Due to the increasing popularity of not just Walt Disney World but all Disney Parks and Resorts, Guests are starting to notice the crowds a lot more than they may have used to. It seems like you can’t ride Splash Mountain or Expedition Everest without waiting for at least 30 minutes (but usually much more) unless you wait until the Park closes.
Disney has tried to combat this by introducing Lightning Lanes, but the reception to that new system has been unenthusiastic, to say the least. Now, with COVID-19 continuing to spread, as well as the new Omicron variant, Guests are wondering if something Disney is doing is helping to spread it even further.
A post on Reddit gained a lot of traction recently, reaching over half a thousand upvotes after a Guest posed an interesting question for the Walt Disney World Resort. See the full thread below:
I think that reservations are helping promote COVID infections.
The issue specifically comes in the form of Disney’s reservation system and how the Guest theorizes it could be helping to spread Coronavirus. The theory states that since Guests have to make reservations for the Parks and dining through Disney World’s website or Disney Genie, Guests would want to follow through on those reservations whether they are sick or not.
It is important to note that Disney World is pretty flexible with reservations, meaning Guests can add or make changes to their trip quite easily. This post sparked a debate, with many sharing their thoughts. User SkyYellow_SunBlue commented:
The kind of people who would go to Disneyland sick would be going to Disneyland sick with or without a reservation system. They always have, you’re just noticing them now since hearing a cough puts people more on edge these days
Others shared the same sentiment with user u/Signature-Disasterous, saying:
I agree. Having a non reservation system wouldn’t help at all, the parks would likely just be busier. I think the reservation system was eventually going to happen with or without Covid. It’s just a crowd control thing.
User u/MileHighbree commented on factors outside of Walt Disney World’s control:
The lack of flexibility in the entire industry plays into it as well, I’m sure. Flights, hotels, etc. Not being able to move things around freely means you’re gonna try to fulfill it, especially if your financial situation isn’t the greatest. Back in august I had food poisoning before the trip, but still made an effort to dope myself up on meds and go because I would have lost too much to cancel. I can see the same mentality applying to those who feel any other ill symptoms.
Another possible downside to Disney’s increased reliance on the reservation and virtual queue systems could be that the Parks and Resorts now feel even more exclusive. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World is challenging enough with its ever-growing prices, confusing FastPass system (now Lightning Lane), and the overall work that goes into making a trip. By having Guests forced to make reservations to enter the Parks and constantly check their phones and use Genie+, Guests feel as though this can exclude a lot of people.
What do you think about Disney’s reservation system? What do you think about Disney Genie and Lightning Lanes? Let us know below!
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