My family and I have used TP for every WDW trip since 2014 with GREAT success and delight. We are finally able to go again post-Covid, scheduled for 10 days in May. I’ve read all of the information here and everywhere else about Genie+/LL etc. and am just not sure how the TP can work if you have no idea what formerly-known-as-FastPass rides your party will get each day. We decided to skip doing any Genie+ and create our TP as we did in the past but I’m honestly not sure if the plans still work. Can the software accommodate for not knowing how many people will be in line at Splash Mountain on a given day at a given time? or is it just standard to know it will be full? I’d love to hear from someone who recently went to WDW and used the Touring Plans for each day of their visit. We are a group of 10, 6 adults and 4 children (15/13/8/4). Thanks so much for any info or suggestions.
Here’s a trip report from someone who is there now with a group of 10 as well… (actually leaving today, but was there all last week)
So I personally create TP each day of a visit in advance just to give me a rough idea of what is feasible (sometimes I underestimate how long the actual ride lengths are when planning for example!).
They can’t currently include LL into a TP, but there may be an update before your trip in May.
The predicted times are accounting for the line lengths with LL running however. So the data that’s been collected on wait times since Genie+ debuted helps gauge your expected wait at various times if you are waiting standby. So TP will still be helpful if you aren’t using Genie+.
For me, once actually in the parks, I don’t rely much on a TP besides as a general RD strategy. I still use the app for predicted waits and submit wait times, but don’t personally mark things off a TP and optimize and all that anymore. I think that’s just an experience thing at this point though.
If you’ve used a TP in the past with success, I would expect your experience to still be similar now, especially since you’re planning to use standby. One thing I re-learned from my big group this trip is that you’ve got to bake in lots of time to get between places and for snacks, bathroom breaks etc. Everything just takes longer with a big group!
We are going in May as well and have used TP for all of our trips. I just don’t know what to do without them. I’m a planner.
My plan is to make the TP like always then try to get the ILL for roughly the times those rides are in the plan. We’ll use Genie+ too and just consider any time saved bonus.
We left a couple of rides out of the plan and we can add them in if we save lots of time because of Genie+. I hate waiting in line.
EPCOT doesn’t matter. And it will be our first time at HS so we’re just going to check out the Star Wars stuff, anything else will be gravy that day.
But yeah, I’m not liking this day-of scenario. I appreciate that there are people out there like me.
I thought the Lines app takes LLs into consideration. I haven’t had time to play around with it so not 100%. I think it was @PrincipalTinker or @missoverexcited mentioned this in a thread before? Just going on memory though, can’t remember what thread it was in. And again I may be wrong about how Lines has incorporated LLs.
You can add your LL’s to your plan, day of, from the app as you get them and then optimize.
I think there is an update coming that will suggest which ones to get?
My family of four went to WDW in mid January for four days and I made a Touring Plan for each day (1 park / day). I found that the Touring Plans were great for organizing the day, but I routinely optimized the plans and adjusted our visit as the day went on. It proved the most beneficial at the Magic Kingdom. For that MK day, we did not use Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes. Out of 10 attractions at MK, the wait times were correct down to the minute on 8 attractions, and off on 2 (off by 10 minutes at Peter Pan, and off by 20 minutes at Jungle Cruise).
For the other parks we were a little more relaxed, we did not rely as heavily on the Touring Plans, and we did mix in Individual Lightning Lanes. On those days (Epcot, HS, AK) I relied a lot on checking things off and re-optimizing frequently to get accurate wait times, and adjusting accordingly.
My takeaway - Touring Plans were critical at MK, and just useful (not mandatory) at the other parks. In the aggregate, they definitely saved us time.
Hope this helps!
I’m glad to read this feedback. We are going in May doing 1 park per day and not adding Genie+ or ILLs. I was beginning to think nobody else tours like us, so it’s encouraging to see others are able to do this successfully. I’m not fond of lines, but for our family of seven, the add-ons just aren’t feasible. I always used Touring Plans with success in the past, but that was a long time ago! I haven’t been feeling very optimistic about this trip lately with all the changes, charging to ride individual rides, waiting on the phone two hours every time I call, their IT . This post made me feel a little better.
We decided to plan a “last minute” trip for April and I am trying to figure this out also - we are getting Genie+ for our group and planning to buy ILLs - I was thinking it might be best to have a bit of a strategy based on what “sells out” the fastest but that generally it might be better to ride the wave as my plan would be constantly changing based on when I can get things for and I might just drive myself nuts trying to be fully efficient. It is also the longest trip I have ever had (7 park days thanks to Southwest changing our flights) so I am not trying to cram as much as possible into 4 days like usual. I have previously been a down to the minute touring plan person - definitely interested in what others are doing or finding useful.
I too have used touring plans for years! But I am really confused by their June crowd levels and park hours. I asked them directly but no reply yet.
Specifically look at 6/7 when EP jumps to a 9 with no given rationale. I was going to go to EP that day (to avoid the deluxe hotel evening hours the night before) but even with those evening hours the crowd level is a 6 for 6/6 vs a 9 for 6/7 and no other day at EP is higher than 6 week preceding or after!
And other point of concern: TPlans show “old” summer park hours. Ie for AK it’s 8-10pm (with early entry for resort guests). If I run a plan with that early opening the model would assume fewer people and return times will be understated. If I plug in 8:30 it assumes I am getting there late and my times aren’t realistic
Say it matters little? One day on my trip EP is a 2. Ran same plan on the crowd level 2 and the crowd level 9 day and crazy differences! Optimized each with same set of rides and it recommended completely difft plans of attack based on crowds.
Did a similar comparison with park opening time differences and a 12 minute wait at Soarin to start went to 27 mins with everything else having then longer waits too!
So estimated crowds and park hours really ARE important in their algorithm. And since we have to reserve with Disney which park on which day, I don’t have a strong degree of confidence in using the current software or their crowd predictions. Anyone use another source or have a possible reason for high crowds at EP on 6/7???
I have done a visit to a park 4 days over the last 3 weeks and have found the lines app not very useful. Not nearly as useful as I had found it in the past. The predicted crowd levels were off by a bunch so any plan created quickly fell apart. I would go in expecting crowds worse than predicted, especially for MK. I doubt the pent up post-COVID demand is going to stop anytime soon. If you go in expecting worse than if it ends up being better you are happy.
Wild guess based on a Google:
May have something to do with the dates of these concerts?
I can’t speak for the actual algorithm but I have used what I assume similar prediction models for work things. In my experience there isn’t always a clear reason why you get a busy prediction on a given day but based on historical data the algorithm predicts busy.
I think the best plan is to pay attention to how accurate the crowd calendars seem to be as you approach your trip. I haven’t been watching like a hawk but my genera impression is the crowd calendars are not wildly off most of the time. If it were me I would assume the day will be busy.
Thanks so much to all who replied/shared info. I guess I’ve learned that I will need to continually be optimizing and revisiting the plan up to and then when we are actually at WDW. In the past, once the plans were made and FastPasses booked, we took the plan as cast in stone! Flexibility ~ it’s the new normal I’ll come back and up date how it went when we return.