Genie+ reached its record high price at Walt Disney World for the peak of Thanksgiving week, but prices have since plummeted to “normal” highs for Park Hopping, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and Animal Kingdom line-skipping. This post covers dates that sold out, current prices, and what to expect in December 2023 and January 2024.
Let’s start by talking crowds. It’s not going to surprise anyone that this is going to be a busy week. Our most recent crowd report, Holiday Crowd Wave Swells & Subsides at Walt Disney World, predicted that Walt Disney World would see another another big spike in attendance. We forecast worse wait times than Veterans Day and Jersey Week, and the busiest week at Walt Disney World since April, but not surpassing Easter–the last truly busy holiday.
Hardly a bold prediction, but an accurate one nevertheless. Walt Disney World has been busy for Thanksgiving week, albeit not as bad as last year. But that was to be expected, as pent-up demand has been exhausted and pretty much every single week this year has been down as compared to its counterpart last year. Nevertheless, Thanksgiving week has been busy–with Genie+ prices reflecting as much.
Against that backdrop, here are the prices for Genie+ at Walt Disney World for November 20-24, 2023:
Multiple Parks (valid with Park Hopper tickets): $35
Magic Kingdom: $35
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: $32
Animal Kingdom: $25
On November 20-21, Genie+ sold out at Magic Kingdom, and Multiple Parks along with it. (Presumably, the Park Hopping option becomes unavailable when any park sells out.)
Genie+ sold out on both days before 1 pm, with Tuesday going faster by about 30-45 minutes. This tends to happen during peak weeks regardless of more granular daily crowds, as the service selling out on a Monday creates a greater sense of urgency for guests to purchase it earlier on subsequent days.
In this case, Monday was significantly busier at Magic Kingdom than Tuesday. On Monday, Magic Kingdom hit a 10/10 crowd level, with an average wait time for the day of 47 minutes. This was completely unsurprising and predictable, because Monday was the only day in a 4-day stretch with no Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom.
Tuesday’s crowd level at Magic Kingdom was “only” 3/10 with an average wait time of 29 minutes for the entire day. However, as mentioned above, it was a party-shortened day due to MVMCP, meaning that the park closed at 6 pm and guests had less time to get as much done. A 3/10 crowd level on a MVMCP day is actually well above the norm–usually party days are 1/10 or 2/10. We have seen 3/10 or 4/10 happen from time to time–but pretty much exclusively during holiday weeks.
Genie+ did not sell out Wednesday through Friday. Although crowd levels were high on all of these days, they retreated from their peaks.
Above is a screenshot with the prices for Genie+ at Walt Disney World today (November 25, 2023):
Multiple Parks (valid with Park Hopper tickets): $27
Magic Kingdom: $27
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: $24
Animal Kingdom: $17
On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, prices are down $8 to $9 depending upon the park.
For those keeping score at home, this is the second sharpest single-day drop in the history of paid FastPass. Back on April 15, the price dropped to $25. Interestingly, that was also down from the $35 peak and also the Saturday after a holiday week. But in that case, Easter had occurred on the prior Sunday and per-park pricing had yet to be implemented by Walt Disney World.
It’s also notable there that it’s the week before Easter that’s busiest, not the week after. While crowds remained elevated post-Easter, the week was far less busy than the previous one–or even this Thanksgiving week. So in reality, Walt Disney World waited about a week too long to lower Genie+ prices then, and is much more on the ball in lowering prices in-line with attendance this time around. Perhaps a small consolation prize for Thanksgiving week visitors hanging around for the weekend?
Individual Lightning Lane prices are also down, almost across the board:
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind: $17 -> $15
Avatar Flight of Passage: $16 -> $14
Star Wars Rise of the Resistance: $25 -> $22,
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: $12 -> $11
TRON Lightcycle Run: $20 (unchanged)
Going forward, our expectation is that Genie+ prices will remain flat over the weekend and perhaps into Monday. Last year post-Thanksgiving, prices didn’t drop at all until Sunday, then spiked a tad for Monday, before falling further to the lowest prices all-time on Tuesday.
The cost remained at or near its lowest levels for the first half of December 2022, excepting Mondays. At the time, that meant $15-17 and $19 on Mondays. That feels like ancient history now in this era of per-park pricing. The only parks that’ll be in that ballpark in December 2023 will be Animal Kingdom and maybe EPCOT. And as we’ve now said countless times, Genie+ is a waste of money at Animal Kingdom when it’s at those lower prices.
Nevertheless, you can expect that trend to more or less repeat, with Genie+ prices retreating even further after Monday. It should go without saying, but this is because crowds are about to fall off a cliff at Walt Disney World. It’s really just a question of whether that happens starting today or tomorrow. That’s precisely why Our Favorite Week of the Entire Year at Walt Disney World starts this weekend.
Looking even further into the future, we’re wondering whether Genie+ will exceed $35 in price starting December 22, 2023 (or thereabouts). A precise prediction for the next spike is difficult, as Christmas falling on a Monday means that the week leading up to it isn’t a full week, and crowds that normally occur in the week of Christmas and the week of New Year’s Eve will be consolidated into what’s essentially a combined week. Something similar has happened for both of the last two years, and that week has been particularly brutal.
Accordingly, it wouldn’t surprise us if Genie+ pricing hits $35 starting December 22, 2023 and then hits $40 on December 25, 2023. I also wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see pricing remain at whatever peak it hits until January 5-6, 2024. Given school winter breaks, Marathon Weekend, and past precedent–it’s entirely likely that crowd levels those first few days of January will be worse than a lot of dates in December.
I wouldn’t necessarily make the bet that Genie+ prices will hit $40, as Walt Disney World may not want to test the limits on pricing at a time when pent-up demand is exhausting itself, but I wouldn’t bet against it, either. What I would bet is that Genie+ sells out for at least 3 days during the stretch from December 22, 2023 to January 5, 2024. It’ll be interesting to follow what happens with pricing, demand, and crowds–we’ll keep you posted!
If you have questions about the basics of using–or not using–the paid FastPass service, see our Guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQfor all of the foundational need-to-know info. This whole system is confusing and convoluted, so you might have a question or two-dozen. That answers all of the most common ones we’ve been receiving from readers.
What do you think of Genie+ plummeting from its peak price of $35 post-Thanksgiving? If you’re in the parks this weekend, will you purchase paid FastPass at these price points–or is it still too expensive and/or unnecessary for you now that crowds are decreasing? If you’re visiting during the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s, what’s the maximum price you’ll pay for the line-skipping service? Do you agree or disagree with my assessment? 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!