- 04 Feb
Disney Genie is the new itinerary planning tool in My Disney Experience that launched on October 19, 2021, at Walt Disney World.
While the basic planning tool is free for everyone, there are 2 components to the new service that will cost money. Disney Genie+ ($15 plus tax per person) and Individual Lightning Lane attractions ($7-15 plus tax per attraction/per person) are available to anyone that wants to pay extra to maximize their time at the parks. Lightning Lanes are similar to FastPass+ (if you are familiar) and allow faster access and shorter wait times for attractions.
Is paying the extra money on Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes worth it or necessary? Not necessarily. There are a lot of factors that will help decide if you should purchase this new service or not on your next trip.
Over the course of the last few months since its launch, we’ve been able to gather a few simple tips and tricks for using Genie+ that may help the next time you use this service while in the parks:
Take Advantage of Early Morning Entry
While this is going against using Genie+ (sort of), it’s good to know. If you are a Guest staying on Walt Disney World property, you can enter any park on any day 30 minutes before the scheduled opening time for the park. Take advantage of this time if you would rather not deal with purchasing Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes. Be sure to get to the park(s) at least one hour and 30 minutes before the early opening time. So, if the park is scheduled to open at 8:30 am, early morning entry is 8:00 am, it’s suggested to arrive at the park by 6:30 am. This allows you to get in and hit the bigger, more popular attractions (For example Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios) before the general public enters the park. From there, you can then enjoy the rest of the park and attractions where wait times may not be as high as the popular rides are throughout the day. It’s a fair strategy that works, but you have to be committed to getting up early and getting to the park to enter as soon as they open the gates.
Pack Extra Battery Power
While Genie+ has a lot of great pros, one big con is the amount of time you need to be on your phone and rely on technology throughout the day. It sucks up a lot of the phone’s battery. Genie+ is part of the My Disney Experience app, so you’ll likely be on your phone quite a bit managing your itinerary. Having extra battery packs is key to not running out of juice in the parks. Disney still sells Fuel Rods, which are helpful, but they can be a bit pricey for the small amount of charge you get. They are there in a pinch if needed. But, if you plan ahead, you can get a great battery pack from Amazon for half the price and 5x the charging capabilities. Trust me, you’ll need it.
Booking Your Next Genie+ Lightning Lane Attraction
As soon as you enter the queue and redeem one reservation, it’s time to book another! The best way to maximize your time is to make your next Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation as soon as you redeem your existing one.
If you access Genie+ to book your next selection and you don’t like the return times given to you, try refreshing several times before selecting and confirming your next reservation. It’s been noted that a lot of additional return times pop up when you take the time to refresh continuously before booking.
Don’t Miss Your Genie+ Return Time
If you miss your Genie+ return time, your only option left is to ride standby. Missing your Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation makes it appear as though you’ve redeemed it, and because there is no second ride allowed with Lightning Lane, you will not be able to re-book another one for the same attraction. If you can’t make your return time and realize this ahead of time, you need to cancel and rebook before your return window expires.
The Return Window Grace Period
The return window grace period for Lightning Lane is the same as it was for FastPass+. You are able to tap in up to 5 minutes early and up to 15 minutes late for your return window. The light will still turn green when you tap your MagicBand and you’ll be let into the Lightning Lane queue.
Cast Members Available for Help
Still having doubts and concerns with the Genie+? Consider a private Disney VIP Tour with Five Star Orlando VIP Tours.