I’m afraid I still don’t fully understand how to set up plans in the app. I read another post where someone was practicing and hitting optimize and I’d like to understand this better. I’ve set up the list of attractions - not sure I follow the times it gives me (example, we’ve rope dropped FOP 2 days last 2 trips and never waited anywhere near the 100 minutes my plan proposes). So do we go to attraction, mark completed, and then optimize again so the plan updates according to the current conditions? I want to make sure I have my plans set and they make sense - and I know how I would adapt if I add genie+ or we need to change plans due to crowds. Another question is with crowds- I’ve heard people say it’s not the crowd in the park it’s the people in lines…and admittedly we are going MLK day through the end of that week which I am quite nervous about with crowds! I was wondering if they are limiting capacity in some way wouldn’t the crowds be similar most days? And don’t get me started with G+. I’ve read a lot about it and still don’t know if I should get it and then if I get it how I would strategize!! Thanks for any input.
This could’ve been my post. I talk about “Optimizing” vs. “Evaluating” a lot on these forums…
Here’s my advice…
Make a Personalized Touring Plan with all the attractions you want, including all breaks / meals / shows / etc…
Then press “Optimize”… This will give you the lowest wait possible at each attraction. It will often make you crisscross the entire park to get in a queue that is only a couple minutes shorter than a ride right next to you. The program prioritizes lowest queue wait - even if you say “minimize walking”
You will now have a guide to show you the most “optimial” arrangement of attractions with the least queue time. (It might not be the best route for your feet…lol!)
At this point you have a choice…
You can rearrange any steps needed to make a more logistical route - even if it means you waited an extra 40 minutes overall in the course of the day… or
You can leave the plan as is and the day of your visit go to each attraction starting with Step 1. Once Step 1 is complete press Done and then press Optimize. This will suggest what you to do next for the lowest wait. (It might be the next attraction in your personal plan or it might take you to an entirely new Land)
Nope… The parks are packed. (especially holiday weekends) If it wasn’t for the fact that so many attractions / restaurants / entertainment / transportation are still closed you’d never know it wasn’t “normal”. I find it difficult to rationalize paying even more than 2019 and getting significantly less. (I’ve got a trip on the books for 2022 - so I’m a bit of a hypocrite. I am debating if I’m keeping it though… )
Time for the tough love talk… I LOVE TOURING PLANS!! (I want to be 100% clear!) However, they are struggling to have any accuracy at WDW these days due to G+ / LL$.
My hobby is to monitor and track wait times. I make plans and track the data from Disney and TP to see how TP is doing. Since the introduction of G+ and LL$ my plans have not be accurate at all about 3 hours or less after park opening. The steps are often 30 - 60 minutes longer than predicted.
I know TP is doing their best, collecting all the data they can and working on implementing it into TP. Once it’s available I’m sure plans will go back to being very reliable. I just want to give you the warning before you plan your entire trip around TP.
IMHO - Make the plan, press optimize, arrange the steps in an order that works best for you. Then “Evaluate” the TP and be done.
On the day of your trip start the plan and after each step instead of worrying about “optimize” in the parks… Look at the “Parks” section of the app to check the real time waits…
(Example - You finish Haunted Mansion. Your personalized plan says BTMRR is the next step. Click Done on HM. Go back to this Parks page and verify that BTMRR is still at the wait predicted. If so… go there. If not… scroll through the times list looking for the next ride on your list with the best wait for you)
It’s a bit of extra work, but when you press “optimize” TP is basically throwing the old plan out the window each time and making an entirely new plan. The new plan might work out better or it might be an entirely new arrangement of your planned day that you may not really like.
If this is too confusing or anything I’m happy to clarify… (I’m just at my desk tracking waits at Epcot / Universal / Disneyland today… )
This has not been my experience at all. Minimize walking factors walking TIME not distance. So, I suggest setting it to minimize walking, PLUS set your walking speed to relaxed or slow. Once you get an optimal ordering, you can set the walking speed back to normal, as long as you evaluate it instead of optimize.
If you set it to balanced, it will factor overall wait/walking time. So, again, best to set the walking speed to the slowest setting while optimizing this way.
You & I have had very different experiences… I always enter minimize walking and very relaxed pace to account for my family. (Plus, I swear we’ve had this talk before and agreed about the walking vs waiting… I could be imagining it or you’ve changed your mind. )
I’ve had TP send me from PPF to Splash Mt because it would “save” 10 minutes in queue, but having to walk 8 minutes to get there versus getting on ISAW or Haunted Mansion that are 2 minutes or less walking time with a queue that would have been a 5 minutes longer than Splash.
Then you have to back track later, which IMHO is worse than just waiting in queues for like 30 minutes more overall for the day.
I haven’t. It has always been my experience, once I understood the use of the walking speed setting.
This can happen, particularly when it isn’t optimized for walking…but something else to keep in mind is that it also might have figured out that while walking what seems like an excessive distancing to get from attraction A to B might seem counterintuitive, it is doing so knowing that you will “walk back this way” later when it also finds shorter wait times. So, using your example, while it seems like it is only saving you 2 minutes…if (for example) the plan sends you back through Fantasyland later, regardless, then it wasn’t actually having you do additional walking after all.
You can actually observe this in action by simply watching the numbers at the bottom of the columns on the website. You can see how various actions affect the total wait time, total walking time, overall time, etc.
Now, when I’m making plans for myself, I set the walking speed to slowest, and try both the balanced and minimize for walking settings until I get a plan/ordering I like. Then I switch the walking speed back to normal and re-evaluate to get a better estimate.
This sounds good on paper. However, at the end of the day when you’ve walked 8 - 10 miles already, saving a few extra minutes, IME, isn’t worth the psychical toll.
I think that’s the fundamental issue. Not whether or not TP is giving you the most efficient time saving plan. Because I agree that an “Optimized” plan will save you minutes, but for me in practical use, it isn’t the best way. We have different approached to planning I guess… I’m not lugging my family back & forth to be efficient… (My DW would just leave for the day…)
Are you posting this for me or OP? (I mean we’ve been talking for years here and sharing plans - I hope you know I am fluent in personalized TP… )
For you, since you started out saying that if you optmize for walking, it still optimizes for waits. I’m saying that the totals at the bottom of the columns tells a different story.
OK… I do understand all of this and we’ve talked about this feature multiple times before in various posts.
I think I have my “plans” set up in touring plans. I’ll just stick with those and follow your advice. What is your opinion with genie +? Part of me thinks - I hate waiting in line so why not get it and consider any time savings a win. The problem is that I can’t figure out a plan that doesn’t involve winging it to some degree. I could come up with a couple scenarios and a list of attractions to try for but it bothers me to not have a real plan. A couple days we are going will be high crowd level in the 6-9 range. I’ve been following the crowd calendar and peoples reports and can’t even imagine what a 9 will be like. Seems awful!! Lol. I would usually choose dates with lower crowds but not this time! So if I follow what you’re saying the problem with the crowds is that too much is still closed and there is no where for people to go except waiting in lines for attractions?
I’m just going to speak my knowledge of watching every vlogger, including Touring Plans, I can think of and a few new ones… I haven’t been since it’s was implemented. G+ is good at MK and DHS and not really much help at AK and useless at EPCOT…
IMHO - This program is not too different that FastPass was… If you didn’t go or use TP when FastPass was an option here’s how I handled it.
You could tell TP you were using up to 3 FastPass (FPP), but that was it. So, if your plan had a FPPs at 10am / 11am / 12pm - Your “planned” attractions with a FPP were done and you had to use the plan in the way I mentioned earlier… (Clicking Done, removing the step and then going to look at the predicted wait times page to see if your next step or a ride near you had a low wait.)
With G+ you do get another pass as soon as you use the last one or 2 hrs whichever is done first. (Yes… there are ways to “game” the system, but I’m not wanting to complicate things more )
So… make your plan, buy G+ in those parks, follow the plan and along the way pick up as many G+ as you can following your plan. Like I said, your eligible for your next one as soon as you use the one you have. So, technically, you could have them back-to-back-to-back…if available
If you don’t see any G+ available for your next couple of steps then get the one you can and keep following your plan… (This is why I don’t optimize… I’ve got a solid plan that may not be the most optimal but will save me 4 hours versus someone not using TP and just wandering around & trusting WDW’s posted wait times)
Yep! That sums it up nicely! Lack of Entertainment is the biggest issue. A lot of dining has opened, but not all, limited character meetings, very few shows… There’s still plenty to do and such, but compared to 2019 WDW is only about 75% back to full operation, but hosting a similar number of people.
(Source - “Disney Comeback Index” which Touring Plans endorsed… Disney Comeback Index Real-Time - Google Sheets)
Ouch, that entertainment at a tish over 50% is rough.