Planning Questions

We’re 18 days from arrival (YAY!). This is my first trip using Touring Plans. A few questions:

  1. The crowd calendar and park hours changed within the past few days. I’m wondering - what are the chances those things will change again? I’m wanting to go ahead and begin printing out touring plans to take with us, but don’t want to have to print multiple times.

  2. Does everyone usually print the plans from online or make your own from the plans? Any suggestions?

  3. Are park maps typically available in resort lobbies? We’re staying at AS Movies. I’m wondering if we can get park maps when we get there to make a plan of attack or if we must wait until we walk through the gates. We’re arriving on Friday and park touring doesn’t start until Saturday so we’d have some time to review if we could get maps early. I have a pretty good idea of the basic layout of each park and where the attractions are in general, but it’d be great to have maps in our hand when we enter the parks.

Thanks in advance for any help!

See this link for park maps:

http://www.wdwinfo.com/maps/index.htm

Also, for your plans, you can download the Touring Plan Lines App. It will have your plans in it after you log in. Then you can follow the plan from your phone, and even re-optimize if things go sideways a bit.

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Although park hours can always change even the day of your visit, those hours should be pretty firm at this point.

If you have not downloaded the app, and you can download it- as @gamusicman said you should download it! Not only will your plans be there, if you need help go to “chat” and there is usually an answer in minutes!

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Generally I would agree with this, but given all of the trip rescheduling that occurred because of Irma I’m thinking that there will be more park hour changes.

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Good point! They did do the monthly 15th of the month update but maybe there will be another? 18 days out I would walk away from my plans!

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  1. The crowd calendars don’t usually change as often as the park hours. As others have said, hours can change right up to the day of.

  2. I always print the plans and take with me (I’m old). Less phone battery use. No fear of not seeing the TP due to phone problems. I can make notes on them, such as FPP times.

  3. All hotels have the maps. You can see them online like mentioned, and also on Disney’s site (link on each park’s page). I don’t know if you’re driving or flying, but the Disney store at MCO also has them, if you want to grab them after you land. You will also want the Times Guide for each park for the dates you visit. You can see the current ones here: http://www.orlandoparksnews.com/p/weekly-walt-disney-world-times-guides.html. They are usually issued for one week at a time. I think the resorts had the all-in-one version of the times guide.

Another fun thing to do is look at Google maps for the satellite view of WDW. It helps you understand the size of the place, and where various paths are, etc.

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Thank you all! I’m actually not too old (34) but I do prefer actually looking at a printed map once I’m there!

I’m guessing MK won’t open any earlier than 8am so maybe I’m good there. Night extensions don’t bother my plans as much as morning since we’re planning to rope drop but not stay until closing every night.

I actually have an app on my iphone and iPad " magic guide to WDW". I love it and I am not a really “app” person. But this one has a really neat map that is easy to read. It shows where disney photographers are, where near bathrooms are and characters. It also has wait times and lists park hours but I love it for map and it’s really easy. I lay in bed when hubby already asleep and " plan my Disney strategy while pulling up map on my phone. Then of course when in park it’s so easy to do a quick check that we are heading in right direction. It was invaluable to me and I can’t remember what it costs maybe 3 or 4 $. Not much and I have used and used.

and I like to print mine out my plans to have in hand. I could pull up on phone too but it’s easier some time to just look at printed plan and sometimes phones may not work for whatever reason and I have back up copy.

Hope you have an incredible trip!!

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I printed my plans, put them in plastic sleeves and put all of them into a plastic folder with prongs. This way we could pull them out at any time and see if we were on schedule. We also had the app for last minute additions or for ride closures but the folder worked pretty well.

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I’ve always printed out the TP, kept it in my pocket folded up or in backpack. Ds has a copy on his Iphone, to refer to also. Easier for me to look at printed copy, bigger print haha.

Crowd levels never seem to change a huge amount during any of our trips. If change at all b4 trip, usually would change by only about 1 level. I’ve also heard that if you have a good TP (which is any regular TP IMO) then crowd levels shouldn’t matter.

We toured during CL9 level summer days & never had a line longer thatn 10-12 minutes, except for a couple of rides down.

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I agree; this app has some of the best maps that I’ve seen.

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If you plan on doing “on the go” re-optimizing, a printed plan may only be good for your first one or two attractions. I don’t do in-park re-optimizing, so I always have a printed copy on hand - or at least something I can call up on my phone if I lose connectivity.

Official maps for all of the parks are available in all of the hotel lobbies. Show/time guide may be as well, but I typically pick those up when I enter the park. In all honesty, I know the parks so well I rarely use a map when I’m there; the printed maps become souvenirs from the trip…

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Kudos to those who reoptimize in the park. Whew, just thinking about that makes my head swim. I have heard that some Liners really like to do that, I’m just not that advanced. As I mention a lot, I was amazed & so pleased that our PTP on a CL9 day worked so well, never had a line longer than 10-12 minutes.

Disclaimer to that, I probably should mention we don’t stay in parks in the afternoons, which are the highest crowds of the day. We’ve also had great luck adding FPs in the evening, as we go along. We also pop into rides in between, if we see a short line on Ds’s Iphone.

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I like a printed plan. They do change daily, so if you want the closest to exact in a printout, wait until the night before you go. I even take a printer with me to print off while on vacation (but we drive).

That said, the changes won’t be huge. They’ll be 10 minutes here or there. If your plan is exact to the minute, it’ll make a difference. If your plan is more of a guide, you’re probably safe to print them now.

Like others have said, download the app and you can check wait times while in the park. This will help you for those things that are unexpected, like the unusually long line up because you came when a show let out or a ride was closed, etc. Stuff happens and I like being able to dynamically change, if I need to. The app helps with that, even though I have the print out.

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Good point, @Ariadne. Sometimes a ride can be down, which is your next stop on the PTP. IASW was down one morning (which is rare), no biggy, we looked up on Iphone & saw short (10 min) wait at HM.

HM was right around the corner. We had HM planned for that evening, so later in day, just checked for extra FPPs, adding a few more rides that were available.

MK is the best park for getting additional FPPs, since there are so many rides to choose from.

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