Hi all, first post here. So I have created personalised plans for MK, AK, EP and HS. Fast passes are booked on the My Disney experience for our party and added into the touring plans. However, for AK and MK it says pretty much all of the fast passes could result in longer wait times than if we didn’t use them, and suggests for example, we don’t actually go for rope drop on Avatar (we are off-site and haven’t got a FP).
So my question is how much do you trust the Touring plan algorithm or do we manually adjust (which I did and it gave me even longer queue times) and play it by ear on the day? I know we will have to adjust the plan once we arrive at each park daily anyway, but its the first time I’ve use touring plans and dont know how much to trust it.
We are going over new year so it will be very busy
Edit: published plans
I have always had very good luck following Optimized plans. However, the important thing to remember is that they are just plans and that there are any number of factors that can throw them off - for example, a headliner going off-line can affect wait times across the park.
If you like your non-Optimized plans and they are having you accomplish everything that you want to for the day then by all means go with them. Out of curiosity, how much time do the Optimized plans save you versus your plans? If it is a significant amount of time then I would seriously consider going with the Optimized ones.
Optimizing a Touring Plan always puts rides in the order of the shortest queue wait. It will have you crisscrossing the park and not RD just to save you 3 minutes.
I select all the attractions I want to do. Then I let TP “Optimize” them. From there I arrange them in the best walking path for me. (keeping an eye on if a wait time jumps dramatically)
I also avoid making “perfect” plans. I’ve been a TP user since 2012 and only once or twice have they gone almost to plan. Give yourself a 10 - 15 “Break” every couple of hours to give yourself a cushion of time to “catch up” or take a moment to grab a snack / drink or pee.
As long as you understand that it’s very hard to “do it all” and prioritize the “must-do” items you’ll be fine. A good plan will put you ahead of 90% of park guests that are just wondering around asking, “What do you want to do now?”
Something to keep in mind too is that as a software program it is very literal. That means when you tell it you want to rope drop FOP, and the opening time is 0900, it is going to tell you the wait at 0900. When, in reality, someone in-the-know would arrive an hour or more before posted time and be at the front of the pack, resulting in virtually no wait; someone who arrives at 0900 is going to have a significant wait as the line builds immediately and drastically.
It would help to see your actual plan. By and large I find the plans - even the personal ones - to be quite accurate provided they are optimized. I find them to be eerily on-target at MK in particular. “Trust the plan” is a good mantra. That being said, you should always feel like you can veer off the plan when it suits you or your party. It should never feel like a forced march. If it does, re-evaluate and adjust.
I have been a long time TP user (back when they were still paper versions!) and therefore cannot imagine going to WDW without them… especially during busy/high crowd seasons. I can’t tell you how many countless times we’ve watched people wait in line for hours while we very nearly walked on to the majority of our rides.
Last spring we spent one day at MK with a CL 8 and a touring plan while the rest of my family went to AK with a CL 9 and no touring plan. Now, I realize these are very different parks in both layouts and attractions, but we did 20 rides and attractions plus took a midday 3hr break. My family was at AK all day and rode 2 rides. I’d hate spending that much money to get so little accomplished.
I swear by the touring plans. I make the personalized touring plan for each park, optimize it before vacation, but then I re-optimize after each attraction while in the parks. For the most part I follow that but occasionally we add in extra diversions or breaks and then I just re-optimize again. We’ve hardly ever had a wait of longer than 20 minutes. Most of the time it’s 5-10. The trade-off is that I feel like I’m glued to my phone a lot.
Ditto to the above - I’ve been using them since I was 14, running copies out the back of the library book and taking shortcuts to Buzz Lightyear when it was the new ride.
I love and live by my TPS, but t hey also aren’t set in stone. I manipulate and update them frequently on the days leading up to and in the parks.
It really would be helpful if you shared your plans - you can publish them and share a link so others can see them and give feedback. It might help give some specific answers to things you might be concerned about. AK in general can be a hit terrible with crisscrossing so that one in particular is always interesting to look at.
Hi all, sorry didn’t get the chance to publish them. For a bit of background there are 10 of us!
@OBNurseNH I totally agree with the common sense approach, for example we will get to AK for an hour before opening to get a head start for rope drop on Avatar and probably the same for 7 Dwarfs Mine train.
I have not looked at the proximity of rides to each other but have set plans as maximise walking/minimse waiting. I had to take the FP’s that were available so not ideal times compared to what I had wanted which I think has messed things up.
I have researched as much as possible ensuring we don’t choose parks with EMH in the morning as we are off site and I have the lines app downloaded on my phone.
We also have a second day reserved for AK as a back up just in case we don’t get everything done that we want to.
We last went 20 years ago over NYE when we turned up and did whatever we fancied! I don’t think it will quite be like that nowadays, hence the plans. Any tips or help you can give would be much appreciated.
The TPs don’t do a good job of estimating wait times at RD, and there is good reason for that. For FOP, for instance, depending on how good your Rope Drop game is, waiting times will vary from walking on to the ride and the longest waiting time the ride will see the entire day. On the other hand, for rides like NRJ it makes virtually no difference between arriving 2 hours before and efficiently walking there and arriving 5 minutes after RD and stopping to take pictures along the way.
I am terrible at RDing. I am short, slow, can’t stand being in the middle of that large crowd and I am not willing to defend my ground when people overtake me or to rush my group and ask that they don’t stop for pictures. So following the optimized touring plan suggested order for first rides works really well for me. But if you know you can RD efficiently you can replace the ride for a in-park break lasting the duration of the ride in your TP.
I also suggest setting the walking pace to “very relaxed”. It will overestimate (by a lot) how long it would take for you to walk from point A to point B, so it won’t have you criss-crossing the park as much. And it will give you enough margin in your plans that stopping for pictures, snacks and bathroom breaks will be accounted for.