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A How-To Guide for the New Genie+ System (and How To Cut Costs Elsewhere to Balance the Price Increase)


Disney Genie

Updated on April 21, 2024. If you see any errors, please let us know at hello@lotmv.com.

What Changed?

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). 

Runaway Railway

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 visit to a Park (reservation required if Annual Passholder). 

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!

Genie+ App

First Things First

Before even considering Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane Purchases, there are a few things you should have in place:

  1. Make sure you are signed into the My Disney Experience App, and that all members of your party are present in your group. 
  2. Have your tickets and Park reservations linked, as well as any resort or dining reservations, too. 
  3. 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).
  4. 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.

Star Wars Attraction Entrance

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+). The other change is you can now choose to buy Genie+ for one park (choose any of the four parks) or multiple parks (meaning you can park hop to all four parks and select Genie+ attractions in each). Keep in mind, in order to use the multiple parks Genie+ option, you do need to have a park hopper ticket. No matter which you choose to select, plan to repeat the following steps each day you visit a Park:

  1. Open your My Disney Experience App to the Main Screen.
  2. Click the “+” button at the bottom of the screen
  3. Select “View My Genie Day and Tip Board”
  4. 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+.
  5. You can also filter “Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane” selections so the list provides the attractions available with remaining Lightning Lane options. Some do sell out and standby is the only remaining option. 
  6. To purchase Genie+ scroll back to the top and select “Purchase for Today to Save Time Waiting in Line”
  7. The prices for each individual park and the multi park option will be listed accordingly. These are prices per person in your party.

Mine Train Fast Pass Entrance

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+:

  1. Open your My Disney Experience App to the Main Screen.
  2. Disney Genie+ Service will be the first thing you see, click the “Purchase” button 
  3. Select any one of the parks or the multiple park option, prices are noted next to each selection
  4. You can click on “see experiences” under each option to see available Genie+ attractions 
  5. Confirm all guests in your party – make sure not to forget anyone!
  6. Click “Continue to Checkout” and make your final purchase
  7. 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. 
  8. Once purchased, you can 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+.

Toy Story Line

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.

Splash Mountain

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. 

Minnie at Riviera Character Dining

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!):

Resort Pool

  1. 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). 

Epcot Food and Wine Image

  1. 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!

Saratoga Springs Resort

  1. 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). 

Skipper Canteen

  1. 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. 

Space 220

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!

Magic Kingdom Genie+ Priorities

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:

Genie+ Priorities – Magic Kingdom Attractions

Genie + Priorities –  Hollywood Studios Attractions

Genie+ Priorities – EPCOT Attractions

Genie+ Priorities – Animal Kingdom Attractions

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+!

Tangled Mural

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 gina@lotmv.com so we can start planning together!

How To Guide to New Genie+

 

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