Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ultimate Touring Plan Pro Tips & "Rock Your Disney Side" Commentary

As many of you know, I attempted a Magic Kingdom Ultimate Touring Plan on May 23, the day of the 24-hour "Rock Your Disney Side" event.  Some of you may not be familiar with an Ultimate Touring Plan.  TouringPlans.com defines an Ultimate Touring Plan as "...seeing every attraction, show, parade and live performance in a Disney Theme Park in a single operating day."  A day where the Magic Kingdom was going to be open for 24-hours straight seemed like the perfect opportunity to accomplish this feat of strength.  But my goal was to not only complete an Ultimate Touring Plan, but break the record for most experiences completed which currently stands at 82.

I'll go ahead and cut to the chase and tell you that I was not able to break the record and I was not able to complete an Ultimate Touring Plan.  I did, however, complete 62 experiences in just over 22 hours.  For those of you keeping track, that would have put me at 8th most All-Time if I had completed all the required Attractions.  I want to hand out a few tips for those of you who may want to consider taking a crack at one of these some day and let you know what I learned.  I want you know what mistakes I made and what I learned.  I learned so much from my first attempt that I am already planning on attempting another one in less than a week.

Feel free to follow me at @joshgonz on Twitter as I had a blast updating my progress on my first attempt.  On to the tips!

1. I feel like the biggest mistake I made was not paying enough attention to show times or to which attractions were closing early.  I think this is the most important part of your planning if you want to attempt this some day.  I feel like I did an excellent job of avoiding lines, but I got into trouble a couple of times where I practically had to be in 2 or 3 places at once or face disqualification.

1a. This goes along with number one.  Do not wait until the last minute for things that have a definitive time.  I'm the type of person that likes to be as efficient as possible and I wanted to fill every single minute of my time with something meaningful, but sometimes you have to show up to something early or risk missing out on it.  Things happen.  More to the point, character attendants at the meet and greets LOVE to shut down the line well before the meet and greet is scheduled to end.  Do yourself a favor and get there 20-30 minutes early and make sure you don't miss out on a required meet and greet and get disqualified.

2. Have a plan for how you are going to keep your phone charged.  This slowed me down and almost got me disqualified a couple of times for having a dead battery when I needed to get a picture of myself during a show or a ride.  If you have a small digital camera it might be worth it to use that to take all of your required pictures because in a 15-17 hour day your phone will need to be charged.  There are lockers in Tomorrowland where you can leave your phone charging, but if your phone is your only means of taking the required photos then you won't be able to do anything while your phone is charging... and those things charge very slowly.  I brought my cell phone charger and spent a lot of precious time hunting for unused power outlets.  PRO TIP: The Tomorrowland Arcade next to Space Mountain has a ton of open outlets.  Unfortunately I didn't find this out until after midnight.  Another good option is to bring one of those nifty portable charging devices.

3. My last tip is don't try to be a hero your first time trying to complete one of these.  I would not recommend trying to break the record on your first time out of the gate.  Just focus on completing one first.  After you've got one under belt, then feel free to up the ante and include some of the bonus attractions.

I'll leave you with a few helpful links.  Thanks for reading.

http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/touring-plans/ultimate
http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/touring-plans/ultimate/rules
http://touringplans.com/magic-kingdom/touring-plans/ultimate-attractions

BONUS PICS!

Do not be afraid to rope drop Anna & Elsa.  However, to qualify for an Ultimate Touring Plan, you only need to do one side of FairyTale Hall.  Grab a FastPass+ for Rapunzel & Cinderella and use your rope drop on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (which was spectacular, by the way).






This guy dressed as Stinky Pete wins.


Tom Sawyer Island almost broke me.  I was straddling the dehydration and overheating lines and this place couldn't have been more confusing and athletically challenging for someone who had already done so much with so little rest and food.

However, I did get to take this photo so it was all worth it.




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