Everything you need to know about Disney Genie
Wondering how does Genie Plus work? In this article, I am hoping to clear up all things Genie. There is a lot to know about how this new system works and how to best utilize all 3 services. That’s right! There are 3 different “parts” to Genie. First, you will need to download the My Disney Experience (MDE) app. This can be found for iPhone and Google Play. This is where you can check-in to your hotel room, mobile order food, make reservations, use Genie, mobile checkout at most stores, and so much more! Trust me, if you are going to Disney, you will want this app.
If you are looking for an easier way to use Disney Genie I may have your answer. This is for Disney goers who are purchasing Disney Genie+, but do not want the hassle of learning how to make all the lightening lane selections. I will book all your your Lightening Lanes selections for you starting at $75/ day. (This does not cover the cost of Genie+ or lightening lanes.) If you booked a trip with me, have 1-on-1 coaching as well a a big discount on this service. This will include selections to Genie+ selections starting at 7 am until park close. I will be able to answer any questions as well as discuss priorities to form a plan. Spots are very limited, and payment is due at the time of booking. To book this service simply fill out this form.
Full disclosure: This is all from my personal experience and hours of research. I am a Walt Disney World traveler, so I am speaking from experience here; however, Disneyland would work very similarly.
3 Types of Genie
Genie: This is FREE for everyone to use via MDE. Included in this free Genie is a “Tip Board” as well as “My Genie Day.” The “My Genie Day” is going to be where you select your must dos for that day, including parades, restaurants you want to try, special experiences, and of course attractions. You can make your selections for the current day or any day in the future; however, the Genie will automatically open with the current day selected for ease of use when you are there. You will see the park listed that you have a reservation for as well as its hours, hotel information, and any dining reservations that you have. This will also help clue you in on when you should go ahead and place your mobile order for food. It also helps plan your day out for you by suggesting when the best time is to do your selections. Think of this as your personal assistant for your Disney day.
The “Tip Board” is where you will find most of the attractions including next showings, wait times, and next available Genie+ selection (more on this below). There is also a dining tab that will include restaurants with the next available mobile order time and dining reservation time if available.
Pro tip: I suggest placing mobile orders in the morning, especially for lunch. You can estimate your arrival time and always change it if needed. This will prevent you from attempting to place a mobile order for lunch only to realize the next available pickup time is 3 pm.
This is where things can begin to get a little confusing, but with this article I am sure you will be a pro! How does Genie plus work? How much is Disney Genie plus? Is Genie Plus worth the extra money. These are the 3 questions I get asked most when it comes to Disney Genie+. Here is the answer to all these, and so many more.
What is Genie+?
Genie+ is a paid service that will allow you and your party to skip lines throughout the parks. The physical queue that you stand in is referred to as a “Lightning Lane”. This is the signage that you will look for at the physical attraction. Genie+ is $15-29/day per person. There are 40 attractions throughout Walt Disney World that are included in this service. You can find them all listed by park below. You will be allowed one lightning lane per attraction per day, so you can’t ride Space Mountain repeatedly via Lightning Lane, for example.
How to add Genie+
You will be able to purchase Genie + day-by-day during your stay. Starting at midnight, you will be able to add Genie+ for your party for that specific day. This will allow you to pick and choose which days you would like to have Genie+, and therefore which parks you would like the benefit of Genie+ for.
How does Genie Plus work?:
Everyone with Genie+ can book their first selection at 7 am of your park day regardless if you are an onsite or offsite guest. Some of the rides will go within minutes (Yes, I am talking about you Slinky Dog Dash!), so I suggest being ready a little ahead of time. Promptly at 7 am, refresh your screen to show available times. How Genie+ determines your time is by giving out the first available time for that attraction. With that being said, the time you select on the first page may differ from the time you receive by the time you reserve your pass. Remember to be flexible, and don’t get discouraged if your time changes or the lightning lane you were hoping for is sold out.
Here is the Genie+ attractions I personally try to book from each park at 7 am:
Magic Kingdom: Jungle Cruise or Peter Pan’s Flight
Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash
EPCOT: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen, or Test Track
Animal Kingdom: Na’vi River Journey or Kilimanjaro Safari
When can you book another Genie+ lightning lane?
- If your first selection is within the first 2 hours of park opening, you can select another lightning lane once you scan into your first attraction.
- If your reservation is 2 hours after park opening, then you can book another one after the park has been open for 2 hours. (120 Minute Rule)
120 Minute Rule: This allows guests to make popular selections for the afternoon, and still be able to use Genie+ for the morning times. This is how many people end up with multiple lightning lanes all for the afternoon, often referred to as “stacking.”
Disney recently added a bar across the top of the “Tip Board” tab that will tell you when your next available selection time is. This has been extremely helpful, however, be aware that if your return time starts within the next 2 hours, the genie will tell you the time your LL return time ends. You can make your next selection once you scan into the LL that has a return time of less than 2 hours.
Here are some examples:
Example 1: On Hollywood Studio day, at 7 am, you book Slinky Dog Dash with a return time (the time you can ride) of 5:45 pm. Hollywood Studios opens at 9 am. You will be able to get your next selection at 11am. You do not have to wait until you scan into Slinky Dog Dash.
Example 2: On a Magic Kingdom Day, at noon you book a Jungle Cruise for 8 pm. At 2 pm you will be able to make another selection. You book a Space Mountain at 2 pm with a return time of 2:30. When you scan into Space Mountain at 2:30 you can then book your next selection, and still have Jungle Cruise for 8 pm.
Pro tip: An easy way to check when you can make another selection is to try and book one. If you have activated the 120 Minute Rule, the app will inform you of when your next selection will be available. I always set an alarm for one minute prior to when I can make my next selection. I also like to set off the 120 minute rule when we are going back to the resort for a midday break thus stacking for once we return to the park later in the day.
Audio Tales: Hear fun facts and behind-the-scene intel throughout the parks. I find all of these fascinating, and love to slow down for a minute and have a listen. They are suggested to you by your location in the park and can be found under the “My Day” tab.
PhotoPass Lenses: Like the Audio Tales, the PhotoPass Lenses are exclusive to guest with Genie+. It is a great way to spend time in line or with littles when waiting for food. Our daughter loves the one with Minnie Mouse pictured below! You can share you pictures on different platforms of Social Media and is very easy to use. There are some that will only be available in certain areas of the park. For example, you can grab a selfie with Yoda, but only in Galaxy’s Edge.
Individual Lightening Lanes (ILL):
Individual Lightening Lanes are a la carte selections for some of the most popular attractions. YOU DO NOT NEED GENIE+ TO BOOK ILL! There are usually 1 per park and are listed below as well.
ILL per park:
Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
EPCOT: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Hollywood Studios: Rise of the Resistance
Animal Kingdom: Flight of Passage
How much are ILLs?
Prices will fluctuate by the crowd levels and time of year. They will range from $7-$18/person. This may seem like a lot of money up front, and I am not saying it isn’t, especially with a large party; however, here are my thoughts on it. Let’s say that Rise of the Resistance has a 180-minute wait. You must ask yourself if 3 hours of park time is worth $15 per person. For some, the answer is yes, but if this is an attraction that is on your must do list, then it might be worth paying the extra money to skip the line.
When can I book ILL?
If you are staying on property, then you will be available to book at 7 am on your park day. Offsite guests will be allowed to book at park opening. This is one perk to staying on property because some of the attractions will sell out in the 7 o’clock hour before offsite guests have a chance to book them. You can book up to 2 ILL per day. If they sell out on the first morning booking, I always suggest checking again right at park opening to see if any additional times open up. Your 2 ILL selections do not have to be at the same park if you have park hopper, and intend to change parks after 2 pm.
A few more tips to Genie:
1. If you do not see a time that you would like for certain attractions, especially towards the end of the day, go ahead and just pick something to kick off your 120 minute rule. Even if you modify your selection, it will not affect the 120 minute rule for your next selection. After that you can go to the “tip board” and modify your selection. Here you can keep refreshing for a different time or even a different attraction. Sometimes a little Disney magic happens, and an earlier time will pop up. I have even seen sold out Genie+ selections become available!
2. Edit your selections throughout the day. Start with your top attractions that are a must do. As you finish with each one, edit your selection to remove that specific attraction. You can then add another one if you wish. This will keep your must dos at the top of your list making it easier to select a time frame that works for you and will help with the refreshing technique listed above.
I truly hope that this helps clear up some Genie confusion for you, and you can avoid asking “how does Genie plus work?.” Genie is a great tool and works so well after you learn how to navigate it. You can print this entire article and the attraction chart listed above. It is so new that everyone is still having to figure this all out. I am a big Genie fan as you can probably tell, and I hope after this you are too. Have a magical vacation! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help as well as hear if this helped you with your Genie experience. Be sure to check out a review of our other favorite vacation enhancement, Capture Your Moment.