Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why I Love Lines From TouringPlans many of you know that I blog the news for TouringPlans, right?  And yes, if you click on the link in the blog ever for TouringPlans, yes, I do get a little bit of money from that.  So, yes, I have a good relationship with them.  Let's get that out of the way.

However, let's also be clear about one other's post would happen whether or not I had a relationship with TouringPlans because I absolutely LOVE their app, Lines. 

I have been a user of Lines for years.  I got the app right after it was initially developed.  (I think I had it as a mobile version on my BlackBerry, back in those days...which was a long time ago.)  I think that it's a smart product and something that can help those who love to plan and those who love to wing their trips.  Brian and I have come to use the app on every Disney trip, with the introduction of the Personalized Plans and the ability to optimize them.

Brian and I first used the app when I knew we'd be visiting Disneyland last year.  I knew we didn't have a lot of time in the parks, with us really only having 2 and a half days max and I didn't know when we'd be back out to the West Coast.  So, I wanted to see as much as I possibly could in the quickest amount of time.  I plugged in every aspect that we had to make sure to see.  And guess what?  It worked!  We saw everything we wanted and then some!

So, we started doing the same thing at Walt Disney World.   In May, we had a moment in Columbia Harbor House where we were both fading fast and hadn't really hit a lot of attractions and it was already 4 pm!  We plugged in the rest of the attractions we wanted to do that day, and wouldn't you know it...we managed to hit everything that we wanted. (minus Winnie the Pooh...but that was really in the maybe category anyway.)

I, someone who is, but really isn't a planner, was hooked!

So, how does the optimization work?  Well, I don't know the behind the scenes secrets, but I can tell me it's a special kind of magic.

First, you set up which park you are going to be in and give the plan a name.  They are also getting ready for Fastpass+, allowing guests to include which attractions they have selected and at what times. This process can be done the day of your trip, or ahead of time at home. 

You see, I plug in all the attractions that I want to see on my Walt Disney World vacations.  I pick things that are must dos and things that are I'd like to see if I have time.  You can create plans for each individual park, plans that afford afternoon breaks, times for meals...really, you can input anything that would be included with your day in the park.

Once you finish inputting the options for your day in the park, you select where you are in the park (if it doesn't automatically see where you are based off your last bit of data) and you hit the optimize button.  It will then pop up after a minute telling you what you should see and in what order.

The great thing about the system is that it is ever changing, so say an attraction is down, when you optimize it, if it knows that the attraction is down based off of data from other users, it will take that into consideration and tell you to hit up another attraction.  The great thing about this system is that it's intuitive, so if it needs to, it can change, as long as you hit optimize.  (I hit the button after every attraction, just to make sure my information is as current as it should be.)

Of course, Lines is more than just the Touring Plans and the Optimizer.  There is still the information about which park is the best park to visit for the day, along with park hours.  There is information about the estimated and posted wait times.  In addition, if you are interested in seeing a show, it will tell you either what time the next showing is or approximately how long until the next show is.

Lines also has detailed information about all the restaurants, both table service and quick service (as well as carts) with full menus, as well as additional information that may be helpful for guests.  

Interested in chatting with other Disney fanatics, there is the Chat room area where you can get any question you may have answered.  There's also the 10 day forecast on which park is the best park to visit and what the park hours are for each park.  

Of course, I'm guilty of one of the most popular things to do in relation to Lines...and that is Lines Stalk when I'm home.  This is where those of us who are stuck at home look at Lines and see how long or short some of the attractions currently are.  (This can be especially fun at Christmas when lines get astronomical!)  

Lines does have a cost associated with it, which is the cost of a subscription to TouringPlans.  Discounts are sometimes offered.  A subscription does last for 365 days and there is a 45 day money back guarantee.  A TouringPlans subscription gives you access to not only Lines, but also to the complete crowd calendar (giving you an idea of which days are the best days to visit which park during your vacation), and access to over 140 different Touring Plans, plus more!  If you do want to purchase, I do shamelessly ask that you do so through this link to help support the blog!  :) What's great is that they also have options for guests who may be traveling to Disneyland or Universal Studios Orlando.  So, you've got your basis covered.

I think that everyone who's planning a trip to Walt Disney World will get a ton of information out of Lines. I honestly use their product and think it is absolutely an asset for anyone who is planning on taking or is currently on a Walt Disney World vacation.

If you like this article, I shamelessly ask that you spread the word!  Share it on Twitter or Facebook...Pin the photos on Pintrest...hit up the Google + emblem...just let others know about us here!  Also, make sure to LIKE our new Facebook page!  

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