Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane as we know them are coming to an end.
Walt Disney World Resort dropped several massive announcements on Monday afternoon as a part of its plan for 2024. Disney World Guests visiting Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or EPCOT should pay attention to the changes that are happening– all beginning in 2024– to make the Guest Experience easier.
We recently covered that Disney Dining plans would be returning in 2024. The beloved dining packages that allow Guests to pre-pay for their snacks and meals ahead of time have been suspended since the pandemic began. Disney announced on Monday that these are coming back as an option for those staying at Disney Resort hotels who purchase a vacation package starting with stays beginning January 9, 2024, which will also open for bookings on May 31.
In addition, Disney announced that the Disney Park Reservation system would be coming to an end for Guests who buy date-based tickets. This massive change will give Disney World Guests the ability to visit any Disney Park of their choosing without having to book a reservation first. Of course, this change isn’t set to come into effect until January 9, 2024.
Finally, Disney Dining covered that Walt Disney World Resort will be offering “good-to-go” days beginning in 2024 for Annual Passholders. Currently, Annual Passholders must book a reservation for when they want to visit a theme park, and then they can Park-Hop anywhere after 2:00 p.m. with no restrictions. Beginning next year, Annual Passholders will have the convenience of being able to visit Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on select days without the inconvenience of booking a reservation ahead of time.
But, Disney isn’t stopping there.
One of the most controversial systems at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort has been none other than Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane. The system has been in place for a couple of years now and it requires Guests to purchase the add-on service if they’d like to bypass the standard line queue and go through the “Lightning Lane.”
Of course, these purchases can’t be done ahead of time and there’s no way to reserve times for popular attractions before you get into the theme park that day. Disney just announced that this going to change, effectively ending the Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane system as we know them.
“We have heard from Guests that they would like ways to plan with Disney Genie+ service and individual Lightning Lane selections before the day of their park visit, and we want you to know we are working on ways Guests may do this for visits in 2024,” Disney announced. “Our goal is to give you the opportunity to spend less time planning in the park and more time enjoying your visit with friends and family. While we are not yet able to share specific details, we look forward to sharing more information at a later date.”
While Disney did not give any specifics on how the system will change, it’s clear that major overhauls could be announced in the future.
If Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane selections are able to be purchased ahead of time, this will end the current system altogether. Disney Guests will be able to purchase Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane ahead of time and that, in turn, will allow them to plan their days out ahead of time, rather than relying on the reservation system to play out in their favor while visiting the theme park that day.
The most exciting part of this development? You won’t have to worry about planning your entire day and staying on your phone while trying to enjoy your time in the Parks.
The biggest complaint that Guests have had about Disney Genie+– and it serving as the replacement for FastPass+– is the fact that they have to spend their entire day on the My Disney Experience app attempting to get reservations for their favorite attractions. As we noted, these changes have not been confirmed by Disney as of yet, but we are certainly excited to see what the future holds as Walt Disney World Resort looks to make the Disney Genie+ system change and, effectively, become something entirely different.