On March 9, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference. While speaking at the conference, Iger addressed a number of things, including Disney+, sports betting, and what his plans are for Disney’s multiple theme parks. He also spoke about the price of a trip to Disney, which has been a point of contention in recent years, with many Guests feeling Disney is just too expensive. Surprisingly, even Iger admitted that pricing at the parks was “too aggressive”.
Disney vacations have never been cheap, but prices really started to skyrocket when the theme parks reopened after their COVID closures. Then (and now-fired) CEO Bob Chapek appeared to want to get as much money out of Guests as he could, while at the same time spending as little on the Parks as possible. Guests were quick to notice and called Chapek out, but nothing changed for the better. If anything, the quality at the Parks continued to decline as prices for everything rose.
One of the most controversial price changes came when Chapek announced that Disney would be getting rid of the free FastPass system and instituting Genie+, a paid system. At first, Genie+ was a set price per Guest, per day. However, now the price of Genie+ fluctuates, based on the day of the week and the time of year.
If Bob Iger was telling the truth about his belief that pricing at the Parks was “too aggressive”, then Genie+ is the perfect place to start. Disney’s FastPass system put all theme park Guests on an even playing field. Genie+ is just another way that Chapek’s Disney plan was to cater to the wealthier visitors who were willing to spend more for convenience.
Disney theme parks have gone from a place that was always expensive, but the experience was worth it, to a place where more Guests feel left out, simply because they can’t afford to be nickeled and dimed. Allowing Guests to save even a little bit of money by getting rid of Genie+ and bringing back FastPass would go a long way for Iger to stand behind what he says.
Since he has been back as CEO, Iger has already announced the return of daily housekeeping to Walt Disney World Resort hotels. He also got rid of the daily parking fees at the hotels as well. So, clearly, he does not object to bringing back things that used to be a complimentary part of the Disney experience.
So, Mr. Iger, don’t you think it’s time we say goodbye to Disney Genie+ once and for all?
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.