CEO Bob Iger to Address Major Disney World Changes Soon

in Walt Disney World

Cinderella Castle 50th Anniversary Crest

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company has some major questions to answer this year, particularly when it comes to the Disney Parks at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

The Disney Parks Division has been the most profitable of any division inside The Walt Disney Company, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things fans wish could change.

Cinderella Castle Partners statue at Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

Over the course of the last year, many Disney World Guests have noted that they belive the “magic is gone.” Little things that used to be so magical have seemingly been taken away, and there’s a different feel when walking around the Parks, whether that be Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios than before. At least, to some.

As Bob Iger took back over the role of CEO after Bob Chapek was fired, many Disney Park fans have been hoping to hear some good news about changes, but so far nothing has changed.

Will Bob Iger make any changes or will he keep the status quo on these systems and plans? Here’s a look at the things that Disney fans want the CEO to reconsider and what he may actually change in the future.

mom taking picture of two daughters by cinderella castle at disney world
Credit: Disney

Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane

Like it or not, Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and the Lightning Lane are here to stay. The controversial add-on service is bringing in thousands of dollars each and every day for Disney, and Guests are continuing to use the service despite its rampant increases.

What is Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane?

Here’s what Disney says about Disney Genie:

Tap into 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 a genie in the palm of your hand.

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

Watch short, helpful videos about Disney Genie service and Disney Genie+ service. >

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 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 service can even remind you when you’re eligible to make dining and activity reservations in advance.

Logo for Disney Genie+ on a blue background with a winking Genie head from Aladdin.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane are paid services that allow Guests to reserve times for popular attractions. They can come back during their window and entire the “Lightning Lane,” which bypasses the normal line queue.

On average, Disney says that Guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences per day using Lightning Lane entrances, if the first selection is made early in the day. You can enjoy a Disney Genie+ service Lightning Lane entrance once per day. If you’d like to experience an attraction again or see a certain show again within the same day, you are welcome to use our regular standby line.

What’s the Price?
Check the My Disney Experience app for today’s pricing. Prices vary by date.

How to Purchase Disney Genie+ Service:

  1. Be sure to have your valid Disney theme park ticket and your Disney Park Pass reservation.
  2. From the main menu in the My Disney Experience mobile app, select “My Disney Genie Day”.
  3. Select the “My Day” tab, then tap “Get Disney Genie+ for Today”.
A group of people on a city street
Photo Credit: YouTube (left) / Disney (right)

What Are the Rules?

  • Make sure you have valid admission and a theme park reservation to the same park on the same day.
  • Disney Genie+ service Lightning Lane selections can only be made one at a time. You must redeem an existing Disney Genie+ service Lightning Lane selection or wait 2 hours—whichever comes first—before making another Lightning Lane entrance selection through Disney Genie+ service. Please note: the 2-hour wait to make another selection begins when the park opens, even if you made your first booking at 7:00 AM.
  • All attractions and experiences are subject to availability.
  • Guests may be able to purchase Disney Genie+ service on the day of their park visit and make their first Disney Genie+ selection for Lightning Lane entry starting at 7:00 AM.

Modifying a Disney Genie+ Service Lightning Lane Selection
If you would like to modify your Lightning Lane selection through Disney Genie+ service to a different experience or attraction, reduce the party accompanying you, or choose a different time, here’s how:

  1. In Disney Genie service, select either the Tip Board or My Day tab.
  2. Tap the Lightning Lane selection you wish to modify. A short menu will appear.
  3. From the short menu , select the type of change you want and follow the resulting prompts.
  4. Check to make sure the new experience, party makeup or time is correct.
  5. Tap “Confirm Change,” then “Done.”

DisneyGenieLaunch_Blog_Header[3]
Credit: Disney
Disney Genie+ service, attractions and experiences may vary by date, are subject to change or closure, are limited in availability and are not guaranteed and may not be available at all on the date of visit or at the time you make a selection. Price, terms and entitlements are subject to restrictions, and change or cancellation without notice.

Please Remember: To enter a theme park, both a valid admission and theme park reservation for the same park and same date are required. Parks and park reservations are limited, subject to capacity and availability, and specific dates or parks are not guaranteed.

stitch ohana dining polynesian resort
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

The Disney Dining Plan

Disney may have given an answer for what Guests can expect with the Disney Dining Plan in the future. As many Disney World Guests have hoped for the Dining Plan to resume, it has remained indefinitely suspended.

Disney just announced a new offering this week. that may show us what they are expecting to do in the future with the Dining Plan. When you purchase a 5-night, 4-day non-discounted room and ticket package at select participating resorts, you’ll receive a Disney Dining Promo Card in the amount of up to $750. The card can be used to purchase food and beverage at select participating locations throughout Walt Disney World.

contemporary-resort
Credit: Disney

Travel Dates: June 25 – September 14, 2023

For arrivals July 1 – July 10, 2023 and August 1 to September 14, 2023

  • Value Resort – $50 per night
  • Moderate Resort and Cabins – $100 per night
  • Deluxe Resort and Deluxe Villa Resort – $150 per night

For arrivals June 25 – June 30, 2023 and July 11 – July 31, 2023

  • Value Resort – $35 per night
  • Moderate Resort and Cabins – $75 per night
  • Deluxe Resort and Deluxe Villa Resort – $125 per night

Perhaps these change after the promotional period ends, but essentially, it looks as if Disney could offer some kind of a gift card that is basically already included in your stay, but the fate of the actual Disney Dining Plan looks to be grim, at least from the outside-looking-in.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort
Credit: Disney

Disney Park Reservation System & Parkhopping Rules

Many have wondered if the Disney Park Reservation System and subsequent Parkhopping rules could change with Bob Iger taking over, but nothing has changed as of yet.

As a matter of fact, we wouldn’t expect the Reservation system to change at all.

Disney has increased capacity back to normal and these reservations, while inconvenient, aren’t likely to change. If you’re planning a trip to Disney World anytime soon you’ll need to book reservations.

Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Here’s what you need to know about the Disney Park Reservation System:

Prior to purchasing tickets, be sure to view theme park reservation availability online.

Please note that theme park reservations are limited in number and subject to availability. Availability can change until the theme park reservation is finalized.

Purchase Tickets
Explore a variety of ticket options. Once you purchase your tickets, then you can make your theme park reservations.

If you have a room-only reservation at a Disney Resort or other select hotel, please call the Disney Reservation Center or call your travel professional to upgrade to a vacation package with tickets—and then make your theme park reservations.

Room-and-ticket packages may also be available. View current special offers.

Te Fiti at EPCOT Moana the way of water resized
Credit: Walt Disney Imagineering

Disney World Annual Passes

Disney has already promised that the sale of Annual Passes at Disney World will resume at some point, but exactly when is unsure.

Disney announced last year that when the Annual Passes do return that they will come at an increased price:

The new prices for APs can be seen below:

  • Incredi-Pass: $1399 (was $1299)
  • Sorcerer: $969 (was $899)
  • Pirate: $749 (was $699)
  • Pixie: $399 (no change) Renewals continue – but pricing not available.

For more information on Disney Annual Passes, please visit the official Disney website.

Bob Iger
Credit: Silvia Elizabeth Pangaro/ Shutterstock

What changes will Bob Iger make in 2023?

So, what changes might Bob Iger make to Walt Disney World Resort in 2023? It does seem that Iger could work to get Disney Cast Members a pay raise– though this isn’t guaranteed– and if this is the case, this may give Disney the power to hire more Cast Members and create a better working space, which in turn, should help in bringing back some of the “little things” that used to make the magic so special.

Overall, however, we don’t expect these systems listed above to be changed. Instead, they’ll likely be built upon this year and we could even see other additions to them, rather than changes or them being removed.

What changes do you think Disney will make this year? Let us know in the comments!

Visit the official Disney website to plan your next magical vacation to Disney World’s water parks, four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district! Or, how about a trip to Disneyland Resort to experience the Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure and the iconic attractions at Disneyland Park? You can book Disney Genie once you’ve arrived, as well, to help plan your day.

View Comments (15)