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The new Disney Genie Plus and what we would do different

If you’re heading to Disney World, you’ll want to hang on to this post to help you navigate the new Disney Genie Plus.

As Disney has started letting more people into the parks, the redesigned Genie Plus is supposed to replace the old Fast Pass system, but at first glance it’s very confusing.

I confirmed my confusion when I spoke with a cast member at our resort and we both agreed that the Genie Plus on the My Experience app was not very user friendly.

Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom decorated for the 50th anniversary
*** Before you purchase tickets, check the park availability for the days you would like to go. After you have purchased your tickets, you still have to make a park reservation in order to get into the park. It’s then that you can purchase the Genie Plus Lightning Lane ***

Let’s break down the Genie

My Genie Day

Based on your interests the Genie can make recommendations on what to do and where to go next. This part is actually free. Since our family is more “go with the flow” we personally didn’t see much use for this feature.

Genie + lightning lane

This feature costs $15 per day/ per person. Unlike the original Fast Pass which allowed you to make reservations for three attractions, the new Genie + Lightning Lane only allows one selection at a time. That selection allows you a time frame to head to that experience and skip the stand by wait.

You can purchase the Genie + Lightning Lane ahead of time, but your window to actually make the reservation for your attractions doesn’t open until 7am.

The My Disney Experience App is your key to your Disney experience.

UNLESS

You’re staying in one of the Disney Resorts, then the window opens early because of the early admission times.

Using the Genie Plus lightning lane

The Tip Board is where you make your Genie Plus Lightning Lane and Individual Lightning Lane selections.
  • Everything is done through the Disney My Experience App, but to actually make your selections you need to go to “Disney Genie Service” then “Tip Board”. That’s where you can see the wait times and book your Lightning Lane.
  • Each park has a selection of rides you’ll want to explore if paying the extra $15 per person is worth your while.
  • You can only use the Genie Plus Lightning Lane once on each experience, meaning you can’t use the Lighting Lane on the same experience multiple times. You’re more than welcome to use the Stand By entrance, but not Lightning Lane.
  • There’s not promise that there will be available times to book the lightning lane.
***Try to book your experiences as early as you can. Have an idea of what experiences you want so that in case something you want isn’t available until later in the day, you can book something else first.**
  • The person who has all members of your party needs to be the one booking the experience. We didn’t realize that Courtney didn’t have the girls on his app and he tried to book an attraction, but when we realized the mistake and I tried to book, that ride and time were gone.
  • You can book your next experience after you’ve checked into your attraction. Sometimes I could do this in the line, sometimes I had to wait.
Individual Lightning lane

This is where things can get a little confusing.

Each park has one to two experiences that are NOT part of the Genie Plus Lighting Lane $15 package per person.

Instead, you can purchase these experiences separately, but their prices will vary.

The girls heading on to the Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PURCHASE THE GENIE PLUS LIGHTNING LANE TO PURCHASE THE INDIVIDUAL LIGHTNING LANE.
(Not trying to yell at you, but just wanted to make this clear.)

why purchasing the individual lightning lane was important

It allows you access to the hotter commodity experiences and often times these are some of the newer experiences see below:

Magic Kingdom Park

Individual Lightning Lane Entrances
Attractions include*:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain

EPCOT

Individual Lightning Lane Entrances
Attractions include*:

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Individual Lightning Lane Entrances
Attractions include*:

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Individual Lightning Lane Entrances
Attractions include*:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage

(Up until recently, Rise of the Resistance was a part of the ride que which was only open twice a day and there wasn’t a stand by entrance. You either got into the rider que or you didn’t and if you didn’t, unfortunately you couldn’t ride that ride.)

We did purchase Rise of the Resistance and it was $9 per person.

This time when we went to Epcot, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is the newest experience that also has the ride que, but is now a part of the Individual Lightning Lane available for purchase, which leads me to my next point.

to purchase Genie Plus Lightning Lane, you have to have a park reservation, for the individual lightning lane you do not.

Why is this important…. park hopper.

We decided to park hop from Animal Kingdom to Epcot and truly the main reason we wanted to go to Epcot was to ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. At the time that we went to Disney, Remy is the newest ride that you have to be in the ride que to be able to ride and there wasn’t a stand by option. The ride que opens at 7am and 1pm, but here’s the problem, you can’t park hop until 2pm!

Getting ready to ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Since we were not going to get to Epcot until after 2pm, we purchased Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure for after 4pm so there was no rush to get over to Epcot. The cost at the time we purchased was $11 per person.

Being able to purchase the ride even though we were starting out in another park made the park hopper deal even sweeter. Once we rode that ride, we rode one other and then decided to hop to the other two parks before close.

Family Disney Bounding, we each dressed as a different character

Would I purchase either again?

The tickets to get into Disney in general are pretty expensive.

HOWEVER, you don’t want to spend a majority of your day waiting in lines either.

Having the ability to purchase the Genie Plus Lightning Lane gave us a time frame for that ride and allowed us to wait in shorter ride lines and get the most out of our day.

What I didn’t care for was that you could only select one ride at a time and often it was hard to book the next ride because what was available, often was something we weren’t interested in.

Remember, you’re also competing against all the other people in the park who also purchased the Genie Plus for the whole day. Personally I didn’t find much value and wouldn’t purchase again.

I would however splurge on the Individual Lightning Lane because most of the rides that fall in that category are our personal favorites.

Making memories to last a lifetime.

Keep in mind, things change

In the time between when we were at Disney and when I’m writing this post, a couple of the rides went into refurbishment. Also, as Disney receives feedback they may change things about the Genie Plus,

Personally the more flexible you are about your day at Disney the better. Picking the time of year to go to Disney that are off peak season will always give you the better chance to not stand in long lines. We also like to hit up some popular rides when a lot of people are either stopped for the parades and even the light shows, but that’s personal preference too.

Check out my other Disney posts:

Stress Free Guide to a Fun Disney Cruise

Beginner’s Packing Guide for an Amazing Disney Cruise

How we survived Disney at Christmas

How we planned our last minute budget friendly Disney trip

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