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DisTECH’s Full Review of Lines from TouringPlans.com!

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TouringPlans.com has been a solid planning source for Walt Disney World vacationers for a number of years.  This is the home on the web for the popular Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World – a yearly publication covering about every aspect of the resort.  Their touring guide offers strategies on how to see the parks and what attractions to see when.

Well, TouringPlans.com has brought us one more way to make the most of our vacation: Lines.  This mobile site gives you instant access to wait times across all four parks.  I mentioned Lines as an alternative to Mobile Magic in a post earlier this week, but I want to take some time and really take a look at the site.  So, if you’re ready, hit the link below to read my in-depth review of Lines!

Let’s start with some basics.  As of right now, Lines is available on the iPhone, Android phones, and Palm’s WebOS.  This already encompasses some of the most elite phones available on all major carriers.  The iPhone is the big one, and this counts for a good chunk of AT&T customers.  Android is an operating system developed by Google, and it’s available on a number of phones.  The most notable is Verizon’s new Motorola Droid and HTC Droid Eris, but Android phones are available on T-Mobile and Sprint.  Palm’s WebOS is found on the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, both available on Sprint.  If you have any of these phones, you can navigate to m.touringplans.com and start using Lines!

What You’ll Need

You’ll need a subscription to TouringPlans.com to use Lines.  Right now, a free basic access membership will do.  Lines will move to their premium plans eventually, so enjoy this free trial period.  Premium memberships are very reasonable, especially if you purchase the Unofficial Guide book.  Premium access for book owners is $4.48 for one year, while access without the book is $8.95 for one year.  These plans also get you a number of other benefits, so click here to check them out.  Compare this to Mobile Magic from Disney that runs $9.99 for 180 days of access.  If you go down twice a year, you could be paying almost $20 for Mobile Magic whereas you’ll have Touring Plans for a whole year at one price.

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Browsing Within Lines

When you start Lines, you’ll get the main page.  This page shows you the hours for all four parks, what park has Extra Magic Hours, and whether the park is open, closed, or in EMH.  Also, you’ll find a dashboard under the parks that gives you a crowd estimate (on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the least crowded and 10 being a nightmare), the best park to visit today, and the parks you should avoid for that day.  To view a park’s attractions, touch the park.

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When you go into a park, you’ll get a list of all the attractions in that park.  The top navigation bar has a button to take you bake to the main page and a button to change how the attractions are sorted (alphabetical is the default).  On the right, you’ll notice the numbers that represent exact wait times for each attraction.  You’ll also see FASTPASS status (in this case, FASTPASSES for “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” are gone).

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The bottom of the attractions list gives you some more options and information.  You can view park hours, EMH hours, crowd level estimates, and whether or not this is a good park to visit today.  You can change how attractions are sorted (alphabetical, shortest time, and by land), submit your own wait time, refresh the page, and view recent times.

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When you touch an attraction, you’ll get a more detailed view of that attraction.  Let’s take a look at the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster for November 20, 2009.  Here you’ll see the actual wait time, what Disney’s estimate for wait time is, FASTPASS return time (if they’re available), and wait times for single riders.  You can also see times and FASTPASS information submitted by users (shown below).  Finally, Lines will offer you a forecast for wait times later in the day (these are best estimates, obviously), the highest wait time for that attraction today, and when FASTPASS was gone for the day (far below).

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For shows, Lines gives you the option to browse to another web site for show times.

My Thoughts

Lines is an excellent tool for viewing wait times.  It is by far more detailed than Mobile Magic in this respect.  I love the navigation and the content you get with Lines.  You also can’t beat the price (free for now, $9 a year at the most after that). 

Keep in mind that Lines doesn’t do everything that Mobile Magic does.  You don’t get restaurant information and resort information, for example.  But Lines wasn’t designed for this – it was designed to give you wait times, which it does spectacularly.  Also, we’re only at the beginning for Lines.  They plan to add support for more devices in the future (BlackBerry and Windows Mobile support would really solidify this site in the mobile market).  Already, though, Lines is available on most of the major players in the Smart Phone market.  I also don’t see why Lines wouldn’t work on many regular cell phones as well.

Overall, though, Lines is the way to go if you want wait times in the palm of your hand.  You really can’t get more detailed than this, so head over to m.touringplans.com to get started!

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2 responses »

  1. Great review of Lines!

    Reply

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