So much has changed!

My last trip to WDW was late February of 2019. If we had known then what we know now, we definitely would've savored that trip a bit more.

Myself and 3 of my close female friends have decided to take our 12 year girls on a trip to celebrate their birthdays. So much has changed in terms of planning, transportation my head is spinning a bit.

We are staying at the Swan Hotel February 24th - 28th flying Allegiant into Sanford International. Here's what I think has changed - let me know what I'm missing.

* I understand DME is no longer around, so we'll need to reserve transportation to/from the hotel, but I should still be able to use in-park transportation.
* FastPass is gone and is being replaced by Genie.
* Genie + is an add on for additional $15 (per day) which allows same day reservations for the Lightning Lane of certain rides. One reservation is allowed at a time throughout the day but this excludes certain high demand rides.
* There is an option to purchase a reservation on certain rides (not included in Genie +) which otherwise require a wait in the standby lane? ROTR, SDMT & EE are some examples. You can purchase up to 2 of these per day but not the same ride twice.
* Staying at the Swan allows us to reserve rides through Genie + same day at 7:00 am. We are also are allowed early entry into the parks?
* Park Reservations are required when purchasing tickets. So I need to be prepared to pick the specific days that I want to go to each park when I purchase tickets?

I think these are the biggest changes so far that I have noticed. I guess my biggest concern at this point is when to purchase tickets. If reservations at each park are a permanent thing, when is the latest date I could feel comfortable purchasing tickets for a late February trip?

Thanks for any input advice!
 

hizouse

Active member
Looks like you've got it basically figured out. A little additional info:

* There is an option to purchase a reservation on certain rides (not included in Genie +) which otherwise require a wait in the standby lane? ROTR, SDMT & EE are some examples. You can purchase up to 2 of these per day but not the same ride twice.
One of these is the new Remy over at Epcot, which may still have a virtual queue (boarding group) that would be required to be reserved in the morning or afternoon instead of a standby queue. This would be an alternative to the individual LL purchase. ROTR could also go back to boarding groups, but I doubt it because having long standby times posted makes the individual LL purchase look more attractive.
* Staying at the Swan allows us to reserve rides through Genie + same day at 7:00 am. We are also are allowed early entry into the parks?
Staying at the Swan should allow you to reserve the individual LL attractions at 7 am. EVERYONE who has purchased Genie+ can make their first LL reservation at 7 am. And everyone can purchase Genie+ for the day starting at midnight. The only onsite Genie/LL advantage is for the individual attraction selections.

Yes, staying at Swan will allow you access to parks 30 minutes early day. You would also have access to an extra 2 hours at night in MK and Epcot on one night each week (if that schedule continues).
I think these are the biggest changes so far that I have noticed. I guess my biggest concern at this point is when to purchase tickets. If reservations at each park are a permanent thing, when is the latest date I could feel comfortable purchasing tickets for a late February trip?
Nobody knows what capacity or demand will be like by then. But I wouldn't expect it to fill up any time soon. It seems pretty crowded this week, and it looks like the only park that is full in the next several months is MK on today, Halloween, Christmas, and New Years Eve.
 

lovett1979

Active member
* FastPass is gone and is being replaced by Genie.

This is all true, but not exactly the best way to look at it. I would say it as:

-FastPass is gone
-There is a new feature in the app called Genie. It is free and available to everyone and can suggest touring options throughout your day. Theoretically, this will help spread out crowds. In actuality, it might tell you to RD Prince Charming's Carousel or Gran Fiesta Tour, so you might have better luck reading this site and these boards.
-There is a new service called Genie+. It costs $15/person/day. You can get it for as many days of your trip as you'd like. If you have an AP or PH ticket, it can be used across multiple parks. It allows you to reserve a spot in the Lightning Lane queue (essentially what FP used to use) for most attractions in the parks. You can only have one reservation at a time, and use it only once at each attraction on a given day.
-There are 2 rides in each park for which you can purchase a spot in the Lightning Lane queue. You don't have to have Genie+ to do this, and having Genie+ will not help you get this. Each queue spot will cost $7-$15, varying by attraction and day. You can have up to 2 of these per day, across all parks.
 
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