If you regularly read our blog you may recall I’m planning a trip with my entire family. They’ve all been informed that we will be following Touring Plans since we will be traveling during the busy President’s Day break. While I will do my best to customize the plans we use for our specific needs, it is really best to at least use one as a jumping point. But which ones? So this week I thought I’d take a look at some of the options and share which ones I thought might work best for us and maybe your family too.
Why should you use a Touring Plan? Well if you’d like the save up to four hours in line this is the way to do it! Our researchers have poured countless hours into developing and testing these plans to help you navigate the parks in the most efficient way possible. If you are concerned about losing spontaneity while using Touring Plans, you don’t have to stick to them like glue. You can customize them to your own needs, but just be aware that you may be taking a risk if you wander too far off track.
There are many different plans for different needs and age groups so I needed to sit down and go through some of them to decide which would be best for us. To best understand my Touring Plan choices let’s have a little background on our group and our needs. First and foremost, no one in my family has been to Walt Disney World in the last 20 years if they’ve been at all. They are clueless and heavily relying on the family Disney nut to lead the way. My nieces and nephew will range in age from 6 to almost 2 years old at the time of our trip and our activities will be mostly centered on them. Their parents (my brother and sister-in-law) should be the easiest to accommodate since they are relatively fit and in their 30s. My parents will be more of a challenge since they are in their 60s and my mom will probably have an ECV. They will need an afternoon nap just as badly as the kids! In the interest of my family not feeling the need to collapse and trying to minimize the time we wait in lines with three small kids, we’ll be using Touring Plans and taking breaks.
It seems as though the focus of our trip will be the Magic Kingdom. We’ll have the three young children and we’re staying on the monorail, so this park is the obvious choice for us. Since my family has its own personal tour guide (a.k.a. me) to advise against trying to tackle the entire park in one day we’ll be splitting up this park over a few days’ visits. Our main concern is keeping the kids entertained and getting them to the attractions they will like best, so we’ll be using the Two-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children as our starting point. I’m sure we won’t follow it to the T because if girls want to ride Dumbo three times you know Auntie Kristen wouldn’t dream of telling them, “No, we have to stick to the Touring Plan!” This plan hits all of the family favorites throughout the park and is sure to be a hit with my family.
While we’ll spend the majority of time in the Magic Kingdom I think the kids will really love the Animal Kingdom as well. My oldest niece is quite the little scientist and she will love to see the animals, and the adults will enjoy the more leisurely pace and beauty of this park. Since we will be skipping most of thrill rides with our group we’ll be sure to take time to really enjoy the trails and scenery. I should also note we have an ADR for Tusker House that morning before park opening so we’ll be able to hit the ground running once our breakfast is finished. For this day we’ll use the One-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children. This plan includes attractions like Kilimanjaro Safaris, character meet and greets, and stage shows. Everyone should be a happy camper following this one.
It is yet to be determined if we’ll make it to Epcot on this trip. I haven’t been able to convince the family there is enough for the kids to do here yet. If we do venture to my favorite park we’ll want to hit attractions like Turtle Talk with Crush and Journey into Imagination for the kids. Like the other parks, we’ll use the One-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children here too. This plan skips over rides like Test Track since it wouldn’t be appropriate for the kids in our group. Hopefully I can convince them to give it a go!
I’ll be printing out copies of the plans to provide to the other folks in my group so they can keep up with our agenda. I’ll also be able to use our mobile app, Lines, to pull up our chosen plans. This option will even allow me to optimize my plan! If I select “optimize” in the Lines app our software will keep tabs on what’s going on around me that day and redirect me from problem areas. Maybe Peter Pan just went down, Lines would be able to tell me that and advise me to take my family elsewhere at that time. Pretty nifty huh?
I’ve got high hopes for these Touring Plans and my family trip! Hopefully using them will allow adults and kids alike to enjoy our time together and make memories that do not involve soothing cranky kids who have been standing in line too long. I’ll be sure to report back on our adventures in the parks!
Have you had great success using one of our Touring Plans with your family? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!