Disney World has started charging many customers more to skip the lines at its theme parks.
The company has changed its ride reservation service, Genie+, to a variable pricing system, resort spokesman Eric Scott said Tuesday.
Previously, Genie+ was priced at a flat $15 per person, per day and allowed guests to book one ride reservation at a time from dozens of attractions and experiences. As of Tuesday, Genie+’s price now varies by date and demand, much like Disney’s admission price and other theme parks’ paid line-skip services, such as Universal’s Express Pass.
Pricing will be higher during holidays and peak periods, Disney spokesman Eric Scott said. For example, Genie+ pricing ranges from $15 to $22 a day through October but could change beyond that. Visitors should check the My Disney Experience app for specific pricing on the date they want to purchase the service, Scott said.
Disney’s variable pricing has inched higher year-over-year in other areas, like date-specific hotel and ticket pricing, Len Testa, computer scientist and owner of vacation planning site Touring Plans, said earlier this year. Analysts have pointed out Disney World is getting more expensive as the prices of other forms of entertainment such as concert and theater tickets also rise.
Disney made the Genie+ pricing change in response to strong demand for the service, Scott said. About half of all park guests buy Genie+ and the add-on has significantly increased guest spending, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said during a recent earnings call.
Scott added that the majority of guests say they would buy Genie+ again on a subsequent visit.
Disney similarly ended advance sales of Genie+ in May to manage guest demand for the service. It used to be available for pre-purchase as a park ticket add-on, but now visitors have to buy it the day of their visit.
Disney debuted the Genie trip planning service last October. The base service is free and recommends a personalized itinerary based on a guest’s interests, calculated ride wait times and other factors like ride closures and inclement weather.
Its two paid tiers, Genie+ and Lightning Lane, replaced the free FastPass+ ride reservation system and received mixed reviews from guests upon their launch.
Genie+ allows guests to book one ride reservation at a time throughout the day for the majority of Disney’s attractions at a flat rate. Disney says visitors can typically visit two to three attractions a day using it.
Individual Lightning Lane offers “a la carte” entry for Disney’s most popular — and often newest — attractions. Like the new pricing structure for Genie+, individual pricing varies per attraction and per day.
Since launch, Disney has added attractions to Genie+ that were previously only available for individual Lightning Lane purchase, Scott said, such as Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios.
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