Your Feedback Wanted for New Optimized Touring Plan User Interface

by on January 14, 2012 108 Comments

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Folks here have been hard at work designing the next version of the Touring Plan Engine user interface.  With this new UI, we hope to make it as easy as possible for you to create and optimize your own Disney touring plan.

Many of you have made suggestions on how to improve the UI, and many of these suggestions are in the new screens.  Below is a link to an Adobe PDF document which shows the basic layout and functionality of the new screens.  Please take a few minutes to review the screens (and our notes, below) and provide your feedback on how they look.

Thanks very much!

Len

Here’s the PDF of the new screens: Touring Plan UI v3

Notes:

Page 1 – The top of each page now includes a numbered set of chevrons showing where you’re at in the process of creating a touring plan.  We’ve also explicitly separated choosing attractions from planning meals and breaks.  Our feedback shows that the old UI did not explain clearly how to plan meals and breaks, and this resulted in poorly optimized plans.

The rest of page 1 contains basic high-level information about the plan, including the park you’re visiting, the date and time of your visit, and any notes you want printed at the top or bottom of each page.

We’ve moved the “select a date” part of the process to the first page because it simplifies the rest of the process.  For example, if we know that you’re visiting the Magic Kingdom on July 4, later steps in the process will show you the special holiday entertainment that’s only available that day.  And if you’re not visiting on July 4, we won’t make you scroll through a list of those things.

Page 2 shows how Step 1 looks when you select a date which has Extra Magic Hours.  We’ll ask if you’re going to take advantage of these, and if you are, we’ll automatically set the tour’s start and end times.

Page 3 shows how you’ll select attractions and shows for your touring plan.  To make it easier to find attractions, we’ve separated them into four categories: “Headliner Attractions & Shows” includes all of Disney’s classic attractions, from Dumbo to Expedition Everest, and popular shows such as Beauty and the Beast.  Our data indicate that these represent the vast majority of steps in your touring plans, so separating these out will allow you to quickly select what you want to see most.

“Entertainment and Parades” includes secondary live entertainment such as the Magic Kingdom’s Dapper Dans, Epcot’s Off Kilter and the Jammitors, plus afternoon and evening parades.  “Seasonal Items” includes holiday entertainment such as Holidays Around The World, plus events held only during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Finally, “FASTPASS Booths” contains the list of FASTPASS booths for FASTPASS-enabled attractions in the park.

You’ll be able to sort the attractions by name, by the land they’re in, and by the Unofficial Guide’s star rating.  You’ll also be able to filter the list of attractions so that the page displays only those attractions in a certain land, or which conform to a specific height requirement, or that allow guests to remain in wheelchairs.  For example, if you wanted to display only those attractions for which a 42”-tall child could ride, you’d use the height restriction filter on this page to exclude attractions with a higher height requirement.

You’ll choose how many times you want to ride each attraction by clicking the + and – icons on the right side of the page.  As soon as you indicate you’re riding an attraction at least once, you’ll be able to enter notes for that attraction by clicking the “Notes” icon on the right.

If you’re creating a touring plan that doesn’t need computer optimization, Page 4 shows how you’ll select FASTPASS booths to visit during your plan.  If you later decide that you want the computer to optimize your plan, we’ve put a reminder message on this page to let you know that the computer may adjust, remove or add FASTPASS booths to your plan.

Page 5 shows a new “Quick Search” feature for attractions.  Quick Search lets you enter a couple of letters and then displays all of the attractions whose names match those letters.  This is useful when you remember a word or two from an attraction’s name, but not the entire thing.  For example, Disney recently renamed Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel to Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel, and this confused lots of people who went looking for the Cinderella version.  Now, simply typing in the letters “car” would display the Carrousel (and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress).  By narrowing down the list of choices, it should be easier to find what you’re looking for.

Page 6 and Page 7 show how to include meals and breaks into your plan.  You’ll choose a location, a time of day and duration for the meal.  (We’ll also include a place for you to store your ADR# if it’s a sit-down meal.)  The bottom of Page 6 summarizes your meals and breaks.  Page 7 shows how we’ll organize the restaurants for easy identification: Sit-down restaurants are grouped and alphabetized, as are counter-service and other locations.

Page 8 is our new “Evaluate and Optimize” screen.  The top of the page summarizes your plan’s park, date and time.  You’re also able to edit these settings from this page (shown on Page 10).  If editing these settings changes the list of attractions offered in that park on the new date and time, we’ll tell you before changing the date (shown on Page 11)

The second section on Page 8 is similar to the current UI in allowing you to set your preferred walking speed and preference for walking versus waiting in line.

Your plan’s steps are shown in the third section.  Just like the current UI, you’ll be able to drag and move around any of the steps in the plan.  For example, if you wanted to ride It’s a Small World before Dumbo, you’ll be able to click on It’s a Small World and drag it above Dumbo in the plan.  You’ll also be able to edit each step’s notes (pages 12 and 13), and add and remove steps in the plan.

This page will also display the expected arrival time at each step in your plan, plus the expected time you’ll spend waiting in line, how long the attraction or show lasts, and the walking time to the next step.  We’ll also tell you whether you have any free time available between this step and the next, which is really useful for bathroom breaks, shopping and exploring the parks.

Page 9 shows the bottom of the “Evaluate and Optimize” screen, where we’ll present you with three options.   The most familiar of these is the “Optimize” button, which asks the computer to put your plan’s steps in the most efficient order possible.  Again, if you’ve got any FASTPASS booths in your plan, there’s a chance the computer will either move or remove them, or add others based on what it thinks is the most efficient route through the parks.

The Evaluate button is new, and is a suggestion from our readers who are theme park veterans.  These folks already know what they want to see and have a good idea of how to do it.  These folks have asked for a feature where our computer models don’t re-order their steps, but just “score” their plan as-is, telling them how long we think each step is going to take.  When you click this button, we’ll keep your plan exactly the way it’s shown, and attempt to tell you the arrival, wait, and walk times for each step, as well as each attraction’s duration and any free time we think you’ll have.

Click the “View and Print” button when you’re satisfied with your plan, and we’ll display the standard touring plan map with icons for each step and for restrooms, as well as all the steps and instructions you’ve previously supplied.

Pages 14 and 15 show what the finished, print-ready touring plan will look like.

Posted on January 14, 2012

108 Responses to “Your Feedback Wanted for New Optimized Touring Plan User Interface”

  • Wow! Very detailed and well organized. Definitely a more user-friendly interface than v.1. Yet it still keeps all the greatness! I especially like the “seasonal items” being separated out. The filters are also a very nice addition — especially the height requirements.

  • by Nick Dakuginow on January 14, 2012, at 5:59 pm EST

    Awesome! Can’t wait to try out the Evaluate button.

  • Looks very clear and highly usable.

  • yes! That is a wonderful change. Change scares so many people but your change is fantastic and easy to understand. I second the comments above. I am a big fan of Tour Plans and the online version- I used it for our 2011 trip. And I planned to use it for our 2013 trip. I can’t wait to dive in next year! great job TP!

  • by Kevin Crossman on January 14, 2012, at 6:07 pm EST

    This looks great. Likely much easier to use than current system.

  • These changes look like good ones… the way it’s organized and detailed looks appealing to me too. We’ve been using the online interface to create our own Touring Plans for 4 years now and have not been disappointed with any changes that have been made to the interface. We’ll be looking forward to this new interface for planning our April trip.

    A request for future changes- there are plenty of days when we visit more than one park. It would be neat to have an interface that could include multiple parks in one plan. It would be a bigger venture, but also useful, to have features to include transportation options and times between parks as well.

    • I agree that it would be nice to be able to do a plan with multiple parks. A lot of people (including me) go back to their hotel for their break and then go to a different park for the evening. You could theoretically just do a morning touring plan with an early end time, then start another plan with a later start time.

      A feature that calculates travel time on different Disney transportation options would be amazing (ie boat or monorail from MK to Poly, walk or boat from HS to EP).

  • Nice! Looks very clean, versatile and easy to understand–can’t wait to put it to use with my late Feb. plan!

  • This looks great! I am so excited about the optimize feature, both for pre-trip and in the parks, and the evaluate option will be great.

    In playing around with the current system, I noticed that you get way different plans depending on your walk speed and minimize wait vs walk options. At first I just stuck with the defaults and wasn’t that happy with the order until I put it in “commando” mode which was fast walking speed & minimize waits. So my only suggestion would be to encourage users to play around with these options and see what makes the most sense for them.

    Keep up the great work. I think this is an amazing practical use of technology and am so glad you guys are doing it.

  • Just thought of two more suggestions. First, it would be nice to have an option to pull in one of your existing touring plans to start with instead of picking attractions myself. Second, it might be nice to have an option like walk speed & wait vs walk that would be how often to use a fastpass. I’m a guy that likes to gather up fastpasses at every opportunity & it seems like the optimize button doesn’t like to use it as much as I do. But your plans in the PDF look great and I know developer hours aren’t unlimited!

    • Thanks Stephen. We’ll have an option where you can copy an existing plan to start.

      You have an interesting suggestion with FASTPASS. We built into the code a feature called “Be Aggressive with FASTPASSes” where it attempts to accumulate as many FPs as possible, at the expense of lots more walking. We haven’t tested it, since we don’t get many requests for it, but once we get this settled we’ll look at enabling it somehow. Thanks for the feedback!

      • The copy feature would be great. I like to work off an existing plan.

        Also, a quick plan option would be great. Something like… Choose the park and a list of all attractions, shows, etc would be listed with check boxes. You select all the attractions, then optimize and it puts them in the best order.

      • Totally agree on getting more aggressive w/FPs.
        Also, TP needs to take into account which attractions are not
        open during EMH. Many, many times, after optimizing, I’m being
        sent to attractions that aren’t open yet/anymore.

        Keep at it, Len, this is a phenomenal resource.

  • Do you have a gameplan for if Disney begins enforcing FP windows?

  • Looks nice.

    About starting with a premade plan, I agree that would be nice. I had figured you could do that already if you had acces to the plans as a full subscriber (which I am not but plan to be before our next trip to the World).
    It would be nice to have a rider swap checkbox. As an example, my personal experience with Soarin’ was that it took 30 minutes from the time the first half of my party entered the fastpass queue to the time they came out the exit. If you do the Wild Wuffo more than a time or two those extra minutes could really accumulate. Without knowing a thing about the architecture of the optimizer it seems like it could easily account for the rider swap as if you were repeating the ride with a free fastpass.

    Perhaps we Happy Family tourers will find some good applications for the evaluate button.

  • I love that I can modify my existing custom plans!!! I missed the “Evaluate” button on my plans (didn’t see it). The fact that all I had to do was add some times in for dining and breaks was terrific!

    I would like to see more dining options. We like to Park Hop and have meals at the nearby Resorts or in another park. Right now, it seems the only way to do this is create a “Break” and add the details when leaving the park.

    Since we Park Hop, it would be great to see an option for this. Instead of 2 separate plans, pull it all together on one plan!

    It looks like there were some enhancements to Lines Plans as well! LOVE IT!!!

  • This really looks great and easy to use. I can’t wait to try it.

  • Wow! looks awesome: clear, sleek and user friendly!
    It’s so exciting!!!

  • Looks like some great improvements. A few comments/suggestions/questions:
    – Evaluate option is really good idea – big win here
    – Also like separating out the seasonal stuff with sensitivity to date
    – If you schedule 2 (or more) rides of an attraction will these be separately optimised (i.e. might put soaring at start of day then fastpass later)?
    – Rider swop option would be great
    – Minor spelling error – next to evaluate button arrival is spelt wrong

    Couple of other observations from using v1 (more optimisation related than UI):
    – Existing (i.e. standard) plans have the park entrance in twice for the start and end of the plan. If you copy the plan to a personal plan and optimise it puts these steps both at the start. Not a problem per se but might be worth just removing these steps automatically when copying to a personal plan?
    – Animal Kingdom seems to have some linkage issues. E.g. if I schedule affection section it doesn’t allow for the fact I need to get the train to Rafiki’s planet watch section first (and indeed even scheduled this step for later in the day). Presume this could be amended by putting an incredibly long walk time in for affection section except from Rafiki’s?

    Hope this is useful. Keep up the amazing work – loving all this new functionality ready for our trip in May (just need to sort out mobile access in the park given visiting from the UK!).

    • Hey Andrew,

      Yes, if you choose to ride Soarin’ twice, the optimizer will schedule them to minimize your wait. This may result in one ride very early in the day, and a FASTPASS-enabled ride later.

      As for the park entrance, we’re going to fix that. It’s causing a lot of confusion now and it’s in our notes to resolve with this revision.

      Finally, yes, we know Rafiki’s Planet Watch is an issue. We may bundle it into one big attraction and allow you to specify how much time you want to spend there (we’ll make suggestions, of course). I’d expect that we’d get to that sometime before spring break.

      Thanks!

      Len

      • Can’t wait to try them out. I too would love the FASTPASS optimizer and glad to see the choice for walking speed. We try to fit in as much as we can each day there!

  • I’m so excited to use the Evaluate button!!

  • Some people have an idea of how fast they walk so I think it would be nice if the “walking speed” had actual mph associated with the different descriptions.

    I also think it would be REALLY cool if based on time of year, etc, instead of asking you how long you plan to eat, it could tell you how long you should plan for a party of your size/ages to eat in your selected restaurant. I know that would be an overwhelming amount of data- but so is what you already process for rides and shows!

  • 1. Looks great!
    2. I’d think that having a dining reservation could drastically alter a touring plan, but don’t see any way to specify if one has a reservation or not.
    3. Evaluate feature is pretty cool.

  • The new UI looks great! These suggestions don’t necessarily have to do with the UI of creating a touring plan, but it would be nice to be able to sort your touring plans into folders by trip. I would also like to be able to search through other people’s touring plans using filters such as EMH, party type, and attraction preference (ie no shows, no “scary rides”, no dark rides). Being able to comment on each others’ touring plans could also be helpful in order to give and get suggestions. Can’t wait for this to go live!

    • Another one I just thought of it to have some sort of “attractions not included” list so that way you can see if you forgot to include an attraction you want to see or you could use it to create a touring plan for a 2nd day to see the attractions you didn’t get to on the first day. Or you could have an option where you could just enter the attractions you want to see and you could let the system know that it could make the plan into a 2-day touring plan if necessary or require it to make it into a 2-day touring plan.

  • As 1 of the people who suggested the evaluate feature…. Thank you!
    I’ll be playing around with it tonight… Especially since I just found out Dumbo will still be closed when we arrive.

  • Oh… Not actually live yet… So when do we get to play with it, and see if it’s as good as it looks?

  • I love the look of this new UI, I was so excited when you first brought out the optimised touring plans, and have been experimenting ever since. Will the new version be available before we head into the world in early Feb, and how will this work with the lines app.
    I’m also from the UK like Andrew and I’ve found a network Bundle from my contract provide works for the time over in the states, including using the lines app.

  • I don’t have anything else to add that hasn’t already been covered, but wanted to say WOW, I like what I see so far!! Good job, team.

  • I am a first time user of Touringplans.com, and am looking forward to the benefits in our upcoming Feb. trip. I was wondering if you noticed the possible bug on the current version of your customizing tool (if it is really a bug?). When I optimize, it actually has me trying to get two (2) Fastpass tickets almost back to back, well within the two hour window of what the “rules” say I can get a second Fastpass? Maybe I am missing some Disney Guru tip here? The new version BTW looks awesome!

    • Tim, let me know the URL of the plan you’re viewing, and I’ll take a look.

      The “next FASTPASS time” rule is that you can get another FASTPASS when the first of these two things occur:

      1) Two hours pass since you last got a FASTPASS

      -or-

      2) The FASTPASS window opens for your most recent FASTPASS.

      For example, if you get a FASTPASS for Jungle Cruise at 12:15 pm and it’s valid for 1 pm, you can get another FASTPASS at 1 pm.

      As another example, if you get a FASTPASS for Toy Story Mania at 9:15 am and it’s valid for 1 pm, you can get another FASTPASS at 11:15 am.

  • I would like to see something added in to incorporate special experiences. For example on our first day at MK my DD will be doing BBB at 0900. I would like to incorporate this into my TP. Thanks.

    • Hey Bryan, you can always schedule BBB as a “break” in the plan for now. I’ll see if we can add BBB as an option for meals and breaks in the next version.

      Thanks!

      Len

  • This looks amazing! Will be taking my first ever “school is out” trip in June with 3 adults and 4 kids. I usually avoid the more crowded months. This is going to prove invaluable to our group. I probably shouldn’t admit this but I would pay a lot more than you are charging for this service : )

  • When is this update getting released? Did I miss that somewhere?

  • I like the changes a lot. I agree with the comments about being able to schedule multiple parks per day. Even better, though, would be the ability to schedule all the attractions at all the parks I want and let it optimize across parks and days. I essentially do that manually now based on opening/closing times, closing shows I wand to see, etc. It would be really cool if the app could figure out which days I need to go to which park to get everything in, though.

  • I want to delete one of the custom touring plans I created. I can’t figure out how to do this. If there isn’t a way right now, it would be great to add that function to the update.

  • One quick suggestion: It would be nice to have a link under each park listed for any given day tracked by the Crowd Tracker. Something like “Create custom Touring Plan for this day/park.” It would link someone over to the customized crowd tracker page and already have the day, park, hours, etc. filled in and ready to go. It would nicely tie together the whole process of transitioning from watching our prospective dates in the park to actually planning what we are going to do on any given tracked day.

    Thanks for all the work that I know is going into this new effort. I can’t wait to see how it actually performs in the parks this summer.

  • First – outstanding interface design. Looks professional and is very easy to follow. Brilliant effort.

    Second, here’s my question: before I optimize my plan, is it possible to “lock in” a few attractions that won’t be moved around? For instance, my daughters may insist on riding certain rides right when we arrive, but the rest of the day is flexible. Or we may be meeting up with another group in the afternoon and want to ride a certain attraction at that time.

    Thanks for all the work on this – best $11 (or $12) I’ve spent.

    • Ah, locking in an attraction is an interesting idea Ryan. It’s possible, but it’d have to be a continuous set of attractions right at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day. I’ll add this to our list of enhancements.

      If you’re going to meet up with another group at a certain attraction at a certain time, my suggestion would be to schedule that as a break with the name of the attraction in the text field for the break. That’s essentially the same set of steps you’d have to take if we allowed scheduling of attractions at a certain time.

      • I like this idea too! For example, after pre RD breakfast at Tusker House, would love to ride KS, but optimizer wants to send me to DinoLand. Would like to lock in KS and then go to Dinoland and let the optimizer pick the rest of the steps. In the meantime, could I schedule a 20 minute break to ride KS?

        I love tourning plans and UG! Thanks for all your work on this!

        • Hey Tracey, you could definitely lock in a break to ride KS. I’d make it more like 30 (to include load and unload time, etc.)

          I think the next edition of the UI, out in February, will have most of what you’re looking for. Thanks again!

          • Hi Len,
            Thanks for the quick repsonse – will definitely take your advice. I am also looking forward to the changes for February and beyond!

      • Len, while your idea about inserting a “break” is a good one for now, I have very very very often thought the same thought that Ryan is asking for here, i.e. “lock in” an attraction at or around a certain time. The reason is that the optimizer can then tell me how much time to allot for it, without having to go to the “wait time” page for that attraction/park/day. Make sense? Probably a beast to program, but hey, we can ask, right? 🙂

        You’re the best, Len!!

  • Len, When are some of the enhancements to the Beta going to be available? I have been testing it for our February trip and it works great! I still don’t see the Evaluate button yet.

    OPTIMIZE DATES:
    When I optimize the plan for a specific date then go back a day later, today’s date is selected rather than the date I last optimized for.

    SORTING PLANS:
    I think a sort of the personalized plans would also be great! If I change the name (or date) for example, it would sort based on that. Right now, it sorts based on the order I created the plans — I think.

    DINING CHOICES:
    I posted earlier about park hopping and adding more dining options. For the dining, the choices could be sorted by area (MK area, AK area, Downtown, etc) and include the resort choices near that park.

    Keep up the great work! I buy a subscription every year, even when we are not planning a trip!!! You never know when there might be a last minute trip!!!!

    • Hey Jenn,

      It depends on when your trip is in February. My sense is that we could have something for beta testing after Presidents Day.

      Thanks for the idea on sorting plans by name. I think we can do that.

      • After President’s day? 🙁
        How about adding the evaluate button sooner? Please? lol.

        1 note that is attraction specific… I’ve been trying to include Tinkerbell’s Nook in my plans. Unfortunately, seems you don’t have enough data for it yet, so it is defaulting to a 0-wait, and sticking it in the middle of the day. Luckily, I know this is incorrect. Not sure if there are any other attractions with an issue — but it completely messes up the optimization.

      • Thanks! We are going after President’s Day!!! Everyone has such terrific ideas. I can’t wait to see the finished product!!

  • Nice changes, looks considerably easier to create a plan.

    Liking the addition of estimated times, as this seems to be lacking from current plans (Unless I’m being really stupid and missing them, if I am, please someone tell me).

    The evaluate button seems like a good idea, more people trialing different idea may even give surprising results that can be shared with everyone.

    Looking forward to seeing this launched. Good a 14 night stay from April 17th so would love to give these babies a whirl before we leave.

    • Yes, yes I was being VERY stupid and looking at the pre-made plans and not the personalized ones.

      …I’ll be quiet now…

  • Len,
    I plan to use Lines at the parks. I don’t see the times listed in Lines. I noticed in my plans that sometimes there is Free time after an attraction. How is that indicated in Lines? Are there any plans to add the times into Lines? (Am I missing it?) I find this to be a tremendous addition to the plans!!

    • Hey Jenn, you should see the estimated wait, ride duration, free time and walk-to-next-attraction estimates in each step of your plan in Lines. Let me know if not, though.

      • The estimated wait, ride duration, free time and walk-to-next-attraction estimates are not showing up in Lines as of today.

        I also optimized my plans and found that it is directing me to pick up 2 fast passes in a row. Also, the arrival for Wishes is listed at 10:14PM with an estimated wait of 14 minutes when the show is scheduled for 10PM that day. Possibly a bug?: http://touringplans.com/plans/113397/2012-06-27

        • Hi Jenn!

          OK, I’ll take a look at that in Lines.

          The “two Buzz FPs in a row” is an issue we’re aware of. It should be resolved within the next two weeks. It’s an intermittent issue, so you may be able to get it resolved simply by re-optimizing.

          As for Wishes, the step right before it is the generic “Magic Kingdom Fireworks,” and I think we think that’s scheduled at the same time as Wishes. Remove the MK Fireworks step and re-optimize, and I think that problem will be resolved too.

          Thanks!

          Len

          • Hey there,

            I was getting back-to-back FP on my DHS plan. It was asking me to get Coaster and Tower FPs back-to-back as steps 3-4 when I had “relaxed” selected as walking pace.
            On my MK plan, I was asked to get Space and Buzz FPs back-to-back. Can’t remember what I changed to get Lines to reorder.

  • Hi, when will these tools become available? Any estimates, I started working on customised plans for late February but have seen this post and think I should pause until they drop. Any idea?

  • Thanks for letting me know, it looks like it won’t be ready in time. Having said that I was pretty impressed with the personalised plans tools that already exist, so I am sure we will be just fine. Keep up the good work.

  • Like Michelle, I’m getting DHS plans telling me to pick up Tower of Terror fastpasses in back-to-back steps. I also am having AK plans having me ride Kilimanjaro Safaris with a FP that I obtained only minuted before…

    Thanks-

    Scott

    • Len- I know you’re busy with the new UI and such. In the last few weeks, almost all my plans seem to have a FP return time issue. Whether it’s the aforementioned back-to-back returns, or whether it’s return times that don’t line up with the Wait Times data, it seems like the FP data is “disconnected” from the site’s data. I can’t really get my optimized plans to work accurately because of the issue. (I’ve experienced this in all parks’ plans). Thanks Len-

      Scott

      • Hey Scott-

        I’m very sorry about this. It should be resolved this week. Our attempt to fix the FP issue resulted in a different problem. We’re working on it now.

        • Please don’t apologize… I understand that we’re reaping the benefits of this while it’s in beta! I’m not going until the fall, so I’m really just making sure you know that an issue is out there. Thanks again- my wife is telling me that I’m addicted to the optimizer!

          Scott

  • I really enjoy this software and I can’t wait to be able to optimize touring plans for Disneyland as well! Any ideas on when that might happen? Thank you!

  • Will plans developed with the old UI be able to be transitioned to the new format?

  • One thing you might do is perhaps find a way to explain why some of the decisions were made. My wife played around with the tool and would click optimize and didn’t understand why the results were what they were. She asked me why it had us starting in the middle of its a small world rather that at one end and all I could do was guess. She made our plans but I think she ended up doing it all manually which pretty much defeats the purpose. We are leaving in 4 days, would like to be able to look at her plans vs yours and bre able to explain why you did what you did. Thanks.

  • Need to account for Jungle Cruise closing before the MK closes. The plan keeps sending me to Jungle Cruise after Wishes.

  • Len, after observing wait times for about a month, it seems to me as if all of the “theater” type attractions (Mermaid, PhilHarmagic, Beauty & the Beast, etc.) all seem to assume that one will never have to wait through more than one showing/iteration, even when the park is at 9.5 or greater, even in the middle of the day. This can’t be true these days, can it? I’d love it if it was… Thanks yet again for an incredible resource.

    EJ

  • So excited to use this and most personalized plans make sense. However, I’ve asked for Toy Story twice in one day and it never offers me the option of a fastpass. Of all the rides this has the longest queues all day so I’m confused it never tells me to use a fastpass. I have tried doing just one visit or recreating the whole plans but I’m never offered a toy story fastpass. Is there a reason for this I’m not understanding.

    Super awesome work on this. Your team are heroes!

    plan# is: http://touringplans.com/plans/115795

    • It’s possible the FP return times would have been during your breaks, but that’s just a hunch Kent. The new version of the TP interface will have a “what-if” capability, allowing you to insert and move around different attractions and FP combinations, to see what the resultant touring plan would look like. That should help answer these questions. Thanks for using the site!

      • Kent, I have found that if I enter a step called “Toy Story FASTPASS booth” *and* “Toy Story”, TP will use it. If you only enter the FP booth, it usually deletes it if you don’t have a step to *ride* it also.

        As far as TP *recommending* FP… it’s… sporadic. 😉
        I imagine that has to be a tough thing to program for.

        So supposed you wish to ride Toy Story twice: Once right away, & also get a FP for it to ride later, enter 3 steps: Ride it twice, & also enter a step for Toy Story FASTPASS booth.

        Hope this helps.

        Len, I’m not sure if this is how you intended TP to work, but that’s how I was able to get it to use FP when I wanted it to. 🙂

        -EJ

        • Keep in mind, I tend to think like a “computer programmer” since I do that for a living, so I’m always looking for a “work-around”. 😉

          Len, you might wish to have some kind of “user manual” on the site where explain a couple of non-intuitive things like this FP issue & the “park entrance belongs at the top & bottom of the TP” issue.

          It might help you to not have to answer so many questions, even though the interface is very user-friendly & often self-explanatory (which is a tribute to how good it is!)

          EJ

        • What a difference! I assumed it would offer a FP just by adding a ride but not the FP booth explicitly. Adding the booth explicitly did exactly what I expected and provided almost 1.5 more open hours to my schedule. Looking forward to the latest updates.

          I’d say touringplans.com is the 2nd happiest place on earth! 🙂

  • FYI, when the touring plans print out, they could be more readable. The maps are small- there is plenty of space on a 8.5×11 inch paper to make them larger. Also the step numbers on the page are unreadable They are dark gray numbers over a dark blue circle – they disappear. I had to mark the numbers on the map by hand to be able to read them

  • Len, any idea of an ETA for the new interface? Very much looking forward to it.

    • Within two weeks. 🙂

      • Great! Is there any chance of adding the “evaluate” feature (where it “optimizes” without moving anything) before then?
        Many thanks!!!!

      • going to WDW 3/31-4/5…do you recommend utilizing the TP’s I have created the this past week or waiting until the new UI is up and running?

      • The suspense is killing me… 😉

      • Any news on the new UI? Perhaps a new ETA? I am dying here!

        • Even just adding the “evaluate” function to the existing UI would be a godsend. Would love to try out TP theories & see how my ideas for plans affect the time line.

        • We just started testing it, Dave. I expect it to be out within a couple of weeks. Thanks for your patience!

          • Looks like it’ll be too late for me, heading out April 6. Len, would it be possible to add the “evaluate” feature only to the existing UI? It would seem to be a relatively easy thing to program, i.e. simply leave the order of steps alone & spit out updated times at the bottom. This would be *incredibly* helpful.

            Any change of that happening? Thanks!

          • If (evaluate_only == false) {
            optimize_reorder(plan);
            }
            print_times(plan);

            😉

            Pretty please? 🙂

  • Len, a suggestion, if I may: When you roll out the new TP interface, it might be a good idea (if you’re able, don’t know if you are) to keep an option for the user to revert to the old interface for awhile, especially since it’s in beta & there could be unforeseen bugs. This way if there’s anything that could potentially render it not usable for an intermittent time as you work out the kinks, users could still use the old interface as a fallback. Don’t know if the underlying data is backward compatible or not, or if there are too many new fields/options for that to work (i.e. open the same plan using both interfaces.)

    Looking forward to the new interface, esp. the “evaluate” option.

    EJ

  • All of your info has been extremely helpful, especially the day by day plan summary that lists crowd levels by park. I do have some questions about that guide though.

    Parks are rated as follows: “This is a best park”, “This is a park to avoid”, “This is a neutral park” and others with no comment. What confuses me though is some of the ratings for some of the days. For example on Saturday, 25 Aug, Disney Hollywood Studios is rated as a Best Park even though it has a 6.2 rating and Animal Kingdom is rated as a Park to Avoid with a 4.5 rating. Is this a typo? Also, on Sunday, 26 Aug, two parks (Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom) under a 3 rating are noted as Neutral with the Best park rating going to Epcot for a 1.1 rating. Couldn’t the other two be rated as Best parks as well since the crowds appear to be so small?

    Last question, do you have any crowd ratings for the two Disney waterparks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach)? We are probably going to go to both of them and most likely more than once so we really are interested in the best days to go to beat the crowds (if that’s even possible).

    Thanks again for your help,

  • Hi,

    My family and I are going to Florida for our first trip to Disney and I think this website is great. I subscribed to the site and bought the latest book. I do have a couple of questions

    1. When will the latest version of the program be available to create custom touring plans?
    2. When I create a custom touring plan, I noticed that the plans don’t seem to take into account the reommended times to get to a show. For example if on a busy day it is recommended to get in line for a show 40 minutes before the show starts, the program seems to have you arriving usually a few minutes before. I noticed this for a lot of the shows and fireworks in the parks. Would this be a glitch?

    Thanks

    Stephen

    • Hey Stephen!

      1) We’re beginning testing of the new UI today, and I expect it out within a couple of weeks.

      2) I think we need to update the text on some of those shows. If there’s a need to get to a show 40 minutes in advance, it’s an option we can configure within the optimizer. If you have a specific show and date in mind, though, let me know.

      Thanks!

      Len

      • Hey Len,

        When I checked Disney’s web site, I noticed some of the showtimes are not up yet for April, which is when we will be there (9th-20th). When I was looking at the parades and firework show information on this web site, they usually give a recommended time to arrive to get a good viewing but the customized touring plan didn’t seem to take that into account. For example the Epcot show Illuminations, my plan tells me to arrive @ 8:53 (April 11th) for a 9:00 show. The web site says to arrive, depending on location 30-60 minutes early. Another is the Wishes show at MK. My plan tells me to get there @ 10:00 (April 12th), which is when the show actually starts. The Fantasmic show in HS (April 16th) has me getting there @ 8:29, where it is recommended to arive 60 minutes before. There are some others as well. If the customized plans could take into account and include the recommended wait times for shows and parades, based on how busy the parks are, that would be great. Thanks Len.

        Stephen

  • Hey Len, just optimized plan for Epcot on April 1st. Has me doing Kim Possible eta at 10:39, but world Showcase doesn’t open until 11. Love TPs and Lines! Can’t wait to get to WDW…leaving tomorrow.

  • Hi, I am making my touring plans for our April 21-28 trip. (Hoping the new UI might be ready in time?)
    Anyway, I am really trying to cram a lot in, and have to keep us on schedule, so I am pretending to have dining at a certain time, to force us to be in that location, but optimize won’t work on more than 3 dining steps (??).
    Custom steps would make more sense, but there is no time option, and how in the world do the map coordinates work?
    This is especially important, in that I have chosen our wheelchair parade viewing spot. Any advice?
    Will the new UI address this?

  • Is there a way to remove the optimizations? I tried it and wasn’t happy with the results, so I rearranged it, but now it has the optimization info at the bottom and for custom, they each have a not saying that step can not be optimized. I just want to remove all the optimization information for printing. Thanks

  • Hi I am trying to make plans up. I had no problem earlier today but now I am trying to delet items off a plan and it won’t let me. can you help me?

    http://touringplans.com/plans/165137#

    I am trying to delet everything after leave the park. Thanks so much