I would like to see Disneyland and Disney World offering annual passes to new people again. It's not fair that only some can have passes because they renew every year (and I am one of those who has AP's all of the time, so it doesn't apply to me). I just think it's favoring one category of people over another.
I don't like Genie+. I agree with @heathpack
on that one. It's a money grab for Disney and it puts some guests ahead of others. Yes, I can afford it, but I won't pay for it, no matter how much they want me to. The early entry has gotten us in an hour early, not just the 30 minutes touted by the MDE. The parks are open a full hour before regular walk-in time for non-Disney guests. We rode Avatar and Navi River before the parks even opened, and the crowds were low. We also rode Rise today at Hollywood Studios before others came in and were done with the ride before the park opened "officially." We stood in line a little too long for Toy Story Mania and Mickey/ Minnie Runaway Railway. The signs were wrong by at least 20 minutes because LL people were going in ahead of the regular folks.
I don't see much loss of magic or nice cast members, and we are a week into our trip. We have 9 more days to go before we head back on the 19th. We drove, so it will be quite a long trip home to Denver with some stops along the way.
We go to Universal tomorrow and Wedneday, not that I ride much at Universal. I am not a fan of roller coasters, but I put up with Gringotts and really enjoy the train and the Forbidden Journey Harry Potter ride. I rode Haggrid's once and never again. That scared the living daylights out of me.
We have AP's and decided to get a hotel night at Universal's Royal Pacific with Chase UR points in order to get Universal Express for two days. We won't stay the night at the hotel, we will stay at Saratoga Springs, so the room will sit empty. That's kind of a waste, but maybe we will go back for a nap tomorrow. We are old and retired.