Back in January, we announced that the Lines App supports pre-opening Touring Plans and wait times. This feature allowed users to submit wait times before a park’s official opening time and optimize plans when in a park early. We have expanded the feature to support creating or modifying touring plans to allow users to start future plans up to 45 minutes before the parks open.
Now, the TouringPlans software will let you set a plan’s start time before the park opens, and when you optimize or evaluate a plan, it will assume you enter the park at the plan’s start time. The website will show a warning that the plan is starting before the official park opening.
We have always recommended that guests arrive early, but our plans did not tell users how to most efficiently use the early park time. Now the software takes away that guesswork. We have been testing the early entry plans since January and have been very happy with the results. Go to https://touringplans.com/blog/category/touring-plan-testing to see the write-ups of some of our early morning touring plans tests.
Warnings and Caveats
For a long time we have held off on allowing touring plans starting before a park opens. Not knowing if a park would open early, not knowing what would be open, and not knowing wait times, were all reasons why we did not create this feature. Now that Disney is regularly opening parks 30-45 minutes early, we decided now was the time.
Not all attractions start operating before the park official opens. Over the past few months we have been tracking the attractions that normally open early, and the software will only send guests to those attractions. However, because individual pre-opening schedules for attractions can vary, it is still possible that the software will send users to attractions that have not yet opened for the day.
Our historical database of attraction wait times is very sparse for pre-opening times. Disney does not post wait times in the My Disney Experience app before the park opens, and until this year our app did not support users entering wait times before parks open. If you are in the park early, it would be very helpful to the TouringPlans community for you to submit wait times in the Lines app. The predicted wait times the software is using for pre-park opening are rough estimates, and our estimates will improve over time as we collect more data.
Optimize and Re-Optimize
A feature that makes our TouringPlans system superior to any other touring strategy is that our plans can adapt to current conditions in the park. In real-time, our software will adjust plans as crowds move through the parks. If an attraction is having operational problems, our plans will help you avoid unnecessary delays. To get updates. you have to re-optimize plans often. If you are ahead or behind your plan, that is a good time to re-optimize. After a scheduled or unscheduled break is a good time to re-optimize. It is not possible to re-optimize too often. Some people don’t like their plans changing during the day. For those users, it is still good to re-evaluate your plans. This will give you the most accurate predicted wait times.
Have any questions about this feature? Any features you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments.