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HisKid
02-25-2008, 07:25 PM
Experiences? Reviews? Is it worth it?

I am worried that if I show up at DL with dh and a Ridemax itinerary, he will feel so overscheduled and micromanaged that he will balk. Is it like that, or is there some flexibility built in?

TIA!

bradk
02-26-2008, 02:17 AM
it's more flexible than it gives itself credit for.

i've used it multiple times. i'm happy with it. however it's not all that necessary if you're going for 3+ days in the off season (excluding weekends) or 5 days or so during peak season.

at one point in time, they didn't have automobiles. i don't think it made it any more fun to travel across the country.

neverlander
02-26-2008, 05:26 AM
Once you start playing around with it, you can see how flexible your schedule can be. When using RideMax on our last visit, we found that we were actually much more relaxed having an idea of where to go and when.

I printed out different itineraries for different scenarios (i.e., sleeping late, attending Morning Madness, EE, etc.). You can obviously manipulate and combine plans to suit your present desires. I was surprised that some of the practices we had engaged in in the past (like collecting FPs for some particular rides first) were inefficient.

In addition to acquiring efficient itineraries for our time in the parks, I thoroughly enjoyed adding this element to my planning phase! You can play around with it as much as you want during your subscription. I found this entertaining :)!

Have fun!

HisKid
02-26-2008, 06:35 AM
Here is our situation:

I have one bigger child (13) and 2 little guys (3 1/2 and almost 2). DH and I both have a lot of problems with standing in line or too much walking. Last time I had to rent an ECV, but I wouldn't always. It depends on my foot. We are locals, and are considering getting AP's. If we did, we would probably be spending a lot of half days, etc.

This past trip, dd13 didn't get to do any of the "big" rides because the waits were so long, and we didn't figure out until too late how to use the Fastpass.

I was thinking that this might help us hit those rides with minimal wait, so one parent could go on with her, and the other could wait for the shortest possibe time with the little guys.

splash
02-26-2008, 06:49 AM
I've never used Ridemax, so I can't say how much leisure time it gives you. I would probably only use it if you were going to arrive in the parks in the afternoon. Then it could give you good strategies for catching some of the major rides. If you arrive in the earlier morning, just prioritize the bigger rides and try to get fastpass as you go ie. (ride Splash Mountain if little wait, get a FP for Autopia) as an example. Remember that you can't get another FP until usually about 2 hours after the time (it is written on the bottom when another FP will be available.).

ShirleyFilms
02-26-2008, 07:25 AM
I have used Ridemax for a while now.

If you are not very familiar with the parks (especially the ins and outs of Fastpass), I think it IS worth it. Especially during the busy times of year. In the off-season, its not really nessecary, but it can still help get you oriented.

It's amazing how many people spend thousands of dollars to go to Disneyland and still wait in 60-90 minute lines. I don't want to sound like an info-mercial... but we never wait more than 25 minutes for anything since using Ridemax...even in the busy season.

I just think its a good tool. Once you get the hang of using it (it actually has many flaws), you can manipulate multiple plans to make the best possible use of your time.

The KEY is to NOT WORRY and have fun! So. If you will have more fun feeling safe in the reassurance that you will be able to do ALL the things you PLAN to do... then I think it is worth it. If you will be more stressed out having to follow a strict plan... then its probably not for you. I, personally, am somewhere in the middle. We use it... but we are not afraid to stray from it if we change our minds about the pre-scheduled plan.

If nothing else, it gives you a good idea of the best times to hit things.

To each his own.

dutchess13
02-26-2008, 08:10 AM
We used it for 3 days last oct with kids. (See my trip report for full details) The pros- planning it out before hand was tons of fun. We made a hundred differnet plans and it great just touring in my head. It had lots of tips and ideas too. I think the best part was that we could rehearse with our young children before hand exactly what we were doing that first morning, peter pan, dumbo, thunder mountian....and so on. This way there were no melt downs about I want to do it again, or I want that ride next. Preparedness is everything with kids. We could show them in lack and white when any giving ride was scheduled.

Cons- it doesn't take into account things like unexpected ride closures and several rides that weren't on the fast pass system that day. It worked great in the morning and the evening, in the middle of the day its too vauge.

My advice- use it once, make several plans, bring them all, deffinetly follow it for the am to get in as much as possible then relax and do what you want the rest of the day, maybe jumping back on the schedule again in the evening. After that you can use the ideas and tips to figure out your own plan on future trips.

MermaidHair
02-26-2008, 08:56 AM
I used it last August and loved it. I think I am like dutchess13 in that I enjoy the planning part as much, if not more than, the actual usage of the itineraries. I found it helpful to run the same itinerary with multiple starting times to get a sense for how the lines waxed and waned at favorite attractions.

In general, ridemax helps out by scheduling your early morning rides, fastpass pickup and late day/evening rides. On busy days the middle of your day on ridemax plans includes a lot of free time - you have to figure out what you want to do with that time and watch shows/brave lines/use fastpasses accordingly.

In general, if you decide in advance what rides you will all do together, what rides your dd13 wants to do and get there early (30 minutes before the gates open) there is little reason to have to wait in lines longer than 15-20 min for the first 2-3 hours. Have fun! When are you going and for how long?

mistofviolets
02-26-2008, 10:08 AM
Reading your situation, it sounds like a good plan. You can plug in a variety of scenarios, and it'll tell you when the line will be shortest. You can be flexible in the park, but have that schedule to refer back to.

If you can get there super early, the parks are quieter. Probably harder for locals to do though! For must ride-rides, you can plug in the hours you'll be there, and that you want to ride 1 ride 10 times. Find the truly shortest wait that way ;) It tells you the estimated wait time. :)

We were last there off season, midweek Jan in the rain. Dd said she wished we'd gone for ridemax instead of a current Unofficial Guide, if that tells you anything. :)

FunMom
02-26-2008, 06:48 PM
I'm another Ridemax supporter. The $15 cost was well worth it to us. The first time we used it, our group of 4 families with kids all under age 11 managed to ride something like 28 rides even while having leisure sit down table service meals, girls shopped while boys ran around Tom Sawyer's Island for over 1 hour - all on a late July weekday during the summer crowds. No cranky kids because we hardly waited in line - and when we waited, it was never a long line. My suggestion is that until you learn how avoid long ride lines (we often just walked on, even in July) Ridemax will help you manever effortlessly through the park - and give you peace of mind that you'll experience all you expected to.

woody9six
02-27-2008, 10:00 AM
Experiences? Reviews? Is it worth it?

I am worried that if I show up at DL with dh and a Ridemax itinerary, he will feel so overscheduled and micromanaged that he will balk. Is it like that, or is there some flexibility built in?

TIA!

The first time we used Ridemax my wife was very worried about feeling overscheduled and micromanaged. I promised her that if we tried it the first day, and it was a disaster, we could scrap it. But we found that just the opposite was true.

We went in mid-July when she was 6.5 months pregnant and we had our 3 year old. We hit every ride we wanted to hit, hand time to go back to the hotel (off-site) and get a nap for our daughter and my wife off her feet, and still have plenty of down time in the park.

I have found that there is a lot of flexibility within the program, and it is pretty easy to tailor it to your needs. I am pretty familiar with the park, but still found it useful in terms of maximizing my time.

disneylandgirl82
04-30-2008, 09:28 AM
When does the Ridemax calendar start showing the end of August???? Thanks

Matterhorn Yodeler
04-30-2008, 03:51 PM
How long can you use Ridemax for the $15 fee?

Tan Da Man
04-30-2008, 06:22 PM
I am my own Ridemax...I am the master when it comes to getting the max out of DLand

MermaidHair
04-30-2008, 08:13 PM
When does the Ridemax calendar start showing the end of August???? Thanks

Right now Ridemax has schedules through June so August will probably be available in a couple of months.


How long can you use Ridemax for the $15 fee?

3 months. I think you can get a year's subscription for something like $25.

Aurora2008
04-30-2008, 11:04 PM
Love Ridemax! I bought a year's subscription and love it - it's fun to play with at home, too. We don't always follow the plan exactly, but it gives you a good layout of how to structure your day.

Be aware the RideMax does not include Sunday visits. But, we usually go on Sundays due to our APs, and just plug in the Saturday before our visits and it has always worked great for us.

Also, I have emailed RideMax with specific questions on different scenarios, and they have always been very responsive in writing back to me.:cool:

My kids also like it, they each pick two "must-do" rides and we schedule them in. The rest of the time, we use it as a guide and enjoy our magical day...ahhh, wish I was there now.