Touring Plans in Action

Hi all - last in a series of Trip Reports from our recent visit. (Aug 7-13)

We’ll start out back in time on our last trip, about 9 BTP, or “Before Touring Plans”. We’ve all used this kind of plan previously, and it goes something like this: “I know my way around the parks already, lets go!” It usually resulted in looking confusedly at the map, standing in a lot of lines, and running out of time.

I had to dig up notes from my archive, so let’s take a look. The last time we were in the world, my son was just about to turn 6. We had an umbrella stroller, a backpack, and I was carrying my big film camera around in a sling bag.

On our first day, we did this: Late start. (No welcome show, missed rope drop.) Railroad to Frontierland, Big Thunder, Country Bear Jamboree, Pirates, Tiki Room, then we had a stop for lunch at Crystal Palace. After that, it was on to the Jungle Cruise (on a paper fast pass), Swiss Family Treehouse, Hall of Presidents, and the afternoon parade. We retreated to the resort after that, and did not return that day.

Fast-forward to Sunday August 7. For our first day in TMK this time, we did the following:

Welcome show, Winnie the Pooh, Big Thunder, Splash, Pirates, Small World, Haunted Mansion, and Peter Pan on a fast pass. Except 9 years ago it took us all day to complete that underwhelming list. This year, all those attractions that took all day were completed before 11:45 - just 3 hours. We actually had to wait for that fast pass for Peter to come up. After Pete, we got lunch (Counter Service), then left the park for 4 and a half hours. Back in the evening, we got Philharmagic, Seven Dwarfs ( on another FP) and Hall of Presidents. Then we had about 2 hours to wander until the Electrical Parade and the Fireworks.

I was utterly, totally gobsmacked. We did more in 3 hours than we did ALL DAY last trip. Our other experiences were similar, especially a day at EPCOT. The plan had us so tightly managed we walked on to Mission Space (green), walked on to Ellen’s Energy Adventure (but who doesn’t) Waited ten minutes for Sum of All Thrills, walked on to Figment, walked into the Pixar Film Festival, and walked onto Finding Nemo. And based on the recommendations elsewhere in the book, we dined at the Biergarten at 7pm, and walked across the street and claimed a front-row spot for Illuminations shortly thereafter.

I especially liked being able to check Lines against the Posted times - only once did Lines not have a better or more accurate time. (for Meet Mickey at Town Square).

Bottom line - if there’s a skeptic in your party, Don’t Listen To Them. Bribe them, force them, leave them behind. You cannot tour without a plan. Ever. Count my wife in the skeptic crowd…until we finished up the first day 45 minutes early and literally stood there looking at each other going, “Now What?”

She is now as fanatical as I.