Disney Genie

Earlier this week, Disney released a few details about the new Disney Genie, a planning tool for Disneyland and Walt Disney World resort travelers. Disney Genie was originally announced back in 2019 as part of the D23 Expo.

The official launch date is said to be Fall 2021. When the official release date is announced, I will post it here.. check back frequently!

What is Disney Genie?

Disney Genie service will be located within the MyDisneyExperience (MDE) (Walt Disney World) and Disneyland apps for Android and iPhones. Disney Genie will be the service within the apps that will reinvent the way you are able to do many things you are able to do now within the apps, plus will incorporate additional planning tools to make your Theme Park and resort (both Florida and California) experiences more streamlined and easier to navigate. The Disney Genie tool be a regular part of the apps and will not require any fee for use. Again, I repeat…Disney Genie is a complimentary tool.

What things will Disney Genie improve that are already available within the apps (MDE and Disneyland)?

Disney Genie will take information such as wait times, mobile ordering, virtual/walk-up wait-lists and make them streamlined into one location within the apps functionality. It will show things such as projected and actual wait-times and suggest places for you to go to minimize your waits. Suggestions will be based on what you tell Genie you want to accomplish during the day, attractions or things you like, etc.

For example,(this is hypothetical based on the training I have received but not actual utilization) if you tell the app that you love Casey’s Corner and Aladdin’s Magic Carpet ride, it may tell you suggested times for mobile ordering or for walking over to your beloved attraction.

Thus, Genie is taking many of the tools already inside MyDisneyExperience (or Disneyland apps) and attempting to optimize the experience and functionality of the app. Disney Genie will adapt your plans as you change your mind/as your day evolves and give you other suggestions to help you navigate your day. You can be as planned or as spontaneous as you desire.

Disney Genie+, Lightning Lane and Individual Attraction Selections

In addition to the announcement about Disney Genie, Disney announced that they will be retiring the previous MaxPass and FastPass systems at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Essentially, Disney Genie+ is the new version of the previous MaxPass from Disneyland but now brought to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts but in a remodeled form.

What will Disney Genie+ cost?

At launch, the Disney Genie+ will cost $15 per person, per ticket, per day for Walt Disney World Resort guests, and $20 per person, per ticket, per day for Disneyland Resort guests. On-property resort guests will have the opportunity to pre-pay for the service as part of their vacation packages. Or guests may opt to purchase each day individually, as all off-site guests may do.

What does Disney Genie+ give me?

The biggest perk of purchasing Genie+ is the ability to use the Lightning Lane (more on Lightning Lane in a minute) for select attractions throughout your day at all theme parks (with valid tickets and Park Pass Reservations).

Similar to MaxPass, included with the purchase of Disney Genie+ at Disneyland Resort, guests will have access to download their PhotoPass photos from the day in which they purchased the Genie+ Service.

At Walt Disney World Resort, guests who purchase Genie+ will receive augmented reality photo filters within their app which allows the opportunity to take fun photos around the resort “with” their favorite characters. These will be similar to the Snapchat filters currently available for use over on Snapchat. I am not sure when those filters will be removed and/or if newer exclusive filters will be added. (I am assuming that will be the case).

What is Lightning Lane?

If you are familiar with FastPass queues, this is essentially what Lightning Lane is replacing. Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, FastPass queues were the pre-selected attraction lines that you were able to select a return ride time, rather than using the stand-by line.

Depending on which resort you are visiting, if you are a resort guest or just attending the parks with a stand alone theme park admission and Park Reservation (or Annual Pass with a Park Reservation), will determine what time you can make your first Lightning Lane Pass with Disney Genie+. In order to utilize a Lightning Lane, you must purchase Disney Genie+.

Other ways you may see/experience Lightning Lane without purchase:

  • VIP TOUR GUESTS – VIP Tours traditionally have always gotten to bypass the standby lines on most attractions and utilize FastPass access points, aside from Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. (Rise of the Resistance has required everyone to obtain a virtual boarding group in order to ride.
  • Virtual Queue – Virtual Queueing, a system by in which you login at a certain time in the MDE or Disneyland App to obtain a Boarding Groups, has been implemented on newer, more popular rides, such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Avenger Campus’ new WebSlingers attraction.
    • Virtual Queues are typically ways of managing what would normally be very long queue lines and instead offering folks a window to return to the ride and wait in a shorter standby line.
    • Disney has stated that virtual queues will be implemented for the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, opening October 1, in EPCOT. When Virtual Queues are utilized there are no standby queues available.
    • Disney has also mentioned the possibility of expanding this option to other attractions as well as offering some Virtual Queue Attractions as also IAS attractions (where you can pay for a Lightning Lane pass over a Virtual Queue Boarding Group.
  • Disability Access Services – Requires pre-approval process. For more information, read the latest policies here.
    • As part of the new features coming this fall, Disney will be adding additional opportunities to improve the Disability Access process. According to Walt Disney World website
      • “This fall, 2 new features will be added to the DAS program: (1) The opportunity to pre-register via live video call and use DAS Advance pre-arrival planning and (2) A convenient way to select DAS return times through the My Disney Experience app.” I will be writing a follow-up post on Disability Access Service at a later date.
  • Rider Swap (Rider Swap is commonly used for situations in which a child does meet the height requirements of is too scared to ride an attraction and family members swap places so that one may ride with another child/family members, while the other guest stays back with the child not riding. Rider swap occurs after a family has ridden, the member that has yet to ride may go back with 1-2 other family members to ride without having to wait in the traditional standby queue (again or at all depending on if the family had used standby, Lightning Lane or Individual Attraction Selection).
    • Although it has not been thoroughly addressed from Disney, it could be assumed that Rider Swap will still be available at all attractions in any of the scenarios. Whether it be you were riding via the stand-by queue, snagged a Virtual Queue, Lightning Lane or IAS. You would still need to go to the Cast Member at the entrance into the attraction to setup your Rider Swap request. Everyone would have to have their valid pass in order to setup the swap if you were riding via Lightning Lane, IAS, or Virtual queue. This is the way it is now for Virtual Queuing so I wouldn’t think it would be any different for other options.

How can Genie+ benefit me?

Genie+ will allow you to make selections on many popular attractions throughout the resorts. Each morning of your park arrival, guests with pre-purchased Genie+ may make one Lightning Lane pass. After each Lightning Lane pass is used, another may be booked.

Genie+ may be added to a Walt Disney World or Disneyland Travel Company Packages prior to your arrival; however, when added to your vacation package, Genie+ is required for each ticketed person, per theme park ticket. For example, a family of 4 with everyone over age 2+ would be required to have the same number of days of Disney Genie+ added to their vacation package. So if the same family had a four day Park Hopper ticket to Walt Disney World, it would require 4 days of Genie+ x 4 people x $15 per day. OR, if not purchased within their resort package, the family can pay as they go, beginning at 7 am the morning of their park day (each day).

Resort guests can pay as they go under the following scenarios:

Walt Disney World Resort Guests

  • May purchase Genie+ and book a Lightning Lane reservation and IAS passes beginning at 7am on their scheduled park day (i.e. with valid theme park ticket and Park Pass Reservation).
  • Off-site guests may purchase Genie+ and book their first Lightning Lane reservation and purchase and book their IAS beginning at the posted park opening time for their park day.

Disneyland Resort Guests

  • Resort guests may purchase Genie+ and book Lightning Lane reservation and IAS passes beginning upon entering the Theme Parks.

Individual Attraction Selections (IAS)

Per Disney Parks Blog an Individual Attraction Selection is defined as:

“Individual attraction selections (available for purchase) (IAS): 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; attractions not included with Disney Genie+). Pricing will vary by date, attraction and park.”

Individual Attraction Selections Cost?

At this time, we do not have pricing for the IAS but we do know the IAS option will be for high demand attractions and can include attractions that also offer virtual queuing, such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, WebSlingers (Disneyland Resort) or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Walt Disney World Resort, EPCOT).

It is assumed that the two most popular attractions in each Theme Park will be vetted as an IAS attraction and will be excluded from the traditional Lightning Lane booking option with Genie+. Thus, it would appear that the ways to ride those attractions would be to utilize the standby queue, attempt a virtual queue (if applicable) or attempt purchase a ride time through IAS method.

With the advent of Disney Genie+, there are now several ways guests can attempt to experience attractions within Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. At this point, I am counting at least 5-6 ways guests can experience attractions.

Walt Disney World Resort

It appears a benefit of staying on-property is that guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will be able to purchase Individual Attraction Selections (up to two per day) beginning at 7 a.m. All other resort guests can purchase Individual Attraction Selections beginning at the posted park opening time. Therefore, it seems that if you have valid theme park admission AND a Park Pass Reservations but are not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, you will have to wait until the posted park opening time to book your IAS.


Similar to the previous MaxPass system, Disneyland Resort guests may purchase and make their selections once they enter the Theme Park (i.e. Disneyland or Disney California Adventure).

A summary benefits to Walt Disney World Resort Guests

It seems like the upper hand will be toward Walt Disney World guests when it comes to Early Morning Magic (extra 30 minutes prior to posted park opening) and selecting Lightning Lane and IAS passes. Walt Disney World Resort Deluxe guests will be eligible for evening “after hours” for certain Theme Parks on select nights beginning this October.

At this moment, this is much to decipher and much to wait and see. I will be sure to continue to update the blog and keep my clients informed as Disney releases more details and launch dates.

Do You NEED to use Genie, Genie+ or IAS to experience Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort?

You do not have to utilize any of the services to enjoy the Theme Parks. You can still order in a line, wait in standby queues, etc. There are ways to enjoy Disney without a smart device. However, it seems that in theory you can have a more efficient and immersive experience if you use this new service and can wait in lines less if you purchase the Genie+ and Individual Attraction Services (IAS). At this time, I personally have not seen or had a chance to utilize Disney Genie, Genie+ or the IAS and therefore I cannot exactly tell you the exact pros and cons as not having any personal experience with the products. Hopefully, as more details emerge and we learn more about how the app responds to demand (does it crash alot, etc.), how the wait times are impacted by the new queueing options, as well as what it does to mobile ordering and reservations, I will be able to give better guidance on the impact of Genie on the vacation experience.

Based on what you know so far, what do you think of the new Disney Genie? Leave a comment or send me a note!

Interested in booking a Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line or other Disney Destination? Please contact me today for your no obligation quote or complete my form and tell me a little bit about what you are interested in.

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About Crush on the Magic

I'm a Midwestern mom that embraces fun whenever possible! Crush on the Magic is focused on all things Disney and Universal Destinations. I'm here to provide insights for all Disney/Universal vacationers, from the theme park regular to the once-in-a-lifetime trip goer, this site is for you! Thinking of booking a trip? I am happy to provide my expertise at no additional charge. Contact me at Blair@WickedMouseTravel.com or complete my no obligation form at https://us18.list-manage.com/survey?u=b62311de7c042ab679f0a7199&id=0e36980940&attribution=false&fbclid=IwAR0dF1h9z_nYDe8o1YyioqcEFp1TksK-ugt5r3NeNdxn5Iodetb-hEB33Ys