Disney Overbooks Lightning Lane for Magic Kingdom Christmas Parade, Cancels Guest Reservations with No Communication

The Genie+ Lightning Lane viewing area debuted today as Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade returned for its first daytime performance of the season. However, the Lightning Lane reservations were somehow overbooked.

Some guests arrived at the viewing area only to find that their reservations were no longer in the system. Cast Members informed the guests that the area was booked up, so some reservations were “pushed out of the system.” They also said they cannot see the past records and cannot help even if the guests have a screenshot of their Lightning Lane reservation.

At this time, it was nearly 11:30 a.m., with the parade beginning at noon. The streets of the Magic Kingdom were packed tight with holiday crowds, meaning it was extremely difficult to find a new spot from which to view the parade.

Frequent visitors know that crowds often begin staking out parade spots an hour or more in advance of a performance. A viewing area reservation offers peace of mind to allow guests to continue their day and show up knowing they have a spot for the parade.

No communication was made between the guests and the park regarding the canceled reservations. Guests were left to find out upon arrival. A Cast Member told one guest that “it will push you out if it overbooks because it’s a live system.”

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  1. Another #disneyfail. The continued ridiculousness of LL should be a lesson to Disney Leadership that this AIN’T GONNA WORK! #bringbackfastpass

  2. People also need to be aware the new Disney app only works on newer phones and they don’t warn people about that in advance. It does not run on my three year old phone so I can’t use Genie or Genie+. The whole thing seems like a disaster to me.

  3. Disney is infusing too much technology into the parks. Technology fails. There are glitches, viruses, mistakes, down servers, lost connections, etc. The fact that Disney is just looking to make as much money as possible on Lightning Lane without a care for their customers just shows that they are continuing down the wrong path in the parks. I used to be an annual passholder at Disneyland, I wouldn’t go back if I was paid to go back. It’s not worth the cost or the frustrations.

  4. Wow. Another awesome misstep, Disney! This company that was once renowned for their service has become a mockery of its former self.

  5. Here’s an idea for park management – maybe a Lightning Lane at Guest Relations at City Hall to let you skip the line when trying to resolve your issues relating to the Lightning Lane reservations you were denied when trying to view the parade – assuming that doesn’t overbook too ?! After all the parade has been unavailable to non paid event guests for most of the Christmas season. So why not offer that extra sprinkle of ‘Disney magic’ (sic) for those who have at least managed to snag a park pass for these already fully booked days at the Magic Kingdom?

  6. Boycott/Cancel your Disney+ Subscription. Bob Cheap(ek) only cares about subscriber “data” to beat Netflix, since it is a key aspect of his strategy as CEO. If you support Disney+ with a subscription, you support Bob Cheap(ek). Disney+ “data” is more important to his success than Disney Parks/Resorts. Let that sink in for a second! Drop Disney+ and maybe Disney will drop Bob Cheap(ek). Fire Bob Chapek!

  7. This was a horrible idea by Disney. The “improvements” lately are vaguely disguised money grabs. Raising annualnpasses price s were extreme this new tech is a joke. Go back to fast passes if you care about guests

    Walt is turning over in his grave

    1. Right. The only improvement I thought was actually an improvement benefitting the guest experience was the switch in security technology. Not having my bag rifled through every day, and being able to just walk through, with occasional exception, was much better. Everything else just made me homesick for the old Disney.

  8. Bob Chapek needs to go! Everytime something like this happens or he opens his mouth my stock goes down.

  9. Word of advice to Disney. There were NO excuses for canceling without communication. It’s a live system? Good it can send out realtime updates.
    Everything else cast members said was irrelevant, deflecting and unsympathetic. Pretty bad when this was 100% Disney’s fault.

  10. It seems that every week or two, you hear about another Disney quality problem, where guests get virtually or literally nothing for their trouble.

    And then every couple of weeks you hear about another price increase, service reduction, or both.

    I understand why many Disney insiders are hoping for Iger’s return.

    1. Just had to get a dig in there about Florida, huh? Why don’t you spend some time here in NJ where our roads are clogged and in disrepair, property and other taxes are the highest in the nation, there is no testing available for days and weeks, and our governor is threatening lockdowns and vaccines for everything??? Ain’t a pretty picture – I’d take Florida any day. Educate yourself.

  11. Honestly, disney is going down the toilet. We need them to stop doing stuff like this because that’s screwed up.

  12. How terrible will Disney continue to get, we just got back and its a shell of what it once was. Bob Chapek has destroyed the brand for a dollar and it won’t happen immediately but they’re in for a big fall.

  13. It will push you out if it overbooks because it’s a live system??? That makes no sense. It’s a faulty system, and guests shouldn’t suffer the consequences of Disney’s problem.

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