Walt Disney World is moving four attractions from Individual Lightning Lane to the Disney Genie+ service for two weeks, starting Sunday.
One attraction from each park is making the switch, which takes effect December 19 and will continue through January 3, 2022:
The moves mean that fans wanting to access the Lightning Lane for these attractions no longer will have to buy Individual Lightning Lane access at $7-15 a pop, but instead can get in with the $15-a-day Disney Genie+ service, which also provides access to dozens of other attractions across the four Disney World theme parks.
Disney World guests use Disney Genie+ to access each attraction's Lightning Lane just once per day, and after making their initial Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation for the day, guests must wait two hours or until their Lightning Lane reservation time passes (whichever comes first) to make another Lightning Lane reservation. You can learn more about the service in our post, How to Use Disney Genie Plus.
In addition to the Lightning Lane changes, Disney World has announced that it will extend the early theme park entry benefit for its on-site and other select hotel guests during the same period by an extra half hour, allowing those guests to enter the four parks up to 60 minutes before their official opening times each day.
The two moves should help distribute fans more evenly throughout the parks during what was long the busiest stretch of the year. Disney is managing its parks' capacity with the new mandatory Disney Park Pass reservation system for all ticket and annual pass holders. But the extra early entry time extends the parks' capacity on each day, while the move from Individual Lightning Lane to Disney Genie+ in theory should push more Genie+ users toward the former ILL attractions, shifting some demand from other Genie+ rides and shows.
One should assume that Disney is using these two-week changes as a test as well as a temporary load management change. Disney surely will be look at Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane sales, as well as attraction load and standby times throughout the day, then compare those against their performance before the switch. That data will help determine whether these temporary changes become permanent, or what the next changes in Walt Disney World's ticket and hotel benefit policies might be.
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