Skipping the line at Disney World rides is now more expensive than ever, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still ways to save!
Genie+ is the new(ish) way to bypass the standby lines at many Disney World rides and hop into the Lightning Lane instead, which means you’ll spend less time waiting in line. When the system was introduced in October 2021, it started out at $15 per person, per day in Disney World and $20 per person, per day in Disneyland. Recently Disney announced some major price increases for both resorts. So WHY did Disney up the price, and how can you avoid paying extra?
We’ll first go into detail about the recent price increases so that you know what you’re up against and how things have changed recently. Then, we’ll analyze why Disney was able to raise prices so much and even why they felt inclined to do so. Finally, we’ll share some tips for how you can avoid the surging prices and save money on your next Disney vacation.
Recent Genie+ Price Increases
In October 2022 (almost exactly 1 year after Genie+ was introduced), Disney announced some pricing changes for the system. In Disneyland, the base price increased from $20 per person, per day to $25 per person, per day. And in both Disneyland and Disney World, surge pricing was introduced.
Surge pricing means that the cost of Genie+ can vary depending on the day. During busier times (like holidays and over summer break), Genie+ might cost more than during the less busy times.
The base cost for Genie+ in Disney World remained the same ($15 per person, per day), but instead of having a set price, Genie+ now has a range. Initially, that range was between $15 and $22 per day, but Disney has said that the range might be adjusted again.
As we’ve been watching the price changes for Genie+ over the last month, we’ve seen it reach the $22 per person, per day price a couple of times in Disney World. So far, it has not exceeded $22 per person, per day, and it’s most often between $17 and $20.
Although the price increases are just a few dollars per person, that can add up quickly, especially if you’re traveling with a larger group. For example, buying Genie+ in Disneyland for a family of 4 used to cost $80 per day ($20 per person), but now it’ll start at $100 per day and potentially increase during busier times.
The Reason Behind the Price Increases
Genie+ was already a price increase from the previously free FastPass+ system, so why is Disney raising prices again?
Of course, The Walt Disney Company is a company, and one of its main goals is to make a profit. Introducing Genie+ seems to have been very good for Disney’s profit margin, based on reports in the last few earnings calls. In the most recent earnings report, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said that guest per capita spending in the parks has increased 40% since 2019, which she attributes in part to the popularity of “premium offerings” like Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes.
However, one of the biggest reasons for the increased prices is that Genie+ has become TOO popular. Earlier this year, in the 2022 Q3 earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek reported that almost HALF of the guests entering Disney World purchased Genie+ that quarter. This certainly benefits the bottom line, but it has had a negative impact on the value of the product.
If too many people buy Genie+, then the Lightning Lanes get over-crowded and all the value of purchasing Genie+ is gone because guests are waiting just as long in those Lightning Lanes as they would have in the standby lines. If 50% of people can use the Lightning Lane, that means only 50% are left in the standby lines, so those lines are now the same length.
In order to reduce the number of people buying Genie+ and thus increase the product’s value, Disney needs to increase the price. That seems like a reasonable solution for Disney, but what’s the right solution for YOU?
How You Can Avoid the Surging Prices
The ideal situation would be for you to purchase Genie+ at a reasonable rate while fewer people choose to also purchase it. So how do you accomplish that? While you don’t really have control over what other guests choose to do, you can plan your Disney World vacation so that you’ll be in the parks when Genie+ is the least expensive price possible.
Disney doesn’t release the daily cost of Genie+ ahead of time, but we’ve been tracking its price changes, and we can see a pattern that might help you save some cash.
Almost every time Genie+ has cost $22 per person, per day (the highest price we’ve seen so far) has been on a Saturday. The cheapest days tend to be Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we often see the $15 per person, per day price return on those days. Over the recent fall break time, the price was usually $18 to $20.
So if you want to buy Genie+ in Disney World for the cheapest possible price, we recommend planning your trip so that you’re there during the middle of the week and not over the weekend.
This is how surge pricing works on a variety of Disney World costs, including hotel stays and park tickets as well. So by following that advice, you’ll likely save not only on Genie+ but on other aspects of your vacation as well.
For more Genie+ tips and tricks, check out the following links:
- The Ultimate Guide to Using Disney Genie+
- STEP-BY-STEP Guide: How to Purchase Genie+ for Disney World
- The Big Disney Genie+ Rule That EVERYONE Gets Wrong!
- Updated List of Everything That’s Included in Your Genie+ Purchase in Disney World
- How Many Rides Can You Get On Per Day With Genie+ in Disney World?! We Dig In!
- Breaking Down the Most CONFUSING Parts of Disney Genie
- Understanding Disney Genie in 500 Words or Less
- The Rides to Book FIRST With Genie+ and Pay Per Ride in Disney World
Keep following DFB for more of the latest Disney news and advice for your upcoming vacation!
Have you used Genie+ in Disney World? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments.