July 24, 2024

Genie+ is Dead at Disneyland, Long Live Lightning Lane Multi-Pass & Single Pass

0

Disney has announced the launch date and details for Lightning Lane MultiPass at Walt Disney World, where it will allow guests to make ride reservations up to 21 days in advance of their visit–depending upon




  • Twitter

Disney has announced the launch date and details for Lightning Lane MultiPass at Walt Disney World, where it will allow guests to make ride reservations up to 21 days in advance of their visit–depending upon whether they’re staying on-site or off-site (and the duration of their vacation). Disneyland is also making changes, which we’ll quickly cover here.

Disneyland Resort will also use the new Lightning Lane Multi Pass and Lightning Lane Single pass names beginning July 24, 2024. These will replace Genie+ and Individual or a la carte Lightning Lanes, respectively, which will be retired.

According to the company, the major substantive changes being introduced at Walt Disney World will not come to California: “Based on the different ways we know guests visit Disneyland Resort, the way guests purchase, select and redeem Lightning Lane passes at Disneyland Resort will remain the same.”

Disney also indicates that the free features of Disney Genie service will continue to be available in the Disneyland app. The company also shared this: “As you may have noticed, both apps have also gotten a series of upgrades over the last year to make features easier to use, including making dining reservations, mobile food ordering, and more.”

It’s unclear what, exactly, this means for the (free) Genie service. While I would definitely agree that both apps have received a series of upgrades that make them easier to use when it comes to mobile ordering and making ADRs, I would vehemently disagree that the free Genie itinerary builder is better. But it’s not completely clear that this is what Disney is referencing–they could be considering Mobile Order and Advance Dining Reservations the “free features.” It wouldn’t be surprising, especially since those have all sorta been bundled together as part of the Genie suite.

Honestly, I would be surprised if Genie (the free itinerary builder, not Mobile Order or any of the other functions) ever accomplished Disney’s goal of redistributing crowds and minimizing unutilized capacity. I’m not questioning whether it made a meaningful impact on congestion or capacity–it definitely did not.

I’m wondering whether the Genie itinerary builder ever did anything at all. Probably, I guess, because some dumb blogger tested it out a few times and he did things he otherwise wouldn’t have. So that’s an at least one idiot riding the carrousel when Peter Pan’s Flight had a short wait. (For whatever it’s worth, I’ve since done brief tests of the free Genie, and it’s still awful.)

I’m skeptical any normal guests outside of those testing it ever materially changed their park touring behavior because of Genie. It was just so aggressively bad to the point that it defied credulity. If Disney wanted to use Genie as a sneaky vehicle for accomplishing their goal of redistributing crowds without real benefit to guests, it needed to be a little more believable. Instead, Genie was the equivalent of a GPS instructing you to drive your car into a lake. Unless your name is Michael Scott, you just aren’t going to listen because the guidance is so comically bad.

I suspect the company finally “gets” this. Genie is still awful, which means they also don’t want to throw good money after bad in making the system not-worthless. Honestly, I’m thankful for this. That money could be better spent on new attractions, reimaginings, or…literally anything. Signage with typos would be better than Genie.

Now for my thoughts on Disneyland retiring the Genie+ name and rebranding as Lightning Lane Multi-Pass. Remember how I spent like a dozen blog posts whining about how Genie+ and Lightning Lanes were the dumbest and most confusing branding decisions of all time? (Then HBO and Twitter both said, “hold my beer!”) Well, as much as I hate being wrong, I have to admit as much here.

It turns out that Robert Chapek was a visionary thinker in some regards. He must’ve known that he was launching such a half-baked product that would take years of tweaks to get in a semi-functioning state and would be so reviled by guests that it’d become a toxic brand on par with Monsanto, Philip Morris, Comcast, or, well, Robert Chapek.

Chapek was such a great thinker that he foresee a day when Disney fans would jump for joy just at malevolent Genie going away. It’s honestly impressive, in its own sad sorta way, that Chapek somehow managed to make us hate Genie, a beloved character associated with the late, great Robin Williams. But he did, and now Disneyland fans can all rejoice at what amounts to a simple name change.

Ultimately, that’s what this boils down to. Walt Disney World has made substantive changes to its ride reservation system and is relaunching it as Lightning Lane Multi-Pass and Single Pass, which is tacit recognition of the Genie brand being irrevocably tainted.

It’s a smart move from a marketing perspective, and one that makes complete sense. Even though there are no meaningful changes coming to the line-skipping service at Disneyland, it would’ve been awkward for the California parks to retain the Genie name. Continuity under the “Disney Parks” (sorry, Disney Experiences) umbrella and all that.

So Genie+ is changing as a superficial branding decision. As simple as this might be, we actually applaud the decision at Disneyland, too. Back at launch, we spent an entire blog post explaining Genie+ vs. Lightning Lanes, using comparisons Californians should understand (highway lanes and traffic jams). Even with several thousand words of explanation, fans were still confused.

While Disneyland diehards and locals are now undoubtedly familiar with how the moving pieces interact, there’s still a steady stream of first-timers who are undoubtedly confused anew by why Lightning McQueen and Genie from Aladdin are working together for paid FastPass, why it’s not called MaxPass/FastPass, etc. We know this because we hear from them or overhear their conversations in the parks on a regular basis. (Just ask a Cast Member–this is still a common source of confusion!)

Rebranding Individual Lightning Lanes and Genie+ as Lightning Lane Multi-Pass and Single Pass won’t fully solve that–but it’s a huge step in the right direction. Simple as it might seem to longtime fans who have accumulated knowledge over time, planning for and visiting the parks can feel like a firehose of information, and this is one little way to fix that. Plus, who doesn’t want to make a clean break from the dark days of the Chapek Era?!

Planning a Southern California vacation? For park admission deals, read Tips for Saving Money on Disneyland Tickets. Learn about on-site and off-site hotels in our Anaheim Hotel Reviews & Rankings. For where to eat, check out our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews. For unique ideas of things that’ll improve your trip, check out What to Pack for Disney. For comprehensive advice, consult our Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide. Finally, for guides beyond Disney, check out our Southern California Itineraries for day trips to Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and tons of other places!

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of Disneyland rebranding Genie+ to Lightning Lane MultiPass? Do you wish they’d also roll out the substantive pre-planning system, or do you prefer the more relaxed approach of the California parks? Still confused by how Lightning Lanes work at Disneyland and DCA? Think this is an adequate replacement to the FastPass and MaxPass systems, or do you wish Disneyland would’ve just left those alone? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Other thoughts or concerns? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!




  • Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *