A good touring plan for your visit to a Walt Disney World Park can make the difference between a long, tired, frustrating day, and the best vacation ever.
What is a touring plan?
A touring plan is a strategy or gameplan for visiting the attractions in a park. It takes into account the potential wait times and popularity of various attractions, and it also looks at trends for typical park going crowds. A good touring plan will allow you to see the attractions that you want to see with minimal time spent waiting in lines during the day.
If you wish to have a detailed, customizable touring plan here are three web sites that charge a fee, but have these available for Walt Disney World Theme Parks. You can check out their site for details as to what they offer.
I have not personally used any of these, but they are all reputable sites.
If you are looking for a Touring Plan developed through 25+ visits of experience that is free of charge, here it is:
The Only WDWorld Hollywood Studios Touring Plan
Hollywood Studios currently has 3 extremely popular attractions (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Toy Story Mania, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith) and 2 live action shows (Lights, Motors, Action! and Indiana Jones Eric Stunt Spectacular) that your visit should be planned around.
The other attractions will be worked in around these in order to minimize wait time and walking distance.
In order to minimize wait times it is important to arrive at the park prior to opening. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the park and find out the schedule for the live shows.
If we use this week as an example, Hollywood Studios opens at 9:00 am each day. Lights, Motors, Action! has 2 shows each day at: 1:20pm & 4:30 pm. Indiana Jones has 5 shows each day with the first at 11:30 am and the last at 5:30 pm.
- The plan is to hit the 3 most popular attractions first, as soon as the park opens. I would recommend heading to Toy Story Mania first. Get a FastPass (to learn more about FastPasses click: here ), and if the regular line is not long get in it. That way you can ride the newest, most popular attraction twice.
- If the wait time is 30 minutes or more, skip it and head to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Ride that and then go to Tower of Terror. After riding both, check the time to see if you can go back to Toy Story Mania to use your FastPass.
- If any of these attractions has a wait time posted over 30 minutes skip it and get a FastPass later to ride it. Do not waste your time in line if you do not have to.
- After riding the “big” 3 you want to work your way around the park to get to Lights, Motors, Action! by 1:00 pm for the 1:30pm show.
- Visit Little Mermaid, Great Movie Ride, and Back Lot Studio Tour as you work your way to the back of the park. Grab lunch before the 1:30pm LMA! show if there is time.
- After the show head towards Star Tours and Muppet 3-D. Get a FastPass at Star Tours if necessary and then go see the Muppet 3-D Show.
- Target the 4:15pm show for Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, if you are running late then catch the 5:30pm show.
- If you are an American Idol fan they have 7 shows daily with the Finale at the 7:00 pm show pitting the winners from the earlier shows against each other for the day’s grand prize winner.
During busy times use the FastPass to avoid the long waits in lines. Use 30 minutes as your guide whether to wait or to get the FastPass and come back later.
Visit the other attractions that I didn’t mention, get character autographs, watch the spontaneous entertainment that goes on throughout the day as you make your way around the park. If you see something that looks interesting, stop and check it out.
If you race your way around the park to get to each attraction and try to keep to an exact schedule, you WILL MISS what Disney World is all about.
It is about noticing the details, taking in the atmosphere, and relaxing while you become immersed in this fantasy world. It is about having fun!
If you miss an attraction due to excessive lines, don’t worry about it. You can hit it next time.
Have a basic plan in mind, but be willing to deviate if something interesting catches your eye. Having an enjoyable time is more important than keeping a strict schedule. Starting with the most popular attractions when the park opens and utilizing FastPasses will go a long way towards making sure you are able to see what you want to see.