Significant Genie+ Change for Park Hoppers at Walt Disney World

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About a week ago I pointed out that the Genie+ system keeps changing, even when it’s not changing. The scheduled adjustment of some of the Genie+ attractions only changed a few days before it was supposed to happen. However, during a lot of Disney revenue and price news, customers are encountering a new wrinkle in time. Customers who buy Genie+ have a harder time using the system if they plan to park now.

I will try to explain this. In Genie+’s short time of existence, customers planning to park can pre-schedule Genie+ flash lane slots at their second park. For example, you can make a park reservation at Animal Kingdom for the morning with a plan to move to Epcot after 2:00 a.m. The 2:00 p.m. deadline is important because no one can park until 2:00 p.m. each day. Savvy Walt Disney World Genie+ users might skip Animal Kingdom. As a result, these same people start booking Genie+ slots for their second park of the day. So, starting at 7 a.m., they would book a Genie+ slot for after 2 a.m. at their second park, like Epcot. The Genie+ system previously only automatically displayed time slots after 2:00 p.m. for parks that customers did not have a reservation to enter. This changed very recently.

As you may know, customers cannot select their preferred time slots to enter a lightning lane with Genie+ attractions. Thus, if the next time offered is 11:00, the system does not offer any trades. This problem frustrates old veterans of the Fastpass+ system.

For park goers using Genie+, it just got harder. For our previous example, you have a theme park reservation at Animal Kingdom. You had planned to reserve only Genie+ slots for your second park, Epcot. However, you will select Test Track at Epcot only to see an error screen encouraging you to choose another attraction. Since you don’t have a theme park reservation at Epcot, you can only select attractions at Epcot when they have seating after 2:00 p.m.

What does it mean if you plan to “park-hop” like this? First, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to book an attraction at your second park at this time, as most of them probably won’t have slots after 2pm. If your plan involves going to Hollywood Studios as your second park, you may be able to get a Slinky Dog Dash or Jungle Cruise timeslot. These leave quickly and soon offer time slots after 2:00. However, most other attractions don’t work this way.

Second, if you only want Genie+ attraction slots at your second park of the day, you will need to watch very closely for the opening of the 2:00 am slots at your second park of the day. These will likely not be available for your 7:00 picks. Your time spent refreshing the Disney app just increased again.

Third, this change appears to be intended to prevent people from “piling” Genie+ rides into their second park of the day. To maximize your Genie+ purchase, you may be required to reserve Genie+ time slots at your first park of the day. Depending on the level of attendance, your Genie+ selection opportunity at 7am and the opportunity at park opening may not give you slots in your second park, as none are available after 2:00 p.m. The common plan of starting in one park while “stacking” multiple Genie + Lightning Lane locations in your second park will be much more difficult. Customers who use the “120 minute” rule to accumulate at least 4 Genie+ Lightning Lane attraction slots for their second park of the day face a new challenge.

In conclusion, Genie+ has simply become less valuable to power users. My current theory implies that this change is made for greater overall customer satisfaction with the product. Since a high percentage of visitors buy it, Walt Disney World needs more happy people. Logic dictates that Walt Disney World did not anticipate the large percentage of guests purchasing the Genie+ product and the related attraction availability issues. Walt Disney World keeps changing the rules to make it work better. As usual, only time will tell if this change helps overall. However, I suspect this will lead to greater customer frustration with the Genie+ product. I will endeavor to update things if another change occurs with the Genie+ system. When it comes to this Genie+, “you’ve never had a friend like” this!

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated, fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal theme parks, themed entertainment, and related pop culture from a consumer perspective. The opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its publishers, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial source of information and has no connection with The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we can cover.

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