Disney Genie+’s Biggest Flaw Is NOT Its Price

Despite how badly you might want to believe it in your heart of hearts, Disney is NOT perfect.

Cinderella Castle

Rides go down, technical issues can shut down mobile order, and other things can happen that make the Most Magical Place on Earth a little less, well, magical. And while Disney’s new paid FastPass+ replacement system, Genie+, can help you skip the standby lines, it has its flaws. Many might think that Genie+’s biggest flaw is the price (or the fact that you have to pay for it at all), but that might NOT be the case. Genie+ actually has a BIGGER flaw… .

Genie 101

Before we begin, let’s go through a quick overview of what Genie+ is.  Essentially, Genie+ is a paid replacement for FastPass+, but it operates under some different rules than what FastPass+ fans were used to.

First, we have to mention that there is FREE Genie — that is a free planning service built into the My Disney Experience app. With Free Genie, you basically input your desires and likes, and Genie develops an itinerary for you and continually updates its suggestions for your day.

©Disney

Then there’s Genie+. For Genie+ you pay $15 per person per day in Disney World ($20 per day per person in Disneyland). For that $15 in Disney World, you can then look through the My Disney Experience app (Genie+ is built into the My Disney Experience app) and see the next available time to return to a ride and SKIP that ride’s standby lane.

Genie+ availability ©Disney

You’ll essentially see when you can return to a ride and use that ride’s Lightning Lane (the old FastPass+ lane). You’ll select the ride you want, choosing the next available return time. Then it’s time to hang around the park until your time arrives.

When your time arrives, you’ll go to the ride, scan your MagicBand or ticket, use the Lightning Lane, and skip the standby line!

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is a Genie+ selection in Disney World

Then you can make another selection. You can make 1 selection at a time throughout the day (but note the 120 rule can complicate things a bit — more on that in a second!).

Another big thing to know is that not all rides are available through the standard Genie+ service. Some of Disney World’s most popular rides are available through Individual Attraction Selection (or what is sometimes called pay-per-ride).

It’s no surprise that this one was popular!

Rides like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Avatar Flight of Passage are available through this service.

You can purchase up to 2 pay-per-ride selections per day and basically what you pay for is the ability to skip the line ONCE for a single ride. Prices for these vary depending on the day, park, and ride.

Click here for our page FULL of details about Genie+

Many People Think PRICE is the Issue

For many, the fact that you have to pay for Genie+ (and IAS) and the price points for both is the big issue. And we get it, FastPass+ used to be included in your park admission.

For quite a few guests who used and loved FastPass+, having something go from being included in the price of admission to having to pay EXTRA for it (on top of rising ticket prices) the situation isn’t ideal.

Lightning Lane at Expedition Everest

That $15 per person per day (at Disney World) can really add up if you want to use Genie+ on several days or are traveling with a larger party. Not to mention you have to factor in the cost of buying Individual Attraction Selections on top of that (if you want those).

The price can be a difficult hurdle for some to overcome, but price might NOT be Genie+’s biggest issue.

Click here to see how much a day in Disney World costs with Genie+!

Genie+’s Biggest Flaw Is…

While price can be a frustration, Genie+’s biggest flaw might actually be…how confusing it is! Perhaps just by reading our Genie+ 101 summary above you got this feeling. There are a LOT of things that can be confusing and complicated about Genie+.

1. It’s Not a Single System

For starters, Genie isn’t just one system. There’s FREE Genie (the free planning service), Genie+ ($15 per day per person), and also Individual Attraction Selection (price varies).

You’ve got to keep these systems separate and, most importantly, know which rides fall into Genie+ vs. Pay-Per-Ride, which can be an issue all on its own.

Town Square Theater on Main Street, U.S.A.

You may also have to deal with the challenge of making those first Genie+ and Pay-Per-Ride selections at the very same time. All guests can make their first Genie+ selections at 7AM on the day of their trip. Disney World Resort Hotel guests (and guests at certain other hotels) can also make their first Pay-Per-Ride selections at 7AM. All other guests can make those first Pay-Per-Ride selections when the park opens.

Lightning Lane at Princess Fairytale Hall

If you’re trying to grab that first Genie+ selection at 7AM, but are also a hotel guest and want to make your Pay-Per-Ride selections at 7AM, you’ll have to navigate that complication as well. Do you split the job between 2 family members? Do you have family members tech savvy enough to get it done?

Or do you just book those popular Pay-Per-Ride selections first and take your chances with being a few seconds late to make that Genie+ pick?  It can make 7AM a lot more stressful. (And you probably haven’t even had your coffee yet!!)

Click here to see why 7AM just became the WORST part of your day in Disney World

2– There are Confusing Times to Know About

We just discussed it above a bit, but there are some important times you need to keep in mind when using Genie+ and these can easily make your head hurt.

Genie+:

  • All guests can make their first Genie+ pick at 7AM.

Pay-Per-Ride: 

  • 7AM: When Disney World Resort guests (and guests at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts and Shades of Green) can make their pay-per-ride selections
  • Park open: When all other guests can make their pay-per-ride selections

Confused yet?

Click here to see our post breaking down Genie in the easiest way possible

3. The 120-Minute Rule

This rule alone can break some people’s brains. Basically you can make 1 Genie+ selection at a time throughout the day.

You can make your next selection:

  • Once you’ve used your first one,
  • Once the return time for your first one has expired, or
  • 120 minutes after you booked that previous Genie+ selection, whatever comes first
Lightning Lane at The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say it’s 9AM (and the park you want to go to is open) and you make a Genie+ selection, but the return time isn’t until 5PM. You don’t have to wait until you scan in at 5PM for that particular lightning lane to make your next Genie+ pick.

Instead, you’ll only have to wait 2 hours (120 minutes) after 9AM (so until 11AM) to make your next pick. That alone can confuse many of us.

Lightning Lane Sign

But it can get worse. The 120-minute rule, coupled with the fact that you can make your first Genie+ selection at 7AM (before the parks have opened), can create interesting situations.

Let’s say you make your first selection at 7AM and it has that 5PM return time. Do you have to wait until 5PM to make your next selection? You already know the answer is “no.” So when can you make the next selection? In 120 minutes right? Well…not quite.

Lightning Lane replaced the FastPass Lane

Since you made that selection at 7AM, before the park opens, you’ll actually be able to make your next selection 2 hours after the PARK OPENS (not 2 hours after you made that first selection at 7AM).

So if you made the selection at 7AM and the park opens at 9AM, you’ll be able to make your next pick at 11AM. BUT keep in mind that’s only because the 120-minute rule is the first thing that would apply in this situation.

©Disney

If, on the other hand, you make a Genie+ selection with an earlier return time — say 9:05AM — you will be able to make another reservation as soon as you scan in for your first pick. No 120-minute rule applies because the first thing that would happen here is you scanning in (or even just letting that return time expire).

The 120-minute rule really only kicks in for Genie+ selections with return times that are a bit later in the day.

Click here for a FULL breakdown of the 120-minute rule

4. You Can Fiddle Faddle

If you know us here at AllEars, you KNOW we love a good fiddle faddle. This is basically when you play around with return times or refresh options to see if new options appear that previously weren’t there.

When it comes to Genie+, you might look at the available selections and return times for a particular park and none of them might really work for you. But by refreshing and going in and out of certain screens (like tapping a return time and then going back to the main page), more selections or better times might pop up (the fiddle faddle lives!).

©Disney

While this can be great for those in the know, it can also add on some stress knowing that there could be better options out there if you keep refreshing. Our advice? Don’t refresh for too long. Refresh just a limited number of times, fiddle faddle for a few minutes, and then make a decision.

You can always go back and cancel that selection and make a new one if something better pops up. You could live under that “there could be something better out there!” mentality forever and never pick anything, which would make things even WORSE.

Click here to see 6 Disney World Genie+ tips you probably haven’t heard!

5. Things with Genie+ Can Change

Sometimes rides that are typically available through Pay-Per-Ride get temporarily moved to the regular Genie+ service. For example, in early 2022, Disney announced that Frozen Ever After, Space Mountain, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (normally pay-per-ride attractions) would be available through the standard Genie+ service (the regular $15 per person per day one) for a limited time. Expedition Everest then joined that lineup.

Expedition Everest

Attractions that are reopening may just get added to Genie+ in general or brand NEW attractions (like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind) might get added to the Individual Attraction Selection service.

You’ll need to really be aware of these changes to make sure all of your plans don’t get thrown out the window. We work on providing these updates to you! Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!

Click here to learn about how Cosmic Rewind will work when it comes to Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selection

6. It Has Its Own Language

If you were familiar with FastPass+, then you were used to the terms it used — FastPass+ Lanes, FastPass+ selections, etc.  But now you’ve got to learn new ones with Genie+.

There’s Genie itself (free planning service), Genie+ (paid service that gives you the ability to select a return time for many rides, 1 selection at a time), and Individual Attraction Selection (or pay-per-ride). But there are also more terms to know: Lightning Lanes (basically the new name for the old FastPass+ lanes), the Tip Board (the spot in the My Disney Experience app where you’ll see available Genie+ selections), and My Genie Day (the part in the My Disney Experience app that’ll show you your selections for the day), just to name a few.

To Use Genie or to Not Use Genie: That is the Question

You might feel like you need a little Genie glossary at times! But knowing those terms can really help you master the system.

Click here to see the 9 most confusing parts of Disney Genie+ EXPLAINED

7. You’ve Really Got to Get Used to the App

You may have been a pro at making those FastPass+ selections, but now you’ve got to master a new system of doing things through the My Disney Experience app. For many, it won’t be all that difficult to figure out, but it can take some adjustments.

You’ll need to know how to navigate to the Genie+ area, look at the Tip Board, switch between parks, and just generally understand how the app works, how to make selections, how to pay for any purchases, etc.

©Disney

A few minutes of a delay could mean missing out on grabbing that Individual Attraction Selection for Rise of the Resistance or not being able to grab the return time you wanted, so every second truly counts!

Click here to see 5 small changes that would make Genie+ SO much better

9. Changing Things Isn’t Easy

At this time, there isn’t a modify button when it comes to Genie+ selections. You can change the selections you’ve made, but to do so you’ll have to cancel your existing Genie+ pick and make a new one.

That alone can get confusing for some. On top of that, you run the risk that by the time you’ve canceled your existing selection, the other selection you wanted may have filled up and no longer be available.

©Disney

So before you decide to cancel a Genie+ pick to make a new one, carefully consider whether you’re okay with giving up the one you have.

Click here to see 6 things that are WRONG with Genie+

Basically, it can sometimes feel like you need a masters degree in Genie+ just to wrap your head around this system and really use it to its fullest. We totally get that. But we’re here to help! Here’s how you can BEAT the worst part of Genie+.

How to Make Things Less Confusing

Yes, Genie+ can be really confusing.  But you can conquer that if you go into it prepared!

First, play around with the My Disney Experience app and specific sections within it related to Genie+ — namely the Tip Board and My Day.

©Disney

Become familiar with the app and those specific sections, see what it’s like to make a Genie+ selection and pay for Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selection. Essentially, you should try to go through all of the steps, as much as possible, without actually paying for the selections ahead of time.

Another thing you’ll want to do is link all tickets, Park Pass reservations, hotel reservations, and guests (friends and family members you’ll be traveling with) through my Disney Experience. 

Get Your Family Members All Linked!

Make sure you’ve got it all set up WELL ahead of time so you don’t have to mess with that on the day you’ll be making Genie+ selections.

Click here to see why it’s now much easier to connect family & friends on the Disney app!

Another big thing is to come up with a game plan. Review the list of rides that are available through Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selection. Which ones are a must-do for you and the people you’re traveling with? Which of your must-dos sell out the fastest? Prioritize your list and know what you absolutely MUST ride and which ones you should grab first.

Under the Sea

If you plan things out, it can make the entire experience way less stressful!

I’ve used Genie+ 20 times in Disney World. These are the rides you should prioritize

Another tip: learn from our mistakes and experiences! We’ve used Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selection a LOT. Like, a lot, a LOT. We have SO many articles discussing our experiences with the system. Don’t repeat the same mistakes we’ve made — allow our experiences to help and guide you so you can be prepared! Check out some of our posts below:

Lighting Lane

But it’s not just about posts, we’ve also got VIDEOS to help! We’ve seriously tried and tested it ALL and we’ve got all kinds of tips and tricks for you.

We’ve got tips for Magic Kingdom…

…Disney’s Hollywood Studios…

…EPCOT…

…Animal Kingdom.

We’ve given ourselves an extreme Genie+ challenge…

…a challenge only using FREE Genie…

…and we’ve broken down why everyone hates Genie+!

We can help! Watching those videos and getting familiar with how the system works can make your trip run that much smoother.

Don’t Be Discouraged

Yes, Genie+ can be confusing and there’s a bit of a learning curve when using the system for the first time.  But if you come in prepared you could totally conquer the parks and Genie+ without a worry in the world! 

We’ll continue to check for Genie+ updates and tips and we’ll share those with you. Stay tuned for more updates!

Join the AllEars.net Newsletter to get the free list of the 10 Best Secrets of Disney World! Click here to get started!

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Have you used Genie+? Share your best tips in the comments!

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20 Replies to “Disney Genie+’s Biggest Flaw Is NOT Its Price”

  1. Agree with most of the points the article and commentors are making about Genie+, but I’ll also add one that hasn’t been brought up by others. Genie+ is available for too many rides and creates bottlenecks for high capacity rides that would otherwise be much shorter lines for everyone. Spaceship Earth is a prime example of a ride would be max 10-15 minute wait on all but the busiest days, and often be a walk-on, if Genie+ didn’t exist. Instead, you wind up with general waits of 30-45 minutes while capacity is taken up by Genie+ riders.

    The best thing Disney could do to solve it’s line issues would be to take Genie+ down to only 4-5 rides per park. However, they’ll never let go of the revenue the can grab by making it look like a good value and including 15-20 attractions per park.

  2. My family visited WDW for the first time a little under a week ago (AK, HS, & MK) and we were able to do everything we wanted to. We are from LA and visited Disneyland our whole lives and found that we were content with missing some attractions that we are familiar with or are not very different from DLR. We prioritized things that were new to us or the most interesting. I studied the Genie+ videos that Molly did and was well prepared! Thanks to the tips (fiddle faddle especially) and info from AllEars we only experienced standby and the 120 min rule one time each.

    Waking up early and being on top of that first LL as well as “fancy ride” really makes a difference and set us up for success the rest of the day. I will say that I was super glued to my phone for portions of the day, but we were able to just sit and relax a lot more than I anticipated. Genie+ has its shortcomings but you really need to get ahead of it and plan and listen to AllEars.

  3. Personally I am willing to pay for a fast pass if it was just straight forward. Our daughter wanted to go visit Disney so bad that we promised her we would(she also got straight A’s). Had I known the hassle it would be, I’d changed it to Universal. So for all the people who say, “I love Genie+”, thank you for making it h*ll for the rest of us. I’ve read about how to use this about 12x and I need a PhD! We’re staying at an Airbnb to save $$ so we’ll have to scramble to get there as early as possible to wait 1 hour long lines to get in while trying to reserve a ride, paying extra for LL, setting your alarm for 2 hours to book your next ride, staring at your phone the whole day so that you can’t enjoy your vacation with your family, only for the system to glitch, having to refresh your phone because you can’t find your reservation nor make one. Only to find out the ride you paid $15 for broke down or temporarily closed due to maintenance problems. Brain explodes then I say, “what’d I miss?”, kids, “everything”!

  4. I simply can’t see myself going back to Disney until this system gets changed. AllEars has done a fantastic job of educating me on how the system works, but the thought of attempting to tackle every morning on the phone hoping to schedule some fashion of a good day just gives me a headache. I’d about as soon to tackle the real Mt Everest alone as tackle Genie+/Individual Rides right now. Sadly, my understanding is that even the real Mt Everest has some long wait lines now. 🙂

  5. No, it’s the price. The system could work flawlessly but I’ll never because I refuse to pay for it.

  6. The ultimate problem is that Chapek and to a lesser extent Iger didn’t/don’t visit the parks just to see what’s happening. Only visit for photos with celebrities. I don’t think either of them are people who enjoy the parks.

  7. The notion that Disney was bound to start charging was inevitable. The real propblem was they are charging AND making the system more complicated and less convenient. Being able to select fast passes weeks ahead of time (and even longer if you stayed on Disney property) was the way to go even they changed it by charging for it. It is the less convenient part that makes it horrible. If you think they won’t raise prices more, you have not been paying attention. And stop looking at this as all Covid related. Restrictions at Disney have been removed. EVERYTHING they changed’due to Covid’ has been left in place. All the angst over these changes is flat out ignored by Disney. The question for me is will the public visit less often, spend less while there, stay off Disney property, or not go at all? In other words is it worth the cost and worth the hassle? I guess time will tell. Because the parks could be packed and Disney could make less money. Then what will Disney do? Make them feel good about making the investment in a WDW vacation by bringing back some of the magic or add to the anger by just raising prices? There M.O. in this says they won’t do both.

  8. The biggest problem with Genie+ is Disney doesn’t think there is a problem with it. All the while collecting 15 bucks from every purchaser! We used it for the first day of our trip back in November when it was slightly less busy and still it was terrible and we never used it again. The Disney experience has declined so much in the last 10 years while their concern for the earnings per share has gone through the roof. This was most noticeable when at the Steakhouse 71 restaurant in the contemporary resort. Ordered a martini and it arrived half full. Glad my kids are grown. Universal from now on!

  9. Guess I’m looking for advice. We are staying on site and on our first day we have diner reserved at Skippers Canteen and would like to do Jungle Cruise right before diner. Do I Genie+ it at 7am for 6pm then hope for the best at 11 for other rides, or do I Genie + the other rides we want to do and hope for the best? Or do I suck it up and simply backtrack (start the day with Jungle and head back to that area for diner?). Thanks for feedback!

    1. Hi Bruce! Unfortunately, you can not choose your time with Genie+ so there’s no guarantee that you’d be able to get a spot right before your dinner if you try to book a Lightning Lane at 7am. You would most likely be getting a return time before 12pm so our advice is to book something else early at 7am and then hope to get Jungle Cruise after, but there’s no guarantee. Worst case, there’s always the standby line.

  10. You’re right. The add on price isn’t necessarily the issue. It does add up and Disney thinks they’re being clever and their guests won’t notice it’s really just a way to up the ticket prices. That being said, Who wants to vigorously research and study like you would for an exam a complex system just to be able to manage your ride selections on vacation? And that’s not to say the system won’t have a glitch that day or God forbid you phone dies? Don’t you want to carry a power bank with you in the parks all day? How is that relaxing?

  11. The article is spot on about what genie+’s biggest problem is. Very well written. Also, the price is the second biggest problem, with the problem being that it’s not more expensive. I am from cedar fair country as well John Phillips, and I would love for genie+ to be $150 and all you can ride without needing your phone. Disney made the mistake of dipping their toes in, so no one’s happy. People who are happy to pay for a shorter line don’t want the hassle, and those that think $15 is outlandish would have said the same thing if it cost $1. Just raise it to $100 already disney to make half of us happy.

  12. question – the 2 hour rule applies to park opening right? Is that opening time the “early access” time for hotel guests, or when the general public can get in?

  13. As someone who visits semi-frequently it’s hard to justify the purchase when most of the good selections are already gone before 8 AM, especially the pay per ride selections. It’s impossible to get those if you are staying off site and/or live in the area. Those purchases are, in a way, exclusively for resort hotel guests who have that 7 – 9 AM advantage. I want to use Genie + but it always seems like I’m paying to skip the lines of something I would wait in line for anyway, like It’s a Small World and Teacups. Let’s be real; the original OG fastpass system was great because everyone got to get their FP for Space Mountain, ride rides and shop in Tomorrowland, and ride Space Mountain before leaving for the next land. You were rewarded by physically being there. Now it can be done in bed. Who’s to say the people that book genie+ won’t just end up no-showing at the park for the day? California certainly knows people are no showing for their park reservations.

  14. Maybe if the pandemic never happened we would still have a free system but it was inevitable they would eventually charge for it. The price is also minuscule compared to other Parks. Kings Island in Cincy near my home is like 80 dollars per ticket for access to their “fastpass” system. Universal’s price are also outrageous. OUTRAGEOUS! I picked June 29th for example. Its 189 dollars at Universal for a 2 park ticket. The Universal express pass is 259 dollars!!!!!! This is for one person. For me to take my kids and myself would be close to 2 grand for one day! Thats completely out of control! A 1 day park hopper ticket to Disney is 199 dollars, but genie plus is 15 dollars for the day! Its 17x more expensive for the same benefit at Universal!

    1. At Universal, few people actually buy an express pass and the express lanes are generally empty. The regular lines are generally short or reasonable except for whatever the newest roller coaster happens to be. Disney has a capacity/overcrowding problem and needs to add more attractions or build another park.

    2. Yes that is true, but there are those who feel the opposite. Genie+ is way too cheap so everyone uses it causing clogged standby line, and also long Lightning Lane lines.
      One of the YouTubers I follow is Dylan of Theme Park Obsession and he has argued it should be more like $75 but then none of the nonsense and games that go into selecting rides. Like Universal you buy it and then allowed to go on once on each of the major attractions (or however it may be) Yes I k ow Universal offers an unlimited pass which we will have as included in our Universal hotel on our upcoming trip (after being a Disney World for a week).

      Our “home park” is Disneyland, as is Dylan’s (although he travels to Disney World 2-3 times per year) and the whole Genie+ thing out here is a mess. As Dream Key holders we don not need to use it, except when we had family visiting one day and it made it very stressful.

      No one want to be one their phone planning things all day and this is what Disney (and Chapek) have done!

    3. The difference between other parks’ “fastpass” system and Genie+ is that they other parks have a true skip-the-line system. All you do is show your special ticket in the special line, and boom you are in. They are much simpler to use, but you pay for that simplicity.

      I fully expect Disney to eventually go to that system once there is enough complaining about Genie+. And I also expect it will be the most expensive skip-the-line ticket in the entire theme park industry.