In the fall of 2021, Disney Genie will be released to help you plan your Walt Disney World park days. This addition to the My Disney Experience mobile app will also include a paid option, Disney Genie+, that will allow you to use shorter attraction lines.
Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes replace the retired FastPass+ standby line-skipping system.
This blog post will be updated often as additional Disney Genie details are released, so pin this post or bookmark it to refer back to the updates!
Let’s jump right into what Disney Genie is, how much Disney Genie+ costs and what you get for your money, what Lightning Lanes are, and more.
What is Disney Genie?
Disney Genie is a free Disney World park day planning tool that includes an optional paid enhancement, Disney Genie+, which is a FastPass+ replacement. FastPass has not been active since the parks reopened in the summer of 2020 following the 4-month closure at the beginning of the pandemic.
Disney Genie is not a separate new mobile app. It will reside inside the existing My Disney Experience app that has been used for several years as a one-stop location for all of your Disney World trip information.
The August 2021 Disney Genie announcement introduced several new terms, so let’s define those before going any further. This blog post will then discuss each of these in detail.
- Disney Genie is a free Disney trip planning tool within the My Disney Experience mobile app.
- Lightning Lanes are alternate attraction queues with shorter wait times, accessible by purchasing Disney Genie+ or Individual Attraction Selections. These are the retired FastPass+ lines.
- Disney Genie+ is the paid FastPass+ replacement available for $15 per ticket per day that allows one Lightning Lane reservation at a time for many popular attractions.
- Individual Attraction Selections are paid Lightning Lane entrance to two high-demand attractions per day.
Disney Genie Launch Date
An exact launch date for Disney Genie has not been released beyond Disney’s “fall 2021” estimate.
If you’re planning a Disney World vacation this fall, Disney Genie might apply to you.
If you’re planning a trip in 2022 or later, bookmark this post because Disney Genie could be a big part of your trip!
Disney Genie – the free service
The free Disney Genie service that lives inside the My Disney Experience mobile app is designed to save you time in the parks. You tell Genie your favorite rides, food preferences and dining reservations, character meeting desires, and more and it will create an optimized park day itinerary just for you.
Once you’re inside a Disney World park, Disney Genie’s data is updated throughout the day, so your itinerary will be continually optimized.
Additional features include hourly forecasted wait times for all attractions so you can see at a glance when particular rides should have the shortest lines. Disney Genie also knows your restaurant reservations and will figure those into your custom itinerary while also providing the ability to join a restaurant wait list right in the app without visiting the restaurant first.
Disney Genie is entirely optional, but ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to plan ahead or is overwhelmed by planning choices. Just tell it your preferences and Disney Genie will continue recommending where to go next throughout the day.
However, if using Disney Genie seems overwhelming or that you’ll be on your phone too much during your vacation, you don’t need to use it. While it may help you create an ideal itinerary, you can also do a little planning ahead of time and wing it with your own basic touring plan. You can use Disney Genie as much or as little as you want.
Beyond the free planning features, a significant part of Disney Genie is its paid FastPass+ replacement ability, so keep reading to get down to the basics of Disney Genie+ and the new ways to save time waiting in line for Disney World attractions.
Lightning Lanes are the new alternate attraction queues that will save time waiting in line. They’re FastPass queues with a new name, but they aren’t free.
While Disney has not released a complete list of Lightning Lane-enabled rides and attractions, we can assume that attractions that previously had a FastPass lane will now have Lightning Lanes. You can find previous FastPass-enabled rides and more in my free One Page Guides to Disney World Attractions.
Using Lightning Lanes isn’t required for an enjoyable Disney trip. All Disney World attractions will continue to offer free virtual queues (Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure) or standby lines (all others).
There are two ways to pay to enter these Lightning Lanes: Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selections.
Disney Genie+ – the paid service
For $15 per ticket per day (a steep $60 daily premium for a family of four like mine – ouch!), Disney Genie+ allows you to hold one Lightning Lane attraction selection at a time throughout the day.
Like the retired FastPass system, each selection gives you a one-hour return window to enter the attraction using the shorter Lightning Lane instead of the standby queue. Once the selection is redeemed, you’re free to make your next Lightning Lane selection from the available attractions.
Disney Genie+ can be purchased for an entire vacation package or just for specific days. Maybe you want to use Disney Genie+ to enjoy the shorter Lightning Lanes at Magic Kingdom which has twice the number of rides as the other parks but want to save money at Epcot where there are fewer attractions and just using the standby queues. You can do that! Pay for Disney Genie+ and enjoy shorter lines every day of your trip, just a few days, or none at all.
Daily Disney Genie+ purchases do not need to be made in advance. You can wait until the morning of each park day to decide to purchase Disney Genie+ and then immediately make your first attraction selection for that day. Or you can pay in advance by purchasing Disney Genie+ with your Disney World vacation package for all days of your trip.
Disney Genie+ is supported at multiple parks during the same day so it can be used with Park Hopper tickets.
Disney also says Genie+ will include “Disney parks-themed audio experiences and photo features to capture your memories” so it’s integration with PhotoPass remains to be seen. Disney PhotoPass and Memory Maker will remain a separate purchase at Walt Disney World.
While the price of Disney Genie+ is certainly a huge disadvantage for a service that was previously free, one advantage it has over the old FastPass+ system is spontaneity. Initial Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane selections are made the morning that you visit the park unlike FastPass+ reservations that opened 60 days (for Disney resort guests) or 30 days (for everyone else) in advance. There’s no need to plan your park day itineraries over a month in advance anymore!
Individual Attraction Selections
Not all attractions that were previously FastPass-enabled will be available in Disney Genie+. Lightning Lane access for select in-demand attractions will only be accessible through separate Individual Attraction Selections purchases.
Lightning Lane-enabled attractions not included in Disney Genie+ that will require Individual Attraction Selection purchases include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom with a full list to come soon.
A maximum of two of these Individual Attraction Selections may be purchased each day. They do not need to be attractions at the same park, allowing this premium feature to be used with Park Hopper tickets.
As with Disney Genie+, any attractions purchased separately as Individual Attraction Selections will give you a one-hour return window to enter the attraction via the Lightning Lane.
Pricing for Individual Attraction Selection pricing will vary by date, attraction, and park.
Are you considering paying for Disney Genie+ and/or Individual Attraction Selections during your next Disney World trip?