MickeyBlog News for August 28th, 2022
This week, Disney modified Disney Genie and Park Passes for the better. Also, we entered phase two of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
We’ve got a lot to talk through in the latest MickeyBlog News!
Park Passes Get Better
Okay, you may feel like Disney never listens to your complaints. I’m about to show that you’re wrong about that, though.
For all its many daily struggles, Disney, as a company, strives to improve and streamline the guest experience.
During the pandemic, guests repeatedly complained about Park Pass problems. Later, Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ earned some gripes, too.
I’m happy to report that recent updates have addressed both concerns. So, as of this week, you can schedule all your Park Passes at once!
Before now, Disney required guests to select Park Passes for individual days. It’s an annoying process that proved wildly inefficient in practice.
Also, while the risk was minimal most of the time, guests sometimes booked one Park Pass, only to discover that a different date had sold out at a different park.
That issue proved particularly problematic when people tried to adjust their dates. Disney required customers to cancel one Park Pass before booking another.
You can guess how that story played out sometimes. People canceled one place but then discovered that their target park had sold out.
So, customers had to schedule suboptimal park itineraries during their vacations.
Disney heard these criticisms and adjusted the Park Pass system.
Now, when you want to change the date or park of choice, you can do so without canceling your existing reservation first.
Think of this example. You booked Disney’s Animal Kingdom for February 14th. Then, you got a date who had their heart set on Valentine’s Day at EPCOT.
Before now, you had to cancel your guaranteed booking at one park. Then, you tried for the other and hoped for the best.
Thanks to this update, you can now switch from Animal Kingdom to EPCOT without jeopardizing anything. So you can see how that’s better!
Disney Genie Gets Better!
Another frequent criticism involves the Disney Genie+ reservation system. As you know, FastPasses have always used a 120-minute delay rule.
Once you booked a FastPass, you had to wait two hours before you could reserve another one.
That timer started when the park opened and remained in place throughout the day.
The same practice remains in place with Disney Genie+. You’re paying for the former FastPasses, but the principle remains the same.
You can book a Disney Genie+ reservation for a Lightning Lane first thing in the morning. Once the park opens, you must wait two minutes before adding another.
The problem with this rule comes down to vacation time. We kind of forget how to tell the time when we’re at Disney.
Nobody sets a timer to remember to book another Disney Genie+ reservation – although that’s a smart pro tip for Android and iPhone users.
So, we all had to guess about when our window would open…until now.
You’ll find a new banner when you load the My Disney Experience app’s Disney Genie Tip Board.
This new display indicates when you can schedule another Disney Genie+ experience, allowing you to enter the shorter Lightning Lane line queue.
Sure, you may think it’s a small change. However, more than half of Walt Disney World park guests purchase Disney Genie+.
This one update improves the overall customer experience for most Disney theme park guests!
The Star Wars Update
I used to work in tech, and the industry operates under a core philosophy. The design phase isn’t what gets you. It’s always the maintenance phase.
What does that mean? The opening days of any business or project always represent the honeymoon phase. Everyone’s happy and hopeful.
After some time passes, the everyday drudgery ensues. That’s when companies must take steps to improve their customer experience.
I just listed two examples of Disney doing this. A more significant matter is at hand, though.
As MickeyBlog has discussed, many people want to hate Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser for…some reason. I dunno. It’s weird.
Anyway, critics have gnashed their teeth with frustration as the Star Wars Hotel has enjoyed a near-perfect honeymoon period.
After six months, I can count the number of (accurate) negative headlines on one hand…one finger, really. There was a hotel evacuation once. That’s it.
Obviously, that streak cannot last forever. Galactic Starcruiser is about to enter the maintenance phase, the time when we learn whether the concept will last.
For its part, Disney remains giddy about the hotel/intergalactic cruise experience. The company just opened its booking window for 2023.
This move signifies that Disney believes it can sell most of its 2023 dates already! The new reservation window covers January through September.
Since Disney shows when dates are available at this resort, we should be able to tell whether attendance maintains its current pace.
Well, realistically, Disney shouldn’t expect sellouts through September of 2023.
That would be an incredible feat. As things stand, Galactic Starcruiser has already succeeded beyond management’s wildest hopes. We’re watching for a sophomore slump now.
Either way, you should speak with a MickeyTravels agent to schedule your Star Wars Hotel experience. Odds are good that the first few months will sell out. Act now!
Other Disney News
I know that many of you have wondered about Tusker House. I’m happy to report that the breakfast buffet will make its return in November!
Disney has also announced an excellent incentive for Walt Disney World annual passholders. Your merchandise discount will increase from 20 to 30 percent during the fall!
Such changes are almost always temporary to account for the slower September month. So, take full advantage while you can!
More good news has arrived at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland alike. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique has finally reopened after waaaaaay too much time away.
Speaking of Disneyland Resort, guests at Disney California Adventure are in for a trick treat. The Halloween decorations are up in some locations!
Also, the Cast Member Compliment and When You Can Book features are now available in the Disneyland app as well.
These are the functions that were already on My Disney Experience for Walt Disney World guests. So, it’s nice that Disneyland has caught up.
Finally, Disney Cruise Line fans will be delighted to know that traditional character greetings are returning in a matter of days! So you can hug all your favorites soon!