Walt Disney World has dropped per-park pricing for Genie+ to its lowest degree ever, proper as each the autumn low season and Hurricane Idalia arrive. This submit provides value tendencies plus our commentary about why that is taking place, what to anticipate going ahead, and the place we expect paying for Lightning Lane line-skipping is smart and the place it’s a waste of cash in Fall 2023.
You may recall that a few months in the past, Walt Disney World debuted per-park pricing for the Genie+ service. Friends are actually in a position to choose both a single-park possibility or a multiple-parks possibility, topic to availability. That is along with date-based pricing, which debuted final yr and remains to be in impact. (Therefore right now being a brand new low value within the date-based, per-park period of the Genie+ service!)
In impact, this has created two tiers of pricing: Park Hopper, Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are all normally at or across the identical larger price. Under that, you’ll normally discover Animal Kingdom and EPCOT at or across the identical value. There’s a little bit of variability with DHS and EPCOT, however normally multi-park and Magic Kingdom are the very same value–the very best–and Animal Kingdom is least expensive.
Since per-park pricing debuted in late June, we haven’t had many updates because it’s been comparatively uneventful. Genie+ hasn’t offered out as soon as for any park throughout that stretch, and costs have been comparatively secure for a number of weeks. In truth, the multi-park possibility was priced at $25 for 2 consecutive weeks earlier than dropping a few weekends in the past and rising the next Monday.
On common, July and August costs for Genie+ have been $25 for Magic Kingdom or Park Hopper, $22 for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, $18 for EPCOT, and $16 for Animal Kingdom. There was a slight spike final week that bumped these averages up by $1-2 throughout the board.
On August 29, the costs dropped to new report lows:
- Multi-Park: $20
- Magic Kingdom: $20
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: $20
- EPCOT: $15
- Animal Kingdom: $15
The pessimists on the market are going to conclude that that is completely as a consequence of Hurricane Idalia, and the anticipation of decrease crowd ranges at Walt Disney World consequently. It’s completely potential that this storm is a contributing issue, with right now and August 30, 2023 seeing decrease lows earlier than bouncing again a bit for the Labor Day vacation weekend.
Nevertheless, we’ve been anticipating low season pricing to hit the Genie+ service for the final week-plus, and have been stunned that it hadn’t occurred already. In the present day’s drop tracks with ticket costs and resort charge charts, in addition to historic attendance tendencies. Briefly, this value lower just isn’t coincidental–it’s the timing of Hurricane Idalia that’s the coincidence.
Since that is our first Genie+ submit in a bit, let’s provide some scattered commentary and belated ideas. First, it’ll be fascinating to see whether or not there’s a spike within the value of Genie+ over the Labor Day vacation weekend. If you happen to missed it, we beforehand made the case for Why Labor Day Will Be ‘Useless’ at Walt Disney World.
That prediction got here previous to Hurricane Idalia, which ought to have a negligible impression on crowd ranges over the weekend. (We gained’t be stunned when followers declare, “after all it was gradual over Labor Day, it was due to the hurricane!” They’re flawed–no matter slowness happens would have occurred regardless. If something, Hurricane Idalia may create a small pocket of pent-up demand, the place locals need to be exterior this weekend after being cooped up in the course of the storm.)
Anyway, what’ll be extra fascinating to see is whether or not Walt Disney World is forecasting a Labor Day lull and that’s mirrored in Genie+ costs. Our guess is no. Walt Disney World has been surprisingly reactive with Genie+ costs, reasonably than proactive. It took a number of months earlier than they adjusted weekday vs. weekend pricing to replicate the new-normal of 2023 attendance tendencies, which is that weekends are slower at Walt Disney World.
After Independence Day weekend, they most likely ought to have realized that Labor Day weekend can even be gradual…however we’d guess towards any classes having been discovered from that. It looks like it was hand-waved away as being as a consequence of climate and pent-up demand slowing, when in actuality, it was largely a narrative of blockouts.
On a tangentially associated word, it’ll be fascinating to see what occurs with the digital queues at each TRON Lightcycle Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Our newest report on TRON Lightcycle Run Digital Queue’s Curler Coaster Highs & Lows covers current tendencies with that attraction, however that submit was revealed previous to the low season arriving.
Simply right now, TRON Lightcycle Run set a report with the 7 am digital queue being open for about 80 minutes. If what I’m seeing is correct, that is solely the second time ever that it’s been open for over an hour at 7 am. (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Social gathering is tonight, so no such report with the afternoon VQ.) At the same time as I write this, the afternoon digital queue is nonetheless open for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. No information there, as there have been days final fall low season and over the winter when it was open till after 5 pm.
One other fascinating word is that we’re nonetheless seeing Multi-Park and Magic Kingdom costs tethered to 1 one other on the excessive finish. On a traditional day, this makes full sense. Genie+ is definitely probably the most helpful at Magic Kingdom or when Park Hopping, and we’ve nearly all the time advisable it in each eventualities.
The “nearly” asterisk is added there as a result of that’s not true throughout Social gathering Season at Magic Kingdom when the park closes at 6 pm. Whereas it might sound superficially vital to skip standby strains on these Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Social gathering shortened days, it’s not needed as a consequence of considerably decrease crowds. Nevertheless, that tether stays even on MNSSHP days.
I’ve accomplished Magic Kingdom just a few instances already on MNSSHP days, and–identical to final yr–have concluded that Genie+ is a waste of cash at Magic Kingdom on these dates. There are just a few sights have been Lightning Lanes are actually useful–Jungle Cruise and Peter Pan’s Flight are the large rides, together with a number of meet & greets–however most rides have sufficiently quick standby strains many of the day that you simply’re not saving a lot time with Lightning Lanes.
On the contrary, there have been instances after I’ve handed individuals within the Lightning Lanes through standby, as the additional time to scan into the tapstiles took longer than merely strolling by the empty standby line. That’s not even making an allowance for utilizing Genie+ to guide trip reservations, potential backtracking, and many others.
I’m actually a bit stunned that Magic Kingdom hasn’t dropped to being the least costly park on MNSSHP days, changed by Disney’s Hollywood Studios as the most costly possibility. That might make sense each when it comes to crowd dynamics and worth for cash. However once more, Walt Disney World is commonly very reactive on the subject of Genie+ pricing, so maybe that’ll occur subsequent month. (Or perhaps there’s some compelling purpose for pricing Magic Kingdom larger that I’m overlooking.)
When it comes to which parks do provide worth beneath the present date-based pricing scheme in the course of the fall low season in September 2023, that’s debatable. Magic Kingdom on non-party days can be our #1 choose, however then once more, we wouldn’t be doing a ride-heavy day in MK on non-party days within the first place as a result of aforementioned crowd disparity.
Our different high choose can be Disney’s Hollywood Studios, particularly if arriving late or visiting on a day when MNSSHP is being held at Magic Kingdom. With that stated, I’ve been fairly happy with Early Entry at DHS this month, and that ought to solely get higher as occupancy drops in the course of the low season.
Between Early Entry and staying late (to not point out Prolonged Night Hours as soon as these begin at DHS), Genie+ just isn’t strictly needed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However we get why others use it there, and acknowledge that it may be a great possibility that gives a ton of time-savings, even in the course of the low season.
Lastly, our wildcard choose is EPCOT. Previously, we’ve been reluctant to advocate shopping for Genie+ at EPCOT. This began as a result of it merely didn’t provide ample worth since Remy’s Ratatouille Journey and Frozen Ever After weren’t included. Now, they’re a part of the Genie+ service, however it may be troublesome to attain the highest trio of Lightning Lanes–these two plus Check Observe–on a reasonably busy day.
In mild of the cheaper price and the decrease crowds (making these Lightning Lanes much less aggressive), we’re now far more inclined to roll the cube on Genie+ at EPCOT. There are nonetheless plenty of caveats, and the ‘pitfall’ of getting to backtrack all throughout the park stays, however it’s probably worthwhile. That is very true as Check Observe has been experiencing extra downtime than regular of late, and (less-frequent) points can even exist with Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Journey.
With that in thoughts, I plan on doing extra testing of Genie+ at EPCOT subsequent month–it appears warranted. With these exceptions in thoughts, I personally wouldn’t be inclined to buy Genie+ between now and late September 2023 at Walt Disney World. It simply strikes me as overkill when crowds are this low, however I additionally acknowledge that I’m not a first-timer or rare customer–and is perhaps a bit extra frugal than the common customer. So your mileage might range.
Oh, and it’s most likely value reiterating that we don’t advocate Genie+ at Animal Kingdom nearly any day of the yr…however particularly not in the course of the low season.
The argument may very well be made that the worth of Genie+ at Animal Kingdom on those self same slower days is completely illusory. I’ve accomplished Animal Kingdom many instances in the course of the fall low season–the crowds are nonexistent. Except for Avatar Flight of Passage, Lightning Lanes are virtually ineffective (and Flight of Passage isn’t included within the Genie+ service, anyway).
Even on busier days, you do not want Genie+ at Animal Kingdom with even a scintilla of strategizing. Common readers of this web site know this, as we’ve hammered house time and time once more that Genie+ is a waste of cash at Animal Kingdom. That is mentioned in numerous posts, together with in our Greatest Time-Saving Methods for Walt Disney World, which says all you could know for DAK is “don’t go in the course of the center of the day and stand in lengthy strains.”
Significantly, that’s about it. Arriving early or staying late work completely advantageous for beating the crowds as a result of most visitors nonetheless deal with it like a half-day park and attendance is considerably decrease at Animal Kingdom than every other park at Walt Disney World. Because of this, a decrease marketed base value for Genie+ by advantage of Animal Kingdom is nearly meaningless.
You shouldn’t waste your cash on Genie+ at DAK within the first place. Most Lightning Lanes at Animal Kingdom in the course of the low season are the paid equal of a “Bonus FastPass” for PhilharMagic. It’d make you’re feeling good, however you’re arguably being performed. There’s a purpose the value of Genie+ is often lowest at DAK, and that’s as a result of the service provides far much less worth and much fewer individuals use it there.
With that park already struggling and no prospects within the close to or medium time period, that’s one park the place Walt Disney World ought to simply deliver again free FastPass+ in the event that they actually need to get individuals by the gates! (Clearly, that isn’t going to occur, however that would really be the form of change that’s wanted there–not ~$10 off Genie.)
Finally, it’ll be fascinating to see what occurs subsequent with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes within the subsequent month throughout Walt Disney World’s early fall low season. Whereas it’s completely potential there’s a little bit of a bounce after Hurricane Idalia passes, it ought to be comparatively short-lived, as mid-to-late August by late September is often the slowest stretch of the whole yr, and Genie+ costs usually observe with demand.
Particularly, I’m curious as as to if the $20/$15 per-day costs are the brand new ground for Genie+ at Walt Disney World. If purely dictated by crowd ranges, I’d count on Animal Kingdom to drop additional, however the truth that EPCOT fell whereas it held agency at $15 suggests to me that DAK gained’t hit $10, even when it arguably ought to.
Regardless, benefit from the decrease costs whereas they final, as a result of we nearly actually haven’t seen the very best Genie+ costs of the yr. The following date to observe is October 6, 2023. That’s the kickoff to the subsequent large vacation weekend at Walt Disney World, and may very well be after we see per-park pricing exceed $30 for the primary time. Whereas I wouldn’t count on any all-time information to be set then, that’ll nearly actually occur in November or December round these vacation weeks. Both means, we’ll hold you posted about Genie+ pricing patterns and tendencies at Walt Disney World!
When you have questions concerning the fundamentals of utilizing–or not utilizing–the paid FastPass service, see our Information to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ for all the foundational need-to-know data. This complete system is complicated and convoluted, so that you may need a query or two-dozen. That solutions all the most typical ones we’ve been receiving from readers.
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What do you consider Walt Disney World introducing per-park pricing for the Genie+ service? Upset that it’s taking place, or do you see the upside? Ideas on our perspective that that is successfully a value enhance for Genie+ at Magic Kingdom and DHS? Every other concerns we didn’t take into consideration or particulars we missed/obtained flawed? Will you buy Genie+ going ahead, or is dear for you? Do you agree or disagree with my evaluation? Any questions we will help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even whenever you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!