RideMax Roulette Tuesday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

RideMax Roulette at Disney's Animal Kingdom

I’m heading out tomorrow (Tuesday, January 12th) for another round of RideMax Roulette, this time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Feel free to follow along as I send out live tweets and Facebook updates throughout the day. Who knows, I may even try out that Periscope thing for a ride on Expedition Everest or something. You can find me at the Periscope username @RideMax4Disney.

For those who’ve followed the blog for a while, you know that RideMax Roulette is a sort of game where I choose a set of attractions at random, and plug them into the RideMax optimizing software. I then take the resulting plan to the park to see how well it works out. Playing this game gives me a good chance to test the plans RideMax comes up with, as well as — quite frankly — forces me to visit attractions I might not otherwise be all that inclined to see.

One additional goal with tomorrow’s plan is to check out the new Pizzafari restaurant, something I haven’t done since it came out of refurbishment a little over a month or so ago. Josh over at easyWDW did a write-up on this recently, which has me intrigued.

My random number generator came up with the following list of attractions for tomorrow’s visit. I’ve listed these in alphabetical order:

  • Dinosaur
  • Dinosaur again (yes, we’re doing this one twice)
  • Discovery Island Trails
  • Expedition Everest
  • Finding Nemo, the Musical
  • Flights of Wonder
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Primeval Whirl
  • Primeval Whirl (yes, also twice — hopefully no barf-bag required)
  • TriceraTop Spin

This may seem like sort of a “softball” list of attractions, as I’m expecting tomorrow at Animal Kingdom to be fairly uncrowded. Tomorrow is a RideMax “recommended day” for Animal Kingdom, coming off an Extra Magic Hours morning day today. To make things even easier, Kilimanjaro Safaris didn’t even come up in the list of attractions I’ll be visiting. I decided to push ahead anyway.  🙂

For FastPass+ selections, I decided to tell RideMax I wanted to use FP+ at Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, and Primeval Whirl. I also plugged in a lunch break at Pizzafari, and RideMax came up with the following game plan for the day.


We’ll see how this actually works out in practice, but on paper, it looks pretty decent, with just an estimated 64-minute wait to visit 11 attractions, or just six minutes per attraction. Even if you take out the two zero-wait “walking” attractions — Discovery Island Trails and Maharajah Jungle Trek — the average wait is still just a hair above seven minutes each, and that assumes we arrive 20 minutes early to wait for Finding Nemo. Overall, this looks like a great day with very little wait.

Continuing on with the planning, as a further confirmation of my expectation of low crowds tomorrow, I didn’t have any trouble securing FP+ reservations at the times recommended by RideMax on this plan, even though I made the reservations this afternoon, just one day before my visit. Here’s a really big picture taken from my phone, just to emphasize the point (and because I’m too lazy to size it down lol):


Note that if I hadn’t been able to secure the FP+ reservation times shown in this RideMax plan, I would have used the new feature added recently to RideMax which allows me to specify the times at which I want to use my FP+ reservations, and had RideMax recalculate accordingly.

So, wish me luck on my quest tomorrow. Again, feel free to follow along on Twitter, Facebook, or (possibly) Periscope @RideMax4Disney. I also welcome any guests for lunch at Pizzafari if you’re free at the lunchtime shown on the RideMax plan.

Here’s looking forward to tomorrow!


Fun Friday: RideMax Roulette at the Magic Kingdom

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

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
  • 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:

RideMax Touring Plan for Disney World's Magic Kingdom

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:

RideMax Plan riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train standby

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:

Magic Kingdom Rope Drop

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. 🙂


Tax Day: RideMax Roulette at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom

Similar to last week’s round of RideMax Roulette at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I’ve decided to celebrate tax day, which falls on Wednesday, April 15th, by doing another round of RideMax Roulette, this time at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. If anyone is in the park Wednesday and cares to join me, feel free to look for the really tall guy in the rope drop crowd holding a camera over his head and taking pictures of the crowds (hopefully) behind me. I’ll be making my way to Fantasyland on Wednesday as soon as the park opens.

I’ll be doing another half-day visit, and again, I ran my trusty random number generator to come up with a list of attractions to plug into RideMax. This time, the list doesn’t happen to include any of the big “mountain” rides, but the plan might be suitable for someone with young children who just wants to drop in for the morning.

Here is the randomly-generated attraction list, in alphabetical order:

  • Aladdin’s Magic Carpets
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Dumbo, the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Tom Sawyer’s Island
  • Stitch’s Great Escape
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Winnie the Pooh

As far as FP+ selections go, there’s nothing here that would absolutely call for FP+. I first tried using FP+ for Aladdin’s Magic Carpets, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and Winnie the Pooh, but this close to my visit date Disney’s system didn’t have my needed time selection for ETWB, so I swapped it out for the Teacups. FP+ there isn’t really needed, but the new plan RideMax came up with looks good, at least on paper. (And despite the lack of the more “thrilling” attractions, I know this exercise is good for helping me to “keep RideMax real” for customers. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually visited TSI, for example.)

Here’s a screenshot of the game plan RideMax came up with. Remember, RideMax’s goal is to minimize both waiting and walking time:

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Touring Plan

Like last week, I’ll be posting live updates from the park Wednesday on Facebook and on Twitter.

Follow along there, or if you want some exercise, join me at ETWB right after rope drop, and enjoy tax day in the park!