Shoot. Tool long. Hope you read anyway
Often it is the outsiders - the newbies - that lend a fresh set of ideas. And sometimes they simply don’t know what the H they are talking about With that grain of salt:
The search function seems lacking. Google’s functionality parses much better and scores results much better. I don’t know the cost; but coding to prioritize linked phrases: half day similar to “half day” seems reasonable. You can leverage Google search but I don’t know the cost
I wonder what percent of users are new. My guess is that most of the traffic is perpetual newbies. Just a guess. If true, I would add a side bar or Hover function to define all the TLAs / Three Letter Acronyms. I know that MK= Magic Kingdom. I had to look for MVMCP. RD still eludes me. This is knowing your customer: If most are are new, shift some functionality to them
Building on that: Time matters. I am 201 days away from the trip. You also know (well, can reasonably guess or just ask) that I am a Newbie. You can activate some guidance here - what I need to have ready T-180, T-90, T-60 and so on. I’d be OK with a tag by my name - let the very helpful community know that I’m a lost toddler in a VERY busy shopping mall.
Echoed elsewhere is site and feature stability. FP functions on the trip planner are spotty. App is spotty. The community forgives that if we (1) have our expectations set and (2) know someone is listening.
MOST IMPORTANT: __emphasized text__This is an awesome environment. ‘Awesome’ in the fundamental sense: inspiring a sense of Awe, a combination of Wonder and Respect. I am in Awe of what you have done and grateful that I stumbled upon it.
Oh! Welcome to the forum! You are asking for a pinned post for newcomers? What a great idea ! Let me post a few things that may help you for now:
http://allears.net/tp/abrev.htm This is the abbreviation list I love ! RD is rope drop- you can also always ask!
I will look more later but I know there was a blog (touring plan blog) and a forum thread about important dates ( it may need to be updated). The TP blog is an amazing resource . Here is an example : http://blog.touringplans.com/2013/04/30/a-first-timers-guide-to-planning-a-disney-world-trip-part-one/
One general thought that touches on many of your points - this is a Touring Plans user community. Although TP staff often do look into things posted here, the best way to reach them about specific technical issues or upgrade thoughts is to e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interesting thought - I have no idea what search functionality is used here, so perhaps @len can comment.
The abbreviations are a common newbie question, but we are a very helpful bunch who don’t mind explaining things. I see that as I am composing this @PrincipalTinker has jumped in and posted a link to one of the common abbreviation lists.
Here is the forum post I referred to earlier: Please check my WDW planning timeline
Oddly, we’re using Google for our site search. (And the Unoffcial Guide book is owned by Google). I’ll ask our corporate overlords if they have any ideas. Let me know if there’s a specific search that works on “regular” Google that doesn’t work here, please.
Timeline post (latest one) but even this is a little off. Fast passes can be made at 7:00am Florida time - day 60 onsite or one day at a time 30 days before any day. Of course, tickets must be linked and if you buy tickets in a package those tickets will “magically” appear on day 60. (Sometimes the app works early)
Edited to add the link! http://blog.touringplans.com/2016/03/07/basics-timeline-disney-world-trip/
I have to add a comment about the search feature. It does seem challenging to me as well. I have found that if I search, and then open the “show more results” I can then sort by recent, which usually helps me. I know I am crazy, but since I have read just about every thread topic, I usually have a general idea of when the information I am looking for was posted. For someone new to the forum, over the last two years so much has changed (attractions, crowds, fast passes, strategies) that old information may be out and out wrong (like midnight for FPs), so the most recent information may be the most helpful- although those results can be crazy sometimes too!