Disney Guests Pay To Skip Past Crowds, Still Stuck In Outrageous Line

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Lightning Lane

Credit: u/theroadrunner

While the Disney Parks and Resorts have undergone various changes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, few changes have been met with as much criticism as the recently introduced Genie+.

cinderella castle at Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Fans Criticize Lack of Park Maintenance, Blame “Greedy” CEOs

Released officially last year, the new system was designed to helo Guests manage and plan out their day at the Parks. The app is available for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World and allows Guests to make reservations to restaurants, shows, and most important attractions. While the service is free, Guests have the option to upgrade to Genie+ as well as book individual Lightning Lane passes which basically act as FastPasses.

family in front of cinderella castle on VIP tour disney world
Credit: Disney

This change has been met with huge amounts of criticism from Guests and fans alike, claiming the service has made the experience worse and more frustrating than before. A recent post on Reddit encapsulated an issue many see with the service. See the post from u/theroadrunner below:

“Lightning” Lane at Space Mountain is practically at a standstill.

“Lightning” Lane at Space Mountain is practically at a standstill. from Disneyland

User u/missykins8742 asked what caused the backup:

How long was standby? Did the ride break down? Just wondering if there was something else going on.


User u/theroadrunner replied saying:

Standby was 80 min. so still getting a better wait with LL for sure. CMs wouldn’t explain the wait, except to say they are “backed up.”

User u/k9dude16 said they preferred the old version of FastPass:

I personally liked the old fast pass back in the day.

User u/chickenripp claimed that this new system has messed up the ride:

seems like LL has pretty badly messed up space mountain a lot

User u/dragonz-99 talked about the theory that Disney was inflating wait times on purpose:

Yeah that’s why I don’t do it. Some rides imo they seem to be inflating waits by not utilizing full capacity or by inflating the timer. Not all rides obviously, but it’s something I’ve noticed.

Imo if they see lightning lane doesn’t do well they’ll rework it or allow add-on for annual passes. Maybe I’m naive, but I go often enough and live close enough that I can still get 5 or 6 rides in, enjoy some food, and head home.

genie disney phone mobile
Credit: Disney

Related: Guest Undergoes Medical Procedures To Afford Monthly Disney Trips

Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane were released last year to much criticism and frustration, leaving many Guests feeling confused by the service. In theory, this paid service should enhance Guests’ experience at the Parks, but in practice, it seemed to just be an expensive itinerary planner. These paid services allow Guests to skip lines for a price, meaning Disney now has a financial incentive to have long lines. At Disney World, for $15.00 per day per Guest, you can skip the long standby queue by making a Lightning Lane reservation (new FastPass) and returning at that time.

At each Park, however, there are two attractions that Guests would need to purchase a separate Lightning Lane ticket for if they wanted to skip those lines. Those attractions are: 

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest
Genie Image with Logo
Credit: Disney

Many Guests notice this issue the most with the newer rides, especially at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With insanely-popular rides like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash, lines at Disney World have never been longer. While the issue of seemingly inflated wait times isn’t necessarily new to Walt Disney World or any of the Disney Parks, with Disney now offering a paid service to skip the line, the concern of Disney making money off this issue continues to rise.

disney genie plus
Credit: Screenshot via Disney Parks Blog

More on Space Mountain at Disneyland:

All Systems Go

Navigate through a vast futuristic space station as you make your way to Mission Control. Board a sleek flight vehicle and prepare yourself for a high-flying adventure to the furthest reaches of space.

Ascend slowly through a swirling solar field as your rocket powers up. Plunge through a spectacular spiral nebula and then, when the countdown ends—hang on tight! 

As you hurtle forward into infinite darkness, your rocket darts and twists in the void, speeding faster and faster. Feel the g-force as you careen into the unknown!

Immersive sound effects and evocative music add to the intense sensory experience. 

Brave the most epic journey of your Earthbound life and accept your mission—to conquer Space Mountain.

Space Mountain Ride
Credit: Disney

Have you used Disney’s new Lightning Lane system yet? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments below.

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

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