Dad is very proud to announce that Touringplans.com is now sponsoring Dad's humble little site*.
Touringplans.com is the official web page for The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. For years, "The Guide" has been one of, if not the top selling Disney World guide book. Several years ago, the publishers of the book added a web page to augment the book. Through the years lots of information from the book has been added to the site and it continues to grow all the time.
The daily crowd information
Touringplans.com is the expert when it comes to Disney World crowds. (It's the only web site I don't mind being behind in searches.) They've been at it for as long as I can remember. They track park attendance every day. They have data on thier site that goes all the way back to 2006 (a whole century ago).
The folks at the Unofficial Guide/Touringplans do a great job of tracking and predicting Disney World (and Disneyland) traffic. Almost every day they are in the parks gauging attendance, testing and updating touring plans. They have contacts both inside and outside Disney that help them determine how busy the parks will be. (Dad's a little jealous.)
What you'll find inside
Inside Touringplans.com you'll find almost as much Disney World information as Dad has. (Almost.) There are pages about the parks including information about every ride and show, pages about hotels (sorry Len, but you could use a little of Dad's help here), pages about the restaurants and much much more. Most of the information is based on what's in the Official Guide but is continually updated with new information as it becomes available.
What Touringplans is famous for is their applications. They have the best Disney app for smart phones on the market. They also have the most accurate crowd calendar available. Yes, it's better than Dad's it pains me to say.
Take a look at what you'll get if you subscribe.
The Crowd Calendar
Here it is. The main event. The Ultimate Crowd Calendar. Every day, up to 365 days in the future, you can see predictions including what levels of crowds to expect in each park. Which park to avoid on each day and the best park to visit on each day.
Each day includes times for the parades and fireworks shows, and which park is hosting Extra Magic Hours. You can see a picture of the crowd calendar page above. The site has 30 days available for free, but if you want to look at anything in the future you'll have to subscribe.
The Lines App
The newest toy at Touringplans.com is the current wait time application called Lines. Developed for the iPhone, the Lines app is the best Disney World phone application on the planet. Want to know what the current wait time is for Space Mountian. Just look at your phone. It's a great tool when your in the parks or just bored and need something to do.
Lines is available for the following -
- Apple iPhone
- RIM Blackberry
- Google Android
- Your Computer (yes, you can put it on your computer)
As the name implies, you can find all kinds of plans to tour Disney World on the site. (At last count I think there are 140 different plans.) These plans can help you as you plan your day at Walt Disney World. The plans are designed to minimize wait times and get around the parks with less stress. Some of the plans are for Olympic caliper families that are ready to zip around the parks all day. Some are less stressful, but still let you ride as many rides as possible.
Lines and Touring Plans combined
You can now create a touring plan, make changes to it, put it on your phone, and "optimize" it even when you're at Walt Disney World. Touringplans.com is testing some revolutionary new software that allows you to take one of the current touring plans or build one of your own. You can edit it, move things around, add meals, delete rides you won't ride (like the spinny rides Dad hates). Once you get all that done, you can push the "Optimize" button and the Magic software will put your plan in the best order to avoid lines in the park.
What makes this so amazing is that it can take information from Lines and "optimize" your plan with up-to-the-minute crowd information. This is truly going to change the way you plan for a Walt Disney World Vacation.
With the success of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World it was only natural to expand and build on what was working. There are 3 Unofficial Guide books in the series. They are the Unofficial Guide, the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids and the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World Color Companion (and you thought Dad had a long and unwieldy name). Dad highly recommends all 3. (In fact there is only one other guide book that Dad recommends and with the addition of the Color Companion, Dad's not sure the Disney Guide is necessary any more.
Dad recommends you buy all 3. Now. Go ahead. You know you want too.
Since the government is getting a bit sticky about these things, let me divulge ... Yes, Dad does now, and may in the future receive a portion of your subscription, or any monies you might pay, when you click on one of Dad's links. (Not just this on this page) Hey, Dad's got to make a little money to keep food on the table. Right?
Dad's Bottom Line
Dad has been in the past, and is now a subscriber to touringplans.com. It's well worth the money (I really think they ought to raise the price, you hear that Len?). Whenever I plan a trip, for myself, or others, I'll always take a look in on what Touringplans says. They never disappointed me.
*Yes, they paid through the nose for it, or I gave it away for free, I'm not quite sure which way that turned out.