Thursday, February 10, 2011

13. TouringPlans.com

TouringPlans.com is a great website that I discovered just prior to our most recent Walt Disney World vacation.  It was created by the authors of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.  Essentially, touringplans.com is the best place to find predicted crowd levels for each park for the next 365 days.  You can also find step-by-step "touring plans" to help you efficiently navigate the parks depending on the amount of time you have and the ages of the people in your traveling party.

I rarely recommend websites that charge subscription fees, but this is definitely an exception.  There is useful information at touringplans.com without spending any money, but the $10.95 price tag for a year's subscription is worth every penny.  The amount of time you save (and lines you avoid) by using the information from this site is priceless.

The first section of touringplans.com to visit is the crowd calendar.  Here you will find a ranking for the overall expected crowd levels as well as for each park individually.  The rankings are based on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being the least crowded and 10 being a situation that you should definitely try to avoid unless you love standing in long lines.  The rankings are not just the opinions of a couple Disney World veterans, they are incredibly accurate predictions based on years of research and scientific data.  My favorite part of the crowd calendar is the breakdown of what to expect at each park.  There could be when the Magic Kingdom can be ranked as a 1 and Epcot can be a 4 or 5.  These numbers represent a major difference in wait times.  You would certainly find me at the Magic Kingdom on that day!  I utilized this system on our recent trip and found it to be a great tool to help us enjoy our vacation without waiting in long lines.

The second part of touringplans.com are the "touring plans."  These are detailed lists and accompanying maps that give you the best attractions (in the best order) to see based on your time and ages of the people in your group.  For example, a one day Magic Kingdom touring plan for families with small children will definitely be different from a two day plan for seniors.  Just like the crowd calendar, the touring plans are based on a huge amount of research and historical data.   They are great tools for all of us but especially helpful for newer visitors to the vacation kingdom.

Finally, the last section of the site is entitled "lines."  In a nutshell, this area of the website will give you actual, current wait times for each attraction.  In addition, it provides fastpass return times.  This information is best utilized on a mobile phone unless you really want to lug around a laptop computer as you make your way around the parks.  They have mobile phone versions of the website as well as a "Lines" iPhone app which I am going to dedicate an entire article to in the near future.  For now, I recommend subscribing to touringplans.com for anyone who is planning a trip to Walt Disney World.  You won't be sorry!

Have a Disneyriffic day and remember to keep moving forward.  See ya real soon!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Dave! This looks like a really valuable site to check out!

    ReplyDelete
  2. My pleasure GGAmber. Thanks for checkin out my blog!

    ReplyDelete