Dear Disney: About Genie+


Not expecting everyone to agree with me, but here is a letter I’ll be handing to Guest Relations folk during my upcoming trip. There are some details I’m skipping, but only because I want to keep it to two pages. One person’s viewpoint…

Dear Disney:

Some feedback on your soon-to-be-released Genie+ and the yet to be named pay-per-ride service. While you said the response when researching this plan was overwhelmingly positive, it is not for us, and I want to quantitatively and qualitatively explain why.

We are value conscious visitors focused on rides. When we visit, it is invariably a full ten-day trip. There is less travel expense per day of fun, but it is primarily driven by your park ticket structure. A single day is approaching $150, but the add-on for the last days is only $15/day. That is huge for us. We like staying on property given all the benefits but can only afford the value resorts. They may be currently $220+ per night compared to similar off-site motels charging under $100 per night, but you provide (or at least used to provide) a lot of benefits that directly related to enjoying more rides.

Here is our math for what these and other recent changes do to us.

  • $150-ish ground transportation. Either Disney Magical Express or 10 days parking. About the same either way, no matter how you get to Disney.
  • $600 for Genie+. $15 per person per day.
  • $250-ish for E-ticket rides. A guess, I fear maybe a bit low for 4 people/10 days.
  • $40-ish for Magic bands
    That is over $1,000 extra for items that all used to be included before! That is in addition to regular price hikes for food/tickets/merchandise! That is around a 20% increase just to get back most (but not all) the benefits you included before. Particularly painful are the last days, Genie+ costs as much as the incremental park admission and we still must pay for faster access to the important rides!

If it were just about money, laws of economics are wonderfully self-correcting. If your plan works, great for you and we go elsewhere. If your plan doesn’t work, you will fix it and hopefully we can return. It’s just business and capitalism is great. I’m pretty sure value conscious guests are not as profitable and if you can replace us with more profitable guests, OK with that.

HOWEVER!!! The really scary thing to me is you are trashing the long-standing tradition that once in the parks, ALL GUESTS are equal. Yes, there are “the plaids”, but they are discrete. That equality is a huge part of what makes your kingdom “magic”. Whether a day guest, value resort guest, or deluxe resort guest, once in the parks we are all the same. A class system is bigger, scarier and much harder to undo as it changes the very nature of your parks.

This equality is especially true for waiting in line, the one thing everyone wants to minimize. With rare exceptions, all guests have the same access. You can’t buy more privileges. While waiting in a standby line I’m not grumpy at someone in the FastPass lane as I know we all have them, and that person didn’t get any more than me. I just chose to use mine elsewhere. That person wasn’t any more privileged than me. There is no “them and us”, we’re all equal.

Even with Extra Magic hours, all day-guests need to do is visit a park that doesn’t have Extra Magic Hours that day and they can be in the same rope drop rush as anyone. If you were a hotel guest, it was nice that all hotel guests had the same benefits. Such equality (real and imagined) I know was by design and part of your magic. That is one of two major reasons I’ve not visited the other Orlando theme parks for over a decade and have been exclusively a Disney guest. At those parks, who paid for privileges and who didn’t is in your face all day in almost every line. It bugged me immensely the first time and I’ve never returned. With your new system, no day-guest can ever enjoy the thrill of being first at rope drop, and now only deluxe resort members get evening extra hours, so the “value” resorts clearly aren’t as valuable anymore. In addition, no matter who you are, you still have to pay for Lightning Lane access to the E-ticket rides. Those are now the “rich people rides” for faster access.

COVID was (and still is) scary. We visited in September 2020. I truly felt like you were trying to make the parks safe and us intrepid guests and we were with you doing our bit to be safe helping to make it work. Indeed, it did work and I sung your praises on the forums I frequent! You do have to recover costs, but the way you are doing it prices me out. Even if it didn’t, devolving to the same Vegas style in-your-face “pay for privilege” class structure of other lesser parks in your area isn’t a Disney I will enjoy as much. You are better than them and I’m disappointed you have stooped to their level. I’m either going to be in a Lightning Lane knowing my money got me extra privileges over the person in the standby line or I’m in the standby line knowing that person in the Lightning Lane got there by paying more than me. Nothing inclusive or magical about that. Seems like you are addressing cultural sensitivity for the rides, but then creating a cast system between guests based on money. Some business analysts agree you can do this to make more money—just like other parks. The problem is they aren’t experts at magic. Your talent is making both magic and money, this is money at the expense of magic.

I do fully understand you need tiered guest levels and not objecting to that. You’ve skillfully limited that tiering to places other than the rides in the parks based mostly on hotels and restaurants. You have skillfully kept the parks fully inclusive and equal no matter how guests were able to afford to get in. Losing that spoils the parks—at least for me.

I purposely planned a late September trip a long time ago expecting it would be a good time to avoid crowds ahead of the 50th Anniversary, with the expectation of the next annual trip during the celebration. I wanted to delay this September trip a bit for COVID numbers to drop more but can’t as I fear I’ll run into the Genie+ rollout which would mean canceling the trip entirely. If you fix the equality issue, then I “just” need more money to return. With the Genie+ class system, not sure I want to return even if I could afford it. I come to Disney to escape the real world and enjoy an idealized one. This new class system is way too much like the real world—and why I stopped visiting Universal.

We have been regular and exclusively Walt Disney World visitors for about 10 years. My hope is that you will indeed find enough people willing to visit under this system to recoup your costs quickly and then go back to the more inclusive policies you had before. I’m pretty sure you are committed to this system for at least your fiscal year and probably the duration of the 50th celebration. I am pretty much resigned to sitting out your celebration. Please quickly find another way to recoup costs without killing the magic.

I’m delivering one copy of this letter to Guest Relations in each park on this trip, so you know it is from an actual visiting guest and hoping one letter makes it high enough to get noticed.


P.S. With Genie now a bad guy, the Aladdin movies aren’t as fun to watch anymore.


I love everything about your letter, but especially how you refer to it as a class system.
Walt always wanted the parks to be affordable for families.
I am exactly in the same boat as you where I am trying to get there in September to use up my (covid) passes before the changes start… and then I have no desire right now to go back.
You have my support!!

PS… I LOVE your PS comment about Genie being the bad guy now … lol


turnernd: It took a week to write it, I needed to recover from the surprise first before being able to write something. I really really did like that about the parks, however you could scrape together the funds to get into the park, once in, everyone was indeed pretty equal. That is closer to a Magic Kingdom, what they’re setting up is more a Real World Kingdom where money buys privilege. It does, but at least they did a really good job of hiding it, this is now in your face which is hard. Thanks for the comments.



Can we copy this and deliver it to Guest relations on our November visit ( paraphrased)? We could start a movement.


Kfuse: Feel free to use/paraphrase anything you like! Part of my reasoning for wanting to deliver it to Guest Relations inside the parks is that way the know it is from someone who is an actual paying guest, not just someone “ranting on the internet”. Sorry on having a November plan, you are getting a bit of “bait and swap” getting all those extra fees after having set up your reservation. That would have me in a real bind on what to do.



We are debating whether or not to purchase Genie+. We love riding the rides. It’s only a 5 day trip so we only have one day per park. Not knowing which rides will be included is frustrating

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Kfuse: I think for shorter trips it isn’t quite so painful as the ratio of Genie+ to the daily park ticket cost is lower. It hurts for longer trips like ours and I feel even more for the annual Pass folk that thought their passes covered all they needed for “unlimited” days in the parks for a year. Now there is this per-person/per-day/per-ride fee on top of their annual pass. Ouch!

I really did hate that class feeling at Universal the first and only time I went with their pass system in place. That wasn’t taking poetic license, I have never returned since that visit. I do consider them a lesser park (might annoy some folk saying that, sorry) that is really “only” selling entertainment and as such can get away with it more. Disney is selling a whole experience and a fantasy. I know it’s that and like it because it is an escape from the real world. If it isn’t that level of escape, then it’s lost its value.

OK, now I’m getting to the stuff I didn’t have space for in the letter! :slight_smile: Good news is you don’t have to decide now. By the time you have to commit you should not only have an idea of the pay rides but also the Touring Plans crowd levels. If they are anything close to what they are now, Genie+ may be truly optional. If crowded though, they may be necessary. I just don’t want to be thinking about money each time I get in line. If I got Genie+, I’d be wondering if I wasted my money and if I didn’t, I’d be wondering if I’m wasting my time. Not magic either way.



Nice letter.

When I write one for my trip in January, I will also add some details around how I am not spending any more dollars at Disney (as you are hoping I would), but just robbing one of your divisions to pay for another. In addition, I have added some offsite stays because I do not see any additional value while staying at your resorts anymore (This part is taking money away from you and giving it to the other businesses in the neighbourhood).

I will tweak some of the wording around paying more for the same. To me, it is no longer the same magic. You have me paying more for less. In addition, I no longer consider you one of the best companies to work for anymore. You laid-off thousands of people during COVID without any benefits and still have not brought back the numbers you had before COVID. Your attractions are also breaking-down more often, you no longer have enough bus drivers, your parks and restrooms are no longer spotless, and you do not have enough hotel staff.

The people looking for work have spoken. Disney left them high and dry when they needed them the most. Other companies made sacrifices so that all employees could still earn a paycheck and make it through this unprecedented time.

Those are some of my initial thoughts. Of course the wording will be more elegant when I polish the :poop:.


Shellott-hill: Yes, I struggled with hotels this trip for the first time. It’s been default value resorts because “this is the way”, but for the trip this year I really was having trouble finding the “value” of the value resorts. While I finally ended up sticking with Pop, I did look seriously at off site hotels for the first time. My main reason finally was being a bit more comfortable with staying in the bubble for COVID reasons, not value. I was kind of hoping EMH might come back by the time this trip happened, but it didn’t. EMH is coming back obviously, but Genie+ pretty much kills the value of the parks, so value of the hotels becomes irrelevant.

I agree it is not paying more for the same, that was the main point of the last 2/3 of the letter. Even if the math came out to the same, the class system in the parks is just too much like the real world to be the escape I enjoy about the parks. I truly hope they realize this is a big OOPS. They can’t and won’t admit it which is fine, they just need to change it back with some uncomfortable weirdly sounding press release that says they are going back to the old way while not admitting they goofed. I’m pretty sure they are committed to this system for at least the fiscal year, so being a good liner that plans ahead, going to assume something non-Disney for 2022.



DD6 (my Disney partner in crime) and I often discuss our future trips to Disney (we aren’t returning until my kids are vaccinated). She recently has been very interested in learning about money and how much things cost.

Last week I explained Genie+ and LL+ to her. Here is the conversation after I explained the system.

DD6 (looking at me with a confused look): So we need to pay money to get into the park and then we have to pay more money for rides?

Me: Yes

DD6: It shouldn’t be both. Either Disney should charge to go into the park or Disney should charge for rides, but not both.

Me: Well, that is what Disney decided to do and they can make their own rules.

DD6: Those rules aren’t fair.

If a 6 year old can understand it …



I loved your letter! Especially your comparison of G+ to a class system. Disney’s very public changes to rides and experiences for inclusiveness, then turning around to create this uninclusive money grab really leaves a bad taste.
I have a trip planned for late April next year but I am rethinking it at this point. The best way to show Disney that we (their customers) aren’t happy with this latest nickel & diming scheme is to not go. Or if you do, don’t use G+ or the LL at all. That is the only way they will feel it…


Bravo to your daughter! She should challenge Cheeepek to a public debate on the merits of G+…


DaveJ: Yea, if even a 6-year old can figure out it’s bad in just a few minutes of explanation, hopefully the Disney execs might figure it out after a few months! :slight_smile:

Luvdemlabums: I’m somewhere between DaveJ’s DD6 and Disney Execs on speed. My gut reaction was obvious, but took a bit of thinking to figure out what really bugged me about it besides just the money grab. Universal never really impressed me, so when they did their thing, it was easy to declare “no more” without thinking too much. I like WDW, so I had to figure out why G+ bugged me so much.

Barring a complete “egg on our face” 180 degree turn within the next few months (extremely unlikely), WDW next year is out for us since trip planning for me is a very long process. They’d have to change before the start of next year for me to include them.


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This is our situation–we are going in late Nov and I’m completely unsure about how to plan with the unknowns of G+ and LL. We are hitting one park per day (except we are heading to Universal for 1.5 days after WDW) so I have to make the most of each day–we come about every 3 years, but with all these changes I think this will be our last trip for a very long time to WDW. This is a replacement from a May 2020 trip that was cancelled (and it was the perfect trip with dining and FP reservations, oh well!). So, it appears that we are the type visitors who will have to make the tough choices to buy LL since we don’t go often and can’t stay for 7-10 days at WDW. It stinks, but it is what it is. I’m counting on y’all to give best advice for touring, although it seems that rope dropping the LL headliners will be key and then have a touring plan and hoping stand-by lines aren’t too bad for most of the other rides we would want to do. I just worry about the time TP will have to get accurate data with not much time from G+ roll out to our trip date :grimacing:

As a type-A planner, it is very frustrating to not know until the day of if we will need to fork out additional money to ride the headliners, especially with high crowds expected during our stay. With only a month of data (assuming mid-Oct roll out) before our trip date, it also is unknown how much the wait times will increase from the roll out date to peak holiday weeks. It appears I am going to have to prepare DH and my boys to really lower their expectations, all while paying more than we would have for our May 2020 trip.

Ooh interesting point: it makes budgeting hard. I suppose you just lump it in there and then be happy if you don’t need to put the $$ down - plan for the worst hope for the best kind of thing?

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That’s typically what we do, and will likely do for this. Include G+/LL into our budget, and hopefully leave it untouched/unused.

Hmm. This makes me also realize that since we are adjusting our budget to replace other things we would have paid for to cover G+…that if we decided that we don’t end up needing G+, we’ll actually end up spending LESS than we would have originally. (I wonder if that is normal or not?)

I would suspect most people would treat this like the DDP. They have all these extra snack credits at the end of their trip and fill a suitcase with snacks to take home. Those who do not spend their G+/LL$ budget may use that money for other things like a farewell sit-down meal, souvenirs, etc…

I’d presume after G+/LL$ are up and running for around 6 months, at least if it goes that long without radical changes, we should have a pretty good feel how much it is needed for your trip. Thus after a bit you’ll be able to plan for it in advance and adjust your budget accordingly.

It’s just right now we’re totally in the dark as we have no idea how popular it will be and thus how needed it is for each park…


This seems to have become my norm, last couple of trips. Spending less. More suitcase room. Coming home with money in my pocket.

Figuratively speaking.

Maybe that’s why they’re charging extra for rides.

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I will be visiting DW for probably the last time in my life in February next year. It will be interesting to discover if the people who don’t pay for G+ (which will probably include me) are overtly treated like second-class citizens.

My last visit about 2.5 years ago was frustrating because so much of DW is difficult for disabled persons, despite Disney tooting its own horn about its “many” aids for the disabled. For example, in Epcot, I had to walk for almost 25 minutes to reach the rental area for motorized scooters. In MK, there is no elevator to reach the monorails, nor is there any way to go from the MK monorail to the resort monorail without repeating the grueling walk down the ramp and back up the ramp to the second monorail. Restaurants are casually cruel to disabled people, forcing guests to walk to the farthest reaches for seating or forcing disabled guests to climb stairs when there are no elevators. Yes, most of the rides are accessible, but not much thought is given to the rest of DW facilities.

To have to pay more for services that were previously free, while simultaneously being treated like a second class disabled citizen, is more than I am willing to repeat. Unfortunately, the next trip was booked before FP+ was dumped in favor of G+. Now I don’t even know if any of the itinerary plans that have worked previously will be permitted under what sounds like an enforced itinerary dictated by Genie+. My dissatisfaction will be registered at guest services in each park.


Jan: Good points on the access. Maybe good, but still could be better. This upcoming trip will be my last for a while (will feel weird looking back nostalgically at my COVID trips as the last good ones), not sure if last forever yet. I still have some hope they’ll realize this is dumb either “just because it is” or it will hurt attendance so much it will be necessary financially to go back. It can’t happen faster than a year though, so being a good liner that plans ahead, will have something else planned long before they can change.

Janamelia: Maybe the reason they are getting less store and “extras” sales is because there isn’t anything left after tickets/hotels! A 20% price hike just to get most of what you had before (not including regular inflationary increases) is what priced me out even if Genie+ didn’t create the class system it does. If they had “just” raised prices, then maybe I’d go back if/when I could justify it. Prices and class system tipped it over for me. Gonna have to get used to Genie and Jafar being the bad guys! Hmm, many we need to ask them to put Genie into the villans parade! :slight_smile:

Got my letters printed and ready to deliver. One for Guest Relations in each park.