I think your main point is right. I have told the story many times of my first trip as an adult. I had joined Touring Plans and heard about all the amazing little things that I should see and do. I LOVED these parks so much that I was going to show every inch of specialness to my DH and DD. I planned every moment from rope drop onward. And I broke the trip.
My DD5 got super anxious - she thought Disney was a building. Main St overwhelmed her and she felt like she was going to throw up (I was going to start at AK because she loves animals, but there was the slightest chance of rain so I switched parks). I was going to RD Peter Pan (my favorite) and my DH became the “Mom’s schedule enforcer” because he knew how much planning I had done. My daughter just wanted to look at the ducks in the moat and take pictures of them with her little fake princess camera (that’s the real magic right there). I knew too much.
A friend went a few weeks earlier. She knew nothing. It rained the entire time. Her husband will not get up early on a vacation. They found dole whips with alcohol and delightful snacks. Browsed stores in the rain. They had a fantastic time. The only drawback to their not knowing enough was they did Stich’s great escape and she (like me) has a fear of not being able to get out - so that stunk. I also snagged them a BOG dinner that was the highlight of there trip - so there was that.
My issue with how we all use Touring Plans is that you can put those extra moments in your plan, but ultimately you start optimizing them out of your day. In an effort to maximize you start to miss the little things. Is the Little Mermaid ride really better than watching the ducks in the moat and looking at the details in the castle?
Since then my trips have been short - pick two parks, enjoy the resorts, dive into those parks, and never try to maximize, even if I know all of the tricks. And I have turned my family into park lovers and DVC owners. As I plan my first full length trip back to the parks (6 park days) I continuously ask DD11 about my newest scheme and if it will break the trip. She is usually brutally honest.
I am glad that you found a video where Genie worked out perfectly. I am super disappointed that for HS and MK it is not quite where I want it to be yet for all my newbie friends and family. I love that it suggests “off the beaten path” rides and highlights the entertainment (we are so lucky Disney has brought most of it back. Let’s keep it!) But I think it still needs to take the person’s requests into account. Even if it limits the number of Tier 1 vs Tier 2 rides it lets them request. If they get that balance right, I think it will be the perfect tool for reducing stress of 1st time park goers and help them find some of the extra magic.