This year, Disney is making some theme park changes this year, in response to the customer complaints and feedback they have received regarding ticket prices and long lines.
The Chairperson of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Josh D’Amaro has laid out a number of modifications to its annual pass membership perks as well as the ticketing and reservation system in a bid to “help deliver the best guest experience possible.”
The changes come barely 2 months after Bob Iger returns as CEO of Disney, promising to champion renewed growth for this multi-billion dollar company.
Disney made extensive changes to operations in 2020 when the pandemic hit, as Bob Chapek took the helms from Iger as CEO, and forced the long-term closure of its parks around the world. Some of the changes include a reduced capacity and the integration of an online reservation system, which required guests to plan their park visits way in advance.
Disney likewise pushed for touchless payment options, like its mobile order and pay and magic bands. Nowadays guests can once again pay with cash, however most have opted to continue with the contactless payment options.
Moreover, Disney started several digital offerings including Genie and Genie+ itinerary programs as well as Lightning Lane, which is its line skipping initiative. These programs were designed to enhance guests experiences and because they now have access to estimated wait times and restaurant reservations, they can now schedule their visits more efficiently. Additionally, for those willing to pay premium, you now have shorter wait times for the top attractions in the theme parks.
A lot of guests of course were happy with the new programs, however there are also many others who have voiced out complaints about the rising cost of tickets. And because many are buying the Lightning Lane access, it often means having to wait much longer for those who don’t have said access.
D’Amaro told park employees in his letter that the company will now increase the number of days it’s offering the lowest-priced 1-day, 1-park ticket with nearly 60 days’ worth of days for this year. The ticket price on these days are $104 and is available for California Adventure or Disneyland. Those who buy park hopper tickets (to access both of these theme parks in California), they can now swap from one park to the other as early as 11AM instead of the previous 1PM.
Disney’s Magic Key will also be available more frequently. This annual pass program includes 4 levels, an admission to the parks, savings on food, drinks and merchandise, and even park access on black out dates depending on which “key” you have.
For Disney’s theme parks in Florida, annual passholders can visit after 2PM even without a reservation except on weekends for Magic Kingdom. Those staying at Disney’s resorts will also be given self parking for free.
Finally, if you have purchased the Genie+ program, you can get free digital downloads of your photos.
Learn how to use the Genie+ and Lightning Lane here: