Not too long ago I reviewed the excellent book, Lots to do In Line, about how to have fun before you even get on the ride. I enjoyed the book so much I sat down with author Meredith Pierce for an interview. And by “sat down with” I mean I sat down and sent her an email with my questions and she emailed them back, and I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume she was also sitting while she answered them.
Because otherwise that’s kind of awkward.
Anyway, here’s what Meredith had to say about Lots to do In Line!
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being standing in line for 3 hours at the ticket booth outside the parks and 10 being a walk-on to Space Mountain, how bored were you when you decided that Lots To Do In Line needed to be written and you were the perfect person to do it?
I will have to go with an 8. I know shocking, but I was not in line at Disneyland at the actual aha moment you see. My husband, daughter and I were on our family trip to the park and had been in some really long lines that I would be only too happy to give a rating of 4 to. However at the moment I knew what needed to be done, we were having dinner at a family style restaurant. The restaurant kindly provided Camille, my fabulous daughter, with a kid’s menu that included a picture in which certain objects were hidden. Out family had a great time finding the hidden pictures together. Whenever a picture was found Camille would proudly cross it off. Blue was used to denote Camille finding an item because well, blue was best, and she wanted to keep track of her personal finds.
Somehow my brain connected the hunt and find picture in front of me with the environment of Disneyland’s queues. Many of them are full of detail that goes mostly unnoticed. I realized that the only difference between the picture in front of me and the detail rich lines at Disneyland was the list of what to look for. Insert aha moment here. It was such a great idea that I was sure I would find it in the Disneyland stores as soon as we returned to the park, I was wrong. No one had written it yet. That is when it became my job to see it done.
What is your favorite line to stand in at Disneyland? What about Disney California Adventure Park?
That is easy, I love the queue for Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland. It is such a well done “Scene One.” That is imagineer speak for the queue.
At Disney California Adventure my favorite is the Muppets. If you are as big a fan of the Muppets as I am it’s hard not to appreciate this line. Considering how much I hate standing in line it seems a little odd to have a favorite line to stand in. Yes it is true; I hate standing around in line waiting my turn just as much as the next guy.
[Shelby interrupts: I also think Indy is the best line in Disneyland!]
Approximately how many times have you been to the Disneyland Resort? Are you an annual passholder?
I grew up very near Disneyland so I was a frequent visitor. In writing the book, I had to make 3 somewhat lengthy trips to the park. At the moment I am a passholder.
[Shelby interrupts: She wrote this entire book in 3 trips? Wow, do I feel like a slacker!]
How long did it take you to write Lots To Do In Line?
From the start of the first trip to the book arriving on my doorstep and being unceremoniously snatched from the UPS guy it took about 2 years
[Shelby interrupts: So basically My Two Years Standing In Line At The Mouse?]
If you could give Disneyland Resort visitors a single piece of advice to make their trip more enjoyable (beyond “Buy Lots To Do In Line because it’s totally awesome!!!”), what would you say?
Be a kid for the day. If you are one already then this will be quick work for you. If you are an adult however, let it go for the day. Your kids will thank you and you will thank yourself. Beyond that, consider bringing or buying a rain poncho if you are there on a cooler day and plan to ride the Grizzly River Rapids wearing blue jeans. Blue jean takes forever to dry, enough said
[Shelby interrupts again, and it's getting annoying: I couldn't agree more on the jeans comment. If you're planning on water rides, it's best to rethink that unless it's hot and you have all day to dry]
Do you consider yourself a competitive person? Be honest now–have you ever knocked over a little old lady or trampled a toddler in a frantic quest to gather as many points as possible?
I am about the least competitive person you are ever likely to encounter. My husband and daughter can be credited with making sure that Lots To Do In Line Disneyland had a way to compete, score points and dominate!
[Shelby interr...well you know: I am probably not above knocking over a little old lady if the prize is good enough. Heh.]
What’s your favorite thing to eat at Disneyland? Don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you don’t like churros. Okay, maybe I’ll judge you a little bit. But not a lot.
The best thing I ever ate at Disneyland resort was the desert plate they served at Ariel’s Grotto. It was to die for! It did not include churros, but I am sure that was just an oversight. I am also a fan of the chocolate dipped rice crispy treat Mickey Mouse heads.
[I also love the crispy Mickey heads, but not more than the churros]
Will you please include 10 points for nose pickers in the next edition? Pretty please?
Sorry, but if I include 10 points for nose pickers then I have to give 20 points for butt scratchers and it’s all downhill from there.
[I am extremely disappointed. I'm going to have to drown my sorrow in churros.]
Thanks so much Meredith, and the best of success on your book!!