Disney recently announced Disney Genie and Genie+, a new suite of services that will help Disney World and Disneyland guests maximize their time in the parks. All of these new services are integrated with Disney’s existing Disneyland and My Disney Experience apps.
There are three levels to this new program. Disney Genie is a complimentary trip-planning service, Disney Genie+ is a paid service that lets you use a Lightning Lane entrance to bypass the standby line on select attractions, and individual attraction selections allow you to pay to skip the line on up to two high-demand attractions per day.
What Is Disney Genie?
Disney Genie is a complimentary trip planning service that builds a personalized itinerary for you based on your preferences. From more general interests like princesses and Star Wars to specific choices like a favorite ride or must-see show, you tell Genie how you want to spend your day, and it’ll create a custom itinerary with suggestions that will help you spend less time in line and more time having fun.
You can also view current and forecasted wait times, make a list of favorite restaurants and attractions on your “tip board”, make dining reservations and mobile food orders, hop in virtual queues for certain attractions, and get help from a virtual assistant.
Disney Genie is also flexible. Because the program can access real-time information, Disney Genie will continuously update your itinerary throughout the day based on your location and current wait times.
Basically, if you are more of a “go with the flow” Disney planner, Disney Genie will make your job that much easier. You don’t have to look up showtimes, operating hours, or wait times because Disney Genie does it all for you and maps out your day. And if you do have must-do attractions, you can use Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane individual attraction selections as needed to make sure you don’t miss out on those.
What Is Disney Genie+?
In addition to the complimentary Disney Genie service, you can purchase Disney Genie+ to reserve an arrival time at more than 40 attractions at Walt Disney World and at more than 15 attractions at Disneyland, and then use the Lightning Lane entrance to bypass the standby queue and get on your favorite rides without a lengthy wait (as fast as lightning, some may say).
Disney Genie+ is $15 per ticket per day at Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland. The reason for the price difference is that unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads are included with Disney Genie+ at Disneyland, but not Disney World. At Disney World, you do get some special augmented reality lenses and other in-app perks, but you’ll have to purchase Memory Maker.
You can add Disney Genie+ to your vacation package ahead of time or you can purchase it on the day of your visit. This gives you the flexibility to add Disney Genie+ for the length of your vacation or to pick and choose which days you want to use it. If you want to use it at Magic Kingdom, for example, you can, but you can skip it for Epcot if you just want to eat and drink around the world and maybe hit a few rides.
FUN FOR ALL: 10 Best Disney Rides for Little Kids and Toddlers
Though you can purchase Disney Genie+ ahead of time, attraction arrival time selections can only be booked on the day of your visit. At Disney World, you can make your first selection at 7am and at Disneyland, you can make your first selection after you enter the park. Subsequent Lightning Lane selections can be made one at a time throughout the day.
What Are Individual Lightning Lane Selections?
Individual Lightning Lane selections are a la carte selections that you can purchase on the day of your visit. You can purchase attractions that aren’t included with Disney Genie+ up to two per day, one at a time. If the success of your vacation hinges on getting on Disney’s most popular rides, you can pay for your group to get on the ride and then go relax and have fun for the rest of your trip.
You do not need to purchase Disney Genie+ to use this “pay per attraction” service. You can view a full list of Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane selections for Disney World here and Disneyland here.
How Will This Affect My Next Disney Trip?
Standby lines, dining reservations, and mobile ordering aren’t going anywhere and you can use these new services as much or as little as you’d like.
You can also mix and match Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and the individual Lightning Lane selections. For example, you could use Disney Genie every day to build your plan for the day and not spend any additional money at all. If it’s more important to you not to wait in any lines, you can purchase Disney Genie+, individual Lightning Lane selections, or both. It all depends on how you like to do Disney.
How Will This Affect Attractions That Use a Virtual Queue?
Individual Lightning Lane selections are especially helpful for Disney attractions that use a Virtual Queue like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Disney World and WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at Disneyland
BATUU BOUND: The Ultimate Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
The Virtual Queue process isn’t changing, but these attractions don’t have a standby line. Currently, if you don’t get a Boarding Group, you don’t get to ride. If you don’t want to take your chances on securing a Boarding Group using the Virtual Queue system, you can pay to schedule an arrival time to get on the ride.
Are There Any Benefits For Onsite Hotel Guests?
There is a benefit for Walt Disney World hotel guests to purchase their individual Lightning Lane selections beginning at 7am on the day of their visit.Offsite guests have to wait until the park opens for the day. There is currently no similar benefit for Disneyland guests.
When Does Disney Genie Launch?
Disney Genie launches October 19, 2021, at Walt Disney World. An official date has yet to be announced for Disneyland, but it should be sometime this fall.
How Does Disney Genie Compare to Disney’s Previous ‘Skip the Line’ Services?
Since 1999, Disney has utilized some version of a FastPass system. Most recently Disney World used FastPass+, a complimentary service that allowed you to reserve time slots to visit attractions without waiting in the standby line, much like Disney Genie+ allows you to do, but for an additional fee. At Disneyland, you could visit participating attractions and get a paper FastPass ticket for free, or pay a daily fee for MaxPass, which worked almost exactly like Disney Genie+.
There is no longer a complimentary skip the line service, which is sure to leave some guests understandably upset. With the option to use Disney Genie’s free trip planning services, though, you can achieve virtually the same goal as FastPass—less time spent waiting in line. Disney Genie combines your preferences with current and forecasted wait times to suggest attractions, dining options, and more that are close by, meet your interests, and have short wait times.
If you want to spend money for an even more tailored experience, you can. The good news is, it’s totally up to you.
What If I Still Have Questions About Disney Genie?
Both Disney World and Disneyland have a dedicated Disney Genie page that describes the service in detail and answers some common questions. Disney World’s can be found here and Disneyland’s is here. If you have specific questions, you can also ask a question to one of Disney’s expert planDisney panel members.
More from FamilyVacationist:
- What Not to Wear to a Theme Park (and What to Wear Instead)
- 6 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Florida
- 27 Family Vacation Ideas for a Trip They’ll Never Forget
This story about Disney Genie was originally published on September 20, 2021, and has been updated to reflect the most current information available.