Thursday, September 30, 2004

RideMax Software

I'm going to try posting this again. Yesterday, I had a few minutes left of my lunch hour and quickly typed up a post about RideMax software. At the very moment I clicked the "Publish" button, some of the guys in my building started monkeying with the network while trying to install a wireless router and I lost the entire post.

RideMax is a ride planning software tool that helps you save time waiting in line at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. A 3-month subscription is $12.95, while a one-year subscription is $19.95. RideMax allows you to specify the attractions you wish to ride during your visit, then uses a sophisticated scheduling algorithm to order your attractions so that the amount of time you spend in line is minimized.

Using historical wait time statistics for each attraction as a foundation, RideMax analyzes millions of different ride sequences in order to create a minimum-wait-time itinerary. This schedule is tailored to the expected crowd patterns on the day of your visit, for the attractions you want to ride!

Generally, data for a certain time period is available 2 to 4 weeks in advance. I didn't realize this when I purchased my subscription (my fault, as it is clearly stated on their website), so I was a little disappointment that data for our trip in October was not yet posted. However, it ended up being posted a least a month before we were scheduled to leave so I was able to try it out.

Even though we are not visiting during the peak season and the lines shouldn't be a problem, it was fun to play with and see what the program would come up with. After entering all all our favorite rides at the Disneyland Park, was were suprised to see that it sent us to Fantasyland first to ride Dumbo. This goes against our natural inclination which is to immediately race over to the marquee attractions, such as Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones or Big Thunder Railroad, as soon as the park opens. But it does make perfect sense. Dumbo is a low capacity ride where only 8 people can ride at a time, while Splash Mountain is continually loading people. Plus, by using the FastPass system, there really isn't any reason to wait in the long, standby line. So as much as it goes against the grain, heading over to Fantasyland first thing in the morning and riding all the rides there does make sense.

We plan to develop plans for a couple of the days during our visit, one for Disneyland and one for Disney California's Adventure and give them a try.


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