Disney Faces Intense Backlash After Limiting Genie+ Availability

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

disney genie

Credit: Screenshot via Disney Parks Blog

After making changes to the way its Genie+ system works, fans voiced their concerns and disapproval online.

Disneyland Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

When visiting Walt Disney World, Disneyland, or any of the Disney Parks and Resorts worldwide, there’s one thing you can count on doing, which is waiting in line. Because of the popularity of the Disney Parks, millions of Guests visit each year, meaning you’ll more than likely have to wait in a few lines to ride and experience your favorite attractions.

Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane were released last year to help combat this issue. However, this new service has caused lots of confusion and frustration, leaving some Guests feeling dissatisfied with the service.

In theory, this paid service should enhance Guests’ experience at the Parks, but in practice, it seems to just be an expensive itinerary planner for some, while others love it. These paid services allow Guests to skip lines for a price, meaning Disney now has a financial incentive to have long lines.

Disney Genie_ Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane
Credit: Disney

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 Disneyland, the cost is slightly higher at $20.00 per hour.

We have seen multiple occasions where Guests do not completely approve of this new system. Disney Genie is free, but for an extra charge, Guests can upgrade to Genie+, which allows them other access to reservation systems and the option to purchase individual Lightning Lanes for rides, essentially letting them pay to skip the stand-by ques. As stated above, this new system has been met with lots of frustration and criticism from new and long-time Disney Guests and fans.

disney genie
Credit: Screenshot via Disney Parks Blog

Just recently, Disney made major changes to the way this system works, limiting availability and halting the ability to “plan ahead”. The reaction to this change was mixed, to say the least. Many found the change to be a slap in the face to Guests attempting to have their trip planned as much as possible, with a huge part of Guiests’ vacation now being limited far more than it once was.

On social media, Guests and fans ripped this announcement apart, making fun of both Genie+ and Disney. Joe Cheung (@asthejoeflies) talked about how this new change would force you to stay up late and wake up early:

Genie+ will now be a day of purchase for *everyone*. The “subject to availability” thing is  Pro to Genie+ being able to “sell out”: shorter LLs, purchase feels more value Con: Now you have to stay up until midnight to

This was a common complaint, with many worrying that the new change would force Guests into waking up extremely early. Average Dis Nerd (@Averagedisnerd) said:

My favorite part of a vacation is waking up at 6:50 AM every day.

Jamie (@jrtoastyman) commented:

I literally cannot remember the last time Disney announced some sort of policy change, and I thought, “wow, this is going to make things so much easier.”

Justin Martin (@Justin_Martin23) said that all of these changes are “exhausting” and that Disney leadership is lacking:

The amount of changes to this system is exhausting. This is what happens when people who run the parks, don’t go to the parks…

A big complaint we have seen recently has to do with how reliant on smartphones a Disney trip now is. Guests were already using the official Walt Disney World and Disneyland apps quite often but Genie+ and Lightning Lane forces Guests to be on their phone a lot more. The Disney Itinerary (@disneyitenerary) said:

Disney Parks has to move away from the reliance on phones. Whatever they are cooking up I hope they keep this in mind.

This decision prompted some users to have incredibly sarcastic visions of the future, with Parkscope Joe (@parkscopejoe) saying:

Year is 2025, Disney has retired G+ and in an effort to optimize even more they’re making guests plan out every attraction 60 days in advance.

Another user, allison (@allioop08), simply said they were extremely mad about the change:

As a travel agent, I’m kind of pissed off.

The overall reaction could be summed up by what Matthew Bayer (@matthewcbayer) had to say:

I try really hard not to be negative… but it’s absolutely ridiculous that they keep making changes and adding options and stipulations. The amount of research it takes to plan a trip at this point is just outrageous, even for seasoned veterans.

This change has struck a nerve within the Disney Park community so it will be interesting to see how Genie+ continues to work in the future. More on the Disney Genie service:

You’ve Never Had a Friend Like This!

Introducing Disney Genie service and Disney Genie+ service, conveniently built into the My Disney Experience mobile app. Once you log into your Disney account, these services magically make your theme park visit easier and more fun. It’s like having your own personal genie in the palm of your hand.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, Disney Genie can help you get the most of your visit to Walt Disney World Resort.

Wish in the Moment

​​Our complimentary Disney Genie service creates your best Disney day inspired by your party’s top interests. It also grants you new planning features, including a personalized itinerary creator that seamlessly and smartly maps out your visit with updates that continue from morning to night. And, Disney Genie can even remind you when you’re eligible to make dining and activity reservations in advance.

Tailored Recommendations

You’ll receive attraction and dining recommendations inspired by what you told Disney Genie you’re most interested in doing. It even suggests a good time to go to an experience and an idea of the forecasted wait. Need to swap out an option? No problem. Disney Genie will continue to offer new suggestions throughout the day, so you can make the most of your time during your visit.

What do you think about this new change?

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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