Paper Paper; get your paper here!

We are 24 hours away from WDW46; the countdown has begun.

Ted is en route to Orlando, Shane is scouting the parks and planning for all possible mishaps and all systems are go. For nearly 17 months the gears have been churning as the Parkeology machine marches towards inevitable victory.

For us theme park geeks this all seems perfectly normal right? Of course it does, there is nothing wrong with us! Right? Nothing at all damn it! Believe it or not even some “civilians” find this type of thing interesting. Case in point the fact that Parkeology has once again landed in the pages of the Orlando Sentinel!

Here is the link to the article:

http://touch.orlandosentinel.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-81894606/

Screen shot 2014-11-06 at 7.02.04 PM

Go one, check it out, get psyched… after the run we will be doing a follow up interview in which team Parkeology will cover the facts the myths the ups and the downs and the eventual outcome of WDW46.

Make sure you follow us throughout the day on Twitter (we are of course Parkeology) and the hash tag #wdw46.

See you then and stay tuned for more.

 

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Two Days Until WDW46

Today we continue on with our series on the best animated film park tie-ins. We have some all-time classics on the list here. Fox and the Hound, Black Cauldron, Oliver and Company. These films not only–

Ah forget it, we can wrap up that series later. We want to keep the momentum building for WDW46, which is now only two days away.

Saturday, November 8, 2014.

It is hard for us to concentrate on anything else. There is so much that needs to be done, not least of which is that we are planning on cramming six months’ worth of cardio training into a single four hour session on Friday before the run. We also are going to eat at Denny’s.

Last year when talking about WDW47, I created a post to address some of the questions we were getting on the fly. I want to do the same for this year’s attempt. You can reference the WDW46 FAQ page for specifics about the parameters of the challenge. I’ll use this post to talk about some of the questions unique to Saturday.

What will the crowds be like?

It’s November, between the Halloween and Thanksgiving crush. Should be a breeze, right?

Uh-oh.

There are approximately 180 million marathoners onsite for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon and it also happens to be the last weekend for the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. Not to mention that Christmas celebrations started in earnest just this week.

Granted, most of those people will be getting drunk or running in straight lines, rather than doing something sensible like racing through the theme parks for untold hours, but we anticipate crowds to far exceed what we dealt with during Father’s Day last year.

It could be a nightmare.

Will you guys have shirts like last time?

Yes, we will be wearing shirts. The theme parks require that.

Due to the fluctuation of the ride count within the last month, we do not have custom shirts with the 46 ride vehicles as of this moment. We are exploring options, but as of right now, we are planning to make the run in regular clothes.

Please note however that we do have matching orange hats, which symbolize not only the solidarity of Team Parkeology, but also our love of safety colors.

The Magic Bands are also orange.

Which park are you starting with?

We were coy last year, and will be again this year. But this one’s kind of a no brainer.

Did you know you could reserve FastPasses in advance?

Yes, we kinda knew that. We do indeed have our allotment of three FastPasses already reserved for Saturday. No, we will not reveal what they are. Where’s the mystery in that?

However, we can have a little fun with this. If you happen to be the first one to guess which three FastPasses we are holding, I’ll be happy to give you a free copy of my awesome pirate adventure novel, The Raiders of Castillo del Mar (a whopping $9.49 value!)

I’m generous that way. Just email me at shane@parkeology.com. If you guess correctly, you win. Note that I must receive the email prior to Saturday, so 11:59pm EST November 7 is the cut-off. The winner will be informed after the run. One entry per person, void where prohibited, consult your doctor before running WDW46.

I’ll even give you a hint. We are not holding FastPasses for MuppetVision.

What time will you start tweeting?

Last year our goal was tweet during every ride. We more or less held to that. I would expect roughly the same frequency this time. One of the things we learned was to buy an external battery for the phone (needed to keep tabs on My Disney Experience), and this may allow us to tweet more.

Last year we weren’t sure if anybody would even care, but it sort of gained momentum throughout the day, so we’ll try to tweet more when we can, since people enjoyed it.

I’m sure there will be tweets prior to the park opening, and even the day before, since that’s when we really begin gearing up.

Time permitting, we’ll even try to tweet out some pics, so you can watch our evolution from fresh-faced Wilderness Explorers to befuddled, shambling zombies.

Will you eat/drink/use the bathroom?

Yes, but not all three at the same time.

Last year we were packing protein bars which got us through most of the day, and we did purchase a pretzel while waiting for Universe of Energy. There will be no meals.

Bathroom breaks did occur, but were very infrequent due to severe dehydration. That’s another thing we learned from last year. The trick this year will be to prevent Ted from over-hydrating.

It’s a different environment this time. Last year was in sweltering 90+ degree heat. This time the lows are in the 50s. I might actually freeze to death.

What are you most concerned about?

All of the above. Ride windows, crowds, FastPass+, park hops, nourishment, marathon traffic, age, fireworks fallout brushfires, herds of rhinos…

The stuff that can go wrong is mind-boggling. But we have our plan scripted nearly to the minute, including alternate routes for things we think might become an issue. All that’s left is to execute.

Tomorrow, the team heads to Base Camp. See you there.

 

 

 

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You asked for more, we are giving you less!

Riddle me this Batman: When is 46 greater than 47?

Disney may own Marvel but the DC universe queries us with an interesting quandary: is less ever more? Can 46 be greater than 47?

The answer is most assuredly yes. Though it may seem paradoxical experiencing the 46 operating rides at WDW today is in fact more difficult than riding the 47 that were up and running last year… but how can this be?

The simple answer is that the one new ride (Seven Dwarves Mine Train) has longer lines than the two now closed rides (Maelstrom and the Backlot Tour) combined. We also have FastPass Plus to contend with.

Lets break it down: Seven Dwarves is routinely packing 90-minute standby waits. You cannot get fast passes for it unless you pre-order 60 days in advance (at midnight) and if you think you are going to make some mad dash for it in the morning, think again. Disney cast members calmly escort the early bird throngs to the attraction, building lines instantly.

In terms of wait times combined with ride times the Seven Dwarves Mine Train more than makes up for an aging Norwegian travelogue and a trip past some rusted cars once used in the filming of Dick Tracy. But there is a bigger problem; the 800-pound gorilla of a problem, the billion dollar plus baby of Bob Iger known as FastPass Plus. This system was specifically designed and built to make guests ride fewer rides per day (therefore spending more time shopping and dining; something that Shane and I will have precious little time for).

WDW46-Set-Up

Every possible angle has been calculated, checked and double checked. Has our researched paid off?

FastPass Plus wants to spread guests more evenly among the parks and it wants to spread the crowds evenly among the rides at each park. It does this by greatly limiting how many FastPasses each guest can pre-order (three and only three), by limiting the FastPasses to one park and even limiting which rides a guest can hold a FastPass for (you can have Soarin’ or Test Track but not both).

Basically FastPass Plus is just a whole mess of limits. It may be nice if you want to ride an attraction or two in the morning, head to the pool in the afternoon (which BTW is a Disney insider top-tip) and then hit another couple rides in the evening. However it is an absolute back-breaker if you are bold (or foolish) enough to attempt to ride EVERY ride in one day.

What may be the biggest unknown is how FastPass Plus affects smaller scale rides that used to have no lines at all. Suddenly the Imagination Institute is packing 20 or 30 minute waits as the masses mill around waiting for their Soarin’ FastPass window to open up. Spaceship Earth is amassing wait times it has not seen in years when it becomes the default third FastPass you get stuck with instead of the Test Track one you really wanted.

FastPass plus is the ultimate WDW46(47) killer. It is our kryptonite. It is to Parkeology what clear cutting and strip mining is to Famed Naturalist John Muir. Or put another way we just call it a challenge.

Shane and I have spent many late nights studying the ideal routes and crafting a plan we hope has cracked the nut. A master plan that will allow us to beat the system, a bold initiative that will either have us cruising to victory with time to spare, or bitterly tasting defeat with a score of attractions yet to go. We are confident and once again we will trust the plan.

Oh, and one more thing…

WDW46-Desk-2

WDW46 is going down this Saturday November 8th!

We cannot reveal where or when the quest will begin but follow us on twitter and if you happen to be in the park say hello as you see two frantic dudes in orange hats fly on by.

We have learned a lot since WDW47 and we are about to prove that no fancy computerized reservations system can contain us.

One Day: EVERY Ride.

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