Walt Disney World continues to tweak the new Genie+ Lightning Lane Reservation system.
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Over the last month, the Walt Disney World app, My Disney Experience, has received a couple of updates that are making in park usage more and more difficult.
To recap, in the spring, Disney announced presales of Genie+ would cease in June, so you could no longer buy for your entire trip ahead of time.
In July, an update to the app changed the next available time window that displayed on the tip board to Check Availability. Meaning, you had to click the ride you wanted to see what time was available. This is both good and bad. It’s good because you’re more likely to get the time you’re shown on this screen than you were before. It’s bad in that this lasts for 30 minutes, so a casual observer or undecided guest can’t quickly see what’s the soonest available.
Then last week, as anticipation was growing as to what Disney World would do for the rides they removed from the Individual Lightning Lane and placed with the Genie+ package, the park website was just quietly updated to let users know that 1 ILL per park was now a permanent change.
Today, 8/11/22, another app update is now preventing park hoppers from automatically receiving a post 2pm Lightning Lane. For the first 10 months of Genie+, you could select a ride in a park you planned to hop to and automatically be given a 2pm or later time. Now users will have to wait for the return time to exceed 2pm before having a shot at a Lightning Lane pass in a park that is not their reserved park.
Now, generally speaking, most people selecting a ride at 7am for a different park are probably selecting the most popular ride in the park, so it will mean a few refreshes in order to get to a desirable time. However, it does create frustration as users want to be able to select their ride and go back to sleep or get up and ready for their park day.
Disney was touting yesterday how the Genie+ service was raising their profits in the most recent quarter. It’ll be interesting to see the next couple quarter results to see how these changes affect the bottom line. I doubt people will stop buying Genie+, but I could see fewer buying at Animal Kingdom and Epcot, where they aren’t as necessary, especially since you’re no longer able to buy for your entire trip with the ticket package.
Have you used Genie+ yet, what were your thoughts? How do you feel about the recent changes? Comment below if you think you’ll use it on your next Disney World trip.
If you’re ready to start exploring a Walt Disney World or Disneyland family vacation, I recommend checking out Undercover Tourist for your ticket options. I’ve already used them twice, once at Disneyland and once at Disney World and will plan to continue comparing their prices with other sites, however I usually come back to UT because they have the best deals and their instructions make it easy to add your tickets to the Disney apps.