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Thread: TouringPlans.com vs Josh recommended parks

  1. #51
    Senior Member gccmedina's Avatar
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    that was kind of what i was thinking Epcot is not high on my priority other than the dinner and having her see some of the hands on stuff...ok I am changing the reservation so I don't have to interrupt our full MK...

  2. #52
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    I don't think I have ever been a fan of a person more than a site, at least to this point in my life. I like a site because of kind of information as well as the quality of that information.
    Well sure. I didn't say *everyone* does this. Just that some inevitably do---and they become the loudest voices in the the "debate." It is generally unwise to be a member of Site X and say "Yes, I know the fans of Site Y can be unreasonable, but sometimes we can be unreasonable too."

    in a unique situation like that
    In the Disneyana community, though, it's not that unique at all---nearly all of them are run by a single person or a small set of people who almost inevitably become the "faces" of each site. And, they tend to view one another as competitors as do each sites adherents.

    That's very different from e.g. the sports blog world, where various blog members for a single team tend to view each of the other blogs as kindred spirits---and, many view the blogs of *rival* teams in the same way---even though they have very different perceptions of things. For example, many of the people who read MGoBlog as Michigan fans *also* read and respect Eleven Warriors, even though it's an OSU blog. They might not dig the other fanbase, and they might dislike the school, but if someone writes intelligently (albeit passionately) about The Other Guys, why, they'll get readers from all over.

    In the various online communities in which I participate, I can't think of any single domain in which various adherents argue "which is best" as passionately as in the Disneyana community.

    To jump off topic
    Au contraire, mon frere. I suspect that is squarely on topic...I suspect that it is because people care about their vacations that they are inspired to passionate fandom. What I can't figure out is why that doesn't happen in other places---or even for other vacation destinations.

  3. #53
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    Josh, that was a beautiful response. :) Information I didn't know and delivered with style.

    I got reeled in here because I was looking to better my game plan and frankly....this was free. Didn't take me long to try out Josh's ( and others here) good advice to see how spot on this site is. I've really no need to try out someone elses formula for comparison.

    bnoble, I don't know that there is another vacation spot that requires so much planning to get your (sometimes huge) money's worth. Once people find a formula that (seemingly) works for them, they are reluctant to switch teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    so what you are saying is to first get peter pan fast pass and go straight to belle first thing in the morning, even if TP or others say not to and to do it after?

  5. #55
    who gon stop me? HUH? josh's Avatar
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    This is what I would tell you to do: http://www.easywdw.com/uncategorized...-part-1-32213/

    If you get in line for Enchanted Tales with Belle at 9:45am, you're going to wait for 45 minutes and then it's going to take 25 minutes to get through the attraction. The wait increases by 5ish minutes for every 40 people that arrive in front of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfan1 View Post
    so what you are saying is to first get peter pan fast pass and go straight to belle first thing in the morning, even if TP or others say not to and to do it after?
    Just did this a few weeks ago. ABSOLUTELY go to Belle first. I would not stop to get the Peter FP first, as I'd try to get in the first Belle group. It was amazing to me on a non-crowded, reco'd day, how much the line had formed just while we were in the first group. I'd follow his reco for Belle, then Journey of the Little Mermaid, then could grab a Peter FP before or after Ariel's Grotto. Didn't catch what age your daughter was so not sure what rides you'll want to do after that. But do Belle first :)

    Also, I personally wouldn't interrupt an MK morning for a CM ressie. I'd do an earlier breakfast or dinner.

    Also, Josh, I love your site. :)

  7. #57
    Senior Member Not That Josh's Avatar
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    Yes, that's what he suggests now, which could change whenever FP+ goes into effect. Josh has actually done it multiple times, which is why he knows it works.

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    Yea, what he said at the same time as me :)

  9. #59
    Senior Member Not That Josh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnoble View Post
    In the various online communities in which I participate, I can't think of any single domain in which various adherents argue "which is best" as passionately as in the Disneyana community.
    I can't disagree with that, mainly because I don't participate on many forums. I will say that I like that the passion on this forum is much more civil than others I have observed. It's nice to see people be passionate about something without being mean or aggressive.

    side note: You remind me of a couple of my professors, which shouldn't be surprising, I guess.

  10. #60
    Senior Member gccmedina's Avatar
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    i was able to get a breakfast on the next day so that we can sleep in go to a late breakfast, go to epcot and stay for the day and evening. we have dinner at 5:15 then i would like to stay for illuminations but if we can't we can't. dd12 really likes chef mickey so between planning for princesses and places she is going to enjoy eating i think my parks and adr's are good. then on to the itinerary for the parks but i am going to wait on that...

  11. #61
    won't let you order a nice scotch texhanddoc's Avatar
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    When did Len think Josh wasnt a real person? I thought Josh had lunch with some of the touringplans folks early on so they could "grill him" for information?

    Hard to deny he is not a real person when he is sitting there eating a sammich
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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    This is what I would tell you to do: http://www.easywdw.com/uncategorized...-part-1-32213/

    If you get in line for Enchanted Tales with Belle at 9:45am, you're going to wait for 45 minutes and then it's going to take 25 minutes to get through the attraction. The wait increases by 5ish minutes for every 40 people that arrive in front of you.
    Thanks
    so I would basically get all the good major rides done by about 1-2pm? then have the rest of the day to eat/do some meets/then go on the less busy rides/ re-ride other rides up until wishes?
    kinda makes me regret paying money for TP now when this is all free lol

  13. #63
    who gon stop me? HUH? josh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texhanddoc View Post
    When did Len think Josh wasnt a real person? I thought Josh had lunch with some of the touringplans folks early on so they could "grill him" for information?

    Hard to deny he is not a real person when he is sitting there eating a sammich


    Which doesn't really work because I use them "ironically."

  14. #64
    who gon stop me? HUH? josh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneyfan1 View Post
    Thanks
    so I would basically get all the good major rides done by about 1-2pm? then have the rest of the day to eat/do some meets/then go on the less busy rides/ re-ride other rides up until wishes?
    kinda makes me regret paying money for TP now when this is all free lol
    Yes, the website's advice is to arrive prior to Park opening, hammer out the attractions will have longer afternoon waits, and then relax. With a good morning plan, you can spend two to three hours with a more regimented plan and then open it up in the afternoon having a good idea about which attractions will have shorter afternoon wiats.

  15. #65
    Senior Member GrandCanyon's Avatar
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    Cool

    I love Josh's site ... fun, always up-to-date, and he's got a sense of humor that I get. Here' what we did on our last trips to WDW, it follow Josh's Ideal Mornings (I'm not sure where he has it on his site, but I copied it to my desktop). Order is Josh's, times are other ...

    MAGIC KINGDOM IDEAL MORNING



    1. Arrive at the turnstiles by 8:35am



    1. Head directly up Main Street, through the Castle, and to Peter Pan’s Flight to collect FASTPASSes (Mermaid is connected now so you can’t grab both). If one member of your group can collect FASTPASSes for the entire group, do so and have them meet up at Step 3: Return time of 9:40am – 10:40am



    1. See Enchanted Tales with Belle: 9:05am – 9:25am



    1. Ride Journey of the Little Mermaid: 9:30am – 9:45am



    1. Visit Ariel’s Grotto: 9:47am – 10am



    1. Collect FASTPASSes for Winnie the Pooh at Mickey’s PhilharMagic: Return time of 10:50am – 11:50am



    1. Ride Peter Pan’s Flight with FASTPASS: 10:10am – 10:20am



    1. Get in line for Be Our Guest Lunch


    If you want to do Enchanted Tales with Belle, there’s really no way around doing it first. Otherwise, you’re looking at 40 to 60 minute waits in the sun all day. It also takes some time, which is why we’re realistically not going to be out of there until 9:25am or so. The rest of the morning includes the rest of New Fantasyland, Peter Pan’s Flight, and lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant, which lets guests in around 10:30am. 10:30am may seem a little early for lunch, but you’re not going to receive your food until closer to 11am. And with a 7am wake-up, you’ll most likely be hungry by 11am.

    If you’re not interested in Enchanted Tales, your day opens up a lot, and you can more or less do things as normal. You’ll want to rely on collecting a FASTPASS for Journey of the Little Mermaid in the afternoon or plan to ride before 10am. Likewise, if you don’t care about having lunch at Be Our Guest, you have some more time in the morning. Instead of collecting FASTPASSes for Pooh, ride it in the standby line and continue to Tomorrowland. For example:


    1. Arrive at the turnstiles by 8:35am



    1. Head directly up Main Street, through the castle, and to Peter Pan’s Flight to collect FASTPASSes: Return time of 9:40am – 10:40am



    1. Ride Peter Pan’s Flight: 9:05am – 9:15am



    1. Ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 9:17am – 9:30am



    1. Ride Space Mountain: 9:40am – 9:55am



    1. Ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: 10am – 10:15am



    1. Collect FASTPASSes for Journey of the Little Mermaid: Return time of 11:05am – 12:05pm



    1. Ride Peter Pan’s Flight with FASTPASS: 10:25am – 10:35am



    1. At this point, you could head to Be Our Guest for lunch or ride the other Fantasyland attractions before heading up to New Fantasyland


    On a second Magic Kingdom morning, visit Merida first thing if you want to meet her. Otherwise, you can start in Adventureland with Tinker Bell and/or the attractions there before visiting Frontierland and Liberty Square.

    Anyway, that’s where we are with that. Belle and having lunch at Be Our Guest are the two problems. You could put Be Our Guest off for later, but you’re looking at around 40 minutes to wait, order, and receive your food, plus 20 minutes to eat and another 10 or 15 minutes to look around.

  16. #66
    Senior Member GrandCanyon's Avatar
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    Be Our Guest Lunch . . . we got in line at 10:25, and we were eating lunch by 11:10. Incidentally, the line grew exponentially between 10:25 and 10:35.

  17. #67
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texhanddoc View Post
    When did Len think Josh wasnt a real person? I thought Josh had lunch with some of the touringplans folks early on so they could "grill him" for information?

    Hard to deny he is not a real person when he is sitting there eating a sammich
    Perhaps, but did he actually swallow?

    Here's what happened when, as a child, he tried to eat spinach and it messed up his innards:

    http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2150/847827/22364569/379301318.jpg

    Quiet, both of ya! You're gonna ruin Maw's birthday!

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  18. #68
    he's right
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    I don't know that there is another vacation spot that requires so much planning to get your (sometimes huge) money's worth.
    I'm more or less convinced that this isn't actually true.

    Not that I believe other places require lots of planing, though some certainly do. For example, getting through Cedar Point's headliners on a summer day without spending your day in lines or paying an extra arm+leg for Fast Lane access is no easier (and honestly, probably harder) than getting through the highlights in MK. Think nothing else requires advance planning like Disney dining? Try getting a White House tour.

    No, my main point is that Disney doesn't really *require* a ton of advance planning. If it did, the people who didn't plan would be miserable, and never come back. But, they enjoy themselves just like everyone else.

    Do they wait in a few lines? Probably. But, I've done so at parks where there isn't really a good way to hit most things in one day without waiting somewhere. It's not the end of the world, especially if you are there with friends. Do they not get a chance to see some of the "must see" attractions? Maybe. But, it's not like your vacation is a waste if for some reason you don't get to some of them, and the "lesser" attractions at most parks are still fun, even though they aren't the newest, shiniest, or most exciting. They won't be at the hardest-to-book restaurants, but I've been doing day-before or morning-of ADRs for years now, and you'd be surprised what you can book then.

    It seems to me that the Disneyana community gets wrapped up in squeezing the last little bit out of everything: more rides = more fun, and if you don't manage to get the very most popular restaurants and do all of the little extras then your vacation just won't be any fun at all. I admit I used to think that too. But, I don't anymore. I've had several experiences where, for one reason or another, I've shown up to a park (Disney and otherwise) mid-afternoon with just a handful of hours to do something. I still manage to enjoy myself even if I'm only seeing "lesser" attractions, and/or waiting in the infrequent line. That's without knowing the park, without planning, just showing up. It's not exactly rocket science to wander around a park and get in a short line, show up a little early for a show, etc.

    For example, way back in the prehistory of time, when I was a graduate student (mid-90s), I was at a conference in Orlando. My then-SO worked for Oracle, and they had an exhibit at Epcot that featured a product she had worked on. She told me I should see it, so I did, and talked a friend of mine into going with me. We showed up probably mid-day, bought a one-day ticket at the gate (!), and wandered in with no plan other than: "See the Oracle video-on-demand exhibit in Innoventions." So, we did that, and it was cool. I'm not 100% sure what else we did, but we didn't wait in any huge lines, and so we also probably didn't see any "headliners." But, since we didn't know what they were (Horizons? I don't even know) we didn't miss them. We did wander in to Marrakesh at one point---you know, sad old Marrakesh that no respectable Disney Planner wants to eat at. We had a lovely meal, including a nice carafe of wine, and enjoyed the dancing and music. We went into Wonders of Life in the evening, skipped Body Wars for some reason (probably because there was a line), but did see Cranium Command---hilarious. There were other things I'm sure, probably some World Showcase entertainment, maybe one or two of the movies, I don't even remember by now. We might have done World of Motion, too, not sure.

    The highlight of the day was when we happened across an Imagineering exhibit somewhere in the "core" area of Future world; this was a combination tour/demo for what eventually became Aladdin's Magic Carpets at DisneyQuest. What it *really* was was a way for Disney Imagineers and SGI engineers to get regular guests onto the carpets so that they could experiment with different programming to see what worked and what didn't. Well, we took one look at that bank of SGI Onyxen they were using for the rendering and decided we needed a closer look. We hung back at the end of the tour, and played the "We're CS Ph.D. students from Carnegie Mellon. This is cool, can we look around?" card. The guy told us when their last tour was supposed to end. We were to meet him by the back door then, and he'd let us come in and give us a private tour. They walked us through the machine room, showed us how the carpets worked, let us look under the hood, answered our technical questions with surprising openness, and then let us "fly" them for as long as we wanted.

    Best. Disney. Day. Ever. And not a single plan beyond "See the Oracle demo in Innoventions." Sure, we got a little lucky, but Disney is pretty good at helping its guests have these lucky moments.

    Ten years later, when I was married, had young kids, and going on "memory-making family vacations" rather than just a fun day out with a buddy, I went through my uber-planner/optimize-the-heck-out-of-everything phase, and have come out the other side. Now, I follow my nose a lot more, don't make a lot of plans, and just enjoy myself---a lot like I did that first day in Epcot. There are a few times when the planner in me comes in handy---getting signed up for the D23 preview of New Fantasyland comes to mind. And, you could say that I don't need to plan because I already know what I'm doing. I suppose that's true, but these days I mostly just use my phone to see what doesn't have a long line, and then figure: "Hey, let's go do that!"

    Finally, as for the "lots of money" part: a WDW vacation is no worse than any other major vacation, and in some cases, less. Now, that's partly because we use timeshares for our DVC stays rather than paying cash for them. But if we couldn't exchange into DVC, we'd just be staying offsite at Windsor Hills and Bonnet Creek. They are both places we've stayed before and enjoyed every bit as much as, say, OKW.

  19. #69
    Senior Member Not That Josh's Avatar
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    I have done WDW with significant planning and with no planning. Both were enjoyable trips.

    I recently had a conversation with my friend about planning for vacations. I can plan everything for a trip or plan nothing and enjoy myself either way. I planned fairly thoroughly for my recent WDW trips. I also had a 2.5 week road trip with zero hotel rooms booked before I left. My friend, on the other hand, hates planning anything beforehand. When we went to Argentina together, we had only loose plans before we left. We knew generally where we were going, but had no specific plans or reservations.

    Planning or no planning, I think it's more about a person's attitude and mentality toward the trip. If you can be flexible and change plans on the fly, you can do a trip with any amount of planning. Some people need the planning to feel more comfortable and relaxed about their vacation, and others get paranoid about having to stick to a schedule without feeling like they can change it.

  20. #70
    does anybody know how to change this? pfalcioni's Avatar
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    If we had more discretionary income to spend on vacations, I would do less planning.

    But we don't, so I plan everything including trying to imagine probable budget-breaking problems that might occur.

    Disney World is usually the easiest for me to plan because the parameters aren't nearly as broad in regards to potential problems and budget-killers. Nearly the entire trip is pre-paid, and really the only thing that can happen while we're there to cause any problem is a medical emergency (which our insurance would cover).

    Our motorcycle trips are much more fraught with potential problems. We had a bike break down in Newfoundland and it put us almost $2500 over budget. That was a tough one to deal with when our total vacation budget for the entire trip was around $6k. If I hadn't done a bunch of planning and preparation, the cost of the break-down would have been even more because we would have had to pay $700 out-of-pocket for the tow which was covered instead by insurance that I'd purchased just before we left.

    For me, Disney planning is fun. I also realize that I'm a competitive person and that some of this planning is sort of my way of "winning" at WDW touring. I get a thrill knowing that I'm having just as much fun as someone who's spending maybe twice as much money. Pathetic, I know. I think this same feeling of competitiveness is another reason why people pick a horse and then stick with it (EasyWDW, TouringPlans, TGM), defending it against all comers. It's hard to admit there's something better out there if we've already spent significant amounts of time and money on our chosen "horse".

  21. #71
    Senior Member Not That Josh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfalcioni View Post
    I also realize that I'm a competitive person and that some of this planning is sort of my way of "winning" at WDW touring.
    That's so true for so many that like to plan for WDW, and there are many different ways to "win".

  22. #72
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    I suppose I could have said that better. Certainly many people don't think to plan and don't really know what they have missed, so their perception is that they got their money's worth. Others think to plan and then decide that is not the kind of vacation they are looking for and so they too are satisfied, but for that group that expects to see it all and dine in all the right restaurants etc. etc., well that requires alot of planning. While some things like restaurants will be made in advance, a large part of the day is spent planning your next move on the fly. Different, I think from most vacations, even other theme parks. This is four parks plus. I think it can be overwhelming to folks who have never navigated The World before.


    You know, I learned a long time ago to not make a lot of plans so I can let the trip unfold as it will. I do like to book some things in advance and I love to read up on every option, but I don't like to be too rigid. You miss good things that way, or else get all stressed when things don't go the way it "should". I see people in the parks all the time racing by with their kids in tow, heading for some ride,looking like they are about to have a breakdown. They miss so much that way.

    bnoble, do you live near Ceder Point? Lucky you. :)
    Last edited by Marianna; 03-28-2013 at 01:10 AM.

  23. #73
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    I also realize that I'm a competitive person and that some of this planning is sort of my way of "winning" at WDW touring.
    Looking back on it, this was absolutely the vibe at TGM, and Easy/DIS/TP have a pretty strong undercurrent of it as well. Indeed, all of these sites have a pretty strong investment in the idea that "doing more" is the same as "having more fun".

    But, after a decade+ as a park enthusiast---not just Disney, but theme/amusement/water parks generally---I'm just not sure that's true.

  24. #74
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    That's exactly what I was going to say, Brian.

    Value is, after all, all about perception. If it weren't, then the perfect Epcot day that Brian described upthread would have been, in reality, far from perfect because he didn't do a whole bunch of headliners or dined at Alfredo's.

    Remember, Hall of Presidents and Country Bear Jamboree used to require E Tickets, and millions of people had unforgettably wonderful WDW vacations.
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    Quiet, both of ya! You're gonna ruin Maw's birthday!

    Stupid Judy.

    But Sandy Plankton said...

  25. #75
    Senior Member gccmedina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfalcioni View Post
    If we had more discretionary income to spend on vacations, I would do less planning.

    But we don't, so I plan everything including trying to imagine probable budget-breaking problems that might occur.

    Disney World is usually the easiest for me to plan because the parameters aren't nearly as broad in regards to potential problems and budget-killers. Nearly the entire trip is pre-paid, and really the only thing that can happen while we're there to cause any problem is a medical emergency (which our insurance would cover).

    Our motorcycle trips are much more fraught with potential problems. We had a bike break down in Newfoundland and it put us almost $2500 over budget. That was a tough one to deal with when our total vacation budget for the entire trip was around $6k. If I hadn't done a bunch of planning and preparation, the cost of the break-down would have been even more because we would have had to pay $700 out-of-pocket for the tow which was covered instead by insurance that I'd purchased just before we left.

    For me, Disney planning is fun. I also realize that I'm a competitive person and that some of this planning is sort of my way of "winning" at WDW touring. I get a thrill knowing that I'm having just as much fun as someone who's spending maybe twice as much money. Pathetic, I know. I think this same feeling of competitiveness is another reason why people pick a horse and then stick with it (EasyWDW, TouringPlans, TGM), defending it against all comers. It's hard to admit there's something better out there if we've already spent significant amounts of time and money on our chosen "horse".

    pam I feel the same way about planning and "winning" I never thought about it that way, but I do like knowing other people are spending more than me and I am seeing and doing what I want :)

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