“Absolute Hell” as Guests at Disney World Resort Face Extreme Circumstances

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The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios Celebration

Credit: Disney

Higher prices but Guests keep coming back.

disney ceo bob chapek with mickey mouse
Credit: Disney

The white-gloved grip Mickey Mouse has on the Disney fandom is astonishing, not least in the Disney Parks arena. The Walt Disney Company’s theme park arm is a feat of ingenuity, imagination, and some very clever business decisions. Denounce them, call out CEO Bob Chapek, and sign the petition if you so wish, but as long as demand continues to remain high for the Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney Genie+ is still being bought, and merchandise — no matter the inflation — is being shoved into shopping carts, the Mouse House will reign supreme when it comes to leading the theme park enterprise.

Although, a side note about the popularity of Universal Orlando Resort is warranted here, with the competitor reportedly attracting more Guests than the Walt Disney World in a recent timeframe.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Related: Guest Dies After Riding Disney’s PeopleMover

With that in mind, as well as the continued limited Park Pass availability, it proves that Disney’s Central Florida Resort continues on the upward trend, recouping losses from the pandemic closures by raising food and beverage prices, and introducing a variable pricing system for its Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane options.

The Genie is still a source of much contention even one year on. The debut of a paid “FastPass” system came with much controversy; the previously free service to book attractions and enter via the FastPass+ line became obsolete in October last year, replaced by a mythical blue entity that wants your cash. A similar situation happened at Disneyland Resort, but there Genie+ seems to work better with the smaller landscape of the two Parks.

Genie from 'Aladdin'
Credit: Disney

While there have been quieter spells at the Orlando-based theme parks, such as the historically quiet week at the end of August, the general consensus is that the theme parks, all of them, are packed. And those crowd levels naturally affect a Guest’s overall experience of the Disney Resort. And once again, visitors are calling out one specific Disney Park at the Resort — Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Sure, Studios has two of the newest additions to the entire Walt Disney World Resort — Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. An already struggling park in the attraction and experience sense, made worse by the months and months of having zero nighttime entertainment (that will be resolved by November 3, when Fantasmic! finally makes its long-awaited return to the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater on Sunset Boulevard), Disney’s Hollywood Studios has always been a struggle to navigate — with fewer attractions to pull from, Genie+ return times get snapped up quickly, and with Park Hopper capabilities not starting until 2 p.m. daily, it may mean Guests are left wondering the Park until their next return time.

Mickey Mouse in Fantasmic!
Credit: Disney

This is what happened recently, leaving many Guests describing the theme park as a “literal hellscape”, the extremity of the circumstances anchored in frustration over closed attractions, booked-out Lightning Lanes, and big crowds, all while having paid for a very expensive theme park ticket…

Posting to the popular Walt Disney World subReddit, user bdmott wrote:

On a Disney trip for the week and lightning lane has not been a problem at animal kingdom or magic. However at Hollywood studios it has been awful! Anyone else have similar experiences? Frustrating day for sure.

Lightning lane at Hollywood studios from WaltDisneyWorld

Nellyann was quick to respond with their view, capturing the difficulty of the Park:

We had a horrible time there this past January. Couldn’t even pay to get on ROTR and it was down most of the day anyway. Got two LL for the evening as our first two then everything we wanted to do was sold out. Rope dropped ToT and rockin rollercoaster. Then had an hour long wait for toy story mania. Everything had 90+ minute waits and my kids are too young for that so we just sat around and wandered for several hours after lunch waiting for our evening LLs. Genie does not work well at that park at all.

Morkins324 offered their view, commenting on how Studios’ limited rides mean that if any go down, the pressure is on the others to clear the crowds:

Rock n Roller Coaster has had a lot of downtime recently. I wasn’t watching it all day today, but was it down for a significant portion of the day? I was at the park yesterday (FYI, if you think today is bad then yesterday would have been absolute hell. Standby lines were basically 100+ minutes across every ride in the park for most of the day, Rock N Roller Coaster didn’t even open until afternoon, and Lightning Lanes were booked out for everything very early in the day). If so, then what happens is that anybody that had a Lightning Lane during the downtime is allowed to return to the ride whenever it finally reopens

They went on to add:

I was at Hollywood Studios yesterday (at the start of the day at least, but we bailed as soon as park hopping was available because Hollywood Studios was a literal hellscape yesterday) and Rock N Roller Coaster was closed for most of the day(didn’t even open until 3pm).

Pianomanzano told the thread that another of the headlining attractions for the Park had also faced severe downtime:

Slinky dog down all day until like 7pm, couple others intermittently down throughout the day. Made for a frustrating genie+ day and long standby everywhere

Related: Guest Loses Thousands After 12-Day Disney World Vacation Ends In Nightmare

One of the main takeaways from a lot of Genie+ frustrations is the need for the 2 p.m. Park Hopping rule along with the theme park reservation system. If the mid-afternoon limitation was eradicated, it might mean Disney World can more naturally spread Guests on their Disney vacation across either Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios. Instead, Guests have to pack out standby lines as Lightning Lanes get snapped up, or wander the streets while waiting for their next attraction.

Has your recent trip to Walt Disney World Resort been “absolute hell?” Let us know in the comments down below!

Walt Disney World Resort boasts four theme parks: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park. It also features two Disney water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, and the retail and recreation area, Disney Springs. A valid ticket, as well as a Park Pass reservation, is needed to enter each Park and Park Hopper hours begin at 2 p.m. daily.

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