When Disney Genie+ was first introduced in Disney World a year ago, fans were…less than thrilled about the new, paid FastPass replacement.
Chances are hardly any of us could have imagined just how many updates and changes would come to the service, and now that it’s been around for a full year — we’ve learned just about all there is to know about it. But, there are a few things we learned that stand out amongst the rest — so here are the 7 things we’ve learned from using Disney Genie+ for an entire year!
As a brief refresher, Disney Genie+ is a paid, skip-the-line service available via the My Disney Experience app. When it first debuted, it was $15 per day per ticket at Disney World but they have since introduced variable pricing for the service. If you upgrade to Genie+, you’ll be able to check the next available Lightning Lane return time for the ride you want and when the time comes, you can skip the standby line.
Those are the basics — let’s find out what we’ve learned!
Which Rides To Prioritize
Not all Disney World rides are created equally, and you’ll definitely experience that firsthand with Genie+. Some rides are more important to prioritize because of just how popular they are. These Lightning Lanes tend to book up quickly in the morning and be sold out for the day. Try booking those popular rides as soon as you’re able to in the morning!
In Animal Kingdom, rides like Kilimanjaro Safaris and Na’vi River Journey tend to go quickly, while over at Hollywood Studios you’ll want to snag Slinky Dog Dash, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
The EPCOT rides that fill up the fastest are Soarin’, Frozen Ever After, and Test Track.
Magic Kingdom is usually a whole different beast when it comes to Disney Genie+ (but more on that later). Several attractions fill up and stay that way throughout the day, like Peter Pan’s Flight, Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
But, there are a handful of rides that aren’t available with the regular Genie+ service, and instead are called Individual Lightning Lanes. This is a pay-per-ride sort of system and the cost is not included with regular Genie+. Rise of the Resistance, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Flight of Passage, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train all fall into this category.
The good news is that you can book Individual Lightning Lanes and regular Genie+ selections at the same time — beginning at 7AM on the day of your park visit!
You Can Use It More Frequently Than Disney Says
When Genie+ first debuted, Disney had a description on its website advertising that guests who buy the service should only expect to use it on 2-3 rides per day — but we know now that it’s just simply not true. We’ve used Genie+ several times in one day on a LOT of rides, but it comes with a learning curve.
If you start making selections early in the day, you can fit more attractions in. You can often book selections back to back after you’ve scanned into your first ride. In parks like Magic Kingdom where there is a LOT to try and get done in one day, knowing how to utilize the service to its full potential can really make all the difference!
The Price Can Vary
Like we mentioned before, Genie+ has gone through quite a few changes — one of the most recent ones being a price increase. Although the base price for Genie+ in Disney World is still $15 per ticket per day, the price will vary depending on the date of your park visit.
Individual Lightning Lanes have been priced this way since they were introduced, allowing Disney to control the price based on park capacity or demand for the ride that day. Disney noted that the prices may be lower on less busy days but higher during peak periods like around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We’ve already seen this price increase go into effect with $18, $20, and $22 days — so keep that in mind when you’re planning your next Disney World trip!
It Comes With More Than Just a Skip-the-Line Feature
Disney Genie+ doesn’t only allow you to skip the lines, but it also comes with access to several PhotoPass filters in the My Disney Experience app! Which filters are available depends on when you’re visiting the parks, but we’ve seen Genie, Figment, and more.
The filters usually stick around for 45 days after you purchase Genie+, meaning they can come home with you too like a digital souvenir. Many of them feature augmented reality and might change depending on your location and whether or not you’re in the parks!
You Don’t Need It In Every Park (Or at All!)
Listen, Genie+ can be a great tool that makes your park day a bit easier, but is it always necessary? Nope.
If you’re heading to Disney World on a day that’s not very crowded, chances are you probably don’t need to use Genie+ unless you or someone in your party really hates lines. There’s nothing worse than buying Genie+ in the morning only to realize that you didn’t actually need it.
Not only that, but whether or not you “need” Genie+ can be entirely dependent on the park you’re visiting. Magic Kingdom has a LOT of rides and is generally considered one of the most crowded parks anyway, so using the service there makes sense — same with Hollywood Studios. EPCOT and Animal Kingdom don’t have a TON of rides, to begin with, so you might not need Genie+ in either park.
If your day in Disney World isn’t complete until you’ve been on EVERY attraction in the park, then yeah — Genie+ probably makes sense for you. But if you’re not trying to ride every ride and just want to go with the flow, it might be a waste of money.
Plus, taking advantage of rope drop and Early Theme Park Entry can also let you skip some of those pesky lines if you’re able to!
Availability Can Pop Up Throughout the Day
If you weren’t able to snag that Lightning Lane you were hoping to get — don’t panic! We often see times pop up throughout the day. Just because all the available times are booked up doesn’t mean that’s how it will stay all day. Keep checking the My Disney Experience app and refreshing the page — you might luck out and snag that Lightning Lane after all!
Disney guests cancel their Genie+ reservations or just forget about them more often than you might think. We’ve been able to snag Lightning Lanes for popular rides like Jungle Cruise well into the day — you just have to be diligent!
You Can’t Use It During Holiday Parties
Heading to Disney World for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party? Don’t count on using Genie+! You might remember this from the old FastPass system, but guests who purchase Genie+ aren’t able to use it at separately ticketed events like the holiday parties.
Typically, the parks are less crowded during these events meaning lower wait times, and Disney doesn’t offer the option of skipping the lines in this case!
Looking for more Disney World planning tips and Genie news? Look no further! Here are 5 ways Genie+ will surprise you, and check out the planning tips you should know about before your next Disney World trip!
We’ve got a great resource for you when you plan your NEXT Disney World trip – our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. We wrote our ebook after decades of visiting Disney World, so that we could help you have a stress-free vacation! Click here and use code WDW2022 to get 25% off!
Be sure to stay tuned to DFB for the latest Disney news and more.
What do you think about Disney Genie+? Let us know in the comments!
The post 7 Things We’ve Learned After Using Disney Genie+ for a FULL YEAR first appeared on the disney food blog.