On Tuesday, August 18 Disney announced that the long-awaited Disney Genie would be releasing this fall.
While many are quick to blame Bob Chapek’s focus on the financial’s for yet another price gauge, it’s important to remember that Disney Genie was actually announced under former Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Disney Genie was first announced to the public in 2019 at the D23 event in Anaheim California.
At D23 this was announced
Disney Genie will put the necessity of planning for Disney at your fingertips with a brand new app. Through a series of algorithms and an assortment of itineraries, Disney programmers will take the stress out of planning your next Disney vacation by helping guests to build a trip schedule that can be personalized for your crew. Plans will help with everything from meet and greets, dining reservation, special events and attractions.Bob Chapek
It was already being rumored that the free Fast Pass would soon be a thing of the past at Walt Disney World. It was, in fact, the only Disney park to not have a payment system in place to skip queue lines. It was only a matter of time.
While the new Lightening Lane (the feature that will replace Fast Pass) was not detailed at D23, it was speculated that it was be a part of this new Disney Genie system.
Yesterday, it was confirmed that it would be.
Let’s dive into the different aspects of The Disney Genie and how it will affect or could affect your Disney vacation.
Disney Genie is not an additional app but instead is built into the My Disney Experience app and the Disneyland app. Disney is marketing the Disney Genie as a service that will help Guests maximize their Disney vacation or day.
Genie will have a personalized feature that will be able to help you customize your Disney experience in new and innovative ways. From character interactions, dining and foodie experiences, entertainment attractions and more, Genie is your personal guide to your best Disney day.
Benefits of the service include:
- Personalized itinerary planning
- Continually updated tip board
- Forecasted future wait times for attractions
- Virtual assistant
- Mobile order
- Restaurant wait list, check-in, and reservations
- Attraction virtual queues (available at certain attractions)
Disney Genie will start by prompting you to enter in some of the things you want to accomplish or love about Disney for that day. Once you make your selections, Disney Genie will make recommendations on the best way to plan your day to make the most out of your park or resort time to get to the things you want to get to.
Disney Genie will continue to update your itinerary throughout the day as wait time change and your day may change depending on various factors.
The Disney Genie virtual assistant can even answer questions you have about the day or the resort. Want to know park times? Ask Disney Genie? Transportation times? Ask Disney Genie.
Disney Genie+ is an additional service that can be added on to your Disney Genie. This service is an additional cost. For $15 per ticket per day at Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland, Disney Genie+. This service gives Guests the option to use the new Lightening Pass to skip to the front of the line instead of waiting in stand-by.
In addition, this service also includes audio experiences and Disney PhotoPass extras incuding unlimited downloads of your PhotoPass photos for the day you purchase the service.
Lightening Lane is what will replace FastPass at Walt Disney World and Max Pass at Disneyland. This paid service will allow guests to make same-day reservations to skip stand-by lines for a variety of attractions throughout the parks.
For those with Park Hopper options added to their tickets, Guests can even make Lightening Pass reservations across theme parks!
Unlike Fast Pass at Walt Disney World, Guests will only make one selection at a time instead of the previous three.
Simply select your attraction based on the next available times and when your time arrives, you will be alerted to head over to that attraction. Once through, you can snag another Lightening Lane for another attraction. Very similar to Max Pass over in Disneyland.
What Disney did gloss over in the blog post and most prevalent information but opened up a little about in one of the videos posted on Disney Parks Blog was that Lightening Lane will NOT include every attraction at Walt Disney World. There will be a “select set of attractions separate from those available using the Disney Genie+ service” that will be available for purchase through Disney Genie+. These passes will be an additional cost even with the cost of Genie+ and will allow guests Lightening Lane access to those select attractions.
Basically, we see this as you can purchase Disney Genie+ to ride some Tier 1, all Tier 2 and Tier 3 attractions but for those heavy hitters, we’re talking Flight of Passage, Rise of the Resistance and a few others probably coming soon like Tron and Guardians of the Galaxy, you will have to purchase Lightening Lane tickets separately on top of Disney Genie+ in order to skip the stand by.
Currently there is no offering for Disney Annual Passholders of Disney Vacation Club Members. As stated in the video posted on Disney Parks Blog, that could always change as Disney is always looking to improve their offerings. But right now, Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members would not receive any discounts on Disney Genie+.
Break it Down
Walt Disney World was prevously the only major theme park NOT charging for a FastPass like option. Even the other Disney parks around the world had a paid version of the feature.
For comparison, Universal Orlando offers Express Pass. Their version of Lightening Lane. This service costs anywhere from $69.99 for Universal Express which allows Guests to skip the stand-by lines one-time per day per attraction. Universal Express Unlimited costs $89.99 per ticket per day and allows guests to skip stand-by for an unlimited number of attractions per day.
Disneyland’s Max Pass was $20 per day. The same cost as Lightening Lane.
Walt Disney World’s FastPass was free but we all knew that was not going to be around forever.
The cost of Lightening Lane is better than or equal to what was offered previously and is not a requirement for guests. It’s an option. Guests who don’t wish to utilize it don’t have to purchase Disney Genie+.
One thing we like about this app is that it is varied for pros and newbies. Those of us who know the attractions, the parks and know what we want to do can tell Disney Genie that and it will help us with the best plan of action to maximize our day.
For those less familiar with the parks and resorts, Disney Genie will help plan your day by prompting you to say things you like. Star Wars, princesses and more.
That’s a great feature that is tailored to all kinds of Disney enthusiasts.
The My Tip Board allows Guests to see attractions and dining options at their fingertips. What’s available now or at a specific time to help you better plan out the things most important to your group. You can even be added to a waitlist at a restaurant right on the app.
Stay tuned right here to For Love of the Mouse for more information on this new service and how it will change your vacation.