Well, we knew it was coming and here it is.
We won’t lie when we say this is a lot of information to digest, especially when Disney fans on both coasts have to learn a completely new FastPass-style system.
That said, we are here to break everything down for you in hopefully the simplest way possible.
First things first — this new Genie is coming to both Disney World and Disneyland this fall. We don’t have an exact date yet.
The digital services are built right into both the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps.
Now, allow us to break down everything you need to know about Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lanes.
What is Disney Genie?
Disney Genie is a complimentary new digital service (unlike Disney Genie+) described as a way to help you “create your best Disney day.”
The purpose behind this, according to Disney, is “to help you make the most of your visit.”
The Genie is built to help you “maximize your park time, so you can have more fun.”
It includes a personalized itinerary feature that helps you map out an entire park day, including attractions, dining, entertainment, and more.
Disney Genie will bring “existing planning features together in one place,” like virtual queues, dining and experience reservations, mobile order, a virtual assistant, and more.
Basically, it’s a free planning tool inside both the Disney World and Disneyland apps.
What is Disney Genie+?
Now, Disney Genie+ you have to pay for. This is essentially the new paid-FastPass system. It’s similar to MaxPass at Disneyland.
Genie+ offers guests the chance to skip the line for select attractions — for a daily fee.
Pricing is as follows:
- Disney World: $15 per ticket per day
- Disneyland: $20 per ticket per day
You’ll choose the next available time to arrive at a variety of attractions (like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run) and experiences. You can only make one selection at a time. You’ll then enter via the Lightning Lanes.
Genie+ also includes Disney parks-themed audio experiences and photo features to capture your memories, like “augmented reality lenses for those visiting Walt Disney World Resort and unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads from your day if you are visiting Disneyland Resort.”
Yes, that means guests at Disney World do not get unlimited PhotoPass downloads.
Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests will be able to reserve individual Lightning Lane attraction selections starting at 7 a.m. EST. All guests with Genie+ can book their first attraction starting at 7 a.m. EST.
Most attractions that previously offered FastPass+ at Disney World and FastPass/MaxPass at Disneyland will offer a Lightning Lane entrance available through Disney Genie+.
Even though we don’t have a specific launch date yet, we do know that guests will be able to buy Genie+ on the day of their visit starting at 12 a.m.
This doesn’t mean you have to wake up at midnight to do so or that Genie+ will sell out, but simply means that once the day changes you can start purchasing Genie+.
Genie+ can be purchased as an add-on ticket option, valid for the length of guests’ stay, but only for:
- Standalone, date-based tickets at Disney World
- Most standalone tickets at Disneyland
- Vacation packages to both Disney World and Disneyland with these tickets
Otherwise, you’ll purchase Genie+ each day you want to use it as an in-app feature purchase.
Important: When Genie+ is purchased with a ticket or vacation package ahead of a visit, Genie+ is purchased for the entire length of stay (all days of a multi-day visit). When purchased on the day of visit, guests will purchase Genie+ for a single day.
Basically, if you don’t want Genie+ for every day of your multi-day visit, you can’t get it ahead of time and will have to buy it on the day of each visit when you want to use it.
What are Lightning Lanes?
This is simply the new name for FastPass lanes.
Individual Lightning Lane Attraction Selections
There are individual Lightning Lane attractions selections that are not included with Genie+. They are sold separately and will be pay-per-use.
You’ll schedule a time to arrive at two “highly demanded” attractions each day using the Lightning Lanes, like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom and Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure.
Pricing will vary by date, attraction, and park. More information will be announced closer to the fall launch.
To be clear, there is a maximum two purchases per guest per day. Also, Genie+ and this a la carte option are separate from each other.
This option can be used across multiple theme parks and for those with the Park Hopper option.
For individual Lightning Lane attraction selections, Disney World guests staying offsite can start making selections at park opening, but they don’t have to be inside the park to do so. Again, Disney World Resort hotel guests can start making these selections starting at 7 a.m.
What About Standby & Virtual Queues?
Standby queues aren’t going anywhere, and neither are virtual queues.
Both Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios and Disneyland and WEB SLINGERS at Disney California Adventure park will still offer free virtual queues. They will also offer paid individual Lightning Lane options.
And — Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open with a virtual queue similar to Rise of the Resistance when it opens at Epcot on Oct. 1. Once available, this will also have an a la carte purchase option.
Important: Starting Sept. 23, the virtual queue will be paused for Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios. A standby queue will be used. You’ll still be able to purchase entry via the a la carte Lightning Lane option.
Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland
Here are the differences between the two when it comes to these new options:
- Genie+ gives you access to over 15 attractions for $20 per ticket per day
- Includes unlimited PhotoPass downloads
- All guests can book Genie+ return times and individual Lightning Lane options once they enter the parks
- Genie+ gives you access to over 40 attractions for $15 per ticket per day
- Does not include unlimited PhotoPass downloads, but includes augmented filters
- Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests will be able to reserve individual Lightning Lane attraction selections starting at 7 a.m. EST. All guests with Genie+ can book their first attraction starting at 7 a.m. EST.
What Does This Mean For Annual Passholders?
There’s still a lot unknown about what this means for Annual Passholders, but there are a few things we do know.
As reported by My News 13 journalist Ashley Carter, “At launch, passholders at Disney World and Magic Key holders at Disneyland are going to be able to add Disney Genie+ on the day of their visit.”
Annual Passholders at both Disney World and Disneyland can also purchase individual Lightning Lane selections on the day of their visit.
Remember, as previously announced, new sales for Walt Disney World Annual Passes will become available in time for the start of the 50th anniversary celebration. More details are expected to be announced later in August.
Disability Access Service Updates
The Disability Access Service (DAS) program at Disney World and Disneyland will now include the ability to enroll in the program pre-arrival and for DAS participants to select attractions directly in the app. These options will be available in addition to the existing, in-person DAS program.
And that’s all we know so far!
We will definitely keep you updated on the latest details released about Genie+, including a release date. Stay tuned!
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