Updated Optimizer Rules

This is mainly for @brklinck and folks who follow the inner workings of the Optimizer software.

I made two changes to the optimizer over the weekend to better handle certain ‘evaluate only’ conditions.

  1. When a plan has more than one request for the same FASTPASS-enabled ride, and the user has a FASTPASS for that ride, the optimizer has to choose which ride request should use the FASTPASS. In some cases, this requires inserting “free time” into the plan.

Starting now, the optimizer will use the start time of any meals and breaks as a clue when picking which ride request gets the FASTPASS. If adding free time to one request causes the user to miss a scheduled meal or break, then that request will not get the FASTPASS.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. I told the user that requested it that she was the first in almost 19 million plans to observe that that would make a nice rule.

  1. In the same multiple-rides-with-one-FASTPASS scenario, when one of the requests is Step 1 or Step 2 of the plan, the optimizer will NOT insert free time before those steps if the free time exceeds 15% of the user’s total time in the park.

This is a very specialized rule, primarily for Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom.

Let me know if any questions on this.


This is more of a general question. Is there a way to make software requests/suggestions? Are they welcome? There are certainly things I’ve thought of (some of which seem minor/simple but potentially useful, but then again what do I know, I’m not a programmer) but I haven’t known if it was appropriate to pass them on. I hate to be a pest!

Yes, of course! We maintain a list. Ask away!

The one that sticks in my mind relates to evaluate vs. optimize. There have been one or two times that I’ve optimized my TP - let’s call this plan A. Then I moved things around, evaluated, and seen that the wait times and length of day overall went down a bit - let’s say this is plan B. Then I optimized again and the software reset the trip to plan A, thereby lengthening wait times and the length of the overall day. I don’t know if it would be simple or hard (it seems simple to me, but I know that sometimes that can be deceiving) to set a rule that said if the optimization lengthens the total sum wait time for the day, don’t make changes to the plan. In other words, compare the post-optimized plan to the pre-optimized plan and leave the pre-optimized plan as-is if it’s better.

In general, the software should already do this: it’ll never return a result that’s worse than the one you started with.

That said, the “cost” of a touring plan is more than the sum of the walking, waiting, ride, and free time shown. We also penalize plans that don’t get you to your meals and breaks on time, and we penalize plans that have you arriving at shows too close to the actual performance time.

Those penalties aren’t shown to you. But if you’re seeing the behavior you describe, it’s because the un-shown penalties are higher than the overall cost of the optimized plan.

Let me see if we can add that to the display of the plans, though. It’ll help out in this situation I think.

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Thanks for the quick reply! I’ll keep that in mind. I don’t remember “plan B” throwing off breaks/meals or shows, but it may have. If I come across this situation again check that out.

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It would be fantastic to be able to “lock” certain items and optimize the rest. So for instance, if I know I only want to do Splash Mtn in the afternoon at a certain time (the way you can lock an ADR for a specific time slot), it would let me freeze that attraction(s) when i have it where i want it and just optimize the remaining items on the list.


What I would love is a way to set a meal for a whole meal period, rather than just + or - 60 minutes – i.e., if I know I want to eat lunch at Tusker House during my AK day, but I don’t care if it’s an early v. late lunch. I’d love to have the optimizer pick any time during the restaurant’s whole “lunch” period for me that works best with the rest of my touring plan. Right now I just pick a time in the middle of the lunch hours and set it to allow 60 minutes, but that doesn’t cover all of the time period. It’d be nice to just pick breakfast/lunch/dinner at a particular restaurant and let the optimizer figure out when I should be eating that meal.

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I second this one wholeheartedly!

I often get my “ideal” morning scheduled and then struggle with how to handle the afternoon. I know folks have suggested two different plans, but it sure would be nice to lock items into place… or limit them to a certain window, maybe.


Yes! This would be awesome!

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