Disney is introducing per park pricing for Genie+ beginning on Tuesday, June 27, 2023. Depending which park you’re going to, this could let you skip the lines for less. But nothing about Genie is ever that simple, so read on for details.
First things first, if this is the first time you’ve heard the words “Genie+”, you’ll want to know that it lets you skip [most of] the lines for a number of popular attractions at Disney World. If you’d really like the down and dirty before you keep reading, check out How to Use Genie+ and Lightning Lane at Disney World. But it isn’t necessary.
As I write this, you buy Genie+ one day at a time; if you have a Park Hopper or Annual Pass ticket you can use it in any of the four theme parks. That’s an important takeaway: if you’re not planning on going to more than one park per day this change may not much affect you and might actually be working in your favor. Starting on Tuesday, June 27th, you’ll have two ways to buy Genie+. You can buy the “All Parks” option, which works like Genie+ does today. Or you can buy Genie+ for a single park; depending on which park it is the price might be more attractive than the ones you’ll see today.
Here is some example pricing we’ve seen for a single date:
- All parks – $27
- Magic Kingdom – $27
- EPCOT – $18
- Hollywood Studios – $24
- Animal Kingdom – $16
How Will Per Park Pricing Affect Guests Who Can’t Park Hop?
In the example above, if we assume that the price would have been $27 under the current scheme, then you’re mostly winning.
- You’re not paying more than before at any park
- You’re paying significantly less at two parks
- If Genie+ “sells out” at one of the parks, it might still be available at your park
About that last bullet: although we don’t know how Disney managed the relationship between Genie+ capacity and park capacity in the past, it seems a fairly safe assumption that they would have planned to shut down sales while they were still able to reasonably meet demand in the park where people were using it most. That meant that if Magic Kingdom was super-crowded and Animal Kingdom wasn’t, you couldn’t buy Genie+ — even if there were plenty of Lightning Lane reservations available at that park.
It’s not all clear sailing though. I made a big assumption about the pricing here, which I’ll discuss just a little further on. And if you buy Genie+ for Animal Kingdom and then change your mind and decide to go to Hollywood Studios, it may not be easy to change your one-park Genie+ selection. We’ll have to see how that plays out.
How Will Per Park Pricing Affect Park Hoppers and Annual Passholders?
In the example above, the All Parks price is the same as the price for the most expensive park. If we again assume that the price on this day would have been $27 under the current scheme, then you’re no worse off if you plan to visit any two parks than you were before. Except that we don’t know what will happen if you initially purchase Genie+ for Animal Kingdom and later decide you want to park hop. Will you be forced to buy the All Parks version? If you are, will you have to pay the full $27? What if the All Parks option is sold out? There are a lot of questions, and some of them may not have the most favorable answers. We’ll certainly update as more information comes in.
June 27 update: When this change rolled out this morning, guests were able to select multiple individual parks. So you could buy Genie+ for, say, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. It’s certainly not cost-effective compared to the All Parks option, but it looks like you can still get in a second park if the All Parks option becomes unavailable because, for instance, Magic Kingdom sells out.
How Will This Change Affect Genie+ Pricing?
When looking at the effects for both base ticket-holders and park hoppers above, I assumed that the All Parks price in our example day was what Genie+ would have cost that day anyway. The reality is, we probably won’t know immediately. The highest price we’ve seen for Genie+ to date is $35 during Easter week this year. But flexible-date pricing only debuted in October 2022, a year after it rolled out. Length of stay pricing was discontinued in June 2022, less than a year after it rolled out, but it took a while for those tickets to get used by those who had bought them prior to that date.
The reality is that we don’t know what “normal” Genie+ pricing looks like over different times of the year, because we’ve never seen a full year without Disney tinkering with the pricing. It is entirely possible that Disney plans to continue to price the “All Parks” option similarly to what it would have cost without this change. Perhaps they simply want to sell more Genie+ and know that they need to price it lower at the parks where people don’t tend to buy it as much.
It’s also entirely possible that they’d like to jack up the price to $50 at Magic Kingdom, but know that they’d lose overall if they did that. It might be that most people skip Genie+ at Animal Kingdom now, but you can betcha that usage gap between the parks only gets worse as prices get higher under the current pricing scheme. Separating Genie+ purchasing for each park may be the key to even higher prices at the parks that are most in demand.
Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see what happens here. If you’re not familiar with the concept of price elasticity, take a gander at this primer page. Then you’ll be prepared to grab some popcorn and see whether Disney is taking aim at increasing revenue from low-demand parks, high-demand parks, or both. But here’s what I know. As someone who writes the Genie+ FAQs on this blog, my first thought when I saw the news was this: “Just when you thought Genie+ couldn’t get more complicated … ” It’s hard to feel like getting more complicated is a win for visitors.
What’s your take on Genie+ per park pricing? Will this make you more or less likely to buy it? Let us know in the comments!