This Is the Time-Saving Tool Experienced Disney Vacationers Use
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But did you know there’s a website and app that can save you time at theme parks like Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Universal Orlando?Touringplans.com helps visitors by providing park itineraries, ride wait times, projected crowds, restaurant menus and prices, and hotel reviews.
They’ll even help you comparison shop to find the cheapest tickets!
Let’s see how Touringplans.com can help you make the most of your vacation and if it’s worth paying for a subscription!
What’s the Deal?
Link: Touringplans.comTouringplans.com is a paid service. But it’s not very expensive. A 1-year subscription costs:
- ~$13 for Walt Disney World (Florida)
- ~$8 for Disneyland (California)
- ~$6 for Universal Orlando
- ~$8 for Disney Cruise Line
- ~$31 for all 4 parks / attractions
And you can save by using a promotion code. I navigated around the site for a while and the promotion code “MYWISH“ popped up to save 20%. Or use Google to find current promotion codes.
To sign-up, choose a username and password, and enter your credit card number and promotion code, if you have one.
I signed-up for the Walt Disney World plan. Shh…don’t tell Emily!
Once you’ve signed-up, you can use all the features of the website for the park(s) you’ve chosen. And use the mobile app to check on ride wait times and more when you’re at the park!
Let’s look at some of the trip planning tools Touringplans.com provides. I’ll use Disney World in these examples, but other park subscriptions have similar features.
Touringplans.com will save you lots of time and effort when you’re planning your trip. If you’re the type of traveler that likes to keep a tight schedule and pre-plan your vacation activities, you’ll love Touringplans.com.
Add a Trip
To start planning, click “Add New Trip” from your account dashboard.Note: You do not have to add a trip to use the features of the site!
Give your trip a name and enter your arrival and departure dates (if you know them). You can also indicate the age groups of folks in your party, and whether or not you’ll require tickets.
Trip Calendar and Forecast Crowds
A trip calendar will appear for your travel dates. It lists average temperatures and projected average crowd levels for all Walt Disney World parks each day.
Crowd levels are projected on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the busiest). So at a glance I can see that Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday are the best days to visit the parks this week.
To see crowd levels for specific parks on certain days, click “Select Parks” on the day you’re interested in. I picked Friday, October 16, 2015.Note: To add this park to your trip plan, click “Visit Park on this Date” next to the park you want to include.
You’ll see a list of the 4 main Walt Disney World parks and how busy they’ll likely be. Touringplans.com calculates future crowd levels based on historical attendance and many other factors. And they say their predictions are “eerily accurate.”
Emily’s friend used Touringplans.com recently on a Disney vacation with her family. She says the predicted wait times were almost always right!
Attractions, Wait Times, Showtimes, Dining, and More
From this page, you can quickly see park hours and special events on that day. Friday looks like a good day to visit the Magic Kingdom!
Click on the park name to see very detailed information about the park on that date, including forecast ride wait times and show times.
There is SO much information here! For example, clicking on a specific ride or attraction gives you forecast wait times by the hour.
Other tools you can access from this page:
- Touring Plans (more about those later!)
- Attraction reviews
- Dining options including reviews and menus
- Traffic patterns (which areas of the park get busiest and when)
- Park overview, park areas (like Tomorrowland), and other tips & tricks
Build Your Trip
I added Magic Kingdom to my trip plan for Friday and now it looks like this:
Now you can view Magic Kingdom attractions by clicking on the “View all Magic Kingdom Attractions” link on your calendar page. If you’re like me, you’ll want to read reviews to help pick the best rides!
Add Touring Plans
You’ll save the most time at the park by adding a touring plan to your itinerary. These plans include a step-by-step guide and map to help you make the most of your visit.
Click “Add Touring Plan” to start your own customized plan. You can give the plan a name and choose your start and end times.
You can choose the attractions you want to visit, and filter by park areas (“lands”), age, height, and accessibility requirements.
You’ll also have the option to include mealtimes and breaks.
Once you’ve included everything you want to do, you can optimize the plan and print out detailed instructions and a map. And you can further tweak your plan by changing walking speed, or whether you’d prefer spending less time waiting or walking.
Plus you can include Fastpass+ options (which is like a reservation system for popular rides).
If you don’t want to go through the steps of building your own itinerary, Touringplans.com has dozens of pre-made plans for each park, suited to different age groups and travel styles.
If this seems like a lot of work – it can be! But I’d rather put in some effort now to save lots of time when I’m on my trip!
Hotels and Tickets
If you’re staying at a Disney resort, you can add it to your trip plan. And Touringplans.com includes reviews and filters to help you choose a specific room!
Plus you can view resort maps, photos, videos, reviews, dining options, activities, and schedules.
If you’re looking for discounted theme park tickets, Touringplans.com will do the comparison shopping for you!
There are lots of other fun features on Touringplans.com, including a discussion forum and blog.
I like that Touringplans.com provides almost all the tools and information you need in ONE place to plan a great trip. It’s definitely worth the price of a subscription.
Are There Drawbacks?
Touringplans.com is great if you’re meticulous and want lots of information. But for some folks, the amount of data and tools on the site could be overwhelming.
And it’s easy to get “lost” in the site. There are pages and pages of park details, reviews, pictures, videos, and planning resources.
Some folks may choose to keep things simple and just use the basic features without creating plans or trip calendars. It’s handy even if you just want to learn more about the parks or get ideas for your vacation.
Bottom LineTouringplans.com can save you lots of time and effort if you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Orlando, or Disney Cruises.
Paid 1-year subscriptions are reasonably priced. You can create custom touring plans, plan your trip day-by-day, and view projected crowd levels and wait times at different parks.
And you can read detailed reviews of attractions, shows, restaurants, and Disney hotels. Then include them in your trip plan!
There’s a LOT of information on the website. So be prepared to spend some time reading!
Stay tuned for my review of the Touringplans.com mobile app!
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