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MouseStation 270 - Does RideMax work?

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Show run time 0:54:26


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In today's show, Mike interview RideMax author Mark Winters after a day of testing a touring plan for Disney's Hollywood Studios.

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Thanks to our sponsor

Today's show is sponsored by Advantage Vacation Homes, a great vacation home rental company that gives you a place to stay with lots more space than a regular hotel room for a lot less money.

Remember, if you're planning a trip with a large number of people, a multiple-bedroom vacation home can be a lot cheaper than multiple hotel rooms.

For more information on what a vacation home is and what to expect when renting one, check out our interview of Fred Zorayq from Advantage Vacation Homes in Episode 219!

Feature: Can RideMax help you fit in more attractions without rushing?

The idea for RideMax came from visiting Disneyland frequently and realizing that if wait patterns were consistent enough, he could put together a piece of software that could minimize wait times at attractions. He started it as a side project in 2001 with a Disneyland version, and in 2006 it became his full-time business and he moved to Orlando to work on creating a Walt Disney World version. Mark has just released version 6.0 on December 5, featuring better support for shows and new options within the software.

Mike did a RideMax tour of Disney's Hollywood Studios in order to test out the software, going from open to close, including Fantasmic. Mark built the software to allow for some leeway in walking speed for the guests. Mike created his touring plan using the software with no prior instruction. He played around with the software, trying different combinations of attractions until he got a plan that he liked. Due to a shorter day than usual at the Studios, with the park closing at 7:00 for a private party and Fantasmic being shown at 6:00 only, the touring plan included less than it might include otherwise. The change in schedule occurred two days before the test run through the parks, so Mike had to regenerate his touring plan at the last minute.

Mike's touring plan:

Time Attraction
Expected Wait
Ride Time
Walking Time
9:05 Runner gets Fastpasses for Toy Story Midway Mania
1 min
1 min
6 min
9:13 Star Tours
4 min
9 min
6 min
9:32 Walt Disney: One Man's Dream
10 min
30 min
1 min
10:14 Send Runner to get Fastpasses for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
 
 
9 min
10:23 Runner to get Fastpasses for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
0 min
1 min
9 min
10:33 Use Fastpasses for Toy Story Midway Mania
8 min
8 min
2 min
10:51 Backlot Tour
10 min
35 min
4 min
11:40 Lunch at ABC Commissary
0 min
30 min
2 min
12:12 Free Time
 
 
 
12:32 MuppetVision 3-D
15 min
18 min
5 min
1:10 High School Musical 3: Senior Year - Right Here, Right Now (1:30 performance)
20 min
25 min
1 min
1:56 Free Time
 
 
 
2:08 Great Movie Ride
10 min
25 min
2 min
2:45 Block Party Bash Parade (3:00 performance)
15 min
20 min
2 min
3:20 Send Runner to get Fastpasses for Tower of Terror
 
 
4 min
3:31 The Magic of Disney Animation
7 min
45 min
7 min
4:30 Use Fastpasses for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster
10 min
7 min
2 min
4:49 Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
10 min
15 min
1 min
5:15 Fantasmic! (6:00 performance)
45 min
40 min

0 min

  Totals
165 min
280 min

33 min

Because of actual park conditions, they were also able to squeeze in an extra ride on Toy Story Midway Mania and a visit to the Chronicles of Narnia walkthrough.

Depending on the complexity of the plan and the Fastpass possibilities, the software might have to calculate millions of possibility touring plans to determine the best possible plan.

Since Disney might change show times at the last minute, it's always best to check back on the site for any updates. The touring plan will note at the bottom whether or not the show times are confirmed yet. Each plan includes tips specific to that itinerary.

Mark gave some tips about how to approach creating a touring plan and how to adjust on the fly if the plan is not going as scheduled due to extenuating circumstances (Fastpass machines not operating, attraction closed, etc.). He also talked a bit about the free time that shows up in the schedule and the reasoning behind early arrivals for all shows.

Mike had a mixed experience with RideMax. He estimates that it will take him about a half-hour in each case to create new plans. However, he was pleasantly surprised with the effectiveness of the plan in actual practice. In the end, he gave the product 4.5 out of 5 planets.

Mark offered a special discount to MouseStation Podcast listeners. It's only good for the next 30 days, so that means that you havce until January 25. (It's one day past the date in the show, because we ended up publishing a day late.

Listener Feedback

Maryanne Fekete wrote in to say that Mike's idea of Magical Moments outside the theme parks, and also talked about the house used in the movie A Christmas Story, which was filmed in Cleveland.

Mark noted that he had spent one year during college in Cleveland, and it was a bit too cold for him.

Joe in LA wrote in to say that there is indeed a Disney Channel TV movie about Hanukkah, called "Full-Court Miracle." He also provided some additional references to the movie.

March of Dimes fundraising kick-off

Looking for a last-minute tax deduction? Mark has gotten an early start on raising funds for the March of Dimes! Last year, MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners helped Mark to raise over $5,000 for the worthy charity. He's got his fundraising site up now, so if you're looking for a good cause to make a last-minute charitable donation, it's an easy choice. Just go to Mark's fundraising page and help to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely.

Facebook

We're now on Facebook! Join the MousePlanet and MouseStation groups. You can also become a fan of MousePlanet or the MouseStation. If you join the club and use Pieces of Flair, you can get your MousePlanet and MouseStation flair from Mark (though you have to friend him first).

Wrapping up

We've put together a new listener survey to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. This one is much more targeted than the old Podtrac survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

Don't forget to go to the iTunes podcast directory and give us a good rating for the combined feed!

You can get your MousePlanet (or MouseStation) swag from the MousePlanet CafePress store and the MouseStation CafePress store.

Also remember to go out to our main podcast page and stick a pin into our Frappr map.

Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

Thank you for listening!

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).