When Disney announced that it would be eliminating its free FastPass system and implementing a new paid-for system called Disney Genie+, many fans were shocked and upset. While Disneyland Guests had been utilizing MaxPass for several years, Disney World Guests were used to a completely free FastPass system and were not thrilled that they would now have to pay for the service. However, Genie+ does seem to be popular at the Most Magical Place on Earth, with about one-third of Guests purchasing Genie+.
With Disney Genie+, Guests can book Lightning Lane access — the new name for the FastPass line — right from their phone. Once a FastPass is booked, Guests must wait at least 2 hours, or until their original ride reservation has been used, or the reservation time has passed, before they can make another one. Guests can book their first reservation beginning at 7 a.m., but must wait until 2 hours after their chosen theme park has opened before they can try to book again.
Disney thought that Disney Genie+ would allow Guests to theoretically only hold one reservation at a time. However, that is now how things worked out.
Pretty early on, Guests realized that they could “stack” their reservations in two different ways. One method of stacking was more basic and straightforward, and the other method was a little bit more advanced and complicated. The basic stacking method is still possible, but it looks like Disney has closed the loophole on the more advanced stacking.
With basic stacking, Guests would be able to stack their ride reservations simply by booking the reservations for later in the day. For example, at 7 a.m. a Guest could book a reservation for Peter Pan’s Flight from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. If the Magic Kingdom opened at 9 a.m., then at 11 a.m. that Guest could then make a Haunted Mansion reservation from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Two hours later, another ride reservation could be made, and so on and so forth. That meant that at the end of the night, Guests could have multiple ride reservations back to back.
Advanced stacking is a bit more complicated and most likely not used by as many Guests as basic stacking. Let’s say that, at 7 a.m., a Guest made a 10:30 a.m.to 11:30 a.m. booking for Test Track. EPCOT opens at 9 a.m., so a new reservation can be made at 11 a.m., which is during your Test Track reservation. With advanced stacking, the Guest would wait until 11 a.m. and then book Lightning Lane Mission: Space for, let’s say, 12:15 p.m.
Once that second reservation is made, the Guest then heads over to Test Track to redeem their first booking. Once they are scanned into the ride queue, they are automatically allowed to make another Lightning Lane booking. So then let’s say that they book Spaceship Earth for 1 p.m. After Test Track, they head over to Mission: Space and scan their phone for the booking. Then they can make another reservation.
The advanced stacking method allowed Guests to essentially hold two reservations at one time throughout the day as they went from ride to ride. This, of course, was dependent on Lightning Lane availability.
In order to prevent advanced stacking and allow Guests to have two rolling reservations at once, Disney has changed the way bookings can be done. While at the beginning of the day, a Guest can technically have two reservations at once, once the original booking is used, a Guest can only hold one reservation at a time. The 120-minute rule still allows for basic stacking, but rolling reservations can no longer be made.