Disney Parks head Josh D'Amaro says Disney will continue to simplify the park experience following criticism of being overly complex

9 days ago in "Disney Genie"

Posted: Monday May 22, 2023 10:09am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Josh D'Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, speaking earlier today in a question-and-answer session at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications Conference said that Disney will continue to try to simplify the theme park experience for guests after receiving feedback that it can be overwhelming.

Responding to a question about the complexity of visiting the Disney parks, D'Amaro said that Disney is listening to guests and fans and will continue to make adjustments to the guest experience. He referred to recent changes to theme park reservation requirements and eliminating the need for reservations with date-based tickets at Walt Disney World as examples of improvements based on guest feedback.

Talking about the cost to visit the parks, he said that variable and flexible pricing helps to make Disney's parks more accessible by offering entry-level ticket pricing during certain seasons, whereas on peak days, more aggressive pricing is in place to handle demand.

Disney has faced criticism in recent years that the parks need to be simpler to plan for many visitors, especially first-time guests. Genie+, Lightning Lane purchases, virtual queues, park reservations, and ticket buying are all areas that can be daunting for those guests who do not spend time researching and carefully planning.

Earlier this month, Disney said it is working on ways to let guests plan with Disney Genie+ service and individual Lightning Lane selections before the day of their park visit. A post on the official Disney Parks Blog said, "Our goal is to give you the opportunity to spend less time planning in the park and more time enjoying your visit with friends and family. While we are not yet able to share specific details, we look forward to sharing more information at a later date."

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EPCOT-O.G.3 days ago

Or, “we’re not hitting our revenue projects because fewer people are here during a normally busy time, so pull that lever over there”

DCBaker3 days ago

The price for 3 Individual Lightning Lanes also increased today. Cosmic Rewind $17 (+$2) Flight of Passage $16 (+$2) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train $12 (+$1)

jpeden3 days ago

Based on anecdotal crowd levels from this weekend so far it should not be $25 today. I am starting to agree that while it first started out as variable pricing based on crowd density, it is now just “let’s throw a price up and see if people will pay it.”

DCBaker3 days ago

The price for Genie+ has increased to $25 today ($3 more than yesterday). The last time Genie+ was $25 was April 15.

Jrb19794 days ago

I think the simplest solution would be to just to have individual Lightning Lanes. Only on the top 3 rides in each park and just standby for everything else.

drizgirl4 days ago

They needed to muddy the water so it didn’t seem like they were just charging for what was previously free. Even though that’s exactly what they were doing.

GhostHost10005 days ago

The names Lightning Lane and Individual Lightning Lane with 2 different ways to get them was not a smart idea in terms of less confusion for some. Not sure why they didn’t just stick with fastpass

allgiggles7 days ago

I agree. While I didn't find the system in general difficult to use, I do think the terminology/names they use for the system can be very confusing. They could have done a much better job of naming thing and that would eliminate a lot of the initial confusion.

SamusAranX8 days ago

I mean Disney could change it til they’re blue in the face (like a certain genie). It might be less confusing but it’s still not addressing what we know to be the root cause of the problem Genie+ wants to solve but can’t

FoodRockz9 days ago

Shhhh. We have enough people at Uni nowadays, we don't need anymore.

surfsupdon9 days ago

Returned today from Hard Rock at Universal with an AP rate of 261 for 2 adults with Express Pass. Two nights. No lines, no phones, no planning, simply amazing. Highly recommend.

TeriofTerror9 days ago

I just returned from a trip to WDW, and here is my anecdotal and biased review: 1. Staying at the Polynesian with both morning and evening EMH, G+ was completely worthless. We bought it two days (MK park-hopping to Epcot and DHS park-hopping to MK), and we were able to do everything we wanted without it. We often ended up doing our G+ selections twice, the second time just to use the selections we had made. For context, our longest wait of the trip was our third ride on Space Mountain - 35:54, on a posted wait of 25 minutes. We did skip several things that are must-dos for others because we've done them so many times before - most notably Peter Pan, Navi (I'll never understand this one), and MF:SR. 2. ILL was totally worth it. We were able to rope-drop much of AK because we paid for FoP. Paying for Guardians and Tron also worked out great; the virtual queue for Tron in particular looked awful. 3. For context, it was a six night stay with one afternoon at DS and destination dinners most evenings. (Side note: though not signature dining, we were not disappointed in Steakhouse 71, even though it was sandwiched between stellar meals at Citricos and Jiko.)

allgiggles9 days ago

I didn't find it complicated or confusing either. I think the issue comes in -- like you said -- when people are trying to fit their LL/ILLs between ADRs, children's naps, etc. We only had 2 ADRs during our 8-day trip last year. They were both dinners so it was very easy to work around those. If we had ADRs for 1 or 2 meals *every* day, I can see where it would get frustrating and complicated. That's why choose not to do numerous ADRs on a visit. It just got too difficult to plan everything else around those times...and we have far better restaurants at home so we prefer to focus on rides/attractions at Disney. We didn't have the option of modifying LLs during our trip last year -- that feature came online a few weeks after we were there (we would have to cancel and rebook) so we also didn't have to deal with that "need" to always try and get a better time. We just scheduled our LL/ILLs and filled in with standby lines in between. I had no issues stacking LL/ILLs on the days we slept in and went to the parks later in the morning or early afternoon. I found the Genie+ system to be very simple and easy to use.

TheMaxRebo9 days ago

It isn't bad when you get used to it and are there doing it - I actually find it more efficient than FP+ BUT trying to explain it? I had friends who were taking their first trip to WDW and I was messaging them trying to explain it and all the nuances make it overly confusing Like you need one took for most rides but for a few you do a different thing and for some everyone can get their first at 7am but for the only only on site people can but at 7am there are also virtual queues to try for so have to prioritize which to try for first, etc Maybe "confusing" is a better word than "complicated"