Genie Plus at Disney World launched in 2021 and replaced Disney’s Fastpass+ system. The digital services include Disney Genie (which is free), Disney Genie+ (a paid add-on service), and Individual Lighting Lane purchases (available for select top-tiered attractions). They are built right into the My Disney Experience app, but they can be a bit confusing at first glance… especially if you were a big fan of the old FastPass+ system.
While navigating the new system can be a bit overwhelming at first for some, the two most common questions most have are… How does Disney Genie+ work? And is it worth the price?
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Planning a Disney World vacation in 2024? Be sure to check out our guide to all that the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer this year including the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the return of the Disney Dining Plan, and more! (You can also find our 2023 guide here!)
What is Disney Genie?
The basic Disney Genie service is complimentary to all park guests. (Disney Genie+ is a paid add-on, but more on that below…)
It is described by Disney as a way to help you “create your best Disney day.” You are able to “tell Disney Genie what you want to do and it will do the planning for you.” In other words, guests are able to personalize an itinerary to help map out their day in the park. This includes attractions, dining, entertainment, and more.
You simply input all of your wishes for a perfect day at Disney in the Disney Genie app, and the app “helps” to guide your day in the park. Also included with Disney Genie is the ability to use existing planning features such as joining virtual queues, dining reservations, mobile ordering, and more.
What is Disney Genie+?
Disney Genie+ is a paid add-on to your park ticket.
Guests are able to skip the standby line on select attractions for a daily fee. This fee will vary depending on the season and day. Peak days will cost more than non-peak days. Disney World’s cost starts at $15 per day per person (plus tax).
*Disney has announced that beginning June 27, 2023, park-specific Genie+ pricing will go into effect. Guests will be able to choose between a single-park option or a multiple-parks option.
- The multiple parks option will work the same as the current Genie+ with a valid Park Hopper. This also means you will still have to wait until after 2:00 PM to book Genie+ at your second park. Nothing changes when it comes to Genie+ booking rules.
- The single-park option will allow guests to purchase a potentially less expensive option for the park they are visiting that day.
Here’s an example of how pricing works. On June 27, 2023, prices will be:
- Multiple Parks: $27 per person
- Magic Kingdom: $27 per person
- Epcot: $18 per person
- Hollywood Studios: $24 per person
- Animal Kingdom: $16 per person
Gone are the days of reserving your FastPasses 30-60 days before your vacation. Your first selection can be made at 7:00 AM outside the park on the day of your visit. But remaining selections will be made once inside the park.
When making selections, you simply choose the next available time to arrive at a variety of attractions and experiences. Only one selection can be made at a time, and selections can be modified or canceled if needed. And instead of entering a FastPass lane at your chosen attraction, you enter what is now referred to as a “Lightning Lane” (which is basically the same thing with an updated name!) And if you’re one who loves to park hop, Lightning Lane selections can be used across multiple theme parks.
Additional features for those purchasing Disney Genie+ include Disney parks-themed audio experiences and photo features, such as augmented reality lenses for those visiting Walt Disney World Resort. Disney World also offers unlimited digital downloads of photos taken while on select attractions. *This does not include downloads of a Guest’s Disney PhotoPass photos or videos that were captured by Disney PhotoPass photographers.
It is also worth noting that select top-tier attractions will not be available for those purchasing Disney Genie+. They will only be available as an “Individual Attraction Selection.” See below for more details!
*As of June 8, 2022, Disney Genie+ is no longer offered as a pre-arrival park add-on to your ticket in Walt Disney World. In other words, it will only be available for purchase through the My Disney Experience app on the day of your visit. This is true whether you hold an Annual Pass or a multi- or single-day ticket. They will also be “subject to availability,” which is a huge change for the service.
So to recap…
- All guests will be able to make their first Genie+ selection at 7:00 AM on the day of their visit.
- Only one Genie+ selection can be made at a time.
- Genie+ selections can be modified or canceled if needed.
- Genie+ includes Disney parks-themed audio experiences and photo features.
Individual Attraction Selections
This à la carte option is completely separate from Disney Genie+.
Each park currently has one or two top-tier attractions available for this à la carte option, and these rides are not available to those with Disney Genie+. (Note: You do not have to purchase Disney Genie+ to purchase Individual Attractions. It is completely separate, and guests are free to purchase one or the other… or both.)
Pricing for this option will vary. But based on example pricing from Disney, it appears to be somewhere between $7-$20 per person depending on the date, the attraction, and the park. It is also worth noting that Individual Attraction Selections are non-refundable and cannot be modified or canceled.
Like Genie+, guests can make purchases at 7:00 AM on the day of their visit if staying at a Disney Resort Hotel.
So to recap…
- Guests can purchase access to the Lightning Lane of certain top-tier main attractions. This is separate from Disney Genie+ and will be available à la carte.
- Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will be able to make an Individual Lightning Lane attraction selection at 7:00 AM. (*Those not staying at a Disney Resort will have to wait until the park opens.)
- Unlike Genie+ Selections, Individual Attraction Selections are non-refundable and cannot be modified or canceled.
Disney World Lightning Lane Attractions
For those purchasing Genie+ (starting at $15 per day per ticket), Lightning Lane reservations can be made for these attractions at 7:00 AM. Only one reservation can be held at a time.
Magic Kingdom Park
- 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
- The Barnstormer
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Individual Attraction – prices will vary)
- TRON Lightcycle / Run (Individual Attraction – prices will vary)
- 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
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Individual Attraction – prices will vary)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- 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 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!
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Individual Attraction – prices will vary)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
- Festival of the Lion King
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Feathered Friends in Flight!
- Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
- Naʻvi River Journey
- The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
- Avatar Flight of Passage (Individual Attraction – prices will vary)
Standby Lines & Virtual Queues
Standby lines are not going anywhere. If you decide that you’d rather not purchase your way into a Lightning Lane, you will still be able to wait in line just as you always have in both Disneyland and Disney World.
In other words… purchasing a place in line will not be required. Guests are free to enjoy the complimentary Disney Genie service and wait in traditional standby lines, or you can choose to take advantage of the paid add-on options.
Virtual queues are sometimes utilized for the most popular, brand-new attractions. In Walt Disney World there are currently two attractions using a virtual queue:
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- TRON Lightcycle / Run
When the virtual queue is in place, a standby line will not be available. This means that guests are required to use the My Disney Experience app to enter the attraction. Visit our virtual queue guide for more information on how to snag a place in line for Disney’s most popular attractions!
Is Disney Genie Plus at Disney World Worth the Cost?
Many certainly have mixed emotions on this topic. After all, Disney’s FastPass+ service used to be complimentary to park guests in Walt Disney World. And if that wasn’t enough… not every attraction is available on the Disney Genie Plus service. Top-tier attractions come at an extra cost if you want to skip the standby line.
Disney Genie Plus Pros:
- You no longer have to plan your days at Disney weeks or months in advance. I distinctly remember being online booking my FastPass+ reservations 60 days before my trip, only to find that some of my desired attractions were already booked for most of the day. Now for planners (like myself), I didn’t mind this. I enjoyed going into the parks with a plan. But for those who enjoy a bit more spontaneity, or for those who book last-minute vacations to Disney, this could be frustrating. Last-minute trips meant missing out on top attractions… unless you wanted to wait hours to ride them.
- Fewer people using Genie Plus means Lightning Lanes will be shorter than FastPass lanes once were. Let’s face it. Many will take one look at the added $15-20 per day per ticket and opt out. Time will tell how this will affect the Lightning Lanes in general, but common sense tells us that fewer people means shorter Lightning Lane lines. FastPass lines were always faster than standby, but I remember still having to wait.
- On a typical day in the parks, the Disney Genie Plus service could save you a lot of time. Time is money when it comes to a day at Disney, so saving an hour of waiting in line could make all the difference… especially if you can manage to save that kind of time on multiple attractions.
Disney Genie Plus Cons:
- It isn’t free. Disney Genie Plus will cost $15+ a day per ticket. This could add up quickly on a family vacation!
- There will be days that Disney Genie Plus simply isn’t worth it. There is most definitely a “sweet spot” when it comes to utilizing this new service. If the parks are really quiet and lines are short, paying for Disney Genie Plus to skip a 15-20 minute wait won’t be worth it. And if the parks are slammed, many of the selections will book up so quickly that you will be left with nothing to choose from.
- Be prepared to spend some time on your phone. This was my biggest complaint when I purchased MaxPass for my 2019 Disneyland vacation. While we could be a bit more spontaneous not having to book FastPasses weeks ahead of the trip, it did mean that I was booking FastPasses all day on my phone. Personally… I like to be a bit more present on my vacations with my family.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing Disney Genie Plus:
- Weigh the pros and cons for your family on your specific vacation. What will the crowds be like during your visit? Are there a lot of attractions on the Disney Genie Plus service list that you don’t want to miss?
- Consider adding the Disney Genie Plus service on specific days rather than your entire vacation. Looking at the list, it is noticeable how many more attractions are available at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios than at Animal Kingdom or Epcot. Disneyland Park also offers quite a bit more than Disney’s California Adventure. You don’t have to purchase Disney Genie Plus for your entire vacation. Purchasing Disney Genie Plus for specific days allows you to pick and choose based on which park you are in and how busy the parks are.
- Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Disney does not require you to purchase Disney Genie Plus to take advantage of the Individual Lightning Lane purchases for top-tiered attractions. You may choose to opt out of both, purchase one or the other, or take advantage of both. The choice is yours on each day of your vacation.
Changes Coming to Genie Plus in 2024
Disney has not announced any details yet concerning the changes coming to this service in 2024, but here is what they did have to say:
“We have heard from Guests that they would like ways to plan with Disney Genie+ service and individual Lightning Lane selections before the day of their park visit, and we want you to know we are working on ways Guests may do this for visits in 2024… Our goal is to give you the opportunity to spend less time planning in the park and more time enjoying your visit with friends and family. While we are not yet able to share specific details, we look forward to sharing more information at a later date.”
This is definitely exciting for those who enjoyed planning their vacations before they got to the parks rather than while in the parks. We will keep you posted as Disney announces details in the future!
Are you planning your next Walt Disney World vacation? Be sure to visit our step-by-step guide for resources and valuable tips!
*To learn more about Disney Genie and Disney Genie+, be sure to visit Walt Disney World’s official website for more info.