Following Abysmal Performance During Thanksgiving Week, Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Availability Normalizes

The first major stress test on the new Disney Genie+ system came during Thanksgiving Week, and it was an abysmal performance by Disney’s new paid skip-the-line offering.

What is Disney Genie+

Disney Genie+ is technically a suite of offerings such as Disney PhotoPass Lenses and Audio Tours, but the real value is currently found in Lightning Lane – Disney’s skip-the-line offering. With Disney Genie+, guests have access to over 40 Lightning Lane-enabled attractions.

How Does Lightning Lane Work?

Lightning Lane is the physical line that allows guests to skip the standard standby queue. Guests who have purchased Disney Genie+ are able to make one Lightning Lane return time selection at a time throughout the day, as availability allows. Once a guest uses a Lightning Lane, or 120 minutes elapse from the time a selection was made, guests can make another Lightning Lane selection.

Thanksgiving Week Crush

Thanksgiving Week saw a surge of guests visit Walt Disney World, leading to average wait times higher than any other week since the Walt Disney World theme parks reopened following COVID-19 shutdowns. Graphs provided by thrill-data.com.

Now, how did Lightning Lane availability look during Thanksgiving Week? Abysmal. In the graphs below, we can glean two data points of interest.

  • Color – The color of each “block” indicates how far into the future the next available return time is. If the block is green, the return time is earlier in the day and orange to red is later in the day.
  • Availabiliy – If the block has a color, there is a time available to book, even if it’s far into the future. If the block is grey, there is no availability.

Let’s take a look at an example. Here’s a look at availability for all of the Lightning Lane-enabled attractions at Walt Disney World on November 2, 2021. We can see that only a handful of attractions didn’t have availability into the end of park operations. We can see that green turns to red as the day moves along, indicating that the “next available window” wasn’t too far into the future.

Now, let’s take a look at Thanksgiving Week Lightning Lane availability.

November 22

November 23

November 24

November 25 (Thanksgiving Day)

November 26

As crowds started to dwindle following Thanksgiving, we can see that availability has returned to a more normalized level. Not quite back to what we saw in early November, but much more manageable than what was seen during Thanksgiving Week. Midday availability was noticeably improved.

While it may be too early to call Disney Genie+ a holiday failure, it’s certainly shaping up to be a waste of money during peak holiday times. At this point, we’d want to urge setting expectations low should you purchase Disney Genie+ for the upcoming Christmas season. We’ll continue to keep an eye on availability and expectations as we get closer to mid-December.

In the meantime, we decided to check out what was possible with an afternoon of “stacking” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can check out our report on that below.

Genie+ Stacking: What’s Possible at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
blogmickey.com

For more on Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Individual Lightning Lane attraction selections, check out our articles below!

How to Enroll in the Disney Genie Service
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
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Disney Genie Guide: How to Purchase Disney Genie+
In this Disney Genie guide article, we’re going to cover how to purchase Disney Genie+ with step-by-step photos for Walt Disney World
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Genie FAQ: When Can You Make Disney Genie+ Attraction Selections?
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
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How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Attractions with Disney Genie
In this how-to guide for Disney Genie, we cover purchase Individual Lightning Lane selections for some of the most popular attractions
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Disney: Don’t Purchase Genie+ Based On Our Posted Wait Times
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
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Understanding Disney Lightning Lane: A Place, Not A Product
We explain what a Lightning Lane is at Walt Disney World, and how you can pay to skip the line at your favorite attractions
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No Re-Rides Allowed with Disney Genie+
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
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Differences Between Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane Individual Attraction Selections
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
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How to Get a Refund for Disney Genie Individual Lightning Purchases
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
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Major Differences Between Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane at Disneyland, Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
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As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news and photos from around the Disney Parks!

Mike
Mike is the owner and writer for BlogMickey.com. Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks. You can reach him at [email protected]

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