Updated Disney Touring Plan Software

by on May 30, 2012 79 Comments

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We’ve released an update to the software which creates our free personalized Disney World touring plans.  This release should resolve two intermittent problems:

  1. Shows and live performances scheduled at times other than 00, 15, 30 or 45 minutes past the hour were not always being considered as options for the plans.
  2. The amount of “free time” before a show, meal, break or attraction using FASTPASS was not always calculated correctly.

If you’ve created personalized touring plans for an upcoming trip, we recommend re-optimizing them when you have time.

Thanks to everyone who sent in plan URLs with examples of these problems.  Those were very helpful.

Posted on May 30, 2012

79 Responses to “Updated Disney Touring Plan Software”

  • Assuming this is applicable to just the browser version of the Plans and not those on the Lines App? Optimizing on the App seems to be where many users are getting the strange results because of the “you are here-now” functionality, which is causing a lack of trust in the App. Thanks, looking forward to reoptimizing some old plans to see what happens.

    • When I was trying to put in ohana as a meal in my plan it wasnt an option for MK…..

      • ‘Ohana is at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Vicki, so it won’t show up as a theme park restaurant.

        If you’re eating breakfast at ‘Ohana before you arrive at the Magic Kingdom, I’d suggest setting your arrival time at the Magic Kingdom to be the time at which you think you’ll be done with breakfast, plus 20 minutes or so. For example, if you’re eating breakfast at 8 am, set your arrival time at the Magic Kingdom to around 9:20 am.

        If you’re going to be in the Magic Kingdom before your ‘Ohana meal, such as for a late breakfast, lunch or dinner, then set that as a ‘break’ in the software. Allow 50 minutes for round-trip transportation in your break, along with whatever time you think necessary for the meal. For example, if you think it’ll take an hour to eat lunch, schedule your break for one hour, 50 minutes. I’d plan on leaving the Magic Kingdom 25 to 30 minutes before the start of your meal.

        • Awesome.thanks so much. Brennan trying to figure out how much time to allow. What’s the best transportation to get there?

          • From Magic Kingdom to ‘Ohana, just hop on the resort monorail. It will take you right there. ‘Ohana is on the 2nd floor of the Polynesian, same as the Monorail station. Then for a change of pace, take the launch (boat) back to the park.

    • Thanks Irene! There’s only one version of the software, so it applies to both browser- and Lines-based plans.

      I’ve not heard of issues related to the “you are here now” part of Lines. What seems to be going on?

      Thanks again!

  • by Brett Stewart on May 30, 2012, at 8:39 am EST

    We used TouringPlans on our trip in May. The original plan for that day worked great but when we wanted to add/modify the plan while at the parks, it didn’t seem to work that well. I would like the ability to delete old plans. Overall, I am pleased with the program and looking forward to our trip in October using TouringPlans.

    • Thanks Brett! We should have out shortly the ability to delete old plans. And Sarah is working on improving the ability to modify plans while in the parks. Look for that out shortly too.

      • Len,

        I had trouble on the iphone version last night. I was trying to update a plan for AK in August, and it seemed certain I was there last night at 8 pm. It had the plan start at 12 noon with lunch, instead of 9:00 am as I had told it. I tried to use the “You are here” but once I clicked off the front gate, it would not let me go back to the front gate. (I tried the oasis instead.)
        Any how, I scrapped the phone and used my computer instead and it worked fine. Something funny was going on though…….

        thanks for all the great work…


  • Does optimized touring plans work on a Kindle Fire?

    • Hi Jean! If the Kindle Fire has a web browser, then it should work. Can you try it and let us know?

      • Optimized plans will work on a Kindle Fire, but you need to have internet access. Since Kindle Fires are wi-fi only, they will not work in the park, unless you have some kind of portable wireless hotspot, like a MiFi.

  • Regarding the “you are here now” Irene described: The software may be the same as you say, but the input method is obviously different. When you fill out the start time on Lines under “Edit Timing”, the software ignores it. It doesn’t matter if you say “start at 4pm”, it will give you your first attraction *now*. Also, Lines’ form doesn’t have a date to choose, so you can only optimize for the current date.

    (None of this, btw, explains the problems I had when I tried out the Disneyland version a few weeks back. I sent a lengthy email regarding it, and got a refund but no actual response back)

    • Thanks Paul. Can you post a URL to the plan you’re looking at? That helps us diagnose these things.

      • http://touringplans.com/plans/165907 is the one from Disneyland. It was a copy of the standard 1 day adult plan. I selected 9am start time (which it still shows there at the top), then hit optimize. You can see it put the first attraction at 7:32am – I optimized at about 7:30am. You’ll also note that the fourth step is to ride Splash with FPs obtained earlier – except that there was no “get Splash FP” step earlier. You can also see that step number SIXTEEN tells me to arrive at the Disneyland entrance, which is patently absurd.

        • Thanks Paul. Did you want to optimize this for May 13 (almost three weeks ago), or can I change it to another date?

          • I haven’t touched it since the failed optimization, as I wanted to preserve it for you to see exactly what it did. I don’t need it any longer – do what you need to.

          • OK, take a look at it now, please, and let me know if it makes more sense.

            A couple of points:

            1) The text in the steps doesn’t change based on optimization. For example, the steps which refer to getting FASTPASSes in a previous step will still say that after optimization, even if there is no previous step to get FASTPASSes.

            Why does it behave this way? The optimizer doesn’t understand the text in the step notes; it just keeps what’s there.

            Why don’t we just delete the text from the plan when it’s copied? Because we don’t have an easy way of detecting which text refers to other steps, and which is generally useful advice. (Although if this becomes a serious issue, we may have to do this just to avoid confusion.)

            Why not change the text in the steps? Because lots of people (most, I’d say) use the plans without changing the order of the steps, and for them the notes make sense.

            2) By convention, the “Disneyland Entrance” step should be either the first or last step in most plans. Doing that tells the optimizer that you’re beginning and ending the tour at the entrance.

            Putting the “Disneyland Entrance” step anywhere but first or last is the equivalent of telling the optimizer that you’d like to visit the entrance to admire the architecture. Why does it behave that way? Because enough people asked for it that we thought it was needed.

            Use of the ‘Entrance’ step was so confusing, however, that it’s been eliminated from an option when creating new personalized plans.

            If a plan contains no reference to the entrance, the entrance is assumed as the starting and stopping point. So you’re safe not having them in the plan.

          • 1) if the software tells me to use a fastpass without telling me to get a fastpass, the software is broken, regardless of the underlying cause.

            2) I didn’t change the order of the steps. I copied the one day touring plan, said to start at 9am, and hit optimize. The optimization is what changed the order of the steps.

            3) I didn’t put the Disneyland entrance step in. Again, I copied the one day touring plan, and hit optimize. If it is *required* to remove steps after copying a plan in order for the optimization to make sense, that should be clearly specified somewhere.

            4) The Splash Mountain step is claiming I’d have a 0 minute wait. I assumed that to be because the software thought I was using a FastPass. From your response, it sounds like you’re saying that the software actually expects that the standby wait for Splash Mountain, 1 hour after the park has opened, would in fact be 0 minutes. Is that correct?

            5) You didn’t comment on the fact that I chose a start time of 9am, yet the software had me going to my first attraction at 7:32am. Is this something you’re still looking into?

          • To word my point #1 better: I don’t see “using the FastPass you obtained earlier” as simply “clarifying text”. That’s a significant piece of information, that changes what you actually do. That is, “Ride Splash Mountain” and “Ride Splash Mountain Using FastPass” are two very different instructions, with two different effects on my touring, and the software should handle them as such.

    • Hmmmm…okay. We didn’t think anyone would use Lines to create plans for a future date. (We thought folks would use the web browser for that.) That’s interesting. Let me talk to Sarah about it.

      • Also, the fact that I never considered people would use their phones in this way, makes me feel really old. 🙂

      • Len, also please consider that tablet computers pull mobile versions, so optimizing on them has the same effect as the mobile users (thinking your currently in park and not allowing optimization for a future date)! Thanks!

  • Is there a way to delete old personalized touring plans?

  • I too really need to know how to delete my old touring plans. Going in August and I don’t want a long list on my lines app

  • I have what I hope is not a silly question. When you add an attraction to a copy of an existing plan, it gets added at the bottom. I understand that from there you can re-order it into any position you’d like, but I thought that by Evaluating and then Optimizing, the software would move it to an ideal spot in the plan for you. I’ve yet to see any of my additions move into a new spot. Does that just mean they’re fine at the end of the day? (Example: I added Big Thunder to the Late Arrival 1-Day for Adults Plan and it kept it as last step…)

    • Hey Sarah!

      “Optimize” will re-order your steps. “Evaluate” will not. Evaluation just asks the software to estimate the time it would take to complete the plan exactly as it’s shown.

      Think of it this way: If you’re pretty sure you know what you want to do, and when, then “evaluate” just asks the software to tell you how long your plan will take.

      For example, suppose your children want to ride Big Thunder Mountain five times in a row as soon as the park opens, then tour the rest of the park. The optimizer is probably not going to suggest doing that in exactly that order, so using the Optimize button isn’t an option.

      However, you can create a customized plan with five consecutive Big Thunder steps before hitting the rest of the park. When you’re done adding attractions, click the ‘evaluate’ button to see how long it’ll take to get the whole thing done.

      Once the plan has been evaluated you can decide whether your plan makes sense. If you’re okay with the results, then you’re done. But if you think it takes too much time to complete your plan, then maybe it’s worth optimizing to see what kind of schedule the optimizer would come up with.

      • Thanks for the clarification Len! Optimize finally worked for me and bumped Big Thunder earlier in the plan. Not sure what I did differently as I’d selected Optimize before, but glad to see it work!

  • I have the same question, Sarah. I was attempting to do the same last night on a TP for our trip next week, but couldn’t get it to move. Will also be interested in this answer. Thanks!

    • It may be an issue with the version of web browser being user. In particular, Internet Explorer versions 4, 5, 6 and 7 are old enough not to support the functionality needed to move steps around. But let me know what web browser you’re using and we’ll go from there.

  • Can you also advise as to how to keep our desired break during the requested time? I am trying to make a personalized TP for MK for next week, with a break from 1300-1500 as we have a 2-year-old. However, it places the break from 1700-1900. I don’t see a way to move it as it doesn’t come up as a movable “piece” of the plan. Thanks! Love your TPs!!

  • Love the touring plans function on here, but the delete function seems to have disappeared a while ago, how do I delete old touring plans?

  • It would be nice to have an option to make a certain steps not change when optimizing or evaluating. I want to take a break at 10:30am to grab a snack, keeps moving to 7pm. Also want to do Indy show before lunch with friends and it keeps moving to after lunch. I would like a don’t change time button and ability to mark a specific show time. Character visits would be a nice addition, too, as well as photo pass picture.

    • Luvbug, can you post the URL of the plan you’re looking at? Generally those kinds of things can mean that there’s a conflict between two things in the plan, and no matter which one the optimizer selects, the other event can’t be met. That’s just a hunch.

  • Can you please fix the non-existent Child Swap option for Tower of Terror? I sent this to the “bug” link quite a while ago. Wouldn’t this be a simple fix? Can’t wait to use all my customized plans next week!

  • Thanks, Len! I feel so lucky to have “the man” look at the plan! 🙂 The break is perfect – not sure why it’s still leaving that chunk of time between 4:21 AND 8:44. I tried the evaluate and optimize buttons but it didn’t change that piece of it.

    • It’s Safari 5.1.2

    • Hey Heidi-

      The free time between 4:21 and 8:44 pm? It means that if you visited the 3 remaining attractions in the plan (Speedway, Jungle Cruise, Barnstormer), you’d wait longer in line than the 27 total minutes shown.

      Put another way: the optimizer is employing a “wait-out-the-crowds” strategy. It knows that lines will be lower in the last 2 hours the park is open, than between 4:30 in the afternoon and 8:30 pm.

      If you wanted to leave the park right after Wishes at 10 pm, you could change the touring plan’s end time to, say, 10:30 pm. That would probably shift some of those attractions to earlier in the day.

  • The evaluation of the plans seems to be taking longer than usual. I am stuck on the “Waiting for results…” step for about ten minutes. Is it my Internet or a problem with the optimized plans?

    • I am having the same problem as well.

      • This is also happening to me. The optimization never seems to come back. Maybe we’re all hitting it at the same time and killing the servers. 😛

        • Hey there,comment posting software — “tongue sticking out in disgust” smiley is not the same as “big grin smiley.” (mild harrumph) I’d just remove it but I don’t see an “edit post” button.

  • Len- I’m not sure if this is fixed now, but up to a few days ago I was still getting World Showcase attractions showing up in optimized plans before 11am.



  • Last week the browser software refused to optimize with magic morning (I tried various combinations of toggling it on, adding an hour before park entry, etc.). I ended up deleting those items and re-optimzing everything else.

    Single rider doesn’t seem to be in the program. I have an idea I could have gone through Toy Story Midway Mania twice first thing at DCA then gone through single rider at Grizzly and Soarin’ Over California with them in about the same time frame.

    Still, the software is quite remarkable and allowed me to minimize waiting at almost every other attraction in both parks. I would use it again, and I’m hoping by my next trip Cars land is going to take some pressure off Toy Story Midway Mania (the more high quality attractions the more balanced things are).

  • Some issues I had but did not see them mentioned here yet
    1 -the optimizer had me doing attractions well after park closing. In the old version you would get a warning that there may be too many steps in the plan to complete. It doesn’t do that anymore.
    2 It would be nice for the plan to be permanently noted if you opted the slider to minimize walking/waiting. If you go back to the plan it defaults back to middle setting and you don’t know what it was set at originally
    3 and if you edit plan info, the start time changes back to non EMH opening, and if I then tell it again to utilize EMH, the time does not change automatically. This is only when editing the plan, not creating it.
    Despite these few bugs I still think this tool has a high cool factor. Thanks for inventing it!!

    • Tom, can you send along the URL of the plan you’re looking at?

      • i think i sent it in at the time i cretaed it. i have since modified it by removing steps until the last step was withing park hours. i will create a new plan and see if the error recurs, and if it does i will post url of plan here

      • i just did a “test”plan. i added enough that i know it wouldnt fit, and unlike the first time i tried a few weeks ago – it told me so this time like the older version did – despite that it does have the last attraction at two minutes before closing. thanks again for concentrating your powers on good and not evil! this stuff is so cool. thanks to you and your staff!

  • by Sarah Knight on May 30, 2012, at 4:21 pm EST

    Hi Len – love the book, blogs, app & site. Great job!

    I do have one question: I know hard ticket events (MNSSHP & MVMCP) were bugging the system and am assuming that’s why they are removed. Will we have the ability to create & edit plans using those hard ticket events in the near future?

    The plan I just managed to screw up is here: http://touringplans.com/plans/150721#
    I cannot optimize or evaluate since the system thinks these events are not scheduled.

    Thank you so much for your time and all your hard work!

  • I’m looking at making a personalized plan for MK in July. When I optimize, none of my wait times are more than 15 minutes (which seems short to me for July, but could be true following the touring plan, for all I know – I’ve never done it before), and it didn’t put in any Fastpasses. I didn’t know if I needed to specify which rides I wanted a Fastpass, or if this is an issue.

  • Love the new optimizer and cannot wait to use it. Two problems we have. The first is that I don’t see the Tinkerbell meet and greet at Magic Kingdom as an option. The second is that my plan had me doing club cool at Epcot at 9:00 am. I didn’t think it opened until 11?

  • Hi, love the touring plans software, can’t wait to be out there in a few days to try it for real. I have a problem with my MK plan (http://touringplans.com/plans/178545), when I go to print it the steps get out of order with the map, i.e. Peter pan is listed as step 2 in the “Your Plans Step”, but is step 1 on the map. Cheers, Giles – UK.

  • Len, I continue to be impressed by this software and your team’s efforts to improve it.

    1 thing that I don’t think I saw addressed in the other comments: It appears the numbering is off on the printed version of the plans. For example, on an Animal Kingdom plan I generated, step 1 if Primeval Whirl and it’s #1 on the map, but on the written steps it’s listed as #2 and there’s no #1.

  • by Clark Griswold on May 31, 2012, at 11:53 am EST

    Hi Len:

    Two quick questions as we make final plans for arrival next week:

    #1: When using the Lines App on iPhone, I see no “evaluate” only “optimize.” Have I missed something? I am concerned because as we get to the Parks, if something changes, I don’t want to risk optimizing if it will change the stepson my plan.

    #2: I recall you wrote a while back that once you activate a plan in the Lines app and then secure a FP as the plan indicates, you would be able to enter the actually (rather than estimated / projected) return time. I don’t see that in the App currently and am wondering if it will be coming soon.



  • Len – I noticed that the following “error” notification has been added in the optimizer:
    “The plan may not get to all your attractions before your day ends, or the plan may not get you to your meals or breaks on time. We suggest either selecting fewer attractions or taking shorter meals or breaks.”
    This is good because before you didn’t know if you had too much stuff packed in. However, it appears to give this message if you have anything ending after closing time. This is an issue with the closing shows like Illuminations. Whenever I have illuminations in an epcot plan I always get that message. Here is a plan that I created that only has 2 attractions in it (including Illuminations) to illustrate the point. The other attraction is a World Showcase attraction which it is scheduling for 8:15AM which I think is a known problem you are working on.

  • by Andrew Drummond on May 31, 2012, at 2:47 pm EST

    Do you guys still want bugs to be reported in the form provided when the new UI launched?

  • just noticed this on http://touringplans.com/plans/178937 – it has me going to the welcome show at 8.50 when park opens at 8 for emh

  • by Meredith McCutcheon on May 31, 2012, at 4:14 pm EST

    I am not able to add Country Bear Jamboree to my personalized touring plan. It is saying that this attraction will be under refurbishment, but we are going to MK on 8/26. The refurb is not scheduled to begin until 9/1.

  • by Clark Griswold on June 2, 2012, at 8:32 pm EST

    Hi Len:
    Two quick questions as we make final plans for arrival next week:
    #1: When using the Lines App on iPhone, I see no “evaluate” only “optimize.” Have I missed something? I am concerned because as we get to the Parks, if something changes, I don’t want to risk optimizing if it will change the stepson my plan.
    #2: I recall you wrote a while back that once you activate a plan in the Lines app and then secure a FP as the plan indicates, you would be able to enter the actually (rather than estimated / projected) return time. I don’t see that in the App currently and am wondering if it will be coming soon.

  • As I just finished my ADRs for my trip in November, I’m now working on my Touring Plans. For Epcot it asks which entrance we are arriving via. It would be nice if we could select leaving via either entrance. I’m arriving via the main, leaving via the gateway for an ADR at Cape May, returning via the gateway and leaving for the night via the main. Even breaking the day into two plans still isn’t *quite* right, but it’s as close as I can get at this point.

    For MK, It would be nice if the program could utilize the railroad as a mode of transportation. Say I want to get on the train at main street and off at Fantasyland. If I add both steps to my plan, it’s got me getting on at Main Street, taking the train ALL the way around the park, then walking to Fantasyland and doing the SAME thing. Having an option when you select a Railway Station of where you will get off the train would totally ROCK.

  • I submitted a bug report but I figured I’d put this here since that seems to be what all of the cool kids are doing. In my Magic Kingdom touring plan, no matter where I put the Tangled Meet and Greet, it always has a 0 min wait, which I’m assuming is not true. Also, the FASTPASS for the Town Square Meet and Greets are listed but can’t be added to the plan. Here’s the link: http://touringplans.com/plans/171008

    • Ditto as it relates to Madison’s comments. Also, I’ve encountered some bugginess in using the “Add Break” function, though using “Add Meal” and choosing a nearby location serves as an adequate work-around. Overall, great tool. Thanks & kudos.

  • I’m having trouble moving a Get Fast Pass event to the top of my plan. I don’t know if there is a limitation to being able to move above another Get Fast Pass event to prevent the dragging. I’ve tried on both IE 9 and Chrome 19.

    Is there a work around? My URL is: http://touringplans.com/plans/193192


  • I’m making changes to my trip in November and while I was able to previously add “Expedition Everest Single Rider Line” to my plan for 11/27, it is not available to add to my plan for 11/25. Did they quit the single rider line? Is it not available that day? Is this a bug? Thanks!

  • I don’t know if you’re still monitoring this post, but the Tower of Terror and Haunted Mansion do not have “Child Swap” options in the software.

  • Using Google Chrome Version 28.0.1500.72 m. I am unable to delete attractions from my personalized touring plan. I can drag attractions to change the order, and add new attractions. When I click on the X next to an attraction to delete it the screen scrolls to the top, but the attraction is not deleted. How can I delete attractions from a personalized touring plan? Thank you!

  • by Laura Gouillart on January 11, 2014, at 9:07 pm EST

    I can’t figure out how to drag and reorder events in the plan. I can highlight things, but can’t move them. I’m using a fairly new iPad. What am I not getting?