Prepping for WDW by Practicing Lines in DLR

FUN Stuff! A friend of mine works for the studios in Burbank and he and his son are taking me and my son to DLR tomorrow. I’m gonna use the day to practice using the Lines app in preparation for January when my family and I go to WDW for the first time.

The next time I get to use Lines will be at WDW… the BIG show. So I want to make any flubs or stumbles and learn my lessons tomorrow, not when I set foot in Epcot on January 9 (57 days!!!).

So here’s my question to the experienced among you:
What pitfalls and troubles should a first-time-liner be on the lookout for? or more to the point… What do you wish you had learned before you used Lines in the parks for the first time?


Off the top of my head, watch out for excessive battery usage, wait until you have a strong signal before submitting actual times (you don’t have to submit them when you stop the timer - wait until you exit the attraction), and don’t constantly re-optimize (you really only need to do it if you are going significantly off-plan).

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Make sure you first add an attraction to the plan before adding the FPPs. For example, if you FPP Rockin Rollercoaster, 1) make sure it’s on you plan then 2) add the FPP for Rockin then 3) Optimize.

The optimizer can 1) recommend FPPs based on your plan and/or 2) let you know if you might consider picking different FPPs or different times for time savings.

Know how to choose wise 4th, 5th, etc FPPs and add them on the fly to your TP.

Double/triple check park hours as these can change sometimes even on the day of your touring.

The optimizer (in my opinion) is a great and valuable tool but not perfect especially at park opening. I have occasionally a) been directed to closed attractions (eg am EMH) b) sent first to attractions with typically low waits (eg People Mover at Rope Drop) or c) given inaccurate wait estimates (eg 7 Dwarfs at Rope Drop can be no wait if you are at the rope when it drops or +30 min if you aren’t), etc. Still think it’s important to cross check Lines with MDE understanding that MDE’s estimates will be inflated a bit.


I had a good day test driving the TP app in Disneyland and California Adventure for our first WDW trip in January. I learned some things for the trip to WDW that I wasn’t quite expecting.

I hadn’t anticipated the power of the lazy ones in my group. It was me and my DS13, and my friend and his DS14. I expected the boys to get excited about bouncing around the parks, but I was wrong. They almost immediately started throwing attitude at the app and wanting to take it glacially slow.

A big factor to this is they have “passholder disease,” their words, not mine. Because they’ve seen them all so many times, they don’t mind missing an attraction if it means walking across the park for it. And they’re willing to skip an E-Ticket attraction (Radiator Springs Racers!!) whether the line is long or short - for no reason! So that meant that all the benefits of the plan (more attractions in less time) didn’t appeal to them.

It cracked me up that the best part of the day for 2 teen boys was sitting on the porch on Main Street (FOR AN HOUR!!) telling people that they dropped a pocket (a very funny & harmless prank - try it).

I also learned that unless the group is totally sold on the plan, they start to resent the planner (seems like a religious conundrum). I was soon the butt of their jokes, and apparently the pain in their necks. Honestly, I was just walking fast. I wasn’t nagging. But you would have thought I was making them do their algebra.

So I decided to make some new resolutions for our WDW trip coming up in 55 days.

  1. I will make the benefits of following the plan VERY clear, long before we leave. I’ve got to get them on board with the planning concept or they will rebel. I’m thinking a powerpoint presentation over root beer floats and popcorn.
  2. I will slow it down. I see that I can still get to most everything we want to, even when using the “Very Relaxed” walking speed selection. Seems fair, especially for DW and DD19, who will want to stop to smell the roses.
  3. I will make some cuts. If an attraction on our list is not wanted or needed by somebody in the party, it’s off the list.
  4. I will take breaks. With only 4 days in the parks on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I had intended to ignore all liners’ advice to leave the parks mid-day and catch a nap or swim. I repent. Breaks will happen.
  5. I will be willing to abandon the plan. I don’t want to. I know I’ll be bummed that we missed a “must-see” because we didn’t stick to the plan. But I’d rather everyone have a great time. So if the plan gets in the way of family fun, it’s outta there!

I do believe my son’s perspective will change at WDW. Like me, I’m sure he’ll understand the limited time we have, and jump on board to make sure we enjoy as much as possible. But if he doesn’t… Resolution #5.

Great insight on the phone power, @brklinck. I brought one of those new fangled charging pods for the phone which came in handy toward dinner time.

And @Sam2071, I found the optimizer to be an undesirable option because my group was not ready to be told, “change of plans.” Still I used it twice and it saved us time.

Thanks for all your help. I’ll make less mistakes next time.

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Thanks for writing! I would have been pulling my hair out if I were in your shoes. Luckily, my family knows (has learned) to go with (my) flow. :slight_smile: