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Is Disney Genie+ Worth It and Why?



I recently went on a trip to Walt Disney World with my sister and had a wonderful time! It was a "research" trip for Disney Genie+ and it was obviously well worth the visit! I learned so much from being there without my kids and I was able to do Disney a bit differently than I normally do. I really wanted to try Disney Genie+ plus out so that I could experience and explain it better to my clients. Here was my experience:


But first! A quick vocabulary lesson for this blog:

WDW- Walt Disney World

MK- Magic Kingdom

Disney Genie+- "is a paid ride-reservation system that allows you to avoid the regular standby line on certain popular rides." - www.touringplans.com

Lightning Lanes- a "term Disney uses for a faster, priority queue available at select attractions. (For those familiar with the past, think of Lightning Lane as a new name for the "FASTPASS" or "FastPass+" queue.)" www.touringplans.com

Individual Lightning Lane- "Individual Lightning Lanes are the new pay-per-ride at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood, and Animal Kingdom that allows guests to buy line-skipping access to the 2 most popular attractions in each park." www.disneytouristblog.com

Early Entry- if you stay at a Disney Resort, you have access to a 30 minute early entry to all the parks. Only certain lands are open during this time though but it's sooo worth it. They will scan your ticket twice while at the park to make sure that you are staying on resort.

Rope Drop- rope drop means getting to the park before opening and waiting inside the park at the literal ropes Disney has put up blocking the crowds from getting into those areas. Once they park officially opens, they "drop the rope" and it's a mad dash to be first in line to any of the rides (be smart and choose the ride that has the longest queue lines).



This is what I learned:

DISNEY GENIE+ IS WORTH IT.

Under certain conditions, including:

1. If you're going at an average or above average crowd capacity

2. If you want to ride as many rides as you can (with limitations)

3. If you want to sleep in or are wanting to "take it easy" (aka not a rope drop or early entry person)

4. Want to guarantee riding the *big* rides


Here is a break down of the conditions.

1. f you're going at an average or above average crowd capacity time, this means that the ride queues and wait times will be long at all gates and entrances. Average wait times are 30+ minutes but if you're going during a high peak season, you will easily see wait times well above 60 minutes and even up to 2 hours ALL DAY long. Genie+ is really helpful because it gives you access to the attractions that have the Lightning Lanes.

2. Disney Genie+ is really helpful if you want to ride as many rides as you can! This may not get you on to ALL the rides you want because Disney Genie+ has rules and limitations with it's abilities, but it can definitely help you ride a lot more without wasting time in queue lanes.

3. If you're a weirdo (jk jk... kinda) and want to sleep in or not able to do either the rope drop or early entry, then Genie+ is really helpful at making sure you're able to ride the rides that grow really long queue lines throughout the day. You just use Genie+ to secure a later time slot for your ride.

4. Disney Genie+ can guarantee you a ride on the big rides that are included in the Lightning Lanes. However, there are a few rides in each park that are extremely popular and considered Individual Lightning Lanes which are paid for separately and you're only allowed to purchase 2 per day. See below for a list of all included Genie+ rides and the Individual Lightning Lanes.


Now, to explain how I used it:

Our trip was short and we only did MK and Epcot and I knew that I only wanted to use Genie+ at Magic Kingdom. Epcot only has 2 big rides I wanted to use Genie+ for and we planned to do those at early entry anyways so there was no use for Genie+. We also had early entry and we rope dropped! Follow along on my timeline to see how we used all 3 of these tricks to have a great Disney day!


First things first! How do you get Disney Genie+?

There are 2 ways to get Disney Genie+:

1. Purchase Disney Genie+ with your vacation package at the time of booking and it will apply to every park day.

2. Purchase Disney Genie+ the day of (plan on purchasing before 7am so you can reserve your first ride at 7am).


My day using Disney Genie+:

1. I had my alarm set for 6:30 am, used the My Disney Experience (or WDW) app and purchased Disney Genie+ using the buttons and links on the app.

2. Beginning at 7am, I made our first ride reservation which was for Peter Pan's Flight (the check in was between 9:40-10:40 am)

3. We hopped on the shuttle and got to MK around 8am.

4. Disney let us through the main gate at 8:02 am but we had to wait on the bridge to Tomorrowland until 8:30 when they opened up for early entry guests.

5. With some quick maneuvering and sly short cuts, we were loaded on our spaceship and blasted into Space Mountain by 8:35am!

6. We meandered around looking for some good coffee for awhile (we needed a caffeine fix already!) and then headed towards the rope drop line to get into Liberty Square for Haunted Mansion. The line was weirdly slow for awhile but we were hanging out with Madame Leota by 9:10am.

7. Took some selfies and headed over to Peter Pan for our Disney Genie+ return time and as soon as I scanned my magic band (they have you scan your ticket or magic band at the entrance and one more time right before you get on the ride), I made a reservation for Pirates of the Caribbean (check in was between 11:30-12:30).

8. We took a break and ate a delicious snack at 10am and did some shopping before our fancy lunch reservations at Be Our Guest for 11:05am. It was my first time there and it was also my birthday trip so we made it happen! My family and I NEVER make dining reservations because we like to go go go as much as we can BUT this was a special occasion :]

9. We finished lunch and knocked out Pirates. As soon as I checked in to Pirates, I made a Disney Genie+ reservation for Big Thunder Mountain (with a check in at 6:40-7:40 pm) AND I purchased the Individual Lightning Lane pass for Mine Train with a check in between 3:15-4:15 pm. (Mine Train was closed down at early entry or we would have knocked that out earlier that morning).

10. Because I had the Genie+ for BTM so late in the evening, it would not let me make any other reservations until I checked in to the ride or the check-in time expired. *IF I was with kids or wanted to do other rides, this step would have been skipped and I would have added smaller rides in between all of these steps. Because it was just us 2 adults, we didn't want to go on the small rides and the wait times were all pretty long. We did a lot more walking back and forth to see shows, parades, and get coffee than I normally would have with kids.*

11. We walked, stopped to watch the shows, shopped, and ate more snacks before we did BTM but riding it at night was awesome! I've only ridden it during the day so it was a cool new experience for me. I could have made more Disney Genie+ reservations but we were ready for the fireworks and bed!

12. We watched the fireworks with our Casey's Corner corndogs and went to bed happy and content :]


Things I would have done differently:

I have to admit the biggest downfall to my trip. It was unfortunate and I still feel very bitter and annoyed about it. I got sick the first night and day. I have IBS and it occasionally flares up when I've not been careful with what I'm eating. I thought that I did good leading up to this trip, BUT the night before Epcot (our park on day 1), I was up all night really sick. It ruined my entire Epcot day which is why we didn't accomplish nearly as much snacking and riding as I would have hoped but by the time the Immodium and a nap kicked in, my stomach was feeling much better. I was EXTREMELY thrilled to feel soooo much better by day 2 (MK) but I was still being cautious with maintaining my energy levels and eating habits. SO with that being said, if I was fully healthy and feeling good, I would have done Epcot with Disney Genie+ to experience it and I would have ridden more of the smaller rides in MK. However, I know how time consuming and tiring MK can be will all the walking and waiting, so I prioritize and strategize what I want to do each park day. This helps me leave the park at the end of the night feeling happy and content with what we did that day (and make the amount of money spent feel worth it lol). So, I left our MK day feeling very happy with what we did get to do despite my circumstances! All in all, it was a very successful trip! And to be honest, a girls trip, in a hotel, with a best friend, at Disney, eating nutella waffles and having characters tell me happy birthday, was SOOO WORTH any trouble we experienced (nose bleeds included hahaha ;]).


Biggest Take Away from Disney Genie+:

I overheard some other Disney guests complaining about Disney Genie+. They were saying that it seemed to take away from the moments because they were constantly looking down on their devices and trying to make the app fit their needs by being on it so much. And while I agree, it definitely required a lot more time on your phone, you could combat this problem by practising and doing a lot of research ahead of time on the app and watching youtube videos on how to schedule and when to schedule. THIS WHERE I HIGHLY RECOMMEND USING A TRAVEL AGENT. We are experienced and knowledgeable in the app and the parks so using both is highly useful to time management while there. I know the park layout like the back of my hand, so I know how long it will take me to get from point A to point B and what we will hit along the way. I can advise you when to schedule what rides and give you the foundation of a park strategy to help you accomplish what you want to during your trip! I am also really really hoping that Disney goes away with the 1 reservation at a time strategy and allows us to book more rides at a time BUT who knows!!



List of Lightning Lane and Individual Lightning Lane Attractions

Credit: Disney




What are your thoughts on Disney Genie+? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in your comments below!

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