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  1. #1

    • white and nerdy
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    Ridemax vs Unofficial Guide vs Micechat

    For fun and some personal information, I've been experimenting with Ridemax, the various guides found in the unofficial guides, as well as other helps and hints from various sources, including Micechat and related sites.

    Six days. Two days using knowledge gleened from Micechat, personal observation, and the like. Two days using guides from the unofficial guide. Two days using Ridemax.

    The results.

    1. Ridemax is a waste of money. After trying to fit in as many rides as I could, with meals and breaks, it kept telling me that my plans weren't possible. When we did get a itinerary, it was rendered useless after ride breakdowns and unforeseen crowds knocked it out. It had us eating lunch at the worst possible time and (we had a few kids with us) the bathroom breaks were not part of the planning process. Also any spontaneous shopping, gawking, or "hey look at that" was gone. We did more on our free roam days, with more time for meals and leisure, than Ridemax said was possible, without pushing ourselves in any way. AND, using ridemax, we waited in several long lines, much longer than we usually wait in, over 50 minutes.
    Let me quote the Ridemax.com page to further prove the worthlessness of it.
    Since the spring of 2002, several of the FASTPASS machines have been "disconnected" from the other FASTPASS attractions in the system. This currently means that you can get a FASTPASS for Star Tours independent of any other FASTPASSES you may hold!
    That's right. According to Ridemax, you can get a fastpass for Star Tours (In Disneyland).
    Ridemax. Don't use it. Don't get it. Don't spend money on it. Forget it. Worthless. F-. Failure. Bad for you, icky icky.

    2. The Unofficial Guide is beneficial, but don't rely on itineraries. Sure, it's filled with useful information (especially the menus, though some were outdated), but the when they make the transition between information and direction, it falls short. I found the maps more detailed than the ones Disneyland hands out, so that's a plus. But, again, the guides are imagining the ideal situation that never exists.

    3. Micechat (and other such sources) are the best. They don't tell you to do A, then B, then C, but provide the minutia on as much information as anyone could need. One look at the Fastpass guide from Darkbeer and you have more help than Ridemax and the Guide put together. While Ridemax gives the supposed "statistical" reality of Disneyland (though I am highly suspect of their gathering methods), and the Guide gives the ideal reality, online sources combine the real world experiences of hundreds of guests. While it does take more work than the other two categories, at least initially, it allows for a more pleasant, more fun filled, and more informative time at the parks.

    Likened to music.

    Ridemax is like a computer program which has the notes from the supposed best songs of all times then, using this data it creates a new piece of music from bits and pieces of various other songs. You then listen to the music.

    The Unofficial Guide is like a beginning music book. It shows you the basics of pitch, harmony, and finger placement on a piano. It then provides ten or so simplified popular songs for you to memorize. You memorize the pieces and recite them.

    Micechat and online information is like an intense course in the theory of music where thousands of other musicians provide tips and advice -for free- on how to best understand and perform the music. Armed with this information, you are able to jam and improvise while maintaining a strict hold in the theory of music. You create your own songs based on situation, mood, and company.


    in short:
    Ridemax= bad.
    Unofficial guide = so-so
    Online resources = best.

    For what it's worth.
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

    "Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when people are watching" - Dogbert





  2. #2

    • Defying gravity
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    Re: Ridemax vs Unofficial Guide vs Micechat

    Yay Mice Chat!

  3. #3

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    Re: Ridemax vs Unofficial Guide vs Micechat

    I've never used RideMax.

    Only used the Unofficial Guide at WDW and it worked out good. We didn't follow the plan all the way through, just the mornings.

    But most of the good information I have received as far as "what to do first", etc has been from MC.


  4. #4

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    Re: Ridemax vs Unofficial Guide vs Micechat

    The music analogy was pure genius (being the pianist that I am).

    Loved your reviews. I have never used Ridemax and I never plan to. I do own several Disneyland guidebooks simply because I collect anything Disney, and I agree. They do give you a lot of the basic facts that you would need to be able to do a trip. But by far, the MiceChat community is a vast untapped fountain of knowledge and hundreds of thousands of hours of in park "research" on wait times, queues, ride failures, etc. It's such a wonderful resource.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  5. #5

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    Re: Ridemax vs Unofficial Guide vs Micechat

    I think you are being a little harsh on RIDEMAX.

    When I was a Disneyland newb, Ridemax actually helped us quite a bit. I had NO IDEA where to start.... and it gave me a starting point. Sure, there are better resources...if you have the time to sift through thousands of posts and assimilate all that data. But, I have a feeling that a lot of people have difficulty doing that. Especially, if they are Disneyland newbs.

    Everytime we go to the parks, we see people waiting in the longest lines and doing everything wrong. And I feel SAD for them. They paid so much money to come to DLR only to waste most of their time there. If nothing else, Ridemax can help people like that get MORE out of their time.

    I will admit that there are some odd, inherent flaws in the programming of Ridemax. To be honest, each time I have tried to use it.... I make MULTIPLE plans of my own and SPLICE them togther into a masterplan.... using different blocks of time that are more efficient than the program can apparenly come up with on its own. But, in the end, it provides a helpful, usable framework.

    It also helps not to stick to the plan like glue. One needs to be flexible in the parks and able to adjust to unforseen variables.

    That said, it is true that there is NO excuse for Ridemax incorporating bad data (Star Tours not linked). That's bad form. But. I have used Ridemax probably 7 or 8 times over the past few years... and I have never experienced that kind of error.

    I think Ridemax is a fine tool for folkes who don't want to deal with the daunting task of plowing through hundreds of thousands of forum posts to get the nuggets of Disneyland wisdom they need.

    Thats my 2 cents, for what its worth. And no, I don't work for Ridemax . (but if they want to hire me, I could probably improve their software!) heh.

  6. #6

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    Re: Ridemax vs Unofficial Guide vs Micechat

    Woo hoo, MiceChat! I agree that the site is a pretty freakin' amazing resource. Never used Ridemax, but the guides indeed always struck me as so-so. They're nice for people who'd rather just gather a sampling of high-level information, but I prefer the MC approach.


  7. #7

    • white and nerdy
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    Re: Ridemax vs Unofficial Guide vs Micechat

    Quote Originally Posted by shirleyfilms View Post
    I think you are being a little harsh on RIDEMAX.

    When I was a Disneyland newb, Ridemax actually helped us quite a bit. I had NO IDEA where to start.... and it gave me a starting point. Sure, there are better resources...if you have the time to sift through thousands of posts and assimilate all that data. But, I have a feeling that a lot of people have difficulty doing that. Especially, if they are Disneyland newbs.

    Everytime we go to the parks, we see people waiting in the longest lines and doing everything wrong. And I feel SAD for them. They paid so much money to come to DLR only to waste most of their time there. If nothing else, Ridemax can help people like that get MORE out of their time.

    I will admit that there are some odd, inherent flaws in the programming of Ridemax. To be honest, each time I have tried to use it.... I make MULTIPLE plans of my own and SPLICE them togther into a masterplan.... using different blocks of time that are more efficient than the program can apparenly come up with on its own. But, in the end, it provides a helpful, usable framework.

    It also helps not to stick to the plan like glue. One needs to be flexible in the parks and able to adjust to unforseen variables.

    That said, it is true that there is NO excuse for Ridemax incorporating bad data (Star Tours not linked). That's bad form. But. I have used Ridemax probably 7 or 8 times over the past few years... and I have never experienced that kind of error.

    I think Ridemax is a fine tool for folkes who don't want to deal with the daunting task of plowing through hundreds of thousands of forum posts to get the nuggets of Disneyland wisdom they need.

    Thats my 2 cents, for what its worth. And no, I don't work for Ridemax . (but if they want to hire me, I could probably improve their software!) heh.
    You should be able to improve their software. A blind kitten probably could.

    Seriously though, the problem with ridemax is that it sets itself up as a way to brainlessly go to Disneyland, doesn't provide that service, and makes you pay for it. At least with the unofficial guides you get a nifty book filled with photos and information. With Ridemax you get a printout. That's it.
    If a Disneyland newb wants someone to tell them what to do without them doing their own research online, then the guides give them everything they could get from Ridemax, and more. the supposed "unique data for each day" that Ridemax says they have is flawed beyond belief.

    Of course, it also seems a bit.... I don't know... wrong to experience Disneyland by way of an itinerary that plans out your day in 15 min. increments. Much better to explore and discover on your own, of course that's my own opinion... but speaking scientifically, if you want to invest time or money into getting the most out of your day at Disneyland, it's better to do your own research for free and then plan your own day rather than using ridemax.
    St. Elizabeth, Patron Saint of Themed parks. Protect us from break downs, long lines, and used gum. Amen.

    "Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when people are watching" - Dogbert





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