With all the money Guests spend to enjoy a Disney Park vacation and the amount of time they ultimately spend waiting in queues, it’s understandable that line cutting is such an infuriating situation. Whether you’re a Disney Adult or a family with children, it’s rude and inconsiderate to disrespect people who have been waiting in line longer than you by jumping in front of them. But there is one area where Guests can get away with it – ride pre-shows.
Ride pre-shows are introductory segments or mini-shows that are shown to riders before they board a ride or attraction. Pre-shows are designed to enhance the experience and anticipation of what is to come, often providing backstory or context to the ride’s theme or storyline. They may involve actors, animatronics, special effects, and interactive elements, and even help the time waiting in line feel like it’s going by faster.
One of the most classic examples of a ride pre-show is the Haunted Mansion ride in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park, also featured at Disneyland Resort. The stretching room herds waiting Guests into one confined room as a spooky voice-over preps riders for their doom buggy. If you know where the next door will open into the next part of the line, you can easily force your way past people in front of you and wait on that side of the room- subsequently being the first to exit.
There’s really no good way for a Disney Park to regulate this, even with a Cast Member watching. Sometimes, if possible, Guests will opt to bypass the ride pre-show completely in order to get to the ride vehicle even faster. That rush can sometimes ruin the attraction experience for first-time Guests who follow the crowd, not knowing they can stop to enjoy the pre-show.
This seems to especially be an issue at EPCOT’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster. The new roller coaster is extremely popular and often experiences delays, causing pile up and congestion in the pre-show areas. Guests complain that the design of this hallway almost forces Guests to cut in front of each other in line, as they are constantly asked to “fill in all the space.”
Seasoned Guests who aren’t looking to push in front of anyone else say that waiting and enjoying the entirety of the ride pre-show enhances their experience and is much more pleasant than rushing.