Disney is rolling out its new Disney Genie app, which is a “magical” way to upcharge Walt Disney World and Disneyland Guests for the privilege of skipping lines via a DLC style in-app purchase.
From The New York Times…
Every ride at the resorts will continue to have a traditional standby queue. For those willing to pay $15 per person at Disney World and $20 per person at Disneyland, there will be Genie+. The upgrade, charged per day, allows visitors to choose the next available time to use the Lightning Lane at a variety of rides, including classics like the Haunted Mansion and newer favorites like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. One of these selections can be made at a time, with the ultimate number of fast boardings that people can squeeze into a day depending on length of stay and overall attendance. (In other words, no stockpiling.)
However, some popular rides will not be available for Genie+ selection. For its most-mobbed attractions, Disney will offer Lightning Lane access on an à la carte basis — and the price will fluctuate based on date, attraction and park. (A bit like surge pricing for Uber.) Guests will be limited to two of these upgrades in a day. Disney declined to discuss its pricing plans for this option. The company also declined to list the attractions, though one will be Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a gentle Disney World roller coaster where the standby wait can exceed two hours on busy weekends. (On Tuesday night it was 85 minutes.)
What’s not made expressly clear is if you need to purchase Genie+ in addition to the a la carte attractions, or if those can be purchased outside of the $15-20 Genie+ fee. Disney being Disney, it’s likely that the a la carte attractions will be an upcharge to the base Genie+ “subscription” like how Disney Plus Premier Access is a fee on top of Disney Plus.
There’s been a lot of chatter about how Disney is pricing out middle-class families over the past couple of years.
So it’ll be interesting to see what the average Disney Guest’s reaction to this change is in the coming months, and if and when Disney will stop with the constant nickel and diming of its customers.
“This allows us to, No. 1, create a better guest experience,” Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in a Zoom call with the New York Times. “It should be obvious, but a better guest experience is better for our business. No. 2, it allows us to best utilize our capacity — you can distribute demand much more effectively through your ecosystem. And then obviously there is revenue attached to this. That revenue we get to then reinvest in new experiences.”
More to come, I’m sure. Grab popcorn.
[Source: New York Times]
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