On August 18th, Disney introduced us to the Disney Genie Service. This addition to both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World (My Disney Experience) mobile applications will have several parts:
- Itinerary planning for your day at the Parks (This is FREE!!)
- Disney Genie+ Service: pay per day for “Lightening Lane” access to certain attractions
- Individual attraction selections: pay per ride (up to 2 per day) for “Lightening Lane” access to marque attractions
Question: Is this for Disneyland or for Walt Disney World? Answer: BOTH! The Disney Genie service is very similar at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. In both locations, you will access this service through the mobile app (My Disney Experience in Florida and the Disneyland App in California).
Question: When will this new service launch? Answer: In the Fall of 2021. No set date has yet been released.
Question: I like free. So what is the free portion of the Genie Service? Answer: All of the itinerary planning services are FREE! To start this feature, you will ‘tell’ the Genie what your ‘wishes’ are for your day, by selecting attractions you want to ride, entertainment you want to see, dining you want to experience. The Genie will then develop an itinerary for you follow, and will update it as your day progresses. Some highlights:
- While the old version of the mobile app gave you current wait times for attractions, the Genie will have that PLUS give you predictions on future wait times so you know if you should rush to a ride or wait until later.
- You will be able to mobile order food from the Genie, and in addition, you can see in real-time what the walk-up wait time is and if any dining reservations are available.
- For attractions that have a virtual queue (currently Rise of the Resistance at both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios plus Web Slingers at Disney California Adventure Park), you will still be able to join those for FREE through the Genie.
- You can get help from a virtual assistant and ask any questions for real-time answers, such as “what time is the 8:00 parade?”
Question: I’ve heard this is going to cost me my Disney dollars. What isn’t free? Answer: Yes, there will be parts to this service that will have a fee, and that fee will replace what used to be free. I’m sorry as I know that is hard to accept. The Disney Genie+ service will be available at a price of $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World Resort and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland Resort (this was the price of MaxPass when it ended in 2020). This service replaces what was FastPass, FastPass+ and MaxPass. It will allow you to choose the next available time to arrive at a variety of attractions and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance (the old FastPass line). This service will allow you to make one selection at a time, throughout the day at select attractions. Disney has named specifically it will be available for Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Just like FastPass, availability will be limited, so it is possible that you will try to find a Lightning Lane option for an attraction when no more are available. The fee for the Disney Genie+ service will also include audio experiences and photo features. You will have the augmented reality lenses at Walt Disney World Resort and unlimited Disney PhotoPass at the Disneyland Resort. The Disney Genie+ service will not be available for all attractions. Read on.
Question: What will Disney Genie+ not include for attractions? Answer: The full list is yet to be published. What Disney has told us is that there will be attractions without this service, and there will be attractions with another service to add on for yet another fee. We do not yet know if some attractions at Walt Disney World will only have standby lines, but that is expected at Disneyland. Read on.
Question: What else isn’t free? Answer: Disney will be rolling out an “Individual attraction Lightening Lane selections” feature in the future. This feature (available for purchase) will allow you to schedule a time to arrive at up to two highly demanded attractions each day using the Lightning Lane entrance – like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park and Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure park (subject to limited availability as was FastPass). These will be for attractions not included with Disney Genie+. Pricing for this option will vary by date, attraction and park and will be announced closer to launch.
Question: If I buy Disney Genie+, when can I make my first “Individual attraction selections” and Lightening Lane attraction selection? Answer: At Walt Disney World, all guests will be able to make their first Genie+ Lightening Lane selection at 7 am on the day of their visit, and purchase the “Individual attraction Lightening Lane selections” at Park open time, no matter if you are an Annual Passholder or visiting just for the day. At Disneyland Resort, all Guests will be able to make both selections once they are inside the Park on the day of their visit, also regardless if you are a Magic Key holder or visiting just for the day.
Question: Are there any additional benefits to this system for guests of a Walt Disney World Resort hotel? Answer: Yes. Guests staying at Resort Hotel will be able to make their “Individual attraction Lightening Lane selections” at 7 am, ahead of other guests that will have to wait until the time that Park opens. You will need to make sure your Resort reservation is linked in the My Disney Experience App to ensure you can use that benefit.
Question: If I buy a Park Hopper, do I have to buy the Disney Genie+ service at each park? Answer: No. You can make Lightning Lane selections on the same day of your visit across multiple theme parks for one purchase price.
Question: Is there an option to add the Genie+ Service to my Annual Pass or Magic Key at one price for the year? Answer: Unfortunately, that answer is currently no. There will not be any discounts or annual fee add-ons. If you have an Annual Pass or Magic Key, the price will be the same: $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World Resort and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland Resort. It is possible something could be added in the future (discount or yearly fee), but nothing is planned for the release.
Question: Are there any changes to the Disability Access Service (DAS) program? Answer: YES! In addition to the existing in-person system, these options will be available:
- Pre-Arrival Registration and Planning via Live Video Chat. This fall, you will have the option to register virtually with a Cast Member via live video chat as early as 30 days in advance of a park visit. During your chat with a Cast Member, you’ll also have the opportunity to select up to 2 experiences per day (subject to availability) using the new DAS Advance planning option. Please keep in mind that DAS Advance selections must be booked at least 2 days prior to the day you plan to redeem them, and you will not be able to make selections on the day of your visit. If the experience you want is available, you’ll be given a one-hour return window to redeem during the day of your visit. Any selections you make will appear as plans on the My Disney Experience app or on the Disneyland app. Please note: at this time, live chat will be offered in English only.
- Same-Day DAS Return Time Self-Selection Tool Also beginning this fall, in lieu of having to physically go to an experience or to a kiosk to obtain a return time from a Cast Member, Guests registered in the DAS program (and their party members) will be able to make return time selections right from the My Disney Experience app or Disneyland app during the day of a park visit.
I know this is a big change and certainly an added expense, especially for our readers that visit Walt Disney World resort in Florida. If you have any other questions I didn’t answer, please add them to the comments.
Need help planning your Disney vacation? Patricia at All 4 Dream Travel is here to help! Contact her today for a quote.