Waiting in the Hundred Acre Wood

Waiting in the Hundred Acre Wood

Disney uses many approaches to managing guests waiting in long lines. One of them is to entertain them while they are in line. What a concept! The fun doesn’t just start when you get to the end of the line, you can have a great time waiting. Check out our favorite queue’s here. Let’s consider how waiting effects different types of Guests at the Hundred Acre Wood.

Four Types of Guests

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh reopened to Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom in 2010. Gone were the switch-back style line with walls separating Standby Guests from Guests with Fast-Passes. In its place is a little walk through the Hundred Acre Wood itself, filled with interactive elements to pass the time in the Standby Line.

A variety of garden elements to play around with. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

At Disney we used to refer to his kind of activity as high-tech, high touch. Many of these kinds of “hands-on” elements have existed in other Magic Kingdom attractions like the queue for the Haunted Mansion or Peter Pan’s Flight.

Sorting out the Diamonds is an “high tech high touch” interactive in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

There are a number of scholars who talk about four types of people. There are a number of descriptions, but one of them is in terms of A.A. Milne’s own characters. They include the following:

Rabbit. A driver, one who is about achieving and getting things done. Having to interact with people can sometimes be a distraction to what he is focused on.

Tigger. A dynamic, spirited individual who expresses him or herself. He wants everyone else to be excited and passionate like him.

Winnie the Pooh. An amiable person who focuses on relationships and on the needs of others. Once his tummy is full, his focus is entirely on his friends.

Eeyore. A quiet, analytical type who is fairly cautious and methodical. While not typical to all analyticals, overthinking something can often lead Eeyore himself to being gloomy.

The Hundred Acre Queue

The trick is to provide a queuing experience that meets all four of those needs. Going into the minds of those four individuals, this is what they would be thinking if you waited in line at this attraction:

Rabbit. Rabbit would have booked a FastPass+ reservation in advance of his stay. He has no interest waiting in some standby line.

Entrance for FastPass+. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Tigger would love this new queue. He would climb, bounce, tug, and splash his way through it. Indeed, the queue is really geared for Tiggers out there.

A wide view of a playground that sits aside of the queue, allowing the young at heart to play while they wait. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Winnie the Pooh always used his time in line to talk to others. That’s how amiable people are. In fact, we’ve noticed that when we don’t have a FastPass+ reservation, we end up spending much more time in line together chatting. That’s why the queue is not only wide enough for handling guests with mobility challenges, but it’s wide enough to allow guests to chat with each other while they are walking.

Note that the queue is double wide on each side of the interactive honey combs. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Eeyore would have studied the whole thing out. Quite like figuring out the strategy in playing Pooh Sticks at the Bridge, he would have been asking questions like, “How did they make that honey respond to your touch?” The big screens where you “draw on honey” is a technology that’s a little more recent, but the effect is all the same–it effectively occupies your attention while you wait in line.

Tigger slowly being covered by honey. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

The truth is, we all are a little bit like one of our favorite friends from the Hundred Acre Wood. The trick is for Disney to make certain that while waiting in any queue, that something is there in place everyone.

Souvenirs for Your Organization

  • How do we occupy the attention of those waiting on us?
  • How do we appeal to those who are drivers like Rabbit? Expressives like Tigger? Amiable like Pooh? Or analytical like Eeyore?
  • How can we use technology to create a high touch, high tech experience?

To see some of the greatest Disney queues, visit this post.

To understand the critical challenges and solutions for dealing with waiting in line, visit this post. 

J. Jeff Kober

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