Since its initial launch in 2021, there’s been a lot of discussions to determine, “Is Genie Plus worth it?” Below, we take an in-depth look at Genie+, how it works, and whether Genie+ is worth the cost.
What is Disney Genie+?
Genie+ is a paid service that allows guests to enjoy shorter wait times at select attractions at the Disney theme parks. It operates similarly to the retired MaxPass system at Disneyland.
Here’s how the service came about:
When Disney announced that they were retiring the FastPass+ and MaxPass programs at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, many wondered what would take its place. Last fall, we got our answer.
Before Walt Disney World’s 50th-Anniversary Celebration, Disney implemented two new premium services, Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane, allowing guests to skip the lines at many popular Disney park attractions. When you purchase Genie+, you are given access to the ride’s “Lightning Lane Entrance,” which is the new name given to the actual queue line.
There are 40 Genie+ attractions at Walt Disney World and 19 at Disneyland. Alternatively, you can purchase individual Lightning Lane passes for up to two rides a day. We go into detail about purchasing Lightning Lane Passes here.
How Does Genie+ work?
Understanding how Genie+ works is the main factor in deciding is Genie Plus worth it. Many popular attractions throughout Walt Disney World are included in the Genie+ service, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Soarin’ Around the World, and Rock’ n’ Roller Coaster. Character encounter experiences are also included in Genie+, such as seeing princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall.
Once you have purchased the Genie+ service inside the My Disney Experience app, you can make your first ride selection starting at 7 am on that day. Once you select your desired attraction, you’ll be given a one-hour arrival window to experience the ride.
You can make additional ride selections after checking into your first attraction or after two hours have passed since you made a reservation—whichever comes first. In this way, it is possible to hold more than one Genie+ reservation at a time.
You cannot modify a selection once you’ve made it, but only for the same ride or another ride in the same park. If you’re park hopping and want to pick a ride in the next park, you’ll need to cancel your existing selection first.
Once you reserve a Genie+ attraction, you are given the earliest one-hour return window available instead of choosing from a list of available times, as you used to do with FastPass+.
How Much Does the Disney Genie+ Service Cost?
Genie+ costs vary by date and demand. As of October 2022, expect to pay somewhere between $15-$30 per person per day (plus tax) at Walt Disney World and at least $25 per person per day at Disneyland.
What are the Benefits of Disney Genie+?
The biggest advantage of using Genie+ is that it allows you to experience shorter ride wait times and reserve your spot in a line without physically standing in it. When traveling with a large group of young children, skipping the standby line (especially if it’s an hour or more) can be a huge benefit.
Can you Reserve a Genie+ Attraction More than Once?
No. Guests can only make a Genie+ reservation once per ride. If you want to ride an attraction more than once a day, you will need to use the standby line.
Is There a “Grace Period” to Return to the Ride?
There is a short grace period of five minutes before the return window and 15 minutes after the return window to enjoy the attraction. This grace period is automatically added, so you can just tap your MagicBand or park ticket to the scanner to ride.
How Many Disney Genie+ Reservations Can You Have at One Time?
You can only make one Genie+ reservation at a time. However, it’s possible to simultaneously have two (or more) Genie+ reservations. This is because you can make a new Genie+ reservation two hours after making the first one (known as “the 120-minute rule”).
If your first Genie+ reservation has a return window more than two hours after making it, you can reserve a second selection after the two-hour mark. If that second reservation has a return window more than two hours after you made the reservation, you’d be able to make a third Genie+ reservation two hours later. This way, it’s possible to hold more than two Genie+ reservations at a time, which is referred to as “stacking.”
When Genie+ first launched in the fall, “stacking” referred to a loophole that allowed guests to make more than two Genie+ ride reservations at once if they returned to a ride around the same time the 120-minute window expired. However, this loophole has been closed and is no longer applicable.
The only way to hold multiple Genie+ reservations is to make one Genie+ reservation later in the day, allow two hours to pass, make a subsequent reservation with a return window more than two hours away, wait another two hours, and so on. In other words, if a guest has a Genie+ selection later in the day, they can continue to make another selection two hours after making the previous one or after checking into a ride—whichever happens first.
If you’re confused about when you can make your next Genie+ reservation, simply try to make a reservation. The system will let you know if it’s too early and when you’ll be eligible again.
How Many Rides Can I Book With Genie+?
There are 40 Genie+ attractions available at all four theme parks at Walt Disney World and 19 at Disneyland Resort. Check out this article for a complete list of rides available for Genie+ at Disney World. Although there are plenty of rides offered through the system, Disney says that in practice it’s reasonable to expect the system will actually help you skip the line on 2-3 rides per day (maybe a few more on less-crowded days), thanks to the return times and waiting periods mentioned above.
What Else Is Included With Genie+?
While the primary feature of Genie+ is skipping the standby queue, there are some other perks of getting Genie+ for the day.
Other features may help you determine if Genie Plus is worth it. Genie+ gives you access to exclusive Disney PhotoPass AR lenses for your smartphone. These different filters can “genie-fy” you or allow you to take a selfie with Cinderella Castle circa 1996 when it was a giant pink cake for Walt Disney World’s 25th Anniversary. If you have a GPS enabled with My Disney Experience, you’ll see filters relevant to your location. You can also use some filters 45 days after your Genie+ purchase.
There are also audio guides that will give you behind-the-scenes information about the parks and fun facts. While this may be beneficial if you get bored in a standby line, chances are you won’t use this feature very much.
How To Book Disney Genie+
As of Summer 2022, Genie+ was made available solely as a day-of add-on to your theme park experience which cannot be added in advance. It’s also being considered “subject to availability,” meaning it’s possible that it can sell out for the day and not be available for you to purchase.
On the day you wish to use Genie+, you can book your first reservation at 7 am. After the initial reservation, you will need to wait two hours after the park opens (usually around 11 am on most days) to make your second reservation.
Our friends at The Vacationeer can help you add on Genie+ for your trip. Click HERE for a free quote!
Is Disney Genie Plus Worth It At Disneyland?
Genie+ costs at least $25 per ticket per day at Disneyland Resort. The price cam vary by day based on demand.
There are 19 attractions included with Genie+, from classic rides like “It’s A Small World” and Matterhorn Bobsleds to new attractions like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Genie+ operates similarly to Disneyland’s retired MaxPass system, so Disneyland guests will be more accustomed to navigating its features than guests who visit Walt Disney World.
Genie+ also includes all PhotoPass downloads from your day at Disneyland (which isn’t offered at Walt Disney World), adding more value.
.Due to this, we believe Disney Genie+ is well worth the price when visiting Disneyland.
Does Disney Genie+ Sell Out?
While it’s unlikely, it’s certainly possible that Genie+ can sell out for the day. Disney has begun advising Guests that all Disney+ sales are subject to availability.
It’s more likely that individual attractions with Genie+ may “sell out” (be unavailable) for certain days or times. If you can’t reserve an attraction you wish in Genie+, check back to see if more availability opens up later in the day.
The Verdict: Is Disney Genie Plus Worth It?
Now that we understand what Genie+ is and how it works, it’s time to answer the question on everyone’s mind: is Genie Plus worth it?
Overall, we believe Genie+ is worth it. The time you’ll save by skipping the standby line, and the number of attractions available with Genie+ is well worth the extra $15-$30 — at least for some days of your trip. However, you probably don’t need to purchase Genie+ for every day you visit the parks.
Genie+ is most valuable on days you visit Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Those are the parks with the most Genie+ attractions available and include some of the resort’s most popular rides, which will help you save the most time. Genie+ is beneficial on days you want to knock out several must-do attractions, allowing you to relax on other park days. Genie+ is also helpful for days you plan to park hop.
Ready to Book Your Trip to Walt Disney World?
We hope this guide has helped you understand more about what Genie+ is, how it works, and whether it’s worth adding this service to your trip. If you have questions about planning your Disney vacation, our friends at The Vacationeer can help. Contact them HERE for a free quote!
For more information about using Disney Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lane, check out our blog about Disney Genie, our Genie+ Ride Guide, and our article on whether Lightning Lane Passes are worth it.