So, earlier this week, I officially completed my initial round of creating Touring Plans. I use touringplans.com for this, always have. I don’t know if there are alternatives to this or not, but if so, feel free to let me know in the comments. A few weeks ago, I posted lists to our event page on Facebook, where we can all congregate to talk about our trip, of all the attractions and shows in each of the parks, along with markings of whether or not I was planning on including those attractions or not. I then, pulled those attractions into my touring plans, and optimized. There are a few hiccups in the TouringPlans system, but I managed to get everything hammered out in a way that should work.
I will note that the primary problems I have with personalized plans on the Touring Plans site, is it’s very reliant on the timing of your schedule, so if you want to end after the fireworks or after dinner, and don’t note that in your time, it will leave giant breaks in the middle of your schedule. I also find that if I add multiple meals in the initial setup of a plan, it ALWAYS changes the times that I input for those meals, and I have to go back and edit them again. Not too big a deal, but it can be kind of annoying. I also sometimes have to go ahead and schedule a break to get it to give me as much lead time as I want for finding a spot for nighttime shows etc.
The other problem I have in the program is fastpasses. Especially, with the parks that have groupings. For instance, in EPCOT, I’m wanting to get a FastPass for IllumiNations, but I know that it will be available later in the day, so I can go ahead and use a FastPass for one of the other big ticket rides. The problem is, to be able to go back in and get a Fastpass for IllumiNations later, I have to not only use my FastPass for Soarin’ or Test Track or Frozen: Ever After. I have to also use 2 FastPasses for Group A attractions. I sometimes have a hard time finding attractions that need a FastPass from those attractions, and almost always have a hard time getting TouringPlans to allow me to use those FastPasses when optimizing. It can be done, but it’ll often take some tweaking.
Other things I had to personally tweak were getting my allotted time for the Valley of Mo’ara at Animal Kingdom in after Rivers of Light, so that we can tour it in the dark, when the area comes alive with bioluminescence. Apparently, it’s less crowded when it’s not dark (who knew?), and TouringPlans wants me to go then, so I have to manually move it back to the end of the night every time.
Anyways, after lots of tweaking and squeezing, I managed to get everything done (for now). I’m sure everything will change in a few weeks, and of course, as soon as I posted my tentative schedule to the Facebook group, I got an email from Touring Plans with Crowd Calendar changes, and ended up swapping a day.
My breakdown worked out as, 1 and a half days in Magic Kingdom (full day in Fantasyland, half day in Not-Fantasyland), 1 Day in EPCOT (as a group of adults, we’d probably do at least a day and a half at EPCOT, but it’s May, so the wait times aren’t too bad, and we’ll probably skip most of the shows in World Showcase on account of the kiddos, so we do it in a day), 1 Day in Hollywood Studios (This was kind of a tough one, with the sporadic show schedules, but I managed to squeeze everything in, I assume some parts of our group will skip some things and do their own thing within this schedule. Also, we’ll have to go back for Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular), and 1 Day in Animal Kingdom (we’re skipping Rafiki’s Planet Watch and most of Dinoland, so it’s not too hard to squeeze this into a day, but there’s a lot to experience in this park, and I didn’t get to fully immerse myself last time around, so we’re going to do a few new things for us this trip here). Since we’ll have 6 day tickets, this means we actually have an extra free day to just go back and reride things or do some shopping, maybe head to Disney Springs. I noted if parts of the group wanted to go to Universal, this could be the spot. Anyways, free time is always good. Maybe not so good for my tight scheduling desires (shoot, where are we going to eat), but still good for other folks in the group who might like to play it by ear.
We’ll see how much we change from here, but hopefully I can take the hands off for at least a few weeks (I probably can’t. I live for this stuff). Also, if you made it this far, what do you think I should do on that free day?
Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you next time.