Making Optimized Personalized Touring Plans with FastPass+

OK, I'm making an effort to give this "brave new world" a try, so I'm going to post my popular thread here. Sorry for the choppy feel of it, but remember that it was originally designed with the 255 character limit :smile:

After much testing plus some helpful discussions with @len, I have come up with an updated method for making Optimized PTPs with FPP reservations. I think that this method is a little more straightforward, but please give me any feedback you may have.

Before we start, a few general tips about making OPTPs:

  • First, take a look at the ready-made TPs at http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/touring-plans. They have been revised for FPP, and give suggested reservations. Why do all that work if there already is a plan that meets your needs?

  • Read @len’s TP Blog post about FPP at MK http://blog.touringplans.com/2014/01/14/fastpass-priorities-magic-kingdom/. This gives a lot of great info on TPs and FPP usage. Also check out http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/fastpass

  • Do all your planning using the web interface. The app version was initially designed for use in the parks and does not have all the features that the web interface does. I find the web interface much easier to use, too.

  • Every time you optimize, run the optimizer several times until the results are stable. The optimizer is designed to find the best result within a given timeframe not the overall best result, so additional runs may improve your plan.

  • If you are getting weird results, e-mail webmaster@touringplans.com explaining the problem and including the plan URL. They are really great about looking into these things and resolving the problem!

OK, now that we have covered the basics, on to FPP!

1) Set up a personalized plan with all the desired attractions, breaks, etc. In the FPP Options section set how many FPP opportunities you have and then optimize until stable.

*Note that in all the following steps you need to open up the FPP Options section in order to see FPP recommendations and enter FPP reservations. Ignore the “This would be a good candidate for FastPass+” text in the plan itself.

2a) Take the number 1 FPP recommendation and enter an FPP reservation that covers the arrival time for that attraction (I usually have the TP arrival time in the exact middle of the return time).

2b) Optimize until stable, making sure that your FPP reservations are still centered over the arrival times for the attractions in question. Adjust the FPP reservation times and re-optimize if necessary.

3) Repeat this process until you have used up all of your available FPP reservations. If after adding a new FPP reservation the Optimizer tells you that it is no longer using one of your reservations, then delete it and continue on with the process.

4) If your plan looks good, book your desired FPP reservations in My Disney Experience. See @Mr.Itty’s Blog for all sorts of information on how to book and modify FPP reservations http://www.mritty.net/disneyblog/?p=175

Some things to remember when doing this process:

  • When making your FPP selections you can only get one for a given attraction each day. Therefore when choosing the top recommendation, ignore previously selected attractions.

  • Be careful when choosing FPP reservation times where there are duplicates. For example, if SpaM is on your plan at 9:00 with a 10 minute wait and 11:00 with a 30 minute wait, the 11:00 ride would be the one in the top list.

  • Sometimes centering your FPP reservations on start times results in reservation overlaps which are not allowed. In this case I make back-to-back reservations with the second reservation starting at the midpoint between the two attraction start times.

  • If you are making a plan for a park with FPP tiers, look at the top recommendation for each tier where you still have available FPPs and choose the one with the longest wait time.

I have tested this method on quite a few TPs, and so far it has worked really well - all but one of the resultant TPs were better than standard TPs which just used legacy FP.

It appears that, despite the limited number, being able to book FPP for specific times and not having to walk across the park to get them makes for much more efficient touring.

Now comes the big question: What if you do all this planning, and then the FPP times you want are not available? The TP software still has you covered.

You can enter whatever FPP reservations you end up making and optimize, and the software will come up with the best plan with them in mind.

Note that the plan may not necessarily use one or more of your FPP reservations because they will not help you out. See http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/08/01/optimizer-software-tells-you-when-to-change-a-fastpass-reservation/ for more details.

If anyone has any other tips or has found an easier method, please let me know!

48 Likes
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Awesome! Definitely bookmarking this one!

Thanks @brklinck!

We're testing a couple of different FPP acquisition strategies in the software now. If anything ends up as an improvement, I'll post it.

One thing that'll definitely help: the optimizer will know what FPPs are actually available, if you're optimizing within 30 days (60 eventually). And we'll make predictions about which FPPs will be available day-of. So the Optimizer's suggestions will be based on actual FPP inventory, which should make it easier to get exactly what it suggests.

Len

10 Likes
1 Like

@len - I really like the idea that the Optimizer will know which FPPs are actually available. Way cool!

Since it is pinned, no need to bookmark! smile

That. Will be AMAZING!

@len @lentesta Are the FPP acquisition strategies live yet? If not, is there an ETA for that feature? Brilliant idea. How will it work? For instance, I've noticed that TP doesn't "recommend" FPPs until one tells it how many one can use for each tier. Should one try to enter "4" or more FPPs to get it to work? Thanks!

@ejj - ETA is by late summer. We're evaluating a couple of different strategies for optimal FP use. And the Optimizer will know that you can get more day-of FPs after your advance FPs are done. We have approximately a million data points for advance FPPs now, so the stats team is working on predictions.

In some cases, it may tell you that 1 or 2 advance FPs are more useful than 3, because it allows you to get more day-of FPs faster. So rather than getting a 3rd advance FP for, you know, Imagination at 8 pm, it may just suggest 2 advance FPs so you can get a second, day-of Soarin' FP at noon. (Assuming you want to ride Soarin' twice.)

I'm working on code now to be able to easily implement different strategies, so we can test what works. I'll ping y'all when something's ready to test, because I think you'll be interested. If you can describe a strategy that might work, too, let me know. smile

Dropping off the forums for a bit now so I can code.

5 Likes

Thanks. Was going to ask about the "early FPP" or "only 1 or 2 FPP" strategy, but you're on it. You should consider hiring someone to be the "PR front man/gal" so you can code. smile But I think the lines users have really appreciated you being engaged this week through the transition. It has made a tremendous difference.

This. is. AWESOME!!!! Can't wait to see the TP updates and how it all works!!

@brklinck so glad you are posting this as this is your genre of expertise.

This would be absolutely wonderful!! Thank you!

Thanks for posting this @brklinck. I'm looking forward to developments.

1 Like

This is great stuff and I can't wait for the updates!

I used this and it worked as you said! Can’t wait to try them out! Thanks!

I used your plan to book my fast passes, got what I wanted and can’t wait to use them in September. We used FPP and paper FP in November and we just randomly guessed what to book, and were just guessing each day when we left the hotel if we were right.

Thanks @brklinck! You are always sooooooo helpful to me :slight_smile:

My touring plan won’t optimize. Is there a bug?

Mine isn’t either…glad I’m not the only one