Genie+ Ticket Add-On Eliminated at Disney World
Walt Disney World announced 2023 vacation packages, and with that, the end of the Genie+ ticket add-on. This post covers details about the length-of-stay prepaid Lightning Lane booking option, why it’s being eliminated, and other thoughts.
With the launch of new bookings, Walt Disney World is making an “adjustment” to how guests purchase Disney Genie+ service, which “remains popular and in high demand” amongst guests. Disney states that this is being done because the goal from the outset has been to “launch, learn and evolve” after seeing how guests are using this service.
To that end, starting June 8, 2022, the Disney Genie+ will only be offered for purchase through the My Disney Experience app on the day of your visit. There will no longer be an option to purchase this service pre-arrival as a ticket add-on for dates remaining in 2022 and in 2023.
This means that, moving forward, whether you have an Annual Pass, multi-day or 1-day ticket, you may only purchase Disney Genie+ service on the day of your visit via the My Disney Experience app, one day at a time, subject to availability. (This “subject to availability” verbiage also suggests Genie+ could sell out, which is not something we’ve seen happen previously.)
Walt Disney World states that its focused on delivering the best possible guest experience, and this adjustment will help manage the incredibly strong demand for Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.
If you’ve already purchased Walt Disney World park tickets that include Disney Genie+ service for dates later in 2022, don’t worry. You’ll still be able to use the service during your visit–nothing changes for you.
Moreover, this update is also only happening at Walt Disney World (the one in Florida) and will not affect sales of the Genie+ add-on at Disneyland Resort (the one in California). The paid FastPass services vary on each coast.
With this announcement, Walt Disney World has again reiterated that, on average, guests who purchase Disney Genie+ service will be able to enter 2-3 attractions or experiences each day using the Lightning Lane entrance when the first selection is made early in the day.
This is something we first covered last month, and it’s interesting to see Walt Disney World reiterate this stance even after this and other tweaks. (Read more in Genie+ Really is Paid FastPass+ at Walt Disney World.)
This might seem like a curious change, with Walt Disney World leaving money on the table by choosing not to lock guests into Genie+ for the duration of their trip. While that’s definitely true, it’s also a pragmatic and measured move.
As for the “why” of this, it more or less mirrors all of the recent decisions around Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World. If you’ve read commentary to our recent Genie+ posts, all of the following will sound familiar…
This move to eliminate the Genie+ ticket add-on comes after Walt Disney World moved Individual Lightning Lane attractions to Genie+. With that, Expedition Everest, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Frozen Ever After, Space Mountain, (plus Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure starting on May 31, 2022) are all included in the flat-rate Disney Genie+ service and will not be sold a la carte as Individual Lightning Lanes through at least August 7, 2022.
The reason those attractions were moved over to Genie+ was to add attraction capacity to the service. Stated differently, increase supply to help meet demand.
That change was made prior to the peak spring break season, back when crowds were once again starting to overwhelm the Genie+ system. As has been covered elsewhere, February was the busiest month in the last two years (at the time), and then March managed to top it and be even worse. April was on track to surpass March through the first two weeks, but falling crowds in the second half of the month brought its average down.
To make a long story short, the goal with moving an attraction from each park down to Genie+ was to avoid a repeat of the week before Thanksgiving, when Genie+ Collapsed in Crowds. Before these rides were moved over to the Genie+ service, many readers complained of limited ride reservation availability. (It has also happened since, but we’ve noticed overall “dissatisfaction rates” have ticked down slightly.)
Eliminating the Genie+ add-on will have a similar effect of rebalancing supply and demand. Except instead of increasing supply, as was the case with shifting Individual Lightning Lane attractions to the Genie+ service, this should reduce demand.
Rather than buying the Genie+ add-on for the duration of at trip as as a matter of convenience, guests will have to deliberately purchase Genie+ each day of their visit. The end result will be fewer people purchasing it, as many guests will realize they don’t want or need Genie+ (or both). Others will review their spending and decide it’s not a pragmatic purchase.
On a tangentially related note, this also explains why the Genie+ ticket add-on is not being eliminated at Disneyland Resort: because there’s no shortage of supply nor is demand for Genie+ as high as it is at Walt Disney World.
Disneyland is incredibly ride-dense, with more than enough capacity to accommodate everyone who wants to use the Genie+ service. (This is also why Genie+ is “easiest” to use at Magic Kingdom, despite that park probably having the most demand/sales of the service at Walt Disney World.)
It also helps that the California parks skew more towards locals, who are less inclined to purchase line-skipping access. They don’t have the same sense of urgency to experience attractions as tourists.
When this add-on was first announced, we called it a “savvy move” on Walt Disney World’s part because guests don’t know how many days they’ll want Genie+ before actually using it. Whether it’s a matter of overestimating its usefulness or peace of mind, there’s a high probability that consumers buying the Genie+ add-on will spend far more than those who would purchase it on a daily basis, even if they buy the Genie+ add-on option at a “discount.”
It’s like the Disney Dining Plan all over again! (That comparison wasn’t a joke–the idea is exactly the same behind the two product offerings.)
One of the things we’ve stressed in our Genie+ and Lightning Lane coverage is that it’s not necessary in every park or every day of your trip. Even as we’ve been more optimistic and positive about Genie+ than most readers, we’ve still cautioned against buying the length-of-stay add-on. It’s just not necessary for the vast majority of guests.
It’s one thing as a blogger trying to hack the system and test maximizing my ride count for the sake of research and putting together planning resources. I cannot fathom visiting Walt Disney World like a normal human and needing Genie+ for every single day of a week-long vacation. I’d maybe want it for 3 days–perhaps more during peak season just as a safety net.
Then again, I’m also someone who only leveraged the Disney Dining Plan for ‘bite-sized’ trips and would far prefer to simply pay out of pocket for food during longer vacations. Just like I’m not good enough at eating to maintain the value proposition for a longer visit, I’m not good enough at riding rides to utilize Genie+ for that long.
After a few too many sugary cupcakes, I hit a wall and crash into a food coma, tongue stained from artificial colors. Likewise, my body can only handle so many thrill rides in a week. (Perhaps this all says more about me getting old than anything else, but I digress.)
That more or less summarizes my perspective on the Genie+ ticket add-on being eliminated. It’s interesting and promising that Walt Disney World is willing to leave money on the table with the Genie+ service, and reducing demand is an unequivocal positive.
I’m sure that many Walt Disney World fans will nevertheless be upset about this, preferring the ease of pre-purchasing rather than having to buy Genie+ each day. This does add another layer of stress to the whole process–not only will you have to make ride reservations starting at 7 am, but you’ll need to purchase the service a few minutes before that.
It’s another friction point or potential error message during what’s already a stressful process. Those concerns are well-founded, and I’ve personally experienced them. What is less well-founded is the notion that you’ll have to stay up until midnight to purchase Genie+ and then get up early the next morning to make reservations.
This is driven by concerns that Genie+ will sell out before 7 am given the new “subject to availability” disclaimer. While that’s obviously possible, it seems highly unlikely. Walt Disney World isn’t going to go from unlimited Genie+ sales (and the accompanying revenue!) to significantly throttling sales. FOMO is a powerful motivator, but it seems highly unlikely that Genie+ will sell out before 7 am most days.
Remember, there’s a similar disclaimer for Park Hopping and that has only been limited once in the last 2 years–on the day of the 50th Anniversary in Magic Kingdom for a few hours. Pretty much everything is “subject to availability” but it that doesn’t mean it’s an actual issue or concern.
Personally, I always buy Genie+ on a daily basis, and have literally never done that. I buy Genie+ at ~6:50 am, customize my ride preferences, and then make my first Lightning Lane ride reservation at 7:00:00 am. I’m not worried in the least that this will force me to change my approach.
The good news is that anyone who feels really strongly about pre-purchasing can simply buy the Genie+ ticket add-on now before it stops being sold on June 8, 2022. Of course, this doesn’t help anyone planning to use Genie+ during a Walt Disney World in 2023, but a lot more is going to change with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes between now and then, so get comfortable with the system being tweaked.
On balance, my perspective is that eliminating the Genie+ ticket add-on is still unquestionably a net positive. By selling it for each individual day only, it will reduce the number of Genie+ daily users. It’s impossible to say by how many, but a reduction will definitely occur.
That means less competition for Slinky Dog Dash, Frozen Ever After, Jungle Cruise, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and the other most difficult Lightning Lanes. Every incremental improvement helps, and while we all might prefer a return to FastPass+, clearly that is not going to happen given the revenue-generating realities of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.
For now, the best we can hope for is more tweaks that address the supply and demand imbalance and make the user experience less frustrating. With that said, this is still a matter of Disney (partially) “solving” a problem of its own creation. Probably shouldn’t pat them on the backs too much for improving their own unforced error. Beyond that, the company still needs to fix the foundational problems causing so many frustrations for guests–even months after its relax, Genie is still glitchy and unintuitive.
If you have more unanswered questions, see our Guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ for all of the foundational need-to-know info about this replacement for free FastPass+. 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.
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 the Genie+ add-on being eliminated as a Walt Disney World ticket option? Disappointed that it’s happening, or do you see the upside from a lowered demand perspective? Will you be buying the Genie+ add-on while you still can, doing it day-by-day, or skipping Genie+ entirely? Any other considerations we failed to take into account or details we missed/got wrong? 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!
If making it available on the day of increases availability, then I like the change. When I used it back in Dec. 2021 I bought it for MK only. It did allow me to skip a few lines but the number of good rides was very limited. I park hop and there were hardly any rides available for the second park that you really needed it for. I did buy 7DMT. I don’t like the individual purchase options and I don’t like the fact that I need to be up at 7 a.m. to get my first ride. I spent lots of time looking at my phone trying for rides. I’m old school and really liked the FP+ system because I got on everything I wanted, and I didn’t have get up early to try for things. With Genie + I didn’t always get what I wanted and couldn’t ride certain rides unless I paid. That’s a distinct disadvantage. I’ve now had to change how I tour and to make it more enjoyable with the new system I’m resigned to have a more relaxed vacation and to not go on some rides I really used to love. We are going in Sept. with family who haven’t used Genie + yet, so we shall see what they think. I’m definitely taking more days off and visiting Universal as part of our trip.
Between having to look at my phone all day (not to mention having to bring battery packs–which, sure, were probably a good idea anyway) and maybe not being able to get the ride I want I’m pretty much out on all of this. Honestly think the next Disney parks I go to will be overseas where they don’t seem as totally screwed up as TMK is now…just my opinion of course, and I tend to be a bit cynical towards companies when they claim to be making ‘consumer-friendly’ choices while emptying my wallet at the same time…
Trying to understand this statement a little more:
“If you already purchased a ticket that includes Disney Genie+ service for dates later in 2022, don’t worry – you’ll be able to use the service during your visit.”
Does your booking have to be paid in full before June 8th, or is the $200 deposit enough to lock in Genie Plus on all your days?
Hi Tom, love the blog and finding everything so helpful. Just a quick question. I will be visiting Disney on my honeymoon from the UK on August 17th, we will be there for 2 weeks visiting all of the major parks, staying on I-Drive. My bride to be is a Disney nut and has never been, so obviously keen to ensure we get to see and do as much as possible.
With that said, I am trying to buy Genie+ for duration but the My Disney Experience app won’t let me, saying as I am not in the US I can’t purchase the add on. Do you know if I can purchase this or will it have to be on the day? Also worried about not being able to do Cosmic Rewind and missing out on virtual Queue without ILL.
Any help greatly appreciated
I think Disney has had way too many angry guests that likely booked their trips and thought that they had to have G+ for the duration, they hated it and complained. Secondly, I also think Disney has realized that the overwhelming majority of guests don’t understand it so it’s bad press to look like they’re pushing something for guests to purchase who don’t know how to really maximize its use and even when they do, it’s still not that great. Most people visiting WDW don’t put in the effort to understand the new stuff and do the research. We’ve used G+ a bunch now and while I don’t love it and likely never will since it used to be free as FP+, I would be mad if I had bought it for AK or Epcot where there are so few attractions to utilize it’s value.
We are here now and had pre purchased it. I think it’s been great for us and with park hopping. MK and DHS, we were able to do most things in the first few hours and then stack rides at night for a different park. If you weren’t park hopping, I could see it being a waste for some parks
I get no prior Genie + sold out dates & agree w most of this analysis except….I think Genie + will sell out for peak October Fall Break & Christmas Break times.
There’s a psych aspect of telling people they can’t have something until the day of that works for Disney – it’s working for the park pass reservation system now.
If the goal is to limit sales of Genie+ why don’t they just enforce a cap? Is this just a psychological trick? Disney would rather have ‘not buying’ be my idea? I can’t stand yet another thing that requires us to wake up early.
This system is a complete disaster. Bring back Fastpass+, let us book at 60 days, and charge us $25 a day for the privilege.
Agree 100 percent! I’ve said this from the first day they announced it!
I agree…what was so wrong with FP in advance of your trip? I think the majority would agree planning is normally done in advance of anything task, trip, work, etc. The day of is too stressful & feels like a battle ground as to who can & who cannot get what they want. And I don’t live my life around my phone..our last trip we just about walked into groups who just suddenly stopped in the walkway to look at their phone. Hall of Presidents was an embarrassment as to how many people were looking at their phone instead of the presentation. Disney…PLEASE take me off my phone & bring back what Disney is supposed to be…..remember: “a wish is dream your heart makes”.
Hated FP+…. have to figure out what I want to ride 60 days in advance, to find many attractions already sold out 65+ in advance. Often limited to just one top tier ride, having to accept FPs to Muppetvision..
Problem is the same as Genie+ — insufficient capacity for the demand. I do support FP+ could work if there was a charge that limited it’s use. Not sure $25 per day is enough. Maybe $50-$100 per person, per day. That would likely meaningfully limit its use. So anyone willing to pay, could actually conveniently get any 3 attractions they want, pretty much at the times they want, each day.
I just don’t get it….why are things changing at WDW when things were just fine before the COVID shutdown. I’m all for progress but be real: WDW is supposed to be a vacation…nobody is looking at WDW as they are too busy checking their phone to see where they have to be & when. It is like herding cattle. I liked the FP & am willing to pay for it IF I could do it the way we used to. Then I don’t have to wait till the day I arrive to let Genie, Genie+ or ILL, to plan my day.
Agree completely. I am a Disney fan, in a family of three generations with a tradition of Disney vacations. My very cynical streak (which isn’t very wide, thankfully) says that all this has been a ‘test’ to see how much they think they can charge to go back to FP+. It is difficult to understand what problems Disney thought it was solving with Genie+ without the recent downgrades, except a cash grab, and that optic has been a big gamble with their fans and reputation.
Interesting. We will only have 3 days to ” do it all ” (since we do Universal first) so I might actually purchase them now for the convenience of it. Not that I’m positive they will be necessary since our visit is in September, but if that can get us a few rides with less wait time I’ll take it. We are also ok to constantly refresh to score better wait times.
Question is with Disability services for an Autistic child who loves Disney- are there going to be options for pre arrival planning without Genie +?
I would strongly encourage that you do the Disability Access Service pre-registration before arrival (using the Disney website-start first thing in the morning). Once that has been completed, you may make “reservations” for up to 3 rides per day in advance via online chat. This is also best done at the earliest opportunity, but can be modified later using the same online chat feature. The list of available rides and activities appears to substantially conform to the Genie+ list. This is in addition to the DAS “stand by wait time return” reservation that can be made upon park entry.
Hi Chris- we do use the DAS passes but they are integrated into genie + and allow us the option for other choices too, via Genie+. i prepurchase this all with the understanding that the already stressful travel is not added to by having to get up “early” every morning to remember to purchase the day and hope there are still some left for our family of 4. I am hoping this is revised for DAS users and we get some better form of preplanning if they are going to remove Genie + altogether.
They don’t seem to be mentioning any changes to DAS. We preregistered for DAS before we went down and got 2 return times per day of our trip for rides. Honestly, we rarely used them and just used our DAS return times (that we’d pick up in the park) and would pick up genie + for our MK and HS days. The pre return times always ended up in the middle of the afternoon for us and we ended up being in the hotel during them.
Disney is trying to reduce the number of people who are dissatisfied because they believe that they wasted their money purchasing Genie+. I personally know many guests who have wanted a refund for their purchase of Genie+ at the end of a day in the parks. Outside of MK, it just doesn’t work that well at Disney World. Disney will have a strong argument that consumers who make a conscious decision to purchase Genie+ on the day of their visit know what what they are getting, which should result in increased satisfaction among the consumers. There are simply not enough attractions at Disney World to meet the demand from guests who do not want to wait in line, and this is something that Disney cannot easily change.
I agree with your premise–that dissatisfaction is way too high and Disney is issuing too many refunds and other forms of guest recovery due to poor experiences with the Genie+ service.
I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion that this is a change so Disney will have a “strong argument” to deny refunds. Disney could simply deny refunds if they wanted to deny refunds–no argument needed.
This is about improving guest satisfaction. It may be a clumsy and insufficient way of meeting that objective (that would be my argument–that this doesn’t go far enough at fixing Genie+), but it’s a legitimate effort.
I believe that Disney is coming to the realization that Disney World is a far different animal than Disneyland. Disney is likely going to continue to make additional tweaks to Genie+ and the ILLs in the near future until they find a solution that works the best for them and for the consumer. Dissatisfied consumers are never a good thing for a business in the long run.
@CRT: “I believe that Disney is coming to the realization that Disney World is a far different animal than Disneyland.” AND it only took 50 years to figure that out.
Doesn’t work at 2023 ?But i booked already for 2023 hotel+tickets+(genie+)???
My advice to anyone reading this who has had issues with Genie+ or feels discouraged from visiting by all of the negative changes–respectfully express your opinions with Walt Disney World via email: [email protected]
Explain in detail why you don’t like the system (or anything else) and share how Genie+ will (or has) negatively impacted your vacations or business with the company. Also, offer actionable feedback in guest satisfaction surveys, bring it up if you speak with managers or others in park leadership, or even contact Guest Relations.
Now more than ever, this type of feedback is being evaluated and will make a difference.
(With that said, it’s important to be thoughtful and reasonable. Ranting in all caps or using a bunch of politically-charged buzzwords is the quickest way to have your email/letter disregarded entirely.)
Thank you for the link to write in to Disney. I just sent them an email. I really appreciate all of your work to help us have a better experience in the parks.
Thanks for posting the link. I will definitely be writing to Disney.
But by saying “subject to availability”, it will make people want to purchase it at midnight and then have to set an alarm for 6:55 am to make the first selection. I don’t see how that will increase guest satisfaction. Unless, of course, time proves that it won’t sell out quickly.
While I’ve been wrong plenty in the past, I’d expect that time will prove exactly that.
Chapek has boasted about Genie+ exceeding expectations and helping with record guest spending on the last 2 quarterly earnings calls. Disney isn’t suddenly going to limit sales of the service to any significant degree and sacrifice that. The stock has already taken too much of a beating this year.
Maybe I’m just old, but this whole thing makes my head spin. I finally figured out how Genie+ and LL work and now I have to relearn everything. I miss the days of having my FP reservations and simply enjoying my day. The purpose of my vacation is to relax and have fun, not be on a schedule to create agendas. This is an amazing idea for tech savvy people Personally, I’m best just standing in line.
I’m with you Wendy. I understood it before and took many family trips using fastpass. I also went to Disney World before they had fastpass. All this stuff discourages us older folks from going. I think Disney and Chapek do not care at all about the seniors. The way we handle it now is to go to Disney Hilton Head and skip Orlando completely. If the grandkids want to go back to WDW we’ll have to work it all out. We bought Disney Vacation Club in 1993 so we’ve been going a long, long time.
And plenty of tech savvy people are extremely dissatisfied too. One really important aspect of vacations for me is getting off my screen. Genie+ is more work, more of the time, at worse times of day. There may be people whom that suits, but there are plenty of people whom it doesn’t.
Whew do people here hate Genie+ and I feel very much in the minority but I like it and this feels like a pretty good change. I was honestly worried they’d go the opposite way in a money grab and make it all or none. I do hope they don’t pull the ILL rides currently in Genie + back to ILL …. I know ILL isn’t going away but it makes me feel much more nickel and dimed than Genie +. We love riding rides and primarily go to WDW to ride rides vs shows and hotel time etc so we used Genie + a lot and with the exception of crap return times in HS it really worked well – and with a little strategy (like we didn’t really need it in Epcot so we back loaded for park hop to MK and had a whole afternoon and evening of rides) it made for a super fun trip. But I know I’m in the minority in that I like a strategy and don’t mind doing the research.
I’m in the minority here as well, but I’m with you. I didn’t hate using genie+ anywhere as much as I thought I would, and it saved me hours of waiting in line. Obviously I would prefer not to pay for it, but this is the system they have gone with and they are not going to go back to offering it for free. Given that reality, I read about how it works before going to the park, decided what rides I wanted to get lightening lanes for, and set my alarm for ten to seven each day and pretty much got what I wanted. I was also able to add additional lightening lanes throughout the day. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it worked for me. I think spending a few minutes reading about how it works prior to your trip is worth it to save waiting an hour and a half on line!
Mark my words, this is how they get ya. Disney does not give something for nothing any more: watch as the day after you can no longer buy it for a full stay, they announce they are moving to dynamic pricing like Express Pass at Universal. The former $15 add on will become $50 for Thanksgiving & New Years, and $25-35 at other busy times, but they’ll keep $15 as the price for some days in mid-September and January just so they can say the price is “starting at $15.” I think I’ve successfully learned to read Cheapek’s mind. Now I’m off to try to buy the tickets with the add on before they vanish like Cinderella’s stagecoach.
I completely agree with this. I am thinking I may just add it to my entire summer trip while I still can.
Your point is well taken, but also, this would not be “something for nothing.”
Guest satisfaction scores are dismal right now. Walt Disney World very much wants to change that, as there are leaders who realize what kind of long-term damage being done. (I wouldn’t fault you for not believing that given everything that has happened in the last year-plus, but it’s true.)
I agree. I can easily see the price of Genie+ change on a daily basis based on the demand.
Tom, any way to elaborate on what exactly Disney higher-ups think the long term damage is? I’ve probably been to Disney about 12 times in the last 15 years, staying at Deluxe resorts for many days each time, and no one in my travel party wants to go back after our recent April visit. But we’re all excited for Super Nintendo World…
I, too, am frustrated with the new system. Give me the old days of fast passes. Heck, even charge me for that privilege. However, even if Disney went to an authentic Express-type upgrade, it would still be a better option. At least Universal does not dictate where you will be and when, and make you stay up til midnight to purchase it and be up again before 7am. Once you buy the express, you use it how it works best for you. There is freedom in that extra cost. If Disney wants to go this route, why don’t they just pattern it off Universal who does not seem to be having this problem. Disney tried to create an FP/Express hybrid and it is not working. And I do not believe Chapak is the kind to swallow his own pride.
I really wish they would go to the Shanghai Premier Access system. We had no problem paying for it, it was intuitive to use and you could go to each ride whenever you wanted so it could fit in with other plan. I gave that feedback in my last survey to them. I’ve now used Genie+ for my last three trips. While I did well with the number of attractions for my group, we weren’t going at high times – mid-January, late April and last weekend for the AP cosmic rewind preview – and it was annoying to use.
If I’m going in may 2023 can I still buy the ticket add-on before June 8th?
I visited WDW 2021 & 2022 did not use genie + Or LL. We did fine and used standby lanes. Alot of visitors were very upset because spending extra money and still had to wait. As I watched this I knew I made the right decision not to purchase. I always take my time to enjoy everything and if lines are too long, I go back later. My very visit was 1990, 1992, 1996 & 2003. It is still very Magical and can’t wait to go back . My next trip I will stay for 2 weeks. ♀️♀️. Magical express was awesome looking forward to trying out the new airport transportation.