Disney recently announced that it would be making changes to its Genie+ System. For those unfamiliar with Genie+, it is the system for reserving shorter line times, much like the old FastPass system Disney used to utilize at the Parks. Disney debuted Genie+ and the corresponding Lightning Lane Option just last year (with a number of changes from the FastPass system, most notably the price, since the original FastPass was free with your purchase of Park admission).
The most recent changes to Genie+ involve the price (again), and the time frame in which it can be purchased. Instead of Genie+ being a flat rate per day, the price of purchasing Genie+ will now fluctuate depending on the day, just as Individual Lightning Lane Purchases always have, and you will only be able to purchase Genie+ on the day of your (reserved) visit to a Park.
The following Guide will help you navigate finding the price of Genie+ (as well as Individual Lightning Lane Options) each day, and how to purchase it, should you so choose. These changes are new to everyone, so whether you are already well-versed in using Genie+, or you haven’t been to Disney since before FastPasses were implemented, you can bookmark this blog as a quick reference!
First Things First
Before even considering Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane Purchases, there are a few things you should have in place:
- Make sure you are signed into the My Disney Experience App, and that all members of your party are present in your group.
- Have your tickets and Park reservations linked, as well as any resort or dining reservations, too.
- Have your Credit Card saved in the App to save time at checkout (this gives you a better chance of getting the times you want before they’re taken).
- Be ready on the My Disney Experience App just before 7am each morning, since that is when the price of Genie+ and any Individual Lightning Lane Options will be listed, and when they will be first available for purchase and reservation each day.
How To Check the Price of Genie+ EACH DAY
Since one of the changes to Genie+ is that you cannot purchase it until the day of your visit to a Park, if you are considering purchasing Genie+ or any Individual Lightning Lane Options, you will have to be ready to make a decision at 7am each morning when the system opens (for those familiar with Genie+, this shouldn’t be a huge change, since that’s when ride reservations have opened since the start of Genie+). Plan to repeat the following steps each day you visit a Park:
- Open your My Disney Experience App to the Main Screen.
- Click the “Summon Disney Genie” Button.
- Scroll through the list of Attractions to see the wait times and/or current Lightning Lane times that are available to book with your purchase of Genie+.
- Be sure to notice which attractions have Individual Lightning Lane Options for purchase either in addition to, or instead of, a Genie+ purchase to help you make your decision.
- Scroll back to the top of the list and click “Purchase for Today” to check the price for the day.
How To Purchase Genie+
If you’re not sure about purchasing, complete the steps above first. If you know you want to purchase, complete the following steps at 7am on EACH DAY that you want Genie+:
- Open your My Disney Experience App to the Main Screen.
- Click the “Purchase for Today.”
- If you are interested in any Individual Lightning Lane Options, click “Summon Disney Genie” instead of “Purchase for Today” and click the Individual Lightning Lane Attraction you want to add (of course, purchasing both Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Options is a choice as well).
- Once you click “Purchase for Today,” you will be asked to confirm the price (this is where you find out how much it is for the day).
- After confirming the day’s price, you’ll be asked to choose how many members of your party you are purchasing for (don’t forget anyone!), and then you’ll click “Continue.”
- If your card is saved, you’ll click “Purchase” and be good to go, or you can also purchase with Apple Pay, or input your Credit Card Information at this step.
Important Genie+ Rules to Remember
Once you’ve purchased Genie+ for the day, there are a few things to keep in mind about how to use it:
- Genie+ only works for the attractions listed in each Park (and they do change, depending on the time of year, so check your My Disney Experience App for the most up to date list of included attractions), and it DOES NOT work for any ride that has an Individual Lightning Lane for purchase.
- You are only allowed to make ONE Genie+ Lightning Lane selection at a time. Once you use your Lightning Lane selection, you can then make another one, or you can make another selection 2 hours after your first selection was made, whichever comes first.
- If you made your first Genie+ Lightning Lane selection right after purchase at 7am, you cannot make another selection at 9am, because the two hour time frame begins when the Park you’re visiting for the day opens, unless your first Lightning Lane Entrance is before that two hour time frame is up (so if Magic Kingdom opens at 9am, you can make your next LL selection at 11am, or if Epcot opens at 10am, you can make your next LL selection at noon). Park hours do vary, so be sure to check opening and closing times of each park ahead of your visit.
How to Save Money in the Parks in order to Purchase Genie+
Now that Genie+ varies in price depending on the day, it could add up to be a sizable cost on top of what you already paid for Park tickets. And while it’s easy to vilify Disney for jacking up prices yet again (I know, they already took away the free perks of Magical Express and MagicBands that come with your Park Tickets, among other things), it’s worth thinking about how many Cast Members Disney has been able to bring back so that the shows, Character Meals and unparalleled customer service can once again continue throughout the Parks and Resorts.
Furthermore, with the way Genie+ was before, it’s possible that too many people were purchasing it for it to actually shorten the lines and offer the experience it promises. Whatever the reasons for the change and price difference, and however frustrating it can be, reflecting on the real reasons we all love Disney and find it so Magical will help keep your thoughts and mindset on a positive path!
Even with the most positive of mindsets, it’s no secret that Disney isn’t the least expensive of vacations, so here are a few places you can save if you want to prioritize adding Genie+ onto your Park ticket for any of the days you’ll be in the Parks (you may recognize some of these tips from Jamie’s recent Instagram Stories and Post on Stretching Your Vacation Dollar, since they come straight from the expert, herself!):
Travel in the Off Season
If you’ve yet to book your next Disney Vacation, consider traveling during an “Off Season” time, which in terms of Disney, means times other than Holidays, School Vacations and Summer (so months such as September, January, most of February, and March are considered Off Season). Generally, everything from your Resort stay, to Park tickets, and now to the price of Genie+ will all be less expensive in the Off Season than during peak vacation months.
Of course, if you’re traveling with kids, as they get older, it does get more difficult to pull them out of school for vacations. Personally, I am of the mindset that traveling (anywhere, even Disney) is one of the most educational experiences people can have, and one of the most effective ways to bond as a family, too. However, I would still consult the school calendar and plan around major events (see the Disney for Teens and Tweens Guide Here for more tips about why and how to plan around your teens’ schedules).
Watch for Promotions
Popular destinations like Theme Parks, All-Inclusive Resorts, and Cruise Lines often have Promotions available throughout the year. With Disney, even if you already have your vacation booked, when a Promotion is put out, you are still able to apply it to your trip, as long as the conditions are applicable to your booking (which, as always, your Love of the Magic Travel Agent will gladly check for you). Lowering the cost of your Disney Vacation with a great Promotion may be the difference between being able to add Genie+ to your Park days once you’re there!
Adjust Your Vacation Style
Jamie mentioned this tip on Instagram recently when she posted about Stretching Your Vacation Dollar. When it comes to applying this concept to Disney and prioritizing affording Genie+, this might mean having your family stay together in one room if possible instead of multiple, or maybe staying in a room without a great view (though nothing beats those Theme Park/Fireworks view rooms, but sometimes deciding what your priorities are is a necessity because of budget restrictions).
Save on Sit-Down Meals
If you’re prioritizing Genie+, chances are you want more time on rides and attractions than anything else, so you won’t want to be spending excessively long amounts of time sitting down at meals, anyway. Personally, I have never planned for more than one sit-down meal a day while vacationing at Disney, which is almost always dinner, although an occasional Character Breakfast is fun to experience, too.
Money spent on food at Disney can add up quickly if you don’t plan ahead, but it can also be an easy way to cut costs, too, if you do think ahead. A grocery order that can be delivered to your room on the day you arrive is an easy and popular way to stock up on breakfast, snacks and even lunch foods. You’ll save a lot by having a bowl of cereal in your room for breakfast, and stashing your (and your kiddos’) favorite snacks in your Park bag for when that “hangry” feeling sets in. Plus, the familiarity of some favorite foods might help your child, especially a toddler or preschooler, be able to better handle all of the unfamiliar (as fun as it may be) that any vacation entails.
Ultimately, like many other investments, it’s up to you and your family how to prioritize where and how you spend your vacation budget. If you’re taking a foodie-centric vacation, maybe more sit-down meals will be your choice over purchasing Genie+, or maybe traveling in the Off Season is not an option for your family for professional reasons. Whatever the case, knowing your options and feeling comfortable with your choices is the most important thing!
Genie+ Priorities at Each Park
If, after considering all of your options, you’ve decided to purchase Genie+ to save time in the Parks, but really have no idea where to begin using it or how to prioritize attractions, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered! Check out the following four Blog Posts for how to Prioritize Genie+ at each Park:
AND, if you really want as many tips and tricks as possible for navigating Genie+ and Lightning Lane Selections, Stay Tuned! This Friday, the Blog will be featuring Jamie’s “Do”s and “Don’t”s for Genie+!
Ready to Plan?
Now that you know exactly how to access and purchase Genie+ for each day of your Disney Vacation, are you ready to plan your next Magical Adventure? Or maybe you’d rather take a vacation where Genie+ and ride selections and wait times aren’t part of your daily experience. Maybe to a National Park? Or to explore a new city? The possibilities are endless!
I would love to help you plan your next Vacation to Disney, or anywhere else you’ve been dreaming of going! Contact me today at email@example.com so we can start planning together!