TechnologyWalt Disney World (FL)

Five Things You Can Do in LINES But Not The Disney World App

Share This!

I write a lot about the My Disney Experience app, also known as the Disney World app. But I also write about Lines, the TouringPlans app. Now, you cannot make a Lightning Lane reservation using the Lines app, and you can’t place a Mobile Order either. So you might wonder if it’s worth using two different apps while you’re visiting the parks. To help you decide, here’s a list of five things that Lines can do for you that MDE can’t. Most of these require a paid TouringPlans subscription … but some of them are pretty useful!!

1. Sort the Attractions By Wait Time

You can customize the Tip Board in the WDW app a bit, putting your favorite attractions on top. (Customize the Genie Tip Board for Convenience and Speed). But wanna see which rides have the shortest waits? You’ll have to scroll … and compare … and scroll … and compare. In Lines, you can sort the attraction list by wait time. And also by location, and by “Ride Now” recommendation.

You can filter the list too. Now, to be fair, you can also filter the list in My Disney Experience, if you use the map instead of the Tip Board. But Disney’s filters won’t tell you whether you will get wet, or if the ride offers air conditioning. Ours will.

2. Get Wait Time Forecasts With Actual Numbers

The Tip Board in Genie will tell you what the current posted wait is. What it won’t tell you is whether the line is going to die down some in an hour or so, or if you can expect it to be high for several hours. If one ride is 40 minutes and another is 35, which line should you get into first to minimize your waits?

Over in the attraction list in Lines, you’ll see that rides come with recommendations like “Ride Now” or “Wait to Ride”. These recommendations are based on the forecasted wait times over the rest of the day.

You can choose to blindly follow our advice, which is already more guidance than you’re getting from MDE. Or, if you tap into the attraction you’ll see the forecast that the advice is based on. The Disney World app does have a little chart like this, but it doesn’t actually tell you what a “tall bar” and a “short bar” mean for your wait time. Since our chart has estimated waits in numbers of minutes, we think it’s more useful.

3. Get Ride Recommendations Based on What’s Good for YOU

Disney Genie, which is free, asks you about your interests when you set it up. This is so that it can make recommendations to help you have your best Disney day. It has famously recommended to guests that they spend the precious minutes after park opening visiting the Swiss Family Treehouse. While the Treehouse does sometimes back up a tiny bit, most of the time you won’t find a wait no matter when you visit. This is just one example of why we don’t recommend following Genie’s recommendations.

This is not the queue for the Swiss Family Treehouse. This is the attraction itself.

In Lines, you can create a custom touring plan based on what you want to see. Or, if you’re a subscriber, you can copy one of our premium plans. When you optimize your plan, we’ll mix wait time forecasts with current data to tell you what order to visit the attractions on your list. These recommendations assume that most guests would like to keep their total time in line for the day as small as possible. We will not send you to the Treehouse when the wait for Jungle Cruise is only 10 minutes.

4. See Reader Ratings for Restaurants

You can see menus in our app, and you can see menus in the My Disney Experience app. You know what you can’t see in MDE? Whether or not the restaurant is any good. We survey guests who have recently returned from trips, and we ask questions about their dining experiences. We put those numbers into our dining listings so that you can see them. Oh, and like the attraction list you can sort and filter too.

5. Help to Crowdsource Wait Times

If you tapped into any of those gallery images above and you were paying attention, you’ll have noticed there are two wait times. One is the wait time that Disney has posted at the ride. The other is how long we expect that you’ll actually wait.

Disney’s posted wait times are often inaccurate, and usually inflated. (see: The Wait Time Secret That Disney Won’t Tell You). Now, I want to be crystal here: if I were Disney I would inflate my wait times too. Pretty much all parks inflate wait times! A posted time of 30 minutes and a wait of 50 means grumpy guests, but nobody ever complains about waiting a little less time than they were told. But if you want to know how long you’re most likely to wait, and you can handle the risk that it might sometimes be longer than we thought, then we can hook you up with a better number.

When you get in line, MASH that little green button

Those estimated waits come from historical data, combined with wait times from the current day. We get real wait time data by sending researchers into the parks and having them wait in line. But we also get it from readers like you.

If you don’t mind, using that little green “Help Us Track” button grows our collection of wait times. That helps make our predictions more accurate. Maybe your work today will help you on a future visit! Or maybe you can think of it as paying it forward like the users whose timed waits went into the estimates you’re using today. And if you happen to time a whole lot of waits, you could get a shout-out as the Actual Wait Time Rock Star of the week in Becky’s Data Dump.

Do you use our Lines app in the parks? What’s your favorite thing about it? What do you wish we would add? Let us know in the comments!

You May Also Like...

Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

4 thoughts on “Five Things You Can Do in LINES But Not The Disney World App

  • Could you explain the evaluate button on the app? I’m not really understanding the purpose of it

    Also the screen shots above that say ride now… I don’t see that on mine, is it because I don’t go to the parks until Nov 5th? Just want to be prepared when I arrive for my first trip

    • Hi Holly, The Optimize button will change the order of attractions to show what the software thinks will give you the shortest overall waits. But some people like to do things in a specific order. In that case, the Evaluate button assumes you will follow the steps without changing their current order, and tells you how long it will be to do them.

      You won’t see the Ride Now recommendations if you’re looking at a touring plan – they only display from the attraction list. From the home page, just press any of the buttons on the top for a park. That will open the attraction list and you should see them there.

      Have a great trip!

  • Love the app!

    Question on the “Wait to Ride”… how does the app account for how long someone is going to be in the park? For example, if I plan on leaving at 4 pm and an attraction has low wait times between 5 and closing…is it potentially telling me to wait for a time I do not plan to be there?

    • Hi Edgar, everyone sees the same recommendations (Wait to Ride) etc., in the attraction list; they’re not based on any information about how long you’ll be in the park. If you’re planning to leave soon, we recommend tapping the attraction for more detail about why we made the recommendation. You’re absolutely correct that waiting an extra hour in the park to save 15 minutes in line isn’t a win, but the forecast chart should tell you what you need to know.

      You might wonder why we do it that way, but one big reason is that we don’t actually know how long you plan to stay in the park! If you want the attractions ordered to see as many things on your list as possible, your best bet is to make a touring plan; as part of the setup you’ll be asked how long you want to stay. But even if you make a touring plan, it won’t affect those recommendations in the attraction list – you’d be surprised how many people make multiple plans for the same day, all with different end times. Or put an end time that’s later than they actually plan to stay, with the intention of skipping whatever is the last few items on the list.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *