Easywdw posts?

I’ve been less active around here the last couple months. I have a question and I’m almost afraid to ask. I saw an easywdw post from a week ago that was a little more than the normal poking fun at decimal points or “we’re better than you are” posts that I’ve seen in the past. There were some pretty specific accusations of TP using data in a user unfriendly way.

I like both sites for different reasons. And (many of you can vouch) I’m not really a trouble maker here or on Chat. But I’m wondering if TP responded in any way?


I’m intrigued. I missed something and will now have to investigate. I read both as well. Although Josh tends to rub me the wrong way sometimes with the peeing contest talk.

I know the post you mean. It was a pretty harsh one. I haven’t seen a response from TP yet.

As a TP subscriber, I’ve put my money where my mouth is… Although, I don’t see any reason to be negative. Where talking about the happiest place on Earth.

sam, I’m not sure I understand your response. I’m a TP subscriber, too. My post wasn’t asking for opinions on easywdw vs. Touring Plans (though I suppose it could lead to that). Rather, I’m very specifically wondering if anybody from TP posted a response to the portions of Josh’s post that were answerable.

Do you have a link to the post in question? Curious.

I’m assuming it’s this:


Touring Plans takedown isn’t exactly subtle.

Would be interested in reading the post too. I rarely go to EWDW; I like their maps, but that’s about it. Some people feel that the more info you have, the better. I’m of the school of thinking that goes along the lines of “If a man has a clock, he will always know what time it is. If he has two or more, he can never be sure”. I’ve chosen TP, and here I am.

Although the wait times were so far off as frequently as they were right on during my Nov 16-22 trip I may start investigating other “clocks” for building touring plans…


I’m an unabashed Touring Plans loyalist. And I have a huge amount of faith in the integrity of the TP team. The tools and technology are indisputably unmatched in this niche. I don’t think there’s even a close second. And, of course, listening to Len, Brian, Derek at al on the podcasts is super entertaining.

And I like Josh’s copy. His photos and editorial are funny. I’d love to be the third guy at the table, several drinks in, listening to Derek Burgan and Josh hurl booze-soaked sarcasm across the table ripping Epcot drink prices and the amount of time it takes WDW to build a sidewalk.

And, unlike bswan, I like multiple watches. If for nothing other than as a sanity check. Or for one to keep the other one honest.

The easywdw post raised the question of data integrity. Not human integrity. Data integrity.

The “which is better” argument is for another post. And the “best park” discussion, I’ve never cared for. Give me the data and I’ll decide which park is best for me that day.

But I think the questions are answerable. It’s very possible the TP team made the decision to not get into a pissing contest and/or they don’t want to give the post credibility (I’m not saying it’s not credible. But whether or not TP responds directly is a competitive issue, perhaps).

Orrrrrrrrrrrr, I’m way over-thinking this and, after all, as Sam2071 says above we’re just talking about Disney World so take all this with a light heart and carry on.

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I am a pretty sarcastic person, but I find Josh’s posts a little hard to swollow. This one seems so unecessary and some of that stuff went way back. He’s obviously been saving that stuff for years. TP was pretty accurate when we were there at end of Sept/ beginning of Oct. I know that other weeks have been off some, but I see that he aslo predicted crwod levels of 7, 6, and 6 over Columbus Day Weekend. And his best park/worst park doesn’t really tell me anything that I couldn’t figure out for myself.

Interesting but honestly think we’re over thinking this stuff. Even Josh says [and thanks for the link!] ‘does it matter if Easy has the JC at 50, TP has it at 70 and the actual is 60…point is avoid that standby line.’ Enough said. I’d rather have two clocks too. If one is wrong, I’ll have a better shot at catching that error by looking at the other one. Win. Win. And, we’re off too a another fun vacation.

Interesting post, were it not prefaced by several pages of historical cheapshots, then I’d give it more credence. I would be interested in hearing Touring Plans address the unnamed “competitor” and whether or not there was a mistake in comparing their results with old data. I, frankly, didn’t pay much attention to that during the brief time they were sharing those statistics, since I didn’t know who the competitor was, but it sounds at least to be a mistake and Touring Plans usually seem forthcoming about recognizing and admitting their mistakes and seeking to prevent them in the future.

As for my confidence in their wait times, I don’t feel they’ve modeled wait times in the FPP era as effectively as they used to. I also don’t think their models account well for inclement weather, whether that be lower wait times on a persistently rainy day or higher wait times after a prolonged period of bad weather. However, I don’t know if any other their competitors do any better in either of those areas. I’ve been satisfied enough with the data here that I haven’t sought out alternate sources of wait time data.

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I’ve actually never heard of easywdw before TP. I’m pretty ingrained here (don’t have time to read much else), and appreciate the mix of practical tools and important news/updates. I’m torn between wanting a response and not wanting TP to jump into this crazy fray.

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Some things can never be predicted with a statistical model. If Mon and Tues are wash-out days, the times for most of the week may be off in response. If a ride opens late or has an extended closing, wait time for the rest of the day will be off.

When Disney added FPPs, they changed the entire game. And when they made additional ones past the first 3 available they changed the game again.

About 6 months ago TP changed it’s entire statistical model and redefined what a “3” or a “7” or a “9” was; it moved from a linear model to a standard distribution model - this seems to be when the complaints about inaccurate crowds and wait times started showing up. We all thought that “it will all even out” after we get used to the new system. But it doesn’t seem to have.

There is one very valid point that Josh makes that we all tend to forget (myself included). The numbers are all relative and do not reflect an absolute number of people in the parks. WDW has many more visitors this year than it did a few years ago. There are going to be more people in the parks on a “3” day in 2014 than there were on a “3” day in 2007. Likewise, the wait times are going to be longer than they used to be on the same crowd level day. It seems that for some reason, the TP statistical model is not picking up on this.

I’ll admit, I was never a serious TP person; I used the concepts, kind of toured “on the fly” and for the most part had excellent trips. For my last trip (2 weeks ago) I made detailed TPs for each day and decided to be “a good Liner” and follow them as precisely as possible, largely to be able to defend TP to the nay-sayers. On Monday, at DHS, I gave up by 11:30 AM because the predicted numbers had so little to do with what I found. “Live” reoptimization produced equally “off” recommendations. I hung with Tuesday’s EP TP until lunch (basically the FW part of the plan), but had to drop 2 attractions because the wait times were innacurrate. Thursday was the MK and I felt like the TP was for some other day entirely. I had to drop at least one attraction every two hours to keep even close to the plan (SM, TTA, and CoP, with no FPPs, in an hour at 1:30 PM ???). The plan also clearly did not take into account the suffocating crowds that came pouring in at 4PM for a sold-out party that night… On Friday for AK, I completely scrapped any TP, made the list of attractions I wanted to see/do, had my FPPs, and had a great time.

Up until my last trip I would have been affronted and pissed off at the comments that people were making at the end of that post. But after my last trip, I have to (ruefully) agree with some of them.

Like cgulls, I am an avid TP loyalist, and I cannot imaging anyone with a more comprehensive statistical model than Len and Co. have created. But I’m beginning to wonder if there are just getting to be too many uncontrollable independent variables for ANY statistical model to analyze and make accurate predictions…

But I guess the “good news” is that for me TP is SO MUCH more about the Lines Chat and Forums than TPs, that a lot of this just doesn’t really matter to me. The comeraderie of this website is something I enjoy EVERY day; TPs are something that effect 10 or so days a year (if that). I’m sure I’ll go ahead and make TPs for upcoming trips -but I’ll take crowd level predictions with a grain of salt and I’ll also expect a bit less of them, until they prove themselves otherwise.

And Josh - if you are a lurker hear to see what the “competition” is doing, I think you’re pretty much an asshole for posting a blog that does nothing to assist your current readers and takes cheap, mostly dated shots at a different group of WDW fans - some of whom are also your readers…


@bswan26, i’ve seen you reference your recent bad experience with your TPs a few different places on the forum. I would love to hear more details (and let me know if you wrote it somewhere else here)… Like what was the actual crowd level versus what was predicted? At what walking speed did you set your touring plan? How many minutes off were your wait times on average at each park?

I’ve had some really off TP’s too and usually go it my own whilst consider TPs suggestions. Guess much if it depends on forecast accuracy and the quality/quantity of same day user data input. Still wish TP could somehow let is know the error around their estimates which- like weather- would presumably get better as the touring day gets closer.

I’m really glad someone started this thread, because I read that easywdw post last week too and it’s been troubling me ever since. I usually appreciate some things about easywdw, and use some things there along with all the TP resources to help in trip planning too – the more info, the better, right? I also usually appreciate Josh’s dry sarcasm – but man, this post was just unbelievably harsh, and kind of unprofessional.

But I do think there is a valid point in Josh’s tirade, that when TP posts the “how we did” articles, it WOULD be helpful to know who the competition is they’re talking about. I find it really hard to believe Josh’s claim that TP is making a comparison with numbers from easywdw that are so out of date. I trust @len and the wonderful people at TP too much to think that is true. But now I do want to know where those competition numbers are coming from.

Anyway, thanks, guys, for the thoughtful discussion. The extreme negativity over there made me really sad. TP can never be perfect – this is a game of predictions after all – but I really do always appreciate the transparency and helpfulness that I see in all of the TP interactions with us in these public spaces. Thanks for that too.

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The whole thing is silly. Of course, the competition is Easy. Who else would it be? And, it seems to me, TP threw the first punch with their competitor comparison posts. So, who can blaim a little venting over at Easy? But, again, who cares about that also: companies/people do this all the time. The whole nature of forecasts/stats means that nobody will be right all of the time. Ask my weather person. No doubt there are times when Easy beats TP and visa versa. But, so what? A long wait on either site means FPP, ride early/late or avoid. Short means enjoy. Users are accountable too; blindly following a TP can be treacherous which is why I love ‘does this make sense’ type posts on here.

It seems to me like a little friendly Internet competition? I love TP for chats and being involved in the liner “community” but, rarely depend on wait times and actual tps. I do love Josh’s posts and think he’s funny… Photo heavy posts make me happy :slight_smile: I guess it’s all relative and really who cares when you actually get home… We’re talking disney, it’s all good :wink:


I have to agree. I was a long time contributor to his forums there and lived and died by his calendars. Then, one day, without warning or contact, he blocked my work and home IP addresses, deleted my entire forums account (4 years old) and blocked me from the facbeook page… zero reasons why. Only way I access the site now is a shady proxy server.
A guy is an author and manages a popular site on teh web and if someone rubs him the wrong way, he flies off the handle and takes his ball and goes home. Maybe internet life is not for him.