Two Steps Back: NEW Disney Genie+ Changes Attempt to Hide App Issues

    Disney World has made some changes to the My Disney Experience app and specifically the Disney Genie+ service that seemingly attempts to hide how bad the service is. There are two changes made recently and we purchased Disney Genie+ today to take a look at the updates.

    Check Availability

    This first change will only happen during “high demand” times, but it’s a bandaid in every sense of the work. From 7am to 7:30am, guests will not be able to see what the next available Lightning Lane return window is. Instead, Disney masks it and instead shows “check availability” which requires guests to tap into an attraction that they want to book a Lightning Lane for to see when the return window actually is. A similar bandaid for Individual Lightning Lane invites guests to “See Available Times”.

    So, why did Disney implement this change? Simply put, the service is in such high demand first thing in the morning (and at select times throughout the day) that the return window that is presented on the Tip Board screen rarely matches the return window that you end up securing by the time you’ve clicked through the subsequent pages to book your Lightning Lane. Instead of implementing a fix for this “sliding return window” issue, Disney simply makes it impossible to see the next available return window until you’re closer to booking.

    Here’s a look at the Tip Board during the “high demand” check availability timeframe and then how the Tip Board looks for the rest of the day. We can see the “check availability” bandaid during the 7am to 7:29am timeframe in the left screenshot below, and then the return window UI display starting at 7:30am in the right screenshot below.

    Highlight Secured Lightning Lane

    This is a simple change, but after using the service a bit since the last change was implemented, we need to highlight another pain point created by the recent changes.

    First, here’s a look a the new change that was pushed with the change listed above. The new change simply highlights your selected and secured Lightning Lane attractions. Here’s a look at the old UI on the left and the updated highlight UI on the right. This in and of itself is a good change, but let’s take a look at a pain point from the late June update.

    Old selection UI (left) | New selection UI (right)

    Back in late June, Disney made an update to the UI that showed your selected return window on the Tip Board instead of the current return window. In the screenshot below, we can see the change. On the left, we had booked Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, but the time listed was the current return window if you were to make a Genie+ Lightning Lane selection at the time of the screenshot. In order to find out what window you booked your Lightning Lane for, you’d have to go to the My Day screen. Then, in late June, Disney made an update to the UI that showed your currently booked Genie+ Lightning Lane window on the Tip Board. At first, this seemed like a good change, but then we started to use the service more.

    As it turns out, advanced users of the service were put at a disadvantage with the UI update. Now, there is no way to see what the current Genie+ Lightning Lane return window is for an attraction that you have already booked. That means that you’d have to cancel your current secured Lightning Lane to see if a better return window is even available. Now, we called users of this “advanced users”, but booking a more preferable return window is probably pretty common.

    Furthermore, the UI is broken during the “check availability” window. As you can see in the left screenshot below, the green highlight UI shows that we have booked Slinky Dog Dash, but because it’s not 7:30am and Disney is still hiding the next available return time, they are also hiding our booked return window. Hopefully Disney agrees that this is an issue and it will result in a UI fix if Disney continues with the “check availability” bandaid.

    Overall, the new changes made to Disney Genie+, especially “check availability”, feel like we’re going backward with the service. A bandaid is not a fix, and Disney really needs to continue to make a wide array of changes to the service before it can be considered a benefit to guests. Right now, Disney Genie+ is a necessary evil.

    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
    blogmickey.com
    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
    blogmickey.com
    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
    blogmickey.com
    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
    blogmickey.com
    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
    blogmickey.com

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

    Mike
    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]

    7 COMMENTS

    1. This whole app thing is just so unfortunate. There’s such little experience left there these days – it’s all a bunch of drones walking around with head buried in ‘apps’. So unfortunate.

    2. Genie+ and ILLs are FUBAR. They should be scrapped. Bring back FP+! Sooo much more user friendly. At least for normal users who don’t get excited by complex mathematics and Excel and intricate on-the-fly planning. #firechapek

    3. Once you’ve booked a LL, what happens when you click “book another” on your reservation? What is the purpose?

      • Nothing. You can’t book a second LL for the same person. If you have someone who hasn’t booked it, clicking “book another” will go through the normal booking process, if not, it will error out. Another poor word choice in our opinion

    4. Re: the last screen shot
      How is a guest supposed to know they indeed have an LL booked just because the box is green? While the SAME box says ‘check availability’ and ‘book experience’, which make it sound like the attraction has not been reserved yet.

      Yes, these are bandaids pre-embedded with germs

    5. We will be there this weekend – I knew what to do before this last update.

      #1 – on MK day, we want only after 5pm return times, is that still possible?
      #2 hopping – we are starting a day at AK and then hopping to Epcot, plan to buy Pandora and do everything else for Epcot. Is this still possible and it will automatically make later LL since we won’t be in the park and our park reservation is for AK? We are planning large breaks in the middle of the day due to the hot weather.
      Thank you!

      • #1 – It’s possible, but keep in mind that you can’t choose your return time for normal Genie+ LL (and that has always been the case). Instead, you’ll have to play a game of refreshing and monitoring return times to get whatever works for you

        #2 – Park hopping is unaffected and your plan of purchasing ILL for Flight of Passage and then getting later returns for EPCOT is possible. Again, you can’t choose your return times for regular Genie+ LL, but the app will automatically restrict you to return times after 2pm for any park that isn’t your starting park.

        Hope that helps!

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