The brains behind avoiding long lines at Walt Disney World

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Are you considering a trip to Walt Disney World? Then we have two words for you: Touring Plans.

The average family spends over $2,000 on a trip to Walt Disney World. Touring Plans and the mobile app Lines are tools designed to help you spend less time waiting in line for attractions.

Touring Plans offers custom touring plans that will provide you the most efficient order to see the attractions. The Lines app provides the latest attraction wait times posted by Disney and lists predicted wait times from the Touring Plans staff that can be viewed hours in advance to help you decide the best time of day to visit an attraction.

How did Touring Plans start?

Greensboro native Len Testa is the brains behind Touring Plans. Testa is also the co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.

It all started the summer before Testa started graduate school at N.C. A&T when he made a visit to Walt Disney World.

"I'm an hour into this wait and I thought... there's got to be a better way to do this," Testa said.

Customizing your Touring Plan at

Customizing your Touring Plan at

While in graduate school, Testa began researching and tracking wait times at Disney World. Using his research, he was able to use the data to start predicting crowd levels and the best times to visit the parks.

"All of that goes into some really complicated software and we have a team of statisticians that build models for every ride every day," Testa said.

Fast forward a few years and Touring Plans is now one of the most popular planning tools for trips to Disney World and Disneyland. The company also recently expanded to include Universal Orlando.

How does it work?

Testa uses wait times provided by Disney and information provided by eight full-time employees and thousands of Lines app users that post attraction wait times while in the parks. With the data, Touring Plans can provide accurate wait time predictions at Disney World.

The wait times can be viewed on the Touring Plans website and in the Lines app.

Based on your trip preferences, Touring Plans or the Lines app will build a custom touring plan that tells you which rides to see at what time.

A look at posted wait times and predicted wait times available in the Lines app.

A look at posted wait times and predicted wait times available in the Lines app.

"If you want to see 4 or 5 rides that get busy, you have to know the order to see them. That's where our number-crunching software comes in handy," said Testa.

Mollie Lawson, who has visited Disney World 18 times, said the Lines app is a must-have.

"They have this wonderful thing that's a part of the lines app. You can get on there and ask questions for under the sun for anything!" said Lawson.

I'm planning a Walt Disney World trip. How can I use Touring Plans?

Doing your research is important. It's recommended you start planning your trip several months in advance. You can make restaurant reservations at Walt Disney World up to 7 months in advance and the earlier you book your hotel, the better.

Testa offers two important tips for going to Disney World: Get to the park early and make sure you have a plan for the day.

Touring Plans offers custom touring plans, wait time predictions, a crowd calendar that tells you the best day to visit a specific park, restaurant reviews, menus, and more. You can preview the Touring Plans website for free and download the app for free. Some features are only available to registered users. You can subscribe to Touring Plans for $11.95 a year.

More information:
Download the Lines App: App Store, Google Play and mobile web