How to Decide if Disney’s Genie+ is Worth the Cost for Your Park Day
If you are going back and forth about whether an upgrade is right for you. I have some questions to help you decide whether Genie+ is worth the cost.
Genie+ is an exciting if controversial new development at the domestic Disney parks. Lots of guests still don’t know if Genie+ is worth the cost to them and their families. The Disney Genie app totally changes how you do a Disney trip on both coasts. It boasts a variety of features at your service free of charge. At Disneyland, Maxpass has charged guests for unlimited Fastpasses for a while, but the concept is somewhat new to Walt Disney World.
I say somewhat because word on the street has been that Disney had been planning this move for quite a long time. Suffice it to say that not everybody is thrilled with the idea of paying for a service they used to get for free. However, Genie+ is not without merit. If you are going back and forth about whether an upgrade is right for your family. I have some simple questions that could help you decide whether Genie+ is worth the cost.
Which Park are You Visiting?
One of the deciding factors in whether you should splurge on Genie+ for your park day is which park you’ll be visiting. Some parks merit the use of Lightning Lane more than others do. Although Disney Hollywood Studios is the smallest park in Disney World, it boasts an impressive list of e-ticket rides. These in-demand rides can also have lengthy wait times because the small park takes in large crowds and doesn’t have as many shows currently to absorb some of that population.
For that reason alone, using Genie+ here is a good idea. Magic Kingdom also sees a higher benefit for Lightning Lane access. However, larger parks with more dispersed crowds do alright without it. The free Disney Genie does a pretty good job of updating you on availability and nudging you toward a more efficient schedule.
Keeping in mind what the park experience is likely to be like without being able to skip the standby queues is a good indication of whether or not Genie+ is worth the cost. However, it might also help to remember that Genie+ is not strictly for Lightning Lane access. There are other reasons to purchase the Genie+ upgrade that don’t get the same amount of attention. These can apply to any park, but may also be more or less valuable depending on the park you choose.
Are You Interested in the Other Features?
Genie+ has other features? Nobody seems to want to discuss them, but yes. There are additional benefits to buying Genie+ other than for Lightning Lane. But are these enough to make Genie+ worth it on your park day? Essentially there are two big features included with Genie+ that may help in adding more value for you during your trip.
The first is the Photopass upgrade which gives you AR lenses to play with when you take pictures in the park. The augmented reality lenses are the next generation of “Magic Shots and they put the magic on your own device. You can add character looks to your selfies or create magic backdrops for your photos. In addition to the pictures you can take with Photopass AR within Walt Disney World, you can also keep using the feature for about a month and a half after your trip. However, restrictions do apply and the continued use of the filters may not be available in your area.
The other super cool feature that doesn’t get enough attention is Audio Tales. This feature, inspired by the Imagineering Field Guides offers in-depth behind scenes stories and facts based on your locations within the park. If Disney Genie is like having a digital concierge then Audio Tales is like having a digital tour guide! That alone might make Genie+ worth the cost.
How Large is Your Family?
You can’t discuss the value of Genie+ without addressing the overall cost. Although the upgrade is only $15 plus tax per day, that price is also per person. So it’s a much smaller cost to individuals and couples than it is for a family of 5+. The more people you have in your group the less value you potentially get from Genie+. It might be worth paying almost $20 for unlimited Lightning Lane, but when that price jumps to almost $70, or even more because of the size of your family you may want to reconsider if Genie+ is worth it.
How Many Days is Your Vacation?
As with the number of guests you bring, the number of days may also factor in. However, not in the way, you might think. Yes, the per-day cost adds problems in finding value, but there is another way to look at it. If you have multiple days planned for visiting certain parks, you probably don’t need Genie+. It’s much easier to spread out your experiences over two or three days. I regularly take two days at Magic Kingdom and even three or more at EPCOT (pre-construction). With extended stays like that, there is no need to “maximize time” with Lightning Lane.
How Important Are Rides to Your Family?
Another factor you might consider as you decide if Genie+ is worth the cost is if there are any specific rides anybody in your family “has to ride” are there a fair number of must-do attractions among your group? If so, it could make sense to ensure that you get the most bang out of your Disney trip. Especially if your visits to Walt Disney World are few and far between.
Have You Considered Individual LL Attractions?
The final thing I would consider in deciding whether or not Genie+ is worth the cost for your day in the park is the elusive ILL or Individual Lightning Lane attractions. Each park has two of these. They are easily the most popular rides in the park and they are not included with Genie+. You have to purchase these rides individually if you want Lightning Lane access.
These rides include Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever After at EPCOT, Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland and Disney Hollywood Studios, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney Hollywood Studios, Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure, and Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
If you plan to include any of these attractions for Lightning Lane access, you may need to consider whether Genie+ is worth the cost since each individual attraction you purchase for Lightning Lane will cost close to what you would pay for Genie+. Prices vary by date, but they are likely to be in the $10-15 range plus tax.