To be fair, the reason it went down the first day at Disneyland was because of a global AWS outage. It also took down several streaming services like Netflix and all sorts of other web based products/services. You can’t really blame that one on Disney or their software team, that was just bad timing.
I went to Disney World in November for a week. I stayed in a resort. I thought the genie was horrible. I felt I wasted my money. It required my being on a smart phone way too much time of the day. I couldn’t enjoy the parks while there. The crowd was humongous, the wait times were terrible, and the genie system was not fun. I rode two rides via genie one day, had a third one scheduled for late in the afternoon, was not wanting to wait around that long, did not want to wait in another long line, and just decided to leave and go to EPCOT. And what if one does not own a smart phone? What I loved about the Fast Pass, besides being free, was that it allowed you to schedule your day way in advance and did not require a smart phone. With the genie, you know NOT your schedule before the day you are there and even when there you do not know it, because the genie allows one ride at a time to be scheduled. And it costs.
They charge for lightning lane, you think you have a reservation when you don’t, every time you think you’re checking something it takes you out of the app.
You spend more time in the park staring at your phone trying to figure out the stupid app than enjoying yourself.
The only thing that is any good is the map and even then they need to work with the Zillow people so you can put a heart over the things you want to see and it will make a list of them in the best order according to your arrival, location and queue times. Then you can work by list.
Easily the worst system I have ever used in a theme park. Everyone fighting over reservations as soon as they become live, the best ones have been and gone unless you’re staying at the resort. Standby queues are now ridiculous, if the ride breaks down when you’ve been queuing for hours, that’s unfortunate.. lightning lane only benefits resort guests again as they will be sold to them long before they go live to everyone else. Glitches lots of glitches, lost multiple ride reservations only to be told nothing showing on their system so nothing they can do about it… just try again for tomorrow! Ride breaks down you’ve got a reservation for, your plans are out of the window.. join the queue with everyone else again as if nothing happened or gamble and pray if gets fixed in time. Spent the entire day from the moment I woke up glued to my phone, Wi-Fi in the parks constantly drops. What was wrong with the fast pass system? It worked perfectly well. Guest class tiering is the worst I’ve ever experienced. If you’re not staying at the resort, I wouldn’t bother going. It’s pure price gouging from Disney with awful execution.
Just left Disney World on December 30th after a visit to the parks over the holidays. Genie is a gamble that only Disney wins win the end. Getting a Lightning Lane is no guarantee after paying for Genie. In fact the Rise of Resistance lightning lane was longer than the standby line. Cannot get the LL pass you want after buying Genie is the most common complaint or the ride goes down and comes back up with hundreds waiting for LL to get on the ride ( see the Rise of Resistance line above). When rides go down it looks like the LL for other rides begin to overflow causes further wait time increases for those in standby. This was the case at Epcot on the Planet Earth ride. LL line was continuously as long as standby so Disney had to be overselling expecting the fast moving ride to take up the slack. Miss those simple fast passes that everyone could get and the lines were easily navigated to enjoy a day at the parks.
I will agree with the comments that it’s a terrible design. It took a bit to figure it out. However, once we figured out where to book the reservations it was great. We are just leaving MK on 1/2/22 and we went on almost every ride here along with all of Epcot in one day. Would not have happened without it. It worked the way I had hoped it would.
Was just at MK, HS, and Epcot from the 28th-30th. Arguably the busiest time there since 2019. I invested into fully dialling into the Genie experience and was not disappointed. The layout does take some getting used to, but let’s be serious, it’s not THAT complicated and once you’ve made your first LL you’ve got the process down. We stayed on property, rope dropped, and stayed until until close. We were able to get on literally every ride at all three parks (including Seven Dwarfs, Rise, and Remy) with the longest wait being around 45 minutes. And that was with dinner reservations as well.
1. Be prepped at 7 am (not 7:02) to make your first LL.
2. Make your first LL a big one (i.e. Jungle Cruise, Slinky Dog, Test Track) but an Individual LL.
3. Line up your Individual LL’s after that.
4. Take advantage of your early park entry. Resist the temptation to spend your first half hour taking pictures in front of the castle. You (and it) will be there ALL DAY. Head right to whatever ride you didn’t get a LL for to standby. It may end up being your longest wait time all day but it’ll preserve a LL.
5. Most importantly, let Genie work FOR YOU throughout your day. It gets better as the day goes on.
Sometimes I think that some park “insiders” think they know better than Disney. There are definately some kinks to be worked out but Genie is definately working as it should. Not as a shameless cash grab (what’s $15 when you’ve already spend $165?). But as a way to free up people from standing still in the parks for long periods of time.
Absolutely awful! I paid for three days of genie with four people and only got on one ride, splash mountain . No rides we wanted were ever available at times that worked for us, and even second and third choices sucked . It was hard to use and no staff there understand it either. I lost so much money and added so much frustration with this. Went to universal and has the best time ever getting on every ride we wanted in minutes. This was our first time at Disney and it ruined the experience. I’m booking a universal only trip next it was sooooo much more fun and less stressful
Old fast pass system that didn’t exclude the top rated rides was far superior to the Genie Plus money-making scheme. I would far rather that ticket prices went up and everyone stayed on a level playing field, than to allow the wealthiest park goers to get all the benefits–from paying their way onto rides to getting extra park hours by staying at deluxe resorts. I would not think the late Walt Disney would have favored this lop-sided approach.
Pop Century Patron without an unlimited budget.
We are once a year DW deluxe resort patrons (always the Grand Floridian or Beach Club depending on our mood), and we HATED our Genie+ experience. First and foremost having to wake up at 6:58 am every morning to secure reservations disrupted my entire family (we are on pacific time). Secondly, many sought after ride reservation times interfered with hard to secure dining reservations we had made months in advance. Finally, even after being awake with the app open at 6:59 am we were unable to purchase Rise of the Resistance reservations. It sold out before 7:01. As high budget travelers we have zero problem paying for a superior park experience, however with Genie+ you are forced to pay for an inferior park experience.
This is the by far the most stressful trip to Disney I have ever been on. And I’m a frequent flyer. The genie service is useless and genie plus is a headache. I feel like I’m constantly on my phone between mobile food orders and wait times and trying to book lightening lanes. The magic is lost when you can’t be in the moment. The standby lines are out of control not to mention the prices for everything have also sky rocketed. I stayed at a “Deluxe” resort and they couldn’t even be bothered to empty my trash without me complaining about it first. I also found the “cast members” to be rude and not nearly as over the top nice as they once were.
Maybe I should blame it on covid like everything else….or I should more accurately blame it on Disney…..
I won’t be back anytime soon. I’d rather jump in my camper and see the country on my own terms…not locked in the prison of my mobile device.
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