Disney launches Genie, an all-in-one app for park visitors to plan trips and skip long lines

In this handout photograph supplied by Walt Disney World Resort, friends cease to take a selfie at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort on July 11, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Matt Stroshane | Walt Disney World Resort | Getty Images

For theme park empires equivalent to Disney, the visitor expertise is the whole lot.

Rides, eating places and character meet-and-greets are sometimes what convey folks by means of the park gates, but it surely’s the little issues equivalent to shorter waits, quicker service and ambiance that maintain them coming again.

On Wednesday, the corporate unveiled Genie, an app geared toward easing the method of planning a visit to Disney’s home parks.

After it launches this fall, friends might be ready to inform the app what they need to do and the place they want to eat throughout their keep and this system will create an itinerary. It’s designed to be customizable and versatile, so if friends determine they do not need to go on a journey or need to attempt a unique in-park restaurant, Genie will reorganize the schedule.

Parkgoers also can use the app to order meals and pay for merchandise. Current and forecast wait instances for sights additionally might be displayed.

Customer expertise is “the product” theme parks promote, mentioned Bill Coan, president and CEO of theme park consulting agency ITEC Entertainment.

“When people leave, the legacy of their visit is that they are going to go tell one person, 10 people, a hundred people,” he mentioned. “Second, and probably more important, is that they will come back. Once you’ve got the people to your park, you’re done with the marketing and sales business. They are going to come back because they had a terrific experience.”

Genie, which was first introduced in 2019 throughout Disney’s D23 Expo, arrives at a time when theme parks have turn out to be more and more reliant on know-how. Most of the amusements business has adopted online-only reservation techniques for tickets as a manner to handle capability. Parks have additionally added cellular order and pay choices to lower contact factors between workers and friends.

These improvements have been adopted to stop the unfold of the coronavirus however have improved the visitor expertise, mentioned Josh D’Amaro, head of Disney’s parks, shopper merchandise and expertise division. It’s additionally helped theme park corporations equivalent to Disney workers high-traffic areas of the park and redistribute site visitors to less-crowded areas.

A bonus is that buyers have a tendency to spend extra money when making purchases by means of cellular ordering and fee choices than conventional in-person money or bank card purchases, mentioned Eric Wold, senior analyst at B. Riley Securities.

“Attendance has returned, and, more importantly, attendance has returned just about to 2019 levels, but at a higher monetization,” Wold mentioned. “[Parks] are extracting more dollars from these consumers and the parks are just being run more efficiently because of technology.”

A paid model, known as Disney Genie+, will change the home park’s FastPass, FastPass+ and MaxPass choices, which have been discontinued through the pandemic.

For $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland, friends can use the brand new Lightning Lane at choose sights. Visitors could make one choice at a time to bypass the primary line at a scheduled time for rides equivalent to Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

Genie+ additionally consists of new audio and photograph options, equivalent to augmented actuality lenses at Disney World and limitless Disney PhotoPass downloads at Disneyland.

In addition to Genie+, Disney may also supply particular person attraction choices. Guests can schedule a time to journey up to two of its most in-demand sights every day. This consists of sights equivalent to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom and Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure. Pricing will differ by date, attraction and park, the corporate mentioned.

Standby queues and digital queues for sights equivalent to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will proceed to be accessible.

“Whether you are on your 50th visit or your first visit, I want you to feel that same special feeling,” mentioned D’Amaro. “And that means I want to make sure that I am getting you to the things that are most important to you.”

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