In 2021, the free FastPass+ system was officially discontinued and replaced by the NEW Disney Genie system — specifically the paid Disney Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selection options at both Disney World and Disneyland Resort.
The big announcement came with enough information to make many people confused and left many with a lot of questions about the new system. The system has been in place in Disney World and Disneyland for a few months now and we’ve tested it out in both spots to bring you our best tips and tricks. But it’s still a HUGE change with a bit of a learning curve. Still confused about how to use Genie+ in the parks? We’ve got you covered. Today we’re sharing our step-by-step guide to using Disney Genie+!
What is Disney Genie?
Let’s start with the basics — what is Disney Genie? It’s a new service that is now available in Disney World and Disneyland Resort that will be available through each resort’s app — the My Disney Experience app in Disney World and the Disneyland App in Disneyland.
There are 3 main parts to the overall Disney Genie suite of services. First, there’s Disney Genie itself, or “Free Genie.” The FREE Disney Genie service will help with planning your days in the parks. Essentially, you can tell Free Disney Genie what types of things you like, what you want to do, etc. and it will help create personalized itineraries for your day.
Free Disney Genie will also help you with dining reservations, can show you predicted wait times, and more.
Click here to see just how smart free Disney Genie is!
Next, there’s Disney Genie+. That’s what we’ll be focusing on mainly in this article. If you pay for Genie+, you’ll be purchasing access to use the “Lightning Lanes” (a.k.a. the old FastPass+ lanes) for select attractions around the parks.
You’ll be able to choose one attraction at a time and reserve a timeframe to use the Lightning Lane at that ride. When your lightning lane return time arrives, you can return to the ride and skip the standby queue and avoid the wait. Then, you’ll be able to continue making those Genie+ selections one ride at a time throughout the day.
Finally, there’s Individual Attraction Selection (or what we sometimes call pay-per-ride). You see, not all rides are available through the standard Genie+ service. Select popular attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and others are not available through Genie+. Instead, if you want to ride these, you’ll need to pay to use their Lightning Lanes individually.
The price for these rides varies depending on the park, ride, and day. Guests can only buy a maximum of 2 pay-per-ride selections per day.
Click here to see our step-by-step guide to book and buy pay-per-ride attractions in Disney World.
Okay so now you know the basics about these services and how they’re different. If you want a FREE printable to show the differences between them click here! Now, let’s go over the steps you’ll need to take to use Genie during your trip.
Download the App
The first step to accessing Disney Genie+ is to make sure that you have the proper app downloaded onto your phone or smart device. If you’re visiting Disney World, you’ll need to get the My Disney Experience app, and if you’re going to Disneyland Resort, you’ll need to get the Disneyland app. Both are free downloads!
Once the app is downloaded to your device, you’ll want to log in with your Disney account information. If you have a shopDisney account, an account on the Disney websites, or an account for Disney+, then you’ll use the same information to log in here. If you’ve never used any of the above services, then you’ll need to make a Disney account to use Disney Genie+. (Make sure to write down your username and password so that you don’t forget!)
Disney Genie is built INTO each of these apps. We’ll get into where you’ll find it in a minute.
Link All of Your Plans, Tickets & Friends
After you’ve got the app downloaded and you logged in to your account, you’ll need to check and make sure that your plans are all loaded. You’ll want to make sure that your park tickets, resort stay, annual passes, dining reservations, and Park Passes are all linked to your account and visible in the app.
You should be able to see your tickets and passes under the “Tickets and Passes” tab and you’ll see other plans in the “Future Plans” section.
Sometimes this process is easier to complete on a computer, where the screen is bigger and it’s a little less challenging to navigate.
If you have any other guests traveling with you who have their own Disney accounts, this step would also be the time to make sure your accounts are connected in your list of Family & Friends List. Make sure that those friends and family members have their tickets and plans all linked to their accounts as well.
If you’re traveling with individuals who don’t have Disney accounts and/or don’t want to make them, you’ll need to create profiles for them through my Disney Experience and link their tickets to ensure that you can reserve Genie+ selections for them. This is critical.
If you don’t all have your passes linked or you aren’t all linked together in some way, you won’t be able to make those Genie+ selections as a group.
Click here to see more about the My Disney Experience planning tool!
You’ll want to make sure that you’ve downloaded the app, linked all of your plans, and linked to your friends’ accounts or created profiles for them (with all of the tickets properly linked) WELL in advance of your trip. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this!
Purchase Access to Genie+
Once everything is properly set up in your Disney account and on the app that you’re using, you can purchase Disney Genie+. There are some differences here between Disney World and Disneyland.
If you know that you’re going to be using Genie+ every day during your vacation, then you can buy access ahead of time. Before your visit, you can buy Disney Genie+ as an add-on to your ticket or vacation package, but you’ll have to buy it for the duration of your visit. That means if you’ve got 5-day tickets, you’ll have to add it on for all 5 days.
Not looking to use Genie+ for all 5 days? Then you can opt to buy Genie+ for single-day use on the day of your visit. You’ll be able to make that Genie+ purchase at midnight of the day of your visit.
When you’re ready, you’ll go to the My Disney Experience app and hit the sandwich on the right-hand side (the one with the 3 horizontal bars). Then you’ll select “My Day.”
And you’ll hit “Get Started Now” under the Get Started with Disney Genie option.
We won’t go through the step-by-step guide of actually purchasing Genie+ on the day of your visit here. But you can click here for photos and a step-by-step guide to actually making the purchase of Genie+ through the My Disney Experience app.
Click here for the step-by-step guide to actually purchasing Genie+!
At Disneyland you can also add-on the service to a ticket or vacation package ahead of time. Again, it appears this add-on is for the entire length of your stay.
If you don’t add it on in advance, you can purchase it on the day of your trip, but you won’t be able to get it at Disneyland until you actually ENTER a theme park on that day.
Click here to see how Genie+ is different in Disney World vs. Disneyland
The price of Genie+ is also different between Disney World and Disneyland. Genie+ costs $15 per ticket per day at Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland Resort.
Each resort’s version comes with a few added benefits, like the use of augmented reality filters at Disney World or the addition of PhotoPass downloads at Disneyland Resort.
Once access is purchased, you’ll be able to use the Genie+ features on the days of your trip for which you paid for it.
Click here to see how Genie+ is different in Disney World vs. Disneyland
Make Your Reservations Throughout the Day
Okay, so you’ve downloaded the app, logged in, set up all of your information, linked passes and plans and friends, and you’ve purchased Genie+. GREAT. Now you’re ready to use Genie+ and make your first selection! Things differ here a bit between Disney World and Disneyland.
In Disney World, ALL guests are able to make their first Genie+ selection at 7AM on the morning of their trip. What you’ll want to do to make your selection is hit the three horizontal lines in the My Disney Experience app, and then select “Tip Board.” On the Tip Board, you’ll be able to see the various rides in each park and the next available return time to use that ride’s lightning lane.
If you want to make a Genie+ selection for a particular ride, you’ll tap on the return time shown and follow the prompts to confirm your party…
…and secure your spot!
When your arrival window/return time comes, you’ll then visit the attraction, use that ride’s “Lightning Lane,” and skip the standby line!
You can only make one choice at a time, so choose wisely! Some Genie+ selections can “fill up” sooner than others, so you’ll want to prioritize your picks here.
Click here to see what rides you should book FIRST with Genie+!
When do you get to make your second choice? Basically, after you book your first Genie+ you can book a second Genie+ selection when:
- You have used the first one you booked;
- Your first return time window has ended (if you miss it); or
- 120 minutes have passed since you booked your last one (or 120 minutes after park opening, depending on the situation).
The 120 rule is an important one you’ll need to know about in Disney World. This is a big Genie+ rule that many get wrong.
If you book your first Genie+ choice in the morning for later in the day, then you can make a second Genie+ Lightning Lane choice once 120 minutes have passed. But if you book before park opening time, this countdown starts at park opening time. This is the key here!
Let’s say you wake up at 7AM and make your first Genie+ selection for Slinky Dog Dash at Hollywood Studios and the return time you got isn’t until 12:00PM. You won’t be able to use that first Genie+ selection until your designated 12PM return time, and your return time won’t end until later in the day. Are you stuck waiting until you ride the ride or that time passes before booking another one? NO! With the 120 minute rule, you can book another Genie+ selection sooner than that.
Because you made that first Genie+ selection BEFORE the park opens, your 120 minute timer starts when the park OPENS. In this case, you booked the Genie+ selection at 7AM, but Hollywood Studios doesn’t open until 9AM. So you’ll be able to book that next Genie+ selection at…11AM.
Still confused? Read more about the 120 minute rule here!
At Disneyland, the actual process of making a Genie+ selection is fairly similar in the sense that you’ll still go to the tip board, look at the return times, select the rides you want, etc. But there are some BIG differences you need to know about.
First, guests cannot make their first Genie+ selections until they are actually INSIDE of a park. That means no 7AM wake up call to make that first Genie+ selection early in the morning.
And because there’s no 7AM wake-up call you don’t have to worry about that weird instance where the 120 minute clock starts at park opening versus the time you make the selection.
Click here to see more differences in Genie+ between Disneyland and Disney World
What Rides Are Included?
Many attractions around the parks have Lightning Lane access (if it had FastPass+ previously, it probably has Lightning Lane now), but not every single attraction does.
Remember, some rides are NOT available through the standard Genie+ access and instead are only available through pay-per-ride. It’s important to know what rides are included with Genie+ so you can assess your plans and determine if there are some you’ll have to pay extra for through the Pay-Per-Ride service.
Click here to see all 45 rides included with Genie+ in Disney World!
And click here to see all of the rides included with Genie+ in Disneyland
Individual Attraction Selections (Pay-Per-Ride)
If you want to use Lightning Lane on some of Disney’s most popular rides and attractions, you’ll have to pay an additional price. Some of the “big” rides will be available as Individual Attraction Selections, otherwise known as the pay-per-ride option.
While you can still choose to wait in the standby line for these rides, it’ll cost extra to skip the queue for things like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
For these rides, you can purchase Lightning Lane access to two attractions per day, and the price per ride can vary depending on park, ride, and season. (Note: Disney World Resort guests will get early access to choose these rides on the morning of their visit, starting at 7AM EST.)
Click here to see our step-by-step guide to Pay-Per-Ride in Disney World!
What If I’m Still Confused?
Don’t worry! We know that Genie+ can be a bit confusing. We’ve worked on a number of resources to help you better understand the system and navigate it like a pro. Check out some of our links below:
- Get the answers to all of your burning questions about Disney Genie
- Click here to understand Disney Genie in 500 words or less
- Should you get Genie+ around the holidays in Disney World? See our thoughts
- Watch these 10 DFB TikToks if Genie still confuses you!
We’re keeping an eye out for more Disney Genie news — stay tuned for all the latest updates!
Have opinions about Genie+ changed? See here!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
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The post A Step-By-Step Guide to Using Disney Genie+ first appeared on the disney food blog.