Optimizer Update 8/26 - Better Walk Time Estimates Around Breaks and Restaurants

Better Estimates For Walking Time Around Breaks
Today we released an update to the Optimizer which will more accurately reflect the actual walking time between breaks. This change will give users more time to visit attractions.

Before this release, the default walking time to and from a break was 10 minutes.

With this release, the walking time to and from a break is 0. The walking time for the step before the break is now the time it takes to get to the next, non-break step.

For example, if your touring plan steps are Tower of Terror > Break > Toy Story, then the walking time shown in the Tower of Terror step is the walking time to Toy Story. Previously, the Optimizer showed a 10 minute walk from Tower of Terror to the break, and another 10-minute walk from the break to Toy Story.

Better Estimates for Walking Times To Restaurants
Later this week we’ll be releasing similar code to estimate the walking time to restaurants. In the current version of the Optimizer, walks to and from restaurants are always 10 minutes, no matter where you’re located in the park. This future release will use actual walking times instead.

I’ll post an update to this note when this second release is in production.

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Nice. I was just fiddling with my plans and did notice the change. Now I need to make my breaks longer. I had compensated for the extra unnecessary walking time by making my breaks 2 minutes long. :smile:

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@Lentesta Does this not also apply to the “Evaluate” function, or not to meal breaks, or has this not been released into production yet? I just did an “Evaluate” and there’s no change, with the 10 minutes to/from my meal still there.

I do think a marvelous enhancement would be to properly evaluate walk times to/from restaurants if the user enters which restaurant for a meal break. TP obviously knows where the restaurants are, because it places them properly on the map below the TP. I guess this is a data issue?

Thanks a mil!

@ejj - Should apply to evaluate. Should not yet apply to restaurants or meals (later this week). Post a plan URL if you see something odd though.

@Lentesta Okay, it was a meal. This will be great when it’s done. Looking forward to adjusting my TPs to this. Nothing odd based on what you said, thanks!

This is excellent !! I am in the same boat, @SallyEppcot ! Some of the default walking times figured into our breaks. Yay, more tinkering !!! :wink:

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Awesome! Thank you. I can’t wait to see the restaurant walk time changes.

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Thank you. We know your crew works very hard at this. This is why I joined TP.

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@Lentesta In that the software asks if you are leaving the parks, when leaving the parks during a break, break walk time should probably be to the exit. Similarly, the next non-break walk time should be from the entrance. (Something to let me know what time to be back at the entrance after break to stay on my TP).

Ah, thanks! Good point. Do you have an example plan showing this?

@lentesta This one has a break mid-day that leaves the park.

http://touringplans.com/plans/873282

@Lentesta can you give us a heads-up when the meal-breaks part is done, so we can re-evaluate? Thanks! Also, when the meals are implemented, will TP accurately reflect walk times to/from the restaurant chosen? That would rock! Thanks again.

Yes, will definitely give you a heads up. The walking time will be the actual to and from the restaurant you choose.

Also tied into this release is a set of updates for Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express at Universal. We’re able to handle one-way and round-trip rides on the train. And like Rafiki’s Planet Watch, the Optimizer will penalize plans that go in/out/in/out of Diagon Alley to see things.

Ah, thanks. This should be resolved with the restaurant update that’s coming later this week.

@lentesta You mentioned trains and Rafiki’s. Does the TP entry for the train to Rafiki’s assume roundtrip? If you don’t put in an entry for the Rafiki train, but then put in the petting zoo at Rafiki’s, does the TP assume a one way ride (and then assume a one way trip out for the first entry outside of Rafiki’s? Basically, what is the proper way to get the TP to have the timing right, with or without the entry of the Rafiki Train?

Also, will this update have the ability to use the MK train as transportation (specify an offload point) rather than just being roundtrip?

Thanks.

For anything in Rafiki’s, we’ll ensure you have the specific steps in the plan to take the train there and back. If you don’t include those steps as part of your plan, we’ll add them in automatically. (I just tried this and it seems to work.) We’ll also try to ensure you do everything in Rafiki’s before getting on the train to go back.

We haven’t yet added the ability to use the MK train as transportation. We’ve discussed it and know how to do it, just haven’t added it to the list of things to do. I think it’ll be some time over the winter when we get to it.

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@Lentesta, I’ve noticed more than once now that when one copies a TP to another, it sometimes (not every time) moves all the break/meal times back 3 hours on the copy, as if it thinks the time is PST.

The result can be that if (for instance), I’m starting my TP @4pm, the copy starts it earlier (1pm or 2pm) to accommodate an earlier break/meal.

I figured I’d wait until I figured out why it was doing what it was doing, until mentioning it. But it has happened more than once recently. I noticed that at one time, the “dashboard” would sometimes (randomly) display all times 3 hours earlier like PST. I guess some of your servers are located in California or something? Maybe have them all use GMT, or EST?

Thanks!!

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Timezone issues have plagued breaks and meals since the dawn of man. Or at least since we added Disneyland. I’ll notify Sarah about it, but I’m told the problem isn’t simple.

@Lentesta Oy… well, at least there’s a workaround, namely, make users aware of it so they can adapt & look for it. It was fine, once I realized what was happening & made adjustments. Thanks for the quick reply.

It’s interesting to me that some issues I think would be difficult, you sometimes reply, “Easy to fix”, & others, which one would think would be a config are not easy. We deal with time zone issues all the time where I work w/London/Tokyo/Asia/NY offices. Fun stuff… I sympathize. :slight_smile:

Fyi for those who may have been following this: Improved WWoHP Handing in Personalized Touring Plans

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