Plane tickets? Check. Sunscreen? Roger. Matching Disney World family shirts? Good to go! A Walt Disney World Resort trip requires a good amount of pre-planning – the more you prepare, the better your trip is. And this is especially true with Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane; understanding this ride- and show-reservation system is key to having a great experience.
Users had three wishes: more flexibility, more information, and easier navigation. Disney says Genie delivers all three wishes. With this continually-updating guide, we’re going to help you become a Disney Genie+ expert.
What is Disney Genie?
Disney Genie is a new, complementary service arriving this fall to the existing MyDisneyExperience and Disneyland Apps. It is a digital tool that will help you create, plan, and execute your best day at a Disney park. Walt Disney World started utilizing the services of Disney Genie on October 19.
Let’s take just a quick moment here to say that we think the My Disney Experience mobile app is an essential tool. In addition to being a convenient way to secure reservations, you can check wait times and order food and, even, tickets. The map feature lets you plot out destinations and is very helpful in finding the nearest restroom. This app is so important to your trip, in fact, that we recommend loading and using it well before your vacation begins. Understanding how to look for characters, shops, entertainment, and wait times will save time once you’re in the whirlwind of the Disney parks. Another important reason to load the app now is to add your family and friends; connecting your party inside My Disney Experience is the ideal way to keep track of reservations, tickets, and – yes – Lightning Lane reservations.
The first thing to consider is what day you’ll want to visit a particular park. Take a look at the park hours and activity/entertainment schedule. Is there a show that only performs on certain days? Can you take advantage of Early Morning Magic or Late Night Magic? Do you have other non-Disney things planned during your Orlando visit? Pick out the days and lock down your week well ahead of time. Remember those 60/30-days-in-advance timelines? Yes, you need to know your plan before those days.
What does Disney Genie do?
Disney Genie works with you to help you have the best possible day at a Disney park. Disney Genie provides you with:
- Itinerary planning, with recommendations based on your interests
- Continuous updates on queue forecasts
- Access to dining needs: checking into reservations, placing mobile orders, and adding your party to a restaurant waitlist
- Answers to accessibility questions
- Answers from anywhere in the park, with the aid of a virtual assistant
How do I use Disney Genie?
- This tool is part of the MyDisneyExperience App
- You tell Disney Genie your “wishes” in various categories “Disney Favorites” (Disney Princesses, Star Wars) and “Park Interests” (Thrill Rides, Water Rides, etc.)
- “My Top Picks” prioritizes your biggest interests for the day across all categories, providing the perfect lineup of attractions, entertainment, and dining experiences
- Check your “Tip Board” to have access to what’s next on the agenda
Everything listed above is part of the complementary version of Disney Genie. Of course, guests have the option to upgrade their experience and purchase Disney Genie+. This costs users $15 a day at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, and $20 a day at Disneyland California. As of right now, there is no option beyond purchasing this service day by day (annual passholders sigh collectively).
How is Disney Genie+ different from Disney Genie?
The biggest difference between the two services is that Disney Genie+ offers the brand-new “Lightning Lane” entrance at select attractions. Using this, your party can select available times for rides such as Haunted Mansion, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Lightning Lane selections will be made on the day of your park visit and can be used across parks (to accommodate the ever-popular Park Hopper option). You also have the option to purchase (beyond the price of Disney Genie+) one or two Lightning Lane entrances at those attractions with exceptionally high demands (like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train). Pricing for this access will depend on date, attraction, and park.
Walt Disney World hotel guests can purchase access to Disney Genie+ at 7am, but those not staying at a Walt Disney World hotel will have to wait until the park opens.
Other fun extras provided in Disney Genie+ are audio experiences for participants to listen to at particular locations throughout Disney parks, and new augmented reality in Photo Pass. All of these features will be added to the established itinerary creation and day guide capabilities of Disney Genie.
Fast Pass is officially a thing of the past, and the new Lightning Lane takes its place. For those guests looking to cut their wait times down, Lightning Lane comes in two forms: Individual Lightning Lane and Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane.
Individual Lightning Lane (a la carte Lightning Lane)
The following list of attractions are those that you will have to pay for to use Lightning Lane, even if you purchase Disney Genie+. The prices for these attractions will vary by date, attraction, and park. For ticket holders, selections for these attractions will become available at park open time, but those staying at a Disney resort will be able to book their selections at 7:00 am. Guests can book a maximum of two attractions through Individual Lightning Lane purchases.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Festival of Fantasy Parade
Sighting with Cinderella and a Visiting Princess
Sighting with Tiana and a Visiting Princess
Sighting with Mickey Mouse
Frozen Ever After
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Avatar Flight of Passage
Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane
The following list of attractions will all be included in your purchase of Disney Genie+. Disney Genie+ will cost users $15 per day per user at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Guests can book one of the following attractions at a time throughout the day.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
“it’s a small world”
Mad Tea Party
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pirates of the Caribbean
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
Journey into Imagination with Figment
Living with the Land
Mission Space – Green & Orange
Soarin’ Around the World
The Seas Nemo & Friends
Turtle Talk with Crush
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Alien Swirling Saucers
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
Disney Jr. Play and Dance!
Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
Slinky Dog Dash
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Toy Story Mania
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King
It’s Tough to be a Bug!
Kali River Rapids
Na’vi River Journey
The Animation Experience
Feathered Friends in Flight!
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Have your own Disney Genie tips and strategies? Share them with thousands of other vacation planners in our OI Community Facebook group.