Do we need to use Ridemax?
We will be at DLR May 1-5 and I recently read here about Ridemax. I checked out their website and the price is reasonable, if in fact it would be useful. Our trip won't be during one of the really busy times---all 5 days are weekdays, etc. But we are not DL experts, and haven't been since the introduction of Fastpass. We'll have 2 kids as well as grandparents, and the idea of not standing around saying "what do we do now" is appealing. I have the Unofficial Guide 2006, maybe those plans are good enough? I am a person who likes to plan and have things somewhat organized and mapped-out, etc. And then I think, we'll be there for 5 days, maybe it's okay if it's not very structured, since we should theoretically have enough time to do everything.
Sorry if this is a little stream-of-consciousness!
01-15-2006 09:55 AM
I dont think I would use it for all 5 days. I would maybe use it one day, and have that day be "ride" day. Go on all the rides, discover what ones you love and what you dont need to do again. Then, the other 4 days go with the flow of things. Reride the rides you loved, take in the shows, parades, fireworks, see characters, etc.
We used it in Oct for our group of 6- me and dh, our 3 and 7 year old, and my MIL/FIL in their 70's. We did get on a lot of rides in a short time. But, I wouldnt want to rush through the park like that for 5 days! You can set the program for a "slower" day, and you can schedule breaks where you need them.
I think if you have the Unofficial Guide, that is probably good enough. Although following the plan strictly for 5 days may drive your group crazy. I am also one who likes things planned and structured, but not everyone feels that way. What I have found works best is to follow a structured plan in the morning, when the crowds are less (especially if you can take advantage of early entry), and about late lunch time, when the crowds start to really thicken, just go with the flow. Use your fast passes during that time, and do the things that don't have such a long line, or that the line moves quickly.
Most of all, don't let your plans stifle your spontaneity - but use them to your advantage so that you can see the most in the least amount of time.
PS - I did use Ride Max last time I went, and it was helpful. I used it because I didn't have time to purchase the 2006 Unofficial Guide, and I didn't have time to plan it out myself. It was helpful.
I'm a planner too, and I thought Ridemax was awesome. We used it over Christmas so w/ the crowds being so crazy it really helped. I agree that taking advantage of the early mornings at the park are the way to go. Between opening and 10 or 11 we felt like we practically had the park to ourselves!
I would recommend making Ridemax plans for the first few days (at least) so you have them if you need them. Your family will most likely appreciate a little bit of structure! I loved that it eliminated us standing around saying "ok, now what?" Also, if you have not used the Fastpass system before, the Ridemax plan will make it really easy (it's easy anyway so I don't understand why more people don't use it, but, whatever!).
Once you've used RM for a few days you'll get the gist of it. The hints and tips they offer to subscribers is also a nice perk.
Have a great time!
Be Nice or Leave
I wouldn't bother. Travelling during the off season, my husband and I generally find that we have plenty of time to do whatever we want in 3 days. Of course, I like unstructured travel. If your family is the "time for everything" type, you might want to use this system. We like the more relaxed Disney experience, ourselves. We like to wander through stores, and stop and gaze at fountaings, and play with the water ball in front of space mountain. We wander through the park, and if we see a short line we grab the opportunity and go on the ride - sometimes twice. Afternoons, we often head back to the hotel for an hour or two break, then back to the park for a few more rides before the park closes.
The trick is to not be where everybody else is. Go on the most popular DL rides on mon-thur, when crowds are small. DCA activites are perfect for the weekend, when DCA crowds will be smaller than DL crowds. We also like to spend more time wandering through main street when ride lines get longer. Just be flexible, and you can do a lot. Our last visit, we rode all the roller coasters in DL in one short fall day, pluse POTC and several smaller rides, even though we took 3 hours off to pick up my mother and nephew at the airport. You can do a lot at DL in the off season.
Originally Posted by zandy
We'll be at DL the 1st week of May as well. If you see a family of 2 adults, 2 teenage boys, and 2 preschool/toddlers following you, its only because we decided to try RideMax on the same day.
Like PrincessLeia, we used Ridemax on New Year's Day and also during the Christmas holiday in 2004. We loved it!!! It really adds to the wonder of it all to be able to literally walk on the rides. My kids are 6 and 4 and it helps them to know that they will get to go on their rides and when that will be happening.
I think what others have said and (use it for your first one-two days, etc.) is wonderful advice. You can also make multiple plans and see how it goes.
Let us know how your trip goes!! You too pmover!
Living the dream!
Here's my take on using Ridemax: I really like it. It can be as casual or rigid as you like but the main reason I use it is to stop the unavoidable question of "what's next?". With 3 kids, 2 strollers, and a very type B personality DH, I have to have some sort of plan or the kids would be bickering over who's turn it is to choose the next ride and he'd be like whatever you want.
I figure if I am investing thousands of $$ in a vacation, what's another $25 to help it go a little smoother?