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Exciting new things are happening at the Disneyland theme park! The new Disney Genie and Disney Genie Plus system are up and running in the Disneyland parks. Part of the new system is free(Disney Genie). Disney Genie Plus at Disneyland is an additional $25 at Disneyland and allows you to enter the line for select attractions via the “Lightning Lane” There’s also an “a la carte” Lightning Lane option available for the most popular attractions. This new feature is taking the place of the old free Fastpass and the paid max pass system that was used at Disneyland for many years.
With this change comes the elimination of virtual queues for the two newest rides at the Disneyland park, Rise of the Resistance and Web Slingers. I’m really happy to say goodbye to the virtual queues. I was not a fan of them! Virtual queues often made it difficult for regular guests to experience these attractions. It broke my heart to get messages from people saying they’d done everything right but still weren’t able to score a reservation. I’m so glad virtual queues are a thing of the past!
Change can be a little scary. The new Disney Genie and Disney Genie Plus system can seem overwhelming at first. No worries! I’ve used Genie Plus extensively. Here’s all the information you need to know so you can decide which option(if any) is right for you on your vacation. If you have questions while you’re in the park, ask a cast member! They are well-trained in the new Genie system and are very helpful.
I’ve recently teamed up with my friend Shantelle(Disneyland Tour Guide) to test out Genie Plus at the parks! We talk about our experience and share tips, tricks, and strategies in an episode of my podcast. Check it out! It will be helpful for you. You can find the apple version here or by searching Mix In Some Magic on your favorite podcast player.
In this post, I’ll cover everything you need to know about Disney Genie and Disney Genie Plus. Disney Genie is a complimentary service that’s available to everyone through the Disneyland app. Disney Genie Plus is a paid system that will allow you to enter certain attractions through the Lightning Lane. I’ll cover everything you need to know so you can decide if it’s right for your family. I do have touring plans that include Genie Plus to help you navigate the parks while using Genie Plus. These will help you maximize your time and avoid the longest lines!
I’ve got a whole episode on my podcast about using Genie Plus at Disneyland. It includes lots of tips and strategies! Check it out.
If you’re looking for Disney planning tips, and the latest Disney park news you’re in the right place! I also talk about Disney park history, the storytelling behind the attractions, and my latest Disney park adventures. I’m here to help you plan your Disney vacation with a little extra magic mixed in. Join me!
In this episode, I talk about how to make Genie Plus work for you on your Disneyland vacation! I explain how to use it and share tips, tricks and strategies so you can use it effectively on your next visit to Disneyland. Make sure you know how to use it so you’re not wasting your money!
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Touring Plans with Genie Plus: https://mixinsomemagic.com/downloadable-touring-plans/
Guide To The Holidays At Disneyland: https://mixinsomemagic.com/holidays-at-disneyland/
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In This Post
Discount Disney Park Tickets And Hotels
Please be aware, that Disney theme parks all require park tickets and reservations. Make sure you have both! Please don’t pay full price for your Disney tickets or hotel. My partners at Get Away Today have the very best deals on tickets and hotels. Their customer service is top notch and they even have layaway plans. You can find them here or call 1-855-GET-AWAY. Make sure you tell them Melissa from Mix In Some Magic sent you for the best deal! If you book a package with park tickets and a hotel room you can use my code MSM10 to save an extra $10. That’s more churro money, friends!
I have a bunch of hotel reviews that might be helpful for you if you’re still trying to decide where you’d like to stay.
Disneyland Planning Help
I’ve got bunches of information on planning a Disneyland trip that will be so helpful for you! Start with my complete guide to visiting Disneyland. It’s a step-by-step guide for planning your vacation that will be helpful. Check out my top 10 Disneyland tips and my guide to when to visit Disneyland to help you pick the best time for your vacation! I’ve also got a post on rope dropping at Disneyland that’s very helpful.
Make sure you check out my downloadable touring plans if you’d like a step-by-step guide to the parks!
I have a planning phone call that’s super popular! In this phone call, I can answer all of your Disneyland vacation questions and give you lots of tips and info tailored just to you and your group!
Disney Genie At Disneyland
Disney Genie is a complimentary service(free) that is automatically on your my Disney experience app. The Genie will give you recommendations tailored to your specific interests and create an itinerary for you based on the information you give it. In the “My Day” tab, you’ll find Disney Genie recommendations and any plans you have made including dining reservations. Your plan will update throughout the day and (in theory) help you make the most of your visit.
There recommendations on the “My Day” tab are pretty unhelpful. While great in theory, many guests are complaining that the Disney Genie never actually recommends most of their top attractions. It seems inclined to send them to less crowded areas of the park and to attractions with low wait times, even if they are not on their “to-do list”.
Check it out but use it with caution and be smart. I don’t think following it step by step is the right option for most Disney guests. Following it exactly may give you a Disney day that is far from the day full of exciting attractions you had imagined. For now, I think my free Disneyland itinerary or one of my touring plans with Genie Plus is still a great option.
The Tip Board section of the Disneyland App is much more helpful. It shows current wait times for all the attractions and gives you the latest show times as well.
Disney Genie Plus At Disneyland
Photo: Disneyland Website
Disney Genie Plus is a paid upgrade that gives you access to the Lightning Lane on select attractions throughout Disneyland and California Adventure on the most popular rides. Using the Disneyland app, you can select the next available arrival window and enter the attraction when it’s time, using the Lightning Lane. This will allow you to enjoy the attraction and avoid long lines. Lightning Lanes always have a shorter wait time than the standby line. You can make one selection at a time, after park entry on the day of your visit. Disney Genie Plus allows guest to ride their favorite rides with a much shorter wait time. Less time in line is always a good thing!
The additional cost for Disney Genie Plus is $25 per person per day. Disney Genie Plus is available as an add-on when you purchase your park tickets or you can add it as a single-day option through the Disneyland app on the day of your park visit. Existing ticket holders or Magic Key holders can add it using the app on the day of their visit. You can purchase Disney Genie Plus using the “Tip Board” section of the Disneyland App.
If you’re looking for Disney park tickets, please don’t pay the full price! My partners at Get Away Today have park tickets that are always discounted off the gate price. Their customer service is the best! I won’t buy my tickets anywhere else. Plus, they are refundable and offer layaway plans! Check them out here.
Disney Genie Plus Extras
Photopass is included with your Genie Plus purchase! I love photopass! You can download and share all the photos taken by Disney photographers throughout the parks and you get access to all of your ride photos. You’re going to love using photopass! Pictures make the best souvenirs. So, I’m really glad this is included with Genie Plus.
Now included with Genie Plus is Disney PhotoPass Lenses. This is a fun way to capture the magic of the Disneyland theme park through the Disneyland App! You can add magic through PhotoPass lenses to your own photos and videos that you capture in the parks!
Photo: Disneyland website
An Audio Imagineering Field Guide is also included with Genie Plus. Through the app, you can discover the parks in interesting new ways and listen to behind-the-scenes insights and stories during your visit. I’m also excited about this. I love audio tours at museums and this works similarly. The only problem is, it’s very hard to hear the information because of the business and noise in the parks. It would be easier to enjoy this feature if you have headphones.
Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane Attractions
Lightning Lane is the new Fastpass entrance. This line allows you to bypass the standby line to access the attraction more quickly. There are 2 ways to enjoy the attraction using the Lightning Lane. Select attractions offer the Lightning Lane and they are included when you purchase Disney Genie Plus. You can also pay an additional fee to enter the Lightning Lane on a few attractions that are not included in the Disney Genie Plus. You can combine the two options.
Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane Entrances
When you add Disney Genie Plus to your day you can select the next available return window for Lightning Lane on select attractions. You can only select one Lightning Lane attraction at a time. The Lightning Lane limits you to one ride on each eligible attraction per day. So, you can only ride Space Mountain one time per day using the Lightning lane. Please check this post to see all the height requirements for each attraction. Here are the Lightning Lane options included in Disney Genie Plus at each park:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- “it’s a small world”
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!
- Monsters Inc: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue!
- Soarin’ Around The World
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Individual Lightning Lane Entrances
A few of the most popular attractions at Disneyland are not included in the Genie Plus Lightning Lane options. The only way to ride these attractions is via the standby line or you can pay individually per eligible attraction and make a separate Lighting Lane reservation to enter the Lightning Lane entrance. Guests may purchase and select the next available return times for up to 2 attractions per day. You do not have to have Disney Genie Plus to add the individual Lightning Lanes to your day. The cost is based on demand and crowd levels. Plan on $7-$20 per attraction. Here are the individual Lightning Lane options for each park:
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Radiator Springs Racers
Making Genie Plus Fit In Your Budget
If you’d like to use Genie Plus but aren’t sure how you can make it work in your budget, I have a few ideas. You could just add it to one or two days of your visit. Genie Plus is not an all-or-nothing thing. You can add it to just one or two days of your trip. So, keep that in mind.
You could also add Genie Plus to your entire trip, but make your trip a bit shorter to afford it. So, if you were planning on visiting for 4 days, you could shorten it to 3 days. The money you save by cutting out an extra day on park tickets, hotel, and food should cover Genie Plus for your group for your 3-day trip. Plus, because you have the Genie Plus your wait times on many attractions will be shorter allowing you to enjoy the parks fully during your 3 days, making the day you removed unnecessary.
I’ve got lots of ideas and strategies to help you save for your Disney vacation here. You can also find ideas for saving money while you’re in the park here.
How To Use Genie Plus Efficiently
There’s a little bit of strategy involved in using Genie Plus efficiently. I want you to make the most out of your time and money! So, I’ve come up with some tips that will help you maximize your time using Genie Plus. This strategy is assuming you have limited time and are trying to accomplish all you can in one or two days.
For Park Hoppers
If you’re park hopping and using Genie Plus, you should plan to arrive early. I recommend arriving at the gates at least 30-60 minutes early. Rope dropping is a great way to start your day! You can read more about it here. You can’t make your first Genie Plus selection until you are inside the parks. As soon as your ticket is scanned, make your first Genie Plus reservation. You should be able to ride that selection immediately. As soon as your Genie Plus reservation is scanned in, make your next selection. Making your next selection as soon as you’re able will enable you to ride more attractions. Some of the Genie Plus attractions are more popular and will have longer waits as the day goes on. For this reason, I suggest making Lightning Lane reservations for some of the more popular attractions earlier in the day, just to save some time. Guardians of the Galaxy and Toy Story in California Adventure and Space Mountain and Indiana Jones in Disneyland. I
If you’re visiting during Halloween time or the Holidays, Haunted Mansion Holiday is incredibly popular. Return times book up quickly. Make that one of your first lightning lane selections.
Ride as many rides as possible before you’re able to park hop at 1pm. Once you park hop, do the same thing in the other park. You should always be holding a Genie Plus reservation. If you have to wait for a reservation time, fill in that time by seeing shows, having meals or riding other attractions.
For Non-Park Hoppers
If you’re spending the entire day in one park(not park hopping), you can take your day a little slower. I recommend arriving at the gates at least 30-60 minutes early. Rope dropping is a great option! You can’t make your first Genie Plus selection until you are inside the parks. As soon as your ticket is scanned, you can make your first Genie Plus reservation, however you can wait for a little while before you start making selections to hit those lower rope drop wait times. Some of the Genie Plus attractions are more popular and will have longer waits as the day goes on. For this reason, I suggest making Lightning Lane reservations for some of the more popular attractions earlier in the day, just to save some time. Guardians of the Galaxy and Toy Story earlier in the Day in California Adventure. At Disneyland, I suggest making earlier reservations for Space Mountain and Indiana Jones.
If you’re visiting during Halloween time or the Holidays, Haunted Mansion Holiday is incredibly popular. Return times book up quickly. Make that one of your first lightning lane selections.
Don’t feel the need to rush around and do all your lightning lanes in the morning. Lines are shorter in the morning for all attractions, so I’d rather see you enjoy shorter wait times via the standby line for non-lightning lane attractions in the mornings and save your lightning lanes for the afternoon/evening when lines are longer. I do recommend rope-dropping if you’re able! You can read more about how to rope drop here. So, book those two popular attractions we talked about in the morning, but then fill your morning with shorter stand-by lines.
Hopefully, this helps sort things out for you! I’ll be at Disneyland testing them out frequently so I can share more information with you often. I recently spent a whole day seeing how much I could get done park-hopping and using Genie Plus strategically! It was a long day and I hustled, but I was able to ride so many things! I made a reel documenting my day. You can find it here.
Multi Experience Pass
Sometimes when you’re using Disney Genie Plus, a ride that you have a Lightning Lane reservation for will go down. If an attraction is closed for any reason while you’re holding a Lightning Lane for that attraction, you will automatically get a multi-experience pass added to your Disneyland app. This is a great thing! If this happens to you, it’s like you got a little sprinkle of Disney Magic! A multi-experience pass is good for lots of different attractions and even includes some that don’t have Lightning Lanes! If you’ve ever wished you could skip the line for Pirates of the Caribbean or Alice In Wonderland, this Multi experience pass will do just that!
Here’s how it works. Let’s say you were waiting on a Disney Genie Plus return time for Indiana Jones Adventure. You check your app and notice that Indiana Jones Adventure has been shut down! You start to feel sad, but then remember that this is actually a great thing because you’re going to get a multi-experience pass. The pass usually shows up pretty quickly on your app. Once it’s on your app, you can use it for lots of different rides! Indiana Jones(along with Space Mountain and Matterhorn) is a top-tier ride at Disneyland. That means that you can use your multi-experience pass for just about any attraction in the park except Peter Pan and Rise of the Resistance.
I like to use my multi-experience pass for Alice in Wonderland. That line is usually pretty long and I love skipping it!
You can find a list of all the attractions you can use your multi-experience pass on right on the pass. They’ll be a little button that you can click on that will give you a list of rides. This pass is good all day, so you can use it whenever you feel like it. Just don’t use it for Indiana Jones. Because you never used your Disney Genie Plus return time for Indiana Jones Adventure, you can make another Lighting Lane reservation for it as soon as it’s operational again.
To use your multi-experience pass, just head to the attraction that you’d like to use it on and tell the cast member at the front that you have a multi experience pass. They’ll scan it for you and help you from there.
If you are holding a return time for a different lightning lane that’s not a top-tier attraction, the available attractions on your multi-experience pass will exclude the top-tier attractions.
Disney Genie Plus FAQs
Here are some questions I’m often asked about using Disney Genie Plus.
Can I park-hop and use Genie Plus in both parks?
Yes! When you purchase Genie Plus, it’s good for both parks! You get the most value from your Genie Plus if you’re using it with a park hopper ticket. One thing to be aware of: you cannot park hop until 1 pm. This means that if you’re at Disneyland and want to get a Lightning Lane over at Disney California Adventure, you’ll need to wait until the return time for the attraction you want to ride is after 1 pm. You can make your reservations from either park.
Is Genie Plus Worth The Cost?
I get this question constantly! It’s a hard one for me to answer. So, I’ll tell you what I tell everyone: Maybe. Genie plus may be worth the extra cost for your group, but it may not be. Please don’t feel like it’s necessary to purchase Genie plus to have a great trip. It’s not. Genie Plus is convenient and will save you time waiting in line. But, if the added cost blows your budget- don’t do it! You can still have a great time without it. I have noticed that Disney is inflating the posted wait times. So, you can expect to wait about 10-15 minutes less than the posted wait times at most attractions.
Before you rush to buy it, make sure your kids are tall enough to ride most of the Genie Plus rides. There’s no sense in buying it for your smaller children if they’re too small to ride the bigger attractions. I’ve got a full article on the height requirements at Disneyland. You can find it here.
If I’m visiting by myself or with just my husband, I’ll add Genie plus. An extra $25 is worth it for me to skip the standby line on 19 attractions. If I’m visiting with my family of 6 for only one or two days, I may add it on because the time we save waiting in line would allow us to enjoy more of the parks. However, If I’m visiting with my family for 3-5 days I probably would not purchase it for each day. The added expense would be too much for my budget and we would have enough time to wait in the standby lines.
You do get the most value from Genie Plus when you use it with a park hopper ticket. Disney Genie Plus can be used for both parks with one purchase. Meaning, you don’t have to purchase it again if you hop over to the other park.
My favorite part about Disney Genie Plus is that it gives Disneyland guests options. They can choose to wait in the standby line. They can choose to pay for Genie plus. They can choose to add individual Lightning Lanes. I love that it gives people more options to decide what’s best for their group. There’s no one choice that’s right for everyone. I think it makes the Disneyland resort better, overall. If you’re on the fence about it, don’t purchase it with your ticket. Give it a try for one day and see what you think. You can always add it later if you like it!
When Can I Start Making Lightning Lane Reservations?
You can start making your lighting lane reservations as soon as you’ve scanned into the park for the day. Once you’ve scanned in, you can make lightning lane reservations from anywhere. So, if you decide to head back to your hotel for a mid-day break, you can make another lightning lane reservation from your hotel! Just remember you have to be scanned into the park first for the day.
Can One Person Make Lightning Lane Reservations For The Whole Group?
Yes! One person can make all of the Lightning Lane reservations for your group. Up to 10 people. You just need to add everyone’s tickets to your Disneyland app and everyone needs to have entered the park for the day. You can add people to your Disneyland app under the tickets and passes section. Once you have everyone added, when you go to make a Lightning Lane reservation, you’ll be able to select which guests you’d like to include in the reservation.
How Often Can I Make Lightning Lane Reservations?
You can make a new Lightning Lane reservation as soon as you scan into your current reservation OR two hours after you make the reservation. Whichever comes first. You’ll be able to see what time you can make your next reservation on the Disneyland app. I like to set a timer on my phone so that I can make my next reservation as soon as it’s available.
Does Using Genie Plus Drain My Phone Battery?
Using the Disneyland app in general will drain your battery. Plus, you’ll have your phone out constantly to take pictures and videos of your amazing vacation! So, make sure you have a portable charger of some kind. I like to put my phone on low power mode as soon as I enter the park to help conserve the battery. I have a post about charging your phone at Disneyland here that will give you some good ideas and tips.
Phew! That was a lot of information about using Disney Genie Plus at Disneyland! I hope it was helpful and informative. If you do decide to use Genie Plus, it can feel a little overwhelming at first, but once you do it a couple of times you’ll get the hang of it and it will become simple. It’s a pretty intuitive system.
Make sure to check out my podcast for lots of Disney planning information! You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Just search for “Mix In Some Magic” Follow me on Instagram for more Disney tips and lots of Disney tips and fun!