Genie+ Reaches File Excessive Value for Thanksgiving Peak Week at Disney World

Genie+ has reached a document excessive worth at Walt Disney World for the height week of Thanksgiving, with Lightning Lane costs rising in a single day on Park Hopping, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and Animal Kingdom. This put up covers crowds, the chance of the line-skipping service promoting out this week, and different commentary on the paid FastPass service. (Up to date November 20, 2023 at 12:50 pm.)

For starters, let’s discuss crowds. It’s not going to shock anybody that that is going to be a busy week. Our most up-to-date crowd report, Vacation Crowd Wave Swells & Subsides at Walt Disney World, predicted that Walt Disney World would see one other one other huge spike in attendance and wait instances. It’ll nearly definitely be worse than Veterans Day and Jersey Week, and doubtless the busiest week at Walt Disney World since April. Nevertheless, it in all probability is not going to surpass Easter–the final actually busy vacation.

Extra particularly, we forecast that November 20, 2023 will in all probability be the busiest day of Thanksgiving week because it’s the busiest day of just about each week (it had the very best wait instances throughout Thanksgiving week final 12 months), however don’t low cost Tuesday or Wednesday–these have been additionally 10/10 days final 12 months. Thanksgiving and Black Friday have been each 9/10 days, whereas Saturday was 6/10. By Sunday, the surge had subsided, and the week that adopted had a crowd degree of two/10. That’s exactly why it’s Our Favourite Week of the Whole Yr at Walt Disney World.

In opposition to that backdrop, listed here are the costs for Genie+ at Walt Disney World on November 20, 2023:

  • A number of Parks (legitimate with Park Hopper tickets): $35
  • Magic Kingdom: $35
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: $32
  • EPCOT: $28
  • Animal Kingdom: $25

12:50 pm UPDATE: Magic Kingdom has now offered out for the day, and A number of Parks together with it. (Presumably, A number of Parks turns into unavailable when any park sells out.)

The present crowd degree at Magic Kingdom is 10/10, with a mean wait time for the day of 46 minutes. (The present common is even larger, because it’s the busiest time of day.) As talked about above, at this time must be the busiest day of the vacation week throughout Walt Disney World as a complete.

That’s amplified at Magic Kingdom, as a result of at this time is the one day in a 4-day stretch with no Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Celebration. Magic Kingdom closes at 6 pm on occasion days, which causes crowds to consolidate into the times when the occasion shouldn’t be being held. Having 3 out of 4 days be MVMCP is a foul concept all the time, however doubly so throughout a busy week like this. A very guest-unfriendly scheduling resolution, in case you ask me.

I do know a lot of you’ll vehemently disagree, however we view it as barely excellent news that Genie+ is “solely” $35 on what’s more likely to be the worst day of Thanksgiving week. Clearly, that is larger than the then-record excessive worth of $29 on the identical date final 12 months. However earlier than you seize the pitchforks, hear us out!

To start with, this $35 worth level is not a brand new document–it’s a repeat of a previous document. For these preserving rating at house, the final time Genie+ hit this all-time excessive for costs was Easter week. This was previous to Walt Disney World adopting per-park pricing, which is important, as a result of that mannequin enabled Walt Disney World to cost extra for Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Park Hopping. EPCOT primarily turned the brand new baseline, with Animal Kingdom being the brand new “low cost” choice.

This worth segmentation was marketed a technique by Walt Disney World, however the true function was charging extra for the in-demand parks and a number of parks with out dropping out on gross sales on the much less in-demand ones. (We received’t climb again up on our soapbox, however we nearly by no means suggest utilizing Genie+ at Animal Kingdom, because it’s a waste of cash. A part of the rationale we’ll spare you that rant is as a result of this is without doubt one of the few weeks that’s a possible exception to that rule and Genie+ may be price shopping for at DAK.)

Anyway, our expectation was that Genie+ pricing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Yr’s weeks could be in-line with Easter, however adjusted for per-park pricing. That meant Magic Kingdom and Park Hopping hitting $40, Disney’s Hollywood Studios costing ~$37, EPCOT at ~$35, and Animal Kingdom at ~$30. That this didn’t occur is a small victory.

Nicely, a small victory for now. There’s all the time the potential of Walt Disney World seeing “unanticipated” excessive demand for Genie+ at this time and elevating the worth tomorrow, or later this week. It wouldn’t be the primary time that costs have gone up after crowds have peaked, and the percentages of it occurring enhance if Genie+ sells out at one or a number of parks at this time.

It’s additionally attainable that the weeks of Christmas and New Yr’s are dearer. Final 12 months, crowd ranges have been larger these two weeks (and the primary week of January) than Thanksgiving.

In case you’re questioning, the final time Genie+ offered was throughout Easter week–April 4-6. On all three of these days, the service offered out at or round 10 am. April 6 was a brand new document for the earliest Genie+ has ever offered out, going unavailable at round 9:45 am.

Previous to that, Genie+ offered out on two consecutive days over Presidents’ Day weekend and as soon as throughout Florida’s spring break this March. From what we’ve seen, larger costs don’t discourage visitors from buying paid FastPass. On the contrary, the one dates which have offered out have been the costliest ones. This is sensible, as the worth is larger when attendance is larger–and the stakes are larger, too. Merely put, there’s extra of a want for line-skipping on days like at this time.

Three days is hardly a development, however one dynamic we seen over Easter week is that it appeared like promote outs beget extra promote outs. Friends develop Genie+ FOMO, seeing that it offered out yesterday and thus transferring sooner to buy it the following. Suffice to say, if Genie does promote out at this time, count on it to additionally promote out Tuesday and Wednesday–and doubtless sooner. 

One purpose why Genie+ could not promote out is the aforementioned change to per-park pricing. It could appear notable that Genie+ has not offered out because the debut of this mannequin, but it surely isn’t. At this level, that’s extra a coincidence–despite the fact that it launched a number of months in the past, there merely haven’t been any actually busy days since then.

There has not been a single 10/10 crowd degree day since Easter, and solely a handful of 9/10 days. And for what it’s price, there’s a really huge distinction between a vacation peak 10/10 day and a 9/10 day–rather more pronounced than the distinction between an 8/10 day and a 9/10 day.

With that mentioned, per-park pricing may assist cut back the chance of Genie+ promoting out. It’s our understanding that, beforehand, Animal Kingdom was truly typically the park that “dictated” whether or not Genie+ offered out. This may increasingly appear counterintuitive–and it sorta is–however this apparently was much less a matter of excessive demand than it was low provide. Animal Kingdom is the park with the fewest rides and lowest Lightning Lane capability, so when it ran out of choices, Genie+ offered out throughout the board.

I can not communicate to the veracity of this, but it surely is sensible to me. I assume we’ll see if Animal Kingdom sells out first. I feel you could possibly in all probability make a compelling case for EPCOT or Disney’s Hollywood Studios promoting out rapidly for comparable causes–low capability, however larger demand than Animal Kingdom. Heck, even Magic Kingdom is a candidate for promoting out–at this time because of the consolidated crowds and the following two days because of the 6 pm closing (regardless of decrease crowds).

Irrespective of which park sells out first, we’d count on the Park Hopping choice to go along with it. Regardless, it’ll be fascinating to observe which park(s) promote out over the course of this week. Or if none in any respect do, reflecting an extra exhaustion of pent-up demand and/or Walt Disney World overselling Lightning Lanes. We will see!

What follows is my customary commentary about Genie+ and worth inelasticity, crowds, and so forth…

In the case of commentary, the brief and easy of it’s that there’s a specific amount of worth inelasticity in the case of paid line-skipping. Most visitors who don’t balk on the $30 worth level are also unlikely to be dissuaded from shopping for the service when it’s priced at $35.

With that mentioned, we’re now attending to the purpose the place which will now not be true for a lot of visitors. It wasn’t that way back that Walt Disney World switched to date-based pricing for the Genie+ service; previous to that, on daily basis was priced at $15 plus tax. That change occurred simply over a 12 months in the past, so not less than a few of the folks touring at this time possible deliberate their journeys again then, budgeting for the previous worth.

Which means the $35 worth quantities to a rise of over $20 (post-tax) per individual. For a household of 4, that’s a distinction of greater than $80 per day. Over the course of a 5-day journey, that’s doubtlessly an enhance of $400. That’s not the overall quantity, simply the additional quantity as in comparison with what was budgeted. That may be a very vital added expense within the grand scheme of issues!

With that mentioned, it’s nonetheless not essentially main when in comparison with the price of a Walt Disney World trip as a complete, which has been exactly my concern with the corporate incrementally rising costs like this, searching for a ceiling. I’m unsure they’re going to search out one anytime quickly, and fear about the place it may finally find yourself.

Give it some thought this manner: in case you spent $10,000 for your loved ones to go to Walt Disney World and have been prepared to pay peak season room charges for resorts and tickets over Thanksgiving, are you going to balk at paying ~$400 further to keep away from lengthy strains and crowds? Or are you going to spend ~$80 extra for your loved ones to have Genie+ and “guarantee” your expertise is sweet and that $10,000 wasn’t wasted?

To be abundantly clear: $400 further is some huge cash, particularly in case you didn’t plan on that expense. Nevertheless, it’s lower than 5% of the price of the holiday as a complete, which looks like an affordable quantity for “insurance coverage” to ensure you don’t lose the total worth of the $10,000. (Hopefully that makes a point of sense.)

In a nutshell, my place is that demand for Genie+ is comparatively inelastic with incrementally larger costs for the line-skipping service. It is because Genie+ continues to be a comparatively minor price within the grand scheme of a Walt Disney World trip.

Worse wait instances creates the next incentive for bypassing strains, that means larger uptake of Genie+ even when it prices extra. Demand for beating crowds will increase as crowds enhance, and as such, Genie+ will all the time be a comparatively “small” (air quotes) worth to pay for peace of thoughts within the grand scheme of issues.

Complain as they may, most individuals will reluctantly fork over the additional cash somewhat than threat a foul journey. They’ve already spent a lot–what’s one other “few hundred {dollars}” on prime of a multi-thousand greenback journey if it’ll provide a aggressive benefit?!

In numerous methods, we’ve seen all of this play out for years with date-based pricing on every part else at Walt Disney World. Whether or not or not it’s for park tickets, resorts, or the Genie+ service, date-based pricing is an efficient approach for the corporate to perform its desired optimizations at Walt Disney World. There are particular instances of 12 months that have larger demand for a lot of causes–faculty schedules, seasonal occasions, climate, and so forth.

Charging incrementally larger costs for these instances of 12 months permits Walt Disney World to capitalize on and revenue from that inherently larger demand. That’s the aim–not preserving the visitor expertise or regardless of the speaking level may be. Rising costs on that quasi-captive viewers is solely savvy enterprise or opportunism, relying upon your perspective.

The choice to repeatedly incrementally rising costs searching for a ceiling is figuring out a good worth that balances demand with visitor satisfaction, and letting Genie+ promote out at that degree. Because of the aforementioned worth inelasticity, who is aware of what the restrict is for Genie+ throughout peak season.

When it moved to date-based pricing, I used to be inclined to consider $25 could be the magic quantity. As I sit right here at this time, I really surprise how a lot gross sales would even decelerate at $40 or $50. Individuals are prepared to throw quite a bit of cash at making issues on trip go away; lengthy strains and excessive wait instances are the last word drawback at Walt Disney World.

The issue with that line of pondering is that it additionally comes with larger expectations. I nonetheless keep in mind the primary two months after Genie+ first launched up till the week of Thanksgiving; it labored amazingly properly and was priced at $15 per individual after tax. Even then, diehard followers have been understandably upset at going from free FastPass+ to paid line-skipping.

Genie+ is greater than double that worth, which brings with it larger expectations of having the ability to rating extra Lightning Lanes. (In my testing over Veterans Day/Jersey Week, I truly was capable of rating extra Lightning Lanes than throughout Spring Break, but it surely’s inconceivable to inform whether or not this was “brought about” by decrease crowds or enhancements to Lightning Lane stock. My guess is a little bit of each.)

This isn’t idle hypothesis; we’ve seen precisely this occur as prices have elevated throughout Walt Disney World. Friends didn’t magically grow to be extra entitled, stressed, and so forth–it was all a direct results of larger costs and rising expectations ensuing therefrom.

With this comes larger tensions amongst everybody (visitors and Forged Members; visitors and different visitors), which negatively impacts the general temper. (To not go on an excessive amount of of a tangent, however this is without doubt one of the nice issues about Disneyland–every part is rather more laid again and decrease stakes, and the power is clearly completely different and higher consequently.)

Unsurprisingly, that additionally impacts visitor satisfaction scores and intent to return metrics. Since his return, Bob Iger has taken a eager curiosity on this, already empowering leaders at Walt Disney World and Disneyland to make modifications and roll again previously-made and unpopular selections. Genie+ pricing would appear to suit squarely inside that initiative.

In the end, there’s no straightforward repair to this difficulty for Walt Disney World. Except for park growth and extra new rides (hardly fast fixes), no good resolution exists that balances provide and demand and retains everybody blissful (each those that buy Genie+ and those that decide towards it). There’s additionally the corporate’s apparent and comprehensible short-term “want” to maximise income and income, which is exactly the way it ended up on the present path–going from free FastPass to Genie+ costing $35 per individual per day (plus tax) for Park Hopping or Magic Kingdom.

It’ll be actually fascinating to see whether or not Genie+ sells out at this time (November 20, 2023). Once more, this ought to be the busiest day of Thanksgiving week. If it does promote out, will Genie+ hit $40 later within the week? If not, will the worth be lowered by Thursday? Given Walt Disney World’s reactionary pricing, will the associated fee stay elevated even after the Thanksgiving crowds have began to depart on Saturday?

My honest hope is that visitors have lastly reached their breaking level. With the pullback we’ve seen in all different types of spending, which will lastly be the case. In that situation, $35 may stand because the record-high worth for the line-skipping service at Walt Disney World–and costs may lastly begin to recede. (Simply as they’ve for Walt Disney World’s resort resorts, which are literally down year-over-year on account of dramatically higher discounting this vacation season!)

If in case you have questions in regards to the fundamentals of utilizing–or not utilizing–the paid FastPass service, see our Information to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ for the entire foundational need-to-know information. This entire system is complicated and convoluted, so that you might need a query or two-dozen. That solutions the entire most typical ones we’ve been receiving from readers.

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Study resorts on our Walt Disney World Resorts Evaluations web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Evaluations. To save cash on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets put up. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys put up takes a novel have a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Trip Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, one of the best place to start out is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for every part it is advisable to know!


What do you consider Genie+ reaching its document excessive worth of $35? For those who’re visiting through the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Yr’s, what’s the utmost worth you’ll pay for the line-skipping service? Ideas on our perspective that demand for Genie+ will proceed to be highest on the busiest/costliest days? Some other issues we did not bear in mind or particulars we missed/bought incorrect? Do you agree or disagree with my evaluation? Any questions we may also 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!

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