Big news was just dropped by Disney Parks that will change the way you visit Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort, and it’s a new digital service called Disney Genie.
The parks plan to debut Disney Genie this fall and it will be a free service built right into the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps.
The main function of the service is to create a personalized itinerary that will map out an entire day. I know a lot of you park goers make detailed schedules, and now you can input everything you want to do and your itinerary will be created right on your phone.
Disney Genie will continue to update your itinerary throughout your day, and it will display current and forecasted future wait times for attractions. Very handy as your plans change throughout the day.
It will also allow you to create your very own personal tip board to instantly see your favorites, join a virtual queue at certain attractions, make dining and experience reservations, mobile order food at many locations, get help from a virtual assistant, and more.
Unfortunately, with Disney Genie, gone are the FASTPASS, FastPass+, and Disney MaxPass services.
Instead, they are offering two new options, both only available as an additional purchase:
Disney Genie+ Service
For the price of $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland, choose the next available time to arrive at a variety of attractions and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance. You can make one selection at a time throughout the day from a list of available attractions.
Sample attractions that were listed include Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
Disney Genie+ will also include Disney parks-themed audio experiences and photo features to capture your memories, with augmented reality lenses for those visiting Walt Disney World and unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads from your day if you are visiting Disneyland.
Curious that Walt Disney World guests don’t get the unlimited PhotoPass downloads, too. Or that Disneyland guests don’t get the AR lenses.
Individual Attraction Selections
Schedule a time to arrive at up to two highly demanded attractions each day using the Lightning Lane entrance. Sample attractions include Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom and Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure.
Pricing for this option will vary by date, attraction and park, and will be announced closer to launch.
Here’s a video overview of what Disney Genie will offer park guests:
Gary Daniels (VP, Digital Experience, Disney Parks) also states that Lightning Lane selections can only be made on the same day of your visit at 7am for resort guests or at park open for non-resort park guests at Walt Disney World, and not until you’re in the park for Disneyland guests. So I guess no more advance attractions reservations.
But $15/$20 per person per day for Genie+ can really add up if you have a lot of people in your family/group. For a family of four at Disneyland, that would add an extra $80 a day…at Walt Disney World $60 extra per day, when FastPasses used to be free.
And while the attractions will continue to offer a traditional standby queue, or a virtual queue at certain attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, how many spots will be left after the paid reservations are taken?
I understand the two paid options are just that – options – but how many rides will a guest be able to get on without paying for the Lightning Lane? This prices out a lot of families and definitely decreases the enjoyment of their visit.
I also understand other theme parks already charge for their attraction reservation services. But I always appreciated Disney being different and not doing what all the other parks are doing.
‘Tis the way of the Disney future, I guess. Disneyland Paris also launched a paid FastPass system earlier this month.
Anyways, I’m sure we’ll learn more information about the Disney Genie service before it goes live this fall. As I learn more, I’ll let you know all the details.
I’m already liking the itinerary feature that includes current attraction wait times and the ability to be added to a restaurant wait list for that day. I’ll definitely be using that on my visits.
I’d like to hear what you think of Disney Genie. Good, bad, indifferent…let us know in the comments.
And if you have the time, here’s a 14 minute video of Daniels explaining Disney Genie and the new paid ride reservation options:
[Images courtesy Disney Parks]