In recent months, Disneyland Resort fans have had to pay extra to avoid the longest lines at the theme park’s most popular attractions.
The higher prices for using the Genie+ feature in the Disneyland app to skip the traditional stand-by lines come as fans swarm Disneyland and California Adventure Park during one of the resort’s busiest times of the year: the Christmas holidays.
Disney introduced Genie+ in 2021 to handle extended wait times at coveted attractions – like the Haunted Mansion and the Matterhorn Bobsleds – while generating additional revenue on top of the $104 daily ticket minimum. Park-goers who purchase Genie+ gain access to an expedited “Lightning Lane” instead of the standard queues to enter the rides.
The line cutting feature is the latest Disney feature that allows visitors to book a time to use a shorter line to board their favorite ride. The first version was the FastPass system, which offered a paper ticket to indicate the time visitors could use a shorter line. This system was replaced in 2017 with a digital version called MaxPass, which sold for $10 a day.
Genie+ will be priced at $20 a day last fall. But in October the Pursue increased the price to $25 and switched to demand-based pricing for the service, meaning the more fans get Genie+, the higher the daily price.
That OC register reported Last week, Thrill Data, which tracks wait times at amusement parks across the country, shows that Disneyland has increased the cost of Genie+ at least 16 times to $30 since switching to its variable model.
That show data that the price has most often reached $30 on weekends, particularly Saturdays, which, along with Thanksgiving week, tend to have the longest waits. The price is highest on days with the longest wait times for rides, the data shows. The average price for Genie+ on Saturdays since asking prices began is $28.50, according to the data.
The higher Genie+ prices have been noticed by Disneyland fans, who say visiting the park has become an expensive investment.
Sean Nyberg, a 40-year-old Seattle resident who visits Disneyland several times a year with his family, told The Times he likes and uses the service but believes adjustments need to be made.
Rather than like a perk or a way to move through queues faster, Genie+ feels like an increase in ticket price, Nyberg said.
“As it is now, it’s almost like you have to buy it to enjoy the park,” he said.
At current prices, the service is still affordable enough to be used by many park visitors, and that means, Nyberg says, the “Lightning Lanes” are sometimes not much faster than the regular lines.
Disney should either eliminate the feature so that all catenary wires move at the same pace, or increase the price of Genie+ so fewer people use it, Nyberg suggested.
A Disneyland official said in a statement that the pricing model was unveiled to customers on Oct. 11 through the company’s website.
The spokesperson declined to comment on whether there is a price cap for Genie+, but said guests can purchase the feature before their visit or after entering one of the parks, starting at $25.
The Genie+ app transitioned to demand pricing the same day Disneyland announced a price increase of up to 9% for tickets and 11% for priority parking.
Times contributor Gregory Yee contributed to this report.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-20/disneyland-resort-fans-have-been-paying-high-prices-to-skip-long-lines-data-shows Disneyland visitors paying more for Genie+ app, data show