About a week ago, I pointed out that Genie+ system keeps changing, even when it does not change. The scheduled adjustment of some of the Genie+ attractions changed only a few days before it was supposed to happen. However, during lots of Disney news about earnings and prices, guests encounter a new wrinkle in time. Guests buying Genie+ face a more difficult time using the system if planning to park hop now.
I will attempt to explain this. In the short span of Genie+ existing, guests planning to park hop could schedule Genie+ lightning lane slots at their second park in advance. For example, you could make a park reservation at Animal Kingdom for the morning with a plan to move to Epcot after 2:00. The 2:00 time frame matters since no one can park hop until 2:00 pm each day. Savvy Walt Disney World Genie+ users might rope drop Animal Kingdom. As a result, those same people start booking Genie+ lightning lane slots for their second park of the day. So, starting at 7am, they would book a Genie+ slot for after 2:00 at their second park, like Epcot. The Genie+ system would previously automatically only show timeslots after 2:00pm for parks that guests did not have a reservation to enter. That changed very recently.
As you may know, guests cannot select their preferred timeslots to enter a lightning lane with Genie+ attractions. So, if the next time offered is 11:00am, the system provides no negotiating. This issue frustrates former veterans of the Fastpass+ system.
For park hoppers using Genie+, this just got more difficult. For our earlier example, you have a theme park reservation at Animal Kingdom. You planned to book only Genie+ slots for your second park, Epcot. However, you go to select Test Track at Epcot only to see an error screen encouraging you to pick another attraction. Since you do not have a theme park reservation at Epcot, then you can only select attractions at Epcot when/if they have spots after 2:00pm.
What does this mean if you plan to “park- hop” like this? First, you are unlikely to be able to book an attraction at your second park at that time since most of them will be unlikely to have slots after 2pm. If your plan involves going to Hollywood Studios as your second park, you might be able to get a Slinky Dog Dash or Jungle Cruise timeslot. Those go quickly and soon offer timeslots after 2:00. However, most other attractions do not work that way.
Second, if you only want Genie+ attraction timeslots in your second park of day, you will need to watch very closely when 2:00 slots come open in your second park of day. These will not likely be available for your 7:00am choices. Your time glued refreshing the Disney app just increased again.
Third, this change looks like it was intended to keep people from “stacking” up Genie+ attractions at their second park of the day. To maximize your Genie+ purchase, you may be forced to book Genie+ timeslots in your first park of the day. Depending on crowd levels, your 7am Genie+ selection opportunity and the opportunity at park opening may not give you any timeslots in your second park since none might be available after 2:00pm. The common plan of starting in one park while “stacking” several Genie+ lightning lane slots in your second park will be far harder. Guests that use the “120 minute” rule to accumulate 4 or more Genie+ lightning lane attraction timeslots for their second park of day face a new challenge.
In conclusion, Genie+ just became less valuable for skilled users. My current theory involves this change being made for more overall guest satisfaction with the product. Since a high percentage of visitors purchase it, Walt Disney World needs more people happy with it. Logic dictates that Walt Disney World failed to anticipate the large percent of guests buying the Genie+ product and the attraction availability issues related to that. 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 more guest frustration with the Genie+ product. I will strive to update things if another change happens with the Genie+ system. When it comes to this Genie+, “you ain’t ever 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's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.