Disney does a decent job at giving us tools to help prepare us for our Walt Disney World vacations. But there are certain things that Disney keeps to itself. After having visited these parks my whole life, I am here to share some of the things Disney hides that can really impact your next trip!
Genie+ Prices Change Frequently Without Notice
Genie+ is no longer a set price of $15 per day. This service is now on the surge pricing model, much like the day ticket prices have been on for a while. This means that on the days when the parks are busier, Genie+ prices will be higher. We have seen this price as high as $29 per person. Without notice. The prices are not listed anywhere for you to check beforehand. We find out the price for the day each morning.
We recommend trying to go to Disney World during the “off seasons,” especially on weekdays rather than weekends. And remember – an amazing Walt Disney World trip does not *require* Genie+. You can have a memorable trip with your family and not spend your hard-earned money on this service.
If you are wanting to try it out for at least one day, we recommend using it for Magic Kingdom Park or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Those parks have the most rides so you will get the biggest bang for your buck. Remember that Lightning Lanes are also available for individual purchase. If there is an attraction your family is extremely excited about, splurge on the one ride!
You Don’t Have to be a Resort Guest to Enjoy Them
Honestly one of my favorite things to do at Walt Disney World is check out the various resorts. Just last night I did a tour around the Magic Kingdom resorts to check out the Christmas decorations. Each resort has great theming and some amazing activities for the family. Over at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort last night, we stumbled upon some lawn games, including a jumbo Jenga game, as well as some putt putt golf. We got to stop and play some games in the GORGEOUS weather – and we weren’t even staying at that resort.
Some resorts have movie nights under the stars. The Polynesian Village Resort a few times a week has Just Dance out in the back! Pick a resort you want to explore and go walk around. You never know what unexpected fun you will find!
People tend to be a little more honest and kind while at Disney, but you are still in the real world so it is important to take the correct safety precautions. There have been stories about Stroller Scalpers around the theme parks. Individuals will walk the stroller parking and take important looking purses and merchandise bags and walk away with them. It doesn’t happen often, and Disney security is great about catching them, but it is a possibility.
NEVER leave anything of value on your stroller. Never. Pack as lightly as you can so you don’t have to lug around a large and heavy backpack. Just do not leave it unattended on your stroller.
People also lost their strollers FREQUENTLY. As a former Cast Member, I couldn’t tell you how many times I had Guests claim their was stroller stollen, when really they had just lost it. Attractions Cast Members are tasked with organizing stroller parking areas. There is a chance that your stroller could be in a different spot than where you left it, especially if you parked it in the wrong area.
My best advice for you is to not only put your name on the stroller somewhere, but attach something super flashy that makes it easier to find. Balloons are always a great way to spot the stroller from afar. I also like to use an empty Disney merchandise bag and tie it on the handle. Especially on the days I am using a Disney rented stroller. There are some cute stroller tags on Etsy you can find so yours is unique. There is also the option of adding an Apple AirTag to it.
Finding Exclusive Merchandise is Next to Impossible
Are you looking for a specific type of limited merchandise? ShopDisney used to have a function where Guests could see exactly where an item was being sold in stores and how many there were. Due to the inaccuracy of the service, it created unnecessary altercations between Guests and Cast Members. The service has since been stopped.
Merchandise Cast Members do have the ability to see where specific items are being sold and how many there are, but it still is not fully accurate. This also requires you to run around all of the 42-square mile property on a hunt for the item. Not the most efficient use of your time.
If you are wanting specific exclusive merchandise, it is best to be at the store on the day it debuts, right at the store’s opening. For most merchandise drops there is a 2-per-person limit, but that does not mean the hyped items will stay on the shelves for very long.
My rule of thumb when I am in the parks is See it. Like it. Buy it. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen an item I liked and said I would come back for it later, only to find that it was sold out. You can always return things, so don’t miss out on something that you love! There are always lockers for rent.