Genie+ and Lightning Lane Now Announced for Walt Disney World and Disneyland

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Last week, we had predictions of how queue management would be handled in the future at Walt Disney World. Today, we’ve got a bit of a glimpse about what the near future will hold as Disney announced Genie+ and Lightning Lane. Here’s how these will work.

At this point, Disney will not be limiting standby queues — if you want to wait in line, get in line and wait. What Disney is now offering are two options where, for a fee, you can avoid time in line.

Line for Barnstormer Through WDW Railroad Station – March 10, 2021

The first is Genie+, and if you’re familiar with MaxPass at Disneyland, or have previously used FastPass+ at Walt Disney World, this will have a bit of deja vu. For $15 per person per day at WDW and $20 per person per day at Disneyland, you can book ‘ride reservations’ for select attractions. When your time comes up, you proceed to the ride and wait in a much shorter “Lightning Lane”. You can hold one reservation at a time, and as long as you keep using your passes (or having your time slots expire), you can add new ones throughout the day, pending availability. Genie+ will be available for many, but not all, attractions at all four Walt Disney World and both Disneyland theme parks for that flat fee.

Rise Stormtoopers

For high demand attractions in each park, they will not have the option to book a Genie+ reservation under the flat fee. Instead, they’ll offer an a la carte service. This will be an immediate FastPass, essentially, for a flat fee. That fee? Disney hasn’t released official prices yet, but the rumors we’re hearing are prices between $4 and $24 per person for that single attraction, and a maximum of two a la carte purchases per day. We expect that certain rides that tend to be highly in demand (looking at you, Rise of the Resistance and Flight of Passage) will be at the higher end of the scale, especially on high crowd level days, while the “lesser” attraction (think, Test Track for now), will be on the lower end of the scale, especially on low crowd days.

By purchasing this a la carte offering, it essentially provides VIP “scheduled” access to an attraction. Slinky Dog has an hour wait on a hot summer afternoon? Maybe it is worth it to pay $8 per person in your family to skip the line. Don’t want to get up at 7 a.m. to try and snag a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance? That extra sleep would be worth $25 per person to me.

Here’s the attractions we expect will be a la carte, although this has not yet been confirmed by Disney and is subject to change:

Magic Kingdom: Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

EPCOT: Test Track and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Hollywood Studios: Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash

Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage and Kilimanjaro Safaris

We’re just getting the first details now, and we don’t expect to see these officially roll out until the 50th celebration on October 1, 2021.

Disney has also dropped some hints about “regular” Genie being a tool that can assist you with planning your day with forecasted times, a “plan” that you can “tour” the parks, and more. You can read Disney’s full announcement here. And for no reason in particular, you can read what a TouringPlans subscription provides here.

What are your thoughts on Genie+ and Lightning Lane? Let us know in the comments.

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Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and totally awesome homeschooled eleven-year-old daughter.

61 thoughts on “Genie+ and Lightning Lane Now Announced for Walt Disney World and Disneyland

  • August 18, 2021 at 4:56 pm
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    It’s funny you think they would only charge $8 for Slinky Dog!

    Reply
    • August 18, 2021 at 7:37 pm
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      Disney is officially awful

      Reply
    • August 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm
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      They aren’t charging enough? Only the elite will be able to afford visiting WDW!

      Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 4:58 pm
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    Yeah, we have no idea what Disney’s going to do with pricing, and some conversations we’ve had around the water cooler are that Disney could do surge pricing (like rideshare) or even decide on a particular day what is a “high demand” attraction and what isn’t.

    Needless to say, it’s going to cost consumers more money and make vacation planning less convenient. It’s hard to see it as a win at first glance.

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    • August 18, 2021 at 5:07 pm
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      You are correct on that point. Not a win for sure.

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      • August 18, 2021 at 9:26 pm
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        I am not thrilled with the sudden added cost of attractions. Bad enough when we had to decide which parks we thought we would be going to 6 months in advance.. now I will have to choose every morning??? And pay??? Not understanding the logic, other than more money for Disney

      • August 19, 2021 at 5:25 am
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        I’m very confused. Is this supposed to be easier than Fastpass?

    • August 18, 2021 at 7:38 pm
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      I am a bit surprised at your reply. This website is all about maximizing the value of time in the parks. The value of time is an individual calculation based on many different factors. If this Genie works as advertised it will keep people out of lines and doing other things. Those that want to pay and can pay will pay to “jump the lines.” But others won’t. And perhaps those stand by lines will shrink. In any case, this website has a new opportunity: to instruct folks in the Genie. One last thing: I am a senior. I do like Star Wars, but I don’t see any way that I could beat the young hipsters to get a boarding group for Rise of the Resistance. If Genie + gives me the chance to experience that attraction–even for a fee–I will take it.

      Reply
      • August 18, 2021 at 8:53 pm
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        Are you the propaganda minister for Disney?

      • August 24, 2021 at 8:29 am
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        I am curious how they will adjust the algorithm to account for Genie+. Will a touringplan be more effective than paying? Will they make recommendations on what to try to get LL for? Already thinking about how this will impact my typical Disney planning process!

    • August 19, 2021 at 12:01 pm
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      We were at DL on Monday, August 16th and the standby lines moved very quickly with no FastPass or MaxPass users. Quite refreshing.

      Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 5:05 pm
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    So gone are the days of preplanning in favor of waking up and seeing what the Genie has in store for you. I wonder if they will limit the number of Genie+ users in a day too? Otherwise that short line is going to be a lot longer, and that in turn will make the Standby line even longer. Yikes!

    Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 5:23 pm
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    So they are really going to do this and try to cash in on the non-planners. Wow.

    I have the utmost confidence you guys and your touring plans will figure out how to still get to see all the best attractions without paying for these extras that used to be freebies.

    Reply
    • August 19, 2021 at 12:28 am
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      NOT impressed
      The Magic is disappearing
      VERY disappointed

      Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 5:25 pm
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    I am also hearing Dvc members will get a discount

    Reply
    • August 18, 2021 at 6:51 pm
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      For the tens of thousands they already spend. Yeah, go ahead and give them $2 off on a lightning lane pass.

      Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 5:28 pm
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    I believe in you, touring plans!!

    I think the genie will be less about getting me on all the attractions I want and more about overall crowd management and leveling.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 6:04 pm
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    Clearly another money grab by Disney. And sadly those who plan are not going to rewarded. Show up on July 4th at noon at MK and go onto Splash without a wait? No problem-just pay up.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 6:06 pm
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    Appreciate the update! Any word on which attractions will be à la carte only at Disneyland/DCA? I’m glad that at least there is the MaxPassish $15 version, but it still translates to paying more for less (major headliners not included, don’t get three up front at WDW).

    Final thought: Since this is a de facto ticket price increase of $40-100 per day, will Disney hold off on a traditional ticket hike?

    Reply
    • August 18, 2021 at 7:40 pm
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      Oh I’m sure they’ll even consider lowering the ticket prihahahahaha I cannot even finish that with a straight face

      They’re going to hike ticket prices right on schedule like they always do.

      Reply
    • August 18, 2021 at 8:54 pm
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      Hahahahahaha

      You’re funny

      Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 6:21 pm
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    Is is going to be a wakeup that morning and decide what you want to pay extra for if anything or is it going to be decide when you buy your tickets? My other thought is what happens if you get sick and can’t make it? Do you lose that money?

    Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 6:26 pm
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    Here’s an interesting little wrinkle I spotted in an article on MSN:

    “ Disney resort guests can make their first individually purchased Lightning Lane attraction selection beginning at 7 a.m. (such as for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train). Non-resort guests can’t do this until the park officially opens — which may be an hour or two later depending on the day and selected park.”

    So this plus the 30 min. head start for entry could make staying off property a major disadvantage (which is the point of course)

    Reply
    • August 18, 2021 at 9:14 pm
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      Considering on-site guests used to have a 30 DAY headstart on booking fast passes, I’d say this change leans heavily in favor of non-planner offsite guests.

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    • August 18, 2021 at 10:08 pm
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      But that is not for the $15 per day Genie+, only for the a la crate ones at the likely time be ridiculous fee. The $15 Genie+ is 7am for ALL guests, resort or not. There’s virtually zero perk for resort guests here.

      Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 6:26 pm
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    I’m curious about a detail. If you get the $15 per person/per day pack, you can only “book” one thing at a time. If you book your first ride and finish, are you then booking your 2nd ride right away or are you forced to pick a time slot later in the day if it’s super popular?

    This sounds like it could be a lot like Universals Express Pass. You could basically hop straight from one lighting lane to the next if it’s not booked as full as FastPass+ always was. And honestly $15 per person per day is cheaper for for a short trip than it would be to buy a Universal Express Pass isn’t it? Or is this too optimistic?

    Reply
    • August 18, 2021 at 10:06 pm
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      If you mean the flat daily fee Genie+, then no, I think it’s more like the old paper FastPass system. You book your first ride and get whatever time slot they give you and when that ride is done or the time past then you can book another at whatever time slot they give you. It’s entirely possible you could end up using only 2-3 over an entire day if the return times are extended out.

      If you mean the a la carte for the individual attractions you can only do 2 for an entire day anyway, but basically you book your first (as early as 7am if you are a resort guest) and choose your time and then when that’s done you choose your second.

      So neither is really the Universal Express Pass.

      Reply
    • August 19, 2021 at 7:26 am
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      At DL, the max pass let you pick your next attraction whenever you tapped in to your currently “pending” ride pass. If you wanted to game the system to ride more rides you could book a lower demand ride that had a window, tap in to the queue and then book the big ticket ride that had a window starting say in 45 mins or an hour. That way you were waiting in the max pass queue and riding all while simultaneously waiting for the next window to open (instead of booking the pass, realizing you can only get in the longer standby queue, and spending more time in a line.)

      If this is how it ends up working, either scenario is a win for Dis. It gives incentive for ppl to ride stuff like Figment or Nemo, evening out demand throughout the park. Ot to pay up.

      Also I think I read that any ride with a Virtual Queue (ROTR; Rémy’s) will be ineligible for either Genie+ or Lightning Passes.

      Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 6:59 pm
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    i think it seems steep, but it always is & these are particularly trying time! i go to disney once a year, but haven’t been there during start covid, so i haven’t been in the park since the new star wars land has opened. i’m a star wars freak, as we are many, and though i am excited for my next visit to disney (it may end up needing to be cancelled for a 2nd time, thanks delta), but i’ve actually been a bit worried about getting onto the rise of resistance. to be honest, it’s the main reason i want to return at this point, so though i don’t agree with asking people to pay additional, additional money, i would to guarantee that i get to be on the ride at least once. i’d honestly be bummed if i were in the park 2 days and was unsuccessful at getting in the que. if i know i will get on the ride for sure, it make my trip that much better…

    Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 7:29 pm
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    I think Disney is trying to manage the crowds it expects will be arriving in droves for the 50th Anniversary and in 2022 when the pandemic is hopefully over. The headlines will focus on the cost of Genie+, but I think the better focus is on value of time v. money. It is not good value to wait for Seven Dwarfs for 100-180 minutes after paying $100 plus per ticket. But people do it! Not all folks are planners. Not all will look at this website or subscribe to it. So Disney is trying, I think, to shift folks around the park to do other things instead of waiting sooo many minutes (hours). And, folks who want to pay are going to reduce the stand by line queue so in theory that will help the non-Genie + guest segment. I am going with my wife in mid-November, both seniors. I am excited to see how the experience will be different. One question: how will Genie work with the 60 day in advance table service reservations for restaurants in the parks? Will Genie design a touring plan around those?

    Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 7:50 pm
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    They are advertising more flexibility and spontaneity while vacationing. I actually prefer to know when I will do each thing and I often even pick what I eat ahead of time. Disney previously made that pretty doable for me. I am worried this is going to make me stressed at a minimum every morning while trying to grab the individual lightning pass. Used to be able to do it far enough out that while I was on the trip I could relax. Ugh.

    Reply
    • August 19, 2021 at 7:36 am
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      That’s exactly what they want to happen. They have clearly stated they are setting sights on a consumer segment above the average middle class family. In earnings calls they have revealed an approach that focuses on not increasing the number of guests (not sustainable—too costly to keep expanding the physical properties) but rather on getting more spend out of fewer guests. My next prediction? “Lightning Hoppers”—want unlimited park hops starting right away in the day instead of waiting til 2? Pay up!

      Reply
      • August 19, 2021 at 7:39 am
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        Oops replied to the wrong message

    • August 19, 2021 at 11:18 am
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      This is exactly my problem. Spending an extra $15/day on a trip that’s already costing $2-3k is not the end of the world, but not being able to plan everything out well in advance? I’m already getting stressed just thinking about having to be spontaneous! Luckily (??) I can’t afford to go back to Disney for a few years still and I’m hoping by then the pandemic will be over and all of this will be straightened out, and I can just plan each activity down to the minute like I always used to!

      Reply
      • August 19, 2021 at 11:22 am
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        Most of us “Liners” are like you, Marcie! However, we are the minority, and the upper-middle and upper class Disney Parks visitors are happy to not worry about planning and “spontaneously” throw cash at the problem to solve it.

  • August 18, 2021 at 9:14 pm
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    The number of cost options continues to increase and the prices on current options, hard ticket events, magic express, and others continue to increase. We do believe that it is possible that increased costs have or will soon decrease the number of people willing to vacation at Disney. For a family of 4 times $15 per person is $60 times 4 parks is $240. Mears transportation from the airport to the World for 2 adults and 2 children is projected at $118. Additional $358 and you handle your own luggage. Value and service continue to decrease and costs continue to increase. We know our number of trips will greatly have to decrease as this trend continues.

    Reply
    • August 19, 2021 at 7:38 am
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      That’s exactly what they want to happen. They have clearly stated they are setting sights on a consumer segment above the average middle class family. In earnings calls they have revealed an approach that focuses on not increasing the number of guests (not sustainable—too costly to keep expanding the physical properties) but rather on getting more spend out of fewer guests. My next prediction? “Lightning Hoppers”—want unlimited park hops starting right away in the day instead of waiting til 2? Pay up!

      Reply
  • August 18, 2021 at 9:23 pm
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    Sorry Disney. Rise is very good but not planning to pay more to ride it. Also not going to pay more to ride rides we’ve ridden many times. I’m sure many people will. Also FoP, This ride is amazing. Still won’t be paying more to skip the line. Build new attractions. Several. Then we might consider paying for rides. We usually stay deluxe and love it. We pay for the resort. Paying even more to ride rides that my kids have done many times- no.

    Reply
  • August 19, 2021 at 12:12 am
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    Honestly, I see this as a potential win for those of us smart enough to subscribe to TouringPlans. Let those with the $$$ spend it while the rest of us do it the smart way. We were there in mid-July, no FastPass+, of course, and because of the Touring Plan, we did everything we wanted to do with minimal wait. If this ends up decreasing the standby lines, then go for it, I say.

    Reply
    • August 19, 2021 at 12:14 am
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      That said, if I just MUST spend to fet on Flight Of Passage early, at least I will have the option.

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      • August 19, 2021 at 4:49 am
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        That might be the one I would be prepared to pay extra for to skip the very long queues to ride.

    • August 19, 2021 at 10:18 am
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      I actually think this is highly unlikely to reduce standby wait. Right now standby gets 100% of the hourly ride spots. With free fast pass, the hourly distribution was something like 80% fast pass 20% standby. Now that it’s paid, especially those high price à la cart options, there will be a lot if pressure to keep the lightning lane minimal. Expect more if a 90/10 split (ie for every 18 lightning guests they will let on 2 standby guests). So there might be fewer people in the line, but you will likely wait longer.

      Reply
      • August 19, 2021 at 10:21 am
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        I think the theory is that it will increase standby wait from what it is now, but will be less than what it was when FP+ was being used because fewer people will use Genie+ because of the upcharge.

  • August 19, 2021 at 4:47 am
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    Can you book the 2 types of “fast passes” in advance or just on the day you want to use them? This article is saying you won’t have to get up at 7 am to book a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance and I thought – maybe you can book them in advance like the old free FastPass+. And if so, can you cancel in advance (eg at least 24 hours before) and get your money back if your plans change? If not there would be no monetary incentive to cancel and let someone else buy the slot (although there’s still the moral reason to cancel).

    Reply
    • August 19, 2021 at 7:56 am
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      Only Liners/TPers would consider the moral implications of canceling things at WDW
      <3 <3 You guys are great 🙂

      Reply
    • August 19, 2021 at 9:13 am
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      The video from the Disney Parks blog stated that all of these could only be picked up day-of-visit. For Genie+, all guests make get their first pass starting at 7:00 a.m. For the pay-per-ride Lightning Lane, resort guests can reserve a ride starting at 7:00 a.m., but offsite guests cannot reserve a Lightning Lane pass until tapping into the park.

      So looks like we are waking up early regardless.

      Reply
  • August 19, 2021 at 5:39 am
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    Am trying to make sense of this. So, I have to be up at stupid o’clock every day of my holidays to book stuff and then spend my magical day in the most magical place with my head down looking at my phone. Can you picture this folks. A park full of people with bent heads glued to their phones. Magical

    Reply
  • August 19, 2021 at 7:53 am
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    I think it’s important to read carefully—you get access to *The Lightning Lane*, NOT access to boarding the attraction. So you are waiting in a queue, albeit a shorter one hopefully. And your a la carte selections get you immediate access—to the Lightning Queue. It’s not a back-door VIP-your-style instant ride access.

    Reply
  • August 19, 2021 at 7:56 am
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    BREAKING NEWS
    In order to help with the ever increasing costs, Disney will soon announce
    Doc McStuffins +
    A FREE service, where Disney will remove a kidney, on-site, to help you afford the price of a WDW vacation. Including, a free Mickey Bar to help you recover quickly so they can harvest the next persons walle….I mean ……oh forget it.

    Reply
  • August 19, 2021 at 10:20 am
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    It sounds like GEnie (yes, capitalization there is on purpose — where my 1990s BBS geeks?) is trying to replicate Lines/TouringPlans! This sounds like a greating MARKETING OPP for y’all — what you do is so valuable that Disney Itself is _trying_ to copy it (but of course, they’re not as trustworthy as an independent org like y’all.)

    I posted a long meandering about it on DisneyTouristBlog (not sure if it’ll stay up, so recreating a lot of it here. )

    It sounds like the Genie (free version) is them attempting to use some of the magic of the Lines app from TouringPlans-com, from the creators of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland/WDW. (Disclaimer, our family bought the books for trip planning in the 80s&90s, and then I subscribe to their website/app on years I plan on attending Disney. So loyal customer, but not otherwise affiliated.)

    However, I have faith in Lines/TouringPlans’s because their wait-time estimates are always pretty good/accurate, while Disney always needs to underpromise/overdeliver (e.g., in park signage AND the Disney Experience app will *report* a 25 minute wait, so a 15 minute wait feels like relatively nothing.)

    Lines/TouringPlans also takes into account various walking speeds (we used to choose more “rapid,” but I fear this year I need to toggle it all towards “very relaxed”), and preferences towards minimizing Waits or Walking times. These are adjustable at all times, so in the morning, I may want to minimize waits, but later in the day, I want to just see anything close by, but in the best order. The “re-optimize” button always gets a workout when I go. (In the past, Lines also asked about Fast Pass options you were using (if any), including if you had a “runner” in your group — send the pre-teens to get the paper tickets, and rejoin the group as you approach your next destination, or does the whole group go to the machines?)

    I also wonder about the algorithms DIsney will be using to decide the order of your “personalized ideal plan” — are they trying to spread the crowds, maybe move some people out of the way of an upcoming parade, directing you near a pricier quick service? I just feel I don’t (and perhaps CAN’T) have the same level of trust that an official Disney-Optimized day’s plan (aka Free Genie) is in MY best interest.

    I’m just musing on how it compares to a known independent product that gives a full year of Day Optimizing (per group, not per person) for about the price of a single day of Genie Plus for a single guest.

    Reply
    • August 19, 2021 at 10:38 am
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      I think it’s pretty clear touringplans (no affiliation, just a loyal customer), will continue to be a superior product to what Disney rolls out, and a far better value. The simple truth is touringplans goal is minimizing your wait time (and/or walking time depending on your preference). Meanwhile the goal of genie is likely crowd distribution and to upsell you to Genie+ and à la cart lightning lane options. The wait times will not be accurate, and it will not be as customizable. So I might use Genie+ for some fast passes, but no way am I trusting Disney to come up with my touring plan.

      Reply
      • August 19, 2021 at 10:58 am
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        Tiffany, agreed!

        Some more musings…
        Sorry for typos and random parenthesis — I wish this let you edit your post for 5 minutes right after posting — or had a preview option.

        Anyway: since the “feature” for on-site hotel-users is that one can decide to buy a Plus or Lightning right at 7AM instead of park-opening? How do you KNOW if you’ll want it first thing? A better option (at least at first, to boost guest engagement) would be a free park-day in Plus mode, or one free LL pass, to use whichever day.

        They could also do something like the DDP — prepay for Plus & General LL Credits (some rides may be 2 credits, just like DDP signature dining), and then people won’t “feel” like they’re paying. This could also be bundled with a room thing as “free”, to make people feel it’s worth staying on campus. (I’m sure Magic Express wasn’t “free” — the costs came in higher hotel prices. (If Magic Express would cost out-of-pocket (to Disney or guests) $15one way per person, Disney could fold that into raising a room-rate by, say, $10/person (since most sleep 2-4), so $20/night for smallest rooms. So 2 night stay zeroes out the cost of the Magic Express for 2 people (coming and going), and no one pays for the kids’ transport– that’s fine, because without kids, there may not be any trip. But then that 4-person family stays longer – 1 day per park, plus an arrival or departure day. 5 nights. Magic Express $ is covered, plus an extra $20/room. If it’s a couple using the room (so 2 bus seats, 1 same 2 queen room) for 5 nights, Disney gets 3 nights of pure magic-express-surcharge profit. Or if the family drives down? Every night’s “ME surcharge” is just bonus.

        So with Genie-Plus, Disney starts by visibly and explicitly charging a family of 4 $60/day, $240/4-day stay of pricier park access (and our couple has $30/day, $120/4-day stay). Now they can fold it in for some Hotel Deals, (while with Natural Hotel Room Inflation — a magic force we all accept), and in general if the hotel rooms are up $40/day – more than a couple’s Plus costs, but less than the family of 4, and not all hotel guests will use this perk each day), then families will FEEL they are getting a good deal. “Of course I stay on property — Genie Plus is included.”

        Any time Disney makes it less attractive to stay on their properties, they risk losing days of spending from guests, who could not just spend vacation days at Universal, but even opt for City Walk for a dinner or evening entertainment, which then takes money from the mouse.

        I’m thinking that this price-for-plus is like the Sticker Price for a new car — we don’t expect to pay all that, or if we do, we want more add-ons. Since we’re ‘such good negotiators,’ Disney will ‘check with the manager’ and ‘cut us a deal.’ These prices MIGHT just be for making guests feel like they got a good deal (like how most entrees at 2-credit-DDP restaurants have a far higher $ amount than they would if they were a 1-credit place — it gives Perceived Value.

        Yes, people who know business: I’m equating “cost to purchaser” with “cost to provide said service” — normally the first is larger, especially once the scaling up/training is done and kinks worked out. Regardless, my simplification is just to try to figure out WHY Disney is doing it this way.

        In other words, I think they’re trying to do the Wait-Time-Sign Trick — claiming a 45 minute wait, so a 25 one feels reasonable (while if the sign claimed a 20 minute wait, guests would feel irate with the same 25 minutes). So if they launch this at $15/person/day, that’s the mental anchor. If it sells well, then no need to adjust. But if they want to boost participation, they can make it $12/person/day if we buy 2 days? What a deal! (Even if before we weren’t thinking of buying Plus at all.) Or make it “Free” with a Moderate Resort stay? Well, maybe that’s a better deal than choosing a Value (or the dreaded-non-Disney hotel), so guests will bite.

        Long term — I get this. I like it. But the problem is SHORT-TERM Disney has been appearing to nickle-and-dime users, on top of the steady rate increases (hotel and parks). Disney Guests seem quite vocal that they want costs bundled so things FEEL free! Charge everyone a little more for services they may not need (Magical Express), and those who DO use that service feel it’s all “magical.” Charge everyone the same ticket price for a long day at MK (even if they’re choosing AK or EP that day), or close it early and surcharge for those favored evening hours (“boo bash”?

        Man, I want an econ textbook just focusing on Disney Parks Division and their decisions! Any book recommendations?

    • August 20, 2021 at 12:03 am
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      I loved GEnie — thx for reference! This Disney one, not so much.

      Reply
  • August 19, 2021 at 11:49 am
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    Next step: To access the rides, maybe Disney sells some sort of ride ticketing system, such as a book of coupons that you purchase at the front gate and you’re limited to riding as many rides as you hold tickets for. The rides would be divided into groups and labeled, perhaps with a lettering system going from A through E with E being the headliner rides.

    Oh, wait…

    Reply
  • August 19, 2021 at 2:53 pm
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    This sounds a lot like your lines app (minus the Lightening Lane). Genuinely curious of the benefits of purchasing your app vs. using Genie? Thank you!

    Reply
  • August 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm
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    Will there be a perk for those staying in a Disney Property?

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    • August 19, 2021 at 3:42 pm
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      The only “perk” announced so far for resort guests was they get to make Lightning Lane reservations (the pay-per-ride option) at 7 a.m. whereas non-resort guests have to wait until they are in the park. However, they do not get any advantage for Genie+ reservations and everyone gets a chance at those at 7 a.m.

      They did not say if there would be any perks for obtaining a free boarding group for RotR and the soon-to-open Ratatouille ride.

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  • August 19, 2021 at 5:39 pm
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    To be clear I do not like the idea of paying for something that was free before having said that, I don’t hate it. I also don’t believe it destroys your ability to plan. Ignoring for the moment this is going to cost money and just focusing on the mechanics of it the current FP system is less than ten years old and folks have been planning strategically at Disney long before that. As I read it you will be required to pay if you wish to access what is original FP system minus having to walk to the attraction to get an actual paper ticket. Yes, that means that you can’t pick three attractions 30 or 60 days out but it also means that if you are exhausted on day 4 and your rest day was planned for day 5 you can flip them without losing FP slots. My guess is our friends at Touring Plans will have figured out in short order which Genie+ day of passes go first and what order to request passes. So if you are rope dropping Mine Train you grab a Big Thunder pass first thing. Once you check into Big Thunder you grab your next which is now part of your Tourning Plan. Yes, it’s a bit harder than the old system but almost exactly how the prior 15 years of FP worked just without having to send one person running with everyone’s tickets to grab paper FP on the other side of the park. You will have to make FP the day of but I don’t see this as much different or time consuming than optimizing your Plan if a ride breaks down or lunch ran long. Again, paying for something that used to be free is bad especially given the price of a Disney ticket, but I don’t see this as damaging the ability to plan or the ability to do Disney smarter than most with some small adjustments regardless of if you pay for Gennie+ or not.

    The folks I can see this impacting the most would be someone who wanted a very late arrival and really only did the 3 FP that day. Depending on availability getting the last two at the attraction you want may be difficult. The other group who I think are the biggest losers in this are on site guests. There is just no way to say this isn’t another lost perk for them. For many of the a la carte attractions off site guests were never in the running for those FP in the first place so their loss is irrelevant, Mine Train, FOP and a few others were never available 30 days out so off site guest might consider being able to pay for them a benefit albeit an expensive one. I would argue on site guests were already paying a substantial premium for access to those FP 60 days out now they will still be paying a substantial hotel cost with no benefit. Given the cost of a la carte I doubt the early purchase time in the morning will matter. I am willing to bet the vast majority of those purchases will be late in the day when there are no other options. Maybe a few people by Rise early but most will wait until they don’t get a boarding group at the 1pm window. I wonder if some folks will stay off site and use the savings to buy LL Passes for the most in demand rides. The other question is does the “premium” ride list stay at two? When Tron opens does Space Mountain come off the list or are there now three “Premiums” at MK same for Gradians at Epcot?

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  • August 19, 2021 at 7:12 pm
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    Bring back the old Fastpass system and raise the darn price $10. Seriously this new system is stupid and I really have to wonder who the hell is in charge.

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  • August 20, 2021 at 4:23 pm
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    This really irks me for some reason.

    That said, my next Disney trip is already in the works and, since it’s a big family trip with many others involved, cancelling isn’t going to happen. So my ire will have no actual impact on my plans, most likely.

    We travelled to DW in January and had a great time. I suspect by the time of the trip, the lovely folks at touring plans will have updated their advice and, as always before, I will enjoy planning the trip almost as much as going on the trip, and my kids will have an even better time than I do and also have no idea whatsoever how much effort went into their effortless fun.

    Given that my son has autism, having him be excited about a vacation when he’s usually very hard to engage on a vacation will be worth every penny. As has been the case on every other Disney trip we’ve taken.

    I suspect I’m not the target audience of this change. I imagine that the goal with this change is to make it so that the “once in a lifetime” trip to Disney people will spend their little hearts out without planning in advance at all. That’s a much larger audience than the “Go to Disney every couple of years and plan every single moment out in advance” crowd, of which I and most readers of this blog are park. That said, alienating your biggest fans isn’t a great plan, so I wonder if this gamble will pay off.

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  • September 7, 2021 at 8:06 am
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    Well Disney joined the race to the bottom. My family went to Universal pre COVID and there wasn’t any point in being there after noon. You could wait in the standby lines and not move at all. As a former cast member, I’m really disappointed in seeing something I loved so much get ruined to serve those with the most bucks.

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