Genie and Lightning Lane take six videos to explain

Jeff's avatar

I'm not at all surprised that people don't understand how these things work, so they have not one, but six videos now to explain them all:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/genie/get-started/

I think the reason people don't understand them is because none of it really maps to the way Fastpass works, and everyone understood that because it was simple.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

It was a bit complicated for me to use it initially, even after reading reviews and tips. Frankly, you just have to use it to get the full understanding. When I realized I could book the next Lightning Lane as soon as I checked in to the last one I started getting into a groove and really maximized it.

I wouldn't buy Genie+ to visit the Florida Parks. Not worth the money to me since getting in a certain number of rides no longer defines my experience. We did buy it in California since it was likely a one time trip and I wanted the kids to get the most out of their visit.

When I think back to my first experiences with Fastpass I remember it was at least a couple of trips before I really "got it". That didn't bode well for first time or only time visitors...and I'm sure that is frustrating. It does not help Disney meet their goals of exceeding guest expectations.

I thought the point of a vacation or trip to an amusement park was to "get away" from the every day world we live in and relax/have fun. I started watching the videos and was only a few minutes in when my thought was "way too much work." Parents have to feel this way too about the push for so much technology controlling your vacation when all you want to do is get away from your phone.

Tommytheduck's avatar

On a positive note, it may just force you off of Instagram for a few minutes each hour.

The idea that you have no other choice but to jump through all the hoops and stress over the virtual queue options is way oversold. Maybe I'm a little jaded since we've done a Disney trip in 6 out of the last 8 years, but in the last 3 we put little effort into virtual queuing (not even an option in '21) and we had a good time anyway.


ApolloAndy's avatar

I am on the opposite end of this spectrum. I devote a decent chunk of my time (even with no trip planned) learning the hacks and loopholes. I'm prepared to absolutely crush it on our weeklong trip in December (we're about once every 18 months to some Disney destination). I know I am extremely far from the average guest, but I appreciate the opportunities to turn research and knowledge into line-skipping. I probably actually enjoy it.


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."

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I don't think you're alone, Andy. I suspect the "game" is a lot of it for a certain segment. I feel like I'd definitely go down that path if I were a Disney person.


If you are ok with 1 (or 2 when going to DHS) waits a day of 30-60 min you don’t need it.


2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I tend to agree with that. We learned a lot in the interim post-Covid period when there was no Fastpass or LL, and all things considered, even DHS was pretty easy to deal with in the way that Cedar Point was circa 2001. We do sometimes take advantage of the disability pass option (because Simon simply can't queue for an hour without a potential meltdown), but for the most part none of the waits are that terrible. If the Remy standby is any indication, even Epcot has enough stuff that standby isn't terrible.

The long waits are mostly limited to Flight of Passage, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Rise of The Resistance and maybe Remy early in the day. Cosmic Rewind will probably be the other once they lift the virtual queue, which I think will happen soon given the relatively light demand for LL on that ride.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Touchdown:

If you are ok with 1 (or 2 when going to DHS) waits a day of 30-60 min you don’t need it.

As a local, I want to know when you're going to WDW. Epcot and Animal Kingdom are usually ok, but any time I go pretty much all of Magic Kingdom is guaranteed to be a minimum of a 45 minute wait, with the mountains in the 60-90 range. Studios is even worse, with Tower of Terror and Rock N Roller Coaster almost always in the 60-90 range, morning, afternoon and night.

I guess I just miss the days of the capacity monsters like Haunted Mansion, Pirates, Peoplemover, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Spaceship Earth, etc, being an almost guaranteed walkon/15-20 minute wait on even a decently crowded day. That all came back when the parks reopened from the COVID closures. I still wish skip the line was in the hundreds of dollars as a premium experience, rather than something that is so widely used that it essentially just creates two lines.

Jeff's avatar

I dunno, man, later in the day, those walk-on conditions seem pretty common during the week. I know Diana and Simon with one of our Norwegian guests hit BTMR and Mansion with little wait in July. Anecdotes suck for identifying trends, but just saying.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Brett I’m a resort guest when I go, so I do get the ERT but as far as MK goes in the am I do:

-SDMT (ERT)

-Pan (ERT)

-BTMRR

-Splash

-Pirates

-HM

Im off the Mansion usually around two hours after opening. I don’t always ride Space but that line is usually quite fast. You might not be able to replicate my first two rides but you can do my last four (which also happen to be my favorite rides at MK.). As far as additional times to quickly get on any ride that isn’t the JC that’s easy, after fireworks. If the MK is open 1 hour after fireworks, I can usually do BTMRR, Splash, and HM, +/- an additional ride if I’m lucky, 30 min and I can do two rides. Either way though you need to do opening/close.

AK is really easy for me to do quickly:

-FOP (ERT)

-NRJ (ERT)

-Safari

-Dinosaur (x2)

I knock off Kali and my Everest SRL marathon inter dispersed with Lion King (and I can’t wait to see Nemo again) and end my morning with occasionally waiting one last time for FOP (though with Nemo back that show will likely replace that.

DHS has been more tricky and I still not sure I’m doing everything right, ride closures screw up my plan a lot on the morning. I usually try to get Rise done during ERT followed by TSMM. At regular opening, I power ride ToT until the line got >30 min (it’s been a long time since two shafts were open for me but I usually averaged 3 cycles, with one shaft I’m lucky to get a reride) then RnRC via SRL. Then I get a cold beverage and do Mickey which is deceptively shorter line then it appears but usually 30-50 min. After that, there are no good options for short waits and I alternate between a short wait (Star Tours, Muppets, occasionally Indy or Frozen) and long waits (Slinky, MF, any ride I missed.)

I haven’t done it in a year (because I’m a sucker for night shows) but I had really good luck with short waits at night at DHS and with a longer trip coming soon I’ll be trying this again (sadly I’ve given up all hope of a Fantasmic return this Halloween.)

In the past year I’ve gone in late Oct, early Dec, early Feb and early May.

Last edited by Touchdown,

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Jeff's avatar

I live next door and I struggled to figure out half of those acronyms.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I actually think what I miss most as a local is being able to hit a park at a true rope drop on mornings without EMH. Ever since every park started the resort guest early entry, my long standing Magic Kingdom itinerary to essentially get through the entire park from 9-11am became obsolete.

Touchdown:

In the past year I’ve gone in late Oct, early Dec, early Feb and early May.

That strategy may work during those times but isn't likely to be replicated in the summer or holiday weekends. During our trip two months ago everything had a greater than 30 minute wait shortly after official park opening. If you are a resort guest and plan on getting to the parks EARLY you probably don't need Genie+ at Epcot or AK during the busy times of year. However, I don't believe the same is true for Studios or Magic Kingdom.

We did a fair amount of research on Genie+ before we went to the parks so we pretty much knew what we were going to experience. We would go to the parks for a few hours in the morning and book our Genie+ reservations for the afternoon. Being able to get a few rides in, head back for lunch, and have ride reservations in the afternoon was much less stressful than having to wait in line all day in the oppressive heat. We didn't spend much time on our phones since we knew about drop times and when our next reservation was available. I didn't find Genie+ much different than the most recent Fast Pass incarnation other than not being able to book a second ride on an attraction.

Jeff I held back, could have used FOTLK, FNTBB&B, F!, PPF, KS, KRR, IJSS, MV3D, ST but held back.


2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Tommytheduck's avatar

I've been once in the last 16 years and I only missed one (TSMM)

The original Fast Pass system was perfect IMO other than wasting paper. It was still spontaneous (you had to be at the actual ride to get one) but worked perfectly to let you do something else other than stand in the line.

Everything since has taken the simplicity out of it and made it more like scheduling appointments. And now it’s a pure gouge on top of the high price tickets like when they added parking fees to the high priced resorts.

The cost is trivial compared to the overall cost of a Walt Disney World experience, be it a resort stay or a year of Annual Pass visits. That to me is the biggest issue. Make it a noticeable add on like all the other parks do to help keep it exclusive. That gives more flexibility and a better experience for those that do purchase it, and despite everyone that claims otherwise, helps the folks that don't buy it have a better experience as well.

Make it $200-$300 per person, per park, per day. Find the right purchase cap per day. And then also guarantee that you can ride what you want, when you want, as many times as you want. People will buy it. But those who don't won't notice it as much as they do now.

ApolloAndy's avatar

Touchdown:

FNTBB&B

I am up to my eyebrows in Disney and I still don't know what this one is.


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."

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