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Is Genie+ Worth It? Do You Need Genie+?

Is Genie+ Worth It? Do You Need Genie+?

Maybe you are wondering about Fastpasses at Disney, just to find out that they are gone. Now you are hearing about Genie+ and lost. Yeah, we have been there too. The new system to skip the lines is very confusing and now it costs money. So let’s break down all things Genie+ to know if Genie+ is worth it. And then you can determine if you need Genie+ on your next Disney World vacation.

What is Genie+?

There is so much talk these days about Genie+, what it is, how it works, etc. Well, now it’s been available for almost a year now so we are loaded with all of the information so you can decide if it’s right for your next vacation. 

Disney Genie is a complimentary itinerary planner that guests can use and access through the My Disney Experience app on their smartphone. Disney Genie offers real-time, tailored park recommendations to guests based on the preferences they pick. So, if you’re new to the parks, this tip board can be an excellent resource to help you map out your day.

Disney Genie includes wait times for different attractions, upcoming showtimes, mobile orders, and restaurant check-ins. In addition to making recommendations for the kinds of experiences, restaurants, and attractions you’re most likely to enjoy based on your answers to the app’s screening questions, Disney Genie will also map out when is the best time for you to visit certain rides and provide you with an estimated wait time. This is a handy tool for parents who will be able to better plan snack or bathroom breaks with their children before heading over to their recommended ride or attraction experience. 

How Does Genie+ Work?

When you start your day at Walt Disney World, all you have to do is open your My Disney Experience app. If this is your first time using the app since Disney Genie was introduced, you will be automatically directed to swipe through a few short pages of “onboarding” – aka, an overview of what Disney Genie includes and how it works. 

After you’ve read through Disney Genie’s short description, you’ll be able to access it on your My Disney Experience home screen. It’ll be the first option you see when you open the app, so you can’t miss it. To create a new recommended itinerary, click on the “Summon Disney Genie” button. Follow the prompts until it takes you to the screen where you can answer a few questions about how you want to spend your day. 

This itinerary is called “My Day” and it essentially combs through thousands of combinations to provide you with a list of recommendations for what could be your perfect day in the parks. If you don’t like your recommendations, however, don’t worry. All you have to do is click the menu icon at the top to modify or swap out one of your recommendations. 

Difference Between Genie and Genie+

The Disney Genie complimentary planning tool is free for all guests to use. However, Genie+ will cost guests $15 per person, per day. So a family of four using Genie+ every day in the parks could be adding $300 to their expenses if they’re visiting Disney World for five days and want to take advantage of Lightning Lane options for the duration of their trip. 

Genie+ is what takes the place of the old FastPass system. It is a paid service that allows guests to skip the line at many Walt Disney World attractions through the Lightning Lane options that are displayed at most rides on Disney property. These lines replaced the FastPass lines. 

What Rides Can Use Genie+ Lightning Lanes

Is Genie+ Worth It? Do You Need Genie+? 4

PRO-TIP: In addition to seeing what rides can use Genie+, be sure to know the height requirements for each ride so you know what rides your family can enjoy. Read more here

Magic Kingdom

  • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Space Mountain
  • “It’s a small world”
  • Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Splash Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Jungle Cruise
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • The Barnstormer
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor

EPCOT

  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Living with the Land
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Mission Space
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Hollywood Studios

  • Toy Story Mania
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Star Wars – The Adventure Continues
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Disney Jr. Play and Dance
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
  • Frozen Sing-a-long
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Animal Kingdom

  • Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • DINOSAUR
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • It’s Tough To Be A Bug
  • Feathered Friends in Flight
  • The Animation Experience

Using Genie+ and Book Lightning Lanes

As of June 2022, there has been a change to purchasing Genie+. Genie+ may only be purchased on the day that you wish to use it. You can purchase it as early as 12:01 AM EST on the day that you want to use it. If you have purchased Genie+ with your tickets prior to June 8, 2022, you do not need to repurchase. 

Guests who’ve purchased Genie+ can only make one Lightning Lane reservation at a time. This window opens up at 7:00 am every day, so guests can make their selected reservations for any of the included rides and experiences before arriving at the park. Guests can either refresh the page to see what’s available or search for a specific ride directly. 

Unfortunately, guests are not able to dictate what time they want to experience their selected ride. They must select the available return time presented on the app. However, if you book a reservation that is two hours or more after the park opens, you will not be allowed to make another Genie+ selection until after the park’s been open for 120 minutes. Confused yet? Let me try to help:

Essentially, you can book your rides at two-hour intervals, but this time frame doesn’t start until after you’ve entered the park. So, if let’s say you booked Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin at 2:00 pm, but Magic Kingdom doesn’t open until 9:00 am, you won’t be able to book your next Lightning Lane experience until 11:00 am – aka two hours after Magic Kingdom opens. However, if you have a reservation that you booked inside of that two-hour window like at 9:00 am, and are boarding a ride at 10:40 am, you will be able to book your next ride early since you’ve hit the two checkpoints in the Lightning Lane. 

Basically, once you’ve tapped into a ride to redeem your Lightning Lane selection through the app, it will open up another option for you to book another Lightning Lane attraction. While this sounds confusing, it’s actually pretty similar to the old FastPass option. You were never able to hold two FastPasses at the same time, even if you were finished with your first FastPass attraction – i.e. you couldn’t book a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dash at 10:45 am if you still held one for Tower of Terror from 10:00 am – 11:00 am. So even if you went on Tower of Terror at exactly 10:00 am, you couldn’t get a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dash until the hour window for Tower of Terror passed.

Once you’ve made a reservation for a ride through Genie+, you will be able to secure another one once you tap your MagicBand in the Lightning Lane. PRO-TIP: Ask the Cast Member if there are more than one MagicBand tap points in the line. You can book your next experience after you have tapped the last time. 

Guests will not be able to get another reservation for the same ride, so if you rode Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios through Genie+, you’ll have to wait in the standby line if you want to ride it later on in the day.  

When Can You Get in Line for Your Lightning Lane?

Guests can get in the Lightning Lane entry five minutes before it starts, all the way up to 15 minutes until after it ends. While this isn’t advertised on Disney’s website, this grace period also used to extend to those entering the FastPass lane in years past to accommodate for sudden bathroom emergencies or any unexpected delays guests may encounter while making their way to an attraction. 

However, this is always subject to change so if you’re told that you’ve missed your window by a Cast Member, it may be true. It’s recommended that you adhere to the time slot given to you to ensure you get to experience the ride or attraction.

Can You Have Genie+ for Just One Day?

Yes! Absolutely yes! Let’s be honest – some parks really need Genie+ to have a great day, and other parks just do not, but more on that later. 

You purchase Genie+ on the day that you want to use it. You’re already up early to rope drop the parks, so BEFORE 7:00 AM EST click to purchase Genie+ through the My Disney Experience App. Why before 7:00? Because at 7:00 you can and should book your first Lightning Lane. Do not wait until midday to purchase!!!

Does Genie+ Sell Out?

According to Disney themselves, Genie+ will not place a limit on how many guests can purchase Genie+ per day. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll always be able to get your preferred Lightning Lane selections every day of your trip. 

Like FastPasses, Disney only releases a limited number of individual Lightning Lane passes per day, meaning that the rides you want very much could sell out. 

Can I Still Wait in Standby?

Yes, absolutely. While Genie+ is different from FastPasses in many ways, one way they’re similar is that they’re both completely optional. If you don’t want to spend money on riding certain attractions or don’t mind waiting in line – especially if you’re visiting in the off-season like January or February – then Genie+ may not have many advantages for you. 

Do Annual Passholders Get a Discount on Genie+?

disney annual passholder entrance

Unfortunately, no, not at this time, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be discounts or other benefits extended to Annual Passholders moving forward. This is most likely the result of Disney pausing most new purchases of Annual Passes due to most peak days being sold out across the parks already until the end of the year. 

Disney hasn’t spoken out yet about whether or not AP sales will be reinstated in 2022. 

Tips for Using Genie+

If you’re planning on using Genie+ for your upcoming Disney World vacation, we have some helpful tips:

  1. Select a designated person to handle all the Genie+ reservations. This just makes it easier for your party. 
  2. Don’t use Genie+ for attractions that have less than a 30-minute wait. It’s usually not worth it. 
  3. Keep in mind that you may not always get the attraction that you want. In-demand rides may not be available as often throughout the day as others, so try to book the most popular rides early on if you can.
  4. Bring a battery pack with you, as the use of Disney Genie and Genie+ will drain your battery quickly. You can purchase one of these on Amazon or at the parks for $30, plus tax. You can find portable phone charging stations all across Disney property, including but not limited to the kiosks at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe in Magic Kingdom, the Disney Springs welcome center, Rock Around the Shop in Hollywood Studios, Island Mercantile in Animal Kingdom, and at Test Track in Epcot. 

What in the World is an Individual Lightning Lane?

So now you understand Genie+ Lightning Lane services… Now we need to talk about Individual Lightning Lanes. Think of Lightning Lanes like cable and Individual Lightning Lanes are like Pay-Per-View. The cost of these rides is based on demand. The more demand for a ride, the higher the price. Costs for each Individual Lightning Lane vary between $7 – $15.

Each park has one or more rides that you can pay to skip the lines. You DO NOT need to have the $15 per person per day Genie+ to purchase Individual Lightning Lanes (ILL). When the service started in October 2021, each park had 2 rides that you could pay to skip the line. The whole system wasn’t really popular when it first started so they began to test new ways to balance the convenience of the service and cost.

Rides in Each Park That Offer Individual Lightning Lanes

Magic Kingdom

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

EPCOT

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind*

The newest ride in EPCOT is the latest addition to the Individual Lightning Lane family, BUT there is no standby line. Just like when Rise of the Resistance opened, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is also using a virtual boarding pass system. See more about that here.

Hollywood Studios

Rise of the Resistance*

Disney has done away with the virtual boarding group for the Rise of the Resistance and has opened the standby line! Be warned… You will not just walk on at any point in the day. This attraction racks up hours-long wait times. Like 3 and a half hours long.

Think about this: You could watch the whole Titanic movie and take two bathroom breaks in the time it would take to wait in the standby line. 

Animal Kingdom

Avatar Flight of Passage

What Parks Don’t Need Genie+

Is Genie+ Worth It? Do You Need Genie+? 5

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is not like the other parks. Somehow this park has maintained a chilled, relaxed environment, even with one of the most popular rides in Walt Disney World. With the exception of Avatar Flight of Passage, the rides in Animal Kingdom don’t typically exceed an hour.

PRO-TIPS:

  • Rope drop Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for Avatar Flight of Passage

EPCOT

Whether or not it’s necessary to have Genie+ in EPCOT depends on the experience you’re looking to have. If the rides are really important to you and you don’t want to wait, then Genie+ is money well spent. Buuuuuuuut if you’re looking to eat through a festival and drink around the world, Genie+ won’t help you skip those lines.

Parks That You Should Purchase Genie+

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is an attraction dense park and one of the most popular parks. This means that there are more rides that can use Genie+ on! Disney claims that you can skip around 3 lines with the Genie+ service, but in our experience, you can skip 6-7 lines using Genie+ in Magic Kingdom.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios is a heavy hitter in the attraction arena. Between Toy Story Land, Galaxy’s Edge, and the biggest thrill rides in WDW, Hollywood Studios is extremely popular and the wait times are…not. Wait times for almost every ride and attraction in Hollywood Studios exceeds an hour. If you only want to budget for 1 day of using Genie+… USE IT FOR HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS! 

Attractions That Don’t Need Genie+

Is Genie+ Worth It? Do You Need Genie+? 6

Not all attractions are created equal. Don’t waste your Genie+ Lightning Lane passes on rides with short lines or shows that you are literally just waiting for the next show to start! These rides typically hang out for under 25 minutes for the stand-by line. Is a ride from this list higher than 25 and you don’t want to book a more popular ride with Genie+? Be sure to utilize the tip board with the forecast queue lines. 

  • Dumbo
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
  • The Barnstormer
  • Living with the Land
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • Disney Jr. Play and Dance
  • It’s Tough To Be A Bug
  • Animation Experience
  • Feathered Friends in Flight

How to Make Great Use of Your Genie+

You can make your first Genie+ selection at 7:00 AM EST. This is the same for everyone, whether you’re staying in a Disney Resort or not. The first selection you make should be a hot ride that is on your must-do list.

Best First Ride Selections for Genie Plus

Magic Kingdom

  • Jungle Cruise
  • Splash Mountain
  • Peter Pan’s Flight

EPCOT

  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure/
  • Frozen Ever

Hollywood Studios

  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Animal Kingdom

  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Festival of the Lion King

Is Genie+ Worth It For Your Family?

There’s a reason why some people are loving the Genie+ service and some people hate it. Different groups have different needs. If you are on a two-week vacation, then you probably feel like you don’t need it because you have plenty of time to do everything that you want without the extra fee. Maybe you’re on a solo trip that can take advantage of single-rider lines.

Small Children

This is a no-brainer. Small kids and long lines are not a good mix. Being a line ninja will make you the parent of the year! Especially if you are on a trip with multiple children, Genie+ is a must-have! If you have Genie+ you don’t need to worry about all of those boredom-buster ideas that you have been Pinteresting! You don’t really even need to worry about your toddler getting antsy. Why? Because we waited for barely 5 minutes each ride! We just kept walking all the way through the queue right onto the ride. There was no time for them to get antsy!

Teens

Why is it that people always attribute little children to being difficult in Disney World? I have first-hand experience to say that teenagers can be just like really tall toddlers. And let me tell you, their death glare is not nearly as cute. If going to any amount of teenagers means that Genie+ is a must! They should be treated with all the care you would show a grenade that you don’t want to explode. Just saying.

Super Short Trips

If you are planning a 1-day trip, you don’t want to spend the entire day in line! You want to hit as many attractions as possible and have fun while you do it! Genie+ can really help you get just about everything done that is on your park do list.

Did you know that you can use Genie+ park to park if you have a park hopper ticket? Whaaaat? If you have a park hopper ticket, you get to use Genie+ at one park, hop over to another and book Lightning Lanes in a different park! Think about how much you can accomplish in a park hopping challenge with Genie+

Food  ::  Resort  ::  Genie+

When you’re trying to budget a family vacation, where do you draw the line? Do you spend the extra money on a nicer hotel? Do you beef up the food budget? Or do you invest in Genie+? There is no perfect answer that fits all, so we suggest only purchasing Genie+ for the parks that really need it. Then you take the money you saved from the days at the other parks and use it in food! You can get away with not having Genie+ in EPCOT, so imagine having an extra $60 (Genie+ for a family of 4) to spend at the latest festival! 

Genie+ Tips and Tricks!

Is Genie+ Worth It? Do You Need Genie+? 7

You’ve decided to purchase Genie+… Now what? Follow these tips to get the best bang out of your buck!

  • Refresh, refresh, refresh: Not seeing times that are working for you? Pull the screen down to refresh. Genie+ shows times for “next available” so they will change frequently. 
  • Edit the Tip Board: You may be tempted to throw everything and the kitchen sink in your tip board because you want to do it all, but it won’t be able to really do its job if it’s too populated. If you’re dying to go on Peter Pan’s Flight keep that pinned to the top all by itself. As it becomes available it will be right there so you can snag it fast!
  • Stay at a Disney Resort: This is important for those Individual Lightning Lanes, more specifically Rise of the Resistance. We hate to say it, but it’s a really unfair system. Resort guests are able to book Individual Lightning Lanes (those pay-per-rides) at 7:00 AM EST, whereas regular park guests can’t book Individual Lightning Lanes until park open. Because of this, you pretty much are out of luck buying an ILL for Rise of the Resistance if you are not a resort guest. 
  • Make Sure Your Resort is Connected to Your My Disney Experience App: If you plan on using your resort perks to book your ILL nice and early, be sure to check ahead of time that your hotel reservation is connected to your app. If your account doesn’t reflect that you are a resort guest, you will not be able to book early. Bye bye, Rise of the Resistance. 
  • To Be Fair… : No other ride is currently experiencing the same effect as Rise of the Resistance Individual Lightning Lanes. Sure, the other rides will sell out of those fancy skip the line passes, but not before other guests can have a crack at them. Typically, the other rides sell out within the first hour of park open, but nothing like Rise of the Resistance. 
  • Make the 120 Minute Rule Work for You! : You can actually “stack”, or have 2 Lightning Lanes at the same time. WHAT? Genie+ only allows one LL at a time, right? Sort of. If it’s 12:00 and you book a Lightning Lane for 7:00, that would be way too long to wait to book another. Disney helps ease the pain by allowing you to book ANOTHER Lightning Lane 2 hours after booking. 
  • SCREENSHOT!: Don’t know how to take a screenshot on your phone? Google it now and figure it out. Whenever you book a Lightning Lane, screenshot the confirmation page. Sometimes there are tech glitches, but if you have screenshots Cast Members are very helpful in getting it all worked out. 
  • Book Lightning Lanes for Attractions with Long Wait Times: It may be tempting to just book a Lightning Lane for an attraction that is physically very close to you but has a wait time of 25 minutes. Resist the urge. Try to use Genie+ to book Lightning Lanes for the popular attractions so you can literally skip the line wait. 

The Most Important Genie+ Tip!

Are you ready? Get a pen and paper… Here it comes… The biggest tip and trick for using Genie+ is to breathe. That’s it. Breathe and relax. If you are getting so worked up over the app, then there is no amount of line skipping that will make Genie+ worth it. We have seen people sit and pour over the app that they’re missing out on their vacation.

IMPORTANT: You really don’t need to be on your phone the whole time, we promise. If you follow our guides and tips on which rides are worthwhile to use Lightning Lane for, you won’t have to worry about scrolling through everything.

Go ahead and play with the app before your trip to get yourself comfortable. Yes, Genie+ can be a little confusing at first, but once you get into it it’s reminiscent of the old FastPass+. 

Do it the Old Fashioned Way

You don’t have to buy Genie+ to have a great vacation. You can always just wait in line the old-fashioned way! Rope Drop continues to be the best way to get the most accomplished in a short period of time. No sleeping in on a Disney World vacation!

To be honest, some rides have a queue almost as cool as the ride itself! No one likes waiting in line, but if the ride has a shorter line (under 25 minutes) you might want to consider just waiting it out to see what surprises the Imagineers have in store!

Some of the rides with the coolest queues:

  • Dumbo
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Avatar Flight of Passage

Our Final Take on Genie+

It stinks that now that a Fastpass-style system has returned it’s going to cost extra. Ce la vie, am I right? While at first we were annoyed, to say the least, I am quickly reminded that I literally just dropped almost $200 per person per day for basically a simplified version of the same thing at that other theme park right down the road.

We tested our first use of Genie+ on a sold-out Magic Kingdom day with a group of 9 people with great success. Disney claims that you will get to skip 2-3 lines using this new service, but our group actually skipped 7 lines using Genie+. It was effective enough that we also went on 3 other attractions as standby guests, and watched the parade and two cavalcades.

Is it confusing? Yeah. Disney, you gotta work on that. The rules can be a little difficult to keep straight and the rules feel like they have changed a bunch of times. So, is it worth it?

I may not have been happy when I saw the total amount charged when I bought the Genie+ passes for our party, but when I went to sleep that night I had no regrets. We were able to make it work for us, we skipped lines, we had a great time, and we made memories. For us, it was absolutely worth it. 

Need More Help Planning Your Vacation?

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