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.
To combat the large crowds, Disney recently implemented a new system that replaced the old FastPass+ system.
Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane were released last year to lots of confusion and frustration, leaving some Guests feeling confused by 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.
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.
The implementation and release of Genie and Genie+ at Walt Disney World and Disneyland has been rocky, to say the least, with many Disney World and Disneyland Guests wondering if Disney Genie+ is even worth the price.
This concern was recently exemplified in a post shared on Reddit. Check it out below from u/minivan2:
Welcome to lightning lane
As you can see, the Guests who were paying anywhere from $12-$20 were left in an incredibly long-looking line, the exact opposite of what Lightning Lane should be. Reactions varied in the comments under the post, with many discussing whether or not Disney Genie and Lightning Lane are efficient.
One user said, “The problem is the standby queue gets so long because they send all the lighting lane people to the same ride with a short standby making it take so much longer. It happens all the time now. A standby line is moving nice and smooth and then a massive group of lightning lane people are all sent to the ride at once. Immediately the ride is overcrowded. Before lightning lane the queues were sooo smooth. There really wasn’t anything with over a 45 minute wait. Now that they’re here most rides will take over an hour.”
Another said, “I was there tonight and was in that line as well. It’s really a shame that this is what can happen.” Another user sorrowfully remembered the days of Disney’s FastPass, saying, “So sad to see. Those of us present for the final development and rollout of Fastpass were always fearful it would eventually go this way, but it’s still heartbreaking to see.”
At Disneyland, there is so much for Guests to enjoy! Now that the mask mandate has dropped for fully vaccinated Guests, Guests can enter buildings without a face covering if they so choose. Walking up to Sleeping Beauty Castle is always a dream, especially when you get to go inside and relive the story of Aurora and Maleficent. Riding classics like “it’s a small world”, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, The Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Splash Mountain, and more will have you feeling the magic, and craving a churro! Toontown is currently gearing up for a massive change which will be revealed in 2023 with the reopening of the land, and the debut of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Plus, now at Disneyland, Guests can enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for some blue milk, or green milk, and ride Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run. Now, Guests can also enjoy Disneyland Forever and the Main Street Electrical Parade!
Have you used Disney Genie or Lightning Lane?
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!