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Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Default Is it still possible to experience many attractions?

    I had intended to plan another trip to WDW once the Star Wars hotel opened. I have Disney dollars on my credit card intended to help with this major expense. Yet, when I read about Genie plus and the crowds and escalating expenses and short staff... it gives me pause. The most important concern I have is the ability to get onto attractions with out waiting for hours. I have always planned my trips carefully, arrived on opening, and raced for the fast passes. Doing things this way we were always able to experience nearly all of the attractions in the park without waiting excessively. Our family likes to experience the attractions, not just soak up the atmosphere. Is this even possible any more? I am willing (reluctantly) to pay the ridiculous fees, and to plan and get up early, but not to stand in line all day and miss attractions. What is it really like?
    2017 WDW All Star Music/Universal RP
    2016 :(
    2015 Universal-Royal Pacific
    2014 :(
    2013 Fall: Wilderness Lodge
    2011-12 :(
    2010 French Quarter
    2009 Pop & AKL
    2008 Polynesian
    2007 ASM & BCR
    2006 AKL

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1997
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    Quote Originally Posted by thejens View Post
    I had intended to plan another trip to WDW once the Star Wars hotel opened. I have Disney dollars on my credit card intended to help with this major expense. Yet, when I read about Genie plus and the crowds and escalating expenses and short staff... it gives me pause. The most important concern I have is the ability to get onto attractions with out waiting for hours. I have always planned my trips carefully, arrived on opening, and raced for the fast passes. Doing things this way we were always able to experience nearly all of the attractions in the park without waiting excessively. Our family likes to experience the attractions, not just soak up the atmosphere. Is this even possible any more? I am willing (reluctantly) to pay the ridiculous fees, and to plan and get up early, but not to stand in line all day and miss attractions. What is it really like?
    The reality is - it's going to be tough.

    The parks aren't back to pre-pandemic capacity and I'm not sure they ever will. Having to schedule your park has made things more difficult and less flexible. Despite the capacity being down - it feels just as crowded as ever. Why? Longer lines because of decreased staff and capacity - meaning things aren't running flat out like they did in the past.

    Not uncommon to see a restaurant half full but have a 45-60 minute wait.

    Bottom line, even with the lightning lane and genie - it's not what it was... which makes it tougher to do more attractions or avoid waits....

    Still your best bet is to get to the park before opening, get a pass for the ride you want, then go wait in line for your #2 and consider even doing the lightning lane purchase of the best rides to maximize your time. Even with that, people have walked away a bit disappointed with the system.

    I'm hopeful at some point they address some of this stuff - but it may take a full blown recession to do that... right now things are still popular which means problems like I mentioned kinda get glossed over as long as the $$ keeps flowing in.
    John - aka. The Master Control Program
    Owner, Chairman & Chief Imagination Officer - INTERCOT

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Huntsville, Alabama
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    I completely agree with John. We were just there in February while there for a convention. We weren't going to go to WDW but I couldn't help myself. It was bad. We got there at opening and headed straight to top rides but the fastpass/genie+/lightning lane or whatever they are called these days had sold so many for park opening time slots that we still had to wait in 45 minute lines.....AT PARK OPENING!. Then to get lighting lane, it is sort of similar to the old fastpasses but you do it with your phone so you find yourself walking trying to get to something but trying to look at those on your phone.

    Then there is trying to eat. What we found is they no longer had order takers in what used to be the lines at the counter service restaurants. You have to order through the app on your phone and you can't go into the restaurant until the app notifies you your order is ready. So.....you order food on your phone and then stand around in the heat waiting for it to be ready unless you order ahead of time and it gets ready about the time you walk up but the problem with that is sometimes the next available pick up slot can be 10 minutes or it may be 50 minutes or more so it makes it difficult to work this ahead of time.

    With all of that said, the rides and shows are still just as good but the experience in nowhere near what it used to be and we found it stressful. From what you have said, I think you will be aggravated and stressed by all of the work you have to put into it on your phone while you are there supposedly trying to have a good time, just like we were.

  5. #4
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    Feb 2010
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    I was there in mid-January and found crowd levels to be much higher than anticipated, and therefore standby queues longer. I did not use Genie+ at all, or Individual Lightning Lanes, but got to ride almost everything I wanted with less than an hour wait.

    I DID take advantage of the 30 minute early entry for resort guests, so got to hit things like Rise of the Resistance in StandBy in that time in 30 minutes or less.

    Granted, parks are still not at 100% capacity, so it may get worse. Limiting the number of Genie+ passes per ride per hour/day, like the original FP and FP+, may help, as could allowing guests with resort reservations to book 3 per day prior to arrival, like FP+.

    I am NOT a fan of having to Mobile Order everything. If you decide you want a bite, it is hard to find a place where you can just walk up and order. As a solo traveler, it's not so bad for me, but I can see families/groups/etc. having a bad time of it and getting frustrated.
    -Bud

    Walt Disney World:
    9/03 - CBR
    1/09 - BWV
    9/05; 2/07; 12/07; 9/08; 9/09; 9/10; 9/11; 12/13; 12/17; 4/18; 10/18 - PC
    5/15 - POR
    1/22 - ASMO
    10/22 - ASMU

    Disneyland: 12/15 - Paradise Pier Hotel

    Next up: WDW - Oct. 2022 - ASMU

  6. #5
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    We went in early January, and didn't think it was that bad. We tried Genie+, but found that it really wasn't worth it. We *did* use the Individual Attraction feature, and just flat out paid for Rise of the Resistance and the new Ratatouille ride, but besides that we just watch wait times and adjusted what we rode accordingly. The only thing we couldn't do that week that we really wanted to was snag a reservation at Space 220, even though I used one of those online services that notifies you when there is a dining opening. Everything else we still were able to ride or experience at least once over the course of the week we were there, without ever waiting more than 30 minutes for it.
    2002 - 2022: 20+ visits (POR, BW, All Stars, VWL, CSR, BLT, BC, SSR, CB, Dolphin, OKW, Poly, offsite x8)
    DL - 1996, 2019
    Next up - January 2023 short trip! We just want to try that 50th Anniversary chocolate monstrosity at Mexico!

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  8. #6
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    Just got back from a trip. We spent two days in each park and only bought Genie+ a couple of times. Bought ILLs a handful of times. But, really, we didn't have any problem doing every ride we wanted to do, even when we didn't buy anything. The longest line we got in once was for Rise of the Resistance. Standby said 80 minutes, but it was actually only 45.

    However, this was a mid/late August trip and crowds were very manageable. I don't know if this would be true at the peak of summer.

    And, at every counter service there were regular ordering lines. If we didn't mobile order, we had no issues getting in a line and ordering in person.
    Susanne

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Go where there are no crowds either in the summertime or that over in school being out or on the holidays that tend to get very busy. Just IMHO!
    Ready for Thanksgiving!

  10. #8
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    Thank you for your responses. I am not sure if I am willing to go to WDW again or not under these circumstances. Wonder when the best low-crowd time might be?
    2017 WDW All Star Music/Universal RP
    2016 :(
    2015 Universal-Royal Pacific
    2014 :(
    2013 Fall: Wilderness Lodge
    2011-12 :(
    2010 French Quarter
    2009 Pop & AKL
    2008 Polynesian
    2007 ASM & BCR
    2006 AKL

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    York, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by thejens View Post
    Thank you for your responses. I am not sure if I am willing to go to WDW again or not under these circumstances. Wonder when the best low-crowd time might be?
    Probably in about two years...When people have gotten back to their 'normal' schedules, thing MAY calm down. Right now, and for the immediate future, people are 'getting out' after being holed up due to CoVID (and other reasons.)
    -Bud

    Walt Disney World:
    9/03 - CBR
    1/09 - BWV
    9/05; 2/07; 12/07; 9/08; 9/09; 9/10; 9/11; 12/13; 12/17; 4/18; 10/18 - PC
    5/15 - POR
    1/22 - ASMO
    10/22 - ASMU

    Disneyland: 12/15 - Paradise Pier Hotel

    Next up: WDW - Oct. 2022 - ASMU

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    I just returned from seven days. Crowd levels seemed high, although I almost never go in summer so I have nothing with which to compare. (Maybe it was slow for an August.) I bought Genie+ every day we were there, but there were only two of us. I can see how quickly things add up if there were five or more. Every morning at 7AM, I purchased ILLs for the park’s “Big Ride,” then grabbed an advantageous FastPass. Unlike the past, when you pre-chose three FP rides and sort of mentally mapped out your day, this time I let opportunity dictate. Once I passed through the touch points, I immediately began refreshing my MyDisneyExperience app and would select another attraction that was valid very soon (if not already.) We never waited in lines long at all. The longest was a Soarin’ FastPass line. We crisscrossed across the park sometimes. And if we didn’t get a FP and the standby line was too long, we didn’t ride it.

    [Never rode Jungle Cruise, Na’vi River Ride, or Test Track.]

    We rode everything else and went from one ride to another.
    WDW - 99 Off Site
    WDW - 00 C.Springs, Wilderness
    WDW - 01 POFQ, Boardwalk
    WDW - 02 C.Beach, POFQ, AK Lodge
    WDW - 04 Riverside
    WDW - 05 C.Springs
    WDW - 07 Riverside
    WDW - 11 C.Beach
    WDW - 12 POFQ
    WDW - 14 Riverside
    WDW - 15 POFQ
    WDW - 19 Wilderness
    WDW - 20 C.Beach

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    Neverland
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    John is the master here, however, a NOTICEABLE difference between last year at this time of year compared to this year. Plan carefully. At Magic Kingdom on Sunday I was able to book 12 lightning lanes and lines were minimal, but I know thatís not normal. We rode about 20 attractions by the park close at 6pm

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