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Old 07-23-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
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No touring plans?

We have made the decision to forego our beloved touring plans on this trip. This is our 4th trip in 4 years so we feel pretty comfortable that we will get our must dos in. Not to mention, I have looked at the same touring plans for years on end so I know it by the back of my hand lol.

Anyway, for those that go without a touring plan, can you tell me a little about your day? Do you still figure out which rides you want to go on? The order of which to do them? Do you just pick a park, and see where you end up? Do you just stand outside and see what bus shows up first? lol What's the plan of your non-planned day?
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
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Do you have any ADRs? What are the crowd levels predicted to be like during your stay? If no ADRs and low crowds, then go where the wind takes you!

I still think that it's only common sense to ride the headliners and/or those rides with predictably long lines first thing in the morning and to use FPs to cut wait times, too. So while you won't have a printed and laminated touring plan in your hot little hand, you'll still have a kind of plan in your head. KWIM?
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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We are FL residents who were pretty much raised in Disney World. We are DVC owners as well as AP holders and we get to Disney about 4-6 times a year (short trips!). We've never used Touring Plans.

We typically decide what park we are going to in advance and discuss which things are a "must do", which things we'd like to do but don't have to do, and then talk about our "skippable" attractions. We usually don't make ADRs but if we are interested in a TS restaurant, it definitely helps to have the parks picked out beforehand!

When it comes time to actually hit the parks, we get FPs for the things that are "Must-Do's" on our list. We try to minimize our walking by "finishing" one area before moving to the next although we typically backtrack to ride our favorites multiple times.

We've always felt comfortable with our touring style and have always managed to accomplish what we want at the parks. That said, we are 2 20 somethings with no kids who are pretty flexible and aren't too disappointed if we miss or skip something.

Since you've been multiple times, you know which attractions are popular, which things you can skip, etc. It definitely helps to have that knowledge!

Best of luck!
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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We decide day to day. We like lunch at LTT so that's usually a lock otherwise we figure out what we want to do in the morning. When we stay at the BW (our home DVC resort) we generally hit EPCOT a lot. Last trip we stayed at BLT so we only went to the MK. We really enjoy the evening EMH at MK so we plan for that when it's available during our stay.

I don't know anything about crowd levels. If it's too crowded when we get there, we hang in there as long as we can and leave when it gets to be too much. We are lucky in that we have gone there many times, so we have been on all the rides we want to ride and have seen all the shows. There are a few things we'll try to check out but if we can't make it work on one trip, we'll catch it next time.
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #5
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with the exception of dining ressies we have never done touring plans, just plan which park/which day around our dining then do the parks by sections hitting our favorites, never used FP or worried about timing but we always go during less crowded months not sure how this would work during peak season, have fun
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:52 PM   #6
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We will be in WDW same time as OP, crowd level is rather low at that time..the only time we are designated to a park is when we have rezzies, like this year we have CRT dinner rezzies and Sci-FI dinner so I know we will be at both of those parks in the evening plus those are EMH (evening) other than that we just go with the flow of what we want to do next. We also need to hit certain rides, ToT, EE, TSM, BTM, SM, but when and what time is never decided until we pretty much stumble upon the ride..
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Old 07-23-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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DH and I have doen two trips together, without DS, at the end of January/beginning of February in 2011 and 2012. We are not touring plan people! For both trips, we were only in WDW for a couple of days--two park days each trip. We went in with a general plan of attack. In 2011, we had hoppers and did all four parks in those two days. So, we knew which parks we wanted to hit each day and when our dinner ADRs were. For the most part, once we entered a park, we simply picked a direction and rode the rides as we came to them. Since it was a slow time of year, we walked on just about everything. We did skip some of the usual "must see" rides (TSMM, Soarin', TT), but we didn't feel like we missed out at all and we saw A LOT.

This year, we only did MK and Epcot, no hoppers. We knew we wanted to hit Soarin and TT this time, so we headed straight to Soarin' and rode standby then over to TT to ride standby. Basically walk-ons both times since we arrived shortly after opening. After that, again, we picked a direction and rode things in the order we came to them. We did have a longer wait than I would have liked (still probably only 15 or 20 minutes) for Space Mountain, but that's because the ride went down while we were waiting. But we walked on most everything else, even without criss-crossing all over the place. We rarely even had to use FPs. I think the only things we used FP for that trip were Peter Pan and Winnie-the-Pooh...it just wasn't necessary since we were either walking on or waiting for 10 minutes or less. Oh, we did also have a couple give us their Soarin' FPs so we could ride a second time.

Our non-strategy works well for us, but we also go at slower times.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:39 PM   #8
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My family and I always go in january and we never really have a set touring plan. Im usually the one who makes the group aware of the EMH so we can avoid that park (we stay off site)

We have maybe two or three ADRs during that trip so it does sway our decision on which park to do during those days. (Although we're dining with TiW this year so ill be making more just so we don't have to worry about being turned away. The first two weeks of my trip it'll be mostly my family with us. The second two weeks it'll [hopefully] be just my mom and my grandparents so we can splurge a little on dining)

For my next trip we have decided on two ADRs for the first week we're down there (since we're going the last week of the year and we know it will be super busy) other than that, ill look at different planning sites to decide which park to go to and go with my gut. We have "must dos" for all the parks...like if were going to DHS we go to TSM first thing to get fast passes...but as the day goes on we just go with the flow.

We also don't do hoppers (although ill be able to when the non hoppers aren't with us) so we pick a park ans just stay there for the day and make the best of it.

Most of the time I don't know where ill be eating lunch. Last year it was usually whatever CS we were near when we got hungry. We ate at a few new places, and that's what I love about it.

We've stumbled upon some fun things this way.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:47 PM   #9
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Florida resident and Disney junkie We have never used a touring plan mostly due to the fact that we let the kids dictate our day for the most part. We usually decide the night before which park we want to go to and talk about which rides/attractions are our must do's, then we just go from there. We have found flexibility works best for our family, less stress, less limitations. Although like others have said if we have ADR's then that dictates which park we need to be in for that time and we just build that into our "non" plan.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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We've had toddlers on each trip and our upcoming trip, so touring plans didn't really work for us--toddlers are too unpredictable. We usually pick a park for each morning of the trip and make either breakfast or lunch ADRs for that park. We hit the rides that are most important for the kids (Fantasyland/Buzz, Nemo/Land/Spaceship Earth, TSMM/DISJr/Ariel, Safari/Lion King/DinoLand) and go from there. Sometimes we do more in that park, hop to another park or return for a nap after lunch. We don't make evening ADRs--we ended up cancelling many times on a previous trip due to tired toddlers or park hopping. I do use EMH and crowd calendars to guide me on what park to pick for each morning before we arrive.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:53 PM   #11
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I was college program, so I know MK like the back of my hand. I am pretty familiar with the other parks as well. We never have a formal plan. We might do a little bit of planning if we want to ride a certain ride. For example, a few years ago, the kids wanted to do the Jedi Training. We did a bit of planning: rope drop at DHS, researched how it worked, etc. Same for TSM.

Otherwise, we just go to the park and have fun! It something has a long wait, we skip it or plan to come back later.

Sometimes, we don't get to do everything we want, but that's ok!
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:33 PM   #12
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Thank goodness!

Thank goodness I found this thread! I just read another one where the people were telling about all the intricate and usually very technological ways that they planned nearly every detail of their day. I was getting worried & thinking "Am I missing out?". A strict touring plan doesn't suit my style at all. I got a book that had a bunch of touring plans in it, thinking it'd be a good idea (we've never been to WDW) and when I look at it it makes me feel all constrained...sheesh, it's supposed to be my vacation!

The plan that seems to work for me on trips is to be as familiar as possible with what a place has to offer and all the details of where, when and how much and then go from there. Structure with flexibility. I hit the A and B list stuff first and then anything else is gravy.

Thanks, everyone - I feel more relaxed now that I've read your posts!
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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I nver use a touring plan. However, I do plan out which parks I will visit on each day. Usually one in the a.m. another for p.m. with a break in between. I always use PH as well. I also plan which parks I'll be in so I can make sure I fit in Wishes, F! and Illuminations. I also make ADRs so this can impact the park schedule.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:10 PM   #14
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We've been to WDW every year for the past 7 years during value season and never used a touring plan. When my DD was younger I tried to map out my own version of a touring plan but now that we've been so many times we just go with the flow and get park hoppers so we can change our minds.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:12 PM   #15
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I let the beers lead the way in Epcot - from kiosk to kiosk

We've stayed at every resort on site except CS.
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