden Mickeys are always fun to find at Walt Disney World, but Disney Imagineers hide a lot of other details in the queue line that many people never even notice. Take your eyes away from the screen and have a contest with your other family members to see who can notice the most little touches, like the seashells embedded in the ground at Voyage of the Little Mermaid or the artifacts in the Expedition Everest queue.
2) Have each family member share their favorite memory of the vacation so far. Everyone gets a turn, and if you reach the ride before each family member gets a chance to share, pick up where you left off in the next queue line.
3) Start a story at the beginning of the day and add to it in every queue. You can have a theme or just let everyone's imaginations run wild. Each person gets a set amount of time to tell part of the story, then the next person continues, and it keeps switching off till you reach the end of the queue. Continue it each time you have to wait in a line, and see who can come up with the funniest or most improbable twists.
4) Have a family Disney trivia contest. Try to stump each other, and let the winner choose the next ride or attraction.
These suggestions incorporate two elements that are often missing from life today: imagination and direct conversation. Since you're all forced to be together when waiting in line anyway, turn it into some family bonding time. It makes the wait go by much faster.