Disney World Completely “Ruined” Amid Latest Change

in Walt Disney World

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World with crowds in front

Credit: Inside the Magic

Walt Disney World Resort is receiving backlash for a change that has many upset.

Known as “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” Walt Disney World Resort attracts a huge crowd each and every day to its four theme parks. Whether you’re visiting Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’re sure to find attractions and entertainment offerings that can help you make memories that last a lifetime.

Guests in front of Cinderella Castle at night
Credit: Lee (myfrozenlife) via Flickr

While many Disney Adults visit Disney World multiple times each year, there are many families who only visit the Disney parks once in their lifetime. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that navigating many planning features can become difficult, especially for a group that has never been or who is not familiar with everything that comes with planning a Disney vacation.

For example, Disney Dining Reservations open up 60 days prior to the date you’re attempting to select. While dining reservations can fluctuate and come back open during this time period– as guests drop reservation times and select different ones– it’s an important facet for anyone who wants to make the most of their time in the parks or at the resorts, especially for those who want to skip the crowded lines that can come with quick-service restaurants.

But, there’s more planning for a Disney vacation than just selecting what restaurants you’d like to eat at. There are showtimes to plan around, Park-Hopping guidelines, and much more.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Credit: Victoria Mills

Even if you do your planning ahead of time for many of these aspects, there is one controversial Disney Park system that can’t be navigated until the day of. Of course, we’re talking about Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane.

Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane are paid features that can be accessed on the My Disney Experience app. Disney Genie+ allows guests to book a reservation to experience an attraction. When it’s your time, you simply scan your Park Ticket or MagicBand at the entrance, and you go through the Lightning Lane, which allows you to bypass the standby queue. Reservations can only be made every couple of hours– or after you use your reservation– so, it can lead to some missing out on booking an attraction.

a disney world line for haunted mansion after three day refurbishment causes 10 hour prolonged delay in opening
Credit: Inside the Magic

While many guests have begun to embrace Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane, others have remain steadfast against the system. One guest recently shared that the Lightning Lane caused the standby line time to rise, despite low crowds.

“I just got back from Disney World and our first day in the Magic Kingdom we said the crowds seemed light,” the guest shared. “We have been to Disney World over 20 times over the past 15+ years and have experienced it all. But this was the lowest I’ve seen crowds in a very long time, we could walk past Small World and Peter Pan and not be shoulder to shoulder with others, it was awesome. But the lines seemed to be the same wait times as previous visits and for some rides they seemed longer.”

The culprit? The guest shared they believed it had to do with Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane.

I realized what was the likely culprit of this when we got in line a few days later at Epcot for Test Track. The posted wait time said 50 minutes when we got into line and stayed that way for probably 15 minutes after. Things moved fast at first but by the time we got to the room with the car and the kids designed projected on to it, it has already been 50 minutes. Then by the time we got into the design studio we had been in line for 90 minutes, it ended up lining up to the point where I had to attempt to enter the virtual queue for Guardians while on the ride, this obviously wasn’t our plan.

“We planned on riding TT and having more than enough time to sit down inside and attempt the virtual queue…Lightning Lane is the worst thing to happen to Disney World in my experience. I refuse to buy it and look at it as such a money grab. I don’t want to have to deal with it either.”

Test Track cars
Credit: Disney

Lightning Lane has been met with its fair share of controversy, and it’s not likely to go away anytime soon. Though Disney has shared its plans to make some changes to the system, nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

What do you think of Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane at Walt Disney World? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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