Sometimes customers complain when our Personalized Touring Plan software outputs a plan with lots of free time. Typically this free time is in the afternoon, and it is generally attached to an break or meal. It seems like a waste of time since people generally prefer experience attractions over having "free time" in an expensive theme park.
Two things are going on here:
- Free time needs to go somewhere. If you have a plan that spans from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM, you've got 13 hours of potential activity. If you only schedule 5 hours worth of stuff, you are going to have 8 hours of free time somewhere. That a lot of free time! To have less free time, you need to add activities (attractions, breaks, or meals) or reduce the plan's hours.
- Wait times are generally higher in the afternoon compared to the rest of the day. Our software aims to minimize the sum of all your wait times over the course of the day (it also minimizes total walking times, to some extent), and avoiding waiting during the afternoon (when waits are often highest) is an efficient move. That's why free time often ends up there.
If you do not like the optimized plan, you're under no obligation to use it. Remember that a plan that's optimal in terms of wait times is not necessarily optimal for your group's happiness, so feel free to come up with your own attraction order if you'd like. You can use the "Evaluate" option to see how we predict the wait times will pan out for your attraction order.
Please also note that adding a break or meal to your plan changes the way that "Optimize" functions on a Personalized Touring Plan:
- If your plan has no breaks or meals, the "Optimize" function in our software assumes that you want to complete your plan early as possible in the day, even if your plan's finish time is set to park closing.
- If your plan has a break or meal and use "Optimize,", the software assumes you're comfortable with a more spread-out day, and it will shift attractions to near park closing if that results in shorter total waits.