Step-By-Step Guide: Make and Use a Touring Plan in the Lines App (Including Lightning Lane)

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Using the Lines app with a Touring Plan can save you hours in the parks.  Here’s your how-to for creating one, including instructions for adding in your Lightning Lane reservations if you’re using Genie+ or you’ve purchased an Individual Lightning Lane.  Click on any link below to go straight to that section.  Click any image in this page to enlarge it.  Working on a full-size computer?  Click here for the browser-based tutorial.

Creating a Custom Touring Plan

Start by scrolling down on the home screen and clicking “Create a Plan”. Enter a name for the plan, and adjust the balance for Walking Speed and Walking vs. Waiting.  Then select the park that you want to visit.

After you select the park, the screen will update and allow you to select the date.

Next, select “Change Date” and enter the date that you want to visit the park.  The screen will change to let you enter what time you plan to begin and end your day. You can click the button to use times based on the park’s opening and closing hours, or enter a specific time by clicking the pencil next to Start time and End time.

Here we set the time using the chooser, but if you want to set Start and End times based on Park Open, Park Close, or ETPE you can simply push the matching button.

After entering the times your plan is ready to save.  If you click save and nothing happens, go back and make sure that you’ve entered a name for the plan and selected both a Start and an End time — omitting one of these is the most common reason that plans will not save.

You’ll automatically be brought to the next screen where you’ll select the attractions you want to add to your plan.  Scroll down the screen and press the plus sign to add your choices.  Attractions are organized into some basic categories, so make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to find everything you want.

Keep scrolling until you get all the way through — the attraction you’re looking for may be in a different section than the one currently on your screen.

After selecting all your attractions and clicking Save you’ll be taken to a screen with your plan on it.  Skip ahead to see how to Optimize or Evaluate your plan.

Creating a Touring Plan From a Premium Plan

From the Home Screen (or anywhere in the app), click on Plans on the bottom menu.  When the Plans screen opens, click on the hamburger icon in the upper right corner.  A menu tray will slide out from the left — select the park you want from the Premium Plans section, then select the plan you want.

Click the option to “Copy As New Plan” that appears at the bottom of the screen.  The plan will use the current date as a default and will have a default Start Time and End Time as well.  Adjust these if you want, and then click Save.  Your plan will then be ready to optimize.

Optimizing the Plan

Once your plan is created you’ll see “cards” with each step, but no information about how long the steps will take — no wait times, no walk times, no ride times.  In order to see how your day’s going to go, you’ll need to either optimize or evaluate the plan.  What’s the difference?  When you optimize, the software chooses the most efficient order.  Evaluating lets you choose what order to put the steps in, and the app will just tell you how long it will take.

You’ll need to optimize or evaluate every time you make any changes to your plan, so it won’t take long to become familiar with the process.

To Optimize

Click optimize on the bottom menu.  The bottom menu band will change from Optimize/Evaluate/Modify to Optimizing/Refresh; when it’s done you’ll see a notice that your plan has been updated. Tap the notice to dismiss it, and if the screen doesn’t update immediately then click the Refresh button.  Now you’ll see that the cards on your plan have all the times filled in, and the order has been adjusted to minimize your wait time.

You can see the “Optimizing” and “Refresh” behind the update notice in the middle panel.
To Evaluate

Here we have a new plan and we want to put the steps in a specific order and just have the optimizer tell us how long it will take. Start by tapping Evaluate on the bottom menu.  The screen will change to show your plan steps in order.  Tap on any step that you want to adjust, and use the Up/Down buttons at the bottom to switch them around.  Then click Done.

If the steps aren’t in the order that you want, you can switch them around – here we’ll move Jungle Cruise to be the second step.

The screen will show a spinner as the plan goes to the optimizer, and then it may switch to show the plan steps but will still say Evaluating at the bottom.  When the notification appears that your plan has been updated, you’re done!  The screen should update as soon as you click away the notification, but if it doesn’t then click Refresh to show the updated cards.

One thing to be aware of when using Evaluate is that when adding any step such as a meal or Lightning Lane reservation that needs to be at a specific time, you may need to do a bit of tinkering with the step order to ensure that those events are in their “proper place” in the timeline.  It’s not uncommon to need to Evaluate twice to achieve this, as your first try may end up with the fixed-time step occurring a bit too early or late based on how long other steps are taking.

Adding Dining or Breaks to Your Plan

The process for adding a break is almost exactly the same as adding dining, so we’re only going to walk through adding a restaurant.

Begin by clicking Modify at the bottom of the plan, which will open up the Attraction selection screen.  At the top of the screen, tap on Meals and you’ll see the screen switch to a list of restaurants.  Find the one you want and click the plus sign at the right.

The card for the restaurant will expand and show options for you to enter the details of your meal.  Fill in the time, how long you’ll spend eating, and how much “slosh” you’re willing to allow around your arrival time, then click Save.  The card will collapse on the chooser screen and it won’t look like you’ve made an entry — don’t worry, it’s there.  Click Save on the bottom and you’ll see the new card with the meal on your plan.  Don’t forget that you’ll need to reoptimize (or evaluate).

The card won’t actually be yellow on your screen, it’s just highlighted here so that you can pick it out. Notice how the comment from the Information section appears on the card.

Pro tip: If you prefer, you can add your meals & breaks during plan creation in the same step where you choose the attractions.

Modifying a Plan

Clicking Modify will take you back to the Attraction selection screen.  Adjust the numbers next to experiences in the same way you did when you first made your selections or, as we saw above, switch to Meals or Breaks to add those to your plan.  When you’re finished, press Save and don’t forget that you’ll need to reoptimize!

Adding Lightning Lane Reservations to Your Plan

The process for adding a Lightning Lane (LL) reservation is the same whether it is an Individual Lightning Lane time or a reservation that you made through Genie+.  If you have DAS reservations, you can enter them into your plan as Lightning Lane reservations.  Start by pressing the meatball menu (the three dots) on the card for the attraction that you want to add the reservation to. Then select the option for Lightning Lane Return Time and a pop-up will appear.  Select the time and click Save.

If you’re entering a Lightning Lane in advance of park opening on your touring day, you’ll see fewer options on the pop-up.

After clicking Save, you may not see any change in the card — remember that you need to reoptimize (or evaluate).  After the optimization is finished you’ll see the new reservation appear in a special section at the top of the plan, and you’ll see the reservation noted on the attraction card.

If you need to delete the reservation, just click the trash can next to the reservation in the top section. This will only remove the reservation from the attraction, it will not remove the attraction from your plan.

Warning: If you’re adding reservations for a future plan to explore “what-if” scenarios and figure out how much you can get done, that’s great!  We love to see people try different things and get a feel for how much they can do in one day.  Just remember, unless it’s a DAS Advance selection you don’t really have that reservation until you make it in MDE on the day of your visit. Also, putting it in your plan in advance doesn’t guarantee that Disney will give you the time you’re shooting for! Make sure and remember to clear out any “phantom” times before you actually start touring.

Using the Plan In The Parks

One of the advantages of using the Lines app with a touring plan is that we’re constantly updating our predictions throughout the day — but to take advantage of these updates you’ll want to reoptimize your plan every so often.  In order for this to work you’ll want to mark off any steps you’ve completed so that the software doesn’t try to send you there a second time.

Tap the meatball menu on the top right of the card and select the option marked Step Complete.  The step will immediately move to the bottom of the plan, but you’ll still have to reoptimize or evaluate to get the updated times.

Timing Your Wait

Timed waits (we call them actuals) are a key part of our ability to make updated predictions throughout the day.  If you’d like to time your wait, then we’d love to have your time.

Start on the meatball menu in the upper right of the attraction card and select the option to Time Your Wait in Line.  A pop-up will open, and you’ll click to select which queue you’ll be waiting in; you’ll only see the options that are available for the attraction you’re timing.

After you select the queue type, the “Time Your Wait” popup will reappear with the queue you selected, and the Start Timer button will turn blue.  Tap to start the timer, and make a note of the instructions about when to stop it.  When you’re ready to submit your time press the Submit Wait button, or if you need to cancel it without submitting for some reason, press Cancel.  The timer will continue to run until you stop it even if you close the app.

Some rides, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Soarin’, and others have very poor cell signal in their queues.  You may have a smoother experience submitting wait times if you’re connected to the Park WiFi.

Troubleshooting FAQ

Hopefully you’ve found your way through everything, but here are answers to some frequently asked questions.  If you don’t find your answer here, please submit a ticket and we’ll do everything we can to resolve your problem.

I’m on the “Add Plan” screen and my plan won’t save

Check to make sure you’ve entered all four of the following:

  1. Plan Name
  2. Plan Date
  3. Plan Start Time
  4. Plan End Time
I marked a step complete by mistake and I can’t undo it

Click to Modify your plan and find the attraction you accidentally marked complete. Tap the plus to increase the number from 1 to 2 and then save the plan. You’ll see a new step with the attraction in the main section of your plan and it will be optimized with the rest of your active steps.  We’re working on making this easier for you.

I want to add a Lightning Lane, but the attraction is in “Steps After Plan Finish” and I can’t edit it

The best way to handle this is to use Evaluate to move the attraction up several steps and then add the Lightning Lane to it.  After you’ve added the LL reservation, you’ll reoptimize. We’re working on making this easier for you.

I cancelled a Lightning Lane, how do I remove the time from my plan

All your Lightning Lane reservations will appear at the top of your plan.  Press the trash can next to the one you want to delete.

I want to add a reservation, but I can’t find the experience in the app

A very few reserved experiences such as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Savi’s Workshop are directly supported in plans.  In the app, these can be found in the attraction list under the Scheduled Experiences section.  For all other experiences such as Dessert Parties, Tours, etc., you’ll need to represent your reservation in your plan by using a Break. You can give the Break the name of your experience, and if desired you can put the confirmation number in the notes for easy access.

I optimized my plan and there’s a huge break in the middle that I don’t really want

If you don’t want to add more attractions to your plan, the easiest way to address this is to change the end time of your plan.  If your plan ends at 8 p.m. and the break is 2 hours long, changing the end time to 6 p.m. should close up the space so that you’re touring continuously.

I have a DAS reservation that doesn’t have an end time, how do I get the plan to see that?

DAS Advance Selections that are made prior to arriving in the parks have an end time, exactly like the Lightning Lane reservations. However, DAS reservations that are made while touring (either in the app or at the blue tent) do not have an end time. Unfortunately, Lines isn’t able to recognize that your DAS reservations don’t have an end time, but there is a workaround that should help many people.

Let’s say you have a same-day DAS reservation for Big Thunder Mountain at 2 p.m.  If you’re fine doing the ride between 2 and 3 p.m., great!  You don’t need to do anything. If, for any reason, you’d prefer to do Big Thunder Mountain between 4 and 5 p.m., then simply enter the reservation time for 4 p.m.  You’ll know that in reality you can ride any time after 2, but the optimizer will put the attraction into your plan around the time that you want to experience it.

Still don’t see your answer?  Check out the Personalized Plans section of our Help Center.

 

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer Heymont has a background in math and biology, but since she couldn't pick between the two 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.

22 thoughts on “Step-By-Step Guide: Make and Use a Touring Plan in the Lines App (Including Lightning Lane)

  • January 17, 2022 at 7:43 pm
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    I have a question about the section, “Adding LL Reservations to your Plan”. Per your instructions (which are really helpful, btw) you say:
    “After clicking Save, you may not see any change in the card — remember that you need to reoptimize. After the optimization is finished you’ll see the new reservation appear in a special section at the top of the plan, and you’ll see the reservation noted on the attraction card.”

    I want to confirm that it’s reoptimize and not evaluate? Because if we created our plan and evaluated. that would be because, most likely, we wanted our plan to remain as we designate, and want the estimated times. But if we reoptimize, will that not alter our precious plans?

    Reply
    • January 17, 2022 at 8:23 pm
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      Hi Dan,

      You’re correct — I took a shortcut here and said reoptimize instead of reoptimize or evaluate, but you can evaluate instead. The evaluate workflow is actually quite a bit more complex, and it’s always tricky trying to find the balance between covering everyone’s situation and making something so long it doesn’t communicate effectively. I’ll make an edit to indicate that you can also evaluate.

      If you want to evaluate after adding a LL, the tricky part is that you’ll need to get it so that it “occurs” in a space that aligns with the time of the reservation. If the reservation occurs earlier than where you already have it, piece of cake. If it occurs afterwards, that’s trickier. Here’s an example:

      You have a plan that currently shows your arrival at Jungle Cruise at 1 p.m., with a wait of 70 minutes. At 9 a.m. you make an LL for JC at noon. This one’s no problem: you look at the plan and see what attractions are in the noon to 1 time slot, and figure out the best place to insert the JC card. Evaluate and you’re done.

      On the other hand, now let’s say that at 9 a.m. you make your JC reservation for 3 p.m. The problem is that you can’t just look at what’s going on between 3 and 4 p.m. and move the card around in the same way, because as soon as you move that JC card backwards the times on all the steps that are (now) ahead of it are going to change. You end up having to guesstimate, evaluate, and then often go back and adjust it again and evaluate again to get it to come out in the right place. It isn’t really _difficult_, but it is a bit tricky to describe.

      Thanks for reading (and for pointing this out).

      Reply
  • January 18, 2022 at 4:27 am
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    A feature that I would love to see is a way to pause my wait time while I’m in line. Deep in some of the show buildings there is not great signal, which means the submit button doesn’t always work right when I hit it. I have had to cancel many of my accurate times because it’s kept counting up even after I hit submit, while it waits to get a good signal. If you could have a pause feature, or have it record the time when submit is hit, then I’d be able to send those times to you when my internet was stronger.

    Reply
    • January 18, 2022 at 6:13 pm
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      Hi Maggie, I love this idea! Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s technically realistic; sometimes things that sound great to people like you and me who aren’t on the dev team turn out to be … problematic. I’ll definitely pass it along though, and even if your idea is not the chosen one, there may turn out to be other solutions to the problem that will work well for you.

      I edited the article to note that submitting times is much more successful in some attractions if you have WiFi on as the cell signal can be pretty stinky in the queues (as you noted). I have a strong suspicion that you already know that, but just thought I’d mention it in case.

      Reply
      • January 19, 2022 at 12:56 am
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        Hahah, as an engineer I’ve had my own share of development limitations. I appreciate that you’ll pass the information on, too! I tried with both satellite and wifi and sadly sometimes neither worked. I’m sure there’s some way this can be handled so that I can send more delicious data into your servers…

  • January 18, 2022 at 12:17 pm
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    I reported my wait times for the first time on our trip last week (1-10-22 10 1-15-22).
    I had to use the trick of adding in a dining reservation near my lightning lane attractions but it was a big help after I figured it out.

    I had the same issue mentioned by Maggie with the submit wait time button not working inside the attractions and either the timer not stopping or it giving an error message about timing out. In the instructions it says to stop the timer when you are about to get on the attraction so I would suggest adding an actual button that says “stop timer” which would record the time it was pressed and then a separate submit button that persists until the time is successfully submitted.

    Other than that the app saved me loads of time and I can’t wait to use this updated version.
    Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • January 18, 2022 at 6:23 pm
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      Hi Jon, glad to hear you are finding Lines to be helpful. I’ll pass on you and Maggie’s suggestions about the Wait Time submission workflow, and one thing I mentioned to her (and which you may already know) is that for some rides you really need to be connected to park WiFi because the cell signal in the queue isn’t good enough.

      Also, good news! I think that if you update your app to the latest version (you may need to uninstall and reinstall) you’ll find that these Lightning Lane features are already enabled. More are coming in the future as well.

      Reply
  • January 18, 2022 at 2:20 pm
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    With the old paper FP system, we were able to select the attractions that we wanted to attach FP’s to, and the plan would indicate when FP’s could be obtained and when they would be used. This provided a comprehensive plan for the entire day, knowing when and where we needed to be (for the most part) throughout the day.

    If I understand correctly, now we cannot assign Genie+ or LL reservations to the plan until the day of touring. So, we will be putting together a list of attractions in advance and generate a plan that we know is going to be significantly altered once we start adding in the Genie+ and LL’s on the day of and re-optimizing. Again, if I understand correctly, the plan is not going to suggest when or where to use Genie+ or LL and we need to decide on our own which passes to try and obtain, in what order, and then put them into the plan when we get them? This sounds like a system where we are mostly “winging it.” I hope I’m looking at this wrong, but it sounds like a major reduction in touring efficiency if we’re left to make these decisions on our own instead of the plans making the suggestions for us.
    Considering Genie+ and LL operate similar to the old paper FP system, I would have thought the system would be structured in a similar fashion to how it handled the old paper FP’s. Please clarify if I am looking at this incorrectly. Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • January 18, 2022 at 6:17 pm
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      Hi Jeff, I know it feels like forever already, but Genie+ has actually only been out for 3 months. 🙂 We have more Genie+ features that are in the works, but it will take us a little time to get them fully implemented. I sincerely hope that when they are rolled out you’ll be just as happy with them as you were with the way the plans worked under paper FP.

      Reply
  • January 20, 2022 at 12:05 pm
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    I just got back from a trip and used this new feature in the Lines App. It was fabulous and thank you! One request: In the old FP days, Touring Plans would suggest which rides (or shows) would benefit from a FP. Are there plans to offer this feature for lightning lanes (Genie Plus) and lightning lane+?

    Reply
    • January 20, 2022 at 1:17 pm
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      Hi Danny, glad you hear you enjoyed being able to add LL reservations to your plans on your recent trip!

      I don’t know how closely it will resemble the old FP workflows, but we are definitely working on building in more LL functionality.

      Reply
  • January 20, 2022 at 4:42 pm
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    Thank you so much for including how to incorporate DAS into the plans!

    Reply
    • January 20, 2022 at 5:49 pm
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      You’re very welcome!

      Reply
  • January 21, 2022 at 9:13 am
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    Hi Jennifer,
    I’ve always created my TP’s on the TP website, and then used the App in the parks to tour and modify as needed. Is this still possible, or do you have to create TP’s now using the App?

    Reply
    • January 21, 2022 at 9:41 am
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      I do it exactly the same as you — never fear, you can still do this. What you can’t do (currently) is to add LL reservation times in the web version, but since you can’t add them in advance of your touring day right now that (hopefully) is not a dealbreaker. In the future, you’ll be able to add LLs in the web interface as well; we try to keep the functionality the same between both versions as much as possible.

      Reply
  • January 27, 2022 at 9:05 am
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    I’m having trouble optimizing the plan after adding the Lightning Lane times. The button turns to gray and says “optimizing” and never goes back to normal. Also it seems to be putting the rides much later than the time I chose for Lightning Lane — is it just adding them within an hour-long window?

    Reply
    • January 27, 2022 at 9:12 am
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      Hmmm.. would you mind emailing me the plan URL? I’ll take a look at what’s going on. len@touringplans.com. (I’m recording some shows for the next couple of hours, so it’ll be later today.)

      Reply
    • January 27, 2022 at 9:30 am
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      Hi CSpaghetti – a couple of comments (but yes, do send your plan to Len!)

      1 – I’ve observed sometimes that after you click away the black “your plan has been updated” notice, the plan doesn’t refresh automatically — just click Refresh and you should see everything fill in.

      2 – As you suggest, you have an hour in your return window, so you can expect to see the optimizer use that whole window. For instance, if your return time is 10:30 a.m., and the plan places your ride at 11:10 a.m., this is expected. If the plan places your ride at 2:30 p.m., this is not expected and would indicate a problem with the software — please file a ticket if you ever see anything like this.

      Have a great day in the parks!

      Reply
      • January 27, 2022 at 9:32 am
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        That is helpful, Jennifer. Thank you! I’ve subscribed to TP for a while but haven’t actually gotten to use it in real time yet since our trip keeps getting postponed. Hoping this next one will work out. I emailed the plan to Len and appreciate all the advice!

  • January 27, 2022 at 9:10 pm
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    The updated Lines app is really helpful as I try to estimate how much we can realistically get done in a day.
    When I enter the date for my new plan, does the software use estimated wait times for the crowd level forecasted for that day? I am creating a plan for our visit on 2/19/22, which is forecasted to be a 10/10 day at MK. Will Lines give me a realistic estimate for wait times on a busy day like that?

    Reply
    • January 27, 2022 at 10:27 pm
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      Hi Rick, your question has a simple answer and a complex one. The simple one is that it’s actually the attraction waits that are predicted first, and the crowd level forecasts are based on how long the waits are going to be. So yes, the software uses estimated wait times for the crowd level forecast on that day. In fact, if you go to the crowd calendar page for the day of your plan, and go to the specific park, you will be able to see the predicted wait time distribution for each attraction that the optimizer uses.

      The more complex answer is about how realistic those estimates are. If our forecast is correct, they are pretty realistic, based on what we measure after the fact. Not down to the minute, of course, but generally on target. But of course, if our forecast is wrong … then what you experience will be a bit different than what you expect.

      You may find the 2021 Crowd Calendar Retrospective (https://touringplans.com/blog/2021-disney-world-crowd-calendar-retrospective-park-by-park/) helpful to understand where the limitations are in forecasting. In 2021, we were right in our Magic Kingdom forecasts a little under 2/3 of the time.

      I would also caution you to be careful in your assumptions about what LL reservations you will be able to get. We have some data about availability (https://touringplans.com/blog/what-does-genie-availability-look-like/), but in the 2 months since that article was written Disney has changed the attraction lineup a couple of times, and of course that affects everything else. There are really only two things that we know: 1) Disney is still tinkering with the system, which can affect both LL availability and standby times and 2) the more crowded it is, the fewer reservations you are likely to get (but each one is likely to save you more time, on average).

      Have a great trip!

      Reply

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