Disney’s new ‘Genie’ line-booking service launches at Walt Disney World on October 19

Entertainment

TechCrunch 11 October, 2021 - 11:55am

What is Disney Lightning Lane?

Lightning Lane is term Disney uses for a faster, priority queue available at select attractions. (For those familiar with the past, think of Lightning Lane as a new name for the "FASTPASS" or "FastPass+" queue.) touringplans.comLightning Lane at Walt Disney World | Walt Disney World

How much is Disney genie pass?

For $15 a person, Disney Genie+ will provide Lightning Lane entry to most of the most-mobbed attractions. Those include classics like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain. The New York TimesDisney World reveals how much its new line-skipping system will cost.

EPCOT’s newest attraction, the highly anticipated Ratatouille-themed ride — Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure — is experiencing downtime as it faces unexpected technical difficulties just days after it officially opened to Guests on October 1.

According to My Disney Experience, at approximately 4:27 p.m. on October 10, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is temporarily closed, which you can see in the screenshot below.

According to WDW Stats on Twitter, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was interrupted at approximately 4:00 p.m. for unknown reasons:

Remy's Ratatouille Adventure has been temporarily interrupted. On average, an interruption takes 39 minutes. https://t.co/y3OERXf5i2 #remysratatouilleadventure #Epcot #WDW #WaltDisneyWorld #DisneyWorld

— WDW Stats (@WdwStats) October 10, 2021

At this time, we do not know what is causing the downtime, but Inside the Magic will update you as we get information.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a trackless 4D dark ride attraction, which is based on the 2007 Disney Pixar animated film, Ratatouille. For the newly opened Ratatouille ride, Walt Disney Imagineering has partnered with Pixar to make sure what the Disney Imagineers are building is staying true to the story and staying true to the overall idea.

The new Disney Park ride shrinks riders down to the size of a rat, who then, have to scurry along with Chef Remy through Gusteau’s Restaurant in an adorable rat-shaped ride vehicle.

Disney World describes the ride as:

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is currently operating with a virtual queue and does not have a traditional standby line at this time. For more information on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, visit our website here.

This out-of-state Annual Passholder visits the parks as often as she can. While at the Most Magical Place on Earth, she can typically be found people watching on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, relaxing at Baseline Tap House, snacking on Mickey-shaped foods, or hanging out with her foolish mortals at the Haunted Mansion.

ITM now consists of multiple writers living near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks and around the world. This allows us to bring you the most interesting, entertaining, and unique entertainment experiences, covering theme parks, movies, TV, video games, special events and so much more.

© 2005–2020 JAK Schmidt, Inc. All rights reserved.

By using this site you agree to our privacy policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Inside the Magic.

Read full article at TechCrunch

Disney's paid Genie+ & Lightning Lane Service Debut at Walt Disney World October 19, 2021 – FAQ's

Attractions Magazine 11 October, 2021 - 08:00pm

The latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.

The No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners take their undefeated record south to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas as they square off against rival Texas.

The Sooners enter the Red River Showdown with a 5-0 record. Their most recent win came on the road against Kansas State, 37-31.

The No. 21 Longhorns (4-1) are on a three-game winning streak that includes wins over Big 12 opponents Texas Tech and TCU. Their only loss of the season came against Arkansas, 40-21.

Oklahoma and Texas kick off at 11 a.m. on KOCO 5. Before the game, KOCO 5 Sports Director Bryan Keating, Carson Cunningham and special guests will preview the upcoming matchup on the Oklahoma Ford Gameday Pregame Show.

Hearst Television participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on purchases made through our links to retailer sites.

PHOTOS: “I'd Rather Be At Walt Disney World”, Carousel of Progress, and Other New Stickers Now Available

wdwnt.com 11 October, 2021 - 08:00pm

Several new stickers inspired by the Disney Parks are now available at Creations Shop in EPCOT.

This sticker resembles a Mickey-shaped award ribbon. It’s purple with gold lettering reading “rope drop regular.”

This sticker has the same ribbon-style but is green and says “Hidden Mickey Hunter” instead.

This sticker resembles a pink Mickey balloon with “Dream Big” in the center.

This sticker says “I’d rather be at Walt Disney World” with a gold border and a few stars.

This sticker resembles the old-fashioned purple gear from Carousel of Progress. “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow” is printed across the center.

This Mickey-shaped sticker resembles gold glitter, with “Talk Disney to me” printed across the center.

This sticker has Cinderella Castle silhouetted against colorful stripes. It says “Never Too Old” at the bottom.

As always, keep following WDWNT for all of your Disney Parks news, and for the absolute latest, follow WDW News Today on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The retro-inspired Vault Collection of 50th anniversary Walt Disney World merchandise has officially launched. We got a sneak peek of some of it last night, and now the entire collection can be found in Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs. Back Scratcher Pin Set – $19.99 Spoon & Thimble Pin Set…

More adorable "Kingdom of Cute" merchandise has arrived at Disneyland Resort. Four unique stickers from artist Jerrod Maruyama feature instantly-recognizable Disney Parks icons. The individually-packed stickers can be found at WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney District. Cinderella Castle Sticker – $4.99 What is more iconic than Cinderella Castle, Mickey balloons,…

Who doesn't love a good sticker? We have noticed that Walt Disney World has releasing some cool new sticker designs lately for us to deck out all our possessions with, and we are definitely here for it. We have already spotted stickers featuring Mickey Mouse, Orange Bird and more since…

Disney Fans Can See a “Real” Ghost at the Haunted Mansion

Inside the Magic 11 October, 2021 - 08:00pm

Really?! I have not seen this many ride malfunctions since WDW reopened in 2020 in my lifetime. Of course attractions go down for a scheduled refurbishment now and then but this is ridiculous.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ITM now consists of multiple writers living near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks and around the world. This allows us to bring you the most interesting, entertaining, and unique entertainment experiences, covering theme parks, movies, TV, video games, special events and so much more.

© 2005–2020 JAK Schmidt, Inc. All rights reserved.

By using this site you agree to our privacy policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached, or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Inside the Magic.

Disneyland Update - New Magic At What Cost?

MiceChat 11 October, 2021 - 08:00pm

Change is a constant at the Disneyland Resort, it’s always been that way… but the breathless pace these last few months has been hard for fans and visitors alike to keep up with. This week brings the certainty that Disney Genie will soon cast a spell on your future visits. But is it everything you wished for, or just another way to drain your wallet? We’ll take a look at what the program offers, what it will cost, and when it is likely to pop up. There’s also an update on Magic Key reservations, busier parks, and hungrier guests. Plus, all the latest news, refurbs, and construction…

The time for complimentary FastPass has come to an end, and Disneyland has wasted no time removing FastPass machines from the parks. The space left behind is either being left awkwardly empty for now or being used for stroller parking. FastPass signage will soon sport “Lightning Lane” stickers. 

Lightning Lane is a product included in the $20/day Genie+ service headed to the parks later this Fall (or perhaps a bit later). The idea behind Lightning Lane is almost exactly like the old MaxPass system at Disneyland. For a single $20 daily fee you’ll be able to schedule express access to one ride at a time all day long. The new name is just an unnecessary complication. Think about the service as MaxPass and it all makes much more sense. 

But there are two differences: 1) There will be no free version of FastPass as there was in the past. And 2) there will be a few rides which you can only schedule for an additional fee above and beyond the $20.  So, if you want to ride Rise of the Resistance, Radiator Springs Racers, or Spider-Man, you’ll have to pay up to $15 more, and can only do so once per day.

Disney promises that standby will remain available should guests wish to ride again or if Lightning Lane appointments aren’t available.  

Along with Lighting Lane, Disney Genie will be added to the Disneyland App. Genie has two main components. The first is a free planning service which helps you discover the lowest wait times at rides and restaurants. There’s a lot of things Genie can do, and if it works as planned, you’ll always be able to head to the attractions you are most interested in at the times of day they have the most availability. You just tell Genie what’s important to you and the app continues to monitor park conditions all day to bring you suggestions. 

But, for an additional $20, Genie+ will also add the Lightning Lane access we discussed above. 

The new Genie and Lightning Lane service rolls out on October 19th at Disney World, and Disneyland will follow behind after taking a bit of extra time to work out any kinks discovered from the WDW rollout.  

We’ve posted everything we currently know about Genie here: 

There doesn’t seem to be much support for Genie online yet. There are a few reasons for that: 1) Disney fans generally hate change. But if something’s good, they turn around quickly. 2) Not everyone wants to use their phone all day while they are in a theme park. Technology has been placed at the forefront of your vacation. Use it, or be forever behind the other guests who do (the Genie users will be the first to get to rides and restaurants with a short wait, the rest of you won’t have that advantage). And 3) it’s not all free. In the past, guests could still use FastPass for free, even if they didn’t want to pay for the mobile-based MaxPass.  

We think it’s a mixed bag. We do think that with Mobile Order, park reservations, dining reservations, and lots of other little changes since the parks reopened, things have gotten too complicated. Genie will help organize all of that and use artificial intelligence to make many of those decisions for you (but you’ll always be able to override the system and make your own choices).  The down side is that you’ll likely have to pay an extra $15 (approximately) to ride Rise of the Resistance without an insane wait (same for Radiator Springs Racers and Spider-Man).  That might not sound too bad, but with Genie+ already costing $20 per person, that’s an extra $35 ($140 for a family of 4) for just one of those extra cost rides.  

But, we are looking forward to the ease of intelligent navigation built into the free version of Genie… assuming the system can handle 50,000+ guests all trying to use it at the same time in the parks over spotty wifi and with cellphone batteries constantly being drained.  

Genie is going to have a learning curve. Some folks will love it, some will hate it, but we’ll all have to learn to leverage it if we want to make the most of our time in the parks. 

I’ll be using the free version of Genie for sure. I likely won’t use Genie+ unless I’m visiting with friends from out of town who are prioritizing rides. And I’ll probably save the extra cost Lightning Lane rides (like Rise of the Resistance and Radiator Springs Racers) for special occasions. If most Magic Key holders do the same, then the standby waits shouldn’t be horrible. But if everyone pays the $20 for Genie+, we’ll see standby wait times balloon.  

Last week we asked whether paid access to attractions was a good thing or bad, and the results were overwhelming that you don’t like it. 

But what about the rest of Disney Genie? Do you like the idea of the artificial intelligence helping you plan your day? 

Our comments about the lack of Magic Key park reservations in last week’s Update really struck a nerve. At the time of our publication, the entire month of October and most of the weekends for the rest of the year had booked up for park reservations. However, after the uproar, almost the entire month of October opened back up for Magic Key holders later in the day last Monday. But it didn’t last long, dates have tightened back up again as key holders rushed in to snag the newly available dates. Weekends through the end of the year are almost entirely booked.  

It’s clear that Disneyland has once again increased the capacity of the park. Most days this past week were very crowded, especially in the evenings. However, while the parks felt packed, and lines for food, beverages, and outdoor vending carts were longer than we’ve seen since the parks reopened, though ride wait times weren’t as bad as you might expect.  

Our photos from Friday and Saturday show New Orleans Square and Fantasyland packed to the gills. And Main Street with guests shoulder to shoulder for fireworks.

Even an hour after fireworks, Main Street is still a mess. 

Unfortunately, all the attention on lack of park reservations appears to have resulted in an expansion of park capacity by Disney, which means busier parks with strained food and beverage service and weekends booked solid again. 

Whenever Disneyland posts about Magic Key, they get slammed with negative comments: 

With park reservations booking so far out, should Disneyland halt sales of new Magic Keys until there’s greater availability?  

Do you feel you are getting your money’s worth out of your Magic Key, or do you feel that you’ve been bait and switched by Disney into buying expensive passes you can’t use?

We’ve been growing increasingly uncomfortable with the difficulty getting food quickly in the parks on busy days. At first, we chalked this up to staffing and reopening issues, but Disney has moved to near normal operation on almost everything else… but one thing they continue to frustrate guests with INTENTIONALLY is how difficult they’ve made it to order food!

Most restaurants at the Disneyland Resort have removed all but one or two of the registers to intentionally increase lines so guests will be enticed to mobile order. However, many guests don’t seem to like Mobile Order. They want to do what they’ve always done in the past, just show up when they are hungry and order something.  As early as 4:30pm on Saturday, Cucina Cucamonga already had a massive and very slow-moving stand-by line to order from the single open register. This was a situation repeated at many quick service establishments across the resort. Hungry guests don’t make happy guests. 

It’s all so counterintuitive, if a guest wants to buy something… TAKE THEIR MONEY and make them happy! Don’t force them to jump through hoops to buy a bottle of water or get something to eat. This is customer abuse for no good reason.  Every other theme park in the world will let you walk up to a window and order food. And, because food service is so dysfunctional, many more guests are overtaxing the limited outdoor vending carts. It is now common to see insane lines for popcorn, beverages, and just about everything else. This is one area where Disneyland is really seriously failing their guests and it simply must be fixed. When the parks aren’t busy, there’s no reason to force a guest to mobile order, but when the parks are busy, Mobile order is often overwhelmed and doesn’t work right. So, in neither case does Mobile Order make your day better, it’s just an unnecessary complication for guests, for frustrated food service workers, and a terrible waste of company resources. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying PUT THE REGISTERS BACK AND STOP MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO BUY FOOD!!!

Finally, speak up! If you had trouble getting the kind of food you wanted when you wanted it, let Disney know. Park management seems to be totally unaware that guests are suffering. Even as other things in the parks have normalized, Mobile Order has not improved since the parks reopened, and in some cases has gotten worse. That’s only going to get better if guests speak up.  

Disneyland’s decision to hold a specially ticketed Christmas party, Disney’s Merriest Nights, was hotly contested by fans fearful that if successful this year, fireworks and parades would end up behind a paywall next year. Tickets have been available for several weeks now, and even still the party has not sold out. With just a scant five dates to choose from for the party’s duration, there are still tickets available for the November 16th night.

Realistically speaking, we know that this party will eventually sell out. If there’s one thing that Disney has learned over the years (and the ongoing Magic Key situation), it’s that rabid Disney fans will eat up anything Disney makes available. For example, take a look at the incredibly scaled-back Halloween party at Walt Disney World. The after-hours “Boo Bash” featured very little theming, no full-scale parade or entertainment, and still charged a premium for it:

There’s so much more going on than the big items above. 

The Photo Supply shop on Main Street is well underway to become the new Plaza Point Holiday Shop. While the focus will be Christmas, other holidays are expected to rotate through the shop throughout the year. 

That has us wondering what will happen to the Christmas Shoppe in Fantasyland.  The store was hastily shoehorned into the former Heraldry Shoppe (run by a 3rd party company), which in turn was booted out because Disney wanted to turn the space into FastPass Distribution for Peter Pan. When those plans were dashed by the realization that FastPass would just make the standby lines even longer, clogging Fantasyland walkways, Christmas merchandise was rushed into the store without the typical care and design expected from Disneyland’s shopping outlets. We hope to see this location given an overhaul, and while we’d love to see a villains shop here, whatever goes in deserves a little more thought and design effort.  

If it all looks dark for a Christmas store, that’s because much of the old Heraldry shop was left as is. Slats were added to the walls to hang ornaments, and suits of armor and other details were slowly removed and replaced even after the Christmas items were put on display. 

We’re happy to see the charming Muppets Haunted Mansion special on Disney+ being promoted in the pdarks. As guests make the long walk from the Parking Structure to Disneyland, they’ll come upon a crypt that features Muppet Haunted Mansion props and images. 

In Disneyland, the Opera House has added some Muppets Haunted Mansion displays to the Haunted Mansion exhibit already installed there since 2019.  

The regular display tells the story of how the Haunted Mansion came to be and features early concept art and development information. 

The Muppets Haunted Mansion have been tied in off to the side and it’s a fun addition. 

I watched the Disney+ special and it’s absolutely charming, a must-see for any Haunted Mansion or Muppets fan. What I particularly loved was how much of the Mansion made it into this movie, and the loving but humorous way the script was written. It’s both classic muppets and deeply Haunted Mansion inspired at the same time. 

Note the wallpaper. Those faces may remind you of the mansion at first, but these are muppet ghosts! 

There was a tremendous amount of creative artistry employed in the set design. But adding whimsical Muppet details to the Mansion is a very delicate balancing act. They struck the perfect creepy tone, but in a very muppet way. 

Leota is played by Ms. Piggy. 

An extended trailer plays in the lobby with an intro and conclusion recorded just for this exhibit. 

You can read our review of Muppets Haunted Mansion here: 

I’m going to do a brief construction overview today since we’ve covered it heavily in recent weeks and we’ve already bored you to tears with at least 4,000 words. 

Pelican Landing will add riverside seating near Harbour Galley in New Orleans Square. The restaurant remains open for now, but does have a refurbishment coming up soon. 

The two visible projects in ToonTown are the walkway paving and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. 

And just inside the land you can’t help but notice the huge facade for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. supports for the new facade have been installed on the show building.  

And some red safety netting has popped up in the construction zone. 

The lagoon has been drained. The subs are being painted, and you’ll see trash bags piled up. We assume they’ve just been cleaning up the gunk that’s collected over the last year and a half since the ride was operated. 

No reopening date just yet. But with temperatures starting to moderate, we expect it to reopen to guests soon. 

While most of the fun is over at Disneyland, there are a few projects at DCA as well. 

This is a major refurbishment folks. It takes a lot of effort and money to drain the lagoon and later refill it (especially during a growing drought). Disney works with the water authority to slowly treat and insert the water into the aquifer. Of course, that’s just a piece of the puzzle as the fountain platforms are adjusted and repaired and fountains refurbished. We hope to see World of Color again next year. 

The coffee cart near the Pacific Wharf bridge may look a bit different to you. It’s been completely refurbished, has a new sign, new menu, and is already pulling in big crowds. The big addition here is a breakfast burrito and another for lunch. When the lines get long at the restaurants throughout the resort, little options like this become even more important. 

Although this one still has a way to go, the trains have been seen testing.  

And now for a few more stories from around Disneyland that you’ll find interesting:

We’re quickly approaching the holiday season, which means Disneyland’s hours of operation will be extended. Beginning November 12, which is the first day of the holidays at the Disneyland Resort, Disneyland park will remain open through midnight and Disney California Adventure will close at 10pm. We’re looking forward to enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and meandering down Main Street to look at the decorations and lights.

Disneyland announced their new Ambassadors for 2021-2022, and I was there to welcome Mark Everett King Junior & Nataly Guzman to their new roles.

Here’s a little bit about the new Disneyland Ambassadors:

Nataly Guzman works in Guest Relations and is a VIP hostess. In 2010, she started her Disneyland Resort career at World of Disney. She’s also been a Traditions assistant and Disney University facilitator. She enjoys photography, drawing and painting and is a big fan of all things Star Wars.

Mark Everett King Jr. is a stage manager in Disney California Adventure park attractions. He started his Disneyland Resort career in 2013 in Food and Beverage, was a test and adjust project lead in Avengers Campus and a facilitator for Step into the Magic. He volunteers in youth mentorship programs and his hobbies include fashion, fitness and, going to theme parks.

We were the first media outlet to interview the new Disneyland Ambassadors. Take a look at the video below to hear from them yourself! And with the new Disneyland Ambassadors, we also said a fond farewell to the previous ones, Justin and Raffa. As much as we have loved seeing Justin and Raffa back in the parks again, it’s time for them to move into different roles within the company after their extended 3 year run. Take a look at the video to hear from the incoming and outgoing Disneyland Ambassadors!

For more about the Disneyland Ambassadors and to watch the entire ceremony, take a look at the article below.

Walt Disney’s Historic Storybook Mansion in the Hollywood Hills presents THREE special ticketed opportunities on Sunday, October 17th. Beloved Imagineer and TV personality Terri  Hardin Jackson will teach a how to carve a pumpkin like an Imagineer class. There are special tours of the mansion. And there will even be one spooky ghost tour of this real-life haunted mansion!!! 

For tickets and more information, visit: Walt Disney Mansion October 17th Events Page HERE 

We’ve got something really cool for you folks. See The Nightmare Before Christmas with live performances from Danny Elfman, Ken Page, and Weird Al Yankovic! Best of all, MiceChat readers get a big discount. Be sure to USE CODE:  MICE25

AND… we’re giving away a pair of tickets each week between now and the event. You can enter by doing three simple things:

Our travel partners at Get Away Today have worked out the BEST theme park ticket and hotel deals for our readers. (You’ll find extra nights free, big discounts, and special offers as well).

Check out the latest offers for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Universal Studios!

Wow! Lot’s to digest. How is your Magic Key experience going? Do you think new sales should be suspended until reservations are more available? What are your thoughts on Mobile Order and standby for restaurants? Should Disney make it easier for people to eat? Genie/Lightning Lane is coming VERY soon, it’s absolutely going to change the way we all visit the parks. What are the good parts and concerning parts of the new program?  

I sincerely appreciate you reading all the way to the end like this. It was a challenging night. Had to switch from typing on my computer to my iPhone half way through the night due to a keyboard malfunction. It made typing this update incredibly difficult (and I hate auto-correct more than ever). So please forgive any strange formatting errors. I did the very best I could under the circumstances.  (The sun is coming up, that’s my deadline, I turn to dust if the daylight hits me). 

Now it’s your turn. Let’s hear your thoughts on the week’s big Disney stories…

And just a few more photos that really didn’t fit into the update that I still want to share…

Entertainment Stories

JCPenney