MickeyBlog News for October 11th, 2021
We now know when Disney Genie will open and what the price will be for Lightning Lane attractions.
Also, we just learned about several exciting attractions returning to Disney theme parks.
Oh, and some lucky guests have just booked their first Star Cruise. No, I don’t mean Jeff Bezos.
I’ll explain in this week’s MickeyBlog News.
Disney Genie Will Grant Wishes Soon
Disney theme parks will enter a new era on October 19th.
This date represents the debut of Disney Genie, the groundbreaking virtual assistant.
With Disney Genie, park visitors may plan a full park itinerary with just a few phone taps.
The Genie’s app will headline the front page of My Disney Experience.
When you use this program, it’ll ask you to name must do’s during your park visit. Then, it will create an entire park plan that will maximize your visit.
Even better, you can modify this itinerary at any point. The all-knowing park software can adjust to any situation, displaying an equally efficient new plan.
So, everyone will have better park visits starting on October 19th.
New Details About Disney Genie+
Late Friday afternoon, Disney also announced which attractions will participate in the Disney Genie+ program.
As a reminder, guests will pay $15 each day to access this 2021 version of Max Pass.
Yes, it’s a paid FastPass program, although we don’t use the term FastPass anymore.
You can read the complete list of participating attractions from the official site.
Disney just clarified the rules for scheduling Disney Genie+ attractions. You may book at a time.
However, you can also reserve a pass that’s several hours away. So, it’s technically possible to hold a maximum of two reservations.
Realistically, you’ll hold one most of the time, though. When you do, you’ll gain access to Lightning Lane, the quicker attraction line queue.
Disney has indicated a limit of eight attractions per day, which won’t bother anyone at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or EPCOT.
You may feel a bit more aggravation at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Realistically, you’ll experience it the most at Magic Kingdom, though.
Eight rides aren’t a significant portion of Magic Kingdom’s options. So, you must pick and choose there.
Everywhere else, you can check off most of your boxes quickly.
New Details about Lightning Lane
Other than the exact list of attractions, we’ve largely known the details for Disney Genie+.
We were just awaiting the starting date, which is October 19th.
With Lightning Lane, we’ve been awaiting specific information.
Now, we know which attractions will participate. Disney confirmed a total of eight of them, two per park.
I don’t think that’s a coincidence, as Disney had previously stated a maximum of two Lightning Lane purchases per day.
Here are the Lightning Lane Participants:
Avatar Flight of Passage – Animal Kingdom
Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom
Frozen Ever After – Epcot
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Hollywood Studios
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – Epcot
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Magic Kingdom
Space Mountain – Magic Kingdom
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Hollywood Studios
Disneyland Resort also confirmed three Lightning Lane attractions. They are:
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
WEBSLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Radiator Springs Racers
Disneyland has not revealed a start date or pricing, though.
You need to know several things about this announcement.
First, Disney will not allow guests to cancel or change these paid Lightning Lane experiences.
You can book starting at 7 a.m. as an official Disney resort guest.
For everyone else, you can reserve Lightning Lane selections as soon as you enter the park.
The cost will vary by attraction and park visit date, which is a needless complication to the process.
Thus far, the range goes from $7 for Expedition Everest to $15 for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
In checking some dates, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure could cost anywhere from $9 to $13 per person.
The Lightning Lane system also debuts on October 19th.
We have no idea what to expect about usage rates for Disney Genie+ or especially Lightning Lane.
Please keep checking MickeyBlog for additional details.
Disney Starcruiser Reservations Are Here… for Some
Members of the Disney Vacation Club and Walt Disney World annual passholders gained an exclusive opportunity to book reservations for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
This window has already closed, but it did provide some insights into how the system could work.
For starters, demand is every bit as high as expected. In fact, the “maiden voyage” of this hotel/fake intergalactic cruise has already been fully booked.
Disney Vacation Club members learned that they must spend at least 590 points for a three-day/two-night cruise.
Folks, I spend about 200 points for a week at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
Believe me when I say this is very pricey.
Galaxy Suites start even higher at 718 points per room, with the Grand Captain’s Suite costing 1,004 points.
You could spend a week at a Polynesian Bungalow for that amount.
When Galactic Starcruiser opens for regular bookings, a two-night stay will start at $2,418.
So, you will definitely pay for the privilege of being one of the first to go on an interstellar star cruise.
The general public’s booking window opens on October 28th. Please plan for it, as sellouts appear inevitable.
Returning Disney Park Attractions
Starting this week, several Disney performances and attractions will return.
For example, Chakranadi and the Kora Tinga Tinga Show come back in a matter of days.
In November, the Tam Tam Drummers will join them, making the park feel more vibrant.
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Disney Movie Magic nighttime show will come back on November 7th. The park will have a nightly show again!
On December 19th, just in time for Christmas week, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! will finally return after more than 18 months.
Disney had used this space for social distancing purposes during the pandemic. Now, it needs to hire/re-hire performers capable of safely doing the stunts.
Remarkably, none of these represent the most significant returns at Walt Disney World. Character greetings are coming back soon!
Disney will bring back these interactions at two locations in Magic Kingdom and two in Hollywood Studios. The return date will occur sometime in November.
Please be aware that you won’t get to hug a character or grab an autograph. However, pictures and personal interactions are totally fine!
By the way, as part of this announcement, Disney quietly brought back character interactions at Disney After Hours: Boo Bash!
Disney News Updates
Quickly, here are a few other news items to know. First, cast members received some joy last week as the new salary floor increased to $15 per hour.
Several unions fought hard to get these pay raises for workers. So, everyone should savor this victory for the dedicated staff at Disney theme parks.
Fans of Muppets Haunted Mansion also have a pair of limited-time opportunities.
At Disneyland Resort, the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln features an exhibit about the mini-movie’s production. It’ll include scene props and set pieces.
Magic Kingdom visitors will have a different option. You can get a PhotoPass Magic Shot with Miss Piggy Madame Pigota!
Please understand that this Magic Shot is only available during the daytime, though. After dark, it’s gone! Madame Pigota must have some nocturnal tasks to perform.
In slightly different picture news, the Disney Genie app will come with an AR filter. So during Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, you can take a unique photo.
The AR will provide a backdrop of either Walt Disney World under construction or Cinderella Castle 25 years ago.
You will recall the latter setting as the birthday cake design for Walt Disney World’s 25th anniversary.
So, you could have pictures from 50 years ago, 25 years ago, and now, which makes you a time-traveling witch if you’re under the age of 25.
Finally, Disney+ members should know that Black Widow is now free to all subscribers. You no longer need to pay the Premier Access upcharge price.
In other words, now that you’ve read this article, you should pull up Disney+ and watch Black Widow! GO! BYE!