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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tip Tuesday: "Touring" Plans

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

For those of you new to the DisneyDaddy blog, each Tuesday, I offer a tip I've either developed or heard of. You can always go back and read past Tip Tuesday posts by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" link on the right side of this page.

Now for this week's tip:

In last week's post, I talked about some information you needed to keep with you while at Walt Disney World. This information included dining reservations, park hours and Extra Magic Hours (EMH). One reason why you want to have this information handy is so you can develop your own touring plans.

I use the term "touring plans" only because it's the most common term used among Disney fans describing a plan for how to go about spending time in the parks. There is a site ( that offers (for a fee) more than 100 different touring plans designed for all sorts of scenarios. For those who feel they need some advice from some Disney experts, might be a resource to check out.

The best kind of touring plan, in my opinion, however, is the plan that does what you want to do. If you're a "gotta-do-it-all-and-see-it-all" kind of person, than you'll want to think about the best ways to mix the use of FastPasses, single rider lines, and standby lines to get in as much as possible (it also helps to go on a night with late EMH hours so that the park is open much later, giving you more time, assuming you're staying on-property).

Most guests, aren't quite so commando in their time at the parks. That's why I suggest making a list of the top 3-10 attractions you want to experience in each parks (top 3 for shorter visits, top 10 for longer trips). Once you have that list, try to map out where you want to go, keeping in mind some basic tips:

  • If Dumbo's (MK) on the list - get there early and first (best on an EMH early day). That's one attraction that always has a long line - and there's no FastPass.
  • If Toy Story Mania's (DHS) on the list - get there early and get FastPasses. They tend to run out by the afternoon, if not sooner. If you're at rope drop, you can get a FastPass and then go right into the standby line - you might just get two rides in a few hours.
  • Peter Pan's Flight (MK) generally has a longer queue, especially in the afternoon. This is another good one to FastPass, if it's on your list.
  • Like Toy Story Mania, fastpasses for Soarin' (Epcot) and Expedition Everest (AK) go quick. If it's on your list, get a FastPass early. Be sure to check the standby lines, however - if it's 20 minutes or less, you might want to just go right in.
  • When Space Mountain (MK) reopens in a few weeks, it's going to be slammed, so if it's on your list, plan on using FastPasses, at least for the next few months.
  • Remember that World Showcase at Epcot opens later than World Showcase. Lately, WS has been opening at 9 a.m. instead of 11. If you have Malestrom on your list, keep an eye on the opening time and you might be able to catch a walk-on at Malestrom before the crowds come.
  • You can only hold one FastPass at a time, with some exceptions (see this previous post).
  • Always pick up a times guide. This will help you better plan when certain shows and character meet-and-greets are available.

So before your next trip, take a few moments and plan what you want to do at each park. Then plan your route to make your day go a little bit easier.

Have fun!


ToDisneyWeGo said...

Great tips, thank you! Passing these on to a friend who'll be going soon for the first time!

hwork said...

Hey Chuck,

Thanks a lot for the link! You do a great job giving the low down on TouringPlans.

Just wanted to point you to our new mobile wait time product, Lines (announcement here: We think it's an excellent complement to any good touring plan.

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