Disney Genie has finally arrived at Walt Disney World presenting at the of new planning tools and ways to “jump the queues” at popular attractions (at a price) through the My Disney Experience app.
From how to buy Disney Genie + and Individual Attraction Selections (which have replaced FastPass +) to whether it’s really worth staying at a Disney World Resort with the new services, we offer everything you need to know before you go . head to the parks on your next trip. I, after a full day of trying out all the new features, we are looking back on our best takeaway meals of the day.
Disney Genie + is worth it in some parks (but NOT always in others)
Our reporters have been to the parks trying out Disney Genie + to the limit today and while some of them have been hugely successful in putting together A TON of attractions, others have found that it hasn’t been as useful as they expected.
At Magic Kingdom, one of our reports was able to tour over 20 (!!) different attractions before 5pm with a combination of Lightning Lanes with Genie + and Individual Attraction selections and service timeout predictions Free genie in the My Disney Experience app.
But, our reporter from Disney Studios Hollywood found that using Genie + was a little harder because the return windows were booked successfully and in advance.
For example, when you log in at 7:00 to make the first Genie + Lightning Lane selection, the first return window available for Slinky Dog Dash was not until 16:00. And, due to Disney’s new 120-minute rule (more on that later), they were unable to select a return hour from Lightning Lane for another attraction for up to 2 hours. after the park had opened at 11 p.m.
And, when the clock struck 11:00, most of the Genie + Lightning Lane return windows for attractions were booked until later in the evening.
Note: Please note that this 120-minute rule only applies to attractions that have Lightning Lane return windows more than two hours away when booking. Otherwise, you will be able to select your next Lightning Lane booking immediately after scanning the one you have booked (without having to wait 2 hours in between).
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, our reporter was able to save a lot of time using Lightning Lanes at Genie + and Individual Attraction Selection. However, they found that “skipping the line” was not very advantageous due to the low waiting times throughout the park.
For example, they bought an individual Lightning Lane for the Everest Expedition (which today costs $ 7 per person) and were able to walk right during the return window. But the standby time was only posted at 10 minutes.
Now, it’s important to keep in mind that we’re testing all of this on a Tuesday in October (which isn’t the peak time for crowds), so Genie + may be worth it at select parks as crowd levels increase. . But in our current experience, it’s best to choose which parks you want to buy Genie + from instead of buying them all on vacation.
Click HERE for a step-by-step guide to buying (and booking) Disney Genie +
Book your Genie + Lightning lanes as soon as possible
All guests who have chosen to purchase Disney Genie + for the day of the trip (even if they have purchased it in advance) can make their first Lightning Lane selection at 7:00 on the same day. And that’s when our reporters were on the My Disney Experience app and saw what strategy works best for making your selection.
The app will automatically get the first Lightning Lane return time for each attraction in the park where you have a Park Pass reservation and we recommend that you early you should first return (preferably around the park opening) instead of focusing on specific attractions you want to ride.
This is because you may find a situation similar to the one we shared earlier about Lightning Lanes at Disney Hollywood Studios, where you won’t arrive until your return time. a lot later in the day and you cannot select another lighting lane for another 2 hours after the park opens. So if you want to maximize your ability to drive as much as you can, tackle the attractions in order to return the times rather than the order in which you want to jump.
Disney Resort Guests: Take advantage of the early theme park entrance FIRST
Throughout the day, we found the selection of individual attractions to be a great way to tackle some of the most popular attractions in the parks virtually without waiting. But if you are a guest of the Disney World Resort Hotel, you may be able to save cash and choose to take advantage of another FREE –T: Early Theme Park Entry benefit.
This new Disney Resort advantage allows guests to stay at cap Disney-owned hotel (and a few others) to head to any of the four theme parks 30 minutes before the park opens each day. And, this is a great time to jump into the most popular attractions with a short wait.
So instead of paying $ 15 per person to ride Rise of the Resistance, first check to see if you can jump in line with a short wait during early entry to the theme park. And, if you arrive late or find this line too long for you, you can choose to purchase the individual attraction selection later.
In our experience, almost all of the attractions in the individual attraction selection had return windows available for purchase throughout the day. And, Rise of the Resistance was the first (and only) to run out around ten in the morning.
There is a complete set of rules to learn
Earlier we mentioned a new 120 minute rule that is being implemented as part of Disney Genie +. And, it is very important (and VERY confusing) to understand; here is a complete breakdown.
Genie + selections work by allowing guests to book one at a time. This means you can book another Genie + Lightning Lane once the initial Genie + selection has been used or after two hours if your next Lightning Lane is not until later (whichever comes first).
But, if you make a Lightning Lane selection at 7am with a return window over 2 hours after the park opens, the 120-minute clock doesn’t start counting until the park actually opens.
Therefore, if EPCOT does not open until 10:00 and you make your first Lightning Lane selection at 7:00 to get a return window at 14:00 that day, you will not be able to book your second Lightning Lane until at 12:00 (5 full hours) after you have made your initial selection.
Learn more about the 120 minute rule HERE!
Waiting times are still quite average
One of the biggest questions Disney fans had when the individual attraction selections were originally announced and Genie + was: how will this wait-and-see impact time during the attractions impact? And, in our current experience, it hasn’t really done that.
Scroll through the dashboard to see current wait times and the next Genie + Lightning Lane time slot pic.twitter.com/q4yiiyCdth
– AllEars.Net (@AllEarsNet) October 19, 2021
For example, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom we only waited 24 minutes for Kilimanjaro Safaris (although the published wait time was 50 minutes), at Magic Kingdom we waited 18 minutes for Space Mountain (with a published wait time 30 minutes) and at EPCOT we only waited 28 minutes for Frozen Ever After (with a posted waiting time of 70 minutes).
Now, this could be that Disney was working on some issues in the process and learning exactly how Lightning Lanes will impact the waiting line, but in our experience, your wait in line won’t be drastically longer if you choose to don’t do it. buy Lightning Lanes.
Click HERE to see what the waiting times for paid attractions really are.
You still need to plan ahead
Although much of Disney Genie is created for use on the day of your trip, we realized that it was much easier to navigate the parks with the new planning tools if we entered our preferences. before to the park, even if you don’t pay to “skip the queues”.
The FREE Genie isT includes all the exclusive features that will help you maximize your time in the park, but it will only be of great help to you if you do it with your preferences.
So, before entering the parks, open your My Disney Experience app and go to the “My Day” tab of the new Genie feature. From here, you can enter what attractions, entertainment, and dining experiences are important to you, add height restrictions for people who are part of your group, and even let the app know when you have planned to park jumping that day.
Disney Genie will create a completely custom itinerary that will make sure you tackle everything you want before the end of the day (and it will even be updated) along the day depending on what you do!).
The free Disney Genie is smart … But it’s not that smart
As with any new technology, Disney Genie is still not perfect. Throughout the day, we noticed some issues with the free planning tool.
For example, Genie was developed to be smart enough to track the phone’s Bluetooth and remove any travel suggestions you’ve already made. And, while this worked for the most part, there were some cases where it was suggested that we assemble something we had already been before.
And, Genie only extracts wait time data that is posted to each attraction. So if the actual wait is shorter than the published one, you won’t know.
We want more of the free Disney Genie
Even without the few issues of the free Disney Genie, there were still some things we thought were missing from the app created to help you maximize your time.
Although the tool was very useful to recommend us what we did we want to do it, we really want there to be a way to explain to Genie what we are no you want to do this without having to follow the suggested schedule and delete them individually. And, to overcome Genie’s problem of suggesting that we assemble something we’ve already been through, it would be great to have an “already assembled” button.
Click HERE to see how Disney World’s new pay-per-view option affects
So, ready or not, Disney Genie is here. We hope these takeaways help you better understand how to take advantage of the latest features (and if they are for you). And of course, we’ll continue to cover all the latest updates you need to know before your next trip, so make sure to stay tuned to AllEars.
Click here for more information on Disney Genie +.
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Are you planning to use Disney Genie on your next trip? Let us know in the comments.