Age old question- optimize or evaluate

Leaving in a little over a month and starting to refine the TPs. Historically (precovid) we went in late January and crowds were very low. We had a plan and followed it but we had little waits. So our plan was really based on our ‘evaluated’ walking path around the park- there was little back and forth that can happen when you optimize. We are headed out in late April and crowd calendars are still saying low crowds but I don’t trust anything anymore. So assuming it’s gonna be like it is now (crazy!) do you optimize or set a plan based on your walking strategy and evaluate?

I used to be in the “evaluate only” camp, and still find myself there for the most part. However, I found it helpful to do an iteration or two with “optimize” for help deciding where to start. HS in particular can be hard to choose what ride to bet on first and it didn’t always give me the same pattern I would have started with. Optimize can also help you choose where to go after a meal break rather than just continuing in the area close to the restaurant (which is what my tendency would be). But I am a constant tweaker so I would definitely still customize the optimize plan and then evaluate each tweak.

I use both during planning stages. The whole process is more art than science, but here is generally what I do.

First, start by putting in the attractions I want to do plus breaks for when meals will be (but I don’t select an actual place to eat unless I have an ADR), as well as breaks in between meals giving them a somewhat liberal time range.

Next, have it set for balanced and generally a slower walking speed

Then, optimize. This ives me a basic plan where wait times are fairly optimal. If there are large gaps of time with nothing to do, I may add in additional attractions or breaks and then optimize again.

Once I have a fairly reasonable plan, if there are steps that have me walking to far I may switch to optimize for walking and try again.

At this point, I abandon using optimize, and switch to evaluate, setting walking speed to slow, and manually moving rides around to reduce unnecessary walking. This will invariably increase some waits but reduce walking.

Next, swap out the meal breaks and ideal eateries near the rides at those time slots and then evaluate again.

From this point forward, it is all just manually tweaking things and evaluating impacts on the day. Once I am completely happy with the plan, I continue to evaluate and tweak as the date of our trip approaches so that I get more accurate wait times based on crowd calendar updates.

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You can also do a mix. Set walking speed slow and minimize walking time. Then before you optimize, evaluate and see what is says. Optimize and then decide which step you’d rather do.

I like to optimize…
And then wonder why I’m ropedropping It’s Tough to be a Bug

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WHY WHY WHY does TP do that??? There should be some function or rule that says not put put it in the first step.

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Unless something has changed since February, I suggest not optimizing while in the park. I blindly followed TP one day instead of my gut and was rewarded with our worst non-ride down-wait of the trip.

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How does using Genie + (I will have it available) and ILL affect whether to evaluate or optimize once you’re in the park? Touring Plans says to optimize after adding Genie+ time to the TP. Has anyone had any (good or bad) experience with this?

Yes! It’s after optimizing and having it tell me to rope drop Tomorrowland Speedway that I start to question everything.
In all seriousness, why would it ever do that when I have headliners like SM and SDMT on the list? I even have it set for arrival 10 minutes before EE.

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Sometimes it’s definitely a puzzler.
Like when it tells you to spend Early Entry rope-dropping a C-ticket ride and then waiting 20-25 minutes before doing anything else.

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It orders things based on saving you OVERALL most time. This may mean spending a very long time in one line so that you can spend very little time in a several others.

So, Speedway is likely a walk on at RD. While everyone else rushes to do the headliners, you can knock out other rides which typically might have a much longer wait later in the day.

If you ride a headliner first, you may get a significantly shorter wait in that ride, but it means you are following behind all the other people doing the same thing so that all the other waits afterwards end up being much longer.

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Gotcha. It just feel so counterintuitive.

Think of it like this (made up example to illustrate…not actual wait times).

Let’s say you have 5 rides to do. Ride A is your favorite, and the one everyone rope drops because of long lines. Rides B, C, D and E are less popular.

Now, if you do Ride A first, it is a 20 minute wait, as are the other four because you are now getting line for those rides at the same time everyone else is. So, total wait time? 100 minutes, with no wait more than 20 minutes.

But, instead, you do Ride A last. Rides B through E each are almost walk-on at say 2 minutes each because everyone else is in line for Ride A. After you are done with B through E, you get in line for Ride A. Wait time is now 60 minutes! But, total wait time? 68 minutes. While you have 1 ride with an hour wait, you ultimately save 32 minutes overall!

That is the kind of optimization TP is doing.

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