The Disney Parks fandom has been buzzing over the past 24 hours as Disney has finally announced that its newest service, Disney Genie, will launch at Walt Disney World on October 19. Disney Genie will be a free service that will help Guests plan their days in the Park by allowing Guests to enter their preferences, like what they want to ride and what food they like to eat.
Once Guests put in their preferences, Disney Genie will show them what rides and attractions they should go on and in what order they should experience them, based on wait times and how far they are from each attraction. Disney Genie will allow Guests to maximize their time in the Parks by minimizing wait times and how quickly they can get food.
It is important to remember that not all aspects of the Disney Genie service will be free. Disney Genie+ will also launch on October 19 and will allow Guests to pay $15 per person, per day in order to access the Lightning Lane on certain attractions — Lightning Lanes are the new FastPass queues that Guests were used to before the pandemic shut the Parks down.
A big question on everyone’s mind is “Will Disney Genie+ be successful?” and, in this writer’s opinion, the answer is yes and no. A lot of people are upset about the fact that they will now have to pay for a service that was once free. Others are thinking that they will be willing to pay if it means they can get on more rides in one day than they could without paying.
At Walt Disney World, the odds that Disney Genie+ will be successful are probably moderately high. Walt Disney World is a vacation destination for families who only have a limited amount of time to spend in the theme parks. Disney Genie+ will allow those Guests to ride as many attractions as possible in the time that they have. Even though Disney World does have a lot of Annual Passholders who visit the Parks on a regular basis, they are far outnumbered by the families who travel from a distance and make this their big vacation.
However, the same cannot be said for Disneyland Resort in California. Yes, there are Guests who travel from far away to spend their time at the Happiest Place on Earth, but a large number of Park visitors are local to the area. That means that they don’t live far extremely far away and may go to the theme parks at least once a month, if not more.
Before the Parks were forced to shut down, Disneyland Guests had an option similar to what Disney Genie+ will be, called MaxPass. Guests could pay a daily fee for MaxPass and access FastPasses on their phones, but a daily rate was not the only option. Disneyland Annual Passholders had the option to add MaxPass to their Annual Pass for a higher flat rate and then access it every time they visited. The program was extremely popular amongst the Annual Passholders who decided to participate in it.
While Disney has only announced that Disney Genie+ will begin this fall at Disneyland, they have not indicated that a higher, flat-rate option will be available for Magic Key Holders — Disneyland’s new Annual Passholders. If they do not offer such an option, it is highly unlikely that Disney Genie+ will be as successful as it will most likely be at Walt Disney World.
Disneyland Magic Key Holders bought their passes because of how frequently they go to the Parks. If a ride has a long wait time on one of their trips, they will most likely be willing to skip it and just try to go on it the next time they come. The odds that they will be willing to pay $20 (it is higher than Disney World’s cost) each time they go just for Lightning Lane access is incredibly small. Genie+ for many Magic Key Holders may become something they purchase only on a special occasion, if they purchase it at all.
The reason that Disney World’s former FastPass system worked differently than Disneyland’s is because the Guests visiting each Park had different needs. So, if Disney wants Genie+ to be as successful as possible, they may want to consider having Genie+ operate differently at Disneyland than it will at Walt Disney World.
Do you think that Disney Genie+ will be successful? Let us know in the comments!
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