Dear Disney: About Genie+

I was not happy about the G+ at first blush. My wife had to back me away from the ledge…but she made some valid points. First and foremost, it makes it a no-brainer for us to stay offsite. The very limited benefit received for staying on property can be offset ten times over with LL and G+. Shoot, we could probably rent DVC points and it would still be far, far, more expensive than offsite with G+ and 2 LL a day for five days visiting the park.

We do completely understand the anger, and in some cases outright rage, for AP holders and those that make annual trips to the world and prefer the bubble. We could just take or leave the bubble and the World Marriott has better accommodations and pools then any of the deluxe properties we have stayed in the past.

G+ is a big change, but you can still stick it to Disney if you are willing to adjust and make some allowances/sacrifices/swaps.

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Disney is amazingly frustrating when your mobility starts to decline. I’m saddened to hear it’s that difficult that you’re thinking of no more trips. Completely understandable.

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janamelia: Combined with increasing costs and disappearing services, DW is
being turned into a rich persons’ playground. I think that the powers that be intend to milk the rich to the point that people who do not want to spend on all of the extras will no longer be of interest to the organization. It is a shame that children and young people who were not born privileged may not be able to enjoy the American dream vacation.

My travel companion and I no longer stay on property to save money, don’t rent a car to avoid parking costs, and will be cutting way back on dining at table service restaurants in DW. We use Lyft and will be eating at our off-property hotel for as many meals as possible. Eventually, Disney may figure out that it is shooting itself in the foot.

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Yes, for us G+ is a must although 2LL’s are a hard No. I also include park hoppers as an added expense because of their recent changes. That is because of park reservations and the need to ride the super-liners early or late. So, that is an extra $600, or $60/park day. But, we drive there so will have a car. To make up the $600, I’ve cut out all non-interesting dining at Disney. So, we’ll be doing some character meals and eating some worthwhile snacks. But, when we are merely hungry, we’ll be reaching in the backpack. I expect we will accidentally cut more than $600.

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Do i need to buy Genie+ to get ride passes for kids who will be too short to even ride? What if they have a pass for a low height ride and I have a pass for a higher height ride?

They’d have to ride alone if you didn’t have a pass, assuming they are both at least 7. Under 7 they have to ride with someone 14 or over, but you’d only be allowed in line if you had a pass too.

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I love your letter. You are more diplomatic than I am. I have been going to Disneyworld and Disneyland since I was a child - so its over 40 years. I love Disney and try and go once or twice a year. The nickel and diming has been getting worse and worse and now its out of control. I have 10 day forever unexpired park hopper passes that I still have left. I don’t plan on going to Disney any more for the foreseeable future because they are really getting ridiculous. The changes to the “Mickey Not So Scary Halloween Party” and the “Very Merry Christmas Party” is outrageous. This coupled with Florida having major issues with Covid. I went in April of this year and it was very packed and the lines were long, but I was happy to be there. I don’t know what to do with my 10 day passes because my heart doesn’t feel like it wants to go there anymore. I feel like I am being taken advantage of or a sucker. So for now, I am voting with my feet and not going. I think they are taking advantage of people willing to pay anything to go - but those days are numbered. I have been reading that park attendance has gone down a lot. I think maybe its because of school, Covid and this pricing. But with that said, make the most of your trip and glad you are doing this. I am going to do the same.

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Excellent letter! I know that is how a lot of people feel. We will also have 2 days in each park on our upcoming December trip, and I really don’t think at this point that you’ll need Genie + on longer trips. Maybe one of the Studios days since they can have some longer lines with several “big ticket” rides. I think the people with only 1 day in each park will need to consider it much more to ensure they can ride everything they want.

I think you mean a “caste” system, not a “cast” one.

Since I have no problem with people who earn more, or save up more, or spend more, getting more bang for their earning/saving/spending, I can’t really relate to most of this, other than the idea that many perks previously included in the price are now add-ons for everyone.

My biggest problem with “genie” is that the magic will disappear for a completely different reason:

Everyone will be staring at their phones.

Perhaps they already are, but now it’ll almost be required. As you say, the idea of escaping the real world to get to magic is a huge draw of Disney, and nobody does it better than them.

But seeing the whole world staring at their phones navigating “genie” & “DME” rather than looking around and at each other enjoying life isn’t magical, and isn’t an escape from what has become the real world.

I love looking at youtube videos of Disney parades & events from 20+ years ago.

Everyone is enjoying being in the moment, and nobody is staring at their little screens.

Go well.

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Yes, I picture the scenes from Wall-E.

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It will be (or is now) kinda like it. During the days of “in the park” boarding group lotteries, almost everyone would get quiet and freeze in place at 10AM and look at their phone.

Soon as 10AM passed, every thing came “back to life”. People would move and noise level jumped back to normal

It reminded me of the “starting positions” in the Truman Show.

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Randall: Yep, I had a trip during that time and besides everyone on their phones, I could swear that Disney faded out the background music/effects too. Erie silence for about 15 seconds right at 9:00:00, then within 15 seconds music back, people talking (some happy, some not) and the day went on. Very strange–and of course part of the crowd doing the same thing.

Ejj: You have some very good points and I like them too. I’m committed to logging times in line for TP data gathering, so am one of those on his phone at the start and end of every line, but after reading your comment and liking it, making an active effort to minimize time on the phone. It was a good time for an in-park reminder, so thanks.

will

All:

The afternoon after delivering my fourth letter I did get an email from Disney in response. The letter basically was mostly a form letter with the standard line about offering choice, but personalized enough to be clear it wasn’t just a form letter. Nothing interesting in the way of actual content and none was expected. Just an acknowledgement and that is fine.

The curious bit is all I gave in the letters was my name and home address. I got an email back, so someone spent enough effort to look me up and trace it back to an email address. I don’t think it was coincidence I got the email after delivering the final letter in the fourth park either, so some thought and coordination was going on. In a real sense, that is the best I could have hoped for. To get that level of coordination meant it at least got attention. 2022 will almost certainly be a non-Disney year, with any luck they’ll realize us regulars are pretty reliable revenue even some of us are value focused and will offer something a bit better than the current craziness.

will

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