Mom And Son Giraffe
  • On Apr 29, 2012
    Nicole from PA Asked

    Hello lovely ladies (and a few gents), I have been hearing rave reviews about the touring plans from the unofficial guide to WDW, have any of you used them, if so do you recommend it. Any advice for incorporating dining into the plans? Any advice at all?

    Hi Nicole!

    Thank you for sending in your question to the Walt Disney World Moms Panel.

    I'm a huge fan of the touring plans produced by TouringPlans.com.  I've also tested a few of them officially for Len Testa, the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and I try to collect wait time data for them whenever I'm in Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

    Basically, Touring Plans has turned Walt Disney World into a famous operations research (think math) problem called the time dependent traveling salesman problem.  You can think of it as if your are a salesman that has to visit customers in various neighborhood and you want to do it as fast (or using as less fuel) as possible.  TouringPlans has done that whereby they try and maximize the number of attractions a guest can enjoy while minimizing waiting in lines.

    The plans do save time, but they come with some negatives.  If you are traveling with young children, it's hard to explain to them why you are skipping a nearby attraction (they don't always understand when you say "trust me, we'll come back to it later").  Most of the plans also require you to be there at park opening.  It is the best advice possible, regardless of whether you use a plan or not, but a lot of guests just can't be at a park when it opens.

    The most important part of the plan is the first half, unless you are visiting during an extremely crowded time of the year.  I suggest giving it a try.  With regards to food, the plans are designed for a lunch break around Noon and a dinner break at a normal time.

    I hope this helps!  Please write back with more questions!
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Meet the Panelist: Bernie, Maryland

I am an engineer with NASA with prior Air Force service. My wife and I have two boys, ages 13 and 8. At home, I'm known as the "Disney Guy" and I've enjoyed helping guests plan their Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and Disneyland vacations. Learn More About Bernie

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