Why does my touring plan change every time I optimize?

I have a couple of personalized touring plans for my Disneyland vacation next weekend (yay!), but every time I hit “optimize” I get a completely different plan. At first I just tried it because I wanted to move something around, but then I did it again out of curiosity and it kept changing. It changes most everything from where to start to which rides to FP, and I’m not changing anything else at all.

Does that mean that it’s a “six of one, half dozen of another” situation and whichever one I pick will work? Or is data actually changing, thus changing my plan? Other? Just wondering if anyone has had this happen. I always use a touring plan for WDW but rarely for DLR - since we have MaxPass this trip I thought I’d see what came up… Thoughts?

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I always make super detailed touring plans before my trips. For me, it is fun and builds the suspense. However, when we actually enter the parks, they become guidelines rather than a structured plan. MP makes it even less likely to use the plan, as there are so many variables. MP makes it highly likely you will get to do everything you want to do and then some!


Once I am happy with a plan, I avoid optimize at all costs. I do optimize until stable (since the optimizer has a time limit on it before it spits back data, optimizing at least 2-3x allows the software a little more time to play with the data and get you closer to the most optimal time-savings which would take days to get to if left without a time limit).

But like I said, after I get to a point where I feel it’s stable & especially if I start moving steps around myself where it makes sense to me, I don’t ever touch Optimize again, only Evaluate which will tell me the est. times for the order of steps as I have it on the screen.

I too love making detailed plans for the anticipation but in DL I definitely go rouge & detour from the plan. I have learned to only plan the front half of the trip and then once in the park, allow for more spontaneity & carry over any plans that we didn’t get done in the first half over to the 2nd half of the trip. So we also tend to is use like a checklist as mentioned above.

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I’m with @lolabear_la and @carthy15…I start by optimizing and then tweak to my heart’s content. That’s part of the fun :slight_smile: Optimizing is also really only good if you’ll run around the park like a crazy person. The first time I went and we tried an optimized plan my family was ready to kill me because we kept changing lands after almost every ride, which meant we lost a lot of the “Disney-ness” of the trip. Plans are now guides, and we do what we can to make the most of every trip.

I will say that the Lines app has become our best friend in the park. It’s great for adjusting a plan on the fly and seeing what the real-time data is like. Have fun! :smiley:

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I agree! Part of the fun is just imagining that I’m going to be there! At Disneyland I have found that I stick to the plan for the first few steps, then use them as “guidelines” like you said.

I’m still just curious why optimizing can change everything…

Because it is not finding the 1 true optimized plan - that would take too much time. If I recall correctly, @len and his wizards have found that as currently configured it will find a plan that is at least 95% optimal. However, there can be many possibilities in that upper range of “optimized” plans, so things can change when you run it again.


There’s a couple of reasons why “Optimize” would change everything around.

If you’re pressing “optimize” and getting vastly different results without changing anything, the most likely explanation is that there’s something the plan can’t quite figure out, and it’s bouncing between options that look equal to it.

As an extreme example, consider a touring plan where there’s no way you’ll be able to finish everything in time for dinner at 6 p.m. In that case, every option the Optimizer looks at will be considered a failure - everything looks equally bad, because nothing works. In that case, the Optimizer will probably just keep shuffling things around.

The other reason this might happen - and this is subtle - is that the Optimizer imposes small, hidden penalties when a plan cuts it too close to show, meal, or break times. For example, the Optimizer doesn’t want you to get to a show 1 minute before the show starts - it wants to allow plenty of time for you to get there and find a seat.

When you arrive at a show within 15 minutes of the scheduled start, the Optimizer adds a small number of penalty minutes to the plan. The closer you’re cutting it, the more penalty minutes it adds.

Those penalty minutes add up. If it happens across a few shows, meals, or breaks, there may be many alternative plans that all look equally good within that number of penalty minutes. (That is, if it can’t avoid the penalty, then there are lots of plan alternatives with about the same total penalty minutes. It may be trying those.)

That’s the other way we could be making the thing you’re seeing. Post the URL to the plan if you want me to take a look at it though.


I guess I didn’t really answer your question, did I? Sorry about that. Truth is, I have no idea! But it looks like you got the answer from the grand master himself!!! Not to shabby!

Thanks, Len! I’m such a fan of yours (still miss the old podcast… although I enjoy the one you do with Jim as well…). I knew you would have a logical reason for what I was seeing because (Steelers notwithstanding :wink:) everything you all do seems to have sound reasoning behind it.

I’ll keep messing with my plan and send the URL along if I get frustrated. Otherwise I will report back with how the first weekend of Pixar Fest goes! Thanks again!

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Yea, last time I used plans and optimized for waiting rather than walking, my husband (who is not a complainer) COMPLAINED. For upcoming trip, I optimized for less walking - we shall see how it goes. But the thing with optimizer is as expected crowd levels change, re-optimizing will move stuff around and if you have ADR’s it will change those somewhat also :frowning: Once I have my Fast Passes - NO MORE Optimizing, only evaluating

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- Does the optimizer take into the account that a FP may be sold out? Meaning, my 1st day plan suggest I get a WoC FP at 8:41pm from he kiosk for the 9pm showing, and in-my-experience these are gone by early afternoon.
- Also, I put the lunch reservation in Wine Country Trattoria to enable me to get a FP for dining experience to WoC, and upon optimizing my plan, it forces me to stop by a kiosk to get a FP if I have WoC as one of my events (even though I would have this from dining). It won’t let me optimize until I either add a kiosk visit or remove WoC viewing, even though I will have a F. Not sure what show I would have a FP for though, if it is a lunch reservation, probably 1st show. How do I factor in the FP dining for WoC without needing to add a kiosk visit?

Thanks in advance for the explanation.

Yes, the optimizer’s data should predict when FPs are going to run out for any Fastpass. If we’re suggesting it, then the forecast is saying they should be available.

That’s an interesting situation with the WoC Dining Package. We should include an option for you to specify that you’re doing that. I’ll add that to the to-do list. For now I’d just ignore the step in the plan.