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Disney Genie+ | The Good, the Bad & the FANTASTIC!

Disney Genie+ | The Good, the Bad & the FANTASTIC!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

Disney Genie+ has replaced FastPass+ at the Walt Disney World Resort.  It is a paid service that allows you to spend less time waiting in line at over 40 Walt Disney World Resort attractions.  Along with Disney Genie+ came Individual Lightning Lane, an express pass reservation system for highly demanded attractions (two at each theme park).

Attraction Wait Times on Wednesday, February 9th 2022

Cost for Disney Genie+ is $15.98 USD per person/per day.  And the cost for each Individual Lightning Lane varies but is generally between $7 and $18 USD per person/per attraction.  To confuse things, the Individual Lightning Lane attractions are NOT included in the Disney Genie+ service.

When this service was first announced, I was hesitant.  I mean why do I have to pay for something that was previously complimentary?  But it didn’t take me long to look beyond the cost and realize that this system is a game changer when it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation.

The Good

The Cost – Yes, the cost.  A big challenge with the previous system was that it was complimentary, so everyone was fighting over the same popular attractions.  Which meant if you weren’t staying on-site for four nights or longer, forget securing a FastPass+ for Avatar: Flight of Passage.  Whereas now, because it’s an additional cost, only about 50% of Disney visitors are paying for it.  Making it truly the premium service it was designed to be.  Don’t believe me?  There was a time many moons ago that the ability to park hop (visit multiple theme parks within the same day) was complimentary. Now that Guests must pay for this option, nowhere near the same number of Guests bother to visit Magic Kingdom in the morning and grab a bite to eat in the World Showcase at EPCOT at night.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) – This attraction previously provided a virtual queue to book a return time to experience it.  Yet it is SO crazy popular that this complimentary queue was sold out by 7:02am.  I kid you not.  I spent many days in my youth trying to secure Madonna concert tickets and it wasn’t nearly as difficult.  Can you imagine, spending all your vacation time and money and then not being able to experience this ground-breaking attraction?  Now if you want to guarantee your chance to escape the First Order, you can simply pay a little bit more to do so.  Problem (and Guest Services line up about it) solved.

The Bad

Mornings – Your first Disney Genie+ selection can be made at 7:00am. I don’t like waking up before 7:00am on a workday.  Which means, I don’t like having to on vacation either. And yes, you need to if you wish to secure some of the more sought-after options such as Slinky Dog Dash (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Test Track (EPCOT).  I really hope that they change this to just a little bit later.  8:00am would work fine by me, or perhaps even allowing Disney resort Guests the ability to book them any time after midnight. Sigh…I can hope!

My Phone – Disney Genie+ requires you to be on your phone – a LOT.  Not only does this kill your phone battery, but I don’t like that it takes away from spending time with my family.  However, MyDisneyExperience requires you to be on your phone for Mobile Ordering, MagicMobile, Wait Times and more.  So, using it to book your next Disney Genie+ experience isn’t really THAT much more.  But just be sure to bring a back-up battery.  You’ve been warned.

Secondary Individual Lightning Lanes – For the love of Zeus, can we just have ONE attraction per theme park available on Individual Lightning Lane?  Disney did this over Christmas, and I wish it was something they kept all year round.  It would without a doubt simplify…well everything.  And if they were to do this, Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom), Frozen Ever After (EPCOT), Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Expedition Everest (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) would all move over to Disney Genie+.

The FANTASTIC!

Guest Experience Team – These folks be easily spotted by their blue umbrellas and are located throughout all four theme parks.  The Guest Experience team are in a word; magical. Not only do they always have a smile on their face, no matter how many times I’ve (sadly) seen Guests yell at them, but they can solve any problem you have with the entire Disney Genie+ system to your satisfaction.  And I speak from personal experience when I say in true Disney Cast Member fashion, they can even sprinkle a dose of pixie dust when needed.

No Lines – One of the biggest complaints about a Walt Disney World vacation is having to wait in line.  No argument here!  But let’s face it, a Walt Disney World vacation is not cheap.  So, to pay just a little bit more to not have to wait in line? Sign. Me.Up!  Because I can tell you that when using Disney Genie+ in combination with Individual Lightning Lane access, you won’t have to wait in line…for anything.

I’ve been able to use this brand-new service a few times now and it works.  Most importantly it works with high crowd levels.  I was in Walt Disney World at the end of January and the insane crowds during what is historically one of the two slowest months of the year told me that the pent-up demand to travel post COVID is no joke.  So, you can count out any ‘slow’ times at Walt Disney World for some time to come.  I assure you that Disney Genie+ will help – a LOT – with this challenge.

So now the question is with SO many options to choose from on Disney Genie+, which do you prioritize? Peter Pan’s Flight?  Splash Mountain? Pirates of the Caribbean? And do you really need to purchase the express pass for ALL eight Individual Lightning Lane attractions? Not to worry because your Vacation Specialist at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations is here to help!  Included in your personalized Fairytale Guide, you’ll find both recommended Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane experiences best suited for your traveling party’s needs and wants – saving you even more time from standing in line.

– Christine Fiorelli

The Magic is Calling.

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Answer the Call Today!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
www.fairytaledestinations.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Dose of Disney Magic!

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

No one:

Absolutely no one:

Not a single soul on this Earth:

Omicron: “I think the human population would like me to visit them for Christmas”

I am pretty sure that no one invited Omicron over for the holidays.  Yet it showed up on our doorsteps like an unwanted extended family member. It’s been six weeks since Christmas and Omicron hasn’t taken a hint yet..making it a very unwanted house guest.  It’s lingering, taking its sweet time, staying well after New Year’s, unable to realize that we want it to go way…forever.

Cinderella Castle

As much as we all want to, we can’t simply wish it away.  Nor are we able to sit it down and try to reason with it.  So, do we wait for it to leave?  Wait with it until it’s sibling, Omicron the Second, shows up and we are stuck entertaining this new unwanted Guest in our homes for weeks on end again?  We could…but that could take weeks, months, or more than likely, years.  So, at some point – when we feel safe enough to do so – it’s time to leave our home and Omicron behind.

Which is exactly what my cousin (who is an RN) decided to do.  After nearly two years of this nonsense, it was time for a little magic for her two girls (ages 8 and 5).  So, the four of us headed on a very last minute trip to Walt Disney World for three wonderful nights. It was cold, or rather, cold by Florida’s standards.  But there was no snow, no lockdowns, no worrying of ‘what next’ and no talk of COVID-19 for a glorious three days.  Which means that it was exactly what the doctor ordered.

To fly into the US, all passengers ages 12+ must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and test negative on a rapid antigen test 24 hours before departure.  Check!  Seeing as we need to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of our flight back home, the first thing we did after checking into our hotel (Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside) was take our tests from the comfort of our hotel room with Switch Health.  As always, it was a non-evasive, lower nasal swab and to make matters even easier when traveling with little ones, this one is self-administered.

Pluto surprising my niece at the Garden Grill

Now we were ready to have some fun!  We headed to Disney Springs because my 8-year old niece is a Lego obsessed.   We stood in line at Gideons because their cookies are SO worth the wait, shopped at the World of Disney and browsed the Disney’s Days of Christmas store.

On Sunday, we headed to Epcot.  We purchased Individual Lightning Lanes for both Frozen Ever After and Ratatouille.  We took advantage of early morning access to ride Test Track.  We then told the tower we were ready for take-off on Soarin’, explored the big blue sea with Nemo, journeyed into our Imagination, chatted up a storm with a couple of sisters from Arendelle, ate some delicious treats from the Festival of the Arts and dined at the Garden Grill, where the girls were able to see (and take selfies with) Chip, Dale, Mickey and Pluto during their meal.

Chatting up a storm with Anna and Elsa

We saved the best for last and as such, Monday we headed to the Magic Kingdom.  We purchased Disney Genie+, which allowed us to experience the happiest cruise that ever sailed, sing along during the new Coco segment at Mickey’s PhilharMagic, soar with Peter Pan, meet Elena, Cinderella, Tiana and Rapunzel, swim under the sea with Ariel, help Buzz defeat the evil Emperor Zurg and take a spin on the PeopleMover.  Last, but certainly not least, we purchased an Individual Lightning Lane for Space Mountain, because it’s not a visit to the Magic Kingdom without experiencing this classic coaster.

We grabbed dinner at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, took a circle tour on monorail red before taking in the new nighttime show at the Magic Kingdom, Disney Enchantment.  On our final morning, we took a nice stroll over to Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter to soak up our last chance at vitamin D from the warm Florida sun and devoured some deliciously fresh beignets before heading back to the airport.

Masks are still mandated at all indoor locations unless actively eating or drinking at the Walt Disney World Resort.  But aside from that, things feel far more normal than they are back home in Ontario.  And it was crystal clear how beneficial a little bit of normal is for children of all ages right about now.

It was a whirlwind of a trip, but worth every moment of it for the lasting memories we created.   From dancing on Main Street, to the excitement of bringing home a new plush friend, I was pleasantly reminded how good a little dose of Disney magic is for the soul.

– Christine Fiorelli

The Magic is Calling.

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Answer the Call Today!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
www.fairytaledestinations.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The World’s Most Magical Celebration

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Last week I was invited to a media preview of the World’s Most Magical Celebration – the 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort.  I questioned how Disney was going to find new and innovative ways to celebrate such a milestone.  But I was quickly reminded that nobody creates magic quite like Disney can and they have pulled out all the stops for this celebration to prove it.

When the Walt Disney World Resort opened its doors back on October 1st, 1971, it consisted of one theme park, two resort hotels and a campground.  Today, the 147 square kilometre complex includes four theme parks, two water parks, over 25 resort hotels and much, much more.  Yes, the resort has grown – a LOT – over the past 50 years.

Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

The idea of Disney World began one Sunday afternoon, when a father was bored watching his daughters on a carousel.  That boredom led to a vision of somewhere in the world where adults and children could play together.  Fifty years later, this common enjoyment remains the focus of Walt Disney World, as majority of its attractions and shows are still experienced and enjoyed by Guests of all ages.

One of the main additions for the 50th anniversary is the brand-new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure inside the France pavilion at Epcot.  Once onboard, you’ll feel as though you’ve been shrunk to the size of Chef Remy as you scurry though Gusteau’s restaurant on one wild ride.  This attraction for all-ages is a welcomed addition to the park, as it fits in perfectly with both The Sea with Nemo and Friends and Frozen Ever After.

Fab 50 Statue of Figment

The centrepiece of the magical celebration is Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.  The castle underwent a lengthy refurbishment and is now dressed up in a new colour scheme and fancy décor.  For those of you who remember the 25thanniversary Castle cake, I promise you Disney did not repeat that beautiful disaster.

Scattered across all four parks are the Disney Fab 50 statues, which represent the stories that have moved us to dream bigger, follow our passions and believe in the power of magic.  I quite enjoyed trying to find all 50, but I only found 24.  I look forward to discovering the remaining 26 on my next visit.

Disney Enchantment

The most exceptional features of the celebration all take place after the sun goes down.  Since 1971, fireworks have offered Guests an exclamation point at the end of an enchanting day at Magic Kingdom.  From the days of Fantasy in the Sky to the recent Happily Ever After, over and over, each new nighttime spectacular has raised the bar.  And the all-new Disney Enchantment nighttime show at Magic Kingdom is no exception to this golden rule.  Narrated by Angela Bassett, Disney Enchantment blends fireworks, Disney music and immersive projection effects from Cinderella Castle, all the way down Main Street U.S.A.

Barges for Harmonious During the Day

Over at Epcot, Harmonious has debuted for the 50th and it is the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney theme park.  I’m not going to lie, this show scared me.  Mostly because I worried that the giant barges that are required for it are quite the eye sore in the middle of the World Showcase lagoon.  But I’m happy to report that these new daytime barges are well worth this amazing evening show.  Harmonious celebrates the music of Disney and its ability to unite us all, bridging cultures and generations to unlock the magic of possibility.

On top of these two nighttime spectaculars, all four theme park icons transform into ‘Beacons of Magic’.  Cinderella Castle creates a dazzling glow that sparkles with pixie dust.  Lights shine across the reflective panels on Spaceship Earth.  The Hollywood Tower Hotel returns to its former glory by evoking the glimmer of the golden age and fireflies gather to call forth the magic of nature on the Tree of Life.  These Beacons of Magic are stunning!  So much so, that I question why it took Disney 50 years to make this happen.

Beacons of Magic | Epcot

During the celebration, Disney is full of magical touches.  Throughout the resort, you’ll discover many royal blue and gold 50th anniversary decorations, EARidescent connects all corners of the resort, monorails feature glowing nighttime lights that match each train’s specific colour and SO much more.

In pure Disney fashion, the 50th anniversary celebration is for all ages to experience.  The magic is calling and there has never been a more opportune time to answer that call.  But not to worry if you don’t feel comfortable traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort just yet, as the World’s Most Magical Celebration will be ongoing for the next 18 months.

– Christine Fiorelli

Everyone Needs a Fairytale.  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Take Back the Magic Today!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
www.fairytaledestinations.com

 

 


Two New Nighttime Spectaculars Will Debut October 1st at Walt Disney World!

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

Beginning October 1st 2021, “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” honors the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort, and we have some great new details to share with you about this incredible 18-month event.

A new nighttime spectacular, “Disney Enchantment,” will help kick off the 50th anniversary festivities when it debuts October 1 at Magic Kingdom Park. Created to launch with “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” this evening extravaganza will take Guests on a journey filled with adventure, wonder and empowerment. Inspiring everyone to believe in magic, “Disney Enchantment” will feature music, enhanced lighting, stunning fireworks and, for the first time, immersive projection effects that extend from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.

Joining “Disney Enchantment” on October 1 will be “Harmonious” at EPCOT, one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney park. This new show will bring the globe together at World Showcase Lagoon in a celebration of Disney music that inspires people worldwide. It’s a grand, powerful tribute to the stories and songs that unite us, embracing new technical magic that incorporates pyrotechnics, choreographed moving fountains, lighting and media in new ways. “Harmonious” will invite Guests to travel the globe through new interpretations of classic Disney songs as you’ve never heard them before, reimagined in more than a dozen languages by a diverse group of 240 artists from around the world.

There’s also new daytime entertainment stirring at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Check out this artist rendering of “Disney KiteTails,” which will come alive several times daily at the Discovery River Amphitheater beginning October 1. Performers will fly windcatchers and kites of all shapes and sizes, while out on the water elaborate three-dimensional kites – some stretching to 30 feet long – will depict Disney animal friends, including Simba, Zazu, Baloo and King Louie. These colorful creations will dance through the sky to the beat of favorite Disney songs in an uplifting, vibrant experience for the whole family.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be the hosts for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” and they’ll be decked out in sparkling new EARidescent fashions for the 50th anniversary. As you can see in the photo, their best pals want to get in on the shimmer, too, as Donald Duck and Daisy Duck, Goofy and Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale will be sporting their own custom-made EARidescent looks beginning October. 1. Guests will get a chance to see them when they travel through Magic Kingdom Park several times daily in the new “Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade.”

These eight friends will also be featured in special golden character sculptures debuting October 1 at Magic Kingdom; in this artist rendering, you can see Mickey and Minnie shining in the sunlight near Cinderella Castle. There will be 50 characters total in this series of sculptures that will be displayed across all four theme parks.

“The World’s Most Magical Celebration” will also see the grand opening of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT, icons at each of the four parks transforming into Beacons of Magic at night, EARidescent décor all across the resort, plus much more.

Everyone needs a fairytale.  Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. to be a part of The Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th Anniversary Celebration today!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
www.fairytaledestinations.com

Story adapted from the Disney Travel Agents website


Fairytale Dreams & Destinations
Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. exclusively sells the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina, Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii and the Universal, Orlando Resort.

Fairytale Dreams and Destinations™ Inc. is an Ontario Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) authorized travel agency. TICO is an organization mandated by the Ontario Government to administer the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and an industry financed travel compensation fund. TICO Registration # 50010111
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