New Features on Computer-Optimized Touring Plans

by on December 22, 2011 31 Comments

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Today we’ve released two features to the computer-optimized touring plan software that we described in this post.  The first feature lets you schedule shows and live performances up to six months in advance, even when Disney has not yet released the official show schedule.  We’re using our database of historical show times to make educated estimates for these.

The second feature is that we now display the estimated wait time at each step, along with the time it takes to experience the attraction and walk to the next step.  If there’s free time between your current step and the next step, such as when you finish all steps a few hours prior to Wishes, we’ll also tell you how much free time you have to play with.

To date more than 53,000 touring plans have been optimized using our software.  Thanks very much for your feedback on the plans and the process.  We’re very proud of it and hope to make it even better.


Posted on December 22, 2011

31 Responses to “New Features on Computer-Optimized Touring Plans”

  • Where do we find the new time feature?

  • I like the lines app for the accurate timing and for the fast pass return times. I can look and see what they are no matter where I am in the park. I consider myself pretty good and touring Disney. even during Christmas week I never wait more than 20 min for a ride..generally my wait is less than 15 min and I ride all the big/most popular rides. I decided to try the optimized plans on a recent trip. I selected the Magic Kingdom and put in my favorite rides. I optimized for the front entrance and the plan came back with the laugh floor first and then getting FP’s for Buzz. Which I thought was odd…because first I would never do the laugh floor before, say, space mountain or even buzz. Also, since buzz is right next to the laugh floor it would make more since to get FP’s for buzz and then do the laugh floor. Also, many of the the other rides were ordered strangely. Small world before space mountain and Peter pan…no way. Just my opinion but as a seasoned Disney visitor who nev ever waits in line, the order of these attractions seems odd to me.

    Anyway…I love the lines app and will continue to use it to get accurate wait times and fast return times. Thanks for a great app!

  • It is all very exciting! Will be at Disney from the first to the eighth of January. The attendance predictions have really jumped for the first of that week and so am counting on a really good touring plan for Animal Kingdom on Monday the 2nd, with crowd predictions at 9.7! EMH start at 7 and we will be there. Touring plan I just optimized for the date tells me to not go right for Everest and safari whcih is my instinct. There are also NO fast passes listed which goes right against what I like to do, which is grab fast passes throughout the day as soon as I can. Any idea why so strange?

      • Okay – this new optimizer is definitely weird. It has my DHS plan showing that I will see Fantasmic and then eat dinner at 4:30. It also makes no use of fastpass whatsoever whereas my previously optimized plan for the same datehad me using fastpasses for most of the major attractions!

        • Will look at these tonight. Thanks for the info, coolermama!

        • Coolermama, I see that you’ve optimized the plan again since the 22nd, and it’s supposed to be for today. I’m not going to re-run it.

          The plan looks reasonable. The only thing I might suggest is to consider getting FPs for Toy Story at some point in those first few steps, if the standby lines look too long.

          Let me know how it goes today, please!

          • Sorry – my mistake in not re-doing the date. It seems to jump back to today (default) and when I re-optimized it, I didn’t change the date which is actually Jan. 4 for DHS. In any case, it does look much better now.

          • mismesy1995 on August 30, 2011 One thing I like about myself is that I’m a very positive, happy person. I always look for the best in life instead of focusing on the bad.

      • Coolermama – I re-did your plan 75880 with the new software, and I think it looks better. Let me know what you think.

        There is an issue with the software related to the Wildlife Express Train. We haven’t yet programmed in the knowledge that the train is the only way to get to the attractions at Conservation Station. As a result, selecting the WLT and Conservation Station attractions may result in an odd ordering, with some other attractions in the middle.

        For now, the work-around for that is to exclude the Wildlife Express Train from the steps, and to remember that you have to take the train to get to the attractions at Conservation Station.

        Let me know if that isn’t clear. Thanks again for all the help testing this software!


        • Thanks, Len. Really appreciate the help. I will take out the train steps and just leave the attractions I reach on the train. With crowds above a 9, I think I will feel better if I send a runner (my 14 year old old son) for fast passes to Everest first thing. Our time should come up soon enough that it won’t interfere with our picking up fast passes for safari before brunch at 10:20. I am a little nervous about going to Animal Kingdom when it is above a 9. When I booked all our ADRs it was the lowest park that day. Am thrilled, though, that extra magic hours are at 7 and will have 3 hours of touring completed by 10!! (Assuming I can actually get the rest of the family downstairs and on the bus.)

  • I would like to customize a touring plan with a late arrival, but I can’t figure out how.

    • Holly, set the arrival time of the plan by clicking ‘Edit Details’ when you edit the plan.

      • Thanks. This is a very valuable tool for planning. How well are wait times factored in for popular character greetings like Rapunzel? Our day in Fantasyland put that greeting in midmorning with no wait. That doesn’t seem likely.

        And one plan doesn’t follow the times you have posted for two events. This plan (77834) assumes that we’ll have a 50 minute wait to eat at The Plaza (although we have an ADR for 6 p.m.). It then says the Electrical Parade starts at 8 and Wishes at 9, but your published schedule for that day lists the parade at 7 and Wishes at 8.

        • Bizarre. I just looked at my printout from optimizing the same plan last night. It shows the times for the parade and Wishes to be correct (7 and 8, respectively), but put our Tiana character greeting between our exit from The Plaza (a 58-minute dinner that starts at 6) and the parade that starts at 7.

  • Love it. It would be nice if the times were included in the app though. But overall, it’s really coming along very nicely.

    It might be nice to see — If the bottom chart of times could be shown for individual’s non-optimized plans. In other words, if I want to play around and switch the order of a couple of rides — It would be nice if it would then show me the impact on the times.

  • Heads up: Pushed a minor update to production. This fixes an issue where “free time” was not being calculated correctly when these two things were true:

    1) All attractions were completed early
    2) The last step in the plan was a meal or break

    The code was not correctly calculating the amount of free time between steps 1 and 2. It should now. Let us know if anything else appears odd.

  • Hi Len,
    Thanks for all the great work on the optimized plans. I’m having a problem with the times sections at the bottom when I have included pre-park opening dining reservations. For example, when I include Tusker House at 8.00am it has our arrival time at Tusker House being 9.10 am and adds a 70min wait time which totally messes with the rest of the plan. My plan number is 90849. Can you help with this please?

  • Hi Len,
    There are two. The first one is and the second one is

  • Len-

    Some shows (Beauty and the Beast) seem to be scheduled well past 6 months in advance (Oct 2012 for instance) and allow themselves to be optimized. However, some shows like American Adventure aren’t. Is there a rationale behind it? I know you mentioned in the blog that times would be available 6 months in advance, but i was pleasantly surprised when I saw Beauty and the Beast scheduled.

    Thanks again-


    • Hey Scott-

      We just converted American Adventure to a show-based model from a continuously-operating show model, so that’s why we’ve not yet got a full six months of times; we’re entering them by hand for now. If you see a standard WDW show other than AA for which we don’t have times, it’s probably a clerical miss – let me know what they are.

      Thanks Scott!

      • Thanks Len! Do you only schedule out 6 months? Because Beauty and the Beast was scheduled even 10 months out (for my trip in October). Just curious.

        Also- I’ve posted a couple times about Fastpass return windows being during EMH evenings. For instance, a ToT Fastpass in the optimizer (and the main site’s wait times) given during the afternoon tells me that the Fastpass return would be during EMH… I thought that if Disney even uses FP during Evening EMH, they restart the times at the official end of the park. The problem is that the optimizer (based on the info in the wait times) is having me get a FP when in reality they’ll be gone. Is this an error in the way you do fastpass returns on EMH evenings? or did I just find a glitch on a specific date (October 18th at DHS for example.)

        Thanks Len- this is an amazing tool!


  • It looks cool and I would like to give it a try however; this is unfair for Canadians as data plans are not cost effective so using this in the park at this point isn’t an option.

  • Hi,

    I recently bought the book and subscribe to the website. I think it is great. My family and I have NEVER been to Disney and we may never get down to Disney again. Did I mention we are from Canada.

    Well we wanted to experience as much as possible and didn’t know where to start. I really like the touring plans and I have a question on making your own plans, which is what I am doing. We have a wide range of ages in kids. I have 3 boys, aged, 13, 10, and 7.

    My question is this. I am creating a custom touring plan for Animal Kingdom. I have checked the box that says the park uses extra magic hours that morning. I added our attractions etc and then I hit optimize. What I notice when it finished is that it has us riding the Triceratop Spin and Primeval Whirl between 7 and 8 am, before the park officially opens. When I checked the official Disney website, it doesn’t list either as being open for the Extra Magic Hours and the DIS boards only lists one as being open. Not sure what to do? Because of the range in ages and likes, I really need to do a customize plan. Any suggestions or help please. We are leaving in 3 weeks. Thanks.