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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Maximizing on Our Time at Disneyland

When we originally started planning this trip--about three years ago, we went to visit some friends who go to Disneyland often. They are former Southern California residents, so they knew all of the ins and outs of just how to do this trip.

image: ridemax.com
One of the things they shared with us was something called "Ridemax."

image: kk.org
You pay a fee for the use of the Ridemax website. You can log in and choose which park you're going to, what day and times you plan on being there, and which rides you plan on riding while you're there. The people behind Ridemax have done all the research as to which lines are shortest at what times and days. After you've chosen your rides, it automatically creates a plan for you so you end up at the shortest lines at the best times.

You can also mark on your plan when you want to take breaks and if you're willing to send a runner to get Fast Passes.

Here's an example of what we did....

We paid $14.95 for six months use of the site. It was the shortest plan offered. Let's say I was going to be at Disneyland from 8-9:50am on Monday. I chose Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and It's a Small World. This wasn't a real plan, this is just an example. I ask them to create an itinerary for me and end up with the following:

image: csdaley.com
Runner gets a fast pass for Indiana Jones at 8:05am while the rest of the group goes to visit It's a Small
World and waits in line for approximately one minute. After It's a Small World, the group goes to Pirates of the Caribbean at 8:30am and waits for four minutes. We then head over to Indiana Jones at 8:51am and wait for six minutes and use our Fast Passes to ride. Of course you have a whole hour left, so you can go back and modify and add other rides. Ridemax will tell you if you've chosen too many rides for the time frame you've chosen. You can remake your itinerary as many times as you want, and Ridemax will save your plans for you.

Everything I read as I researched this trip said to take a break in the middle of the day and go back to the park in the evening. This was very wise advice. We were all worn out by noon or so, so we'd head back to the house and relax for a bit. I would make two itineraries--one morning and one evening. That way, if we missed a ride in the morning, we could tack it onto the evening's plan.

The first morning, when we got up to go, and the plan was all set, the family all scoffed at my idea of using Ridemax: "Mom! This is a vacation. We don't have to have everything planned. Can't we just go for it and do what we want to do?"

I asked them to just be patient and see how it worked. If they didn't like it or it didn't work, we'd scrap it all and do it our own way.

image: free-city-guides.com
Truth is, it worked beautifully! Everybody recognized that as we arrived at Space Mountain late in the morning with the Fast Passes our runner (me) had picked up earlier in the morning. We were able to completely by-pass the entire huge, snaking line.

There were two times we chose not to follow the plan. The first time, we ended up waiting in a line for nearly an hour to ride Goofy's Sky School at California Adventure. Let's just say we became good friends with those around us in the line. The second time, we waited for at least 40 minutes for a 35 second ride on a roller coaster in Mickey's Toontown. Painful!

With Ridemax, we shot to the heads of lines thanks to Fast Passes. We also ended up in the shortest lines at the parks--less than 10 minutes most of the time, but never more than 20. Seriously, it was FABULOUS!

I think we all learned a little bit of the truth to the saying, "Fail to plan, and plan to fail." I can't imagine how long we would have waited had we not known about Ridemax. In this case, we all felt that our time was very well spent. We saw WAY more of Disneyland and California Adventure thanks to Ridemax.

1 comment:

LeAnn said...

Wow, that sounds like a great site you used for going to Disney Land. The two times we have been we had to wait in long lines and it wasn't as fun as I would have liked it to be.
Blessings for the suggestions.

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