Disney Parks fans were not thrilled when the beloved FastPass+ system was replaced with Genie+ and Lightning Lane in 2021.
This paid service costs $15 per Guest per day at Walt Disney World and $20 at Disneyland. When purchased, Guests can make reservations to skip the line at their favorite rides. However, unlike FastPass+, which could be booked 60 days in advance for Walt Disney World Resort Guests and 30 days for off-property Guests, fans must book their selections the day of their visit, starting at 7 a.m.
At Disneyland, an existing paid service called MaxPass allowed you to book FastPass+ from your phone and included free downloads of all PhotoPass photos. It was $20 per Guest per day. Unlike Genie+, however, you didn’t have to purchase the MaxPass to get FastPasses. At Disneyland, you could still walk up to an attraction and obtain a paper return time for later in the day at no cost.
The release of Genie+ and the Lightning Lane system has not gone off without a hitch. Last month, Disneyland itself warned Guests against purchasing Genie+ while they were in the Parks as it may not have availability for the attractions Guests would want to experience and is nonrefundable. The warning, which appeared as a popup on the Disneyland app, said:
We strongly encourage you to check today’s Lightning Lane availability and other park details before purchasing Disney Genie+ service, as purchase of Disney Genie+ service is nonrefundable. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Despite Guest complaints, Disney CEO Bob Chapek boasted about the app’s success in The Walt Disney Company’s Q2 fiscal earnings call this afternoon. Talking about an increase in Park attendance, Chapek said:
“We’re very, very encouraged by the continuation of the trends that we’re seeing in terms of number of people, for example, the sign-up for Genie+.”
Chapek also touted the success of the Park Reservation system, a new addition after the Disney Parks reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chapek claims the system has allowed Disney to keep operating costs down at its Parks, saying:
“Our balanced reservation system…helps us manage our price per day.”
Fans have asked Disney to remove the Park Reservation system, given how difficult it makes being spontaneous on Disney trips. If you have a Park Hopper pass, you must tap into the Disney Park you reserved that day to Park Hop, and you cannot Park Hop until after 2 p.m.
When asked whether Disney Parks had considered removing the Park Pass system, Christine McCarthy, Disney’s Chief Financial Officer, said,
“We could, but we’re choosing to limit attendance via our reservation system… Attendance is something we’re controlling but we’re doing it to have a better consumer experience.”
McCarthy went on to say that added Park experiences could mean Park capacity could increase soon. She cited recently re-opened character meet-and-greets, parades, and the soon-to-open Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind as potential sources for increased Park capacity.
Have you used Genie Plus? What do you think of it and Disney’s Park Reservation system? Let us know in the comments.
If you want to visit Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World on your next family vacation to experience any of the four Disney Parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — but aren’t sure where to begin planning, then don’t hesitate to reach out to our friends over at the Authorized Disney Vacation Planners at Academy Travel for a free quote.