Walt Disney World Resort may be known as “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” but some Guests are beginning to believe that title belongs elsewhere.
Known for its iconic theme parks— including Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom– Walt Disney World Resort sees millions of Disney Park Guests each year, but some have recently begun to say that the “magic is dying.”
Ever since the pandemic, there have been reports from Disney World Guests talking about how “the magic is missing.” Many changes made by Disney certainly did help matters.
One of the most controversial of these is the implementation of Disney Genie, Disney Genie Plus, and Lightning Lane. Now, instead of just paying for a Park Ticket and using the now-defunct FastPass+ system, Disney Guests must pay extra for the service to book a reservation to get into the “Lightning Lane” and bypass the regular crowd.
Did Disney Genie, Disney Genie Plus, and Lightning Lane ruin Disney World?
However, many Guests have said that the fact they have to be on their phones and staring at a screen constantly is defeating the whole point of vacation.
“In regular day-to-day life, with Zoom meetings, responding to emails, etc, most of us spend a majority of our waking hours glued to some sort of screen,” one Guest said. “When I go to amusement parks, I really just want to put everything down and escape reality. Yet Disney has made using a smartphone almost an integral part of having a decent time at their parks. Individual Lightning Lanes, waking up at 6am for virtual queues, Genie+… It’s all just a bit much.”
The Guest added that it also doesn’t help that the App isn’t exactly “top-tier.”
“It doesn’t help that the user interface for the app isn’t top-tier either. I often encountered pages that wouldn’t refresh, or pages that would refresh when I didn’t want them to (kicking me back to home page or requiring me to restart the app).”
Another said their last trip to Disney “felt more like than a vacation.”
“I really miss paper fast passes, that first generation of magic bands, a good paper map and show schedule and just needing my smart phone to check waits or other park hours,” they said. “Last time I was there, I needed a battery bank and felt like I missed a lot trying to play with the app or book thing or being up in the middle of the night to get genie+. It felt more like work than vacation.”
Many similar complaints have come forward about the app in the past, and there have been several strong pushes from Disney Park fans to remove Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane altogether. Of course, that has not come to fruition.
As a matter of fact, as the backlash for Disney Genie Plus seems to continue to grow, more and more Guests are using it. The controversial service has sold out for two-straight days at Walt Disney World Resort and, despite price increases, Guests are still buying the add-on service, even if it means families of four are shilling out well over $100.00 for just one day to use it.
What do you think? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments what your experience has been like at the Parks recently.