Disney Scraps “Planning Ahead”, Changes Disney Genie+ to Combat Demand

in Disney Parks

genie disney phone mobile

Credit: Disney

Since Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios all reopened after the pandemic, we have seen crowds slowly begin to increase. Although capacity is not back to what the pre-pandemic levels originally were, the crowds are bustling, and we now know Disney will never return to those levels, so this may be the new normal. Disney is always going to be busy no matter when you visit throughout the year, however, there are certain times of the year that are much worse than others.

Genie Image with Logo
Credit: Disney

To avoid the lines, Guests can purchase Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane.

Related: Disney World to Release 2023 Tickets and Resort Bookings Next Month

Disney Genie+, the paid aspect of the system, allows Guests to use the Lightning Lane when their return time strikes — which has replaced the previously free FastPass lane. Then both theme park resorts have a la carte options where Guests must pay varying costs per ride, per person to ride the attraction. Disney Genie+ costs $15.00 per person per day for Disney World Guests and $20.00 per person per day at Disneyland. The cost for Disney Genie+ is slightly more expensive at Disneyland, and so are the a la carte options.

Rise of the Resistance has hit costs of $20.00 per person per ride, which would essentially double the daily cost of Disney Genie+ if Guests wanted to Lightning Lane the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction, as well as use the paid system for other attractions.

A la carte options tend to sell out the fastest, as there are only so many to give out, and everyone goes for them in the morning as they are not scattered like the other Disney Genie options; therefore, speed and internet connection does matter for trying to get a Lightning Lane on the following attractions at Walt Disney World.

Those attractions are: 

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest

Previously, Guests were able to purchase Disney Genie+ prior to their arrival. Now, that is changing. Reporter Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) stated:

NEW: Starting June 8, Disney Genie+ will no longer be offered as a pre-arrival ticket add-on at Walt Disney World for the remainder of 2022 and all of 2023. After the change, you will only be able to purchase Genie+ through the app on the day of your visit.

Considering Guests were still making their Disney Genie+ picks the day of, this will likely not be a huge change financially, but will cause Guests to have to purchase Disney Genie+ after they have bought their tickets. We have seen days where Disney Genie+ options sell out fast, so this will likely help Disney from over-selling and leaving Guests without options after making the purchase and being left disappointed. It seems this will be in effect for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. We had seen Disney discourage Guests from purchasing Disney Genie+ on high-demand days when fewer options were left, so this change may help resolve those issues as pre-purchases will no longer be offered.

Disney has even recently lowered expectations when it comes to how many Lightning Lane’s Guests will be able to utilize with the paid system.

disney world guest
Credit: Disney

The site states:

This unique new service lets you use our new Lightning Lane entrance at select attractions and experiences at the Walt Disney World theme parks. On average, guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences per day using the Lightning Lane entrance if the first selection is made early in the day. You may make one selection at a time, starting at 7:00 AM on the day of your visit (experiences are subject to limited availability). If your theme park ticket includes the Park Hopper option, you can select Lightning Lane arrival windows across multiple theme parks.

Disney describes the purchasing of individual Lightning Lane’s as follows:

You can make individual purchases within the Disney Genie service Tip Board or My Day itinerary in the app on the same day of your visit.

When to Select Attractions
You can purchase individual selections for up to 2 different attractions per day.

Guests of a Disney Resort Hotel and Other Select Hotels: These Guests can make their first purchase starting at 7:00 AM on the day of their visit. Available to Disney Resort hotel Guests and Guests of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Shades of Green.
All Other Guests: These Guests can make their first purchase when the park opens.

disney genie plus
Credit: Screenshot via Disney Parks Blog

And for regular Disney Genie+ at Disney World, they state:

You can enjoy a Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane entrance once per day. If you’d like to re-ride an attraction or see a certain show again within the same day, you are welcome to use our regular standby line.

Disney Genie+ service is available for $15* plus tax (USD) per ticket per day.

How to Purchase

Same Day of Visit:
Available for single-day use for existing ticket holders or Annual Passholders. Purchase via Disney Genie service in the My Disney Experience mobile app.

Disney Genie has had both complaints and compliments from Guests, but this change will hopefully allow all Guests to have an even shot at getting Lightning Lane’s for the attractions they want.

What do you think of this new change to Disney Genie+?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

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