What Disney Isn't Telling You: The Hidden Cart System for Genie+, ILL, and Dining Reservations

f1rstxlas7

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Here is one reference to it:

Here is another reference to it:

Another reference:
This is fascinating, thanks. And it lends credence to them having a record of your cart on their backend. There's clearly a PIN created and associated with the cart and it's contents, so there's no reason to believe that all of this data isn't stored permanently in their DB.
 

ChipTheRescueRanger

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Great thread, Interesting info and could be very useful if you miss something when trying to book.

If you app crashes is their anyway to rebook the LL in your cart or have to wait for it to be released
 

Luxurious_Lumiere

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
As someone who works in the theater industry, this "invisible cart" system is the same thing that happens when you buy tickets to a Broadway show. It is a fairly common thing with ticketing systems. At my theater, if you click on a seat and add it to your cart, it is locked in there for 30 minutes (this gives the customer time to go through all the steps of a purchase).

If the ticket buyer closes out their browser or the tab they were working in (instead of hitting the "release seats" option) then the tickets they selected are still locked for however long remains in that 30 minute timer. Because they are technically still "yours" as far as the system is concerned, even though you wont be able to access them.

The thing I don't get is: My industry uses this invisible cart system in order to make sure that when you click on a seat it is YOURS. Aka, someone cant come along and also grab that seat while you're still in the process of making the purchase. But there are reports of this happening all the time with Genie+ as some people click on a time that says, lets say 10:00 am...and yet when they get through to the following screens, the actual lightning lane time will be hours later because the 10am slots are gone. This should absolutely not be happening and makes me think that the system doesnt actually latch a reservation to the cart instantaneously, but instead has to work for a couple seconds.
 

_19disnA

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
When you make an online airline reservation, it usually tells you that you need to complete the transaction to actually purchase the ticket within x minutes. I would assume it is holding your ticket/seat assignment so that someone else who does their input faster doesn't book that exact seat. I never thought that was devious or misleading by the airlines.

Perhaps Genie works the same way and may/may not hold that exact time until you can complete the transaction. Disney doesn't actually tell you that, but I don't really see this as any big revelation. I would imagine that most IT applications involve a lot of background processing the typical user isn't aware of.
 

Mrs.AMC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
I know when you are checking out for resort stats they give you a timer to complete to check out process. It’s either 10 or 15 min. Those rooms fall back in to inventory eventually too but take a while. It’s one of those things I thought everyone was aware of. I figured everything Disney has does that. Maybe not with the timer, over never seen that anywhere else. Just with it going back to inventory
 

john7994

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 20, 2022
There's magnitudes of scale to consider, as one of tens of thousands of users, against four different park venues; you are trained to hit that request at exactly 7A - all at one time. I certainly don't want to be "queued" as that could take hours - imagine the screaming that would happen then! It is far different than hotels, airlines seats, and theaters - excluding perhaps large concert venues on the release of tickets for a popular artist.
 
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SleeplessInTO

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
It's hard to test because you would need to attempt to book a room that has low inventory available and then have the system crash on you at the end. It's not something that happens with any kind of predictability.
Actually I have done exactly this. I tried to book a studio room at Beach Club in December. It was the only one showing up after many days of stalking. Borrowing against my resale contract predictably crashed the system, every time. I timed it a few times, it wasn’t exactly 10 minutes, but it was close enough.

This is a reproducible phenomenon for DVC bookings as well. This is the reason that I try at 8am, and again from 8:09-8:30 every morning for any difficult to snag rooms.

(I have learned my lesson. I borrow my points a few days in advance now, via the chat feature.)
 

Ariel620

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
It's hard to test because you would need to attempt to book a room that has low inventory available and then have the system crash on you at the end. It's not something that happens with any kind of predictability.
With DVC it has happened to me many times…. I do a random search for something I have been searching for months. I get so excited when I see it available that I click it too fast and don’t make sure of all my details. What I have messed up multiple times is that I have done the search with the wrong contract (one that has zero points), so then I have to not follow through with that booking because I didn’t have points. But then when I immediately go back and try to book the room with the proper contract (one that has points), the room is gone! Because it is still in my other cart! I refresh contstantly for then next 20 min and it always comes back and I book it with rhe corrext contract. This has happened multiple times for really hard rooms. Very recently for Grand Californian for July which has been sold out a while for DVC. But it has also happened with hard to book AKL club rooms. I know it must have been the same room because those rooms are so hard to get, there are so few.
 

AnnaKristoff2013

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
I suspect this theory is close to the truth, but the flaw is that LL times change throughout the checkout process… That indicates that disney is not holding a specific lightning lane for you in a hidden “cart” which then gets released in 10 minutes if you don’t book it… Because if it was, the times would not dynamically change during the booking process.
 

gharter

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2004
I suspect this theory is close to the truth, but the flaw is that LL times change throughout the checkout process… That indicates that disney is not holding a specific lightning lane for you in a hidden “cart” which then gets released in 10 minutes if you don’t book it… Because if it was, the times would not dynamically change during the booking process.
Exactly. An interesting theory, but doesn't fit what really happens. I don't doubt that they are not far form the truth. But missing a few pieces. Such as flawed Disney IT.
 

Mrs.AMC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 15, 2021
Exactly. An interesting theory, but doesn't fit what really happens. I don't doubt that they are not far form the truth. But missing a few pieces. Such as flawed Disney IT.
Disney’s IT is so full of flaws it’s impossible to use any logic on it.
 

DisneyOma

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
Tip #4: If you successfully clicked on a return time, you can just go to Guest Relations, mention it to them, and they should be able to look things up to get everything righted.
If I'm doing this at 7 AM, what time am I getting access to Guest Relations, and where?
 

Grasshopper2016

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
This all makes sense to me (though I agree that Disney doesn't seem to use virtual carts for regular, Genie+ LLs). But what I want is an explanation for why the app constantly crashes and fails and/or an explanation for why Disney would use a virtual cart system in such an unstable IT environment.

I think we have all experienced the occasional IT failure on some other website -- you're trying to book plane tickets and the webpage freezes at the point where it is trying to process your credit card number, or something like that. But that rarely happens. And thus, the virtual cart doesn't cause chaos.

With Disney, though, the IT is as likely to fail as it is to succeed. Every time you go to book a ILL$ or a dining reservation, you have to hold your breath and hope that you don't get an error message, or get stuck in an endless login loop, or the like. I've seen Stitch eat so many pages that I'm surprised he hasn't exploded. Especially at 7:00 a.m., when the system is overwhelmed, things just don't work like they're supposed to. And thus, tons of inventory gets caught in the virtual cart, sewing chaos.
 

f1rstxlas7

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Exactly. An interesting theory, but doesn't fit what really happens. I don't doubt that they are not far form the truth. But missing a few pieces. Such as flawed Disney IT.
Definitely. And that's the struggle when it comes to Disney or any other competitive space like this. Universal Orlando has to figure out crowed control just like Disney does, but there's no way in heck that either would willingly release their tech architecture, stack, or workflow. Which results in us all trying to overcome that purposefully built business moat.
If I'm doing this at 7 AM, what time am I getting access to Guest Relations, and where?
Guest relations/services is just anywhere on-site that offers guest assistance. It's not an online portal through the app or anything like that. You'll just have to walk up a help desk or kiosk somewhere to iron it out.
This all makes sense to me (though I agree that Disney doesn't seem to use virtual carts for regular, Genie+ LLs). But what I want is an explanation for why the app constantly crashes and fails and/or an explanation for why Disney would use a virtual cart system in such an unstable IT environment.

I think we have all experienced the occasional IT failure on some other website -- you're trying to book plane tickets and the webpage freezes at the point where it is trying to process your credit card number, or something like that. But that rarely happens. And thus, the virtual cart doesn't cause chaos.

With Disney, though, the IT is as likely to fail as it is to succeed. Every time you go to book a ILL$ or a dining reservation, you have to hold your breath and hope that you don't get an error message, or get stuck in an endless login loop, or the like. I've seen Stitch eat so many pages that I'm surprised he hasn't exploded. Especially at 7:00 a.m., when the system is overwhelmed, things just don't work like they're supposed to. And thus, tons of inventory gets caught in the virtual cart, sewing chaos.
I know a lot of folks complain about bad IT on Disney's part, and while I don't necessarily agree with all of that... it's hard to not agree in terms of app stability. Load balancing is one thing, and that's very difficult to get right, but the app itself struggles to maintain persistence even across flagship mobile devices. So I'm not gonna give them an out there. To be honest, I think they're probably satisfied with the way they've devised this invisible cart system to the point of not actually feeling like they have to make the 7am checkout process more stable. If they eventually sell out of return times for the most popular rides, then why should they bother to actually sink more resources into better load balancing techniques? I can understand it from a business decision perspective, but from a user perspective it's infuriating.
 

CarolynFH

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 5, 2000
If I'm doing this at 7 AM, what time am I getting access to Guest Relations, and where?
There are GR offices at DS, outside and inside the front gates of each park, and at the blue umbrellas (the Guest Experience Team) located in various locations inside the park. The offices outside the parks open some time before park opening.
 

DisneyOma

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
There are GR offices at DS, outside and inside the front gates of each park, and at the blue umbrellas (the Guest Experience Team) located in various locations inside the park. The offices outside the parks open some time before park opening.
Yes, I know this, but are any of them accessible at 7 AM? Who is going to go to the park at 7 AM, how are they going to get there, and will GR be open then?
Guest relations/services is just anywhere on-site that offers guest assistance. It's not an online portal through the app or anything like that. You'll just have to walk up a help desk or kiosk somewhere to iron it out.
Are you saying that I could get this fixed at the front desk of my onsite hotel? Or does it have to be in the park? Does it have to be fixed at 7 AM, or can it wait until I get to the parks?
 

scrappinginontario

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
The thing I don't get is: My industry uses this invisible cart system in order to make sure that when you click on a seat it is YOURS. Aka, someone cant come along and also grab that seat while you're still in the process of making the purchase. But there are reports of this happening all the time with Genie+ as some people click on a time that says, lets say 10:00 am...and yet when they get through to the following screens, the actual lightning lane time will be hours later because the 10am slots are gone. This should absolutely not be happening and makes me think that the system doesnt actually latch a reservation to the cart instantaneously, but instead has to work for a couple seconds.
I believe this is happening because everyone is being shown the next available time at the same time. They aren't selecting from a number of options as someone does when selecting a seat. The second someone accesses the screen, they're seeing the exact same time as thousands of other people. That is my guess as to why it doesn't work like seats in a theatre. At a theatre far less people are trying and they're not all trying for the exact same seat.

I could be wrong but I really believe only being able to select the next available time is what's causing a lot of the problem as opposed to giving people 3 different options to choose from and thus being able to not only spread out the people but also, different times could be displayed to different people which is not happening with the current system.
 

mistysue

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 26, 2009
Multiple bloggers have covered this already, and it's definitely close (if not precisely) what is going on, but 10 minutes for sure isn't the correct number.

Last week I began to suspect it may have something to do with how many "slots" they set aside for each selection. If they assume 10 people for every party, then the system refreshes and figures out only 160 people booked from 8-9, not 200, so they release 4 more, etc.
 

CarolynFH

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 5, 2000
Yes, I know this, but are any of them accessible at 7 AM? Who is going to go to the park at 7 AM, how are they going to get there, and will GR be open then?

Are you saying that I could get this fixed at the front desk of my onsite hotel? Or does it have to be in the park? Does it have to be fixed at 7 AM, or can it wait until I get to the parks?
The GR offices outside the parks open about 30 minutes or maybe an hour before the park opens, and those inside the park open when guests are admitted (although I'm not sure how early the blue umbrella Guest Experience locations are staffed). In any case, yes, issues with G+, LL and ILL$ can wait until you arrive at the park.
 










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