Florida's new coaster openings?

Friday, January 10, 2020 10:03 PM

Re planning, the game really changed at Disney with the MyMagic+ project. Before you could wing it... Show up get some paper fast passes. Feel like you were having a good time and be satisfied.

Today you have to sync everything up in advance. It presents more opportunity and less satisfaction. It's indicative of the larger conundrum with technology in general. Win big or lose.

Getting on the new big rides is becoming insanely complicated strategy.And now with the virtual queuing you'll really have to play along. With necessity to be constantly in tune to your phone. Not just willingness to wait on long lines.

Re Japan. I felt DisneySea was worth burning a day for in Japan. Probably more then any other park I saw out there. (Now if I had I had a shorter duration trip, I might not of thought that stance and skipped it). But it was definitely incredibly unique and worth the hype if you appreciate Disney. I did skip the Castle park, because I agree, more of the same... DisneySea is not about rides, it's about the enviornments. So you can probably just show up and wing it and still be pretty good. They had old school hard ticket fast passes too, though I heard that might have changed/changing.

Last edited by Kstr 737, Friday, January 10, 2020 10:13 PM
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Saturday, January 11, 2020 3:14 PM

Maybe it's all just semantics, but this idea that you have to plan your trip down to WDW down to the minute is grossly inaccurate. With 3 pre-booked Fast Passes per day, you're really only planning a fraction of the day at most parks and I've found it mostly a crap shoot of what you can get beyond those first 3. Sure you have to decide what park you're going to start the day at, but beyond that, you have all of the flexibility you want. My wife and I did an adult trip over a weekend a few years ago and booked it less than 2 weeks out. We splurged for park hoppers, got enough Fast Passes in advance to make us happy, and made the best of it. We managed to get great dining reservations by just dropping in the app at random times throughout the week. You can definitely plan the hell out of a trip, but my experience has been that, outside of the early FP reservations, we've been able to wing it and not miss much. The one exception I would say is that 2 of our 3 trips in 4 years, we missed out on Space Mountain because of long lines and the inability to get a FP at a convenient time.


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Saturday, January 11, 2020 4:33 PM
Jeff's avatar

The dining situation is definitely better than it was. We booked Le Cellier two weeks out, for the last day they did Illuminations, no less. There was a time where you had to book that out six months. The dining capacity is overall higher and spread out a lot more than it used to be.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Saturday, January 11, 2020 6:57 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

bigboy said:

Maybe it's all just semantics, but this idea that you have to plan your trip down to WDW down to the minute is grossly inaccurate.

I don't think anyone plans down to the minute. I don't think even when your visit in 100% pre-booked (and it will be someday) that it will be that rigid, nor could it be. And I still argue that after booking a handful of rides and attractions, planning for a parade or show of some kind and securing a couple of meal reservations, that your day is mostly planned...whether it feels like it or not. But that's not the discussion I'm interested in at the moment.

...our 3 trips in 4 years...

It's more this half. Because it still seems like those that insist planning isn't necessary are those that visit repeatedly and/or often. It's almost like an offshoot of the enthusiast not getting the GP mentality thingBut even still that's not totally why I jumped in.

What this has led me to is a different, but related, question (or two) and I wonder if anyone here knows for sure.

1. What is the average number of visits a person makes to Walt Disney World in their lifetime?

2. What percentage of WDW visitors on any given day are first-time visitors?

I still think the average person is more likely to visit once, maybe twice, if at all, in their lifetime and that on any given day a vast majority of people in the park are first time visitors.

And if those beliefs are true, then planning (or even overplanning) probably gets you the best value or bang for your buck on your visit.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, January 13, 2020 1:41 PM
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Saturday, January 11, 2020 7:51 PM

Jeff said:

The dining situation is definitely better than it was. We booked Le Cellier two weeks out, for the last day they did Illuminations, no less. There was a time where you had to book that out six months. The dining capacity is overall higher and spread out a lot more than it used to be.

The $10 a head no show fee for reservations doesn’t hurt either. I think a lot of folks used to forget they even had reservations and/or would double book and just decide day-of. I think folks think twice now before blindly making reservations they know they likely won’t use.

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Saturday, January 11, 2020 7:56 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't think frequency is the thing driving the plan/wing it difference. I think people just approach travel differently, and really differently when it comes to WDW.

When I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon, I didn't plan anything other than where to stay. There is no shortage of things to do there, across several islands. When I go to New York, same thing (except when I have Hamilton tickets ⭐). I don't know why WDW is a unicorn.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Monday, January 13, 2020 8:14 AM

slithernoggin said:

I've never pre-planned a trip to WDW; I go, I ride what I want, if the line's too long I do something else. To be honest, I have friends and former WDW employees in Orlando and I've never paid to enter the park. So I don't have any urgency to accomplish 'everything' in a visit.

Well, if I were able to get into the park whenever I wanted without paying, I wouldn't worry too much about my plans prior to getting there either. But for a family who is taking a trip they probably won't take again in their life, spending a few thousand in the process, you tend to make sure your time isn't wasted while you're there.

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Monday, January 13, 2020 9:04 AM

I guess that the irony behind the "Disney pre-planning" myth is that if you know what you're doing, the best time to start booking Fast Passes is no earlier than the morning of your park visit (unless you book extremely far out, like 66 days of so -- basically the backend of your hotel visit). But you can keep refreshing and pounding for whatever want as long as you start the day of. If you try to pound the app weeks out, it won't help you.

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Monday, January 13, 2020 9:36 AM

yawetag said:
Well, if I were able to get into the park whenever I wanted without paying, I wouldn't worry too much about my plans prior to getting there either. But for a family who is taking a trip they probably won't take again in their life, spending a few thousand in the process, you tend to make sure your time isn't wasted while you're there.

Exactly. People need to separate the casual visitor who goes often versus those who only go once every few years. It’s not the same type of visitor. Just like when I visit Cedar Point, I can care less if the park is swamped and I don’t ride a damn thing. I been there so much, it just doesn’t matter. Just like those who visit Disney multiple times per year, the visits are less ‘important’, if you will.

Trackmaster said:

I guess that the irony behind the "Disney pre-planning" myth is that if you know what you're doing, the best time to start booking Fast Passes is no earlier than the morning of your park visit (unless you book extremely far out, like 66 days of so -- basically the backend of your hotel visit).

“If you know what you’re doing”, which requires some knowledge/planning/research in order to maximize your experience at Disney. Which is exactly the point, I'd say. Most first-time families who visit likely won’t know this stuff, but that’s just my guess. In the end, you still need to be well prepared for your trip to Disney to maximize its enjoyment (like any place, sure... But it still feels like you need to do more when it comes to Disney).

Every time I have visited the Disney Parks, I have always done so with zero planning of once I was inside the gate. Perhaps a ride I’d like to get on or something, but that is about it. I do that with every park I visit, but Disney is where I “strike out” most. My last visit for example, we checked out Pandora and were faced with nearly 3hr waits for both attractions. No thanks. I couldn’t even buy a fastpass/express obviously, so we left not being able to experience those without wasting half a day, seriously, on two rides. At Universal, Cedar Fair and most other parks you can find ways to maximize your visits once in the park. Disney, not so much.

Disneyland / DCA was better, though. We had a far better time at those properties because it didn’t have the insane crowds or ‘pre-planning’ required, at least when we visited. I actually really liked those parks, far better than what is in Orlando, even though there is obviously a lot more to do at the Orlando properties.

For me on a big trip, outside of spending a lot of time researching lodging, tickets and transportation… Once at the park, I expect it to be ‘care free’ for lack of better words. When visiting the parks in Europe this past summer, using Europa as an example being the largest and most comparable to the Disney properties… We stayed on-site and we were able to eat/drink at any of the resort restaurants, cocktail bars and whatever else without pre-booking weeks in advance, including their more fine dining options which were phenomenal. The overall experience was so laid back and enjoyable with no planning what-so-ever start to finish. Europa to me, felt like Disney without all the things that turn me off from Disney... It just makes a huge difference for a first time visitor when you can just enjoy the day without all the extra planning.

Last edited by SteveWoA, Monday, January 13, 2020 9:50 AM
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Monday, January 13, 2020 1:01 PM

I care about where I eat at Disney, so I do plan 180 days out so I can get 5pm reservations at my favorite restaurants. With the changes to DHS tiers, the only two parks where multiple fastpasses are “worth it” are AK and MK so nearly all my preplanned FPs are at those parks (I only book Epcot and DHS when I’m not going to the other two parks that day.)

That said, I know how to ride all the major attractions I enjoy at each park at rope drop and be done before noon at every park but MK purely because there are too many rides there. At MK w/o fastpasses I generally skip Space Mtn and Peter Pan (I also hardly ever ride Buzz.).

For evenings, I’m there mainly at the parks for the night shows and am fine only riding rides with short waits and whatever I can scrounge a FP for. Rides like all the cheesy animatronic shows as well as the TTA and Philharmagic at MK, the two big theatre shows at AK (not to mention SRL Everest,) MuppetVision, and other then Soarin, Frozen and Test Track lines start Epcot are minimal and I enjoy nearly all of them not to mention just roaming World Showcase I enjoy nearly as much as the big rides.

As I tell anyone who asks me, think hard about getting in a line >30 min at Disney and do so rarely, and never get in one >60 min unless the park is about to close. There is so much to do at WDW that you should not spend time waiting in lines.

Actually, that last rule holds true for all parks.

Last edited by Touchdown, Monday, January 13, 2020 1:13 PM

2020 Trips: Canceled by Corona

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020 2:28 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I planned our week long WDW in Dec 2018 to the minute (using Touringplans.com). Of course, I had no expectation that we'd follow the plan exactly and I built in a lot of margin for error but with one or two exceptions (we skipped the UP bird show and Tough to Be a Bug because we took too long on the animal trial) I think we followed the plans in order.

We're only going to WDW once or twice ever. We dropped close to $1k per person. To me the thing that makes Disney unique is that the difference between the high quality experiences and other experiences is gigantic and the difference in waits between planning and not planning is also gigantic. At Cedar Point, there are lots of roller coasters and if I roll in with no plan, I'll probably be looking at a few 1-1.5 hr waits but I can also ride lots of neat stuff with a 20 minute wait. There's a broad range of wait time vs. payoff choices and I feel pretty confident that getting there early and/or buying FastLane will get me what I want.

At Animal Kingdom, I can ride one of the coolest rides in the world (Flight of Passage) by planning like a crazy person or by waiting 3 hours or I can go ride Tough to Be A Bug a bunch of times. Even Everest, Dinosaur, or Primeval Whirl with hour long waits don't appeal to me at all. There really isn't that much in between.

I suppose my philosophy boils down to "since you didn't go home, you might as well go big."

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, January 14, 2020 2:30 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Monday, January 27, 2020 3:04 PM

ApolloAndy said:

I planned our week long WDW in Dec 2018 to the minute (using Touringplans.com). Of course, I had no expectation that we'd follow the plan exactly and I built in a lot of margin for error but with one or two exceptions (we skipped the UP bird show and Tough to Be a Bug because we took too long on the animal trial) I think we followed the plans in order.

We're only going to WDW once or twice ever. We dropped close to $1k per person. To me the thing that makes Disney unique is that the difference between the high quality experiences and other experiences is gigantic and the difference in waits between planning and not planning is also gigantic. At Cedar Point, there are lots of roller coasters and if I roll in with no plan, I'll probably be looking at a few 1-1.5 hr waits but I can also ride lots of neat stuff with a 20 minute wait. There's a broad range of wait time vs. payoff choices and I feel pretty confident that getting there early and/or buying FastLane will get me what I want.

At Animal Kingdom, I can ride one of the coolest rides in the world (Flight of Passage) by planning like a crazy person or by waiting 3 hours or I can go ride Tough to Be A Bug a bunch of times. Even Everest, Dinosaur, or Primeval Whirl with hour long waits don't appeal to me at all. There really isn't that much in between.

I suppose my philosophy boils down to "since you didn't go home, you might as well go big."

Honestly, you don't need to plan that much for Disney, even if you want to stay productive on the major rides most of the time. Just avoid the times of the year that you know will be busy (summer, Christmas break, spring break, etc.), and really prioritize the Fast Pass. Just like if you french fry instead of pizza, if you try to do Disney all on stand-by... you're gonna have a bad time. Master the Fast Pass, and Disney is a blast.

And if you're flexible with when you go, it really shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out when you need to go.

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Monday, January 27, 2020 3:57 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Master the Fast Pass, and Disney is a blast.

But if you want to maximize the Fast Pass you have to buy your park tickets months in advance and know which parks you will visit on which days of your vacation. You can't wake up to rain and want to take a trip to Port Canaveral instead. I am sure there is a way to move your ticket date but you can kiss those valuable Fast Passes good bye no?


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Monday, January 27, 2020 6:22 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Correct. I mean, you can probably get the concierge to help you out, but in general it's a much better idea to just plan. People say a lot of stuff like "Don't plan. Just avoid ________ or do __________." That's fine, but if I can plan for a few hours in October (something I enjoy) to gain 30+ minutes of not waiting in line at Animal Kingdom in December, why wouldn't I? Especially when most of my planning is taking those things into account and/or dealing with the fact that they are unavoidable : Our kids' school schedule meant we had to go the week before Xmas. I spent most of my planning time picking the best FP's and then arranging the schedules so we didn't have to zig-zag across the park to hit them all. The secondary concerns included how to maximize rider switch usage and how to hit shows and meals on time. On our last full day, it was torrential rain and everything was a walk on so we threw the plan out the window anyway.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Monday, January 27, 2020 6:25 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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