Disney overhauls virtual queue and planning system for domestic parks with Disney Genie and upsells

Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2021 7:52 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Disney has introduced a new system called Disney Genie to manage planning and queueing at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. It includes some premium queue options for additional cost. From the official blog post:

Built right into the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps, Disney Genie service will maximize your park time, so you can have more fun. It includes a personalized itinerary feature that will quickly and seamlessly map out an entire day. From specific attractions, foodie experiences and entertainment, to general interests like Disney princesses, villains, Pixar, Star Wars, thrill rides and more – just tell Disney Genie what you want to do and it will do the planning for you.

The short video overview:

The long video overview:

Saturday, August 21, 2021 10:05 PM

Absolutely. It was truly something to experience Big Thunder during the day in a standby queue and have the speed of the line be absolutely glacial while hordes and hordes of FP+ people surged past us like salmon swimming upstream.By contrast, being in the same line the instant the park closed and EMH began, suddenly the line absolutely flew and pulsed people the way it was designed to. I know which version of the experience I prefer.FP+ was great if you were able to stack all of your cards just right and endlessly frustrating if you couldn't. It certainly was a major contributing factor to what was easily one of the worst days I've ever had at any theme park back in 2018. I know many had great experiences with it and loved it, but I seemingly always had bad luck with it-particularly at Magic Kingdom, for whatever reason. I know that with Disney Genie it won't be exactly like that EMH experience, but the fact that everyone in that line will have had to pay for the privilege instead of every person walking through the gates being gifted three no matter what will mean that the standby lines should move faster by a decent amount, and those that pay may even wait a bit less than they did before. Everyone wins.

+0
Saturday, August 21, 2021 10:18 PM
Jeff's avatar

As a local who typically spent four hours in a park, FP+ was pretty great. It was hard to get for Flight of Passage and Seven Dwarfs, but not for anything else if I was thinking a few days ahead. We've got passholder preview coming up for Ratatouille, and I wouldn't be surprised if that's a future rarity.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

+0
Sunday, August 22, 2021 12:46 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

As a once-every-few-years traveler who knew WAY more about the quirks of the system then we had any right to, FP+ was also pretty great for us. We got FoP and 7DMT 60 days out and that took a huge stressor off my plate. We probably only rope dropped half our days because we were loaded with FP's.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

+0
Sunday, August 22, 2021 3:33 AM

We made FP+ work really well for us on our last trip but it did nothing to alleviate my feelings that fast passes are great if you’ve got them but a massive irritant if you don’t. We travelled without children so it was no issue to us to traverse the parks several times when availability came up but also we had enough days there to be able to go with the flow somewhat/

A couple of years ago we spent three days at Disneyland Paris, the first day the fast pass system was up and running, but in the second two the whole system went down resulting in no fast pass availability at all. At a rough estimate, despite the standby lines being considerably longer, I would say we got on the rides in 1/3 to 1/2 the time compared with the day before and had a much better time. So if the Genie goes some way to redressing that balance so the standby lines move faster than under FP+ then it sounds like a win to me.

+2Loading
Sunday, August 22, 2021 7:11 PM

BrettV said:

BariMan said:

The lines were physically long, often into the midways, but they absolutely flew.

This is the main reason I disliked FP+. I'd rather wait 10-30 (or 45) minutes for everything anytime I want rather than make my plans and then feel like anything else requires such a glacial standby line.

I’m not a Disney guy but this sure sounds like what folks have been complaining about at Cedar Point, especially the past few years where they dedicate 50% capacity of top rides to Fast Lane Plus.


But then again, what do I know?

+1Loading
Sunday, August 22, 2021 7:24 PM
Jeff's avatar

Maybe, but the split on managed queue to standby has already been this way for years at WDW (pre-pandemic, at least). When most of the line is dedicated to the managed queue, and you can generally get the passes, it's not a big deal. The challenge is that some rides are more popular than their daily capacity, though there are really just two of those: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Flight of Passage. I mean, you can ride them, if you're willing to stand in an absurdly long line. Beyond that, I've never had any real issue riding things I've wanted to ride, provided I'm thinking a week our or more. (AP's could book 30 days out, while resort guests could 60, which is why they dominated the two hard-to-get rides.)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

+0
Sunday, August 22, 2021 7:35 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Just for information, at the busiest times standby:FP ratio was 1:9.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

+1Loading
Sunday, August 22, 2021 8:04 PM

Holy crap 90% went to Fast Pass?!?


But then again, what do I know?

+1Loading
Sunday, August 22, 2021 8:14 PM

Not always. But anytime the Fastpass line backed up to a certain point, which in the Faspass+ days was routine enough to make those little table tennis paddle signs saying "Fastpass+ line starts here" to carry out into the park when the FP+ queue spilled out.

I also know the number of entitlements per time slot and per hour increased exponentially from the paper Fastpass days and FP+

+0
Thursday, September 23, 2021 3:31 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Munarriz's take at Fool.com:

https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/09/23/disney-world-takes-a-big-...ew-normal/


+0
Thursday, September 23, 2021 4:37 PM
Jeff's avatar

The trick to this is really to price it high enough that it milks a ton of cash out of people while also not being so affordable that everyone can use it. If you can hit that point, then it won't significantly detract from the base experience.

That said, I think about the ways that I give them money as a passholder, and I probably won't flinch using this now and then. I mean, every few visits to Food & Wine I'm loading up that gift card balance another $200, because I'm a glutton and/or drunk, so why not redirect some of that toward a ride now and then? I think about how infrequently I've been able to ride Flight of Passage, even in the Fastpass days, and I'm content to give them a few bucks to do it occasionally. Otherwise, I'm content to take my safari trip or whatever.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

+1Loading
Thursday, September 23, 2021 6:46 PM

Disney Magical Access at Disneyland Paris has seen its pricing adjusted a few weeks ago, with the caveat they don't have a Genie + equivalent. Its either stand-by queue or paid Magical Access. Notably, Peter Pan's Flight, which was priced at 15 euros per person (17.50$ US) was brought down to 12 euros. Disney will probably use that data to figure out to price the Lightning Lane attractions at WDW and Disneyland.


+0
Thursday, September 23, 2021 8:37 PM
Jeff's avatar

I doubt it. Assuming that American tourists behave like European tourists seems like a horrible idea.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

+0
Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:41 PM

Jeff said:

The trick to this is really to price it high enough that it milks a ton of cash out of people while also not being so affordable that everyone can use it. If you can hit that point, then it won't significantly detract from the base experience.

Wait, you mean to tell me that Disney is doing nothing more than milking money from us? Those Disney fan forums make it seem like Walt set up the parks as a non-profit organization to specifically cater to them

+0
Friday, September 24, 2021 8:01 AM
kpjb's avatar

Absimilliard said:

Notably, Peter Pan's Flight, which was priced at 15 euros per person (17.50$ US) was brought down to 12 euros.

I cannot imagine any situation where I would pay $70 for my family to ride the Peter Pan ride. I imagine if I had Bezos loads of cash, that still would seem ridiculous.


Hi

+1Loading
Friday, September 24, 2021 4:15 PM

kpjb said:

Absimilliard said:

Notably, Peter Pan's Flight, which was priced at 15 euros per person (17.50$ US) was brought down to 12 euros.

I cannot imagine any situation where I would pay $70 for my family to ride the Peter Pan ride. I imagine if I had Bezos loads of cash, that still would seem ridiculous.

Shanghai Disneyland and Disneyland Paris were the testing beds for paid skip the line access at Disney parks. When Shanghai Disneyland opened, it had a fast pass system similar to other parks, but then local management quickly realized something: guests were scalping their fast pass to other guests! They started taking photos of guests as they entered the park and photos of who used the fast pass and who had entered the park with that ticket had to match.

Eventually, within a year or two of opening, Shanghai Disneyland management came up with the Magical Access idea, soon transfered to Hong Kong Disneyland after it started printing money for them. Remove 75-90% of free fast pass inventory and transfer it to Magical Access, with a whole set for 60-70$ US for one time access to each attraction or 10-15$ per ride. During holidays, it sold out and now, they ended the tiny free fast pass side and its either standby or Magical Access.

Over at Disneyland Paris, they had launched a program for guests staying on the concierge levels of the hotels there. You had the opportunity to purchase something similar to Universal Express in Orlando, where you could buy an unlimited or limited skip the line pass. It worked out well enough that it was extended to every guest and guess what? Even with plenty of free fast passes, guests didn't want to wait or fight for a time slot, so a surprising number of guests bought Premier Access, leading Parks and Resorts in the US to look very closely at it, which became Genie +/Lightning Lane.

This is not limited to Disney, as Universal Studios Beijing with its expensive for China tickets is sold out until christmas, including Universal Express.

Last edited by Absimilliard, Friday, September 24, 2021 4:15 PM

+1Loading
Friday, September 24, 2021 6:53 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Jeff said:

I'm loading up that gift card balance another $200

Curious if you have a preferred method of this or if it's just a straight transaction. Finding cheap-a$$ Disney gift cards has become somewhat of an obsession of mine.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

+0
Friday, September 24, 2021 8:36 PM
Jeff's avatar

For Food & Wine, I just don't like reconciling my statement with a billion transactions (yes, I still do that). So we bought a little gift card on a wrist strap, and I persisted it to my phone, and there are a few locations around World Showcase where you can reload it. When it gets low, I just add to it with credit card. Easier to reconcile a single big transaction than dozens of little ones.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

+2Loading

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2021, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...