Few things in the Disney community have been as controversial as the new Genie+ and Lightning Lane systems. These replaced what used to be called FastPass+ and since their introduction, some Guests have been left confused and frustrated, while others seems to really love the system.
Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane were released last year to some criticism and frustration, leaving some Guests feeling confused by the service. Others, however, really do love the way that it allows them to skip to the front of the line, even if it is a paid upgrade. 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 Walt Disney World, 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
Debates on the efficiency of these systems have been running rampant lately, with Guests not entirely convinced the service has their experience as a first priority. Many claim the systems are just in place to make money, while some have actually seen success using them. Some have also worried that Disney could be artificially inflating wait times just to increase Genie+ usage in the Parks.
A large post was created on Reddit, a popular social media site in which one Disney Guest voiced their complaints with the service. See the full post below. Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Parks operations.
As you can see, the user’s biggest issue is the fact that some people can’t afford to add on an extra few hundred dollars to their trip just to avoid long lines. They claim this is not fair they have to “suffer” through long lines just because they didn’t pay extra. With Disney already being so expensive, the idea you may need to spend even more just to be able to ride the rides you want to may not leave the best taste in your mouth regarding these new services.
The post sparked a debate and discussion about Disney Genie and the Disney Parks in general. Since 2020, there have been a lot of changes within the Disney Parks and Resorts, primarily due to COVID-19 and the global supply chain issues. One commenter brought up the insane crowds the past few weeks, citing holidays as a big strain on the lines and Lightning Lane system in general.
One user talked about how the Genie+ and Lightning Lane systems are working exactly as intended, that is, to make money. We learned recently Disney Genie+ has been a big part of The Walt Disney Company’s booming profits, with nearly 50% of all users upgrading to the paid service.
Another user talked about how Disney isn’t worth the trip unless you can afford all the “bells and whistles” like Lightning Lane, Disney Genie+, and other costly add-ons, claiming the “magic” is not free.
In the past, we have even seen Lightning Lanes have larger lines than the regular stand-by ones. The debate on whether or not Disney should bring back the old FastPass system and retire Lightning Lane is a loud one within the Disney community. Although the cost is a big part of this discussion, it seemed Disney fans were fine with the idea of paying more for a more “exclusive” pass similar to the one Universal Studios uses.
Sadly, for those who don’t like the new systems, the days of simply going to a FastPass machine and printing out a paper ticket are over (and have been for a while), and it seems like Disney Genie+ will be sticking around.
Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Parks operations.
Have you used Disney Genie or Lightning Lane? Let us know what you think about them 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!