There is finally a launch date for the new service coming to Disney Parks. Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ will officially launch at Walt Disney World on October 19, 2021 (Disneyland Information and Release Dates are still forthcoming). There has been a lot of noise surrounding this move and even more disinformation, so I’m hoping this will clear things up for you. Let’s get into it!
MYTH: YOU CAN JUST BUY YOUR WAY ONTO THE BIG TICKET RIDES OVER AND OVER AGAIN
There are actually a lot of wrong parts to this myth. First of all, that is already a thing and has been for quite some time. It’s called “VIP Tours” and they have been a thing for a very long time. But that is not what is going to happen here. There are 8 Individual Attraction Selections available for individual purchase, 2 per park, for Walt Disney World. They range in price from $7 to $15 depending on the ride and the day (pricing will vary by date, attraction, park, and season) and you can only purchase 2 per day. AND you can only ride it once that day. For the most part, the rides listed have been seeing much shorter wait times in the post-COVID days of Walt Disney World, because the stand-by line is not being held up by massive waves of FastPass+ guests, and I expect this trend to continue with the Lightning Lane. I love Rise of the Resistance, but I can’t honestly say that I would be willing to drop $15 per person to ride it. In addition to Individual Attraction Selections only being available once per day, ALL attractions with Lightning Lane access are only available to guests once per day. This means that everyone has equal opportunities to ride each ride available via Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane selections.
So will “the rich people” be able to just exploit the system here to skip lines? Not even close. At least, not with Genie+. They will still need to book VIP Tours to do that. This system will significantly level the playing field for everyone and, in my opinion, keep lines moving smoothly and swiftly.
But I thought they said it would be free?
There will be free aspects of the Disney Genie service. Disney Genie itself is a complimentary planning tool that will be available to all guests of Walt Disney World resort and Disneyland Resort guests. Basically, if you have previously paid for services like Touring Plans or Kenny the Pirate, Disney is now giving you those same services for free.
Beginning October 19, you will be able to see Disney Genie on your My Disney Experience app. There, you will be able to mark attractions, shows, restaurants, and more as your favorite. Here, you will get a FREE Virtual Assistant who will then take your favorites and give you a personalized trip itinerary, based on real-time projections and wait times. And it will update the closer you get to your actual trip, as more data is entered into the system and they get more information for forecasting. Here, you will now also see countdowns for when your dining windows open for reservations and when you can book Enchanting Extras, like VIP Tours, dessert parties, and more. You will also be able to make mobile orders, track dining reservations, see your PhotoPass photos, and check your free tip board.
So why is there a cost?
All attractions will still be available at no cost to guests, either via stand-by line or virtual queue. Disability Access Service will also still be available, and there is a new updated system coming for that very soon (STAY TUNED!). BUT…for $15 per ticket per day, you will get access to Lightning Lane entrances for 40 attractions across all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks.
Once you buy the Genie+ service, either before your trip as part of your vacation package or ticket add-on, or day of (for guests of Disney World Resort Hotels, beginning at 12:00am EST), you may then schedule your rides based on availability, one at a time. You will also get access to Audio Tales, which are behind the scenes tales about many attractions (available based on your proximity to the attractions), and special Augmented Reality PhotoPass Lenses.
In addition to the rides available via Genie+, guests will also be able to buy Individual Attraction Selections. There are 2 at each park, and you can only reserve 2 per day. If you have a park hopper ticket, you can book Flight of Passage and Rise of the Resistance on the same day. You do not have to purchase Genie+ in order to purchase Individual Attractions, either. But there are rules for Individual Attraction Selections:
- You may only purchase 2 per day. Period. Not 2 in advance then as many as you want after those 2 are used. 2 TOTAL.
- You cannot change or modify your Individual Selection once you purchase it.
- They will vary in price, based on popularity, time of year, etc. So you might go in January and Rise of the Resistance is, say, $12. Then you return again in June, and Rise of the Resistance is $15. You will be able to see each individual price the day of when you make your purchase
So there you have it: everything you need to know about Genie+. It will be available for purchase and go LIVE on October 19, 2021. Do you want to add Genie+ to your vacation package? Contact me today!!