In this episode, we take a bit of a different turn as I interview Len Testa, creator of TouringPlans.com. He has spent more time and mental energy than anyone I know making visiting the Disney parks a more enjoyable experience, and he’s done it with thorough research, sound analysis, and a great team.
Len talks about…
- His graduate thesis project that became TouringPlans
- Whether going to the parks is still fun, or if it just feels like work now
- Staying at 6 hotels in 5 days recently
- Using the Magic Kingdom for that graduate project—why he chose it and what makes it unique
- Something interesting about the most recent rewrite of the TouringPlans software
- How they deal with the introduction of something major that is added to a park, like World of Color, new Fantasyland, etc. and what the plan is for Star Wars Land
- Walking down the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios recently
- Some Crowd Calendar issues in late 2015, what they’ve learned, and what they’re doing to address it—you’ll be impressed and amazed!
- Using Amazon’s Cloud Computing for creating and optimizing plans
- What they’ve learned along the way of creating 10 million optimized touring plans
- A feature request Len had said no to for years, but now is working on, and why
- My experience using the Optimizer, and why Len added it
- Epcot First Aid
- Some observations they’ve made from many tens of thousands of WDW surveys
- What surprises him about the way people answer survey questions
- A very cool and exciting use of the Least Expensive Ticket Calculator tool outside the theme parks—it’s in the medical field
- What inspires him
- Shameless Plug Time
- Interviews with additional details about his grad school thesis:
- The Unofficial Guides
- The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill
- WDW Today podcast
- Twitter (@LenTesta)
Podcasts Spotlighted in this Episode:
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Music and voiceovers provided by Rick Moyer.
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