Some time ago I put up a teaser picture of the Magic Kingdom custom map we were working on for the site. Here’s the post to refresh your memory: https://www.easywdw.com/site-news/magic-kingdom-custom-map/. Today, I am happy to announce a new teaser post about a similar subject.
One of the key components of easyWDW 2.0 is going to be these new “easyPlans.” Here’s an example. You should be able to simply click it and it should load the PDF in your browser. If that doesn’t work, right click it and save it to your desktop and then open it from there:
There’s a lot going on here, so let me break it down for you. One of the nice things about PDF files is that they can easily be zoomed in if you’re having trouble seeing something on a smaller screen.
Anyway, the first thing you’ll notice is the color-coded custom map. Attractions that are marked green are “any time” attractions that you can safely visit any time of day and run into relatively short lines and waits. “Yellow attractions” are those that should be accomplished in the first two hours of operation or towards the end of the day, in this case after 6pm. In case a stage show is colored yellow, it means that you should try to get to the first or last show of the day. We see that at shows like Beauty and the Beast, which can be difficult to get good seats for in the middle of the afternoon. In the case of a yellow attraction that also offers FASTPASS, the color coding means that FASTPASSes should be collected after you take care of red attractions because they are less of a priority. Red attractions are those that should be visited in the first hour of operation or should be FASTPASS priorities. In Hollywood Studios, those attractions are obviously Toy Story Mania and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster. Attractions in all capital letters offer FASTPASS. For example, ROCK ‘N’ ROLLER COASTER.
To help quickly identify other areas of interest, quick service locations are colored pink, table service locations are colored purple, major stores are colored light blue, and buildings that are just sort of there are colored grey. Bathrooms are also clearly marked. As before, I’ll also have a version of the map with the approximate walking times clearly visible. You may want to print the easyPlan on one side and the map with walking times on the other side. Most of this information is noted in the legend in the top right corner.
On the left hand side, you’ll see the list of attractions in order, just in case you’re not sure what the numbers represent. In the case of shows, it lists the specific showtime that you’re supposed to visit. I know one of the big complaints with touring plans is that you don’t have any idea about whether or not you’re “on track,” behind, or ahead of schedule. These easyPlans are designed to not only be efficient, but actually work so that you can see the shows and ride the attractions as written on the plan. No more supposedly going to a Beauty and the Beast show right before Fantasmic starts. If you tried to do that tonight, you’d end up at a 5:45pm Beauty and the Beast Show and a 9pm or 10:30pm Fantasmic. That’s a lot of time to twiddle your thumbs.
Moving down to page 2, you’ll see the attractions in order again. This time, each attraction has its own dropdown menu. On the far right hand side, you can click any of the attractions and peruse your options. At the end of each easyPlan is a list of attractions that are skipped and a brief explanation of the best way to work that attraction into the Plan. If you’d like to substitute attractions out, you can easily do so in the dropdown menus. While this doesn’t currently change the number scheme in the map above, a blank map will be provided so that you can number the attractions yourself. In most cases, enough of a variety will be offered that a ton of substitutions won’t be necessary.
In addition, it also lists the attraction length and either the average afternoon peak wait or the expected show times. For example, you might see:
Indiana Jones Spectacular – 30 minutes (11:30am, 12:45pm, 2:00, 4:15, 5:30, (6:45))
This means that Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is 30 minutes long and has the following show times. If you see a show in another set of brackets, in this case (6:45pm), it means that this show isn’t always scheduled. As always, check your Times Guide to confirm showtimes.
In the case of:
Star Tours – 5 Minutes (30 +/- 10)
It means that Star Tours is five minutes long and has an average afternoon peak wait time of 30 minutes, given a “5” overall crowd level. The +/- means that you can add or subtract ten minutes to get the average peak wait time with different crowd levels. If the overall crowd level was a 2 and the Studios was recommended, you could expect to see a 20 minute average peak wait time (30 – 10 = 20 minutes). Conversely, an overall crowd level of 7 and a non-recommendation would get you a 40 minute peak wait. Basically, the intention is to give you an idea about the afternoon wait time. It isn’t necessarily the be-all, end-all of wait time predictions.
Finally from this section, you may also notice the attraction name and attraction time followed by “Obtain FASTPASS.” For example:
Star Tours – 19 Minutes – Obtain FASTPASS
Here, the number of minutes is the average time it takes to complete the attraction using FASTPASS. For example, on average, you can expect to spend 19 minutes in line, riding, and exiting Star Tours when using your FASTPASSes collected earlier in the day. I realize this is kind of confusing and will try to hash out a smarter way of doing this. The idea is that when you select an attraction to collect FASTPASSes for, you’ll know how long it will take to ride with FASTPASS later in the day. It doesn’t at all indicate the amount of time it takes to collect FASTPASSes for that attraction.
Moving down, the next couple of pages outline the circumstances in which a particular easyPlan might make the most sense. There will be a variety of options for each theme park. For example, you might want to tour Hollywood Studios from the morning through the Parade. You may want to arrive later in the morning and tour through Fantasmic. Or you might want to arrive at 8:30am and stay through for a 10:30pm Fantasmic. There’s also some information about the variables you’ll run into and how to stay flexible if you’d like to make changes. These Plans aren’t necessarily meant to be a lesson in military execution, even if it seems like it’s a strict laundry list of things to do. Each easyPlan is designed to get you to where you “need” to be, but there’s plenty of room for customization. There’s also a few notes about the Plan in particular. In this case, there’s some information about how to extend the day if you’d like to stay longer, how to change the Plan based on when Fantasmic begins, and when to collect additional FASTPASSes. There’s also a little section about where to find more information about participating in Jedi Training Academy and how that affects Plans.
Next, you’ll find a longer walkthrough. This will be particularly helpful if you’re not familiar with the theme park or would like additional tips about how to get around and why we do the things that we do. For example, most easyPlans will have you walk right by Tower of Terror to get to Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster in the morning. This may seem nonsensical, but we do it because waits at Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster build much faster than Tower of Terror. You’ll also find advice on the best seats for a stage show, how early to arrive for a show, recommendations for lunch, etc.
Finally, you’ll find a list of the attractions that are skipped and the easiest way to fit them into the easyPlan if you so choose. It usually means substituting one attraction for another. In most cases, we simply can’t do everything over the course of the day. I’ve selected what I think most people will enjoy, but it’s very possible that you have a bizarre taste in attractions and want to do things another way. That’s no problem and you’ll be able to quickly see what it is that’s skipped.
This may seem overly complicated, but the good news is that like the Crowd Calendars, once you know how to read one ,you know how to read them all.
If you’d like to be “in” on these sorts of things in the future. You should join the easyWDW forums over at http://www.easywdw.com/forums. We’ve been discussing these for about a week over here: http://www.easywdw.com/forums/showthread.php?1456-Touring-Plans-Redux-quot-BluePrints-quot.