We’re making our lists and checking them twice…
Not for Santa, for Bob Iger. Disney fans have a very long list of hopes for the newly reinstated CEO. There’s an invigorated hope within the Disney community for things to turn around. The list is long and almost universally agreed upon by fans. Chief among those wishes is the dissolution of Disney Genie+. Most Guests hate it, despite the fact that 50% ultimately purchase it. The FastPass replacement is (usually) not purchased because Guests like it but because they feel obligated. Sadly though, it isn’t likely to go away.
Bob Iger may be better than Bob Chapek, but he is still a businessman. His job is to make the company money. Genie+ makes money. We did the math, and Disney Genie+ earns The Walt Disney Company roughly $547,500,000 per year. Despite not liking it, even I would be reluctant to give up that much money. The shareholders Iger is beholden to would undoubtedly raise an eyebrow at a voluntary loss. With the new dynamic pricing, the service is set to make even more money.
Money aside, let’s not forget that Genie+ was developed and announced under Iger’s first term as CEO. Chapek took the heat for the unpopular service, but ultimately the buck stopped with Iger. This is his baby, not Chapek’s. He signed off on it, and its success or failure rests on his shoulders. Some may argue that Iger only okayed the service, not the consumer charges involved, but anyone could see the writing on the wall: Genie+ was always going to cost money.
If the rumors that Park Reservations are going away are true (and despite that fake announcement, we really do think they may end soon-ish), the Parks are likely to get more crowded. More crowds will mean longer lines. Longer lines will mean more people will buy into Genie+. That means more money. The service wasn’t cheap to implement, and it’s making money hand over fist. Preferences aside, Iger would be a fool to throw that away.