Disney World Orlando announces changes to popular paid expansion Genie+

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Todd Anderson/Disney Parks via Getty Images

Since launching in October 2021, Disney’s Genie+ experience has hit many users like a mixed bag.

Marketed as an upgrade to the free Genie service available in the My Disney Experience mobile app, Genie+ offers a paid option to replace the now-defunct FastPass system (which was free).

Now, customers must pay $15 to access Disney’s exclusive Lightning Lane entrances, allowing them to access select attractions without waiting in line. As you can imagine, people who weren’t used to paying for it were less than thrilled with the change.

Disney spoiled the deal again by making Genie+’s usage rules weird. In February, the company announced that visitors planning day tours would not be able to pre-book the service, forcing them to try to get it on the day of the tour and bet on availability.

And as if that weren’t enough, Disney has now announced new guidelines that will make upgrading to Genie+ even more difficult than it was before.

What are the new changes to Genie+?

Disney announced on May 18 that it would stop offering Genie+ as an add-on for tickets purchased before their visit dates starting June 8, meaning all guests should try their luck to purchase the add-on. Complementary each day of their visit. Disney clarifies that add-ons are also “subject to availability.”

Sales open at 7:00 a.m. EST, which means customers should be up early for any hope of booking the coveted upgrade.

Disney fans have taken to social media to express their frustration with the new changes, as well as to share their experiences trying to use the Genie+ system during their visits.

Other frustrated park-goers have started petitions on Change.org begging Disney to change the system, though none have more than 1,000 signatures as of this writing.

And of course, as always, some turned their emotions on the subject into overly relatable memes.

Why is Disney doing this?

While it’s easy to assume that Disney’s goal with Genie+ is to make more money – and naturally, that’s still the result of most business changes – there’s probably more aspects in the decision.

A netizen commented on Twitter that buying tickets for events is not unusual, pointing out that it is a common practice at Tokyo Disney.

However, visitors to Disney parks in the United States are used to things being different here, which may mean a much lower tolerance for new Genie+ guidelines.

Regardless of what people say on social media, Disney parks remain packed. WDW Stats, a Twitter account dedicated to daily updates of what’s happening at the park, reported wait times of between 80 and 105 minutes on May 19, proving that customers are still flocking to the park, that whether or not they use Genie+.

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This story was originally published May 19, 2022 12:18 p.m.

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