Back in 2020, while both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney announced that it would be ending the incredibly popular FastPass program, which had been a staple at the Parks for two decades. In its place, Disney would be introducing a paid system — Disney Genie+. The move was a controversial one, considering Disney vacations are at an all-time high, and many felt that Disney was nickel and diming everyone who walked through the gates.
In the beginning, Disney Genie+ cost a set rate, but now Disney has even changed that, with prices going as low as $15 per Guest per day to as high as $29 per Guest per day. Guests are also no longer able to buy Disney Genie+ in advance, and can only buy it the day they want to use it. In addition to that, not all Disney rides and attractions are a part of Genie+. More popular rides — like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind — require a separate purchase to access the Lightning Lane, as they are “individual attraction selections.”
Genie+ is currently available for all Disney World and Disneyland Parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disneyland Park, and Disney California Adventure.
While all of that seems like a pain, it’s not the worst thing about Disney Genie+. The worst thing about Genie+ isn’t the price, or the fact that it’s actually made lines worse. No, the worst thing about Disney Genie+ is the fact that you have to wake up before 7 a.m. if you want to book reservations for some of the more popular Lightning Lane attractions.
That’s right. Disney Genie+ reservations open up at 7 a.m. every morning. So, if you wanted to book a Lightning Lane reservation, but also want to sleep in and actually relax more on your vacation, you may be out of luck. That is especially true if you are visiting during the busier times of the year. In that case, if you wait to book, you may not get reservations for the attractions you want to ride most.
I know that some families love to wake up early and rope drop at their favorite Park, but others don’t want to be up at the crack of dawn just to avoid waiting hours in line to ride a 90-second attraction. Why not push the start time back an hour, and have Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations begin at 8 a.m.? Disney vacations are already exhausting, so why does Disney insist on forcing people to wake up so early for a Disney Genie+ reservation? It almost seems like a punishment for those willing to spend even more on a vacation that already costs an arm and a leg.
I mean, in this writer’s opinion, the introduction of Disney Genie+ took something popular that wasn’t broken, messed it all up, and should go back to the FastPass program. But that is unlikely to happen, since Disney is making millions off of Disney Genie+, since many Disney Resort Guests feel they have to purchase it to do everything they want on their vacation. So, if they won’t get rid of Genie+, then the least they could do is let Guests sleep in a little before having to rush to make reservations for rides like Space Mountain, Slinky Dog Dash, and Haunted Mansion.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.