The Basics of Genie Plus: A Quick Tour of the Complimentary and Paid Services
Genie Plus is an add-on to the new Disney Genie platform and it replaces the old Fastpass Plus system. Here are the basics of Genie Plus.
The Disney Genie is a new automated trip planning service that’s been integrated into the My Disney Experience app. The service is free, but the option to upgrade to the premium Genie Plus service is where you find Lightning Lane access. All the other aspects of your vacation from reservations to your itinerary and the tip board are complimentary.
A Magical Mobile Concierge
With Disney Genie, you can enjoy your day in your own way, or take suggestions from the app that leverage Disney’s massive algorithm that can project wait times and crowd shifts to make your day easier and more efficient.
Disney Genie’s most distinctive features are the tip board and my day tabs. The tip board offers suggestions based on up-to-the-minute information within the parks. You can manage your itinerary through the tips board including meal reservations and Lightning Lane selections (with Genie+).
The my day tab contains your actual plans as well as suggestions from Genie on how to fill time you don’t have scheduled. Genie suggestions are a mix of general tips and selections inspired by your personal taste. It does not necessarily take distance into account though, so you may find you are sent from one side of the park to another side and back based solely on wait times at attractions you may like.
Disney Genie is built into the My Disney Experience park maps to show where recommendations are located. The free service also includes live chat with Disney cast members to answer questions and address any concerns throughout your trip.
Building on Fastpass Plus
Disney Genie is sort of an enhancement to the My Disney Experience app, but Genie Plus is a complete overhaul of the old Fastpass Plus system. The “old way” if you can even call it that (Fastpass Plus is less than 10 years old), was free, but you could only make certain selections first. There were attraction tiers that required you to pick one tier of attraction before you could get a FastPass for another tier. The result was limited tier-one attraction access and unwanted (or unneeded) Fastpasses for less popular rides.
Fastpass Plus was also confusing to guests who didn’t understand they had to use up their early selections before they could get more Fastpasses in real-time. So, guests who booked a Fastpass for Fantasmic! were locked into only a Few Faspasses that day, when they could have been using Fastpasses all day long by scheduling them earlier.
Genie Plus is not free like Fastpass Plus was, but the lighting lane access works differently. Instead of making selections in advance, The app works in real-time to show you the earliest arrival window for eligible attractions. However, there is a similar tier structure with how the lightning lanes work. Each Walt Disney World park has two select attractions that are not included for Lightning Lane access through Genie Plus.
Instead, you have to pay individually for access to these Lightning Lanes. Individual Lightning Lanes available for purchase include:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom)
- Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
- Frozen Ever After (EPCOT)
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (EPCOT)
- Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
- Expedition Everest (Disney Animal Kingdom Park)
- Flight of Passage (Disney Animal Kingdom Park)
What Does Genie Plus Do?
When you buy Disney Genie Plus, you gain access to most of the lightning lanes in the park you visit. Disney Genie is an add-on for individuals in your party, so the cost is added to each park pass, not the group as a whole. That means that families will have to pay more on top of the admission cost the larger they are. The $15 plus tax on top of the ticket price may be easier to swallow for singles and couples visiting the park, but if you are traveling with kids, Genie Plus may require a lot of consideration before you purchase the option for your vacation package.
Having said that, the benefit of having Genie Plus is that you can immediately start selecting available Lighting Lane entrances for the attractions you want and continue using it all day. You can even select your next Lightning Lane entrance window as soon as you scan into the queue of your current ride. While you can only use Lightning Lane at each attraction once per day, you can of course use the standby line if you choose to return to an attraction you really love.
Another function of the Genie Plus upgrade is access to Photopass lenses. Like Magic Shots, Photopass lenses add more Disney magic to your photos using your own mobile device. Just select more at the bottom of the My Disney Experience app home page and tap on Disney Photopass lenses for an AR camera with unique lenses included. You must allow the app access to your camera and your lenses will be available for 45 days after your last day of Genie Plus entitlements.
Another nifty feature of Genie Plus that doesn’t get a lot of press is the audio tales feature. This is a little bit like having your own personal tour guide and it provides information about different places you visit in the park. If you like getting behind-the-scenes stories and fun facts about the parks, this is a really excellent feature.
Is Genie Plus for You? There are two ways to pay and two ways (LL and ILL) to use Lightning Lane:
Two Ways to Pay
You can pay for the Genie Plus upgrade at the time you purchase your tickets or vacation package. The upgrade will be similar to other add-ons such as park hopper tickets, or Memory Maker. It will simply be added to the cost of your vacation bundle.
The other way to pay is when you get there. You can buy Genie Plus anytime after you arrive
Two Ways to Buy Lightning Lane Access
Lightning Lane access for most rides becomes eligible as soon as you purchase Genie Plus. The exceptions are those listed above as ILL. The cost of Individual Lightning Lane access varies by date and park, but they appear to average about $10 each.