Genie+ Lightning Lane Advance Reserving Coming to Disney World

Together with the discharge of 2024 trip packages, Walt Disney World has teased pre-planning capabilities coming to the Genie+ service and Lightning Lanes. This put up covers what little we all know thus far, plus in depth commentary about what this might imply, why it’s occurring, winners & losers, and extra.

Walt Disney World not too long ago made a number of updates so as to add extra worth and adaptability to holidays, together with bringing again free in a single day self-parking at Disney-owned resort motels, including on-ride photographs to the Genie+ service, and extra.

Disney signifies that it’s persevering with to take heed to friends, and has simply introduced 5 thrilling updates coming in 2024 to enhance the visitor expertise. The most important shock on this record issues the Genie+ service…

In keeping with Walt Disney World, the corporate has heard from friends and is engaged on methods to assist friends plan with the Disney Genie+ service and Particular person Lightning Lane alternatives in response to these requests. This might imply friends having the ability to make trip reservations earlier than their go to to allow them to spend extra time with family and friends as soon as contained in the parks.

No different particulars are supplied about when in 2024 this may occur or what kind it’s going to take. It’s our understanding that that is considered one of a number of modifications being thought-about for Genie+ and Particular person Lightning Lanes, and that an official announcement with specifics remains to be a number of months away.

When it comes to commentary, it’s at first fascinating to see Walt Disney World tease this and not using a concrete plan or any particulars. Although they’re not committing to specifics–and even something in any respect–which means some kind of modifications are coming. Walt Disney World wouldn’t this type of non-announcement announcement until one thing important had been being deliberate. It’d be like teasing that the Disney Eating Plan is returning quickly solely to stay unavailable for an additional 2+ years. Wait a minute…unhealthy instance!

Greater than the rest, this means to me that Walt Disney World has acquired a variety of complaints about Genie+ from trip planners. So many who the corporate feels compelled to sign that “we hear you and can repair this.” This isn’t the form of tease that happens unprompted and out of the blue–that’s not Walt Disney World’s customary manner of coping with this kind of factor.

For many who assume this could be a case of affirmation bias or that I merely could be “listening to what I wish to hear” within the announcement, that’s fairly removed from the case. On the contrary, the numerous (MANY!) of you who’ve bemoaned the dearth of advance reserving with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes have acquired pretty comparable replies from me.

In a nutshell, the dialog has gone like this. Sure commenters have indicated that they might cope with the change from free FastPass to paid Genie+ in the event that they had been nonetheless in a position to pre-plan their first couple of Lightning Lane alternatives forward of their journeys. Many different readers have chimed in to agree with this sentiment, indicating it’s the most important stumbling block with Genie+ for them. Others nonetheless see all of those feedback, and conclude that it’s the consensus amongst Walt Disney World guests.

In flip, I’ve replied that this can be a matter of choice bias. That disproportionately, Walt Disney World guests studying blogs like this one are ardent planners. That diehard Walt Disney World followers should not consultant of the overall park-going public, many or most of whom don’t know a lot about Walt Disney World till arrival.

This would possibly sound like I’m having a dialog with myself and publishing it for the world to see, however I swear that this alternate has performed out repeatedly–virtually precisely like this–within the feedback of previous posts about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. And it’s one that may occur once more within the feedback right here if it weren’t proactively addressed. (It’ll most likely nonetheless occur.)

Amongst different issues, informal guests beforehand didn’t know you may make trip reservations in any respect, not to mention a month or two prematurely underneath the prior FastPass+ system. They might first find out about FastPass, ADRs, digital queues, and so many different issues upon arrival at Walt Disney World. Unsurprisingly, this led to frequent complaints amongst first-time guests in regards to the FastPass+ system.

(Now, many of those identical folks study of Disney Park Cross upon arrival, which brought on its personal issues when capability was constrained. Many others don’t purchase Genie+ till ~9 am, after seeing others use it within the parks or asking a Solid Member at an attraction, “what’s with the ‘quick lane’ over there?”)

All of that was and is true about first-timers and rare friends. That’s one of many causes Walt Disney World moved from FastPass to Genie. The opposite, clearly, was $$$$$$. However that clarification is hardly a secret to anybody.

Nonetheless, if growing income had been the one aim or concern that Walt Disney World was looking for to deal with, they merely might’ve monetized the present FastPass+ service. That may’ve been far easier, with much less funding and much fewer rising pains during the last couple years. The truth that Disney didn’t do this must be fairly conclusive that there have been different points at play.

It’s additionally true that trip planners actually miss the pre-planning side of FastPass Plus, and have complained about that to Walt Disney World. Repeat guests and diehard followers are hardly an insignificant portion of the customer base, and they’re arguably the kind of friends that Walt Disney World ought to wish to please most. (The standing of the rite-of-passage or one-and-done friends is correct there of their title!)

Truthfully, that is what I didn’t see coming. When it was introduced, my prediction was that Genie+ “favorability” amongst WDW diehards would enhance over time. To these factors, what follows is my authentic commentary from the announcement almost two years in the past…

The preliminary response [to Genie+] can be overwhelmingly damaging, simply because it was at Disneyland when MaxPass was introduced. Along with being upset by one thing beforehand being free now costing cash, many will lament the lack of pre-planning their FastPass+ alternatives and having the peace of thoughts in realizing they’ve sure widespread sights “locked-in” previous to their journeys.

To make sure, there are FastPass+ energy customers and diehard planners who will stay entrenched in that perception. These Walt Disney World followers seemingly are disproportionate readers of blogs like this one. Nonetheless, that’s a vocal minority of all friends–removed from a majority. Most common friends plan days prematurely–and even upon arrival–not 6 months forward of time.

For first-timers, Walt Disney World holidays are a morass of convoluted insurance policies and issues to know. These friends will seemingly favor Genie+ because it ranges the enjoying discipline to a level. To them, a paid system can be higher than a free one the place they’re shut out of hottest sights as a result of they’re not seasoned on the ins and outs of FastPass reserving.

However, we’d count on many trip or die FastPass+ followers to finally give Genie+ a try to come round on it. Irrespective of how staunchly anybody would possibly oppose Genie+ now, historical past bears this out. At Walt Disney World, the unique FastPass was controversial amongst followers in 1999, earlier than changing into beloved. FastPass+ was likewise a reviled substitute amongst followers who had mastered the paper FastPass system.

Disneyland’s launch of MaxPass is a fair higher instance given the similarities between Genie+ and that. The preliminary announcement was met with outrage and complaints, however its use and recognition rapidly elevated as Disneyland diehards used it within the parks. We all know as a result of that was us! After hating it, we really used MaxPass, had been hooked on it, and have become MaxPass cheerleaders.

I received at the very least a few of that proper, however different elements flawed. For one factor, I underestimated simply how half-baked Genie+ can be at launch. My expectation was that Walt Disney World was getting MaxPass, however with a unique title. A part of that was on me, as I ignored the trip capability disparities between Disneyland and Walt Disney World (minus Magic Kingdom).

Much more of that was on Walt Disney World, although. So many options current in each FastPass+ and MaxPass had been lacking from the Genie+ service, it was buggy and clunky to make use of, and so forth. When you used Genie+ previous to late summer season or early fall of final 12 months on a reasonably busy (or worse) day, you already know all of this. No level in rehashing it.

To Walt Disney World’s credit score, loads of optimistic modifications have been made to Genie+ and Lightning Lanes within the final a number of months. Nonetheless, a lot of these ought to’ve been current from launch and others have basically obfuscated points slightly than fixing them. So the underlying downside nonetheless exists, it’s simply hidden from view.

Oh, and the typical value has elevated considerably throughout that point, going from $16 every day, and is now $20 to $25 on common (with a low value of $15 and excessive of $35). Given all of that, we most likely shouldn’t pat them on the again an excessive amount of.

From what we’ve seen right here, complaints from Walt Disney World regulars have decreased in frequency and quantity. That alone doesn’t imply that Genie+ “favorability” amongst followers has improved, although. Persons are additionally much less prone to voice complaints about issues which are older and extra established. (The identical purpose we’re listening to extra complaints about TRON Lightcycle Run’s length than we do about Rock ‘n’ Curler Coaster!)

When you ask WDW planners, many or most of them will nonetheless lament the lack of pre-planning trip reservations. It doesn’t look like, as a complete, this demographic has “come round” and embraced Genie+ or Lightning Lanes in that manner. Shopping for it doesn’t imply persons are having fun with it. (Genie+ is definitely exceeding authentic gross sales forecasts, however that’s additionally not an endorsement. Many guests really feel they don’t have any different alternative and can spend extra money to make sure a “good” trip, as we’ve lined at size in different current commentary.)

The purpose of all that is that Walt Disney World is in a troublesome place between the preferences of planners, who symbolize a demographic of diehards and repeat prospects–and the previous complaints of first-timers and rare guests. That the corporate intends upon making modifications to accommodate pre-planning with Genie+ means that Disney is listening to their most loyal followers.

That’s nice information, and precisely what we anticipated/predicted when Iger returned. (Everybody who claimed that Iger is “no completely different” than Chapek would possibly wish to reevaluate that stance. Between the 5 modifications at this time and the three earlier this 12 months, plus Iger and D’Amaro’s bullishness on future growth…it’s secure to say that there are materials variations in management now!)

The unanswered query is whether or not Walt Disney World will try to thread the needle to make either side completely happy, or reverse course and cater to the planners. Frankly, I don’t know. I’m actually undecided Walt Disney World does both–if there have been already a concrete plan, I believe we’d be listening to that as a substitute of a tease.

If pressured to guess, I believe we’ll see a compromise resolution that tries to search out the center floor. Reserving Lightning Lanes 30 to 60 days out might be too far prematurely. Alternatively, reserving at midnight the day earlier than could be inadequate to appease the planners.

With trip bookings slowing down and resort occupancy reducing, I believe the savviest transfer would most likely be to create an on-site benefit for Genie+ and a separate reserving window for off-site friends. I’d be shocked if the longest of these home windows is greater than a month, with 7-14 days seeming extra like a candy spot. That wouldn’t make everybody utterly completely happy or offended, which is what a very good compromise seems to be like!

Additionally unknown is the logistics of how this may work. Final 12 months when trip packages had been launched, Walt Disney World eradicated the length-of-stay Genie+ ticket add-on. We referred to as this a very good transfer that has improved Lightning Lane availability and the service for these buying it same-day, but it surely was met with appreciable fan backlash.

No matter whether or not that was good or unhealthy, it looks as if the ticket add-on will essentially have to return if Walt Disney World goes to permit advance Lightning Lane alternatives. That may additionally counsel that date-based costs for Genie+ can be launched prematurely, changing into much less dynamic or attentive to real-time crowd ranges. (They usually have been to an extent–Walt Disney World has made weekends inexpensive as attendance dynamics have modified within the final couple months.)

Suffice to say, there are a variety of shifting elements that’ll must be sorted out between now and January 2024–and it’s seemingly that these should not the one modifications coming! That might clarify why Walt Disney World is simply teasing a simplified model of Genie+ that permits advance Lightning Lane alternatives as a substitute of creating a substantive announcement!

Finally, the answer to all of that is constructing extra sights. As we’ve stated many instances earlier than, queueing is a zero-sum sport. No strategy to strains–not all standby, not paper FastPass, FastPass+ or Genie–modifications capability. The one significant technique to alter the equation is by really growing capability. That’s performed by including leisure, extending working hours, including sights, or constructing new lands. (Clearly, a few of these issues take longer to perform than others, and can’t conceivably happen by 2024!)

All the things else is a matter of rearranging the deck chairs, and having completely different friends or demographics come out forward or behind. On this case, the “winners” (air quotes) will virtually actually be the devoted pre-planners and the losers can be Walt Disney World first-timers and people who take a extra spontaneous strategy to their visits. Hopefully, the suitable stability is struck in order that the winners don’t win too onerous and the losers don’t lose an excessive amount of, although!

When you have questions in regards to the fundamentals of utilizing–or not utilizing–the paid FastPass service, see our Information to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ for all the foundational need-to-know information. This entire system is complicated and convoluted, so that you may need a query or two-dozen. That solutions all the commonest ones we’ve been receiving from readers.

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Find out about motels on our Walt Disney World Lodges Opinions web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Opinions. To save cash on tickets or decide which sort to purchase, learn our Ideas for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets put up. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys put up takes a singular have a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Journey Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the perfect place to start out is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for the whole lot you have to know!


What do you consider Walt Disney World teasing that Genie+ and Lightning Lane pre-booking? Ideas on our perspective that that is being performed as a result of reducing satisfaction amongst Walt Disney World diehards? Every other issues we didn’t consider or particulars we missed/received flawed? Will you buy Genie+ if it permits for pre-planning and making some alternatives forward of your journey? Do you agree or disagree with my evaluation? Any questions we may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

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