Josh D’Amaro Promises To Make It Easier To Visit Disney World

in Walt Disney World

Josh D'Amaro claps next to Mickey Mouse

Credit: Disney

Genie+ and Park reservation haters, unite – because it turns out Josh D’Amaro wants to simplify Disney World, too.

In 2021, Walt Disney World said goodbye to FastPass+ to welcome a new planning system: Disney Genie. Prior to its launch, this was described as a way to “make planning easier and more fun by providing Guests customized itineraries.”

Guests using Disney Genie+ at Disney World in front of Cinderella Castle exterior
Credit: Inside the Magic

The reality, however, has looked a little different. While Disney Genie is free like FastPass, it’s the pricy add-on – Genie+ – that actually gives you front-of-the-line access to your favorite attractions via Lightning Lane reservations. Guests purchase Genie+ and use their phones to reserve a timed slot to ride everything from the Tower of Terror to Peter Pan’s Flight.

It sounds easy. But it’s not. Disney Genie+ has been plagued with complaints ever since its launch. For the majority of Guests – especially those new to or unprepared for the rigorous academic planning that comes with a Walt Disney World vacation – Genie+ is confusing, limiting, and expensive.

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

When you combine that with Park reservations, the result is a Disney World experience that’s considerably more exhausting than it was pre-pandemic.

Thankfully, Walt Disney World has gradually started introducing new changes in accordance with Guest feedback. From January 9, 2024, Guests with date-based tickets will no longer need to make a Park reservation. They will also be offered the chance to pre-book Genie+ Lightning Lanes.

According to Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, this is just the beginning of an ongoing effort to make it easier to visit Disney World.

Josh D'amaro shows off real lightsaber at SXSW
Credit: DIsney

Speaking at a Q&A session at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications Conference – where he also addressed Disney’s ongoing feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – D’Amaro confirmed that Disney will continue to try to simplify the theme park experience in line with Guest feedback.

D’Amaro also explained that the introduction of variable and flexible pricing is necessary to make Disney Parks more accessible.

Whether Genie+ is redeemable or not is up for debate. However, it’s promising to see Disney taking Guest feedback into consideration – even if we do need to put up with the current system for a little bit longer.

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