Because I can’t resist talking about this crazy plan, I wanted to address some questions that have come up. I’m not going to tip the whole schedule this early, because what’s the fun in that? But I can’t help obsessing over the details.
When is the attempt?
Sunday, June 16th. Which happens to be Father’s Day. How thoughtful of us to not spend it with our kids (side note — and this is the cutest thing ever — Teevtee’s kid is thinking about tackling #MK24 on the same day).
Why in the world are you doing this on a weekend during the summer, and not waiting until the crowds die down?
This reminds me of that Muppet Movie quote:
Gonzo: “I’m going to Bombay, India to become a movie star!”
Fozzie: “You don’t go to Bombay to become a movie star! You go where we’re going. Hollywood!”
Gonzo: “Sure, if you want to do it the easy way.”
I first dreamed of this challenge back in April, and would have rushed out and tried it the very next weekend, if not for one thing: the stupid Tea Cups. The refurb schedule had them down for a month. Then the Prince Charming Carousel for a couple weeks. Then Pirates.
I didn’t want to wait half the year, so I checked for the next available date that didn’t have major Star Wars crowds or Gay Days and found June 16th.
How long will #WDW47 take?
According to the nay-sayers, 3 days minimum. But our stated goal is a single operating day. Failure looms around every corner.
Let’s put it this way: The four parks open at 9am, and close anywhere between 8pm and 11pm. Magic Kingdom has Extra Magic Hours that day until 1am.
Extra Magic Hours are absolutely necessary to complete #WDW47. So we have a grand total of 16 hours to work with, which means we have to average 3 rides an hour. That sounds easy if the three rides are Carousel, Tea Cups, and the People Mover, but not so easy if it’s Rock n Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Mania.
Why didn’t you do this during the 24-hour Monstrous Summer event a couple weeks ago?
We thought about it. Even thought there was a high probability of success. But again, the Gonzo rule intervened. We decided it was more fun to try during a normal situation and not a gimmicky, once-a-decade type of event.
Also, it was a holiday weekend, and who knew what kind of crowds were going to be in the parks? It was also a Star Wars Weekend at Hollywood Studios, so that park would be abnormally flooded as well. Also I was scheduled to be out of town, which kind of makes it tough to go to the parks.
Which park are you starting at?
Let me give you a cryptic zen answer: The one you must.
Before we really started planning for this, I would play these sort of “how to” games in my head. “Start here, proceed there, grab FP here, etc”, based on how I frequently toured the park. But I quickly realized my normal park activities exist in a vacuum. I may be there for a couple hours to relax, or maybe I’m there to show a friend around and hit the highlights. It’s one thing to account for Space Mountain, but it’s a completely different thing to account for literally every ride on property. Especially the bad ones.
You’re not just working against crowds and your own navigational knowledge, you’re working against the very real operation parameters Disney has set up. If you played the mind games yourself, would you remember that sometimes rides don’t have the same hours as the park? There is at least one ride in every single park that does not run the full operating day.
And those aren’t even the hardest challenges to account for. If you apply brutal logic, there is only one park you can start at. It is a mathematical inevitability.
So what is the hardest part?
Dealing with the snorts of derisive laughter.
But in terms of planning, a lot of people have already guessed it: accounting for the two rides that will absolutely, unequivocally wreak havoc on any plan you put together. These two rides are the biggest jerks on property.
Soarin’ and Toy Story Mania will hit 70+ minute standby lines within an hour of opening, run out of FastPasses a few hours later, and NEVER drop below those wait times all day long. Remember how I said I need to average 3 rides an hour? Hard to do when 2 rides are consuming 2 and a half hours all by themselves.
How do you plan to get around that?
In the words of Dr. Marsh: That’s proprietary.
Are you sure there aren’t more than 47 rides? What about Sum of All Thrills?
I tried to be as fair as I could with the criteria. To make the list, it had to be an official attraction as recognized on Disney’s web site, and it had to involve a vehicle of some kind. Sum of All Thrills is a simulator, much like Star Tours or Mission Space (which both made the list). But Sum of All Thrills is not listed as an attraction, and isn’t even featured in the description of Innoventions. Sum of All Thrills is a glorified arcade game, like some of those racing simulators at DisneyQuest that technically move you around, but aren’t complete attractions in their own right. So says the official #WDW47 rulebook.
I had to make the same judgement call with the Friendships. They are vehicles that are technically inside the borders of Epcot, but Disney treats them purely as transportation. They are not attractions, and they are not included in the official Disney list.
Are you going to eat at all that day?
Well we don’t have a reservation for Victoria and Albert’s, if that’s what you mean. The schedule is so tight that I have made no accomodation for meals. That said, I do plan to be well stocked with protein bars and the like. And outdoor food vendors can be accessible quickly with no line, if we’re really feeling famished. But I have to limit myself to food that can be eaten on the go (or a picnic luncheon snuck into the dark corners of Universe of Energy).
What about bathroom breaks?
Come on, this is the big leagues. Adult diapers all the way.
You’ve got a minimum of three park hops. Monorail, bus, or ferry?
Hmmm… we don’t like any of those options. Might as well chain us to a turtle. But since we are limited to publicly available transportation, we’re going to have to find some way to plan for the park hops. Every second counts.
You posted a list of all 47 rides. Is that the order in which you are riding them?
No. I was just trying to list them all out in case you couldn’t decipher the icons on the poster. The order is very convoluted, and much more meticulously planned than you might expect, with flexibility built in, much like the NFL’s scheduling algorithm (hint: the TTA is the Jacksonville Jaguars of #WDW47).
If you’re using Extra Magic Hours, you must be staying on property. Don’t you live down there?
Yeah, but my wife signed up for the Dopey marathon thing, so I figure I deserve a few hundred dollars to indulge my crazy obsessions too.
Where are you staying?
Stop stalking us.
No seriously, will we see you in the park?
Possibly. But we will be a blur, moving faster than the human eye can comprehend. Actually, we would be thrilled if somebody happened to spot us and cheered us on. It would make us feel like quasi celebrities, which has been one of my quasi goals all my life.
I’ll have on an official #WDW47 t-shirt. Just please understand that I cannot stop and pose for pictures or share a cup of juice, being the quasi-celebrity that I am. You can however snap a blurry picture of me as I speed past and post it online and hashtag it with #WDW47 so that it will be the hottest trending topic in the world and I will reap fame and fortune and become a reality TV star.
But my expectation is that only some of that will happen.
Have you thought about trying x strategy or y maneuver?
Probably, but we need all the help we can get, so don’t be stingy with your secrets. We’ve gotten a few good ideas already. Crowd-source us across the finish line!
It’s brutally hot. Massively crowded. Be honest. How many of these rides do you really think you’ll see?
Around 55 or so, if the time travel machine works like it did last week. I mean next week. Side note: If You Had Wings is not nearly as good as we remember.
I do have a master spreadsheet that attempts to map out the day. I’ll admit it is wildly optimistic and assumes that we don’t suffer from Imagineering Syndrome (aka “something goes wrong”). But it does account for every ride.
Realistically, I’ll probably pull a hamstring an hour in and that will be that.