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Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Discussion Thread

P. 144: More entertainment coming back across WDW!

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I'm definitely not on board with this. I totally understand that other parks have largely gone this way already. And I get the Pay 2 Play model, but I've always felt a certain level of equality existed in Disney Parks when it came to access to rides. Sure, Disney has offered loads of add-ons like the After Hours events,  Dessert Parties, and extra magic hours for resort guests etc. but the core experience at the park was pretty equal. When everyone could use FastPass and FastPass+, when folks were in those lines, I knew it was something available to me. And conceptually, it was just a means to spread guests out on rides throughout the day, which was super smart in theory.

Disney is already charging more to get into their parks than any other place on earth, so it's not Apples to Apples to compare this to Fast Lane. Guests may choose to visit Cedar Point or most other US parks for a single day and splurge on the Fast Lane pass. Disney is a 4-10 day trip for many people. What is already a very significant investment to the park has most certainly gotten more expensive. I get that Genie + is significantly less than those options, but it also doesn't offer nearly the same level of access (less rides, limited uses in practice).

The main concerns I have are this:

1. They have priced this "affordably" for now to soften the blow, but will steadily increase the price above and beyond. And because it's a per person per day commitment, that will add up significantly.

2. If they sell too many, it will essentially become a necessity. If the lightning lane line is 25% as popular as the standby line, they would need to take equal people from both lines and the standby line would effectively double in length so that lightning lane can still be "fast."

3. If they for some reason don't sell that many, they'll just be justified in increasing the cost more because of the large advantage it will provide.

4. Unlike the previous FP system, psychologically I was always comfortable with some longer lines throughout the day because I knew I would get a few very quick lines using FP to offset that. The main advantage for Disney was this psychological aspect and also spreading out the crowds. Now, if I don't pay for the Genie+, I don't get that and I'm stuck watching people get on rides very quickly while I'm delegated to the slow way.

5. Why couldn't it just be that Genie + offered you a single tier A ride and then unlimited (within the rules of the system) tier B rides. Why do they need to offer a separate pay per ride cut the line pass? It's confusing and rude, to be honest. To pay that much and still be a class B park guest?

6. I recognize that I have the option to not pay for this, but I am absolutely getting a worse park experience without it than I would if they just existed with/without the old FP+.

One caveat to all of this is that it is true that there's a relatively level playing field now for on/off resort guests if you decide to splurge on this service. So maybe you save $60/night staying off property and splurge on this adder for your family of 4. But I could still use FP+ staying off property and get most attractions with the 30 day window last time I went, so it really wasn't a problem.

I know not everyone here agrees with my view on this, but thanks for hearing me out.

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9 hours ago, xVicesAndVirtues said:

 

 

 

So if im understanding correctly, if you had a family of four, and were going to the four main parks at Disney World, you would have to pay $240 extra to use fast pass, with no "free" fastpass option included in the ticket price?lockquote widgetlockquote widget

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This is basically a ticket increase without them saying it is, because its optional. There is now little to no advantage to pay a premium and stay at a Disney hotel now. All the on-site benefits like Magical Express, dining reservations, Extra Magic Hours and early fastpass bookings are gone and replaced with either upcharges or are only for the high end resorts (EMH). And who really thinks Caribbean Beach is worth $350 per night?

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^^ That right there is why we've decided that our once in a lifetime trip will basically mean the hotel is a place to store our stuff and crash. Half the 'Korean pensions' are basically just mats on floors anyway so our only requirement is not overrun with bed bugs and according to our friend in Tampa (who says 'the wrong side of the tracks' can apply to literal tracks), a relatively safe area if we op for a cheap area.

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I wonder if they ever considered including the lower tier of Genie+ for everyone for "free", not technically for free but just roll it into the ticket price. It's such a small upcharge for the basic level that if you tack it onto the ticket price nobody notices and there's nothing to complain about lol. 

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20 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

This is for one peak-season day for a family of four at Universal.

Untitled.thumb.jpg.d2bbee7b1eb90db3cc1bf2db55d9abcc.jpg

One day... Disney is charging $15

"BUT IT DOESN'T INCLUDE THE MOST POPULAR RIDES!!!!"

...oh, how terrible

3.jpg.7a5f04e7423ad633f516657d190a810f.jpg

That seems to be different product. You get unlimited re rides with no booking required on that one, sort of like Flashpass platinum and they usually cost an arm and a leg.

It's not really comparable to a booking system that this Genie is.

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26 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

This is for one peak-season day for a family of four at Universal.

Untitled.thumb.jpg.d2bbee7b1eb90db3cc1bf2db55d9abcc.jpg

 

 

You know the more I think about the Disney system I like the flexibility it offers. If you want to go on everything at Magic Kingdom a bunch of times it'll probably end up costing you roughly the equivalent of Universal's Express pass, and that's fine. But if you want to wait for some rides that don't have much of a line usually, use Genie+ for what's available, then pay the upcharge for a couple of your favorites that aren't included to avoid the wait you have that option as well, for what will likely be considerably less than $240/pppd.

I'm still curious how the upcharges will be priced, and how it's going to work logistically, but it seems like you will have the option to spend nothing and have a normal day, or spend anywhere from $15 up to a couple hundred dollars depending on what you want to do.

 

If I could go to Cedar Point and pay $15 for a 1 time FastLane for Steel Vengeance and Maverick instead of $180 per day for everything I'd probably use that option sometimes, but they don't offer that. Universal doesn't offer that, Busch Gardens doesn't offer that, Six Flags doesn't offer that, but now Disney is, which is kind of cool.

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Correction... Busch (Or at least SeaWorld) actually does offer $11 skip-the-line passes. They just don't tell you that or advertise it at all.

If you buy an unnecessary locker at one of the coasters (you have to buy it even if you don't want it) it prompts you to buy $10 single use line skips and asks you how much. It's the dumbest system for anything that I've ever seen in a theme park.

This doesn't change your point, I just wanted an excuse to broadcast this asinine thing to the world.

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I mean, you're not wrong. But it's absolutely $60/family of four per day price increase to get a service that essentially used to be free. If too many people purchase it, it will become a necessity. I get why they did it, but I cannot really be convinced this is a net positive. There's unfortunately just not enough Disney to go around and that is what this all comes down to.

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15 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

Correction... Busch (Or at least SeaWorld) actually does offer $11 skip-the-line passes. They just don't tell you that or advertise it at all.

If you buy an unnecessary locker at one of the coasters (you have to buy it even if you don't want it) it prompts you to buy $10 single use line skips and asks you how much. It's the dumbest system for anything that I've ever seen in a theme park.

This doesn't change your point, I just wanted an excuse to broadcast this asinine thing to the world.

I was not aware of this lol, but saving it in my memory for later ...... 

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2 minutes ago, Taylor Finn said:

I mean, you're not wrong. But it's absolutely $60/family of four per day price increase to get a service that essentially used to be free. If too many people purchase it, it will become a necessity. I get why they did it, but I cannot really be convinced this is a net positive. There's unfortunately just not enough Disney to go around and that is what this all comes down to.

It's not a net positive over the old system. I think it's a net positive over having no Fastpass at all. Plus, price increases are inevitable at Disney.

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1 hour ago, coasterbill said:

Correction... Busch (Or at least SeaWorld) actually does offer $11 skip-the-line passes. They just don't tell you that or advertise it at all.

If you buy an unnecessary locker at one of the coasters (you have to buy it even if you don't want it) it prompts you to buy $10 single use line skips and asks you how much. It's the dumbest system for anything that I've ever seen in a theme park.

This doesn't change your point, I just wanted an excuse to broadcast this asinine thing to the world.

Didn't those parks used to have unlimited skip the line fast-passes you could buy? Or am I imagining things?

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In the end what really shuld have happened is they included Genie+ with a Resort stay. Create a new "benefit" and way to entice more people to stay on site while still rolling this out. It would have gone over a lot better, and you could still offer it to non-resort guests for a fee (like Universal does for its premier hotels). It woud have made up for taking away real EMH and Magical Express. But hey Disney is in it for the money and they know people will pay for anything nowadays if it saves a little time for them. 

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I think it's entirely likely that Disney will end up offering some type of additional perk to resort guests. They haven't even launched this yet and even if it launches without that it might get added in later.

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^Yeah, like let's let them launch this first before we all freak out too much.

At Disneyland Paris, the most expensive rooms always came with special unlimited fastpasses so I could see something for concierge guests maybe here.  People don't realize JUST how busy all the parks and the resort is.  The arguments about how the parks were so much better without fastpass are dumb now, cause we've seen what that's like the past year and guess what, it doesn't work anymore. Pirates has a 45min line all the time, small world is over 20, it's not these walk on's you remember from the 90's when there weren't 50k people a day in each park!

The parks need some sort of line management system and I hope this works out for them.

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Saw someone say they should have kept the 3 passes for the Genie level since the Genie grants 3 wishes lol besides it being clever for marketing I do feel like at least 3 passes helps you plan out your day better. 

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1 hour ago, SharkTums said:

^Yeah, like let's let them launch this first before we all freak out too much.

At Disneyland Paris, the most expensive rooms always came with special unlimited fastpasses so I could see something for concierge guests maybe here.  People don't realize JUST how busy all the parks and the resort is.  The arguments about how the parks were so much better without fastpass are dumb now, cause we've seen what that's like the past year and guess what, it doesn't work anymore. Pirates has a 45min line all the time, small world is over 20, it's not these walk on's you remember from the 90's when there weren't 50k people a day in each park!

The parks need some sort of line management system and I hope this works out for them.

star trek spock GIF

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Is Tokyo now the only park which still has free fast pass? I know Hong Kong now has 'Priority Special' and 'Priority Special +' and Paris just switched to a pay per ride scheme.

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^All the big Korean parks have embraced mobile app passes lately. Seoul Land has a new app where you can pick a ride and once you've used it can get another. Lotte World's app, which even when it was paper tickets, was always based upon Disney's old fast pass, is get 3 rides and once you've used them can get another.

Everland's is very interesting. It's points/lottery based. You scan your ticket in when you enter the park and you get 1 point for each 30 minutes you're in the park. You can only hold a maximum of 5 to encourage using them/stop hoarding. If you use them the timer will start up again though. Each ride has a value from 0-5 (0 right now being for shows or indoor play areas due to corona) and you can use those points on ride-time slots. The time slots are staggered so different times open throughout the day so people who arrive late aren't punished because they still have a chance but the people who arrive early are also rewarded because chances are they're the only ones with 5 points to get the headliner rides morning fast passes.

 

OF course that was pre-corona since until the number go down, right now we have *sigh* reservation lines instead of fastpasses on the biggest rides and those do end up sold out ridiculously early.

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As someone who only visits once maybe every 5-10 years, I like this.  I can see both sides of the argument, but this takes off a bit of the stress and FOMO knowing I'll have a better chance at doing everything I want to do without worry, since I likely won't be back again for a while (assuming Genie has been rolled out when I go in a month).  If I do have any criticisms, I wish that perhaps you were given maybe 1 free LL pass on one of the "Tier A" rides before you get into the pay per ride territory, especially if you're a resort guest.  However, I'm definitely curious and excited to see how it all plays out and works when it officially goes live.

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Still miss the ticket machine style fast passes. First come first serve, walk up and come back later. If you wanted to ride the hottest ride in the park, you could do it. 

 

I get the "everyone else charges for these passes why shouldn't Disney" argument. It's just a shame to see them do it.. Getting a few chances/day to skip the line for free has been a Disney perk for a very long time. 

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