The Disney Genie service will launch at the Disneyland Resort on Wednesday, December 8, Disney announced today. That means that the upcharge Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane ride-reservation services also will make their west coast debut on Wednesday.
Disney Genie+ is basically a rebranded Maxpass, and the Lightning Lane is Disney's new term for its old Fastpass queues. Fastpass is gone, so there will be no free access to Lightning Lane. You can use those queues only by purchasing Disney Genie+ for $20 per person per day, or Individual Lightning Lane access for $7-20 per ride.
The regular Disney Genie service is free, however, and promises customized itineraries for Disneyland theme park guests, using real-time and historic wait-time data from the parks. Reaction to those suggested itineraries from Walt Disney World visitors has been mixed in the time that the service has been available in Florida, but we have some tips for getting the most from Disney Genie, below.
"We want to make sure that we are optimizing the guests' time and maximize the guests' fun," Disney Parks Vice President of Digital Experience Gary Daniels said of the new services.
Disneyland visitors should download the latest version of the official Disneyland app and log in with their Disney account to use Disney Genie and to buy Disney Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane access. If you want some in-depth reporting on these services, please read our stories from their Walt Disney World launch, which also include information about their use at Disneyland:
Disney Genie builds its suggested itineraries by asking you for some information about what you want to experience on your visit. You can start providing that information via the Disneyland app as soon as you secure a park reservation. But Disney Genie will not return a suggested itinerary until 7am on the day of your visit. And you will not be able to buy Individual Lightning Lane access or make a Disney Genie+ ride reservation at the Disneyland Resort until you enter the park on that day.
That means that Disneyland visitors had better plan to be at the gates ready to enter the parks at opening, in order to get the best options for their day. You can't plan to roll up later in the morning because you already made ride reservations earlier, as some Disney World fans got used to doing.
Disney Genie builds its recommendations by asking you to select which park attractions you want to experience, then on the next screen to select topics - such as "Disney Princesses" - that interest you and your family. That second screen is meant for people with no experience visiting a Disney park. Unless that's you, I would recommend skipping that question and just selecting your "must see" attractions on the first screen. Since Disney Genie does not ask you to rank your interests, I would suggest telling it only your top priorities.
The most useful feature of Disney Genie may be its "Tip Board" screen, where you can find current and projected wait times for all attractions, as well as availability windows for Mobile Order and table-service dining. You can start your food order or join a standby dining time queue from that screen, as well. See our How to Use Disney Genie post for specific tips on using those features.
"We are listening and learning and adjusting, based on feedback on how our guests are using the itineraries," Disney Parks Director of Digital Experience Nicole Bond said. Disney has implemented a one-touch purchase for Individual Lightning Lane and made other adjustments to the Genie user interface based on its experience at Disney World, Bond said.
Disney spokespersons also said that park operations are learning from the reintroduction of multiple queues for attractions at Walt Disney World and are working on fine-tuning Lightning Lane callback times to help keep standby queues from overflowing, as they have at times after the Disney Genie+ launch in Florida.
Disney has no plans to limit the number of Disney Genie+ passes sold at Disneyland, based on the resort's experience with Maxpass, a spokesperson said. However, that option could be considered if demand far exceeds Maxpass levels.
Another change from the Walt Disney World launch will be that Disneyland Resort hotel guests will get no special treatment in the use of Disney Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane. Nor will Magic Key holders. Everyone's in the same boat when it comes to making ride reservations, increasing the pressure to get into the park early to maximize your options.
Individual Lightning Lane access will be sold for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland and Radiator Springs Racers and Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure at Disney California Adventure. The prices will vary by attraction and by day, but will range from $7-20 per ride. Lightning Lane access to other attractions at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will be available to Disney Genie+ users. You can find the list of eligible attractions in our How to Use Disney Genie Plus post. Again the one-time cost for that service is $20 per person per day and will include unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads, as Maxpass did.
As Disneyland introduces Disney Genie, it also is introducing changes to its Disability Access Service program. Eligible guests planning to visit the parks on or after December 20 may pre-register for DAS using live video chat. Advance reservation should be made between two and 30 days before your visit. See Disneyland's website for more details and to begin the advance registration process. Guests using DAS soon also will be able to use the Disneyland app to select attraction return times in the park, instead of having to visit each attraction in person.
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