I just returned from my very first trip since Walt Disney World implemented the new Disney Genie + and Lightning Lane systems. I really, really wanted to like these new systems, but honestly, I’d rather go back to standby only. Now, that’s not to say that there are not some benefits to these systems or that they don’t work for everyone. I can see how they could be useful to some families, they just didn’t work for me personally. Let’s explore some of the big pros and cons of the new Disney Genie + and Lightning Lane systems.
The big pro of using Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane services is that you skip the standby line and join the Lightning Lane (FastPass) Line. You can make your first selection starting at 7 am and then can not make another selection until after you’ve experienced your first. So theoretically, if you are someone who wakes up early and rope-drops, this could be a very convenient system for you. There are over 40 attractions throughout Disney World that are available to book using Genie +, so if you are an early riser and book your first experience early, you could really put the system to good use.
Another huge pro is that, unlike the old FastPass + system, guests could use Genie + to skip far more than 3 lines per park. If utilized correctly, the Disney Genie + system could gain guests access to up to over 10 attractions in one day.
Some guests also enjoy that they are able to purchase individual Lightning Lane access to certain main attractions. For instance, many guests had trouble time after time obtaining a boarding group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and can now just pay to experience it. You do not have to purchase Disney Genie + in order to purchase individual Lightning Lane access for an attraction.
Let’s get to the elephant in the room, these new systems cost money, unlike the old free FastPass + system. Of course, when anything is taken away and its replacement cost money, people are going to complain about it- rightfully so. With rising ticket and room rates and the elimination of free Magical Express shuttle service, it seems guests are paying more for less, and that can be frustrating. Disney Genie + service is $15.00 per day per guest, and individual Lightning Lane costs vary depending on the attraction. It’s easy to see how this could get very costly for a larger family spending multiple days at the parks.
Another con to this system is that instead of planning out multiple experiences at a time, guests can only book one attraction at a time. This may have guests running from one end of the park to another, based on what attractions are available at the moment. What about guests who do not wish to wake up at 7 am every day of vacation? There is a good chance if you wait to book Disney Genie + or individual Lightning Lane experiences until later in the day, you will not have many to choose from.
While no system is perfect, I can honestly say I wish the old FastPass + system would return! I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of Disney Genie +! That being said, I will still continue to love Disney and try to visit when crowds are low.
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