Genie+ and Lightning Lanes at Disney World LAUNCH DATE!
Walt Disney World has officially announced the launch date for paid Genie+ and Lightning Lane line-skipping access, which is coming to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. We cover all of the new details & release date, the official answers to common questions, commentary on crowds & wait times, comparisons to MaxPass, Premier Access, and more.
As a reminder for any Walt Disney World fans who have been in a coma the last couple of months, free FastPass+ is gone, and will soon be replaced by paid Genie+ and Lightning Lane line-skipping access. This system has four key components. First is the free Disney Genie service in the My Disney Experience app that’s basically a personalized itinerary feature to efficiently map out a day.
Second, the paid Disney Genie+ service you can purchase in the My Disney Experience app for $15 per day. This provides priority access to approximately 40 attractions across all four parks. Third, individual attraction selections (or Magic Carpet Access) that can be bought at variable price points based upon demand. This will be offered at two of the most popular attractions in each park. Both are accessible via Lightning Lanes, which are the new name for FastPass+ entrances. These are the physical queues in the park through which Genie+ or individual attraction selection purchases can bypass standby lines. Got all of that?
If not, you’re hardly alone. Walt Disney World’s original announcement had confusing branding and incomplete information. Beyond that, this essentially reinvented the wheel, using MaxPass from Disneyland as the foundation (a system with which many Walt Disney World fans are understandably inexperienced) and further complicated that. We’ve tried to help with our breakdown of Lightning Lanes v. Genie+ at Walt Disney World, as well as a series of theoretical itineraries (one for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and DHS thus far).
Then there’s our regularly-updated Lightning Lane and Genie+ at Walt Disney World FAQ (this is already in the process of being updated with today’s new info!). Unsurprisingly, a lot of you have had questions, and we’ve tried to answer most of the common ones there. Hopefully those posts have helped to some degree, but there’s still a lot of confusion.
It hasn’t helped that Walt Disney World announced the Genie system back on August 18. Since then, Disney has released no new information. Nothing during the entirety of September, or even at the start of the World’s Most Magical Celebration for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. During the multi-day media event for that, there was a technology & innovations preview but it only addressed the free Genie itinerary feature, MagicBand+, and “Hey, Disney!”
However, even that offered nothing about Genie+ or Lightning Lanes. There had been nothing at all–until new details dropped this afternoon (October 8, 2021). Let’s start with the latest info from Walt Disney World…
The launch date is October 19, 2021 for the Genie system at Walt Disney World, which will include the free system plus the paid Genie+ feature, Lightning Lanes, etc.
Disneyland’s version will launch at a later date, to be determined. (Everything that follows concerns Walt Disney World, but likely loosely applies to Disneyland. Expect some minor changes to the specifics for the DLR version, though.)
Disney Genie+ service will be available for $15 per guest per day. Guests will be able to purchase Genie+ as an add-on to a ticket or vacation package for the duration of visit before their trips, via Disneyworld.com or Authorized Disney Vacation Planners.
Genie+ also be available for single-day use for existing ticket holders or Annual Passholders. Purchases in 1-day increments will be possible via the Disney Genie service in the My Disney Experience app.
Two attractions per park will offer Lightning Lane entry as an “Ã¡ la carte” individual attraction select (or Magic Carpet Access) purchase. This option will be available for all guests–with or without Disney Genie+ service–and lets you choose a time to arrive at up to 2 attractions each day (booked one at a time).
Pricing and availability will vary by date, attraction and park. At launch, these prices will start at $7 per person. (Edit: We’ve seen others quote a price range, but Walt Disney World has not put the upper limit in writing. Until and unless they do, I’m reluctant to share that–it could end up being higher!)
With that said, Walt Disney World has offered sample pricing: “the Lightning Lane entrance to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will be $9 per person on October 19 and $11 per person on October 23. As another example, on both those dates, Lightning Lane entrance to Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain will be $7 per person, while Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be $15 per person.”
Throughout the year, prices may be lower on some days and higher on other days. This option may be purchased at up to 2 different attractions each day. Check the My Disney Experience app on the day of your visit for current prices and attraction availability.
Along with that date and pricing, Walt Disney World provided a lot of new details about the system during a tech demo of the upcoming My Disney Experience app features. Per Disney, the goal of the Genie system is to match guests’ desires with best available capacity. The system will recommend experiences aligned with guest interests, optimized at the best times with the lowest waits.
Genie will be a lot like a navigation app on a phone, taking into account dynamic traffic patterns. (Just don’t pull a Michael Scott and drive your stroller into World Showcase Lagoon!) Genie adjusts for operational changes, including unexpected operational downtime or wait times that extend longer than what was previously forecast.
Per Walt Disney World, Genie is not a static itinerary–it’s dynamic. In addition to automatically adjusting for on the ground changes, Genie can also be modified by guests to account for changes in their priorities or desires–like wanting to eat earlier.
Guests will tell Genie their must dos and interests, which Walt Disney World will compare with its consumer insights experience ratings, checking the availability of experiences, and whether guests have existing plans.
This will all occur behind the scenes, on the backend at Walt Disney World, so your phone won’t constantly be re-optimizing.
The result is that the Genie system should not pose a considerable drain on phone batteries, beyond the normal My Disney Experience app.
Genie will be able to optimize for Park Hopper plans, existing plans, identified priorities, minimizing walking distances, and more.
The free Genie feature will also offer transparency, offering guests the ability to see why certain recommendations were made to them–with rationales ranging from it being a good time wait-wise to the venue offering air conditioning.
Genie will evaluate hundreds of thousands of combinations of a potential day at Walt Disney World. The algorithm will score each iteration against priorities that make a great day for that particular guests, and then will present that to the guest.
Guests will be able to select must-do attractions, plus general interests and other parameters (like height requirements). From there, the Genie feature will provide a full day of flexible recommendations for their day in the park.
Another component of the Genie system is the Tip Board, which is similar to the in-park tip boards but with more personalized information based on ride reservations and recommendations you’ve made or received.
There will also be dining tip board, which offers Walk-Up Waitlist options for table service restaurants and Mobile Order time slots for counter service restaurants.
On the backend, the Genie’s algorithm will attempt to achieve all competing goals, making a series of compromises, and meeting all goals–assigning a score to the various permutations of a given itinerary.
Beyond just the attractions and other checklist itinerary items, Genie takes into account idle time, average distance walked, and other considerations. It also factors in recommendations made to other guests, so it’s not sending everyone to the same place at the same time.
Then there are the paid components of the upcoming My Disney Experience app feature: Genie+ and individual a la carte Lightning Lane experiences. The former will be a bundle (as described above and in other relevant posts about Genie+ at Walt Disney World), and the latter will be available at 2 attractions per park.
Here’s the official list of individual a la carte Lightning Lane attractions:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Frozen Ever After
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Expedition Everest
Genie+ attractions will be more or less the same as prior FastPass+ options, minus the above. In case you’re new to Walt Disney World or need a refresher, here’s the official Genie+ list of attractions:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Splash Mountain
- Goofy’s Barnstormer
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Mission Space
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage
- Disney Jr. Play & Dance
- Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- MuppetVision 3D
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania
- A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Na’vi River Journey
- The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
- Feathered Friends in Flight
Per Walt Disney World, Genie+ will provide guests the ability to book new ride reservations before using a prior one if the next available ride time is far into the future. Meaning that guests won’t be locked out of making new Genie+ selections if it’s the morning and the next available ride time isn’t until later in the afternoon.
To answer one very common reader question, Walt Disney World has officially confirmed that Genie+ will allow guests to make their next selection 120 minutes (2 hours) in the future even if they have not yet redeemed the first Genie+ selection. This is just like the former legacy or paper FastPass system–and how we’ve said this will work since the original announcement. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have official confirmation.
That’s it in terms of new details and information. Now, let’s offer some commentary on the Genie system’s upcoming launch at Walt Disney World.
A disproportionate amount of Walt Disney World’s announcement focuses on the free Genie system, likely in an effort to overshadow the backlash against the paid Genie+ and Lightning Lane components of the release. I don’t blame them for trying to regain control of the narrative, but there’s no–and excuse me here–putting the genie back in the bottle on that one.
The free Genie system is a promising concept and one with potential, but that’s all the praise I’m willing to grant it. Disney IT doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record, and the company has whiffed on past technology initiatives that were far less ambitious than this. I’m not going to condemn something before I have the chance to use it myself–perhaps Genie will be great–but I have no reason to give the benefit of the doubt here.
I’m highly skeptical that the feature will deliver on its many promises in light of past precedent, and further question whether (if it does work) it’ll be designed primarily to benefit guests or Disney’s allocation of resources. Accordingly, with regard to anything pertaining to the free Genie system, my perspective is firmly “wait and see.”
Even that is probably overly charitable given how frequently Stitch eats my page, the drop day disasters, virtual queue woes, and My Disney Experience crashes (among many other things) over the last decade or so. But who knows, maybe Genie will work his magic and buck those trends.
In past commentary about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, we’ve pointed to the new Premier Access at Disneyland Paris. This could provide a sneak peek at utilization rates, potential pricing, and how the a la carte individual attraction selections (Magic Carpet Access) could impact standby wait times. We’ve done this as many readers have feared the worst with Magic Carpet Access and the allocation to that.
On that front, it’s worth pointing out that Disneyland Paris dropped the price of Premier Access earlier this week. Previously, pricing for Premier Access ranged from €8 to €15 (~$10 to $18) depending on the attraction and day of visit. The new pricing is €5 to €12. While Disneyland Paris hasn’t provided a rationale for the change, one could surmise that it’s due to low demand. (By all accounts, it’s not a particularly popular offering.)
Walt Disney World is a different beast entirely, but we nevertheless do not expect Magic Carpet Access to be a huge hit with all–or even many/most–time slots selling out. Its utilization rate should be relatively low, which means the standby line or virtual queue will still move fairly quickly, and account for the vast majority of hourly ride capacity, on those 2 attractions per park.
Since the original announcement, it’s been our position that the 7 am on-site “priority” Magic Carpet Access booking window for on-site guests (instead of park opening time for off-site visitors) is likely illusory. Nothing today changes that perspective. Some high-profile headliners might sell out some slots on the busiest days of the year, but as we’ve seen with standby wait times (or lack thereof) for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in the last couple weeks, the worst case scenarios and predictions likely will not play out.
In fact, most of our commentary from the initial Genie+ and Lightning Lane announcement remains intact. Although Walt Disney World has provided some new information, there are still going to be a lot of unanswered questions, concerns, fears, complaints, and so forth.
Unfortunately, there are unknowns about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes that will not be addressed until the new system drops. Even then, there will likely be some fluidity as tweaks are made over the course of the coming months. That’s simply the reality of it—not everything will be known or knowable until rollout–or beyond.
For better or worse, that’s the nature of the beast. We’ve received a lot of reader complaints that the overarching Genie system is convoluted and confusing, and there’s definitely some truth to that. However, Walt Disney World vacation planning is already those things, most of you are just so experienced and have so much firsthand knowledge from your past experiences that it has become second nature.
For first-timers, Walt Disney World vacations are a morass of convoluted policies, things to know, and nonstop sources of confusion. Walt Disney World is far and away the most complicated travel destination that we’ve ever visited, anywhere around the globe. The salient point there is that if you’ve mastered what Walt Disney World has thrown at you in the past, the same will be true here too in the future. It’s very different to “learn by doing” rather than reading a bunch of abstract and incomplete explanations.
None of this is to diminish the anger about paid FastPass, which remains entirely valid. Walt Disney World is charging money for something that used to be free, which is unfortunate and upsetting. There’s no getting around that. However, we’d recommend separating your anger over the cost from your apprehensions about the unknowns.
We think a lot of (totally valid and understandable) outrage and disdain for paid FastPass is spilling over into assumptions about how Genie+ will (or won’t) work. This is also understandable to a degree given past precedent. You all have experience with Walt Disney World’s implementation of technology, and booking FastPass+ has been a miserable experience for many fans, us included.
However, assuming that more guests will use the paid Genie+ than free FastPass+ just doesn’t pass the smell test. Free things are easier to “sell” because there’s no barrier to entry in terms of cost. Accordingly, utilization will be significantly lower than FastPass+ and much more akin to MaxPass.
Beyond all else, just consider that Walt Disney World has a vested financial interest in making Genie+ successful and reasonably well-regarded among guests. Word of mouth travels fast, and people won’t buy Genie+ if it’s truly an unmitigated disaster.
My prediction is that Genie+ use and “favorability” will increase over time. The initial response has been overwhelmingly negative, just as it was at Disneyland when MaxPass was announced.
In addition to being upset by something previously being free now costing money, many will lament the loss of pre-planning their FastPass+ selections and having the peace of mind in knowing they have certain popular attractions “locked-in” prior to their trips.
Nevertheless, we’d expect many FastPass+ power users to come around on Genie+ over time. The original FastPass was controversial when it came out two decades ago, before becoming beloved. FastPass+ was likewise a reviled replacement among fans who had mastered the paper FastPass system. Same happened with the launch of MaxPass at Disneyland–and we were among those who hated that in principle, but eventually became hooked on it.
The lazy commentary here would be that “Disney fans are resistant to change.” While true in many ways, there’s (again) the critical distinction that something free is being lost and replaced by a paid-only option. In the “evolution” of the line-skipping system, this is the very first time Disney has done that, so the circumstances here are very different.
Speaking of different circumstances, one that we did not anticipate was current crowds. Back when Genie was announced, our expectation was that it would debut after the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary during a busy time of year that will provide a good “stress test” to the system, with higher crowd levels that should show just how much or little demand exists for Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, typical costs for a la carte line skipping, and how much time the options will save.
It’s still only the second week of October, but the anticipated attendance–at least as reflected in wait times–has not materialized. To the contrary, wait times are slightly below average right now, which is actually a bit shocking (note: this should be distinguished from crowds, as there’s a divergence between the two presently). There’s a lot more to discuss on that topic, but most of it is beyond the scope of this already overly-long post. The main point is that the Genie system may launch at a time when crowds are fairly average.
There are a bunch of longer-term implications for Genie on crowds and vacation bookings, most of which are also beyond the scope of this post or too early to address. We’ve been discussing Walt Disney World’s Disappearing On-Site Advantage for years now. Several changes this year and next–such as the end of Disney’s Magical Express, Extra Magic Hours transforming, no free MagicBands, and the lack of a FastPass priority booking window–will push more guests off-site. That’s a pretty safe assumption even pre-launch of Genie.
Personally, if it came down to splurging on a Disney hotel or staying off-site and using the money saved on lodging for things like Genie+, nicer dining, special events, etc., that’s what I’d do. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify the prices Walt Disney World is charging for its resorts. Then again, Disney could quickly “correct” this by rolling out Free Dining or other deals if occupancy numbers slip in 2022. So perhaps that topic too is premature.
Ultimately, that still leaves a ton of unknowns about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. Even over a month after its original announcement, this remains a work-in-progress story…and that’ll probably continue to be true even after the Genie system launches on October 19, 2021. This is definitely something that’ll evolve over time and be an ongoing learning experience at least into early 2022.
Beyond that, I’ve previously aired my grievances about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes are entirely paid, replacing something that was entirely free. I’ve also lamented Walt Disney World’s recent nickel and diming proclivities, and the way this offers a “solution” to a problem that Disney has deliberately created. So I won’t rehash all of that here. Nor will I reiterate the upside potential that I think Genie+ or Lightning Lanes will offer, and how it’s probably not going to present the cataclysmic or have as negative of consequences for those who don’t buy the “paid FastPasses” as many fans anticipate.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes? If you’re visiting on or after October 19, 2021 will you be buying Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane access? Do you prefer fast-moving standby lines only, or the FastPass and standby combo? Interested in how Walt Disney World will implement the new system? Agree or disagree with our assessment? Other thoughts or concerns? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Oh my WDW seems so confusing compared to my experiences with the CA parks I grew up with. We are planning our first trip in early December after changing several times due to Covid. We’re super excited and trying to make the most of the experience so we will probably buy the Genie+. Please correct me if I am wrong, Trying to make sense of it. Genie+ will allow us to pick 8 rides from the list to only ride once. And the two other rides if we choose to do them we have to also pay for separately? And what about Park Hopper’s. Is the Genie+ price per park or per day? Can you say pick 4 rides at one park and then hop and pick another 4? Ugh! Sorry for all the questions. It’s so confusing. I appreciate your help and I LOVE your blog and all the amazing information and tips you provide!!
So I’ve missed some info maybe.
I know if you’re buying a ride for Flight of passage, you can park hop and buy Rise.
But if I’ve paid my $15 for lightning lanes and I have a Park Reservation for magic kingdom, can I also use lightning lanes if I hop to Epcot?
We’ve been here all week and all the ride times are extremely inflated. Not sure if it’s luck, lower crowds, the effect of no fastpass, or all the above. Some 90 min waits are 30 and some 30 min waits are walk on. However I think inflated wait times are going to convince more people to buy Genie+ which might be completely unnecessary, or might be necessary only because everyone else buys it.
Just reading your last post Tom about holding out hope that disney will offer gene plus free for resort guests. Well thats a joke. Disney will bleed every last dollar from everyone. We have a trip scheduled for Oct. 28-Nov. 15 2 weeks at Gran Destino and 1 week at Yacht club so we are spending a small fortune and every last perk being taken away. Well today was the last straw. We went on line to purchase magic bands and the complimentary resort band for $5.00 now shows at $10.00. After spending 2 hrs on hold with disney we finally got to talk to someone who didn’t know anything about magic bands he said another group handled that and rather than have me wait in another line for 2 plus hrs he set up a call back. When I finally got the call I was told oh yes those are not $5.00 anymore they we raised up to $10.00 a few months ago. I told her I kept track of all disney thin gs through several blogs as well as the disney site and I have never seen anything about a price raise. Actually when she told me about the price increase she said she thought it was 2 or 3 months ago but she really wasn’t sure. That really takes stinks, Disney really wants every last dollar. I am so thoroughly disappointed.
Will the DAS service on the phone be available ok this date as well?
Everyone gets so upset by all the price increases but we have to remember Disney lost a lot of money because of the pandemic. And we all love Disney World so much that we will still come back, despite price increases, because we love it so much and it brings us such joy! I’m still happy to have the opportunity to go and I’m very thankful for Disney World, even if it ends up costing a little more. Thank you Tom for all the info as always.
I have visions of the free Genie constantly guiding us to the same things that always seem to be available. Like how Biergarten always has reservations available or the Barnstormer always had fastpasses open. Those are (were) some of our running jokes. Also the bit about taking into account average walk times made me smile as I always accuse my wife (jokingly) of making us cross the entire park as many times possible during the day. Maybe there is a Genie setting that she could use to maximize our steps by making sure it selects attractions that are not near each other.
We have been traumatized by our inability to get on Ride of the Resistance so honestly one time we might shell out for that. Otherwise very unlikely we will be paying extra for Genie+. Planning for a Disney World vacation is considerably more complex than planning a multiple country visit to Europe. Just came back from a great trip to Disney with the grandson but many times we were locked in by advance park reservations orADRs. It’s hard when you can’t be spontaneous or flexible!
The a la carte for rides like Everest and frozen are beyond insane. I’m also looking at 75 bucks extra per day for family of five with just the genie plus. If we go and I hope we don’t-just do universal for 3 days and bail- the stay will be maybe 3 days. We used to go for 7 days. I wonder how this will affect not only middle class US citizens but Europeans and such who tend to stay for ridiculous amounts of days.
“If this would’ve just been MaxPass: Florida Edition, it would’ve received some backlash, but not nearly as much. Removing two attractions per park is just unnecessary and frustrating. I wonder if it’ll end up being counterproductive, resulting in lower overall sales.”
I’ve been thinking perhaps it might be counterproductive for them. If I pay $100 for my family of 5 to rise Rise, maybe I’ll skip that expensive meal in the parks. Or not shop for souvenirs. Two things where we would surely pay more than $100, but if I’m feeling “out” of extra money I’ll look to other places to cut corners off the budget.
Should you be seeing Genie on your app by now? I don’t see anything and I’m wondering if I need to reload the app or if it will show up closer to 10/19. Thanks.
With over 1500 days at Walt Disney World, raising my children on the long gone GRAND PLAN we are sad to see the constant loss of the Disney spirit and the constant changes that are so obviously made for increased profit and nothing like Mr Disney had in mind. Every change is about how to take more money from customers. The lists are so long, the increased sale and promotion of alcohol everywhere, I drink but the number of drunks I’ve seen in the parks would make Walt cry. Prices are stupid, I had a burger in an on property hotel last night, my wife had a salad and chicken, with a 20% tip the bill was $117.00 Outrageous ! Now with the loss of the ability to pre plan 3 rides and having to pay for it is jus another example. I so miss the days of Michael Isner
Thanks for all this info. Question: Can you book a LL pass offsite, hours before you enter the park? We are going in December, flying in and landing at 11am on a Saturday. Will probably arrive at Epcot that day around 130 or 2. While at home before flying, could I book a LL pass for Remy’s for me to use that afternoon or evening? Sorry if I missed this information above.
It seems like Disney is trying to balance profit with guest satisfaction. As much as it sucks that we’re seeing additional costs and (in some cases, truly eye-watering) price increases, those things are happening because demand is too high for WDW. The solution we as customer want is more content–new rides, shows or even new parks to absorb the crowds. What Disney is doing instead is products like this. Reduce the crowds by pricing people out. Lower crowds mean better wait times, and higher prices mean Disney isn’t losing money when attendance starts to go down. Disney chooses to be profit-centric instead of customer centric.
I predict that while they may initially see success, in the end the “cash cows” will be willing to pay for all the extras for a one-time “perfect” vacation, and never do it again. Attendance will gradually lower to the point where Disney will start offering better deals. It’s more of a question of when will that happen, and how long will that last? Keep in mind that the pandemic has also gotten people thinking more carefully about where their money is going.
So we’ve been blessed to go to WDW twice during the pandemic, exchanging constant mask wearing and short to non-existent lines,. It was wonderful. We were able to ride anything and everything multiple times with no waits. This time, we splurged a little and are booked at Coronado in November. We definitely acknowledge the lack of advantages to staying in a resort, but we’re choosing to pay for the “Bubble” and will enjoy the extra 30 minutes in the morning if nothing else. Also, we were able to book some pretty sweet ADRs!
I plan to keep an eye on wait times thru the MDE app between now and the time we’re there and see how things shake out. Unless the others we meet at the parks during the days think we need to, we are content to do stand by only.
The nickel and diming is pretty bad, but I think another *huge* component of the backlash is that the current changes do not reward customer loyalty. This is aimed squarely at people who have never visited/don’t visit often and want to make sure they get to do all the rides at least once. The a la carte selections sound a lot more appealing if you have limited time and won’t be able to return anytime soon.
But if you have been the to parks often you probably aren’t going to wait 120 minutes OR pay $7+/person to do Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for the 10(0)th time. You also don’t need Genie to tell you about rides or experiences you might like (even if he’ll do that for free). It really highlights that as far as the Mouse is concerned, no matter how much money you’ve given them in the past, it doesn’t count for anything and they ultimately just want more. And people don’t like being confronted with that, even if in their heart of hearts they always knew it to be true.
“The nickel and diming is pretty bad, but I think another *huge* component of the backlash is that the current changes do not reward customer loyalty.”
This is really nothing new, and has always bugged me.
We have top-level status with Marriott and Hyatt, and are treated accordingly when staying at those chains. Yet we spend (far!) more money at Walt Disney World, and get nothing of the sort. Some of Disney’s practices (long hold times, website glitches, etc.) seem like they’re actively aimed at discouraging customer loyalty.
And yet, we all keep going…
Can you ride the rides more than once with Genie + ? Or do you only get to use it once??
Are there different times given to book a ride, or are you only given the option to book the next available time?
I have a trip booked for mid November for a family of 6. I am already out of pocket for about $9k. With this idiocy I’m going to cancel This trip and Disney altogether. I haved disney my whole life but its just gotten to be to much.
So…I don’t see it yet as an add on option to my summer vacation package. Still holding out hope that they will offer genie + free for resort guests or at a reduced rate based on length of stay.
I am no longer sure I want it though if you can’t book the same attraction twice in one day …we have our favorites! Ex-my son rode splash mountain 9 times in one day on his 16th birthday in 2009 with legacy fastpass, rope drop, baby swap, and late hours (back when late ended at 2 am!) aahh the old days:)
“Still holding out hope that they will offer genie + free for resort guests or at a reduced rate based on length of stay.”
Be careful what you wish for. I’m dreading a January announcement of “FREE Genie+” (with full price resort room and length of stay ticket purchase) replacing Free Dining. (That’s not a rumor or anything–simply a concern of mine.)