The website typically takes a wait-and-see approach to major changes that will impact our future time in the theme parks; the reality of a new situation, however poorly timed or worded Disney’s initial announcement might be, is rarely as calamitous as the immediate reactions of clickbait prognosticators or shouting Main Street DJs would lead you to believe; nonetheless, we’ll want to have our elbows adequately sharpened and poised for what the fall (season) is likely to bring.
Free FastPass+ service is out, supplanted by the introduction of the $15 per person, per day Disney Genie+ system, which the company has elected to bake into its existing Disney World app instead of launching separately. This was not the original intention, but with the company jettisoning the team programming the backbone behind much of the app’s functionality in early 2020, they were largely unable to secure the visas to bring anyone who knew what they were doing back into the fold when it was time to get going again in the middle of this year. That basically left them with an old TouringPlans programmer to finish the job. And, well, I probably don’t have to tell you how that turned out.
So what we’ll be served will look a lot like most of Disney’s offerings from the past ~18 months – a barebone system built to increase revenue, offer those willing to pay a premium the illusion of flexibility at ever-escalating costs, and get our eyes off of the rotting infrastructure and back on our phones.
If you’re ever trying to take a nap at the All-Star Sports, and think you might hear the distant, soothing hum of a gentleman whispering in the nonexistent summertime breeze, “refresssshhhhh…refresssshhhhh” it’s probably me irascibly screaming down the hall at my “interns” to secure me a better Genie selection so my day looks more efficient than riding Mad Tea Party for the third time in what should become part seven of a blog post series that we both know I’ll probably never get around to writing.
The whole thing is confusing and convoluted, accentuated only by a searing lack of detail – you know, like an actual release date, or what attractions will be offered, or if there will be an annual add-on for our precious blogging elite, or really anything that would imply this system is in any way worth more money, when the old way of doing things was clearly not. That leaves us with little to focus our energy on other than the notion that FastPass+ used to be free and isn’t anymore. And that seems bad.
We probably need one more After Hours Boo Bash event to come to pass before we can arrive at anything resembling concrete conclusions about its impact on wait times at Magic Kingdom and the other Parks. Tonight’s event will also be the first Friday, with the two previous events falling on the ever-popular Tuesday.
We’ll have that third data point at the conclusion of the day. Tickets for the wintertime version of the event, the Very Merriest After Hours, are now on sale, here. While we wait for the clock to strike 12:30am, and prepare our precious wait time charts and graphs, we’ll simply enjoy a morning walk around Magic Kingdom from earlier this year. A simpler time. After we clear out these pictures, it should be back to the typed word.
Hello darkness, my old friend. We try to get away once again. Because boarding groups were released early. Got us up while we were sleeping. And the image of them sold out in my brain. Still remains. Within the groan of paid FASTPASS. “The Sound of Silence” – alternate lyrics.
Given higher summer wait times, changing attraction capacities, and increased Park Pass distribution, we return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to re-analyze wait time trends and see if we can figure out some way to minimize the time we spend in line (unlikely, but you never know). We’ll check out the easiest way to arrive before 99% of the other people (until 1% more people do it, bringing our gains down to 98%), see if there’s a day with reliably shorter waits (there probably isn’t, but maybe it will “feel” like there is if we mess with the y-axis), reorder the attractions by priority (good luck), and consider what it means for October 1st and beyond (bad, but maybe good), when eligible guests will be able to enter the Park at least 30 minutes early (good if you’re rich and/or staying at the Holiday Inn).
I’ll quickly pull up wait times at 10am this morning, or just one hour into official operation:
We continue from India.
Is…is….is that an open Marketplace? Before October 1st? It’s like finding a McDonald’s with a working ice cream machine. Or a view across World Showcase that isn’t blocked by Armageddon.
The Beef Bun looks to be on the new side along with a fresh take on the potstickers that they’ve served here for years. The Dragonfly flutters over from the Festival of the Holidays and the Kung Fu Punch is now a Kung Fu Master. If only somebody had told me this was a cult masquerading as a multilevel marketing team I would have gotten branded yesterday. Orlando Brewing sneaks in their Jasmine Draft Beer again, too. Nice try pal.
We continue from Refreshment Outpost.
India is another Marketplace set to reopen on October 1st. We can expect the following menu with the same food items as past years to go along with a new beer and wine:
- Warm Indian Bread with Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa, and Coriander Pesto Dips – $5
- Korma Chicken with Basmati Rice, Crispy Chickpeas, and Spiced Yogurt Sauce – $5.25
- Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas, and Ben’s Original Basmati Rice – $5
- Mango Lassi (non-alcoholic) – $5
- Taj Mahal Premium Lager – 6 oz. $5 / 12 oz. $9
- Sula Brut Tropicale Sparkling Wine – $7
- Sula Chenin Blanc, Nashik – $5
- Mango Lassi with Sōmrus Chai Cream Liqueur – $11
Theoretically, we might be after some spicy food in the summer heat to sweat out some of those toxins that we’ll inherently pick up while staying at All-Star Sports, but the resort isn’t open until December and we can’t get anything here until October, even if a Mango Lassi and Indian Bread sounds pretty good.