In previous posts, I have broken down the cost and general steps as to how Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selections (IAS) work at Walt Disney World. After having just returned from a trip and using the service during a peak crowd time (February winter break), I have a few opinions and tips I think will help prep those who are deciding if and how they will use this service. There are a million articles and posts out there about Genie+ now. You can spend hours reading content but my goal here is to keep it simple and help make your decision a bit easier.
Consider: How often do you go/plan to visit to Walt Disney World
The first key consideration is to decide what your goals are for your park days. If your goals are to ride as many rides as possible, as quickly as possible, Genie+ and IAS purchases is probably for you. If you are a one and done Disney vacationer, or not sure if you will return in future years, Genie+ and IAS purchases is probably for you.
During my February trip, I was traveling with my family: two children under 10 and my husband. We did not elect to use Genie+ or IAS everyday as we had different goals for each day of our trip. We were there at the beginning of the winter break season (Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Marathon weekend, etc.). We are blessed to go often (it is my job after all ;). We are annual pass holders and go regularly, so we do not feel the pressure to EVERYTHING each day in the park. ).
Consider: Time of year you are traveling
Crowd calendars for this year are terribly inaccurate. Those calendars are based on pre-pandemic crowd patterns and right now the demand is WAY UP. There are parts of the year that have limited hotel occupancy availability on and off Walt Disney World property. Therefore, if you are going during a typical time of year in which children are off school for holidays or breaks, plan for the crowds to be there in full force. Yes, there will be pockets of days that wait times and crowds may be low but right now we aren’t seeing many of those days in general. Everyone is ready to travel. How long the high demand will last and when it levels out is hard to determine.
Consider: Does your travel party have the patience to wait in line
- If you don’t like to wait in line, you probably want to purchase Genie+ and IAS.
- If you are traveling with small children and want to be able to ride some of the bigger rides with height requirements that are more than your child, you will probably want to purchase the service. This would eliminate the time you have to spend separated waiting in line while someone else in your party entertains the children. You can still rider swap with small children but it doesn’t eliminate the initial wait.
Consider: Are you planning to spend all day in the park?
If you are planning to be in the parks from rope drop to park close (or want to come and go later), Genie+ and IAS is probably for you. If you plan to arrive later in the day and only spend part of your day in the parks, purchasing Genie+ is probably not a great value as your price for the day vs. the amount of Lightning Lanes you would receive and use would not be that significant. However, if you wanted to go to the park and your goal was to ride a top tier ride,(i.e. Flight of Passage, Rise of the Resistance) then you would definitely want to consider purchasing the IAS.
Consider: Travel party personality
Are your family/party members morning people or not? If you aren’t planning to use the early park entry for Walt Disney World resort guests, then you may want to purchase Geneit+ and IAS so that you have less number of rides to wait for longer periods when you finally arrive.
If your family/ travel party members are morning people, leverage the early entry time could help you avoid having to pay for an IAS, such as Flight of Passage or Seven Dwarves Mine Train. Some folks strategy is to use the morning to either rope drop a high cost Lightning Lane or go and ride as many lesser demand attractions before off-property are allowed inside.
Consider: Your ticket type Base ticket vs. Park Hopper
Having a Park Hopper ticket (hop from park to park after 2pm) can be in advantage in that you can hop to different parks if you notice lower wait times elsewhere as times drop later in the day. This can change at a moments notice. But a Park Hopper ticket does allow you the freedom to go back and wait in lines, or book Genie+ and IAS, for more than one park during your day. This means you can book Lightning Lanes in more than one park but you can only by a total of two IAS per day! This can be very helpful if one park appears very busy and another much slower.
Consider: Are you staying at a Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort
Deluxe resort guests with a valid ticket and park reservation can get extended evening hour entry into select parks on select nights. Historically, these have been EPCOT and Magic Kindgom on Monday and Wednesday evenings. During this time Walt Disney World Resort Deluxe guests with valid park tickets can enjoy these parks for two hours after the park has closed to other guests. Cast Members will scan Magic Bands and tickets to verify guest eligibility.
Consider: Do you or a person in your travel party have a medical condition that would qualify you for Disability Access Service(DAS)?
If you or a family member possibly qualify for Disability Access, you may want to consider using Genie+ and applying for the Disability Service. You can pre-register for Disability Access 30 days prior to your arrival through the chat feature on MY Disney Experience. Or you may elect to register at Guest Services on your first park day. You would have to provide Disney with the necessary documentation for approval (i.e. medical note from physician, etc.). The reason Genie+ and DAS would be beneficial is that once you are approved for DAS with Disney you can use both Genie+ and DAS to wait in lines for you virtually. It’s like getting double the “lightning lanes.” Your eligibility would be up to Disney and you would need to connect and obtain the necessary documentation. For more information about the DAS process, please refer to the Disney Website.