updated Feb 1st, 2023
Out with the old, in with the new. FastPass is now officially a thing of the past, and in its place comes the ultra confusing Genie+ program. Now that we have an official release date for the Genie+ program, we are starting to get some more clarity. Here’s what we know!
The program is at both Disneyland AND Walt Disney World. It has been enough time from when they released for us to have a better understanding of how it all works!
The very first thing you want to do is update your Walt Disney World (My Disney Experience app) or Disneyland app on your phone. This is very important!
The next thing to know is that there are three tiers to the Genie+ program. Let’s break down each one and then answer any questions that may arise. For Disney’s explanation of the Genie, head here for Walt Disney World, and here for Disneyland.
Tier One: Disney Genie
This is added to everyone’s app as a free service, and is available to anyone who has valid park tickets. It features:
- Personalized day planner
- Tip board
- Virtual assistant
- Mobile order
- Virtual queues
One of the most confusing things about this is that it’s really just an upgraded version of the app as we know it, and it remains to be seen how helpful the new features really are. You do not need to take any action in order to use the Disney Genie. However, if you do go to the app and favourite things that look the most exciting to you, it will customize it more to your group.
As always, standby queues will be available. One advantage of taking away FastPass is that the standby lines are moving significantly faster than when it was around. With the introduction of Genie+ however, we will need to adjust to the fact that standby lines will once again be longer.
After using Genie both in Disneyland and Walt Disney World, I haven’t found this free part of Genie to be of any use. Perhaps if I was new to a Park it might come in handy… but it didn’t increase the enjoyment or the ability to do things better in any way.
Tier Two: Disney Genie+
Cost: $15-22 USD per ticket, per day for Walt Disney World / $25 USD per ticket, per day for Disneyland (if pre-purchased) and upwards of $25USD per ticket, per day based on the day of
Genie+ works very similar to how MaxPass worked at Disneyland pre-COVID. If you are familiar with it, than this will be much less confusing than for those who have only done the traditional FastPass system at Walt Disney World. Genie+ features the ability to arrive at certain attractions using the Lightning Lane entrance (previously the FastPass entrance). You can get one at a time, and Genie+ will give you a specific time to ride. One important new change; you can only use this service ONCE per day per attraction… meaning, you can’t use it twice (or more) for your favorite attractions, unlike FastPass.
Newly added to Walt Disney World AND Disneyland as of Oct 2022: variable pricing. Depending on the day, the price will be between $15-22 USD per person for WDW, and $25-$35USD for Disneyland… for now. Check on the day you want to purchase it for pricing and availability.
There are a few added bonuses to Genie+ that are new features.
The personalized itinerary will update through the day. One thing I do like is that you can “favourite” things you don’t want to forget to see or eat… because I ALWAYS think I’ll remember and then I’m like shoot, I really wanted a cheeseburger egg roll and now the cart is closed.
The Disney PhotoPass AR Lenses are fun! When you upgrade to Genie+, you’ll also get augmented reality lenses, and you can save them to your photo reel! At certain areas in the park, pull out this lens on the app to see a Mickey constellation or the hitchhiking ghosts, for example.
And the Audio Experiences are fun for an added bonus and the Disney history buffs! It gives you thoughts and special facts about certain aspects of attractions and lands from special guests and even Imagineers!
And at Disneyland, you have the Photopass included. Protip: If you don’t want to drop $25 per person, per day for everyone to have Genie, purchase it for ONE person so that you all have access to the Photopass the entire time you are at Disneyland. We did this for our March trip!
During the Disney100 Celebrations, the attraction photos are free for everyone with a ticket.. however, if you want any Photopass photos, you will need Genie, or to purchase photos separately.
Attractions included in Genie+ at Walt Disney World:
Fantasyland: Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “it’s a small world,” Mad Tea Party, The Barnstormer, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Peter Pan’s Flight
Tomorrowland: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor and Space Mountain
Liberty Square: Haunted Mansion
Frontierland: Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Adventureland: Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Future World: Mission: SPACE, Test Track, Living with the Land, Soarin’ Around the World, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
World Showcase: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever After
DinoLand U.S.A.: DINOSAUR
Asia: Kali River Rapids, Feathered Friends in Flight!
Africa: Kilimanjaro Safaris, A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King
Discovery Island: It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
Pandora – The World of Avatar: Na’vi River Journey
Rafiki’s Planet Watch: The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
Galaxy’s Edge: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Toy Story Land: Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania!, Alien Swirling Saucers
Sunset Boulevard: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
Hollywood Boulevard: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Echo Lake: Star Tours – The Adventure Continues, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
Grand Avenue: Muppet Vision 3D
Animation Courtyard: Disney Junior Dance Party!
Things to note: At Disneyland, you can either add Disney Genie+ to all of your days before your vacation (whether a ticket only purchase or a vacation package), or you can add it to a single day. You can even go into the Parks, realize that you do want it, and add it right on the app. At Walt Disney World, you can no longer add it to your tickets ahead of time. If you are doing it day by day, you can purchase it anytime after midnight EST the day you’d like to use it. We recommend purchasing it earlier than when you want to make your first selection, for there to be one less thing for you to do.
When we did it at Walt Disney World, we set an alarm for 6:55am for the day we wanted to use it. We purchased it, then made our first selection right at 7am. Then we set an alarm for either 2 hours after opening time for the Park, or just picked the next one after scanning into the ride.
At Disneyland, you just go through the gates, then purchase, then make your first selection.
Attractions included in Genie+ at Disneyland:
Tomorrowland: Autopia, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Space Mountain, Star Tours- The Adventures Continue
Frontierland: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
New Orleans Square: Haunted Mansion
Adventureland: Indiana Jones Adventure
Fantasyland: “it’s a small world”, Matterhorn Bobsleds
Galaxy’s Edge: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Toon Town: Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
Critter Country: Splash Mountain
Disney’s California Adventure
Avengers Campus: Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and Web-Slingers
Grizzly Peak: Grizzly River Run, Soarin’ Over the World
Hollywood Land: Monster’s, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!
Paradise Gardens Park: Goofy’s Sky School
Pixar Pier: Incredicoaster, Toy Story Midway Mania!
Tier Three: Individual Attraction Selections (Lightning Lane) – IAS or ILL
Cost: $7-29 per person, per attraction, per day (one time use)
(we have been watching and have noticed it’s usually between $12 and $25 per person, per ride)
The most controversial of all three tiers. You may have noticed that some (or most) of your favourite rides aren’t on the Genie+ list. Well, that’s because two of the most popular attractions at each of the four Parks aren’t included in Genie+. For this, you will have to purchase the Individual Attraction Selections.
Now, one thing to note is that you do not need to purchase the Genie+ in order to take advantage of this service. However, it does cost a pretty penny to enjoy quick access to these favourite rides. Also worth noting, there isn’t a set price for IAS. They change based on the day, and which ride you’d like to experience. The app is going to be the best place for you to see how much it will cost to skip the line on your favourite ride. And note, this service is limited to TWO selections per guest, per day.
Attractions included in Individual Attraction Selections at Walt Disney World:
Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Epcot: Guardians of the Galaxy*
Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage
Hollywood Studios: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
*Currently, if you don’t want to pay for the ILL for Guardians, you can join a virtual queue at either 7am or 1pm. There is also a 6pm virtual queue for Deluxe onsite guests only.
To be eligible for the virtual queue you MUST have an Epcot theme park reservation. You cannot have a Park hopper (because you hop after 2pm)… unless the virtual queue doesn’t sell out by 2pm. This did happen with Remy, but is yet to happen with Guardians of the Galaxy. The ride is fantastic and super worth doing. For tips on doing a virtual queue, check out this video!
Attractions included in Individual Attraction Selections at Disneyland:
Disneyland: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
California Adventure Park: Radiator Springs Racers
Just like Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot in Walt Disney World, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway doesn’t currently have a regular queue… meaning you MUST either get the virtual queue (at 7am or 1pm) to ride it, or pay the extra. If you don’t get the 7am virtual queue, you can try again at 1pm.. or purchase it. Note that the purchase option WILL sell out, so it’s a gamble to wait for the 1pm, as you may not get it. If you don’t get it at 7am, and you are only in Disneyland one day, it’s likely best to purchase it.
One other important note: DAS pass doesn’t currently allow you to pick Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway without already having paid for it or having the virtual queue. The other ILLs you can use DAS for regularly.
Important to note: Once you’ve hit “purchase” on these attractions, they are not able to be modified or canceled in any way. As previously mentioned, you can still wait in the regular standby line for these attractions. This is true, currently, for everything except Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot. Keep in mind as new attractions come, ILLs will be bumped from paid per attraction to regular Genie+. We’ve already seen this with Remy!
Alright, clear as mud?
Tips and Tricks:
We had the ability to try both Disneyland and Walt Disney World with and without Genie+ this past Spring and Summer. Let’s break it down between the two. As much as we hate to admit it, as long as you get the hang of it, it’s going to at least double the amount of rides you can do in a day… and it’s going to make things much more enjoyable.
One other thing I noticed… if a ride you want seems “sold out” for the day, fear not! Just keep refreshing. You do not have to be a total slave to your phone.. set alarms, and check periodically. It will absolutely make the day easier if you are willing to pay.
If you do this correctly, you can basically move from ride to ride all day long using the Genie+. There are some favourite rides without it, so plan to ride those early or late in the day, or when the times dip. If you are wise with your decisions, you can ride more than 10 Genie+ rides in a day! Don’t try to stack, just pick one, ride it, then pick another… all day long.
If you’ve got little kids (under 40″ in particular), it may not seem worth it to have Genie+.. but even using it on 2-3 rides as a family can make a big difference. You can also choose a ride that the smaller child can’t go on, and hope that the ride has “downtime”, turning it into a “multi-experience pass”, and then having the opportunity to pick a ride a second time!
Walt Disney World
There are less rides per park, so it’s doesn’t seem as good of a deal. If you have a Park Hopper, you can try stacking (see below in FAQs). Otherwise, use it for one ride at a time. You can absolutely get 4-5 if you do things well. We got 9 on our Epcot/Hollywood Studios day.
We had the ability to try both Disneyland and Walt Disney World with and without Genie+ this past Spring and Summer. As much as we hate to admit it, as long as you get the hang of it, it’s going to at least double the amount of rides you can do in a day… and it’s going to make things much more enjoyable. We personally don’t think that it’s worth paying for the ILL… with the exception of Guardians at Epcot. As long as it’s a virtual queue, you only have the chance of riding it once in a day… and it’s so fun, it’s definitely worth riding!
So whether you purchase it AND get the virtual queue, or just purchase it, the ride is absolutely fantastic! The rest of the rides that you can pay for we just rope dropped (huge advantage to being onsite!) or waited til it was low… or did it right before close!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can Genie+ be purchased for all days OR only some days?
Walt Disney World: To load it for some days, it must be purchased on the day of, between midnight and 7am EST the day you will use it.
Disneyland: You can purchase attached to your tickets, or easily purchase it once you’ve scanned through the gates of the Park. Click the 3 lines on the bottom right, then “my genie day” then in very teeny tiny print is says purchase Disney Genie. It will review who you are buying it for, and then tell you it’s charging.
Protip: If you purchase this at either WDW or Disneyland, screen shot when you purchase in case it glitches.
2. When can Genie+ be added to an existing vacation package?
Anytime. Note: for Disneyland, there was a price increase on tickets in the Fall, so some packages can’t be adjusted until you get there day of.
3. When can Individual Attraction Selections be purchased?
Must be purchased and used on the same day; available for purchase starting at 7am EST. You can select up to two at this time.
Protip: While Individual Attraction Selections can’t sell out, they CAN run out of times. You want to purchase this as early as possible to avoid this situation.
4. Can Genie+ or IAS sell out?
YES. However, we are yet to see this happen.
5. Can IAS be purchased without Genie+?
Yes, you can still purchase one or two of the IAS without the Genie+ feature.
6. Can IAS be made for more than one Park?
Yes. You can purchase one for, say, Animal Kingdom, and the second for Magic Kingdom. Keep in mind that Park Hopping is only available right now after 2pm (after 1pm for Disneyland). You do have to change the Park you are viewing in order to do that
7. Is there any advantage to staying onsite at a Walt Disney World resort with the Genie+ system?
Yes. Onsite guests (Disney Resorts, Shades of Green, and Swan or Dolphin) with Disney Genie+ can select their first Lightning Lane entrance beginning at 7am EST. Everyone staying off site can select their first Lightning Lane attraction at Park opening.
8. Can my IAS or Genie+ times be adjusted?
IAS cannot be modified or refunded. Genie+ times can be changed if desired.
9. Can I use lightning lane more than once per day for the same attraction?
You cannot. If you use it for a ride like Splash Mountain, you cannot select that ride again until it is a different day.
10. Can I use Genie+ across more than one Park?
Absolutely! It’s a little tricky to see the “switch Park” at the top of the screen in your app, but you can choose a ride for a different Park. Just make sure you a) have Park Hopper tickets and b) select a time after you are allowed to Park Hop.
11. What is “stacking” and how do I do it?
Stacking is when you pick a ride every 2 hours for later in the day, making it so that you can do multiple rides back to back to back using Genie. This works both at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Disneyland you often will have better success in picking the closest time to when you can ride. Walt Disney World we rode lots of rides in the morning at Epcot as walk ons, and selected the ones we wanted to ride at Hollywood Studios later that day. I managed to set an alarm for every 2 hours and get FOUR big rides at HS in a row, making our evening ultra enjoyable ride-wise!
We had Tower of Terror, a small break, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Slinky Dog Dash!
One thing to note: you don’t get to choose what time you get for the ride, so we did some zigzagging here. I would’ve preferred ToT, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, THEN MMRR, then Slinky, but if I had tried that I wouldn’t have gotten all 4.
12. What happens when rides have “down time?”
If the ride goes “down” (whether because of a mechanical error, or something like lightning in the area), it will turn into a multi-experience for the same park, same tier rides. Unfortunately, our perfectly stacked evening got spoiled slightly by the MASSIVE downpour we experienced, so Slinky went down for the rest of the day. That was the downside. The UPSIDE was we walked onto Tower of Terror twice, and only waited 9 minutes for Rise of the Resistance! Make the best of the cards you are dealt.
What do you think of the new Genie+ system and Individual Attraction Selections? Will you be using this service? We’d love to hear from you!
And if you are ready to start planning a Disney vacation, feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no obligation quote! I don’t charge a fee or have hidden costs of any kind! Elisia and I both had the opportunity to visit the Parks this summer, and we have the answers to all of your questions about traveling during COVID… for Walt Disney World and Disneyland!
Have a magical day!
Erica, Heidi, Elisia and Danielle