On the face of it, this would seem to me to be a complete non issue. If you want to participate in an attraction - whether it be to ride a ride, or to see a show - the process should be a "no brainer". You step up to the end of the line, you wait your turn, you ride the ride. However, as an active participant at the Disboards, I have learned that apparently, different cultures view lines in differnet ways, and that common sense is frighteningly uncommon. Therefore, the remainder of this article will give you the Disney insider's view on line etiquette.
First and foremost, you should know that Disney World's official policy is that line cutting in any shape or form is not permitted. Cast members have the right to ask you to leave a given attraction for line cutting, and if you are a repeat offender or are belligerent and rude, they may have you removed from the park without refund. In practice, Disney tries very hard to make all guests happy, and they seldom enforce the letter of the law unless a situation shows it to be absolutely necessary.
To avoid any issues, please observe the following guidelines when dealing with attraction lines at Disney World. Again, these should be common sense, but we're publishing them as a matter of public record.
Gather your entire party before joining an attraction's line queue. One of the most common line offenses is for two or three family members to get into line while others are in the restroom, running down fastpasses, checking out at a register, etc. Invariably, the family members left behind want to ride with the rest of their party, and they attempt to push through the line. Not only is this rude, but this is textbook line cutting. If you plan to
ride together, enter the line together - period.
Once in line, do not leave the line if at all possible. This is another common "line sin". A family will enter a line queue with, say, a standby wait time of thirty minutes. Someone gets the bright idea that one of them can leave the current line, run over to another attraction, get fastpasses for the entire family, then return before the family's turn to ride comes up. Someone gets thirsty, and decides that the thirty minute wait gives them plenty of time to run to a beverage cart and come back with refreshments before the family's turn to ride comes up. Both of these stuations are simply line cutting, and are rude.
Most lines at Disney are not easy to transverse - they are themed, they wind in and out of buildings, etc. To reach people ahead, you have to push past others who are patiently waiting their turn. If you leave the line, you in effect give up your place, and should really only rejoin the line at the end.
The only real exception to the above situation is a restroom emergency, and usually then, only for young children (or individuals with health issues). All parents have been there, when a young child decides out of the blue that they have to go now. In this situation, use common sense. If you are near the front of the line and the child can hold it for a few moments, wait until you reach the front, then explain the situation to the cast member there. Typically, they will either give you a fastpass or have you re-enter the attraction in a special way, so that you can take the ememrgency potty break without having to stand through the entire line again. If not near the front, have one parent politely excuse themselves and the child, and prepare to repeat "sorry, little one has to go to the potty" a hundred times or so. Most reasonable people will allow you to return to your place in line, but do realize that they are not obligated to do so.
An aside: the best way to minimize any issue with potty breaks is to do your best to avoid the issue altogether. Disney World had abundant restrooms; make young children go to the restroom often, even if they claim to not need to go - especially before getting into a long line. Naturally, this won't guarantee that you'll never have potty issues, but it will drastically reduce them.
I need to join the rest of my party. Refer to the points above - quite simply, don't do this. This is a ploy most often used by teenagers and foreign tour groups, and it is again nothing but line cutting. Sometimes, kind people will allow it, but when a half dozen (or more) individuals try doing this - as is often the case - even the most mellow are often motivated to put a stop to it. Again, if you want to ride as a group, enter the line as a group - no exceptions.
Don't try to enter a fastpass line without a fastpass. Don't try to cut across from the standby line into the fastpass line. These words shouldn't need to be typed, but I regularly see individuals attempt to sneak into the fastpass line. This almost always fails, as the cast members stationed at the fastpass entrances are quite vigilant.
So, the "clever" line cutter may try sneaking under a rope from the standyby line into the shorter, faster moving fastpass line. If you try to do this, know that one hundred percent of fastpass lines will be a second cast member at the very front of the queue, waiting to place you into your ride vehicle. If you don't have a fastpass, they will know that the only way you got to that point was by jumping over from the regular (standby) line. You will not be permitted to ride, and will have to start all the way back at the beginning of the standy queue. So not only is this behavior rude, but it's counterproductive, and honestly... not very bright. You can (and should) be removed from the park for this behavior.
Move all the way to the end of the row. Most Disney World show theaters have doors on one side to admit guests, and doors on the other side to allow their exit. When the doors open for your admission, walk as far down the row as you can before taking a seat. Yes, you may feel that the center of the theater is the very best place to watch a show, but if you plop down in your seat, leaving thirty empty seats ahead of you, thirty people will have to push past you to find a place to sit. Cast members repeat these instructions again and again, yet in every single show, there are always a few people who seem to think that the rules do not apply to them. Guess what? They do. If you want to sit in the center of the theater, hang back some, rather than try to get into the front of a given line.
There you have it - common sense on line etiquette at Disney World. If, for some reason, you did not realize the above rules, or did not realize that they applied even to you, then publishing them here has done some good.