What's your definition of "short term" "medium term" and "long term" for a day at the theme parks?

We're trying to come up with a simple way to tell people when is a good time to ride a particular ride, along the lines of "Should I ride this now or should I wait?".

We're taking in to account these things:

  • The current wait time
  • The time of day
  • Wait times for the rest of the day

One idea we have for presenting this, is to break the recommendations down into short term, medium term, and long-term looks. For example:

  • Short term: What is the line likely to do in the next 1 hour
  • Medium term: What's the line going to do in the next 3 hours?
  • Long term: What's the line going to do for the rest of the day?

1, 3 and "rest of day" are just my definitions.

When you're in a theme park, what's your definition of short, medium, and long-term?

@Lentesta -

I think of short term as "what should I do next?" For example, choosing to walk across the park to catch a headliner during the morning hours or stopping for a snack or choosing to walk to something I know won't have a line because it's really crowded or sitting and resting. Short term decisions can make or break a day, in my opinion. With a TP you don't have to discuss your short term decisions.

I think of medium term as "do I need to shift the plan in another direction?" For example, if the kids decide they want to play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, but I know it will throw the next two hours off, then we have to re-evaluate the medium term aspects of our plan.

Long term tends to be the plan for where we want to end up. For example, if we have a dinner ADR or want to spend time in the pool in the afternoon, then our long term plan is affected by those facts.

I'm not sure if I understood what you were asking, but I hope this helps. Please say something if I've gone in the wrong direction.


@Lentesta We think alike. Short term = 1hr, Medium = 3-5 hrs, Long = rest of the day.
Of course, "rest of the day" could mean closing time, or "we're leaving in 3 hours". wink

Based on what you're saying, I don't know if this is doable, but here's an example:

Say a current wait time is 25 minutes.
It would be nice to know:

  1. Is this already at its apex, i.e. is this as bad as it will be all day, just wait it out a [little bit, couple of hrs]?

  2. Is this as good as it will be all day, i.e. it will only get worse? (Think: A&E, 7DMT)

  3. Is this as good as it will get for awhile? If so, when is the next time it will be this good?
    i.e. it's 25 minutes & rising, but in 3 hours & 10 minutes, it will be 25 minutes & declining. Max will be 40 minutes 2 hours from now.

In a nutshell, having some kind of quick intuitive access to these pages:
http://touringplans.com/magic-kingdom/wait-times/date/2014-09-27 would be super-useful.
I look at these all the time when planning a TP. Having this info in the park app would be great.

Then again, isn't that what "re-optimizing" is doing anyway? wink

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That sounds like the definitions I would assume from reading "short term", "medium term" and "long term".

I like this approach actually...it's clear. Should I ride now? Wait an hour? Wait three hours? Give up and move on? Come back tonight?

Perfect. Hoping you guys will consider adding FPP availability to this thinking too and prioritizing which FPP's may make for a good 4th, 5th etc pick

I was thinking in terms of how many attractions. Short term: next 1-3, medium:4-8 long term:end of the day

From the parent definition -- short term = can I do this without having to take a kid for a potty break; medium term = can I do this without having to take a kid for a food/drink break (meal or snack); long term = can I do this before the kid passes out for the day and/or is this something I would need to plan for leaving and coming back later.


Just goes to show... sometimes I think too much like a programmer & not enough like a parent. wink

Short term time until my next drink and or trip to the restroom.

Medium term length of time until I take a break back at the resort pool

Long term is the length of time until we leave the park for the evening.

I know this may not exactly fit into what you were looking for @lentesta

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Short term is my next trip. Med term is the time I plan for my next 'long term' WDW trip.

@ejj This is actually what our prototype that we're testing is doing now, but we're finding with the vast array of scenarios involved in our forecasts, we're seeing issues with being too detailed with the info we send back. Some forecasts may have several rises and dips, such that we may be at a local maximum, then they fall until a local minimum in 10 minutes, then goes right back up for 2 hours. So its not really useful to say "Wait: Lines shorter in 10 minutes" if by the time you could even get to the ride it's already going back up.

So Len's question is gathering info for us to see if it would be useful to change our approach some, and offer advice based on how wait times compare over the next 1,3,5, etc hours instead. In order to simplify things more.

@daybreaker I totally get it. I'm reminded of the nutty wait patterns for the Great Movie Ride... if I can only get there exactly at 1:25pm or so... wink Sometimes the it's the right answer, but you're answering the wrong question. open_mouth