If anyone wants to join me, either virtually or in-person, I’ll be in the Magic Kingdom again this coming Friday, May 8th, doing live tweets and Facebook updates as I play another round of RideMax Roulette.
For those not familiar, RideMax Roulette is a game using the RideMax planning tool, where I select a list of attractions at random and plug them into RideMax. RideMax then creates an optimized game plan using those attractions designed to minimize my waiting and walking. I then take the plan to the park to see how it works out. (Just FYI, because I’m biased, I call this a “RideMax plan,” but I know that some would call this a “touring plan” instead, lol).
Playing this “game” helps me keep things real by actually using plans the software produces, as well as having me ride attractions that I might not normally visit, but which customers very well could. (“Business philosophy” note here: There’s nothing quite like putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and actually, you know, *using* your own product, to help you know where the strengths of that product are, as well as learning what could be improved.)
For this week’s test, my only requirement going into the process was that I wanted to at least hit the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride. So I made sure I included that attraction, then added attractions to the list using my handy-dandy random number generator, until I had enough attractions to fill a half-day at the park.
In alphabetical order, here is the complete list of twelve attractions I plan to visit from 9:00am, when the park opens, until noon-ish:
- Aladdin’s Magic Carpets
- Astro Orbiter
- Astro Orbiter (Yes, I’ll be visiting this one twice.) :-)
- Barnstormer (Yes, also twice!)
- Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Haunted Mansion
- Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Splash Mountain
Before creating the plan, I had to decide what I wanted to use my three FastPass+ reservations for. While this can sometimes be a hard choice, this time it seemed obvious: Peter Pan, Splash Mountain, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train probably offer the most opportunity for time-saving with FP+. (And If I couldn’t get a FP+ reservation for 7DMT, I’d probably use it for the Haunted Mansion instead.)
Well, as luck would have it, there was still a FP+ slot available for 7DMT in Disney’s reservation system, so I went with it.
Here is the plan RideMax came up with for Friday, and which I plan to use:
So, you might be asking yourself, “But what if you weren’t able to get that 7DMT FastPass+ reservation? What would the plan look like in that case?”
Well, since you asked, here is the RideMax plan the software produced when I told RideMax to use FP+ for the Haunted Mansion instead of 7DMT:
As you can see, this plan estimates we’d wait 43 minutes longer overall using FP+ for Haunted Mansion and visiting 7DMT using the standby line right at opening time. As I look at this second scenario, the estimates for Astro Orbiter look a bit high to me, but even if the actual combined wait for Astro Orbiter ends up being 15 minutes less than shown on the plan, this second scenario would still involve an extra 30 minutes or so of waiting over the first plan.
The other thing to note about this second scenario is that the 10-minute estimate for 7DMT right at opening time depends on your ability to follow some pretty specific instructions, and to get to the ride right after rope drop. (That note in the plan next to the 7DMT entry to “see tip #1 below” is crucial to the plan’s success.) RideMax subscribers will see various tips like this sprinkled throughout their RideMax plans, and this particular tip is probably the longest and most detailed of any, as you’re trying to stay ahead of a rope-drop crowd that looks like the scene below, with many or even most of the crowd headed to 7DMT:
I guess the moral of this story is that if you can use FP+ for the Mine Train ride, do it, since it can help you avoid this whole rope-drop mess. (And of course the second moral of the story is that RideMax makes plan comparisons like this very simple.)
So, please join me Friday morning for live tweets and Facebook updates as I go along, including pictures of the day as it progresses. And if you want to join me in person, watch for me near the Newsstand outside the Magic Kingdom tunnel just before the rope drop. I’ll be the really tall guy with a large-ish camera hanging around my neck, getting ready to make a beeline to Astro Orbiter as soon as the opening countdown finishes.