TouringPlans.com vs Josh recommended parks

Christie

New member
Well, this year, I just put my dates in last week, out of curiosity. I've gotten 2 emails since then. Last year, I did it much earlier and got MANY - easily over 10 by the time my trip rolled around. Some were nonsense changes -- 5.0 to 5.1, but some, like a few in my email above were significant, and would have changed my plans completely had I been relying on them.

Anyway, regarding the TP email, I don't subscribe to TP and have never seen one of these emails. I'm curious, if you input your vacation dates, how many times would you expect to receive one of these email updates? Is it only once as your vacation draws near or could it be multiple times as they seem fit? If it's mulitiple times, that would be highly annoying to me.
 

josh

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, if you listen to Len talk about what goes into the TouringPlans models and whatnot, it all sounds extremely intelligent. Very impressive. But it doesn't work. And I don't think you can argue that it does work. They made 40 changes to a 7-day period with less than two months to go to the date. And they're going to make 40+ more changes before those dates actually come to pass. If I were planning a vacation, it would drive me nuts. And I think that's their biggest problem - a disconnect between their math and what actually helps people make sound vacation plans.
 

Marianna

New member
I've never seen TP's touring plan. How odd that he gives it to you as (for example) 5.9 rather than just rounding it on up to 6.
 

bnoble

he's right
French babies be WALKIN!
There was a great article recently about the differences in French and American parenting styles. Unfortunately, WSJ is often paywalled, but on the off chance it is not (or you happen to be Journal subscriber---I am, so I can't tell either way) this is a good read:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204740904577196931457473816.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
(Edited to add: the author has also written a book or two. Might be worth a read.)

Forgot to add. Many people who use ECV's at WDW never use them at home, but when you are covering 5-10 miles a day, it can be too much for them to handle without the help.
There isn't really all that much less walking at DLR, though, is there? Heck, we are convinced we are doing much *more* walking in DC than we typically do at WDW. We logged four miles just yesterday morning doing the Memorial loop plus the Tidal Basin for the cherry blossoms. Americans like their symbols of power to be LARGE.
 

pfalcioni

does anybody know how to change this?
We average about 6 miles a day at DLR, the same at WDW, but DLR is usually only 2 or 3 days with little walking outside of the parks (resorts are small, drive to dinner, etc.). WDW usually is a much longer vacation and includes quite a bit more walking around the resort, to dinner, etc.
 

bnoble

he's right
I suppose. But, not only did we notice fewer ECVs, we also noticed that, generally, there were fewer people you'd characterize as overweight. At WDW, I'm practically svelte in comparison to the typical guest. At DLR, not so much. I'd put the DC tourists sort of in the middle between WDW and DLR.
 

Sweetums

New member
I got another similar email today from someone lamenting the changes:


  • 01, 2013: Disney's Hollywood Studios is no longer a park to avoid.
  • 01, 2013: Animal Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 1.1 to 4.9.
  • 01, 2013: Magic Kingdom is now a park to avoid.
  • 01, 2013: Magic Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 3.7 to 5.1.
  • 01, 2013: Epcot Crowd Level updated from 2.1 to 3.1.
  • 02, 2013: Epcot Crowd Level updated from 5.8 to 1.1.
  • 02, 2013: Disney's Hollywood Studios is now a park to avoid.
  • 02, 2013: Resort-wide Crowd Level updated from 4 to 5.
  • 02, 2013: Disney's Hollywood Studios Crowd Level updated from 3.8 to 6.3.
  • 02, 2013: Magic Kingdom is now a best park.
  • 02, 2013: Animal Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 2.3 to 4.6.
  • 02, 2013: Magic Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 3.9 to 5.2.
  • 02, 2013: Epcot is no longer a park to avoid.
  • 03, 2013: Epcot is now a best park.
  • 03, 2013: Epcot Crowd Level updated from 3.7 to 2.1.
  • 03, 2013: Disney's Hollywood Studios is no longer a best park.
  • 03, 2013: Disney's Hollywood Studios Crowd Level updated from 1.1 to 6.0.
  • 03, 2013: Resort-wide Crowd Level updated from 5 to 6.
  • 04, 2013: Disney's Hollywood Studios is now a best park.
  • 04, 2013: Resort-wide Crowd Level updated from 4 to 6.
  • 04, 2013: Disney's Hollywood Studios Crowd Level updated from 3.1 to 4.7.
  • 04, 2013: Magic Kingdom is now a best park.
  • 04, 2013: Animal Kingdom is no longer a best park.
  • 04, 2013: Animal Kingdom is now a park to avoid.
  • 04, 2013: Epcot is no longer a park to avoid.
  • 04, 2013: Animal Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 1.7 to 6.2.
  • 05, 2013: Animal Kingdom is now a park to avoid.
  • 05, 2013: Resort-wide Crowd Level updated from 5 to 6.
  • 05, 2013: Animal Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 4.2 to 6.3.
  • 05, 2013: Magic Kingdom is no longer a park to avoid.
  • 06, 2013: Animal Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 5.2 to 7.1.
  • 06, 2013: Magic Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 4.8 to 6.3.
  • 06, 2013: Disney's Hollywood Studios is no longer a park to avoid.
  • 06, 2013: Animal Kingdom is now a park to avoid.
  • 07, 2013: Animal Kingdom is no longer a best park.
  • 07, 2013: Resort-wide Crowd Level updated from 6 to 7.
  • 07, 2013: Animal Kingdom is now a park to avoid.
  • 07, 2013: Magic Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 5.1 to 6.4.
  • 07, 2013: Animal Kingdom Crowd Level updated from 5.6 to 7.4.
  • 07, 2013: Disney's Hollywood Studios is no longer a park to avoid.

That does not seem particularly helpful to me.
That was me! And you are right - not very helpful when someone is trying to plan ahead. They originally had 4's and 5's for my trip and now it's mostly 6's and a 7. Plus a whole bunch of changes to which parks are "best" and "worst". I usually have ADRs and would plan them according to their recommendations. I decided early on this time to go with the EasyWDW Crowd Calendar. Glad I did (at least I think so - will know for sure when I get back!). :RpS_smile:
 

Not That Josh

Well-known member
There isn't really all that much less walking at DLR, though, is there? Heck, we are convinced we are doing much *more* walking in DC than we typically do at WDW. We logged four miles just yesterday morning doing the Memorial loop plus the Tidal Basin for the cherry blossoms. Americans like their symbols of power to be LARGE.
I wonder if there is less of a grandparent factor in DC than at WDW. I always hear people mention the number of grandparents that want to go to WDW with the grandchildren. I have no idea if the numbers would support that, but it could explain part of the reason there are less ECV's.

I suppose. But, not only did we notice fewer ECVs, we also noticed that, generally, there were fewer people you'd characterize as overweight. At WDW, I'm practically svelte in comparison to the typical guest. At DLR, not so much. I'd put the DC tourists sort of in the middle between WDW and DLR.
I also wonder if there is less of a grandparent factor at DLR than WDW.

I would think less overweight people could be at least partially explained by location. All the reports about the heaviest states in the US generally show that those states are in the South and Midwest (who spend more time at WDW). DLA has a bigger presence from locals in the LA area, which tends to average a lower weight or BMI.

I have thought way too much about this considering it doesn't matter at all to me why there is a difference.

Since I'm typing already, I'm curious if you noticed more or fewer strollers in DLR?
 

Valita

New member
Sorry if this is not the place to ask this. I tried to find the answer already in existing threads but can't seem to. I picked the days that we would go down, and which park on which day, based on Josh's recommendations. Thanks so much for those! Then I made customized touring plans on touringplans.com based on what my kids want to see, and the "optimized" order is just strange. In MK, it has us starting the day at Swiss Family Treehouse. Then Aladdin's Magic Carpets. Then meander over to Splash Mountain around 10.

So my question is, are their itineraries really that accurate in helping you avoid crowds in your estimation/experience? We are going 2nd week of Sept when it's not so crowded, but it seems intuitive that we'd start at the headliner--Splash Mountain.

Am I better off just taking Josh's plan, removing the attractions that might scare my kiddos, and kind of coming up with my own version?

Thoughts? Thanks in advance!
 

cynthiap

New member
I like to use touring plans to schedule my day but I never use their Optimize option. It does wacky things like you mentioned. I use Josh's cheat sheets and what I have learned about the parks and how I want to plan the day. Then I put it in touring plans and move the items into the order I want. Then you can click Evaluate and it will judge the timing based on the order you have everything. It takes some teaking but I do like the end result most times- except with Epcot WS. Somehow their wait, ride, walk times come out pretty accurate even when their crowd calenders seem so off.
 

vicki_c

THE RULES!!!
I think touring plans site and plans have their place but I would be seriously skeptical of ANY plan from ANY place that told you to start at Swiss Family Treehouse. Use Josh's cheat sheets!
 

nolarookie

Well-known member
I think touring plans site and plans have their place but I would be seriously skeptical of ANY plan from ANY place that told you to start at Swiss Family Treehouse. Use Josh's cheat sheets!
Yes, starting at the Treehouse is nuts. Tailor Josh's cheatsheets to your needs. We did this on our last trip, and it was perfect. No waits, and no over thinking.
 
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