Last week Disney released bits and pieces about their NEW Disney Genie and Disney Genie + service that is set to launch sometime "this fall."
No, we still do not know an exact date yet when we will actually see these new features become available, but if I had to guess...it will be in time for the 50th anniversary this October. Please be sure to stay tuned because I will let you know just as soon as Disney officially announces it.
Let's get started!
There's a lot of information all over the internet about this...most of what I have seen has been fairly accurate, but there has also be some not so accurate so I am going to try and break it down as simply as I can.
Please remember, I only have as much information as Disney has told us up to this point in time, so I am not leaving out any specific details pertaining to which attractions may or may not included in this new service because Disney will be releasing that information at some point in the future.
What is the New Disney Genie?
The Disney Genie option will be a new feature that will be found in your My Disney Experience account, and is designed to have intuitive functionality to assist you and your travel party throughout your day(s) in Walt Disney World® Resort or Disneyland Resort theme parks.
How Will Disney Genie Be Helpful to Me?
You will have the ability to tell select the attractions, shows, characters or types/themes of attractions you would like to experience throughout your day, such as Toy Story, Star Wars, Princesses or thrill rides.
The Disney Genie will then assist you by suggesting which attraction or show you should experience next and continue throughout your day/evening in the park based on real time wait times, as well as forecasted wait times as you progress throughout the day. The intention with this feature is to help you enjoy more time doing the things you would like and less time standing in line.
You Can Create Your Very Own Personalized Tips Board!
What does this mean? It means that you will have the ability to select your favorite attractions and Disney Genie will create a "tips" board customized with your top priority attractions and show you the current real time wait times for each of those attractions so you know when is the best time to ride.
Is There a Charge to Use the Disney Genie Feature?
No, Disney Genie will be a complimentary option found in your current My Disney Experience app designed to help you navigate Disney's theme parks the day(s) you are in the parks.
Can I Do Any of My Advance Planning For My Upcoming Trip to Walt Disney World® Resort or Disneyland Parks Using Disney Genie?
No, this option is strictly designed with the intention to help you maximize your time while you are physically in the theme parks.
This will not replace the assistance and expertise of your travel advisor with selecting your Disney resort hotel, choosing which park(s) are the best to visit each day based on projected crowd patterns and securing your dining reservations in advance. We will still help you create your overall customized trip itinerary for you, while Disney Genie will be able to assist with setting up a customized itinerary of which attractions you experience in the best order to maximize your time.
Can I Park Hop With Disney Genie?
Absolutely! You will be able to select the attractions you would like to experience throughout your day in the parks, and Disney Genie is supposed to intuitively know which park you are in and where you are so it can assist you.
What is the Disney Genie+
The Disney Genie + option will be what replaces the former FastPass+ system. Disney will release a list of which attractions that will be included at each theme park at both Walt Disney World® Resort and Disneyland Resort theme parks.
You will be able to purchase the option to use the New Lightning Lane (FastPass entrance) for $15.00 per person, per day at Walt Disney World® Resort and $20 per person, per day at Disneyland Resort. Disney Genie + can be added to your Disney room/ticket vacation package based on the number of park days you have tickets for.
If you have purchased the Disney Genie + option, which includes the ability to select multiple attractions, one at a time, throughout the day(s) you will be in the park(s).
Walt Disney World® Resort Guests will be able to make their first selection of the day starting at 7 AM on the morning they plan to visit a theme park, which is ahead of those not staying at a Disney resort hotel. All other guests will be able to start making their first selection of the day once the theme park has officially opened for the day.
Additional Features Included with Disney Genie +:
When you purchase the Disney Genie + option, you will receive additional audio enhancements in your app that will tell you fun facts and interesting information about select attractions around the parks.
If you are visiting Walt Disney World® Resort, you will have access to additional fun augmented photo pass filters through your smartphone's camera when using your Disney Genie features.
If you are visiting Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, you will receive digital downloads of your Photo Pass photos taken around the parks as part of your Disney Genie + purchase just like you did when you used the MaxPass system previously.
What is the "Lightning Lane Individual Attraction Selection" Paid Option?
This is where it can get a little confusing because there will be (2) paid options you will be able to choose between.
The Disney Genie+, which is the multiple attraction selection where you select one attraction at a time, similar to the former FastPass system, and then there will be the Lightning Lane Individual Ride Selection where you will be able to pre-select up to (2) high demand attractions for each day you have purchased this option for.
The New Lightning Lane Individual Attraction Selection option will allow you to pre-select up to (2) attractions that will be highly demanded attractions at each of Disney's theme parks. This may include Radiator Racers at Disney California Adventure, Flight of Passage at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot, which will have a virtual queue system when it opens.
You will have the option to try and secure a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and/or Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at 7 AM the morning you plan to visit, or purchase this paid option and select a ride time to guarantee that you will get to experience these attractions while at Disney.
Will the Highly Demanded Attractions Be Included in Disney Genie + Attraction Options?
No, these attractions will be continue to have a Standby line, virtual queue system or be available with the New Lightning Lane Individual Ride Selection option.
What is the Cost For the Lightning Lane Individual Ride Selection Option?
It sounds like both of the paid options (Genie + Multiple Ride Selection & Lightning Lane Individual Ride Selection) will be $15 per person, per day. We will know more for certain as Disney continues to release more details about these new options.
Will Disney Limit the Number of Disney Genie + Purchases For Each Day?
Yes, Disney has said there will be a limited number of Disney Genie + and Lightning Lane Individual Ride Selection options sold each day. Doing this ensures that the wait time for the expedited attraction entrance does not get too backed up resulting in an extended wait time for those guests that have paid to have quicker access to those attractions.
Do I Need to Purchase Disney Genie + or the Lightning Lane Option in Advance, Or Can I Purchase It the Day I Plan to Visit a Park?
You can purchase the Disney Genie + or Lightning Lane Individual Ride Selection option starting at 12 AM on the day you plan to visit a Disney theme park however, I would encourage you to add it to your vacation package in advance as you would the Memory Maker photo package to guarantee it won't be sold out for the day(s) you plan to be there.
Remember, Disney will be capping the number of these options it will allow to be used each day just like there is a cap to the number of people allowed to secure a park reservation each day. This is how they are now managing the crowd flow and wait times in the parks. It has worked pretty well this last year.
Can Annual Passholders Purchase the Disney Genie+ or Lightnbing Lane Options?
Yes, passholders will be able to purchase either of these options to use for the day(s) they plan to be in the parks. It is not clear at this time if those with an annual pass will be able to add these options to a room reservation, or if it will need to be purchased one day at a time on the the day you plan to be in the parks
This information will continue to be clarified as we get more details from Disney, so stay tuned!
Your Mouse Expert and Travel Concierge