With Disney launching its new paid FastPass service, the number one question people visiting Walt Disney World and Disneyland want to know is: “Is Genie Plus worth it? After all, it used to be free to skip the lines for your favorite rides, and now you have to pay?
Don’t worry, in this post, we are going to answer the question: “Is Disney Genie Plus Worth It?” We will explain in detail how much it costs, what is included with Genie+, what isn’t included, and how much value you are getting when you buy the service.
We’ll also break down in which theme parks it actually makes sense to buy Genie Plus. Just because the service is available at the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually worth buying it at all 4 parks.
For those who are looking for a quick answer to whether Genie+ is worth the extra cost or not, the answer is “Yes” but it depends on many factors including your personal budget, how much time you have, and how many rides you want to do per day.
We understand that visiting Walt Disney World is already one of the most expensive vacations the average family will take, so naturally, before handing over your credit card to Disney, you want to know if it’s actually worth it.
The truth is, the answer is different for each family, and we’ll break down all the factors.
Thankfully, we’ve spent countless hours touring the parks using the Genie+ service and Lightning Lanes, and we can share from our viewpoint the cost/value ratio. That way you can be as informed as possible before making the decision.
If you decide that Disney Genie+ is not worth it for your family we have some alternatives that will help you tour the parks in the most efficient way possible.
If you haven’t checked them out already, we recommend reading these other guides to the Disney Genie+ service. They will be a huge help as you are planning your trip:
- The Complete Guide to Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes at Disney World
- How to Purchase Genie+ and Use It Properly
- How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Attractions & Prices
- FREE Disney Genie Service | The Complete Guide
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest changes to Lightning Lanes, Genie Plus, and other Disney vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!
Table of Contents
What is Disney Genie+?
So before knowing if Genie+ is worth it or not, you first need to know what it is.
In a nutshell, Disney Genie+ is a paid service that allows guests to skip the lines for attractions in the theme parks. It replaces FastPass+ at Disney World and FastPass/MaxPass in Disneyland and operates in a similar manner.
Genie+ gives guests access to the “Lightning Lanes Entrance” allowing them shorter wait times in line for multiple attractions throughout the day. The “Lightning Lane” is just a new name for the old FastPass queue.
Not having to wait in long lines for the rides you book with Genie+ means you are going to save a ton of time and can spend that time shopping, dining, or riding other attractions.
How Does Genie Plus Work?
With Disney Genie+ guests pay a flat fee per guest, per day, which gives you access to the majority of the attractions in a given park. Once guests have the service, they can book reservations for individual rides at various intervals throughout the day.
Not all attractions in each park are available with the Genie+ list, but the majority of them are. Only the 2 most popular attractions in each park are left off the list, and those are available for purchase individually (a la carte).
Reservations for the Genie+ service are made through the My Disney Experience app. Before making reservations, you need to purchase the Genie+ service for the day. Once you have the service you can begin making reservations at 7:00 am on the morning you are visiting that park.
To make a reservation, open the My Disney Experience app, and go to the “Tip Board.” There you will see a list of all the attractions available to book with Genie+ in that park.
Just click on the “LL Disney Genie+” button to book the experience at the next available time.
To book your next Genie+ attraction you have to wait 120 minutes or tap into the queue of the attraction you currently have a reservation for. Once either of those terms is met, you will be able to book your next attraction.
Again, for a more in-depth explanation of how Genie+ works, read our Disney Genie Plus Complete Guide.
What’s the Difference Between the Free Genie Service and Genie Plus?
The Disney Genie+ service can be quite confusing at times due to similar names being used for different services. Many people wonder: “What’s the difference between the Free Disney Genie Service and Genie+? What about Individual Lightning Lanes?”
Let’s break them down for you as easy as possible:
Free Disney Genie Service – This is a day planning service included in the My Disney Experience app free of charge. It lets you put in your interests, favorite attractions, and other experiences you want to do in that park, and it gives you suggestions on how to plan your day accordingly.
It displays current standby wait times, dining options, mobile ordering, and it uses its algorithm to tell you what order you should do each ride in order to save time. (We’ve had mixed results relying on this.)
Disney Genie+ – This is a paid service that replaced FastPass+ and allows you to skip the standby lines for attractions using the “Lightning Lane.” You pay a flat fee each day you use the service and you can make reservations for the rides of your choice.
Individual Lightning Lanes – This is a pay-per-ride service that lets guests skip the lines at select attractions, one ride at a time. It’s ride-skipping a la carte. This is different than having access to a group of attractions like with Genie+, but it also sends guests through the “Lightning Lane.”
All three of these options use My Disney Experience, but as you can see they are totally different from each other.
How Much Does Disney Genie+ Cost?
Unfortunately, to use the Disney Genie Plus service, it’s not free like FastPass+ used to be, instead, you need to pay for it.
Walt Disney World
Here are some of the price ranges for Genie+ in Disney World:
Genie+ costs between $15 and $29 per person, per day at Walt Disney World (plus tax). This depends on what type of Genie+ package you buy. Prices are dynamic and change daily. For example:
Genie+ Multiple Parks Pass – This costs between $20-$29 per person, per day at Walt Disney World (plus tax). This let’s you park hop and use Genie+ in as many parks as you want in one day.
Genie+ for Individual Parks – If you are not park hopping and only going to one park per day, you can get a Genie+ pass for any individual park.
- Disney’s Magic Kingdom – $20-$29 per person, per day
- EPCOT – $15-$21 per person, per day
- Hollywood Studios – $20-$26 per person, per day
- Animal Kingdom – $15-$18 per person, per day
When Genie+ was first introduced it cost a flat fee of $15 per person ($15.98 with taxes). Now Disney has changed the pricing structure and introduced date-based variable pricing for Genie+. Basically, that means Disney can raise or lower the price whenever they like.
Let’s say when you are visiting the price is at the low end and it costs $15.98 including tax. At first glance, paying $15.98 doesn’t sound like a bad deal to skip the lines at your favorite attractions. However, the cost can really add up quickly if you have a big group or are staying for many days.
For example, if you are a family of 4, that $15.98 charge comes out to a total of $63.92 for every day you use Genie+. Keep in mind, this is on top of what you’ve already paid for park tickets which could be in the thousands of dollars.
If you decide to use Genie+ for 5 days, that $63.92 becomes $319.60!
Now if the Price is $20 per person when you visit, that will cost a family of 4 $80 per day before tax, and if you decide to use it all 5 days of your trip you’re now looking at over $400!
If the price is at its max of $29 per person, that’s a huge increase and a total of $116 per day before tax, and $580 total for 5 days!
You will need to consider how much you want Genie+ to eat into your total vacation budget. For some families, an extra $300-$600+ is no big deal, but for others, it could make a big difference.
Instead of purchasing Genie+, you may decide that the extra money could be better spent on souvenirs, a really nice dinner in one of Disney World’s best restaurants, or even an extra night or two at your Disney World Resort hotel.
Remember, not every guest in your group is required to purchase Disney Genie+. If some of the people in your group do not go on many rides, Genie+ is probably not worth it for them. However, others may find great value if they are going on lots of attractions.
You will have to take this into consideration before purchasing Genie+.
Disney Genie+ costs $25-$30 per person, per day at the Disneyland Resort, and there are no additional taxes or fees added to the total price.
The same factors should be taken into consideration at Disneyland as they would be at Walt Disney World, and the price is even more expensive here. For a family of 4 at $25 per person, you are talking about $100 extra per day.
Could that extra $100 be put to better use paying for other experiences?
At both resorts, this is a question we cannot decide for you. You have to take a look at your own family budget and decide whether you are willing to spend that extra money for Genie+ or if it could be better allocated somewhere else.
What’s Included in Genie Plus?
In order to evaluate if Genie+ is truly worth your hard-earned money, we need to know just exactly what is included in the service.
The main advantage to using Disney Genie Plus is that it allows you to experience shorter wait times for most of the attractions in the theme parks. You can reserve a spot in line without having to physically stand in it, then return when it’s your turn to ride.
Guests get the most value from Genie+ if you are traveling in a large group or with young children as it can save you some serious time. This is essentially the same thing that the old FastPass+ service did, only now you pay for it.
Attractions Included with Genie+
Here is a list of all the attractions and experiences included with the Genie+ service at Walt Disney World:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
- Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
- Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
- Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Space Mountain
- 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
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Frozen Ever After
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE – Green
- Mission: SPACE – Orange
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
- Disney Junior Play & Dance!
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Meet Disney Stars at Red Carpet Dreams
- Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
- Toy Story Mania!
- Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Feathered Friends in Flight!
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Naʻvi River Journey
- The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
Besides saving you time in line, Genie+ also comes with some extra features that you may enjoy.
Disney PhotoPass Lens – This lets you take themed photos throughout the parks using a variety of Disney filters on your mobile device. These are fun to use and you can manipulate your surroundings, turn yourself into a Genie, and add your favorite characters into the photos like Mickey Mouse, etc.
They are pretty wild and you can make some very funny photos you will enjoy for many years after your trip.
Disney PhotoPass On-Ride Photos – Guests can now receive their on-ride photos for free as part of the Genie+ service. All ride photos for that day will be automatically uploaded into your My Disney Experience account where you can download them.
Other PhotoPass photos from around the park such as with the characters and in front of the landmarks like Cinderella Castle are not included with Genie+ and you will need to purchase the standards PhotoPass service separately if you want those.
Audio Tales – These are audio clips to listen to that provide extra information and trivia about the parks and attractions you probably didn’t know before. They can be fun to listen to while passing the time in line for an attraction.
We don’t think these extra features justify the extra cost that Genie+ incurs, and your main motive for buying the service should be the line-skipping aspect. However, some of them are fun to use if you are buying it anyway.
What’s Not Included in the Price?
Even though the Disney Genie+ service does include more than 40 attractions and experiences at Disney World, not all of the attractions are included.
The single most popular attraction at each of the 4 theme parks requires an additional fee to use the Lightning Lane and skip the standby queue. These are called Individual Lightning Lane attractions and are purchased a la carte separately from the Genie+ service.
The attractions not included with Genie Plus are:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- TRON Lightcycle Run
- Avatar Flight of Passage
Each of these attractions costs an additional $10-$25 per person if you want to use the Lightning Lane to skip the standby queue.
While there are a bunch of rides included with Genie+, it is pretty frustrating to not have access to the best attractions in each park, like Rise of the Resistance or Flight of Passage. It makes you feel like Disney is trying to squeeze out every last dollar they can get from you, on top of park tickets and the Genie+ service.
A vacation to Walt Disney World is already super expensive, so to feel like you are being nickeled and dimed can be discouraging.
How Many Attractions Per Day with Genie Plus?
One of the biggest factors in deciding whether Genie+ is worth it or not is figuring out how many attractions you can realistically do in a day using the service, and then comparing that to the number of rides you can do without buying it.
So how many can you actually do in one day?
This isn’t an easy question to answer and depends on a variety of factors including how busy the park is that day you are visiting, which rides you make reservations for, and if there are refurbishments happening in the park at that time.
Disney’s official answer is that “on average, guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences per day using the Lighting Lane entrance if the first selection is made early in the day.”
This is a very conservative estimation, and we routinely are able to book much more than that.
From our experience using Disney Genie+, we are on average able to book 5 or 6 Genie+ attractions per day.
Again, this will vary based on all those previous factors we listed, but in general 5-6 attractions is the normal result.
Technically, the number of Genie+ rides you can in a day is limited only to the number of attractions there are in that park. For example, Hollywood Studios currently has 15 Genie+ experiences, so theoretically, it is possible to do all 15 in one day. However, other people will be booking up the inventory of reservations throughout the day, so the real number will be much lower than that.
Keep in mind too that each guest is limited to riding the same attraction with Genie+ only once per day. You cannot keep booking the same ride over and over again.
If you want to ride the same attraction more than once per day, you can do it once with Genie+ and then as many other times as you want using the standby queue.
Now it’s important to keep in mind that for some of those 5 or 6 Genie+ attractions you are able to book each day, you would have been able to ride anyway even without using Genie+. It would have taken up more time, but some of them you would have been able to squeeze in anyway.
Also, only 3 or maybe 4 of the 6 attractions are actually valuable attractions to have a Genie+ pass for.
Obviously, the most popular attractions in a given park are going to have the longest lines. And avoiding long lines is the whole point of purchasing Genie+. So naturally, we want to use our limited number of ride reservations each day on the rides with the longest lines. In the Magic Kingdom, those are attractions like Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, etc.
Genie+ isn’t worth buying if you are just going to book rides that normally don’t have very long standby queues to begin with. Booking Mad Tea Party or Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor would be a waste since those attractions rarely have wait times of more than 20-30 minutes tops.
Unfortunately, if you are able to book 6 Genie+ attractions in one day, on average only the first 3, maybe 4 attractions are actually worth having Lightning Lane passes for. The last 2 or 3 are really throwaways because you wouldn’t have waited long in the queue anyway.
So when taking all these factors into consideration, we’ve estimated that Disney Genie+ is really only giving you 2 or 3 more attractions per day than you otherwise would have been able to ride without purchasing it.
Of course, those 2 or 3 attractions may make a big difference and could save you 2-3 hours than if you didn’t use Genie+, which you’ll have to take into consideration before buying it.
How Many Genie+ Reservations Can You Have At One Time?
Guests can make one Genie+ reservation at a time and are required to wait another 120 minutes before booking the next attraction. However, it is possible to hold more than one reservation at a time depending on when you book the experiences and what return times you are given.
It’s possible to hold multiple reservations at once if you are given late return times for your experiences. We’ve held as many as 4 Genie+ reservations at once while visiting the parks.
For example, let’s say you are going to the Magic Kingdom and you book your first Genie+ attraction of the day at 7:00 am. It is for Peter Pan’s Flight with a return time of 4:00 pm. If the park opens at 9:00 am, you can make your second reservation at 11:00 am. (If you book your first attraction of the day BEFORE the official park opening, you must wait 120 minutes from the park opening and not 7:00 am when you booked it.)
At 11:00 when you can make your second reservation you will then have a total of two at the same time. You can book your third reservation at 1:00 pm, so if you still haven’t redeemed any of your Lightning Lane reservations, you can see how they can keep accumulating for a while.
Which Parks Does it Make Sense to Buy Genie Plus?
While Disney Genie+ can be a useful service at the theme parks, it doesn’t mean that it is worth it at ALL of the 4 theme parks at Walt Disney World.
In fact, in our experience, some of the theme parks don’t have enough attractions to make it worth the extra cost, and you can do just fine without Genie+. On the other hand, other parks have plenty of rides and you can get good value out of the service.
Here are our park-by-park recommendations for Genie+:
Disney’s Magic Kingdom is the best park to use Genie+ and it is where you are going to get the most value for the cost if you choose to buy it.
There are more than 20 Genie+ attractions here which means there are plenty to choose from. This is a plus because, in some of the other parks, there are so few attractions that it’s not worth using Genie+. Instead, the Magic Kingdom has a ton of them which means you have more choices as the day goes on and the more popular ones sell out.
Is It Worth It?: Yes, absolutely! This is the best park in Disney World to use Genie+.
There are way fewer rides at EPCOT than at the Magic Kingdom, so it makes it harder to justify buying Genie+, but recently, it’s getting more tempting.
With Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opening and being added as the only Individual Lightning Lane attraction at the moment, Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure have both been moved over from Individual Lightning Lane to the Genie+ list of attractions, at least for the time being.
Add those to Test Track and Soarin’ as the 4 attractions that would want to skip the lines at. That is certainly an upgrade over just big attractions a few months ago. All the other attractions usually have low wait times making Genie+ not necessary.
Even with Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure switching over to Genie+, it probably still doesn’t make it worth purchasing here. You can just rope drop one of the most popular rides and do standby for the rest and easily finish them in one day.
The only way I would do it is if you are only going for half of the day or will be spending a lot of time at one of the festivals and still want to do as many rides as possible.
Is It Worth It?: No, probably not. It seems excessive here unless you are really strapped for time.
There aren’t a ton of rides at Hollywood Studios, but most of them have long wait times and benefit from skipping the queue with Genie+. Tower of Terror, Slinky Dog Dash, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Toy Story Mania are all in the Genie+ lineup here and tend to have long lines.
Even if you can only get 2 of them, it will likely be a big time-saver that you can then use to see some of the shows or have a nice meal in one of the Hollywood Studios restaurants.
Then you can either rope drop Rise of the Resistance or buy an Individual Lightning Lane if you don’t want to wait.
Is It Worth It?: Yes, it is. Hollywood Studios is the only other park besides Magic Kingdom where we recommend using Genie+ and it will save you a good amount of time.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of our favorite parks, but it also has very few attractions. Few attractions mean not a lot of value for Genie+. Expedition Everest and Flight of Passage, two of the best attractions in the park use the Individual Lightning Lane. You can even be a solo rider if you do the standby queue.
That leaves you with only Kilimanjaro Safaris, Na’vi River Journey, and Dinosaur as worthy Genie+ reservations. Besides those things, there isn’t much that has a long line which makes Genie+ overkill imo.
Is It Worth It?: No, it definitely is not worth it. The Animal Kingdom is the worst WDW theme park to use Genie+ and not worth the money.
Does it Make Sense to Use Genie+ with Park Hopper?
Another big question many guests have is if you should use Genie+ with a park hopper ticket. We actually like this strategy and think they both work together quite well.
Why would you use them both?
Let’s say you planned on going to one park in the morning and another in the afternoon. By the time that you get to the second park, the wait times are bound to be very long for most of the attractions.
In this case, we recommend rope dropping the first park so you can do the best rides before the crowds get there, while at the same time you start booking Genie+ reservations for the second park.
If you time it correctly, you can have Genie+ reservations for 2-3 attractions just waiting there for you by the time you arrive, right at the same time when the park is at its busiest and other guests are waiting in long lines and you can just skip right past them.
Read our Guide to Park Hopping in Disney World for more info.
What About Rise of the Resistance?
Unfortunately, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is not available as a Genie+ attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is not included in the basket of rides Instead, it is an Individual Lightning Lane selection and can be purchased separately as a one-time purchase/ride. The ILL is your only chance to skip the queue.
If you don’t feel like paying for it, Rise of the Resistance uses the standby queue, but that means waiting in line, sometimes as much as 3+ hours just to ride.
This is actually the one attraction we don’t mind paying for since it will save you some serious time. To us, paying the $20 here is absolutely worth it most of the time. Prices here can get up to $25, but during the busy holiday season we still think in most cases it’s worth it for the time saved.
If you still don’t want to pay for it, one suggestion is to wake up early and be one of the first people in the park to rope drop the attraction. If you do that, just make sure you are there at least one hour before park opening, otherwise, the wait time will still be 1 or 2 hours long.
Another option is to go at the end of the evening right before the park closes. The listed wait time is often still 90 minutes or more, but it usually is nowhere near that in reality when you go through the queue.
Who Should Use Genie Plus (or pros and cons)
Now, let’s break down who should use Disney Genie+ and what are some of the main benefits of doing so. You may find it’s worth it if you meet any of the following criteria:
You Don’t Like Waiting in Lines
This is the most obvious reason and the most valid one. No matter when you go to Disney World, there will always be lines for the most popular rides.
Genie Plus lets you spend as little time in the queues as possible and lets you enjoy other areas in the parks like dining or shows instead.
On the other hand, if you have a medical problem, you may qualify for DAS (Disability Access Service) which lets you skip a bunch of the lines without paying anything.
To Ride as Many Attractions As Possible
If you are the type of “power visitor” that likes to plow through the theme parks knocking out as many attractions as humanly possible, there is no doubt that Genie+ will help you achieve this goal.
For this strategy, you should rope drop the park early in the morning so you can get as many rides in as possible before the big crowds come later in the day. At the same time, start making Genie+ selections so that you can also skip the lines at some of the bigger attractions.
If You Are a Late Riser
Let’s face it, not all of us like to wake up early in the morning and rope drop the theme parks every day of our vacation. Sure it is the most effective way of touring the parks, but sometimes it’s also nice to relax a bit and take it easy in the morning, especially if you have little kids.
If that is your case, Genie+ can come in handy because it lets you book rides in advance so you can already have them ready and waiting by the time you get to the park. Depending on how late you plan on showing up, this may be as many as 2-3 attractions.
Yes, you still have to wake up at 7:00 am to make your first reservation, but at least you can go right back to sleep after that.
You are Pressed for Time
Sometimes you just don’t have a whole day to tour a park but you would still like to do a bunch of the attractions. This can happen when you only have a half-day for the parks due to another experience somewhere or on a travel day when you are arriving or leaving.
Purchasing Genie+ will maximize the short amount of time you do have available and let you ride the most attractions possible.
You Have a “Must-Do” Attraction
If there is one attraction you absolutely MUST ride, Genie+ can be a good option. This is especially the case if the ride tends to have really long wait times.
Slinky Dog Dash is a good example of this. Wait times here can easily be 2 hours long, and unless you are one of the first people in line, that’s a lot of waiting. Some people in your party might even grumble and not want to wait that long, ruining the opportunity for the others.
Instead, if you get Genie+, you can make a reservation and not have to worry about the lines.
If you do have a “must-do” attraction, make this your first Genie+ reservation of the day. The more popular rides can sell out quickly in the day, and by the time you get to your second booking window, that ride you really wanted to do might be gone.
You Want to Ride One of the Most Popular Rides More Than Once
Genie+ can be a good option if there is a particular attraction you really love and want to ride it twice on the same day. No, you can’t make two Genie Plus reservations for that ride, but you can do it once in the standby queue, and the other time through Genie+.
If you rope drop this particular attraction, that can be even more effective because the wait time will be short when you do the standby queue, and you won’t have to wait long when you redeem your Genie+ reservation either.
Your Vacation is During One of the Busier Times of the Year
Genie+ can be a big time saver if you are visiting during a holiday when there is a special event going on (marathons, celebrations), or just during the busier times of the year.
When the parks are full, even attractions that normally only have wait times of 30 minutes can shoot up to 60 minutes or more. We’ve experienced that a lot recently and have been able to use Genie+ to save some serious time.
In the Magic Kingdom, for example, we booked Splash Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, “it’s a small world,” and Big Thunder Mountain with Genie+ and saved a total of 160 minutes over what we would have waited if we did those attractions with the standby queue.
Who Should NOT Use Genie Plus
There are also a bunch of reasons why buying the Genie Plus service may not be a good fit for you. Here is who should NOT use Genie+:
You Have a Tight Budget
While Genie+ can be a great time-saver, it can also be a big drain on your budget, especially if you have a big family. A family of five will cost you anywhere from $75-$150 per day to use Genie+, and that adds up quickly. That money could be better spent on meals, merchandise, or your hotel room.
You Don’t Ride Many Attractions
The whole purpose of Genie+ is to skip the lines at the attractions, but if you don’t ride very many of them anyway, it probably won’t be worth it. This is especially true for small children, older guests, or people that get sick easily on rides.
If you only do 4-5 rides a day at the most, Genie+ is probably not a good value.
You Don’t Go On the Thrill Rides
It also depends on the kind of rides you do. The thrill rides usually tend to be the most popular and hence have the longest wait times. So if you don’t do roller coasters or other thrill rides, you can probably skip Genie+.
Your Vacation is One Week or More
This one depends on how many park days you plan on doing during that time. Usually, when we plan a long trip, we end up dedicating 2 days to each park, or at least 2 partial days.
If that sounds like your vacation, Genie+ is probably not worth it. In that case, you have plenty of time to ride the attractions, and even if you aren’t able to complete all the rides in a given park in one day, you can still return another day and do the ones you didn’t get to before.
You Don’t Want to Be Glued to Your Phone All Day
One of the things we hate the most about the Genie Plus service is that it really keeps you hooked to your phone for a good part of the day. You need to use your mobile device to buy Genie+ and to book your attractions.
But since you can’t do this ahead of time, it means you need to keep booking experiences throughout the day. This can interfere with dining, other attractions, shows, interacting with family and friends, or soaking up the theming in your environment.
You also should set your alarm so you don’t miss your next booking window. As if we aren’t already too attached to our devices with taking photos and ordering food with Mobile Order, now Genie+ makes it even worse.
Your Vacation is During a Slow Time of the Year
If you go during one of the “slower” times of the year, you probably won’t need Genie+. Attraction times tend to be much more reasonable, so you won’t get quite as much time savings per attraction as you might when wait times are twice as long.
That being said, during the off-season, Genie+ reservations last much longer into the day, especially for the popular rides. That means you may be able to squeak out an extra ride or two per day, which may, in fact, make it worth your while.
Using a Disney Crowd Calendar can help figure out when the best time to go is and avoid the crowds.
Is Genie+ Worth It at Disney World?
So, is Genie+ actually worth the extra cost at Disney World? Our answer is: YES, Disney Genie+ is worth it, but not for everyone.
If you have room in your budget and you are a family who likes to do many attractions per day, then yes, you will probably find some value in the Disney Genie Plus service. That being said, it’s not worth buying at all 4 theme parks, and it’s not a good idea to buy it for every day of your vacation.
We recommend buying it for Disney’s Magic Kingdom since there are plenty of attractions and you won’t easily run out of experiences to book. You will be able to do more Genie+ attractions here than at the other parks which gives you good value.
We also like using Genie+ at Hollywood Studios since there are a lot of E-Ticket attractions it’s useful for. We don’t recommend using Genie+ at EPCOT or Animal Kingdom. There aren’t enough attractions to make it worthwhile and it’s a waste of money in our opinion.
The question of value has also changed now that Disney has introduced a date-based pricing structure for Genie+. Before it was a $15 flat fee no matter when you visited, now the price can range anywhere from $15-$29.
That does change things a bit, and we would be leerier about recommending the service when it’s over $20-$25. We have yet to personally buy it at the $29 max, and we would only consider doing that on the busiest days of the year (major holidays), and even then it could be a stretch.
For us personally, we have our budget limits and we are much more comfortable buying Genie+ when it’s closer to $20 each. One positive thing that has been added is on-ride attraction photos which are now included in the Genie+ service. This adds even more value, especially on the lower-priced days.
It all comes down to how much you value your time when on a Disney World vacation. Genie+ is definitely the best way to make the most of your time and using it will help you get more attractions done than if you don’t use it. This can be valuable if your vacation is less than a week long and time is of the essence.
On the other hand, if you have a longer vacation planned, with multiple days in each park, Genie+ is not worth the cost. It’s also a very frustrating system to use at times, and not nearly as efficient as its West Coast counterpart.
The bottom line is if you are pressed for time or really want to minimize the time you spend standing in line, Genie+ can be a valuable tool. Just make sure to use it strategically, in the right parks, and for guests who will take advantage of the extra rides that it lets you do. If you do that it will be a big help when touring Disney World.
How to Buy Genie Plus at Disney World
At this time, there is only one way to purchase Disney Genie Plus:
- Single-Day Purchase
Per Day – You can buy Genie+ for a single day of your vacation starting at 12:00 am on the day you will be using it. If you are going to Hollywood Studios on October 1, Genie+ will be available for purchase starting at midnight on October 1.
You can make single-day purchases of Genie+ as many times as you want throughout your vacation. You can purchase it for 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, etc. However many days you decide that it is worth it.
Whole Vacation – You can no longer purchase Genie+ ahead of time to buy it for your entire vacation. You used to be able to add it to your vacation package before your arrival and have Genie+ automatically for every day of your trip.
We never recommended doing that anyway, so it’s not a big change in your strategy.
If you still want to Genie+ for every day of your vacation, you will have to wake up early each morning and purchase it on the day you plan on using it. Genie+ is subject to availability, so if you delay it may fill up before you have a chance to purchase it, especially on holidays or other busy days of the year.
Technically, it’s available for purchase at midnight on the day of your visit, so if you are up late, it’s a good idea to buy it then and not wait until the morning.
For more information and step-by-step instructions, read our post How to Purchase Genie Plus at Disney World.
Does Disney Genie+ Sell Out?
Recently, Disney made a change and it is possible for the Genie+ service to sell out on a given day. Genie+ is subject to availability, which means the number of guests who can purchase the service each day is limited.
Again, this is more likely on days when the parks are extremely busy like holidays or special events. If you are visiting during those times, you can purchase Genie+ at any time after midnight on the day of your visit and we highly recommend doing that.
Besides the Genie+ service, reservations to the attractions most certainly sell out each day. This is especially true with the most popular attractions in each park. In fact, they can sometimes sell out minutes after the booking window opens.
There is a limited number of reservations every day for each ride, and the popular ones sell out first. Make sure to prioritize these ones and book them first. Don’t waste a reservation on rides that normally don’t have a long standby queue.
Is Genie+ Worth the $30 Fee at Disneyland?
Even though Genie Plus is more expensive at Disneyland and California Adventure, it may be an even better overall value. Sure, it costs between $25 and $30 per person instead of the $15-$29 in Walt Disney World, but it’s a much more efficient system, and you can book more attractions each day than you can in Disney World.
If you are a small party and do not visit Disneyland very often, we think Genie+ is totally worth the $25 fee that it costs, even $30. You will save a ton of time and be able to ride more attractions than you otherwise would, this is especially true during the busy season or on holidays.
If you are visiting in the off-season, you probably won’t need Genie+ since with low crowds you will already be able to ride all the big attractions. However, if you do buy Genie+ when crowds are low, you can use it to potentially ride the E-Ticket attractions twice in one day.
On a recent trip to Disneyland, we bought Genie+ even though the crowds were not bad, and we were able to do all our favorites (Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Pirates, etc) twice, once in a standby queue and once with Genie+.
The extra features Genie+ gives you at Disneyland like PhotoPass downloads are the icing on the cake.
If you have a large group of people it could get really expensive using Genie+ and it is harder to say if it’s worth the extra money or not and you’ll have to evaluate if your budget allows it or not.
If you are a Disneyland local, Genie+ is not worth it in our opinion, and it’s also not worth it if you are visiting the parks on multiple days. In that case, there is plenty of time to do all the rides without paying the extra money.
Genie+ vs. MaxPass and FastPass
So far, we think Genie+ is a much superior system when compared to the old MaxPass or FastPass services at Disneyland.
Genie+ is very similar to the other two, and Disneyland visitors who were used to the old systems will pick up the new one very quickly. However, the time you have to wait to return and ride the attraction is much shorter with Genie+ than it was with the other two.
For example, in the past when you booked an attraction with MaxPass or FastPass, the return times were often 4 or 5 hours into the future. This severely limited the number of rides you could do in one day.
Instead, Genie+ doesn’t even have return times so once you make a reservation, you can immediately head over to the attraction and ride it. You might wait a maximum of 10-20 minutes, but that’s it.
With Genie+, you can do all the major attractions at Disneyland in one day, and still have time left over to enjoy other experiences. The Genie+ system at Disneyland works MUCH better than at Walt Disney World, and it makes us jealous that we don’t get the same thing in Florida.
Are Individual Lightning Lanes Worth the Extra Cost?
Now that we’ve helped you decide if the Disney Genie+ service is worth it or not, what about Individual Lightning Lane attractions?
Remember, Genie+ includes the majority of the attractions in a given park, but NOT all of them. The two most popular ones are left off the list and only available as a pay-per-ride option.
Individual Lightning Lane selections cost between $10-$25 per ride, per guest, so just like with Genie+, the total cost can add up in a flash, especially if you have a big group.
In our opinion, in general, it’s NOT worth it to purchase Individual Lightning Lane attractions.
I am really against the idea of spending more money on top of your ticket just to ride one attraction. It’s bad enough Genie+ costs extra money, but at least you have access to more than one attraction which gives it more value.
The only Individual Lightning Lane attraction I think is worth spending the money on is Rise of the Resistance. Since wait times can be 3 hours or longer, spending $15 extra is worth it to avoid that big waste of time. It even can be worth it when the price goes up to $20 or $25 in some cases.
However, unless you see wait times of more than 2 hours for the other Individual Lightning Lane attractions, I don’t recommend paying the extra fee to ride them.
The only other exception is for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and TRON Lightcycle Run. If you are not able to secure a boarding group for these attractions and you won’t be able to visit these parks again in the near future, you may want to consider purchasing an ILL here too.
Don’t worry though, you can purchase Genie+ without buying the a la carte Lighting Lane rides, and vice-versa.
Read our post on How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lanes for more detailed info and step-by-step instructions.
Alternatives to Disney Genie Plus
If you’ve miraculously read this entire article up to this point and have decided you do not want to spend the extra money on the Disney Genie Plus service, not all hope is lost. You won’t get quite as much done in some cases, but you can still have a great time.
Here are a few alternatives to Genie+ you can incorporate in order to have the best time possible:
Rope Dropping & Early Theme Park Entry
No matter if you are using Disney Genie+ or not, we always recommend waking up early and getting to the parks before the majority of the crowds. This can be done by using a rope-dropping strategy and taking advantage of Early Theme Park Entry.
Rope dropping a park means showing up at the entrance before the park actually opens for the day. The first two hours of any day are the most crucial and you often can do some of the most popular rides with minimal time spent waiting in line.
Once about 11:00 am comes, it’s all downhill from there until the evening and the crowds take over the parks and wait times skyrocket across the board. Even though this takes some sacrifice, rope dropping is well worth the effort and you’ll get way more done than if you don’t do it.
To properly rope drop a Disney park, we recommend showing up a MINIMUM of 1 hour before the listed park opening. This is because the Disney parks always open well before the listed opening time, and there will already be crowds waiting to get in.
That’s where Early Theme Park Entry also comes in. Walt Disney World Resort guests have an advantage over other guests not staying on property and they can actually enter the theme parks 30 minutes before the others.
Again, 30 minutes might not sound like much, but it could be the difference between waiting 90 minutes to ride Rise of the Resistance, or walking right on.
If you are eligible to use Early Theme Park Entry, we recommend showing up 90 minutes before park opening, which is really 60 minutes before Early Theme Park Entry is scheduled to open. This will give you the best advantage possible.
Study Wait Times Before Your Trip
We know you probably hate studying as much as we do, but watching wait times across the parks could actually come in useful when your trip arrives.
Starting about 1 week before your arrival, start looking at the My Disney Experience app every day and see which attractions tend to have the longest wait times in comparison to the others. You can also make note of what time of day those attractions seem to have the longest wait times.
This will give you a good idea of which attractions you need to prioritize early in the morning, and which ones you can put off until later in the day.
Of course, don’t go crazy and waste all your time looking at this, but opening it up a few times each day will give you a good enough idea of how to proceed.
Skip the Middle of the Day & Stay Late Instead
Since you no doubt will be listening to our advice about going early in the morning and rope-dropping the parks, taking a break in the middle of the day can be an excellent plan to get the most out of your day.
As you know, the middle of the day is the absolute worst time to try to ride attractions, and wait times can double from where they are in the morning or the evening. That’s why we recommend going back to your resort hotel and relaxing for a few hours by the pool or taking a nap in the room.
This way you can charge your batteries and return to the park in the late afternoon and stay late into the evening. Just like the beginning of the day, the evening can be a great time to ride attractions. People are eating dinner, have gone back to the resort, or will be watching one of the nighttime shows which reduces wait times on the rides.
Skipping the middle of the day is also a good idea in the hotter months of the year (May – October) as that midday sun can really wipe you out.
That brings this post to a conclusion, and we hope it helps you decide whether using Genie+ is worth it for you and your family or not. We know it can be really confusing at times, but hopefully, your decision is a bit easier now.
If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the coming future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.
- Disney World Vacation Planning Guide
- Disney World Crowd Calendar
- When are the Best Times to Visit Disney World?
I want to know what you think about the Disney Genie+ service at Disney World and Disneyland…
- Do you like using Genie+ Lanes?
- Is Disney Genie+ worth it to you?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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My name is Ziggy and I love Disney, everything Disney! I grew up on Disney and it has and continues to be a huge part of my life. I started young when my parents took me to Disney World when I was 18 months old. Little did they know that would be the first of an uncountable number of trips we would take. I have so many amazing memories going to Disney with my family and friends and it has been interwoven into my DNA.