Have you noticed the wait times for Disney rides are longer than they used to be? Even when there are fewer people in Lightning Lane (LL) than there were when it was Fastpass? We saw this happening and couldn’t understand why. We took the matter into our own hands and discovered some extremely unethical and potentially illegal practices that are driving up wait times at Disney World.
After some intense investigative work we found that Disney pays people to wait in lines. This is an incredible scandal and something we never would have expected to uncover. We spent months studying the behavior of suspicious personnel inside Disney World Parks and asking a variety of questions posing as undercover guests. We got to the bottom of the scandal and it is problematic.
As it turns out, Disney pays people to stand in lines at Disney World. This under the table dirty work by Disney didn’t start until after the launch of LL and Genie+ and the reason for it is unethical to say the least. After studying the behavior of countless park goers we realized Disney was only paying people to stand in lines for the bigger attractions that use LL and Genie+.
Through our investigation and top secret interviews, we determined that Disney is paying people $1.50 for every 10 minutes they stand in line for select attractions. If Space Mountain is 80 minutes, a paid line waiter gets $12 from Disney to stand in that line. There are also bonuses for the number of queues someone stands in during one day. Once they hit 5 rides they get a $5 bonus for the day. At 10 rides they get a $10 bonus and so on.
The story gets deeper. Disney has control over which rides they will let their line waiters get paid for. There is a secret Disney app that tells them which rides they can go to next. There are usually three options for the person to choose from. This gives them some choice, but Disney maintains most of the power and control. We were tipped off by this after watching people exhibit strange behavior when using their phones to determine which ride to go to next and talking about getting paid for it.
We don’t know how many people are involved in this ring, however, it’s a significant number. We would estimate that 25-30% of people in most Disney lines are being paid to stand there. Disney is paying these people to intentionally inflate the standby wait times. This is a ploy to get more people to buy into Lightning Lane and Genie+.
Encouraging people to use a brand new technology or service, especially one that costs money, is no easy feat. There will be early adopters that hop on right away with no problem. However getting mass users is more difficult and Disney knows that. Disney knew they could get early adopters to pay for Genie+ and LL. They have lots of people willing to try it out and pay for the new service. However, getting their new paid Fastpass system into the mainstream is far more challenging.
Disney is interfering with the wait times by paying people to stand in line. This in return makes more guests willing to pay for Genie+ and Lightning Lane because they don’t want to wait in such long lines. While the cost to pay people to stand in line will outweigh the amount they make from Genie+ and LL, it’s a long term strategy to increase the user base and get Genie+ and LL in the mainstream for guests. The sad part is, it’s working.
We reached out to an individual we met during the investigation who is involved in this charade. They wished to stay anonymous to prevent potential repercussions from Disney. Here’s what they said, “I have made over $3,000 standing in lines at Disney World just this year. I was a normal guest like everyone else, until one day in February 2022, a man in a suit that worked for Disney approached me and started asking fairly normal questions.”
They continued, “Eventually I was in a room behind City Hall signing a nondisclosure agreement about being paid to stand in lines. The money was appealing and I was already waiting in the lines, so why not take it.” We then asked if they knew anyone else who had gotten paid to stand in line. They mentioned they met one other person. They said that person was recruited by Disney and was flown in to live in Florida to be a part of the scheme.
We didn’t get much more information on the other person mentioned and where they were recruited from. There are so many more details that need to be investigated about people getting paid to stand in Disney lines, as we are just getting started. We also will spend more time looking at the legality of it.
We are stunned by what we uncovered so far and know there is a lot more digging to do. Subscribe to our site by entering your email at the bottom of the page so you can get updates to this breaking story and other stories when they happen.
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