Walt Disney World is now hiring drivers for a new Uber-like transportation system. This system…
In 2019 at the D23 Expo, Disney announced a new vacation planning app, the Disney Genie digital assistant. Since then, however, we haven’t heard any updates about it, until now.
Disney has just released some brand new info about the Disney Genie app, outlining all of its features. Also, in a recent interview, current Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro detailed what guests can expect from the new vacation planning app coming to Disney World and Disneyland.
In this post, we will break down everything we know about Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane. We’ll explain what they do, what features they have, how to use Disney Genie, and when it’s coming out.
We also have answers to the most popular FAQs about Disney Genie and trust us, there are a bunch of questions now after this the biggest change in Disney vacation planning in over a decade.
Walt Disney World can be a scary place when it comes to planning your trip. Guests spend months and months planning things out before they go to get everything just right. The Disney Genie wants to help make that whole process much easier.
Let’s see what it will do…
(UPDATE) Disney Genie Features Announced for Disney World and Disneyland
Disney has just confirmed that the Disney Genie planning app is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort this Fall. And with it comes the biggest changes in planning a Disney vacation in the last decade or more.
Built right into the existing My Disney Experience app and Disneyland app, Disney Genie will help guests maximize their time in the parks so they can ultimately have more fun. It helps guests plan their entire day, all around their personal interests.
We’re going to break down each of
Here are a few of the features of the Disney Genie:
- Get Itinerary Updates from Morning to Night: Disney Genie will continue to update your itinerary throughout your day, so you can be more spontaneous and go with the flow.
- Find Your Favorites at a Glance: Create your very own personal tip board to instantly see your favorites. It will display current AND forecasted future wait times, helping you predict when you might experience quicker entry to attractions.
- Enjoy More Flexibility and Fun: Disney Genie brings existing planning features together in one place. Join a virtual queue at certain attractions, make dining and experience reservations, mobile order food at many locations, get help from a virtual assistant and more.
For even more convenience and flexibility, there are two other options for enjoying our theme parks, through a queue we are introducing called the Lightning Lane entrance that also saves you time in line:
- Disney Genie+ service (available for purchase): For the price of $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World Resort and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland Resort, choose the next available time to arrive at a variety of attractions and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance. You can make one selection at a time, throughout the day – from classics like Haunted Mansion to thrill rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and newer favorites like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (attractions subject to limited availability).
This convenient option is the next evolution of the fan-favorite Disney MaxPass service from Disneyland Resort. Disney Genie+ will also include Disney parks-themed audio experiences and photo features to capture your memories – augmented reality lenses for those visiting Walt Disney World Resort and unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads from your day if you are visiting Disneyland Resort.
- Individual attraction selections (available for purchase): Schedule a time to arrive at up to two highly demanded attractions each day using the Lightning Lane entrance – like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park and Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure park (subject to limited availability; attractions not included with Disney Genie+). Pricing for this option will vary by date, attraction and park and will be announced closer to launch.
Lightning Lane selections will be made on the same day of your visit and can be used across multiple theme parks, great for those who love the Park Hopper option. Attractions continue to offer a traditional standby queue, or a virtual queue at certain attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – to maximize flexibility.
Here’s a video explaining more about what to expect from the Disney Genie:
All of these new additions mean permanent changes to the old Disney planning services. FastPass, FastPass+, and Disney MaxPass services are all being retired.
Guests now have to choose which of the new Disney Genie options they want to use for their family or choose to skip it altogether and plan their day without any extra services. Disney promises guests will still have a great time, but how much the Disney Genie affects someone who doesn’t want to pay out all that extra money remains to be seen.
Disney also announced changes to the existing Disability Access Service (DAS) program, including new options to enroll in the program pre-arrival and for DAS participants to select attractions directly in the app. These options will be available in addition to the existing, in-person DAS program.
Keep reading for more details about the Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane. Also, stay tuned for more updates in the coming days.
What Is the Disney Genie System?
Disney Genie is the next generation of vacation planning app for The Walt Disney World Resort. Guests will use Disney Genie to make customized trip itineraries and touring plans based on their preferences and what they are interested in.
This is helpful because sometimes at the Walt Disney World parks, you don’t know what you want to do and where you should go next. Disney Genie solves this problem and takes the guesswork out of it.
Are you a thrill-seeker? Are you into princesses? Pirates? Star Wars? Are you a Disney foodie and want to hit all the best places to eat? Disney Genie has you covered.
Basically, it will help plan your ideal day in Disney World and then give you an itinerary based on that plan. Disney has said it will include estimated wait times for attractions and much more.
Par of the description “from a royal, princess-themed day at Magic Kingdom Park to a trip around the world at EPCOT for foodies and even a perfect day for thrill-seekers.”
Imagine answering a series of questions or checking boxes about which rides, entertainment, dining, etc, you are interested in, and then the Disney Genie automatically outputs times to show up at each location.
Is Disney Genie a New App?
No, it isn’t. Disney Genie is a service within the existing My Disney Experience app. You use My Disney Experience to access all the features of Disney Genie.
Is Disney Genie Free? How Much Does it Cost?
Yes, it is. The basic Disney Genie service is free to use for all Walt Disney World guests. There are add-ons to Disney Genie that provide attraction reservation features that cost money to purchase (more on those in a minute).
What is Disney Genie+?
Disney Genie+ is an add-on paid feature within the regular Disney Genie service that allows guests to make attraction reservations for a set fee that starts at $15 per day. Disney Genie+ replaces FastPass+ at Walt Disney World and lets guests make multiple reservations for attractions per day.
Not all attractions are available to use with Disney Genie+, the most popular rides are available as individual attraction purchases with Lightning Lane (more on that below).
How Many Selections Can I Make at Once?
Disney Genie+ selections are limited to one attraction at a time during the day. Once you use your current Disney Genie+ selection, you are free to make another.
Let’s say you reserve Pirates of the Caribbean for 10:00 am. Once you check in to the ride, you can start searching the app for your next Disney Genie+ selection. You can repeat this process as many times as you want throughout the day and the overall number of uses per day is unlimited.
Differences Between Disney Genie and Disney Genie+?
The main difference between Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ is attraction reservation features.
Disney Genie is a vacation planning service that helps guests create itineraries and it’s free at no extra cost.
Disney Genie+ is a paid FastPass replacement that lets guests make reservations for attractions, skipping the standby queue and saving time in the process.
Full List of Disney Genie+ Attractions
Disney hasn’t released the final list of Disney Genie+ attractions yet, but here is the list of confirmed attractions at this time:
- Astro Orbiter
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- The Haunted Mansion
- it’s a small world
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Peter Pan’s Flight
When Do I Add Disney Genie+ to My Ticket?
The Disney Genie+ service can be purchased ahead of your visit to Walt Disney World and any leading up to your trip, including on the day of your visit.
We’re waiting to confirm if you need to purchase your theme park tickets first (most likely), and also if you need to already have made your park pass reservations before purchasing Disney Genie+.
When Can I Make Disney Genie+ Selections?
Disney Genie+ ride reservations open for all Walt Disney World guests each day at 7:00 am through the My Disney Experience app. Reservations can only be made on the day of your visit, so you won’t be able to reserve an attraction weeks earlier.
This is one big difference from FastPass+ when ride reservations could be made 60+ days in advance. This evens the playing field a bit as all guests have the same opportunity to make reservations at 7:00 am each day.
Remember, with Disney Genie+, only one attraction reservation can be made at a time.
Do I Need to Purchase Disney Genie+ for the Entire Length of My Trip?
No, you do not. Guests can choose to purchase the Disney Genie+ service for the number of days they desire to use the service. You can buy it for one day during your trip, every day, or any number of days in between.
Can Guests Staying at an Off-Site Hotel Use Disney Genie+?
Yes, they can. All guests visiting a Walt Disney World theme park can use the Disney Genie+ service, but there are some small advantages for Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests, including earlier Lightning Land purchases.
Are there Discounts for Annual Passholders?
No, there are no discounts for Disney Annual Passholders at this time. Annual Passholders have the option to purchase Disney Genie+ or Lightning Lane but they have to pay full price just like all the guests.
What is Disney Lightning Lane?
Lightning Lane is another add-on service within Disney Genie that allows guests to make individual attraction purchases to ride them without waiting in line. This is reserved for the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland that are not included in the Disney Genie+ add-on.
How do Individual Attraction Purchases Work?
Guests can use My Disney Experience to browse available attractions for purchase and then choose whichever ones they want. Guests will get a list of available return times for each attraction and then come back to ride during that window of time.
Again, the advantage is that you don’t have to wait in line which will save you a ton of time, especially since Lightning Lane attractions are the most popular ones in the parks and usually have the longest wait times.
How Much Does Lightning Lane Cost?
Disney hasn’t released the exact prices for individual attraction purchases at this time. However, from looking at a similar system in Disneyland Paris, we get an idea of how much it will cost in Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Each Lightning Lane attraction will likely cost between $8 – $25 dollars per person, per ride. Prices are not set in stone and vary depending on the ride, the date of your visit, and how crowded the parks are on that day.
So if you are trying to buy a reservation for Rise of the Resistance during Christmas week, you can expect a much higher price than if you were trying for a different ride at the end of August.
One thing to keep in mind is that each member of your group who wants to ride a Lightning Lane attraction will need to make an individual attraction purchase. So if the ride costs $20 per person, a family of 4 is looking at spending an extra $80 just to ride that one attraction.
Each family will have to make a decision which rides are worth spending the extra money on, if at all.
List of Lightning Lane Attractions
While Disney has not yet released a full list of individual attractions able to purchase with Lightning Lane, we do know some that have been confirmed, and ones that are rumored for Walt Disney World.
Confirmed Lightning Lane Attractions:
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Rumored Lightning Lane Attractions:
- Avatar: Flight of Passage
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Space Mountain
- Test Track
The important thing to remember about Lightning Lane attractions is that, for the most part, they will not be included as options for Disney Genie+. These are considered the best attractions in Walt Disney World and will only be available through individual attraction purchases if you want a reservation, and not with Disney Genie+.
As always, stand-by queues or the Virtual Queue will be available for guests that do not want to pay for these rides.
It’s possible that some of these attractions could also be available with Disney Genie+, but only on very slow days in the parks. We’ll have to wait and see if Disney moves any of them between services depending on demand.
How Many Lightning Lane Attraction Purchases Can I Make Per Day?
Even though Lightning Land allows you to purchase a reservation and skip the line, you can’t do it all day long. Each guest can make 2 Lightning Lane purchases per day which limits how much you can use it.
When are Individual Attractions for Lightning Lane Available for Purchase?
When you can purchase reservations for individual attractions using Lightning Land depends on if you are staying on-site or off-site.
Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests can make Lightning Lane purchases at 7:00 am on the day of the visit to the theme parks.
Non-Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests can make a reservation when the desired theme park opens.
Do I Need to Buy Disney Genie+ Before Making an Individual Attraction Purchase?
No, you don’t. Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane are two completely different things and neither is dependent on the other. If you only want to make an individual attraction purchase using Lightning Lane and don’t want to buy Disney Genie+, that is perfectly fine.
Also, guests that purchase Disney Genie+ are not obligated to make individual attraction purchases.
On the other hand, if you want to, you have the option of purchasing both Disney Genie+ and making individual attraction purchases. This is going to give you the most benefits and get you on the most rides.
Can I Buy Reservations for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure?
Yes, you can. So far we know that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will both be available for individual attraction purchases using Lightning Lane. This could be good news for anyone who is left out of the Virtual Queue and it gives them another opportunity to ride.
Can I Use Disney Genie+ or Lightning Lane During Extended Evening Hours or Early Theme Park Entry?
Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane are not available for use during Early Theme Park Entry or during Extended Evening Hours. All rides and attractions will use stand-by queues or the virtual queue only.
Can I Still Ride Attractions without Purchasing Disney Genie+?
Yes, you can. Guests that do not want to pay extra for the Disney Genie+ service or Lightning Lane attraction purchases can still use the standby queues for attractions and wait in line the way they always have.
Disney Genie+ is not necessary to purchase, but it will improve your experience, getting you through the lines more quickly, and increasing the number of rides you will be able to do in one day.
When Do the Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ Services Launch?
Disney hasn’t released a launch date yet for the Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, or Lightning Land services. They announced that these services are starting in Fall 2021, but no exact date has been given at this time.
Disney has been working on the Disney Genie service for some time now and they are planning for it to be ready in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. The official celebration starts on October 1, 2021, but it’s not yet known if Disney Genie will be ready in time.
Even if it doesn’t launch exactly in time for October 1, the Disney Genie is at the top of the priority list and will be a huge part of the Walt Disney World and Disneyland vacation planning process moving forward.
We’ll let you know as soon as they announce a release date.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek Talks about the Disney Genie
We’re going to break down exactly what the Disney Genie does, but first, we wanted to share with you the latest comments from Disney CEO Bob Chapek about this new vacation planning tool.
Chapek said: “We’ve made significant investments in sophisticated technology and tools, created a revolutionary new multi-tiered service we’re calling Disney Genie. We’re very, very excited about the new service. We’ll be providing additional details soon.”
“The goal of the user-friendly app is to create a better, more personalized, and customized experience for guests. Putting them in control and providing even greater flexibility and choice. They will be able to spend less time waiting in line and figuring out what attractions and dining options are available and more time having fun.”
“My Magic Plus was sticking our toe in the pond of this type of transformational work. Disney Genie is the program on steroids. This is going to revolutionize the experience. Guests are going to spend less time waiting and more time having fun in the parks with a dramatically improved guest experience that’s going to make their navigation of their day and planning of their day much easier.
“Essentially it is going to take the consumer preferences that we note from our consumers, given what we note from them, and blend that with basically industrial engineering data in terms of how the park is operating that day and meld them together to make suggestions on the fly that not only will lead to the improved guest experience and lead to substantial commercial opportunities for us as the guest navigates their days.”
“It certainly qualifies in my mind for materiality and transformational impact on our business from the yield standpoint.”
The most interesting part of the interview for us was when Chapek said it will lead to “substantial commercial opportunities” for the company. This only furthers the idea that we will be getting some kind of paid FastPass system, plus who knows what other extras Disney will be offering.
He also confirmed that it will allow guests to spend “less time in line, and more time having fun.” That sounds good, just as long as I don’t have to pay extra for that fun.
Keep reading for the full explanation of everything we know about the Dinsey Genie so far…
Is it Replacing My Disney Experience?
Wait, doesn’t Walt Disney World already have a vacation planning app in My Disney Experience? Once Disney Genie comes out, what is going to happen to My Disney Experience?
Now that Disney has revealed more about the Disney Genie, we know that it is not going to replace the My Disney Experience but it is an add-on service within the same app. They co-exist together, each with slightly different functions.
That wraps up what we know about the Disney Genie service so far. While we don’t know everything it will include right now, it certainly seems like Disney is swinging for the fences with this one and if accepted by the public it will change the way you plan your trips from here on.
If you have a trip coming up, make sure to read our Disney World Planning Guide for all our best tips and info you will need.
I want to know what you think about the Disney Genie coming to Disney World…
- Are you looking forward to this new service?
- What features would you like it to have?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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