Updated April 5, 2023 If you visited the Disneyland Resort sometime in past few years and used MaxPass, Disney Genie+ will seem very familiar. That's because Disney Genie+ works pretty much the same as the old MaxPass system in allowing you to access shorter wait times throughout the park.
Disney Genie+ is an upsell to the free Disney Genie service that we detailed in a previous post, How to Use Disney Genie. The price varies by day and can cost up to $35 per person. If you buy it, Disney Genie+ allows you to use the app to book a timed entry to the "Lightning Lane" at one of the eligible attractions. ("Lightning Lane" is Disney's new term for the old Fastpass queues at its attractions.)
To book, just go the Disney Genie Tip Board and click the Genie+ Lightning Lane box under the attraction you want.
You can make another Lightning Lane reservation through Disney Genie+ once either the return window for your first one has opened, or two hours have passed since you made your first Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation. (That's the same way that Fastpass worked.) You can buy Disney Genie+ and make your first Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation at 7am on the date of your visit, so log into the app early to get the best selection. You can make your next Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation starting at 9am, since that's two hours later.
You do not get to pick return times with Genie+ Lightning Lane. It's first-click, first-get. But as people cancel or switch their reservations during the day, earlier available return times can appear, so it's worth keeping an eye on the Tip Board if you want to jump on one of those times.
Here are the eligible attractions for Genie+ Lightning Lane: (Updated August 3, 2022)
If you are using Disney Genie's free automated itinerary, it will factor in your Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations when building your plan for the day.
Should you buy Disney Genie+?
At perhaps more than $100 per day for a family of four, Disney Genie+ can be either a tough extra expense or an invaluable way to get more from your day, depending upon your family's budget and the crowd levels inside the park. That's why we recommend looking at the free Disney Genie Tip Board multiple times in the weeks leading up to your visit, so that you get a feel for wait times, which will help you to make a more informed decision about whether to buy Disney Genie+.
Remember than wait times increase with crowd levels, and Disney is busiest during school holidays, which run from mid-May through early August in Florida during the summer, as well as the weeks of Spring Break, Christmas, and New Year's. Any week with a runDisney event also brings large crowds to Walt Disney World.
Disney does limit the number of guests who can buy Disney Genie+ on any given day. But even with that limit, on the busiest days - when one might expect Genie+ to provide the best value - more people buying and using Genie+ might cancel out much of that extra value. So if you have the budget to afford the upgrade, plan to buy Disney Genie+ as soon as it becomes available start making your Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations as soon as you can [7am at WDW in Florida and when you enter the park in California], to get the most value from your purchase.
Disney Genie+ does not include some of the more popular attractions in each park, either. To get Lightning Lane access to those, you do not need Disney Genie+ but would need to buy Individual Lightning Lane access.
Keep reading: How to Use Individual Lightning Lane
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I have been poking around in Genie + and from what I can tell you can't use this for a future trip coming up in a few weeks you can only use it day of park pass? So not really a planning tool like touring plans?
@Sandrap - Robert is suggesting that you go into Genie (like you would in the old Parks App), and monitor wait times, LL availability, and ADR availability as your trip approaches. Guests who have visited WDW over the past 5+ years are already engrained to do this because you had to login 30-60 days before your trip to book your FP+s, so instead of physically booking reservations, you're just looking at the current wait times. Because of the pandemic and the recent change to add Genie+, using 3rd party planning tools are not going to be very helpful, because everyone is trying to figure out and predict how this new service will impact wait times.
At this point in the process where everyone is trying to figure out how Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes will impact the park experience (as well as variable and somewhat unpredictable crowd levels still being impacted by the pandemic), so you're much better off monitoring current conditions yourself than relying on others who are just making blind guesses (at least for the next 4-6 months until trends start emerging and the parks go through some high and low crowd periods to allow for line predictions).
Good advice from Robert, EXCEPT we know you can’t trust Disney’s posted wait times. As a matter of fact, Genie actually has a disclaimer stating one should not buy Genie+ base on posted wait times alone as they are just “estimates”.
Genie itself is free, but you get what you pay for. There are better paid services out there that will provide honest and accurate wait times for your Touring Plans. ;)
Can you see the current wait times for Genie+ without purchasing it. I.e. if you can see the current lower times on the app you may be encourage to purchase it or do you need to purchase it to see those times ?
@Del69 - If you have the upgraded version of the WDW App, all you need to do is log in with your Disney account, and you can see all of the current wait times and availability (and ILL prices) within the app. It works pretty much the same way the previous version of the app worked, where you can view waits and attraction availability even if you're not in the parks (the only thing you couldn't do before is to see the availability of Boarding Groups for RotR, because those were tied to your location, which required you to be in DHS).
Looking at the app, standby wait times and G+LL available times are shown, and I have not paid the $15 to use it. Splash mountain is 40mins standby, and 12:20 G+LL availability. If this continues to be the case, it will help me to see if any patterns arise throughout the day. Drop times, LL availability, number of reservations I can hold at a single park and/or another hoppable park for later in the day … etc, etc.
As a local AP, I’ll only use G+ if I have friends visiting, or with the family and they want to go on x-number of rides. What I would like to see is …. 1) allow for re-rides. My grandson loves Dumbo, but hates waiting in any length line …. LOL. and 2) …. put the individual LL rides in the mix with the regular G+LL rides. That way you can decide to wait, let’s say, 3hrs to ride ROTR, or pay the extra $15, and get on the ride in 1 hour.
The backlash over no re-rides, is something I’m sure Disney is well aware of. Question is, will they do something about it, or just try and ride the storm out ??
Good grief, here I thought using the Birnbaum books to properly plan out a Disney trip was complicated....
As for wait times, the thing you need is *relative* wait times, more than a specific number. Do the wait times stay flat over the day or do they spike at some point? Which attractions have higher wait times than others? Disney is showing us this visually now, making it easier to follow without having to pay for some third-party app.
Specific wait time estimates for individual attractions are always a crapshoot. But overall trends tend to hold, so look for those.
Question about the re-ride issue: At parks that have a skip-the-line upcharge, do they allow re-rides? Universal is the one that I imagine Disney would be compared to. Isn't there two different skip-the-line passes there: One where you can ride each ride once by skipping the line, and one that is unlimited?
I've been checking the app intermittently yesterday and today, and from what I've seen it appears that the Genie+ return times are generally either about the same as the wait in the regular line or are further out, with sooner boarding times being relatively rare. With the free Fastpass system, I'd consider a later ride time a fair tradeoff for not having to stand in a physical queue, but if I'm paying extra for something I'd expect to be able to ride sooner than the time it takes to wait in line. Spending $15 and then being told to come back in an hour and a half when the wait time is 40 minutes just isn't something I consider acceptable. I know that there's limited data thus far, but from what I've seen I don't see any benefit to purchasing Genie+ unless you absolutely refuse to stand in line for more than 15-20 minutes.
Nothing like Disney when it comes to greed. These thieves are following the new airline model charging for every little extra like checking bags. I wouldn't give these coporists a dime.
@Russell Meyer, I’m very surprised that there has been no communication from Disney, regarding no re-rides. Especially as they kept that limitation completely quiet. As Makorider said, Disney must know that a LOT of guests will have an issue with this, and could make all the difference between them purchasing Genie+ or not.
Now, the cynic in me wouldn’t be surprised if they already have a more expensive option allowing re-rides, ready to go. Then a couple of months in, they announce this option, along with a statement saying “We have listened to our guest’s feedback, blah blah blah”.
Whatever they do, they need to do something.
@Twobits, both Seaworld and Busch Gardens’ Quick Queue passes allow as many re-rides as you like. You’re right about the two options for Universal. With the ‘one and done’ pass though, there are a couple of big differences between Universal and Disney. Firstly, you don’t need to reserve any time slots. Just use it for your chosen ride, whenever you want. Secondly, there’s no chance that a ride won’t be available (unless of course, it’s closed for some reason).
I think AJ makes a good point here. The Genie+ LL reservations work very much like the old FP+ system where your return/reservation time is typically equivalent to the length of the standby line (i.e. if it's 10 AM, and the standby line is 30 minutes, you're not given a return time sooner than 10:30 AM). I guess that would be fine if guests could use LL to ride their favorite attractions as often as they want, but not only is Disney preventing re-rides, but they're forcing guests to ride during specific windows, which is different from Universal Express (not Unlimited), where guests get FOTL once for each eligible attraction, but can redeem it at any time.
I agree with 80sman that Disney is probably getting a lot of flak regarding the no re-rides aspect of Genie+, and almost certainly made this policy as a strategic maneuver to test the market/demand for unlimited access to potentially create a second, more expensive tier of Genie+ that allows unlimited access (and perhaps even includes an ILL pass too for something like $50/per/day).
It seems like Disney has taken the WORST features of all of the FOTL systems used by parks around the industry. Universal, Sea World/Busch Gardens, Dollywood sell 1-time per attraction FOTL passes, but they also sell unlimited versions at a higher price point. Flash Pass at Six Flags is the only other chain I know of that forces guests to return to attractions at a specific time, but the way their system works is to reduce the current standby wait by a certain percentage. For instance, if it's 10 AM, and the standby line is 60 minutes, you're return time is 10:30 AM if you're paying for the lowest level of Flash Pass (50% wait reduction), but if you get the highest level of Flash Pass (with a 90% wait reduction), your return time would be @10:10 AM. So, not only are guests being limited to 1 use per ride with no option to make the service unlimited, but real-time waits are not reduced and guests are forced to conform to Disney's time, not necessarily what's convenient for guests.
I will say that the price point of Genie+ is well below all other parks (in most cases more than half the price of other 1-time per ride FOTL systems), but when guests were getting a truly unlimited version of this benefit for FREE just 18 months ago at WDW, these negatives are magnified.
@80sMan: I have also thought that Disney will release an unlimited pass at some point. But by doing that, they may cut into the super expensive private tours.
I’ve been checking FofP these past few days, and the ILL increased by $3 today … to $14.
Makes you wonder just how high it will go once we get into the holiday season?
Disney has said that the range is $7-15, so $15 looks like the top... for now. Disney did not say how long that price range would last, after all.
I agree Robert.
I checked ROTR and it was still $15. I fear that Disney will inch it higher as the holidays approach, but maybe increasing all the others closer to the $15 limit will allow Disney to see just how far they can push it.
I see ILL for FofP is still available for later today, but the standby is only 50mins, so for most people that’s an acceptable wait time.
It’s going to be interesting to follow the evolution of Genie+ over the next few months.
My question is simple: if you buy a LL pass, how long do you actually wait to board, on average? Is that comparable to the old FP system? That really determines, for me, whether or not the value is there.
@Still a fan - Lightning Lane occupies the same FP queues, so the merge points are the same as they were under the old FP+ system. So, unless ride ops are allowing lines beyond the merge point to get shorter and instantly steering LL guests into the short line leading to the load platform, the wait times to ride will be pretty comparable to what they were before. I haven't seen any stories that guests are seeing any major differences there. As far as the line in the LL queue leading to the merge point, the length of that line is always going to be variable since Disney is still giving guests a 60-minute return interval to use their LL, so there's always the possibility that guests can all hit the attraction at the same time, causing a backup in the LL queue prior to the merge and increasing waits up to an additional 10-15 minutes.
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We really need to get some confirmation from Disney regarding the apparent no re-ride limitation reported by many first time Genie+ users this week. If you can only get a single Lightning Lane per attraction per day, that will dramatically change the calculus and comparison of this system to MaxPass (where guests were not limited in the number of FPs they could pick up for a single attraction).
Disney needs to clearly articulate this limitation OR fix Genie+ to allow guests to select Lightning Lane for attractions they have already experience through Lightning Lane earlier in the day.