Touring Plan Strategies - Park Hopping


#1

Hi All, new here and super excited about all of the data that TP uses. I’m an engineer and love looking at data.

I’m planning on using TPs for the first time on a trip during our 12/6-12/10 visit.

We tend to park hop in the middle of the day. I’ve created separate TPs for each park, which is fine, however I have some questions.

  • What are the best ways to plan for unknown 4th+ FP+ which could be in the first or second park? Obviously it would be fantastic to get a FP+ for SDMT in MK, but that is unlikely and I don’t want to plan on it. Do you add extra rides to your TP to compensate for the time you gain when you use a FP+? Do you guess which rides you’ll snag a FP+ for? Do you just drop your TP once you get an unexpected FP+ (ex. FEA)? Do you do something else I haven’t listed?
  • Do you adjust your TP once you’re in the park and things change? We normally adjust our very loose plans based on wait times, from the Disney app. I expect I’ll have some challenges letting go of that method since TPs are planned to a much higher level than our previous “go where the short lines are” method.
  • Has anyone else switched over to using TPs after previously utilizing the Disney app for all planning? Did you go in whole hog or gradually transition? How much (time, rides?) did you gain by using TPs?

I’m trying, but having a tough time believing some of the wait times listed on our TPs, they seem so short! I love the heat maps by hour for the parks and I’m excited to try this. All of this data makes my heart happy.

Thanks for any tips or recommendations!

Ps. Hope I got all of those acronyms right. I tend to use my own acronyms so apologies if any are off, please correct me so I learn the right acronyms for this site.


#2

In general I have found that the overall plan time is usually pretty good - you gain a little time here, lose a little there, but it all evens out in the end. Therefore, I normally stick with the plan unless it starts to deviate significantly from the estimated timeline, in which case I will re-optimize on the fly. Note that before you re-optimize you will want to mark all of the attractions you have completed as “Done” in the app, with the most recently completed attraction marked last so that the app knows where you are.


#3

Absolutely great question. Our last 2 visits, we had the same dilemmas. But the plans generally work, that is until a ride breaks down or has some type of delay. What has worked for us is to make sure you are at rope drop to ride everything in the AM without using a fast pass. That is a must. It may be a little hectic and you may have to wait a few minutes more depending on the situation. We usually found ourselves done riding our desired (thrill) rides by 11 - then it was lunch and back to the resort for relaxing/pool. We reserve 3 evening fast passes centered around our evening dining reservation and then just take it all in without any stress. By the time you are done using your 3rd FP, all of the most desired rides have long been out of FPs so we never give the 4th FP a second thought-all thrill rides fast passes are long gone before lunch (though it is probably doable for younger kid rides) Easily the most difficult park to plan FP usage is Epcot(and of course they have the best food selections) - you basically have to pick between Soarin’ & Test Track, unless you have kids and want to do Frozen - the Tier 2 FP are a joke at EP because they aren’t generally needed unless the park level is a 9 or 10. I look forward to other peoples thoughts on this as well.


#4

We didn’t ‘switch over’. There are still applications for the MDE app, mainly refreshing the crap out of the premium FPs until a pair shake loose. And, of course, ADRs. Use the Lines app. If you get a 4th and/or 5th FP re-optimize and the TP will adjust accordingly. If you see something wonky- restart your phone. There was a recent thread on another fan site and this was the solution to the wonky discrepancies between MDE and Lines (assuming you continue to use both). We will be there for an ‘on the fly’ trip at the same time you are. Keep an eye on the crowd calendars. Attendance is up this fall (often by a ‘2’- so if a ‘5’ is predicted it winds up being a ‘7’) and recent reports from users on some of the boards is that they are waiting a bit longer for popular rides (who knows for sure, though). We are setting our plans to ‘very relaxed’ for our trip next week to adjust for some of the reported wait time and observed crowd level discrepancies. Would rather stay ‘ahead’ of the plan than fall behind from overscheduling or cutting things too close. We don’t do RD as often as we used to- and we no longer do commando style touring. I would recommend you do RD as often as possible if you visit infrequently. Anyways, just some of the things we will be playing with next week to ensure we stay on a reasonable schedule.


#5

Thanks all! Lots of good info, I appreciate it.

I will probably build in a little extra time into our TP just in case crowd levels are off by 2. And I’ll keep in mind being flexible, which we usually are anyway. We normally don’t make reservations anywhere and will just eat at quick service restaurants as needed which makes things pretty flexible as far as our TP goes.

Thanks!