Lightning Lane Attractions Disappear From Disney Genie While Parks Hit Capacity - Inside the Magic

Comments for Lightning Lane Attractions Disappear From Disney Genie While Parks Hit Capacity

Magic kingdom crowds on happily ever after finale night

Credit: ITM Kelly C.

34 Comments

  1. BJ

    Hate it! Don’t like using my phone for everything we use to leave it in the room we’re on vacation also dislike the park reservation system bring back the Disney we all loved fast passes let’s us decide which park we would like to enter like we did before the pandemic we were just there a couple of weeks ago it was like the pandemic never happened they say the park reservation keeps the crowds down it was like there were more and more entering a family would have to save up for years just to go to Disney Walt Disney wanted a place where you could take your family and have fun now with all the added cost it isn’t fun

  2. Annoyed

    We are going in a few months, it will be our first trip post-Covid. I was so excited because it will be my 7 yr old’s first trip. Though, after the planning began and I learned about all the reservations, reservations, reservations, pay more, pay more, pay more, it’s completely disheartening. I’m not sure why they removed the fast passes. It’s just plain greedy and completely, ridiculously convoluted! People are already paying out the ‘you know what’ to visit, and now you get to pay more just to ensure you don’t spend all day in lines. Where Disney used to be a vacation for everyone, it’s now a hassle and if your not on the ball throughout the day, I guess you loose. I’ll be darned if I won’t make it the best experience I can for my kids but unless they change something, it’s gonna be a looooong time before we return. As a mom, I KNOW I’m not the only one with those sentiments. Cost aside, Disney has become a CHORE rather than a fun time. So utterly disappointing.

    1. Joanne

      Going to Disney in may and I’m already stressed about genie + lightning lanes , coming from the UK we have to rely on WiFi to use our cell phones which is hit and miss at Disney and why if your staying off Disney property can I not make lightning lane reservations till 9am or park opening and not 7am like Disney guests after all we are all paying 15 dollars for the service, it’s like not being allowed fries with your burger just because your not staying in a Disney hotel.

      1. Jennifer

        We’re going at the end of May, now I’m not sure I want the hassle.

  3. JD

    If the parks are so packed why does the My Disney app not reflect the wait times accurately! Showing 5-10 min wait on most rides?

  4. Mary

    Soooo, I purchase a ticket, have to make a reservation to get into the gate, then pay again to ride an attraction….MAYBE? We were planning a visit towards the end of May, We have our airline booked and hotel reserved–OFF property (when they decide to give seniors a break, then maybe) It’s a lot cheaper. We just might skip the parks, check out other things to do in the area

  5. Casino

    They can’t possibly fit more people then there was in October/November. It was beyond packed. Impossible to enjoy. Food was CRAPY! Been DVC for 20 years.

    1. TinkerbellTwoK

      Just got back. Not an envoys or week at the park(s) AT ALL. Convoluted app, EVERYONE staring at their phones and refreshing, refreshing to no avail. Many newer rides (Ratatouille, Rise of the Resistance are two examples) broke down for hours and even through we had. Return for the Lightening Lane, they ended up shutting it down for the night. Enraging for many and disappointing for many more people, especially those whose last day was the day the rides were busted. It will be a long, long time before we return to the Disney-machine. Not worth the money or aggravation.

      1. TinkerbellTwoK

        *not an “enjoyable” trip.

  6. KTS

    Worse thing ever, you go on holiday to relax enjoy time away, but your consistly on mobile phone when at Disney parks, buying lightening lanes don’t guarantee you get a slot, I’ve known people that’s bought genie + but lost money on it as your not guaranteed a lightening lane slot, least fasspasses cut down the massive queues, since lightening lanes came in, the parks queues for rides have been enormous, people already pay to get into the parks, noone will pay for lightening lanes on top, this is why people queue for rides, Chapek got Greedy, time to fire this guy, he ruining the magic of disney, not what walt disney visioned when he created Disney parks, but all Chapek is fiill his pockets, make the parks unaffordable for working class families, but make it a theme park for the rich
    The holidays is going to be a nightmare in disney as its going to be over crowded, the queues are going to be massive as people won’t pay for lightening lanes, when they pay so much to get into these parks, it’s just GREED , who what’s to go to a park when your never off your mobile booking everything, that’s not a holiday 🙈🙈🙈🙈

    1. Scott Lee-Ross

      I don’t think I have ever read a post that is so wrong on so many levels. Where do we even start.
      Disney does not require you to be on your phone constantly. You can make the decision to leave it in your room. buying Lightning Lanes guarantees you a spot, Genie+ does not guarantee you a spot on any specific attraction. Just like having fastpass did not guarantee you would be able to get one for a specific attraction. In fact, it ensured that you would not with the tiers.
      Park queues are enormous because… the crowds coming are enormous. A ride has a maximum throughput, the number of people riding. That has not changed, but the number of people wanting to ride has increased, so the wait increases. MATH is fundamental.
      As for people paying for Lightning Lanes, they sell out in minutes, so somebody is buying them.
      Finally, if Chapek was so greedy, then why did he spend $4,200,000,000.00 dollars more than they took in during March 20-MArch 21? right. And yes, over 35% pay for Genie+ each day.
      So, come back when you actually have a fact on your side.

      1. Mary

        My question is, why are the parks still over crowded when the whole idea of reserving a park was supposed to solve this issue?

  7. Venus E

    Was there in December and it was insane. Of course the ticket prices were the highest because of demand and we purchased the Genie+ so we could skip the long lines. They do not tell you that those Lightening Lane times can sell out too. So, we paid high ticket prices, extra for the Lightening Lane and could not use them for most of the rides. An absolute waste of money. Also no one tells you that you need to order your food hours ahead of time. We were lucky and found this out by accident. We had to plan, order and pay for lunch at 8:00 and then do the same for dinner at about 1:00. If you just walk up, you will wait about two hours for food. I do not think this is the family experience that Walt Disney had in mind when he designed the park.

    1. Scott Lee-Ross

      mobile order does not add any time to your waits for food. The kitchens can produce so many items per hour with the staff they have. They are running at max capacity. So if you did not have mobile order, you would be standing in line waiting to purchase the food, then standing waiting for the food for the same amount of time. Math for the win.
      PS, Disney is trying to hire more cooks. They are now offering $6,000 sign on bonuses for line cooks.

  8. Jesse

    We were there two weeks ago. I kid you not lightning lane passes to buy were gone for the Flights of passage by 8:03 AM. I stayed off park and would stare down the phone for the instant it hit park opening time (8am for animal kingdom) and hit the lightning lane for the ride. In the 30 seconds to process the transaction my initial chosen time of 10 am confirmed to 1:55 ride time. After buying I refreshed the tip board out of curiosity and they were all gone. By 8:03… FOR THE DAY. It took me until our third park day to figure all this out- it is insane and I was glued to my phone the whole day. Takes a lot of “magic” out for parents for sure.

  9. AmericanbyGod

    My son and I are planning a May Trip to Disney. I did pay for the Genie+, but am concerned that it’s an additional waste of money since there’s no guarantee we will get the Lightning Lane. This whole Genie+ is just another way for ole Bob to con more money out of everyone. It’s BS and he is a crook and needs to be canned. Our planned trip is for two of us for only two park days and three nights in a value resort and it’s well over $1500…for two park days, two days that we are not guaranteed to get on the good rides. Fast Passes being a perk for everyone when they buy their vacation packages worked for everyone, everyone except Bob Paycheck Chapek. Aside from that, we live 9 hours away and always drive to Disney. Do I really want to pay $4+ a gallon to drive 9 hours for no guarantee to ride everything we want to ride and pay more for it? Plus pay ole Bob $25 a day for parking when it used to also be a free perk in our Disney package. So, I look at flying. But hold on…Allegient flies into Sanford and Disney no longer provides complimentary transportation so they can reduce costs and put more money in Bob’s pocket. So why are they price gauging? So what that they chose to shut down in the early days of the supposed pandemic. Not like they aren’t already rich, but still want to try to make back loses because they chose to take the loss. They really suck, Genie+ sucks. I’m pretty sure I will be canceling our trip and getting my money back and just buy season passes to Dollywood instead. When Disney gets their heads out of their butts and stops ripping people off then we’ll start going back. Until then, they get the double barrel fingers, and birds to Genie+, too.

    1. SCOTT lee-ross

      now try again with facts. If you do not want to pay for Genie+, you do not have to. You can just wait in line with everyone else. And Fastpass did not guarantee you every ride you wanted. Fastpasses were gone for many attractions before the window opened for onsite or offsite guests.
      And, for the record, it is Bob Chapeck’s duty under the law to make profits, maybe you should try to learn with the Chairman of the Board does for a living.

      1. AmericanbyGod

        Not everyone has a money tree growing in their yards to just pluck a bag full of Ben Franklin’s off to throw down on every perk possible. Most families spend month planning and paying toward their trips. Previously, when we booked our trip we stayed on property and got one of the dining plan options. Fast passes and parking were part of the entire package. Once we arrived at our resort the only real spending we did was tipping the wait staff at our meals and any souvenirs we bought. No, not all fast passes were available for the ride and time you desired, but it was a lot more user friendly and was actually more of a guarantee of getting on a ride than with Genie+. Read some of the comments below. It looks like in some cases Stand-by was faster than Lightning Lane. No one is happy. I know Bob is in it to win in, make money, and a lot of it. The entire company has strayed far away from what Walt has envisioned. It’s just sad.

  10. Shari

    We loved genie+! And yes, it’s not ideal to pay for individual lightning lanes but we did it for every ride we could. We just got back from Disney World 2 days ago, I researched what rides to go for genie+ first due to the possibility of them being gone the earliest…and you know what? We got on EVERY single ride in all 4 parks with the longest wait time of 20 minutes. And we had plenty of time to relax and enjoy other things in the park like restaurants, shops, and the bars…my kids had time to made lightsabers and droids. If you research and plan it right then it’s amazing! If you think you’re just going to show up and go with the flow, it probably won’t work for you. We had the best vacation and no one in our party wanted to go home.

    1. AmericanbyGod

      And I’m sure you had to stay buried in your phone half the time for Genie+ to work in your advantage. With Fast Pass all your times are already set up and all you have to do is watch the time. I’m not paying for a trip where I have to stay focused on my phone and pay even more money to try to get ahead of everyone else and dragging my family all over a park. That’s too much chaos and not much fun. Glad it worked out for you though. I’ve been going to WDW since 1974 and the Genie+ is by far their worst idea. If Walt were still alive he would fire everyone of those leeches from the board and replace them with people that cared about the magic and not the money.

      1. AmericanbyGod

        Sorry, this reply was for SCOTT lee-ross.

        1. AmericanbyGod

          Scratch that. Lost my reply to him.

  11. Rox

    Universal has been charging extra for express line for years. I wouldn’t mind the genie plus so much if we could select 3 attractions then one more, like the old fast passes. Tried this twice and ended up paying the extra for just one ride because no more availability by the time we used the first one. Won’t do that again.
    One thing they did get right is the mobile ordering for quick service. That is brilliant, convenient and time saving.

  12. Smith

    Genie+ is really only a perk for people staying on Disney property. I went on at 7 am and could get one ride reservation and then could not get another till 11 am. By then all lightning lanes were taken. Universal studios has the best lighting lane pass. You don’t need a reservation, just show your pass and you get on the ride. Disney is no longer the happiest place on earth but the most frustrating place.

  13. Lynn

    Had our first trip ever last week. It was far from magical. The genie+ was a joke. It caused more stress and frustration throughout the entire trip than anything! And since there were 2 of us I was paying $30 a day for a nightmare. The app either was frozen or crashed most the time, and had everyone staring at their phones, so I was run over all day long. What a joke. Cast members (multiple) admitted to us it’s a disaster, but it makes money so the big wigs won’t do a thing about it. They said every night they have meetings telling the higher ups they hear from guests all day long about terrible experiences, but nobody cares. Thanks for nothing disney. Also, the parks ARE AT CAPACITY! All restrictions have been removed, don’t listen to them. Another dirty little secret. They pack you in like cattle, and if you try to have just a little space so you’re not physically touching the stranger next to you in line, they’ll start literally screaming at you to fill in the gaps. Magic Kingdom park was by far the worst. I didn’t believe people saying all this before I went. Wish I had listened, so just keep this in mind before going.

    1. TinkerbellTwoK

      100% agree with you. ^

      Universal was superb! We had two excellent days there.

      It will be a long time — if ever — that I will return to Disney.

  14. Robert Katz

    Very experienced WDW traveler here… having adjusted to changes over last 25 yrs. VERY concerned about our upcoming trip. Already (reluctantly) paid for Genie+ but WISH they had kept FP! Mainly because it WORKED! I didn’t mind using an app to choose (or miss) attractions, but I shudder at the prospect of waking up early (EVERY DAY OF THE TRIP) to put my nose in the phone just to play the reservstion game. And then (as the Disney site says) “adjust on the fly” as crowds change. Yes, we ALWAYS adjusted “on the fly” but it was on OUR terms. In the past if we decided last minute to skip a planned park & do it on a different day… no problem. Not anymore, without jumping through smartphone hoops & canceling/re-reserving parks…IF available. Back on the FP vs Genie issue, if profit motivations made the charges necessary, why not just keep the old FP system & charge for it? As for making initial Genie+/lightning lane selections, why not allow that to happen earlier…AT LEAST something like 6pm day before… rather than 7 each morning. Disney has been gravitating to a “vacation for the wealthy” atmosphere, despite lower cost options. Us “commoners” have lost good fireworks viewing areas to VIPs, and extras we used to save & plan for (hotel upgrades, Cirque, dining favorites) are now financially out of the question. Magic? Losing it!

    1. Deanna

      Go to Universal! Complete waste of money at Hollywood Studio. Can’t use Genie + or lightning lane on Star Wars Rise of the Resistance unless staying at a Disney Resort. Don’t know that you can’t get on rides until 7:00 am the day of when you can no longer cancel or change tickets. Friends used to be big Disney fans and have switched to Universal as it is a significantly better experience. Everyone walking around on their phone in front or into small kids or older people on scooters. What a complete waste of money. If you are going prepare to spend a huge amount of time planning ahead and working on your phone through out the day to ‘enjoy’ your experience.

  15. SR

    Disney is gone. Walk away and don’t look back. Soon the name will be BlackRock

  16. Disappointed

    Just returned from Hollywood Studios at WDW and am very very disappointed. We purchased Genie+ in hopes if getting a Lightning pass for Rise. We couldn’t even use tge Genie+ part of our tickets. Had to use Stand-by lane every ride. So disappointing and money waste. They need to change alot of things. Don’t think I will be going back to WDW.

  17. Laresa

    It stinks. We spent the money thinking that it would be helpful to get us on rides faster. It has been terrible, and we’ve barely able to use it because everything is “unavailable”. What’s the point of evening having it? Oh, right, money. We’re not happy.

  18. R. Duffy

    Just came back two weeks ago from Disney. Genie plus a complete waste if time and money. If it weren’t for the fact that my special needs son loves Disney I would never go back. The magic is completely gone. Heartbreaking…..

  19. Pennmom

    Should not be called the Magic Kingdom- more like the Nightmare Kingdom. Lightning Lane is not always available and lines were over 3 hours to get on. Everything was so expensive! Looks like the Disneys are making up for lost revenue during Covid.

  20. Wayne

    We have been at WDW for the last ten days of March and used Genie+ on six of those days. Staying at Disney resorts allowed us to try to select one of the more popular ride Lightning Lanes at 7AM. Both my son and I would try for the earliest possible time on Jungle Cruise, Slinky Dog Dash, or Frozen; so we tried Genie+ at exactly 7:00 a total of 12 times. The app crashed on us 11 of those times even with really strong internet connection and speed. We had to just close the app and restart. A Genie+ option for the ride we wanted would not be available right away, but would pop up within 3 to 7 minutes. One time we were lucky enough to pick up a LL before noon, all other were between 2:45 and 6:30. Each day we were able to pick up a second major attraction LL at the “2 hours after opening” time. By 4 hours after opening only lesser attractions were available. By 6 hours after opening, usually only rides with 5 to 10 minute waits were available. We also used the app map and gps location features to navigate the parks and they app continued to lock up or crash throughout each day. You would think Disney would create a better app. To top it all off, both days that we scheduled Tower of Terror LLs the ride broke down before we were able to use our Genie+ for it and remained closed for the rest of the day. We spent way too much time sitting on the floor waiting for broken down rides to restart. I’m bummed to have to say it, but I’m DONE WITH DISNEY.

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