[THOUGHTS] Disney Announces Disney Genie Service, Officially Ending FastPass+

Coming this fall to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, Disney Genie is a complimentary and convenient new digital service designed to create your best Disney day.

Disney Genie System

Yesterday, Disney announced the end of FastPass+ (which was taken away from us a while ago) and introduced Disney Genie Service.

Built right into the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps, Disney Genie service will maximize your park time, so you can have more fun. It includes a personalized itinerary feature that will quickly and seamlessly map out an entire day. From specific attractions, foodie experiences and entertainment, to general interests like Disney princesses, villains, Pixar, Star Wars, thrill rides and more – just tell Disney Genie what you want to do and it will do the planning for you.

by Avery Maehrer, Manager of Communications, Walt Disney World Resort

There has been a lot of feedback since this announcement, and majority of the knee-jerk reactions have been negative. Below is WDWNT’s Tom Corless with his reaction to Josh D’Amaro’s quote to D23. He makes a really good point.

Think about Rise of the Resistanceas an example. It’s a highly demanded attraction. Guests show up in the morning and they try to get into the virtual queue. We get as many people on there as we can, but inevitably someone is disappointed. Now there’s another option on top of the virtual queue so if Rise of the Resistance is the reason you’re at Disneyland or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there may be an option for you to purchase Rise of the Resistance. So again: flexibility, optionality, better guest experience overall.

Josh D’Amaro

WDW Radio’s Lou Mongello has a different perspective on it.

Nobody is losing anything. FastPass has been gone.

Lou Mongello

This is not exactly correct. Yes, FastPass has been gone. However, we did lose something. We lost FastPass+ because of COVID. It was a free service that allowed us to make sure we had three attractions we know we would only have to wait maybe 10 – 20 minutes. Disney decided to keep that option off the table. They also got rid of Magical Express. We lost that. Anyway, take a listen below. I do appreciate his perspective on Disney Genie Service.

What are your thoughts about this? We’d love for you to share them in the comments below.

Steve is the founder and administrator of D-COT. If anything breaks on the site, @TheSwedishChef is the founder and administrator.

16 Comments

  1. :down: Just another way to pull more money out of our pockets. Walt would not be pleased.

    • Dude, Walt was all about monetizing everything he could. If you believe otherwise, you haven’t been paying attention

      • @dngnb8 I would respectfully agree and disagree with you about Walt. Walt was quite a complex man, yes he was about monetizing what he could, but in other respects he was about the guest experience dang the cost. I will say he seemed more interested in plowing the money he made from monetizing thing back into the guest experience, current and future, than the current administration.

        Now Roy O. Disney, he was all about the monetizing!

        My favorite Roy Disney story:

        “Well, on that day (Disneyland’s opening day), I left the Studio and headed down the Santa Ana Freeway. I was worried. After getting out of Los Angeles, the traffic began to get heavy. It could have been people going to the beach. Because the freeway was not completed, it was stop and go most of the way. It must have taken an hour to finally get to the Disneyland parking lot, which was jammed. A young man working there recognized me and came up in a bit of panic. He wasn’t familiar with our first name policy. ‘Mr. Disney,’ he said, ‘People have been stalled on the freeway and getting into our parking lot. Children are peeing all over the lot.’ I looked around at all these people who were coming here to pay to get in. With a great sense of relief, I said, ‘GOD BLESS ‘EM… LET ‘EM PEE!”

        Gotta love a good pee story! LOL

  2. Because of Covid , so much of our “norms” have changed and as Disney fans we have seen a huge amount of changes take place in a World that we all dearly love. As fans we really hate when change happens but lets all take a deep breath. I walked Lou’s “live” last night and he had a lot of good points and I’d really encourage everyone to watch the play. And as he likes to say #ChoosetheGood! :heart: :minniebow: :heart:

  3. This was inevitable. Aside from the upcharge, the actual app looks like it could be really cool. The upcharge of $15/ day at WDW doesn’t seem completely unreasonable, but I’d feel better about it if they’d bring all the live entertainers back, since they’re about to start taking in a whole lot of additional revenue.

  4. This was inevitable. Aside from the upcharge, the actual app looks like it could be really cool. The upcharge of $15/ day at WDW doesn’t seem completely unreasonable, but I’d feel better about it if they’d bring all the live entertainers back, since they’re about to start taking in a whole lot of additional revenue.

  5. My first thought is that Disney always, always has to overcomplicate things. If they wanted to start a paid FastPass system, then fine! Why not follow Universal’s model of their Express Pass. You pay for the pass, either once per ride or unlimited rides, you show your pass at the ride entrance, and you basically walk onto the ride. It’s simple and it does what it’s designed to do – allow guests to ride with minimal wait times and make Universal more money. Is it expensive? Yes, for sure. But in my experience, it’s always been worth every penny. And, they’ve made it a perk of staying in their top tier hotels, which Disney could and should do for all of their hotels (not just deluxe). This whole system of paying for one thing to ride one tier of rides and then paying extra, per ride, price to be determined by the day and the ride, for top tier rides is just so overly complicated. I’m not opposed to a paid system (and I know I’m in the minority on that), I think it was inevitable, but I am opposed to one that makes things more confusing and complicated.

  6. yes the app will be cool. but with this whole being able to pay to get on the virtual queue rides…its hard enough to get through all the queues they assign as it is, sometimes it never happens. so will they only give away minimal queues a day so now they can fit in paying customers too? and what if I pay for this ride (or even have received a queue assignment) and the ride goes down, as it so often does. then what happens? the people who paid for 4 PM can’t get on til 7 and then how to the 7PM people go. I just think this is going to be way way to complicated and make even more people mad about not being able to get on rides. Plus my trip in Oct/Nov is with 12 ppl and 4 under the age of 3. it was going to be hard enough coorindating all that in a regular line, but I am sure not everyone is going to want to pay $15 a day, so now this forces tension in the whole group. I know thats getting very specific to my own trip but I am sure it will happen to others….”I don’t want to pay” vs., “but I don’t want to wait in line”. just too much stress again to plan it seems. I am really hoping I am wrong and also hoping I won’t be adding another $150 to my trip and then some after the cost already paid just to be able to ride some of my favorite rides.

  7. I completely agree with taking a breath and relaxing! Especially with all the covid stuff. But with that being said When is enough enough? Every year they want to charge more and more and give less and less. Sure initially $15 doesn’t seem like much but multiply that by a family of 4 over 7 days! Thats another $420 dollars. What is the $110 per day park access giving you? It’s becoming an exclusive park for the rich. And yes Walt would me mortified. I fully understand trying to make up lost revenue but has Disney plus not superceeded expectations? And were the original fastpasses not a perk for all resort guests? Should be included for anyone who is DVC, AP, or staying at a Disney resort. Over complicated is an understatement. Why so many tiers? Just dumb. They want you to pay extra for all these premium Disney options such as DVC and AP’s and continue to take the perks away or not offer any new perks. I hate to sound bitter but after 40 years of being a very loyal Disney supporter and backer this is a very tough pill swallow. I will not be traveling back to world now for the foreseeable future.

  8. Bottom line, and I have been saying it for years. Disney created the problem they are tying to solve with this. They continually increase capacity (I guess codes don’t apply to them), and continually add rooms to the property without adding anything additional in the way of experience. And you’re right…it has become a park for the wealthy. Well, if you’re wealthy you can afford all of the “perks” that come with additional fees on top of spending money to actually just walk into the parks.

  9. Blame it on Chapek, perhaps?

    I hope this works out, but for now… I’m cautious.

  10. I look at it this way…I’ve been a DVC member since 2008 and seen many changes over that time. It used to be so EASY, albeit Disney’s brand of expensive, but still EASY to decide what you were willing to pay to do your Disney trip and it wasn’t all that complicated. For a FLAT RATE, you could get into the park on any given day of the year, and have access to all the attractions and entertainment. You want a FastPass? Go to the ride, take a ticket and come back later. (Remember that?) It was simplicity and everyone had an equal shot at it. The best part was, you had to *be there* to get those FastPasses.

    Then came FP+, and now you don’t need to be there. But you better be darn sure you’re on the computer/phone the morning your 30 or 60 day window opened or bye bye FastPasses for RnR. Even then at 60 days out, I wasn’t quick enough on the draw and lost my shot at FPs for Peter Pan or Test Track or something. It was a little more like a lottery for some attractions.

    THEN it’s no longer a flat rate, but now your ticket price depends on day of week, time of year, etc. Plan ahead people! Plan ahead or else!

    NOW we’re looking at paying extra at a fluctuating rate for “FastPasses”. It’s not a fair shot anymore. Not at all. Now the people with the money get the perks. I have friends with 4+ kids who have trouble financing a Disney trip as it is and now they can’t just plan ahead to cut lines, they will no doubt be forced to wait for everything while the folks with extra money get on first. It’s just not the place “where the parents and the children can have fun together” (Walt Disney) anymore. It’s the place where the parents and the children can wait in long lines while folks with double-income-no-kids line hop in front of them.

    And with the combination of this, plus charging me for a ride from the airport (or charging me to park at my resort if not DVC). Just STOP the nickel and diming. I felt a whole lot better when the bottom line was the bottom line and when I stepped foot on property, I could rest easy knowing the cash had already left my wallet and what was left wasn’t going anywhere.

  11. For the most part, it sounds like Max Pass, which I really liked. I’m not fond of paying extra for certain rides tho. Guess I’ll just standby line those.

  12. I think I tagged too many people in my original comment because it didn’t go through. Here it is again without the tags:

    For once I actually agree 100% with Tom Corless. The way Josh D’Amaro phrased that to turn it around on guests and make it seem like they’re doing this because they care so much about guest experience makes me absolutely sick. What a slap in the face.
    We definitely did lose FP+ because that went from being “suspended” to completely gone, as well as being a free service when it existed whereas the replacement will be for purchase. I have not had an hour to watch Lou Mongello’s video but my initial thoughts are Disney made visiting their parks so complicated that now you need an app (within an app!) to figure it out. Ridiculous. I already have friends and family members who’ve skipped Disney trips because they find it too overwhelming to plan as well as being too expensive when they’re not even sure they’re doing it right.

  13. Laura – I’ve said the same thing for a long time, that Disney would make FP an upcharge and I honestly thought the opening of Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge would be when that happened. I’m with you that Universal has a much better system and I’m surprised Disney didn’t take their lead on this one because it would make more sense.
    Stacey – you raise a great point! I’d love to see Josh D’Amaro’s response to that because you’re right, paying is not going to magically eliminate guest disappointment or not being able to ride.
    AVITWeb – your comment “Disney created the problem they are tying to solve with this” is EXACTLY what I said to my boyfriend when Disney Genie was announced!

  14. They can do it, and people will pay. It has always been this way. People always complain about Disney expense, yet, they sell out all entertainment.

    That is because it is great entertainment. Entertainment that gives on lifetime of memories. It might chase some away, or reduce their visits, but the parks and cruises sell out months ahead of time. The only thing that can change their mind is a pandemic

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