As its name suggests, Disney World Lines from TouringPlans.com is all about wait times or rather it is all about avoiding wait times. Anyone who has read one of the Unofficial Walt Disney World guide books will be aware of Touring Plans and their web site. For the past 10 years, they have been gathering historical data about the crowd levels and wait times at Walt Disney World and publish a crowd calendar with estimated daily crowd levels.
The Lines mobile app harnesses this wealth of data and uses it in combination with user submitted wait times to predict crowd levels and forecast wait times and FASTPASS availability throughout the day.
Unlike some other Walt Disney World mobile apps its primary focus is on avoiding or at least reducing waiting times so you will not find ride descriptions, dining menus or GPS navigation and maps in Lines.
The application itself is free but to get the most out of it you need to buy a subscription which is currently $11.95 for one year. You can get a discount if you have bought the current edition of one of the Unofficial Walt Disney World guide books.
The app is still useable without a subscription but a lot of information is only available when you login. A subscription also gives you access to premium information on the web site as well.
It is available for the Apple iPhone and iPad, Android smart phones, Blackberry devices and other smart phones (via a web browser). Like many of these theme park apps, you need internet access to run the application.
Disney World Lines just covers the Walt Disney World Resort, there is a separate mobile app for Disneyland in California.
When you start up Disney World Lines you are presented with a list of all the Walt Disney World Resort parks showing today’s opening and closing times, plus any extra magic hours in the mornings or evenings.
It also shows the predicted crowd levels on a scale of 1 to 10 and gives you recommendations on which parks you should go to and more importantly which ones to avoid.
The other options include reported waiting times, access to touring plans, the water parks, Downtown Disney area and dining at the Disney resorts, Walt Disney World chat, a 10 day crowd forecast and general information on how the app works.
Along the bottom of every screen you have five choices:
- Home which takes you back to the home screen
- Parks lets you choose one of the main parks so you can see the attractions, shows, parades etc.
- Plans shows you the list of touring plans
- Chat gives you access to the messaging system
- 10 day shows you the next 10 days estimated crowd levels
Clicking on Parks brings up a sub-menu with links to the four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom). Having selected a park you are presented with a simple list of attractions showing any height restrictions and the current estimated wait time. For shows, parades and fireworks, it lists the start times and a 10 day schedule so you can check ahead. Closed attractions are also noted to avoid a wasted journey.
This is where a subscription is essential as many of the attraction listings are greyed out with no wait time information.
When you view an attraction you get an image and then the current wait time plus forecasts of wait times throughout the rest of the day and the peak busy time. There are also details of any single rider lines or FASTPASS availability.
Using this information you can start to plan out your day. For example you can see at a glance which attractions have the shortest wait times and also when a FASTPASS to a certain attraction is likely to run out.
New for version 1.5 is the ability to enter actual FASTPASS return times which then allows the optimiser to better plan the rest of your day.
TouringPlans.com publish around 140 suggested touring plans for Walt Disney World on their web site. They are field tested to give you the minimum stand in line times and are reckoned to save you up to four hours on a typical day. They are customised for different age groups/mixes/tastes and how long you plan to spend in each park.
Through the mobile app you can access these plans if you have a subscription, a few samples are available for those who have not purchased a subscription.
If you use one of the plans then you can tick off the attractions as you go around the park.
Another advantage of a subscription is you can create your own personalised plan on their web site and then access it through the app.
Unlike many other theme park mobile apps, Disney World Lines does not use GPS or have any maps, it assumes you either know where you are going or have access to a paper map. However you do still need internet access to see wait times etc.
You must be logged in to post to the chat forum and it then allows you to message fellow visitors to the parks.
10 Day Forecast
The 10 day forecast gives you opening and closing time plus extra magic hours for the next 10 days for each park along with estimated crowd levels and suggestions on which parks to avoid on which days.
Disney World Lines Summary
It is the ability to forecast crowd levels, wait times and FASTPASS availability that sets Disney World Lines apart from all other Walt Disney World mobile apps.
Version reviewed: 1.5 (22 May 2012).