If you aren’t familiar with the touringplans.com software, you should checkout my more detailed blog post first on my first day in Animal Kingdom. In that post I explain what I am doing step-by-step. This post will assume you’ve read that one, are familiar with the software already, or don’t care and are just nosey. 🙂
Some important bits of info:
- This is for a low crowd day (3 of 10) in January when park hours are shorter and the weather is cooler
- I plan on being at Epcot for two full days
- I’ve been before and don’t plan on experiencing everything
- This plan is for two adults with no kids (kids require more stops, character meet and greets, and more time at the interactive exhibits in the pavilions)
- This plan is for a moderate walking speed, and a balance of walking and waiting
The end time of the touring plan typically defaults to the park close time (in this case 9pm). However, I want to keep our evenings free from planned activity. This way if we are tired or aren’t feeling great, we can go back to the resort. Additionally, if it rained during the day and our plans were changed, or we were otherwise delayed, we can attempt to make up some of the missed activities. Therefore, I set the end of the touring plan to be “6pm”.
Next, I added in our ADR at Via Napoli (a restaurant in the Italy Pavilion), and our planned dinner at the Joy of Tea food cart in China. While I’m very flexible on what time we actually eat dinner, I’m adding it in because I’d like to have the plan put the China Pavilion activities later in the day.
As you may recall from my Animal Kingdom touring plan post, I like to be immersed in themes. For this reason, I’m using Epcot’s natural divides to determine what attractions I visit each day. I think it is important to do both a bit of Future World and a bit of World Showcase each day for timing reasons (World Showcase opens later and some places in Future World close early), for food reasons (food is best in the showcase), and for the change in pace.
I’ve divided the park in half with Future World East happening on Day 1, along with the countries on that side of the World Showcase, and Future World West on Day 2 with the other countries. I’ve chosen to really focus on three countries per day (food, entertainment, touring). If you try to do all the countries, they just become one big blur- too much to do! The West side of Future World is saved for Day 2 as part of my “save the best for last” mentality since the Seas and the Land pavilions are my favorites.
The first thing we need to do when we get to the touring plan screen is to check our ADR times…for some reason, TP often changes them by an hour. I’m guessing it’s a glitch because it happens pretty often.
After fixing the times and optimizing once, I realized Soarin’ somehow made it into today’s plan. Oops! That will belong in the day 2 plan. Deleted!
I optimized it until it was stable, but the end result was a longer wait time than the original…which was also less balanced between waiting and walking. Hmm…It is important to note the in line and walking times before you start your tweaking, so you know how your changes effected your plan.
Now that my ADR times are correct, I’ve reviewed my list of attractions to make sure it is as I’d like it, and I’ve hit the optimize button until I got the same result three times, I will now not hit “optimize” again. (Unless it is accidental, and then I will cry, and delete the touring plan if it happened far enough along in the process…caution: no “undo” button!). It is time to go step by step through the plan customizing it to my desires. First, because Ellen and Mission:Space are next to each other, the touring plan found no reason to adjust the step that had us going back down to Mission: Space to explore the exit-activities after we had left to go to Ellen. I switched these so they made logical sense (Mission Space, Space Lab, Ellen). I hit “evaluate” to get the new times, and reviewed them to make sure my tweaking hadn’t caused any weirdness (for example…sudden long line at Ellen from the short delay).
Touring plans divided my China activities…it put the pavilion and the gallery just after lunch, and the acrobatics show with dinner. I want to do all of them around dinner time, so I bumped them down the list.
Project Tomorrow is the area with exit activities after Spaceship Earth…Since I go during low crowd times, there is no real benefit to not doing these immediately following the attraction. So, I bumped it up to just after Spaceship Earth. If you are going during a high crowd time, you should consider listening to TP’s recommendation to do them later in the day, and try to get in as many rides as possible early in the day.
Moving Project Tomorrow up to Spaceship Earth made us late for the JaMMitors, so I moved Innoventions until after the JAMMitors, and all was well. During optimizing, TP naturally tries to put in a 15 minute wait period with shows (so you can arrive early and find a spot). With tweaking and evaluating, however, you can reduce this time if you don’t think you’ll have an issue with not being able to see the show, or missing the first few minutes.
The Mexico Pavilion was down with China, so I bumped it up to where the other Mexico activities were.
After going through the touring plan once to get things in the correct order, I go through it again adding breaks and refining the times. I’d like to take a break around 10:00am for a quick snack. After Mission Space, but before Ellen is a great time for this. I threw in a 10 minute break at 10:15. I also added some instructions for myself in the notes section. This 10 minute break, however, made me 9 minutes late for my ADR. So, I switched exploring the Italy Pavilion to after lunch.
Our schedule in the afternoon is easier…we don’t have to worry about the Gran Fiesta Tour building up a large queue, and if we arrive a little bit late for World Showcase entertainment it’s no big deal (they are outdoor street performances). Therefore, I added a note to consider doing Sum of All Thrills while in Innoventions if the lines are short, or if we are running ahead of schedule.
I also included another quick snack break in the afternoon at 3:00pm. Before finalizing the plan, I added a quick “break” at the end of the touring plan which explains our options for the rest of the evening.
Here is our finalized touring plan. As you can see, we keep to one side of the park, with the exception of Jammitors, but they are actually closer to the middle and play on both sides.
We start our day off at Test Track, then head over to Mission Space, have a quick snack, and then walk over to Ellen’s Energy Adventure.
We follow that up with a lunch break in Italy…pizza, touring the pavilion, and some entertainment. Next we head back into Future World for Spaceship Earth, the JAMMitors and Innoventions. We take another quick break on our way back to the World Showcase where we take a relaxing ride on the boats before touring Mexico.
Finally, we end in China for dinner. After dinner, we’ll make a plan for the rest of our evening which might involve dessert in Norway, another ride in Mexico, watching Illuminations, or maybe even an early bedtime.
I think this plan is done until it is time to add in our Fastpasses!