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Disney Genie Trip Planning Service | Guide & FAQs

In 2019 at the D23 Expo, Disney announced a new vacation planning app, the Disney Genie digital assistant. Since then, we’ve received a ton of updates about it, and now understand how it will work.

Disney Genie Disney World Planning App

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.

While we’ll mostly talk about the free Disney Genie service here, make sure to read our Guide to Genie+ and Lightning Lanes for a complete look at the FastPass+ replacement.

Let’s see what it will do…

(UPDATE) Disney Genie Launching October 19 at Disney World

Disney World Lightning Lane

After many months of waiting, we finally have an official debut date. Disney Genie service will launch on October 19, 2021, at the Walt Disney World Resort.

In their latest update, Disney also revealed the full pricing for the Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane individual attraction purchases. They also shared the full list of attractions eligible for Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane and there are 54 of them in total.

We were definitely surprised at some of the selections for individual purchases, but they include some of the most popular rides at the Disney World theme parks.

We also found out that individual attraction purchases will cost between $7-$15 per ride, per person. That’s significantly lower than the $24 maximum we were hearing.

Another important thing we learned is that once guests have made individual attraction purchases with the Lightning Lane, you will not be able to modify or cancel those reservations without an additional fee. So before you buy a ride, make sure you really want to do it and it fits in your schedule for the day.

This applies only for individual ride purchases, reservations made with Disney Genie+ can be changed at any time.

No launch date has been given at this time for Disney Genie at the Disneyland Resort, so stay tuned for more on that soon.

(UPDATE) Disney Genie Features Announced for Disney World and Disneyland

Disney Genie Planning App

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 NightDisney 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 World Disney Genie app

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+?

engine in Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run queue

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+?

start Disney World Online Check-In Service in My Disney Experience

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.

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.

Full List of Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane Attractions

Disney Genie+ Attractions List

In total there are 40+ attractions that will be available through Disney Genie+ and 8 available as individual purchases through the Lightning Lane. Here is the list of confirmed attractions at this time:

Magic Kingdom

Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections:

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

Individual Lightning Lane Selections:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain

EPCOT

Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections:

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE – (Green and Orange versions)
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Individual Lightning Lane Selections:

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Hollywood Studios

Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections:

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage
  • Disney Jr. Dance Party
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – Returning December 19, 2021
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania!

Individual Lightning Lane Selections:

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Animal Kingdom

Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections:

  • Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King
  • DINOSAUR
  • Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Naʻvi River Journey
  • The Animation Experience

Individual Lightning Lane Selections:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

What is Disney Lightning Lane?

Pirates of the Caribbean ride skeleton scene

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 costs between $7 – $15 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 $15 per person, a family of 4 is looking at spending an extra $60 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

Flight of Passage ride vehicles

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:

Magic Kingdom:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain

EPCOT:

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Hollywood Studios:

  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Animal Kingdom Kingdom:

  • Avatar: Flight of Passage
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris

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 eventually 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?

Imagination! pavilion EPCOT from the Monorail

Disney has recently announced that the Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ services will launch on October 19, 2021, at Walt Disney World. This also includes individual attraction purchases with Lightning Lane.

Disney has been working on the Disney Genie service for some time now and they wanted it to be ready in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.  The official celebration started on October 1, 2021, so Disney Genie will be ready only weeks later, and it will be available for the rest of the celebration.

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. 

At this time there is no released date for Disney Genie at the Disneyland Resort. Stay tuned for more on that soon.

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.

Expedition Everest Disney's Animal Kingdom

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?

Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in Fantasyland Magic Kingdom

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.

Your Thoughts

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!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

Meet the Author of Ziggy Knows Disney!

George Peter

Monday 18th of July 2022

Sorry WDW there was a “Magical Time” when you were “Worth the Visit”! That time has long been gone since your raising admission prices to suit only the Rich! Bye Bye Disney! Haven't visited since 2010 and have absolutely Zero Plans to visit any time in the foreseeable future!

lll-dtw

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

Will we still be able to use our Magic Bands to scan for the rides instead of our phones? The average park visit is about 9+ hours in a day and most cell phones batteries with moderate to heavy use will be quickly depleted in less than that time. I know mine, being an older phone, will only last for the first half of the day and I would spend the rest of the day looking for an outlet and having to wait for it to recharge. Obviously, we wouldn't be able to ride many rides. Carrying a portable charger would be difficult since it would only be myself and my 9-year-old daughter. Another problem, the signal in the park during peak times isn't always reliable. Also, my daughter thinks they should have named one of the Lightening rounds something different. Too confusing.

Jeff Porter

Wednesday 25th of August 2021

My favorite thing about WDW was that as soon as you entered the park we were all equal. It didn’t matter what your ethnicity, race, gender or financial status was. We all paid the same price for the ticket and we all got the same 3 FREE fast passes. Everyone and everything was fair and equal. I always told people that while Universal, Cedar Point in Ohio and other parks had "pay to skip the lines service" WDW did not and maintained a fair and equal system for all. Disney Genie eliminates that. Disney Genie creates privilege for those who can afford to PAY to have a more convenient WDW experience. I’m sure you know the a WDW vacation is not cheap and some people save for years to bring their family there and for some its a once in a lifetime vacation. Now they wait in longer lines so the more financially affluent people can walk right past them. I admit that when I took my grandson to Cedar Point in Ohio in 2016 it was busy so I bought their Fast Lane Passes. After seeing families standing in long lines for hours as we walked past them over and over again I felt extremely guilty and I will NEVER pay for that privilege again. What right do I have to make them wait so I can have a better experience just because I can afford it and they can’t. I also visited Universal 2 years ago and refused to pay for their Express Pass. So my family and I stood in long lines while others walked past us over and over again. With the state of the world now and its outrage about race, privilege and fairness why implement a system that causes it. Please go back to the 3 free fast passes for everyone and let us all be equal regardless of who we are when we are in a WDW theme park.

Sandra Hudec

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Thank you so much for all of the information you provide. It is both interesting and very valuable in terms of planning for the next Disney trip. It is disappointing, however, that there will be added costs to an already expensive day. It would be better if they kept the Fast Pass system and just added on to the original cost of the ticket instead of all the individual charges.

Cheryl Cain

Monday 23rd of August 2021

Shame on Disney!! This is nothing but a cash grab. They may be desperate to recoup some of their losses, but this is not the way to do it. I feel that the whole Disney experience is slowly being eroded. They are essentially taking away all the best parts---- no more 'Magic Bands', no more 'Magical Express', and now no more 'Fast Passes'! Apparently, they think that people don't already pay enough for a Disney vacation.?? I seriously hope this backfires on them-- I would like to see everyone boycott Disney World and Disneyland, for that matter. I have always thought of Disney as my 'happy place' and was very disappointed when we had to cancel 3 times in the last couple years, but sadly, I think this is the end of Disney for us now.