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Rumor My Genie Conclusions - The Future of WDW’s Ticketing

The Visionary Soul

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, but it’s time I let the Genie out of the bag. Genie was announced at the D23 Expo quite a while ago now. We never knew what exactly Genie meant other than it would really change the way you plan your vacation. Until now. Some of this is based on whispers from my peeps, some of this is based on my best logical guesses, and some of this just is so obvious I’m surprised no one has picked up on it yet. Let’s dive in.

First, the good news, annual passes won’t be going away, and neither will the monthly payment plans. The bad news is that WDW’s ticketing practices will get much more obscure overall. Genie will let you choose options that are important to you and spit out a price depending on what you select and when you want to do it. The price is determined by a variety of factors that probably won’t be explained to you directly, especially if you’re including the package deals. For example, you’ll be able to buy an AP, but it may not be good every day of the year, and Waterparks access or Premier Access could end up being an add-on. Oh, that reminds me. It’s clear to me that the company likes Disney+ and it’s naming conventions, so it’s likely that the Premier Access name from Disneyland Paris will carry over, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually launch Disney Genie as Genie+ or if Genie+ is some kind of upcharge version of regular Genie. I can’t confirm these names because these are just based on my gut, but the products seem real enough, so if I get some of this nomenclature wrong, don’t shoot the messenger.

As I understand it, Genie the app will be a free planning product. It will help you plan and achieve an itinerary that will be right for you and your family. But to guarantee an itinerary, you’ll need to opt in for Genie+ or Premier Access or whatever they end up calling it. I’m sure what you can guarantee will depend on the resort you’re staying at and the ticket types you include in your itinerary. The name of the game will be up-selling, and boy oh boy will you be up-sold to. Premier Access? Check. Photopass? Check. Parking? Check. VIP experiences? Check. Pre-order food and Merch? Check. It’s actually quite amazing how much will be implemented with Genie. This engine will also re-arrange your itinerary on the fly if attractions or experiences aren’t available as planned. For example, if Space Mountain ends up being unexpectedly closed for the rest of the day, it will re-arrange a later day of your vacation to hop back to Magic Kingdom to ride Space Mountain, and it will re-arrange dining reservations so you don’t miss your dinner at Ohana. It’s THAT good. But you’ll be paying for it.

You don’t want to use Genie? No worries, but no guarantees that you’ll be able to do what you want. There will be a definite bias towards pleasing the visitors that use Genie, especially the premium version of Genie. And that Premier Access product Disneyland Paris is using? Yeah, that can be an option for you day guests that just want to ride something now without waiting. It could be worth $25 bucks to you to just ride Flight of Passage now instead of that 180 min wait. Or maybe not. But at least you’ll have the option.

Fastpass+ as you knew it isn’t coming back. The name might, but since the new product is a paid service for most (it could be included as part of your hotel rooms or pass types in some cases) using the same name would be unwise in my opinion. Plus, now that it’s paid, it has to be guaranteed. That wait time has to be guaranteed to be 10 minutes or less (or whatever they come up with) and the CMs at all attractions will need to be re-trained to make sure they understand that guests are now paying to ride an attraction with little to no wait, and they have never done that before. This should encourage attraction CMs to upsell the faster access to their attractions as well.

Now, in terms of tech, we know Genie is dependent on multiple hardware and software upgrades at WDW that are occurring right now. Assuming they go well, you should see Genie roll-out before Oct 1st. If you have a keen eye, walking around property you may have noticed that Disney World has moved to SnApp for ticketing and to Appetize for merchandise and Food & Beverage point of sales systems. I suspect these upgrades must be complete before Genie can be rolled out. That’s just a hunch.

So, my advice: If you have the option to buy or renew an AP right now, I would recommend you do so before the new products replace the current AP offerings. It is likely there will be some grandfathering for the remainder of an active pass (not beyond a year though), and if you really prefer the new offerings over the old, I’m sure they’ll allow you to convert or upgrade. Obviously we just saw DL’s new Magic Key product, so we sort of have an idea on how things could work. Either way, it is a completely different team that is working on WDW’s ticket options, so we don’t know for sure, but one would think it can’t be TOO different.

If you have more information on Genie or want to chime in, of course I’m sure all of us here would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. For me, I think this is a good step for the parks overall: it monetizes what we knew as FastPass, it keeps reservations, it normalizes the operations a bit, and it allows Disney to sell a product that guarantees you’ll be able to ride Space Mountain almost a year out ahead of time. But what do you think?
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
Does it plan for bathroom use? Will it pick the best restroom available? Will I need a fast-genie-pass to use the Imagination restrooms? What if I take longer then genie expects?

Come on. These are important questions!

In an effort to reduce operating costs and maximize guest revenue, all park restrooms will be closed.

After all, if you're pooping, you're not shopping! You can save that for the hotel room.
 

Virtual Toad

Well-Known Member
Remember when Disney was an amazing brand, capable of building mind blowing, one of a kind attractions? Capable of developing the utopia-on-earth WDW Resort, full of distinctly themed and carefully curated theme parks, amazing, unique hotels, unparalleled experiences and entertainment, and so much more? A place that truly offered something for everyone?

A place without endless upsells, thoughtless IP intrusions, intrusive and tedious smartphone apps, and hyper-overplanning?

A place that treated its guests as much more than mere data points to be served up to the all-powerful gods of analytics?

Do you remember those glorious days when a vacation to WDW was relaxing, spontaneous, and transformative? Full of variety and value? An experience like no other?

I remember those days.

These are not those days.

Not by a long shot.

Not even close.

The brand is no longer what it was. If this is the path chosen by its current caretakers— if this is the best they can do, if this is all they care to do, if this is all they’re capable of doing— WDW’s heyday really has passed.

It has been changed, altered, reconfigured and misshapen— quite deliberately, carefully, and yet somehow also cynically, casually and recklessly— into something hardly recognizable.

Some will have fun staring into the eyes of the magic Genie in their cellphone while sleepwalking through their decision-free, pre-planned and oh-so-expensive vacation.

Maybe a few will stop to look around and remember a much different time. And a much different place.

Maybe the pendulum will swing back someday. Until then, I’ll continue to remember.

And smile for what once was.

Because it was great.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
Does it plan for bathroom use? Will it pick the best restroom available? Will I need a fast-genie-pass to use the Imagination restrooms? What if I take longer then genie expects?

Come on. These are important questions!
No new bathrooms will be built until existing bathrooms all have at least a 20 minute wait. Unused toilet time is just wasted capacity.
 

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