Tuesday, February 28, 2023

President's Week Wait Times - Can They Be Predictive?


This past week was "President's Week", a vacation for many schools to commemorate President's Day, winter break, or whatever you want to call it.  This week sometimes sneaks up on people at Disney World, as either they don't realize so many schools are closed or just don't think of it as a "big" holiday, thereby assuming that crowds will be lower.  This is assuredly not the case, and President's Week is often one of the busiest weeks of the year at the parks, right up there with Christmas week, Thanksgiving and Easter/Spring Break.

I wrote about this a bit last week, as Genie+ sold out on consecutive days for the first time ever.  There are some caveats to that, as Genie+ has only been in existence for about a year and a half, and Disney is constantly making changes to "improve the guest experience" (or so they say).  The short version of that post was that it wasn't necessarily alarming that Genie+ had sold out, and that this week would be very busy regardless.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Genie+ Sells Out: Reason For Concern?

Ever since Genie+ rolled out in December of 2021, the complaints from guests have rolled in.  Genie+ is essentially a paid version of FastPass+, a service that had been included with the cost of every ticket.  Paying for something that used to be free will always rankle people.  There were also technical issues, usability issues (some of which are finally beginning to be addressed) and the sense, especially in busy times of year, that you weren't getting your money's worth out of it.

That last one is especially interesting, because Genie+ used to be one set price per person per day ($15 plus tax) but was switched to a dynamic, "date based pricing" approach.  You probably won't be surprised to learn that on the slowest days, the price of Genie+ does not fall below the original $15, but on busy days (read: most of them), the price is actually much higher (topping off at $29 plus tax - for now - seen at the holiday season last year and this current week, which is what we're discussing in depth today).

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Is An Upgraded Hotel Room Worth The Cost?


We've talked a lot on this blog about the cost of a Walt Disney World trip, and for good reason - it's one of the major determining factors in how long your trip will be, where you'll stay or even whether you can go at all.  One of the biggest costs on any trip will be your resort hotel stay - we devoted a whole post to the question of on property or off a while back.  We won't rehash all that here, but it is a good starting point if you're still deciding.

Instead, today's post is going to talk specifically about staying on property.  Whether that's at a value, moderate or deluxe resort is a different question, and again, one that has been addressed on this site numerous times.  Today we're going to get a little more granular - whichever category of resort you choose, there are other decisions that need to be made about what room type you're interested in.  And here I'm not talking about a studio versus a one bedroom (and beyond) - I trust that you've done the math of how many people are in your party and what kind of accommodations you need.