Andy Garland: standing in line
PUBLISHED: 13:09 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:09 23 July 2018
Pedro Guillermo Angeles-Flores
Radio Kent broadcaster Andy Garland on sidestepping our English national sport of queueing
I’m falling out of love with the mouse...
You know? The Mouse. Big, for a mouse, black round ears, red shorts emblazoned with two enormous white buttons and shod with shapeless, yellow shoes.
Often found in the company of another more feminine mouse, a duck, a dog and a weird hybrid dog/man with big teeth.
“Andy,” I hear you cry “What could you possibly have against a global icon of magic and wonder?”
In a word. Queues.
I’m aware of the danger of this all sounding like sour grapes; after all, a two-week holiday in Florida is the stuff of dreams.
But yet, having recently returned from the sunshine state, waiting patiently in line, in the heat was, even for a stout and true Englishman like me, something of a trial.
“The English are always ready to admire anything as long as they can queue up for it,” remarked the Hungarian humourist George Mikes and queue, we do, in abundance – not just for the rides even, but simply to enter the Magic Kingdom.
On day one, we queued for the steamboat, day two for the monorail, even the present
Mrs Garland, a veteran London commuter, spotting gaps and slipping eel-like through them, was unable to make much headway.
So if you’re Florida bound this month, how best to avoid the rigmarole of the queue? I wish I could claim credit for these, but it was a masterstroke by my project-managing spouse who, before leaving the UK had already booked three ‘Fastpass’ rides for each Disney day of the trip.
This, as you may be aware, enables you to swan past the patiently waiting hordes with a smug little grin on your face. We did still queue for 85 minutes for ‘Avatar - Flight of Passage;’ ride it if you go; it’s extraordinary.
It’s not just the mouse, there are also queues at Universal’s Studios, Islands of Adventure and their relatively new waterpark Volcano Bay. The latter employs a wrist-worn ‘TapuTapu’ device, tap in at the ride’s entrance and it tells you when to return and slide (genius) – leaving you free to
float in the pool, ride the rapids
or sip a cocktail while you wait. No stress = happy holiday.
Their two remaining parks employ an ‘Express pass’ to skip the queues, excellent in theory, but more money upfront.
While where else but in a queue, we meet a lovely family from Hertfordshire who’ve stayed a night or two in a Universal hotel just to take advantage of a free pass for guests. Nice Family Dad was even more organised than Mrs G. I felt like a bumbling amateur by comparison.
Two other ways of beating the queues in both parks are their respective apps, which allow you to monitor queue times on your phone and make a dash for it if your chosen ride suddenly becomes available.
You’ll often see this during the big parades and firework shows at Disney or late afternoon at Universal. If you don’t mind not riding together, take advantage of the single-rider lines too.
So there you have it, Andy’s (oh alright, Andy’s brilliant other half’s) guide to sidestepping our English national sport of queueing. And while I’m in full-on Dad mode, remember the average August temperature is around 33 degrees Celsius,
so pace yourself, drink lots and don’t be afraid to head to the pool for a break and return later.
Above all, have an amazing time; despite the queues, we really did.
On the mic: Andy Garland, Senior Broadcast Journalist. Programmes at BBC Radio Kent