This is the 2nd time I’ve purchased this program. I did again hoping it would be more user friendly. I hear people say how much it helped them but I am at a loss! 1) I cant seem to add just dining to our REST day. I have to choose a park but we wont be at a park. 2) I want to add dining out of park but I cant. It only list restaurants inside the chosen park. 3.) When it “optimized” it suggested I go to Pinocchio’s Village at 9am…THAT’S WHERE I WAS HAVING LUNCH AT 11:30AM! Why would it be “optimal” for me to go at 9am??? 4} When I put in that I’m leaving the park for 270 minutes (rest/dinner), it tried to put all of my rides before I left at 3pm! Even though I picked that I would be taking advantage of the extra magic hours that night. If I am misunderstanding how this works I welcome any input and help! I am extremely disappointed.
Hi @theriehls… Glad you’re here!
Some questions back to you, numbered with your questions:
Why would you make a TouringPlan (which by definition is a plan to help you best tour a park) for your non park day?
To add dining outside of park include that in your “rest” time and then add the time that you estimate you’ll eat to your nap/rest/time at your resort. A park-specific touring plan only shows restaurants for that specific park. It can’t possibly show you all off-site options as well.
When adding in-park lunches and breaks, make sure you add them at specific times and limit the flexibility of the time that it can place that break. For example, for your lunch, make sure you selected 11:30am and make sure your flexibility is set for 10 minutes.
It sounds like you may not have enough attractions scheduled in your plan. You can add more, if you want to come back later that night. Alternately, you can set your walking speed to more relaxed or even extend your break… or do all 3!
Why don’t you publish your plan and then share the link with us here so we can take a peek at what you’ve got!
Hope this is helpful.
- I simply wanted to add our plans for the day. We may not be going to a park but we do have things we will be doing…
- Seems fairly simple to list the restaurants and for me to pick the one I would be going to and add my confirmation number. So that certainly seems possible…
- I gave a 15 minute flexibility in my lunch time. Still no reason for it to show up at 9am!
- I selected just about every attraction minus a few… so I would have to go in (while at the park) and add attractions for the evening? Why would the program just tell me the best rides to see before and after my break? I was under the impression that that was the goal of this… to maneuver you through in the best way? I don’t want to take time out of my vacation and away from my family to set up an evening plan… I can’t imagine that is correct! Changing my speed or having a longer break than the one I put in don’t seem like viable ways to fix the problem…
Welcome! I believe the value in this site is using the tools that work for you and getting help from the community. I found this Old thread that may have some planning templates you can use.
I always plan out my day in google sheets and then color code everything. Honestly, I only use touring plans to check what I want to do in a park ( my plan) but I have learned so much and I depend on this community. I hope you will too!
I tried to post some recent tools in this thread but there is also a link to an amazing thread in this thread .
I have to agree with the OP on #4. I had a very similar situation where I wanted to take a long break outside of the park before returning for the rest of my plan. No matter what I did, the tool always wanted to put in all of the rides/attractions before I took my break, leaving nothing for my return. It was very disappointing, as I was hoping to optimize the entire schedule with rides/attractions before my break and rides/attractions after the break. I was thinking that surely there would be an optimization for shorter wait times later in the day. Unfortunately, the only “work around” I was able to cope with was to select a few of the rides and add my break for one plan, then create another plan that began at my estimated return to the park with other rides/attractions. It would be nice to be able to do this in one plan somehow.
Another option is to look at what the optimized plan did for you (it probably is on target for rope drop attractions and such), then rearrange the rest and use the evaluate button. I’m a big fan of evaluate… my only wish is that I could manually arrange portions of the day and optimize the rest, but I don’t really need to do that.
Using evaluate gives me an idea of wait times and if I am way off base and trying to do something at a time that is not optimal.
I agree with @PrincipalTinker on putting broad strokes in a spreadsheet. This is my Google spreadsheet for my upcoming trip. I’ll add specific FP+ times when I book those. Other people use Google calendars or some other tool.
I see how it might be helpful to have other restaurants listed, but that’s not a functionality right now. There are literally hundreds (if not thousands?) of places to eat outside the parks that are in the area, and that list is constantly changing, so it may not be a feasible option at this point, but someone else, like @len would know better. I simply note my restaurant and confirmation number in my break:
Weird on the lunch time. I honestly have no idea. Would love to see your plan. Can you show it to us?
As to what you and @rufus.reynolds raised, I have not run into that personally, since after I’m honest about my travel times during my breaks and the pace at which my family tours, I’m always having to take stuff out of my plan and never have enough time to do it all. I do know that the Optimizer’s job is to put attractions in the best order that saves you the most amount of time in line: basically to get you from attraction to attraction in the fastest order. It wouldn’t “occur” to the optimizer to save attractions for later in the day. As @thirdcoasttravelers indicated, that’s what evaluate is for. Move things around to where you like them and then evaluate. I tinker with my touring plans for each park literally hundreds of times leading up to my trip.
Once again, I’m glad you’re here. I have found this to be the most helpful - and fanatical - group of Disney trip planners!
TP can be a very useful tool, but I have never had a single “push button” plan using only optimize work out as something I could use. They always take some manual adjusting.
Touring plans is designed to minimize wait times while in the parks, it was not designed as a master scheduling tool. Non-park events or ADRs fall outside of it’s design scope. Similarly, you cannot make a single plan that includes 2 parks; you have to do a plan for each park. Like many others, I create a spreadsheet for my master schedule. I also use it to keep track of all my ADRs - even those in the parks (although I include them in my TPs for scheduling purposes).
Your 9:00 AM “lunch” is something I cannot explain; if you listed the time for 11:30, then it should put it there (plus or minus your flexibility time). I have never had problems with this.
I will use “optimize” to get a “first draft” of a TP. I then go in and move things around if I don’t like the order, evaluating after each change to see if it has a serious effect on my overall wait times. Sometimes I only move around a few things, sometimes I move around a lot. But it rarely takes me more than 45-60 min to create a viable plan.
If you’ve selected “almost every” attraction, I cannot imagine how it could fit everything in between RD and 3:00 PM (unless maybe it’s a CL1 day) - but maybe it did (I’d like to see the plan). But you could easily select some to move until after your break and evaluate from there.
I’ll admit to being a bit of an apostate, but although I make full-day TPs for all of my park days, it’s rare that I follow them exactly all the way through, and sometimes I abandon them completely by lunch time.
You didn’t specify when you trip is, but as more data is collected, numbers can change. Months out I might do one “just to get an idea” of what I’m looking at with regards to wait times, but I don’t even make a serious attempt until after I have my FPPs reserved. I consider everything to be a “draft” up until about 2 weeks out, and I’ll even do a final “evaluate” the night before.
But the biggest advice I can give you for an enjoyable trip is to view your TP as a “strategy” and not a minute-by-minute “schedule”. I’ve never had one work out exactly as planned; if you expect it to, it will just stress you out.
You have been given a lot of good advice here. The one thing I would add is that you should contact firstname.lastname@example.org about the lunch issue - give them the plan URL and explain what you are trying to do and they should be able to sort things out pretty quickly.
This site is great for planning
The forum is also great for getting advice and ideas
I guess there is always room for it to improve though - same as with most things in life
The good thing is so many on here are willing to help and offer advice. There’s load of goodwill on here and everybody seems to want everybody else to have the very best plans and the very best holidays
It’s a really positive place to be in that respect
I rarely leave this site without feeling happy
I would also suggest not using the optimize feature at all. I would put everything you want to do in the order you want to do it and use “Evaluate”. Then adjust and evaluate again, repeating until it looks good and makes sense for you. Using the optimize feature does not work for my family and how we like to tour.
I haven’t checked in in a few days…but so glad I did! You guys are awesome!! The positivity of this thread made my night!!
@theriehls I don’t have any good advice, but I hope everything works out, and you have a wonderful vacation!!
I really wish this too. That you could lock in a few attractions by time or order and optimize the rest…
As others have indicated, this is a good tool for strategic planning. I do use the approach of starting with “optimize” and then re-arranging and then using “evaluate”. In my case, I travel with 2 children (4 and 7), so I don’t even try to get everything in one day, and I always select the slowest pace possible. It would just be nice, however, to be able to put in a “before break” and a few “after break” attractions and have the tool “optimize”, i.e. minimize the wait times, accordingly. However, the work-around of using two plans for one day (begin/end first half, begin/end second half) appear to work well for us. Usually, however, like others stated - it is just an initial strategy, mostly helpful for identifying good fastpass opportunities as well as meal/break times ahead of time. Once in the parks, things change. Overall, we’ve been very happy with everything Touringplans has to offer!