Walt Disney World: Non-Theme Park Discussion

Rob

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Genie+ is similar to MaxPass, but they've managed to make it worse. I would rather them just have kept MaxPass at Disneyland and rolled it out in Florida. We used it on all 5 of our days at Disneyland Resort and it worked so well, having the photos included was ideal! I think at some times we had 3 reservations at once, and it does not sound like that will be possible with Genie+.

It will be interesting to see just how many rides are not included with Genie+. At Disneyland you can be sure that Radiator Springs and Rise of the Resistance will not be. But I guess on any given day they can just decide to take certain rides off it and make you pay extra if you don't want to use the standby queue.

It will be interesting to see what the uptake of Genie+ is, as that will determine the impact on standby lines.
 

AT86

TS Member
I have read elsewhere that there were previously around 65 attractions across WDW with Fastpass+ access. Genie+ is being advertised as including ‘over 40 attractions’

Therefore there are around 20 attractions that are either not going to have any lightning lane or have been bumped up so that lighting access is pay per ride only. There is a screenshot Disney are using as part of the marketing materials that shows Space Mountain will be one of those attractions that is pay per ride, so that gives a guide as to the level of attractions that will/will not be included in Genie+.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
In theory if there is no Genie+ on a ride so you have to pay extra for lightning lane the standby might move faster if not many people choose to pay per ride. But it depends on how long the standby gets and how much it costs to skip it.
 

ShadowTD

TS Member
I'm *very* interested to see if this actually leads to shorter standby Qs due to reduced utilisation of the Lightning Lane. I don't think it will though. This is money grabbing, plain and simple. I actually cancelled our planned 4 day Christmas break at DLRP over this, and it's causing us to consider leaving Disney off our Florida '24 trip (replacing the Mouse with a Royal Caribbean cruise).
Bob Chapek can eat a... well, you get the idea.
 

Plastic Person

TS Member
To be honest, while the Lightning Lane idea is pretty outrageous, the removal of Fastpass + and subsequently the ludicrous planning involved in a trip to WDW makes the resort more appealing to me once again.

I'd still rather do a week a Universal, mind.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
I'm *very* interested to see if this actually leads to shorter standby Qs due to reduced utilisation of the Lightning Lane. I don't think it will though. This is money grabbing, plain and simple. I actually cancelled our planned 4 day Christmas break at DLRP over this, and it's causing us to consider leaving Disney off our Florida '24 trip (replacing the Mouse with a Royal Caribbean cruise).
Bob Chapek can eat a... well, you get the idea.
At Paris I think it may lead to faster moving standby queues for many attractions as there is no low cost or free pass any more. Crowds are low due to Covid right now, but queues have been short at DLP, some reports that even a full queue spilling out to the walkway for Tower of Terror is only 45 minutes due to no fast pass and very few people paying for premier access.

But at WDW the low cost Genie+ will keep the standby waits for most attractions the same as they were with old FastPass really and for the up charge ones there probably will be enough people willing to pay. Maybe standby will move a little quicker than before but not majorly.

Currently it does seem like Paris might actually be the better option as it’s less fuss, either pay for one shot premier access or just wait in the queue.
 

Maelstrom

TS Member
The problem with WDW is that most American guests go for much shorter periods ie 4 days on average, UK and some other European guests who go for 14 days are the exception (the uk only makes up 3% of visitors). American guests who on shorter trips more likely to pay for the new passes. It becomes very expensive for uk guests visiting for longer periods. However disney would rather have 3 groups of American guests each visiting for 4-5 nights vs 1 uk family for 14 nights staying in genie I site hotel. They make money out of the 3 American groups- the American groups visiting for short term periods spend more on average per day than UK guests on the longer holidays, they more happily splash out for the expensive premium restaurants and all of the add ons and extras (after hrs events/parties etc).

we still plan to keep our on-site booking for next summer as it’s special celebration trip (hopefully we get to go and restrictions have been removed) which is for 10 nights. We will be adding 9-10 nights at one of the mid priced Universal hotels (prob Aventura, stayed their before) and use to do non Disney stuff). We do have a $200 gift card with the Disney room so will use that for a some of the genie + or lightening passes. That money would have been spent on merchandise or more expensive meal out (we also have a $610 dinning credit) but will just mean we don’t do that and will divert the money.

Having been extremely lucky to visit numerous times we are past the point of running around trying to get on as many rides as possible in a day, and while do want to get on the major rides (will have to queue where necessary) also just enjoy the whole experience of being in the parks/ evening shows/Disney springs etc.

However on future trips after next year it’s likely due to the increasing costs and reduction in benefits that will have to not try and do all parks in one trip. Do just a Universal/Seaworld trip or a shorter Disney trip.
 

ShadowTD

TS Member
To be honest, while the Lightning Lane idea is pretty outrageous, the removal of Fastpass + and subsequently the ludicrous planning involved in a trip to WDW makes the resort more appealing to me once again.

I'd still rather do a week a Universal, mind.
It's a fair point - for most people planning your FP+ 30 or 90 days in advance was a bit much. I loved it though, helped me build the excitement.

My biggest grip is the loss of value. Disney is expensive, and will always be so but you felt like you were getting a lot thrown in - FastPass+, Magical Express, usually the photopass. Our last 2 week ticket package in 2019 was around £1800 for four adults and a child and I honestly felt that was great value for money - freedom to roam the parks and extras that other parks would charge for. As an international visitor, if my two weeks there aren't block booked to give me freedom to roam all 6 parks as I wish, I'm not going.
 

tayspru

TS Member
Going off the “over 40 attractions” statement regarding Genie +, things Disney themselves have confirmed, as well as previous Tiers at each park, here’s my best guess of the “Premium” Lighting Lane attractions :

Magic Kingdom
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Tron Lightcycle Power Run
Space Mountain *
Peter Pan’s Flight
Princess Fairytale Hall
Premium Disney Enchantment viewing

*Space Mountain I can see having an option as it means that guests won’t all just go there as a free / low cost alternative to Tron

EPCOT
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Frozen Ever After
Guardians of the Galaxy - Cosmic Rewind
Premium Harmonius viewing

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Star Wars : Rise of the Resistance
Slinky Dog Dash

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Avatar Flight of Passage
Avatar N’avi River Journey
Expedition Everest

I don’t really see any other attractions warranting the premium service, aside from potentially Splash Mountain - this was conspicuously absent from the short list of Magic Kingdom “classic” attractions listed as available with Genie + , but doesn’t draw the same lines as Peter Pan’s flight . I can see this remaining in the included tier and then being moved to Lightning Lane only when it reopens as the Princess and the Frog themed attraction.

Id happily spend extra to guarantee rides on things like Tron and RoTR if I was visiting on a busy day, and will probably use Genie + for one day at each park too!
 

Maelstrom

TS Member
Rumours on many Disney sites point to two rides per park on the premium service, plus possibility of
Premium night time show seating. With the 40 on genie plus it is thought that some of the current fastpass +shows may not be included in genie as there was never any real need to fast pass those.

Animal kingdom is rumoured to be flight of passage and the safari. Magic kingdom -space mountain and Severn Dwarfs mine train. Hollywood studies as you have listed and epcot- ratatouille and test track.

When Tron and Guardians eventually open hopefully in 2022 these will then be added as well.
 

tayspru

TS Member
Rumours on many Disney sites point to two rides per park on the premium service, plus possibility of
Premium night time show seating. With the 40 on genie plus it is thought that some of the current fastpass +shows may not be included in genie as there was never any real need to fast pass those.

Animal kingdom is rumoured to be flight of passage and the safari. Magic kingdom -space mountain and Severn Dwarfs mine train. Hollywood studies as you have listed and epcot- ratatouille and test track.

When Tron and Guardians eventually open hopefully in 2022 these will then be added as well.

Disney Blogs just recirculate the same guesses and are usually based on a misinterpretation of press releases. The Lightning Lane (as stated by Disney) is limited to two rides per day per guest on the paid system. However it’s likely more than that will be options on the LL only tier in each park. It wouldn’t make sense for AK not to include both Avatar attractions, or MK another to include both Space and Tron. Attractions that are popular and close to each other need to be on the same tier, or the one on the cheaper tier would be permanently swamped.
 

Maelstrom

TS Member
Disney Blogs just recirculate the same guesses and are usually based on a misinterpretation of press releases. The Lightning Lane (as stated by Disney) is limited to two rides per day per guest on the paid system. However it’s likely more than that will be options on the LL only tier in each park. It wouldn’t make sense for AK not to include both Avatar attractions, or MK another to include both Space and Tron. Attractions that are popular and close to each other need to be on the same tier, or the one on the cheaper tier would be permanently swamped.

Yes it’s all just rumours as no one knows for sure, will be interesting to see when it starts and also the impact on standby lines. Disney did say the millennium falcon will be available on genie+ and not a premium attraction.
 
I been to Orlando 5 times and stayed at Disney 4 of them times. We stayed in a moderate resort every time and every visit the perks have got worst.

2007 Free DDP with tips included, 1 Table service meal, 1 quick service meal and a snack also EMH a hour before and up to 3 hours afterwards.
2008 Free DDP but you had to pay for tips. EMH were the same.
2011 Free DDP was now QSDP which included a free resort mug and 2 counter service meals and 2 snacks per day, $100 gift card. EMH were changed from 3 to 2 hours.
2016 QSDP was changed again from 2 snacks to 1 a day, $200 gift card, EMH was more morning than evening on offer. 60 day fast pass window with tiered rides per park.

Now I’m looking to going back in 2023 but no word yet if the Free food offer gonna be back or are they gonna stick with the dinning credits, $200 gift card, no DME so got to pay for transfers, EMH in the mornings only for 1 hour unless you book a deluxe resort then you get them in the evening. Paid for Fast pass service.
So really is international guests gonna pay top $ for a very limited offers available or just skipped DIsney.
 

Maelstrom

TS Member
I been to Orlando 5 times and stayed at Disney 4 of them times. We stayed in a moderate resort every time and every visit the perks have got worst.

2007 Free DDP with tips included, 1 Table service meal, 1 quick service meal and a snack also EMH a hour before and up to 3 hours afterwards.
2008 Free DDP but you had to pay for tips. EMH were the same.
2011 Free DDP was now QSDP which included a free resort mug and 2 counter service meals and 2 snacks per day, $100 gift card. EMH were changed from 3 to 2 hours.
2016 QSDP was changed again from 2 snacks to 1 a day, $200 gift card, EMH was more morning than evening on offer. 60 day fast pass window with tiered rides per park.

Now I’m looking to going back in 2023 but no word yet if the Free food offer gonna be back or are they gonna stick with the dinning credits, $200 gift card, no DME so got to pay for transfers, EMH in the mornings only for 1 hour unless you book a deluxe resort then you get them in the evening. Paid for Fast pass service.
So really is international guests gonna pay top $ for a very limited offers available or just skipped DIsney.

The qsdp went back to two snack credits in 2018 (they removed the dessert from the quick serve meal) they also added you could have an alcoholic drink or milkshakes with your meal. Also the extra hrs in the morning will be half an hour not 1 hr, however all 4 parks will offer it every day, rather than just one park, so while the amount of time is poor at least crowds will be spread out.
 
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Ian

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Dizz, Bobby’s Yarn Land 🧶
Not strictly “non-theme park”, but as something that covers all parks and some aspects of the wider resort I thought it worth sharing.

Defunctland have posted this genuinely excellent piece about the Disney FastPass systems, it’s origins the problems and even some very interesting science and data modelling.



It’s a long watch but I highly recommend giving it a view. It goes beyond just Disney and discusses some of the general logic behind FastPass-style systems, and I believe has also been created with the help of some of the people who created the first version of it too. A very well written and produced piece to a complicated and divisive topic.
 

AstroDan

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Excellent video summing up the changes to the offer, price increases and so on across the Disney parks in the US. We are seeing it with Merlin and other operators and parks too, although generally to a much lesser degree than Disney.

 

JAperson

TS Member
Excellent video summing up the changes to the offer, price increases and so on across the Disney parks in the US. We are seeing it with Merlin and other operators and parks too, although generally to a much lesser degree than Disney.


It is quite interesting for me, who isn't a big Disney fan and doesn't really follow it much, to see how they have changed a lot of there pricing structures and systems. Some of these including the free fast past were things Disney was constantly praised on and now they are removing it. It seems the pandemic really has shock the Disney parks to the core and has made massive impacts for the future.
 

Funcone

TS Member
I was just looking at the Disney World parks on Trip Advisor. We've had quite a few topics discussing the Merlin parks, but the Disney parks aren't getting great feedback at the moment either. To be fair, some of that is Covid related, and it can be hard for the parks to win. Some people are complaining that there are too many restrictions and they don't like having to wear a face mask. Others are complaining that there's too few restrictions and it isn't Covid safe. It also sounds like there are staff shortages, which might be connected to Covid. But there are quite a few one star reviews now.
 

Funcone

TS Member
There are a good smattering of complaints about Lightning Lane, but not as many as you might think. At least not directly. A lot of the negative comments do talk about low ride counts and long queues. You’d assume Lightning Lane’s a factor in that. It’s also possible that over time there’s been a rise in the number of people skipping the queues because they’ve got a registered disability. It’s not clear how much staffing shortages have affected things, but I’ve seen comments about the parks being dirty, which is unusual for Disney. You might imagine that staffing shortages would be offset by lower attendance, but perhaps the international visitors often came at different times of year to many of the locals.

There are talks about the general rise in commercialisation and the general cost of things. The cost of parking, food and merchandise all get regular mentions. As does the frequent upselling for hard ticket events, desert parties etc. There is also more talk about grumpy staff. I think that's partly because they're having to enforce all these Covid restrictions, and partly because it's hard to be as friendly when you're short staffed and there are more angry customers.

Comments from people who used Lightning Lane are generally positive, but there are negative comments from people who paid the extra and then found that the top rides were already 'sold out' and they had to use their Lightning Lane for the smaller second tier rides.

Lightning Lane and Covid restrictions are common sources of complaints, but certainly not the only ones.
 
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