Walt Disney World’s newest attraction (for the next ~2 weeks) will soon be downgraded to Genie+ from an Individual Lightning Lane, as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure joins the paid FastPass ride roster in Summer 2022. This post covers details and commentary about the change.
This isn’t a huge surprise, as it comes after Walt Disney World moved Individual Lightning Lane attractions to Genie+ for the spring and summer months. In case you missed it, Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios, Frozen Ever After at Epcot, and Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom will be 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.
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.)
Since then, Walt Disney World has also added a ‘warning’ that “on average, guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences per day using the Lightning Lane entrance if the first selection is made early in the day.” (Read more in Genie+ Really is Paid FastPass+ at Walt Disney World.)
Against that backdrop, Walt Disney World announced that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will be added to Genie+ beginning May 31, 2022:
“Until August 7, 2022, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (beginning May 31, 2022), Space Mountain and Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain will be included via Disney Genie+ service and will not be included as individual Lightning Lane entry selections.”
This comes the day after Memorial Day, which should mark a brief respite in crowds after the moderately busy day of the holiday weekend. It also comes only a few days after Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens at Epcot.
Timing-wise, the move makes complete sense, although it’s interesting that Walt Disney World is waiting until the end of the long weekend to make the move. Guess those few extra days of Individual Lightning Lane revenue when the park is packed were too much to pass up!
Now, let’s turn to strategy and how Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure moving to Genie+ changes things at EPCOT. First, we’d recommend anyone visiting the parks during the busy summer season follow our Walt Disney World Itineraries. We’ve started updating these and will have them finished by next week.
In addition to that, consult our Epcot Genie+ Priorities & Lightning Lane Ride Ranks. Despite Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure being the newer ride, Frozen Ever After should still edge it out for the title of #1 based on current wait time data trends (although it’s a close call, so keep an eye on that for future updates).
The big change here is that we’ll probably start recommending Genie+ at Epcot, for at least some guests.
Up until now, our advice has been to skip it entirely at Epcot, unless you’re Park Hopping and able to double-dip. Adding Frozen Ever After tipped the scales a bit, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure should be the difference-maker.
The only question at this point is availability versus demand. Up until now, using Genie+ at Epcot has been relatively easy (at least as compared to Disney’s Hollywood Studios), but moving another popular, family-friendly attraction to the Genie+ lineup will undoubtedly induce more demand for the paid FastPass service.
In this regard, adding another Genie+ Lightning Lane could be akin to adding more lanes to a highway–it doesn’t reduce traffic jams because the added capacity is offset by added demand. The operative question is whether it’ll be possible to score Lightning Lane ride reservations for Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Test Track (plus a couple of secondary attractions) all in the same day? We don’t know the answer to that question yet, but will be testing that to find out. If the answer is “no,” our recommendation probably won’t change.
The good news is that strategy for Epcot probably won’t change too much in Summer 2022. While Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is the headline story here, obviously the bigger impact is going to be Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. That’s literally the biggest addition to Epcot in my lifetime.
However, Cosmic Rewind will use a virtual queue, so it alone won’t have much of an impact on itineraries. The park will just be busier, with the same general advice still applying–but being less effective. To that end, if you’re staying on-site, the one thing we highly recommend is Early Entry at Epcot. Check out our recent Early Entry at Epcot: Better Than Genie+post–the title says it all.
Significantly earlier opening times provide a huge advantage to early risers, and savvy strategy or advanced-level know-how with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes can be a gamechanger. To that end, we (once again) recommend checking out Genie+ v. Savvy Strategy at Walt Disney World, which is the result of extensive ‘testing’ to determine the best and worst ways to beat the crowds.
Ultimately, this could change the equation for purchasing Genie+ when visiting Epcot in Summer 2022. Previously, we’ve said that crowd levels in the 6/10 to 8/10 range were the sweet spot for buying Genie+, with it being unnecessary when numbers are lower and frustrating/less useful during peak season.
This should expand that range in both directions, making Genie+ more useful in slightly lower and slightly higher crowds–but probably not on peak 10/10 days. Even though summer has historically been slower at Epcot, we’re expecting an increase in 9/10 or 10/10 days this year due to Cosmic Rewind.
Adding Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure to the Genie+ lineup is another step in the right direction, but plenty of issues persist with the Genie system at Walt Disney World. Before we get carried away patting Walt Disney World on the back here, we should add the very important caveat that 3 of the 4 parks shouldn’t have Individual Lightning Lanes, period, because their eligible attraction capacity is too low to sustain the system.
Really, this is a matter of Disney (partially) “solving” a problem of its own creation. No applause necessary for that. 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 FAQfor 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.
What are your thoughts on Walt Disney World moving Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure to Genie+ from the Individual Lightning Lane? Think it’s a sign of ILL failure, or a simple rebalancing of demand and capacity? Think it’ll turn into a permanent change anywhere? 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!