How full do you like to pack your touring plans?

Rach3975

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
I know there are some of us who like to plan out every ride and others of us who schedule only FPs and ADRs. I fall on the more-planning side of that spectrum. For those of you who plan a lot of the day, how much free time do you like to leave in your plans?

When I put together our plans, I choose the slowest walking speed and build in an extra unplanned hour (sometimes more) to give us some cushion. If necessary, we could also adapt to longer than-expected-waits by skipping a few of our lower priority attractions or ending our park day a little later than planned.

This is only our second trip, and I'm starting to wonder if I've built in too much just-in-case time. Maybe we'd make better use of the time if I scheduled in one or two things with medium lines that we'd be more into (as opposed to just spending a few minutes here and there on rides with short lines that we happen to be near)? How much time do you truly need as a cushion? Do you also leave some chunks of time unplanned and decide how to use them in the moment, or do you like to plan everything out?
 

disneydreamer1980

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
We have touring plans up until lunch, when we can be gung-ho since we have more energy and we can get a lot done due to lower crowds. After lunch we have unstructured “free time” where we ride whatever we can get an extra FP for or whatever line is short, and we just enjoy the atmosphere. It’s the best of both worlds this way, we get the super planned out morning where we run around and get lots done and the relaxed afternoon and evening where we enjoy the parks at a slower pace.
 
  • Sarcazm

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 6, 2017
    I like to fill up "the extra space" with things that won't be missed if I have to scratch some stuff off (if time gets too tight).

    So, if I'm in Fantasyland, maybe I'll work in Mad Tea Party or the Caroussel or it's a small world but know I can scratch them off if time starts getting away from me. That way I know what is nearby if there's time to do it. I also made a list of stuff "nearby" the attractions like Penny Press Machines, Magic Shots, Sorcerors of the Magic Kingdom spots, Wilderness Explorers Spots, etc. So, if we're like "huh, what do we do before our next FP?" Well, there's a Penny Press machine or there's a Magic Shot or we can do Mad Tea Party or whatever.

    I like doing this ahead of time because I'd hate to see something potential to do in the park (in the moment) and find out that the line gets really long or you need a reservation or it costs extra or whatever.

    I like to be efficient with as little as line as possible.

    That being said, we rode Mad Tea Party 3 times last trip because we were ahead on our Touring Plans. So, I did do some things that were not planned (which is a great problem to have).
     

    Sparkly

    Starlight, starbright...
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2012
    We just had ADRs and fastpasses and are skipping the ADRs next time. We don't even always attend our fastpasses if we don't fancy the ride. We're very relaxed tourers.
     

    Tksolomom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2017
    I schedule everything just so I get a rough idea of what I can do. I leave more time for the Epcot pavilions and AK trails than recommended (30 min). The mornings especially until lunch I really like to schedule while crowds are lighter, and book rest or show times in the afternoon. We are park commandos though without little kids, so it is easier going from park open to close, especially in December when park hours are shorter.
     
  • StacyStrong

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 8, 2018
    I usually only do my 3 fast passes.

    This year is different in that I scheduled a couple ADRs and extras. But generally I don't plan too thoroughly. I have a rough idea of what park I want to go to and what rides I care about.
     

    raytheyounger

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 23, 2001
    I used to plan everything with little free time, and we got a lot done and had a lot of fun. Now that we have been a few times, I don't plan nearly as much, and we still have a lot of fun. I now focus on the few rides/attractions that we definitely want to do, then I will have a very loose plan for the other times (if I have a plan at all). It really depends on what works for your situation. It sounds like you have a good plan, and you have been before, so you have an idea of what works.

    I like to compare it to football (I like to compare a lot of things to football). Teams go through the week creating a game plan. A good game plan is vital to success. However, on game day, the team may find out that their game plan isn't working as they expected. Maybe the other team has a few new wrinkles that are throwing off the game plan. Great teams know how to adjust their game plan based on what happens on game day. I view touring plans similarly. Make a plan, but be flexible to deviate from it. In football, the goal is to win the game. At Disney World, the goal is to have fun, meaningful experiences. The plan is a means to the end, not an end itself. Remember that, and you should be fine.

    (Sorry, that was more philosophical than practical.)
     

    cincystamper

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 5, 2010
    I don't build in the extra unplanned hour like you do, but I do choose the slowest walking speed and overestimate times for meals. I travel with my 71-year old mother who walks with a rollator and both of us like to take our time, soaking in the details of what we're seeing. It's not unusual for us to stop and spend 10 minutes taking pictures of the architecture of a building or trying to get the perfect shot of that one flower or whatever. We also like to not rush through meals, so while a lot of people suggest planning on an 60-90 minutes for a TS meal, I usually plan 90-120 minutes. And for things I know we enjoy, I'll schedule them twice, back-to-back. We usually sit through 2 or 3 sets from the Voices of Liberty, for instance. That way, if we want to linger we're not missing something else, but if we want to move on, we've got plenty of time. We're often a bit ahead of "schedule" according to our tour plan and take advantage of the time to use the restroom, get snacks, enjoy people watching, and just NOT feel frantic about getting to our next thing.
     
  • kathy884

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2009
    For an MK day, the main Disney park we've been doing recently (have been doing four night / three day mini trips recently vs. longer ones with two theme parks (MK and SeaWorld usually) and one relative visit day), we usually have about 14 attractions on the plan for the MK (16 if you count the quick service lunch and quick service dinner in the plan). Do note that for those 14 items - one is the parade and one is the projection show and Happily Ever After, so maybe you would count that as 12 items??

    With as crowded as the parks are these days, with the initial cut of the plan before FP + and we will get three, we only have maybe an extra half hour not planned for looking at the main street USA shops, etc. at the end of the day or other miscellaneous add ons. Shops are open though during evening EMH I believe and no one is going to make you leave if you are shopping, so we definitely have time for this end of day. This, though, as stated is before I have added in fastpasses, which will probably cut wait times by another hour, leaving an hour and a 1/2 unplanned, plus the end of day window for shopping if DS wants. I see two 40-45 minute waits projected for things we should be able to get a FP for (ones that usually are super easy for snagging an FP) and one 20 minute wait I'll probably get an FP for. But alas then there is 7DMT with an hour wait (a full 59 minute wait projected and usually it's been longer than the projection for us), but I've never as an offsite visitor been able to get a FP for that unless it's at the very end of the day and that would mean not seeing fireworks -- not acceptable to DS. I will propose skipping this, but if DS 23 wants to stay in the line and do it that's OK. Fortunately it looks like it will be our only long line. But personally there is no way to me that the while a perfectly cute and fun ride is worth waiting an hour -- you've got to be kidding.

    Although we have a full plan, it doesn't for us take time away from soaking up the vibe, stopping for things we want to stop for, and maybe skipping some things if we are looking like we are behind. We can reoptimize and change the plan during the day too or just do our own thing. We definitely don't feel tied to it, just because we have it. But it does enhance, help us organize our day and gets us to ahead of time decide for the most part what we'd like to do and a plan for shorter lines.

    And one day at the MK is definitely all we need to enjoy the atmosphere and hit our favorites, even as offsite visitors (I'm not paying the big bucks for a second day for sure and Disney basically doesn't do any discounts worth mentioning until you are talking four park days). // Note -- this is just two adults at the park too who have been many times -- no little kids -- no seniors in ECVs -- not a huge party (takes a little longer to get from place to place with a larger party, etc.).

    Oh and our plan is using touringplan.com -- starting with adult highlights and then doing our own additions and subtractions. // A full day planned before adding FPs which will add some extra time and then a willingness to skip some things and have in mind what we will drop if we are behind is the way we do it.
     

    mi*vida*loca

    Collect memories, not things
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2008
    I've never followed an actual touring plan. I make the personalized ones on www.touringplans.com just so I can get an idea of what wait times may be and really to have a little fun before the trip but we never actually use them. Instead I go in with a game plan in my head. I will have a mental list of the first few rides we will do along with our FP+ and everything else is fair game.

    On our AK AM EMH RD day I know we are going to go straight to EE and ride it as many times as we can with no wait. After that we will do ITTBAB, meet Mickey and Minnie, Lion King Show before starting our FP+ at the Safari.

    On MK RD day we are going straight to Tomorrowland.

    On Epcot RD day we are going to Frozen, then Soarin.

    On DHS RD day we are going to do RnRC and ToT as many times as we can before lines build and then head over to TSL for FP+.

    We RD each park once and then the other 6 days we sleep in, start late, and shut the park down so those days are mostly us winging it other than our FP+. We have 10 day hoppers plus MVMCP tickets so we aren't in a rush on any day.

    According to Touring Plans all of my plans should work time wise with lots of room to spare. I have lots of gaps with 20 minutes here and 30 minutes here which doesn't matter to me. I just plug in what I want to do on their site just to see if it'll work. We never look at them again.
     

    Delirium

    Hidden Mickey
    Joined
    Jun 19, 2013
    I create a detailed touring plan (my own, not from some pay site) and build 10-15 extra minutes into every single step of the plan. This creates a situation where, after a couple of hours, we have a decent amount of additional time at our disposal to 'add-on', or if something unexpectedly slows us down (ride goes down, etc.), we are able to stay on track.

    The primary drivers in where we spend that extra time are reservations (FP and Dining). No matter how much time we have, we will not criss-cross the park in a random manner. For example, assume our morning plan has us doing Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square, with a 1:00 Peter Pan FP afterwards. If it gets to be 12:00 and we've completed everything that was scheduled to be done prior to Peter Pan on our touring plan, we're going to use that extra time in Liberty Square or Old Fantasyland. Maybe it's an extra ride on Haunted Mansion, maybe it's getting in a character line, or maybe it's just browsing the shops on Liberty Square, but we're not going to rush over to Tomorrowland, New Fantasyland or Main Street just to kill time waiting for our FP window to open up.

    Those 'extra time' moments often end up being some of the best of the trip.
     

    mydisneyanytime

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 30, 2012
    We just schedule fast passes and ADR's. I like to be able to stop where ever we want and take a side trip if we see something interesting so I don't want to be tied to a plan or disappointed when things don't work out. We have been alot and our trips where we did the least planning (just FP and ADR's) seem to be the most relaxed and most enjoyable. I do think that is because we have been so much and know that we will be back in the future that we aren't trying to cram everything into one day.
     

    Flamingeaux

    If I am posting I am at work dreaming about Disney
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2013
    Generally, I like to make plans for rope dropping a park and hitting certain must-do rides ASAP and using FPs sometime around lunch. After lunch we generally wing it.
     

    PDettorre

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 27, 2018
    I plan arrival time, FPs and ADRs but then the rest of the day i kind of wing it. I base a lot of my day by looking at the MDE app and checking wait times once the park has opened, hitting the closest rides to me at that time with the shortest wait times, while still working with my fastpasses. I find that if i schedule by the hour it all goes out the window when i get there, because some of the wait times are just too long and a waste of time, so i find that i base most of my trip on looking at the wait times on the app and jumping in line as soon as i see the time drop, that way i get more done!
     

    PollyannaMom

    I was a click-clack champ!!
    Joined
    May 16, 2006
    For the most part I just plan our FP's and a few ADR's for a week stay. I still research a lot to know what to expect and how to possibly fill time....what's going on, what's down for refurb, what specials or add ons are there, etc. I then use that info to wing it.
    This - lots of research, but a loose "plan A / plan B" sort of strategy in the end.

    For my upcoming trip, I have one ADR a day booked, and my FP+ day is approaching. We will be having a family meeting soon so I'm clear on everyone's MIMDIs (most-important-must-do-items).

    I used to plan everything with little free time, and we got a lot done and had a lot of fun. Now that we have been a few times, I don't plan nearly as much, and we still have a lot of fun. I now focus on the few rides/attractions that we definitely want to do, then I will have a very loose plan for the other times (if I have a plan at all). It really depends on what works for your situation. It sounds like you have a good plan, and you have been before, so you have an idea of what works.

    I like to compare it to football (I like to compare a lot of things to football). Teams go through the week creating a game plan. A good game plan is vital to success. However, on game day, the team may find out that their game plan isn't working as they expected. Maybe the other team has a few new wrinkles that are throwing off the game plan. Great teams know how to adjust their game plan based on what happens on game day. I view touring plans similarly. Make a plan, but be flexible to deviate from it. In football, the goal is to win the game. At Disney World, the goal is to have fun, meaningful experiences. The plan is a means to the end, not an end itself. Remember that, and you should be fine.

    (Sorry, that was more philosophical than practical.)
    I think it's a good analogy!
     
    Last edited:

    Nancyg56

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 2005
    I plan Park days, ADR's and FP. I decide if we are going for RD or close to that, or going later for evening entertainment. That's it. I know that on RD MK days we generally start in FL so the next time we turn left.
     

    loves to dive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2011
    We don't plan anything. When we were there in Sept. I had one FP booked before we got there. The rest were booked day of on the way to the park or while standing in line for a ride. We book ADRs for the night in the afternoon while walking around. Heck, we don't usually make resort reservations until about a month out and even then I tend to change them a time or two up until about a week before we go.
     

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