Disney Trip Planning: DHS Touring Plan (Draft 1)

Here is the first draft of the touring plan for the first day of my Disney trip. It is for Disney’s Hollywood Studios on a day in January with medium crowds. I make my touring plans with the software available at touringplans.com.

This will definitely be changed before we go. When I am able to reserve fastpasses (60 days from the start), all my plans will need to be tweaked to accommodate the specific fastpass times. Why make touring plans now then? First, fastpasses can be used during a significant window of time, so it’s possible my current times will work just fine. Secondly, the touring plans can take awhile to tweak and perfect. Third, it’s fun!

There are missing attractions. You may notice I am missing several attractions. Most noticeably, the Rock n’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror. While I love the themes of these attractions, my stomach cannot handle either of them. Jimmy & I learned last year that a single attraction is not worth it if it’ll ruin the rest of your day! The Beauty and the Beast, and Little Mermaid live stage shows are also missing. These shows are nice, but underwhelming. We saw them both last year, and agreed we didn’t need to repeat them. Further, too many shows are difficult to schedule in a single day. By eliminating these two shows, we’ll be able to add in four ride repeats…which we consider a better deal.

My Method for using Touring Plans (by touringplans.com)

  • Add all of the attractions (rides, entertainment, diversions) that you want to do to your touring plan
  • Do a quick “optimize” to see how much time you have left
  • If you have lots of time left, add some repeat rides! If you are short on time, remove some attractions (remember to leave a couple hours for breaks and meals).
  • Optimize again.
  • Optimize two more times. The optimizer is set to calculate for only a set amount of time. So, sometimes you get better results by doing it multiple times.
  • Go through your plan step by step. Add in snacks, breaks and meals (slowly). Hit evaluate between every couple of steps to see how your time is looking.
  • Tweak depending on your preferences, the map, etc…
  • ONLY HIT EVALUATE…After you do your initial optimization, hit evaluate to populate the times. Hitting “optimize” will scramble all your tweakage. Evaluate keeps your changes, but updates the wait times.


This is what the “print view” of the TP looks like. At the top, you have a summary of the day (the information I gave it, plus my own notes). Next you have a simplified map that shows you roughly where each step is. Then you have each step listed with the estimated arrival time, your estimate wait time, the duration of the ride, any free time before the next step and the walk time to the next step.


All the extra “notes” are notes to myself. We start the day with the Toy Story dash (TSMM gets long lines very quickly, so people in the ‘know’ head there first). We have a couple rides on Star Tours (there are different versions, so multiple rides are good!). Since I hit my motion sickness limit with Star Tours, I have a break for a cookie at the nearby Writer’s Stop along with a walk around the Streets of America. Before lunch, we’ll try to hit up TSMM again to beat our scores. My top fastpass priority will be the second TSMM. Then we’ll have some lunch at 50’s Prime Time. We’ll most assuredly have some time to kill after lunch, so we’ll shop and look for some Streetmosphere before heading to Indiana Jones. After Indiana, we’ll ride The Great Movie Ride, and then stop next store for One Man’s Dream. I just found out about the pin you can get there, and I hope One Man’s Dream is still there when I go in January. They keep closing things!


If we are still doing well on time, we’ll hit up the Great Movie ride a second time, followed by some MuppetVision. We’ll catch the 4:30 showing of Lights, Motors, Action! Between LMA and Fantasmic we’ll have some time to kill, so I hope to grab a snack at the Studio Catering company before watching some of Mulch, Sweat and Sheers. If we still have time, we’ll hit up MuppetVision once more before heading down Sunset Boulevard for Fantasmic!


7 thoughts on “Disney Trip Planning: DHS Touring Plan (Draft 1)

  1. I’m a little confused about the difference between “Evaluate” and “Optimize.” I didn’t see it in your steps to do evaluate a first time. It sounds like optimize tries to build a most efficient order of things to do, while evaluate checks a database for updated wait times. Is that right?

    I LOVE you publishing your schedules! It makes me really motivated to give it a try!

    My biggest question is how do you decide what to do as far as the fun not obvious things, like I’ve never heard of a carrot cake cookie or about the citizenship test. I’m guessing blogs/podcasts? I feel like these are the things I’ve been missing in my Disney vacations and I’d love to start incorporating them and don’t know where to begin.


    • 1) Optimize vs. Evaluate: Optimize does both…in order to make the most efficient schedule, it checks the wait time data. Evaluate ONLY checks the wait times. So, you do optimize first…it will check the database for wait times, and look at walking distance, etc…and determine the most efficient plan. After you add in your tweaks, you evaluate your updated plan to add in the new wait times based on when you are going to arrive at specific attractions- based on your new schedule. Evaluating before optimizing wouldn’t be beneficial, since optimize would do that as part of its calculation.
      2) Yeah, it’s mostly just research. Lots of podcasts, not too many blogs, and then the “chat” feature of the touringplans app (called Lines). The chat function is meant for in the park, but all Liners use it. It’s included in the small yearly fee for using the touringplans planning software. On this chat, I ask (and answer) questions like: What is your “must-have” snack in DHS or What is your favorite non-attraction part of DHS? Podcasts also do things like Top 5 snacks, etc… I just write everything down that I hear that sounds interesting, and continue to add it in to my plans.


  2. Pingback: Disney Trip Planning: Planning an AK Touring Plan, Step by Step | Crazy Cat Nerd

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