Ridemax vs. the new Optimized Touring Plans?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by TwoIfBySea, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. TwoIfBySea

    TwoIfBySea Mouseketeer

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    Hi,

    Anyone compare an optimized tour using Ridemax to an optimized tour using the new individualized touring plans at Touring Plans?

    I'm just wondering whether one or the other is likely to be better at estimating the true waiting times, walking times, etc., and thus to give a more accurate plan.

    Or is it close enough to not really matter?
     
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  3. michelle06

    michelle06 DIS Veteran

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    I've recently subscribed to TP and all I can find is where you can make your own plan. I don't see anywhere where you can pick what you want to do and it gives you an optimized plan. If that's there, please direct me!

    I did Ridemax on our last trip and found it to be wonderful. You put in EXACTLY what you wanted to do including start and end times. Ridemax would give you the optimal order to do attractions. You can even select whether minimizing walking or wait times is most important. You can also schedule breaks. It tells you when and what to fastpass as well. Highly recommend it.

    If TP can do what RM does, I would love to know how to do it now that I've subscribed.
     
  4. tofubeast

    tofubeast DIS Veteran

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    I have used Ridemax and both WDW and DLR. Awesome, spot on, plans. Saved us so much time and worked perfectly.
     
  5. Annie78

    Annie78 Mouseketeer

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    Make a new TP customized plan - you can either start from scratch or take one of their plans and modify it (use "Copy Plan" in the "Console" on the left of the screen while viewing the plan you want to use as a template). After you have added/removed steps as desired (don't worry about putting them in any kind of order), hit Submit.
    You've now created a customized plan and should be at a screen that will let you input some preferences for optimizing and the date of your visit. You have to list a time for your meals and any other breaks you want to include. When you're done, hit the blue Optimize button at the bottom of the page. After the page loads, it will say "currently optimizing, hit refresh in a few seconds" or something like that. Give it a chance to finish, then hit refresh and you will have your optimized plan. It will also now be saved in your list of customized plans, including in the app. You can go back and edit as needed if your dates, ADRs, etc, change.

    I can't compare to RM, but just wanted to help with TP since I've been working on the same thing lately...
     
  6. michelle06

    michelle06 DIS Veteran

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    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!! :flower3::yay::woohoo:
    I subscribed to TP not realizing this was a feature! I was getting ancy waiting for the 90 day window to open up to get RideMax. I am so excited to try making a plan with this. Thank you OP for posting about this and thank you Annie78 for explaining how it works. I am ever grateful. Gotta love the DIS!

    To OP: My cost for TP was only $7.11 using the discount for owning the UG book. Definitely worth it just for the crowd levels for individual parks.
     
  7. michelle06

    michelle06 DIS Veteran

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    Ok, since my last post (an hour and 10 minutes!), I've been playing with TP's optimized plans.

    I am not sure if these are accurate or not. It seems no matter what time it puts me meeting Rapunzel, there is no wait, and I'm done in 3 minutes. I don't believe that is realistic, so I am unsure whether to believe the rest of the plan.

    I do know that Ridemax did not steer me wrong on my last trip. It gave very accurate wait times, ride times, and walk to next attraction times. I may still need to purchase RM and compare. If anyone has tried the optimized plans from TP, please let us know. I'm just skeptical as TP even advises being at the Rapunzel M&G 15-20minutes ahead of time, but that time is not given on the optimized plan. They also always recommend Dumbo first thing, but it has me on FP attractions like Peter Pan ahead of Dumbo. Again, not sure if this is the best plan or not.
     
  8. shouts

    shouts Earning My Ears

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    Well, I have bought everything this year! (TGM, TP, Orlando Informer) I plan on buying ridemax once we hit the 90 day mark. I find TP a bit cumbersome compared to RM, so I'm going to stick with RM for this trip. I don't think anyone can really improve on it.
     
  9. michelle06

    michelle06 DIS Veteran

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    Ok, now 2 hours later of playing with TP optimized plans and I am convinced that it is not quite ready for use. Ridemax is definitely the way to go.

    Here is an example:
    I put in 4 hours of evening at MK. I put in some random things to do on Main St. like Dapper Dans, glass blowing, etc. I don't know the showtimes, but wanted to see what TP did with it. I also put in MSEP and Wishes. It says to watch Wishes at 7:54pm, then see the glass blowing demonstration. It then gives me 254 minutes of FREE TIME! Then it says I don't have time for MSEP and a couple other things.

    Yes, I know enough to figure some of this out on my own. However, if that's what their program does with the info provided, I don't know that I can trust the info I need to trust with it. Thus, I am going with Ridemax.
     
  10. Maggie'sMom

    Maggie'sMom DIS Veteran

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    I used Ridemax for our last trip and liked it. We didn't always follow the plan, but it did help me minimize waits when we did follow it.

    I agree the TPs version isn't quite ready yet. I put in for a morning at MK arriving at 9am: Rapunzel M&G, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Buzz, and Peter Pan. They showed 0 minutes wait on all the rides. They had me finish up all those attractions before 10am. Now I know we can get a lot done by arriving at rope drop because we usually do, but there's no way that can happen. They didn't even have me going to the Tangled M&G first thing. They told me to do that after riding Buzz and Space Mountain. Our trip isn't until May and I'll probably be playing around with their optimized plans more, but for now I'm not putting a lot of stock in them.
     
  11. snesguy

    snesguy Mouseketeer

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    I like Touringplans for the predicted crowd forecasts and their mobile app which I run on my iPhone in the parks and gives me wait times. I try to update wait times on the app as much as I have time for when I'm in the parks to make it more accurate for everyone. I don't follow their sample touring plans because they usually don't line up with some part of my plan. I do look at their plans and see how they recommend starting the day. They claim their plans are very optimized and I'm sure they are pretty much optimal so long as you follow everything on their plan and the park hours line up with it, but I usually don't want to exactly follow their plan so...

    I have used RideMax to supplement touringplans. RideMax is an inexact science. If you have many items in your plan you can run it multiple times and it will come up with different results. I run it a lot and use one of the results that lines up with what I want to do. It is more accurate if you have fewer items and less time on your plan so I try pick a plan that is optimized for the first couple of hours from rope drop and then exclude the stuff from that block of time and run a new plan with the remainder. It gets complicated because your FASTPASS usage won't carry over once you cut out part of the plan but I have found that by me thinking it through and cutting the inputs to RideMax I can help it give me a more optimal plan that fits my schedule better. It takes a bit of time but I enjoy the planning and it gives pretty good results.

    I also have used Tour Guide Mike to help me pick good days to visit parks. His website can make it a bit tough to find all his tips but the best info he has is the analysis of which parks are best to visit on specific days of your trip, broken down into best morning and afternoon/evening parks. That is very helpful and worth a subscription for me. EasyWDW has a similar best parks analysis and it's free. EasyWDW doesn't always match TGM's recommendations. I like to see both and decide for myself. EasyWDW doesn't have all Mike's other info organized into findable stuff, so for those like me who haven't been often TGM has some value. Since I don't get to take many trips I like to use all the planning tools to help maximize my experience when I'm there.

    EasyWDW is free so everyone should check that out.

    If my dates were flexible but I were restricted to purchasing one tool only I would probably choose touringplans.com, mainly for the crowd forecasts because I want to try to pick a time to visit that has low crowds if I can. I think Touringplans has their crowd forecasts a year in advance but EasyWDW doesn't go that far out.

    If my dates were fixed and I could only pick one tool then I'd probably go with RideMax.

    Fortunately I can use them all.
     
  12. TwoIfBySea

    TwoIfBySea Mouseketeer

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    I've already purchased both and tried them out at home, so my interest was about reliablity rather than which one to spend money on.

    I was hoping I could rely on the Touring Plans one since the app works so nicely on my iPhone and there is no RideMax app; if I print out RideMax plans and later change our minds during the day I'm not going to go home and redo it.

    Maybe I should start from the RideMax plans, and if we have to change them radically I can switch to a personalized TP plan mid-day and hope for the best.

    One issue I had with the TP plans is that they assume we will spend 10 minutes in each World showcase pavillion. I got around that by putting in each world pavillion 3 times, but then sometimes it would send me, for instance, to Japan for 10 minutes, out somewhere else for a while, and then back to Japan!

    With RideMax, though, you can say you want 3 hours total at the pavillions in a Counter-clockwise direction (or whatever).

    On the other hand they don't have quite as many of the shows and activities listed (although they come close). And, as I said, the big drawback is they aren't an app so I can't use them interactively while in the park.

    But it sounds from the above posters that TP may not be accurate enough to rely on at all.

    Maybe someday EasyWDW will do a side-by-side comparison at each park over a multi-day period and see who wins.
     
  13. cigar95

    cigar95 DIS weakest link

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    Touringplans is at its best when dealing with attractions, as opposed to shows or exhibits, like the WS pavillions.

    For the official published touring plans, Len is able to examine the results of the computer calculations and do a "sanity check" to see that they make sense, with adjustments as needed. Those plans are then field-tested before going public. For the individually optimized plans, that can't be done - so we can get odd-looking results.

    So if one wants to use the "canned" touring plans, possibly with a few tweaks for your own interests, that can be done pretty safely. But the new personally-optimized touring plans should probably not be taken too literally - make use of the general structure that they give you, especially with attractions, then tweak them in a way that makes sense.
     
  14. TwoIfBySea

    TwoIfBySea Mouseketeer

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    I just found out that RideMax does have an online version with a mobile website you can use on an iPhone, at leat in theory. But I just tried creating a bunch of plans and they all still say "waiting for server" 20 minutes later. So I don't know if this is broken, or just slow today.
     
  15. Jensspark

    Jensspark Mouseketeer

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    I create a custom plan using my knowledge and just don't optimize it. That's always an option...
    You can always save without optimizing in TP.
     
  16. TwoIfBySea

    TwoIfBySea Mouseketeer

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    For anyone still following this thread: I ended up using the optimized Touring Plans app since it was easier to use on my phone than RideMax.

    It NEVER steered me wrong, as long as I kept optimizing. The ONLY times last week that we waited more than 10 minutes for anything, were the times I said, "hey, we're right here at a ride/show, let's just get in line and do it now." As long as I obeyed the plan (even if it meant more walking and backtracking), we had 5-10 minute waits everywhere we went.

    Of course, it was a moderate-crowd week.
     
  17. JenSinMA

    JenSinMA Mouseketeer

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    This is good to know. Thanks for reporting back! :thumbsup2
     
  18. BoltzNBrew

    BoltzNBrew Mouseketeer

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    When I put in MK, EMH and put in all the rides and optimize is always tells me to do teacups first, problem is teacups aren't open during emh. Also seems to have us zig zagging all over the park despite saying we want to walk less. Seems like its not quite ready for use.

    I think the plans I manually put together are going to work out well, using EMH's and FP's even with the enforcement should be some nice relaxing days for us and still be able to get all we want done in with minimal waits.
     
  19. TwoIfBySea

    TwoIfBySea Mouseketeer

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    I don't know their algorithm, of course, but I think "walk less" still depends on how much waiting time there will be. When I did less zigzagging, I did a LOT more waiting.

    But if they don't have EMH right, that's a problem. And they're going to have to totally redo it once the Fastpass rules change, since they always had us returning long past the window.
     
  20. eranwolf

    eranwolf Earning My Ears

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    I have both paid for and honestly I have to tweak either one to my liking. I will go over a few things of each I like and dislike. Keep in mind I travel with a medium sized group which consists of DW, 3 DS (10,6 and 15 months) and both my parents which are late 60's. Nothing against the seniors but some of you don't move like you used to!! ;)

    Touring Plans:

    Likes -Easier to use
    -iPhone app is VERY nice, especially the wait times
    -Crowd Tracker (almost worth the price alone)
    -Map with numbered attraction order at the top of the plan
    -Nice "canned" plans
    -Options to add details and custom stops in your plans

    Dislike -"Optimizing" a custom plan has you ALL OVER the map
    -Cant access the cheat sheets from the iPhone app
    -No option for the late return of a FastPass in plans out of the box

    Ridemax:

    Likes -Optimized plans fit time lines better
    -Epcot plan can add a lump 2-5 hour tour of WS eith CW or CCW as one attraction.
    -Selection for "runner" to go get FP while rest of group moves on. Can even select which rides "runner" is willing to miss to go get the FP.
    -Option to use FP late in plan
    -Option to schedule water rides during daylight

    Dislikes -No character meeting spots as options
    -No custom options on web interface, only on installed version
    -No place to store your ADR conf numbers when adding dining
    - No smartphone app, only a mobile website


    Obviously, there are plenty more likes and dislikes that I am missing but that is just my quick impressions after using both. Honestly, I don't agree 100% with either 'optimized" plan that is created. I feel that Ride Max offers a better timeline and schedules the order of rides better but TP is a lot more customizable and the iPhone app is great.

    Obviously, anyone can chime in here because I would like to get other peoples takes on what I am missing.
     
  21. TwoIfBySea

    TwoIfBySea Mouseketeer

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    The Ridemax plan was definitely better at first glance than the Touring Plans plan.

    Where Touring Plans won for me was that I could bring the plan up on the App while in the park, mark as "done" the things we'd already been to see, and then re-Optimize on the fly.

    Also, Ridemax even on the website made it hard to adjust a plan once made, while the Touring Plans one was easy to add and subtract steps from.

    Both of them have plusses and minuses and I'm glad I tried both. But the ease of use of the TP app made it the winner for me, even if the actual plan was not quite as good. If I had chosen to go into the park with a printed plan and stick to it, I would have chosen the Ridemax plan.
     

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