What’s the Difference Between Disney Genie and Disney Genie+?

by | Mar 22, 2023 | Walt Disney World News, WDW Blog

Not sure how to tell the difference between Disney Genie and Disney Genie+?

Right now at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, you have two magical services that can help you save time at the parks and even secure your seat on your favorite rides. Though both are part of the My Disney Experience app (or Disneyland app) platform, these two services are very different in what they do and, more importantly, what they cost.

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Photo courtesy of Disney

🧞Disney Genie is a free service that any park guest, regardless of annual pass status or resort stay, has access to through the (also free) My Disney Experience app (or the Disneyland app over in California).

🧞Disney Genie+, however, is a PAID service. It includes “FastPass-like” selections, now called Lightning Lane selections. It also includes some magical extras like PhotoPass exclusives, Audio tidbits, and AR lenses.

Table of Contents:

Everything You Need to Know About the Free Disney Genie Service

The free service is quite handy, especially if you are already a My Disney Experience or Disneyland app power user. (If you are new to using MDE, I highly recommend bookmarking our extensive guide to My Disney Experience.). The free service is intended to help you get the MOST out of your day in Disney World or Disneyland, providing recommendations, tips, and more to help you plan out your day with a little bit of Genie magic. We’re taking you step by step on how to get started with that!

Enter in your interests and top picks

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Photo courtesy of Disney

To get started, you’ll want to head over to select your top interests and picks for the day. Some of the options for this will include Attractions, Dining, and Entertainment. Really want to enjoy Princess-themed attractions and entertainment throughout the day? All you need to do is highlight that interest, and it will guide you through your options, including where they are in each park. Additionally, you can pick options like Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar.

Get personalized recommendations

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Photo courtesy of Disney

Based on your entries, Disney Genie will build out an itinerary for you and your family. This will include different rides, along with recommended times for when you should ride them. What makes this so helpful is that you will get recommended times to visit each attraction based on when times should be lower than usual.

Get continuous updates about that itinerary

Need to swap out an option? No problem! You can choose to “swap” any option, and the page will continuously update to offer new selections for you throughout the day, so you can change as you go. That means if you aren’t heading toward Frontierland, and want to ride your suggested Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at a different time, you can! Simply click to swap it out and continue with your day.

Check out tips on My Tip Board

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Photo courtesy of Disney

Over on the tip board, you will start to see some of the paid Genie+ incorporated! What this means is, you’ll be able to see what the current wait times are for rides, as well as the current availability for Lightning Lanes for each ride. If that Lightning Lane looks tempting, you have two options. You can purchase Disney Genie+, which will allow you to continue to select Lightning Lanes for select attractions throughout the day. Or, you can pay individually for a ride with an Individual Attraction Selection. Make sure you check out our complete guide to pricing for each here!

See wait times for your favorite attractions, as well as dining reservations

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Photo courtesy of Disney

As part of Disney Genie, you can check out forecasted wait times for your favorite rides throughout the day, so you can know the perfect time to hop in line for a shorter wait. Additionally, you can check in on the Walk-Up List timing for certain restaurants, or see easily when the next available dining reservation is.

Everything You Need to Know about the Paid Disney Genie+ Service

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Photo by Tatjana Lazer

As I mentioned, the biggest difference between the two services is the cost. The Disney Genie service is complimentary, but Disney Genie+ will cost you, per person, per day — and the cost varies.

So what does that money get you? With it, you will be able to …

Reserve an arrival time at select attractions

You’ll be able to select an arrival window for one ride at a time, using the Lightning Lane. Since Disney Genie+ at Disney World is park-specific, your options will be dependent on which park(s) you have purchased for. These ride selections include:

Disney World

Genie+ Selections

Magic Kingdom:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
  • Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
  • Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

EPCOT:

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE – Green
  • Mission: SPACE – Orange
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

  • Festival of the Lion King
  • DINOSAUR
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
  • Naʻvi River Journey
  • The Animation Experience at Conservation Station

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  • Disney Junior Play & Dance!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania!

Disneyland

Genie+ Selections:

Disneyland Resort:

  • Autopia
  • 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 Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

Disney California Adventure:

  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Incredicoaster
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Soarin’ Over California
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure

Audio Experiences and PhotoPass Exclusives

Disney Genie+ offers unique audio experiences across both resorts.

For PhotoPass, offerings vary by resort:

  • At WDW, you’ll have access to various augmented reality photo lenses on your own phone. You will also have access to on-ride photos for the day you purchase the service.
  • At DLR, you’ll get free unlimited PhotoPass downloads.

Individual Lighting Lane Selections

TRON Lightcycle / Run Soft Open

Photo by Cliff Wang

Not every Disney World and Disneyland attraction will be available for the paid Genie+ Lightning Lane access. For a select few, you will instead need to utilize Individual Lightning Lanes (Disney originally called these Individual Attraction Selections). You can purchase up to two of these a day, separately from Genie+. These will guarantee entry at specific times on some of Walt Disney World’s and Disneyland’s most coveted rides.

At Disney World, if you’re staying on property you can pick your first Individual Attraction Selection at 7AM, or at park opening if you aren’t staying on property. At Disneyland, you can make your first selection when you enter the park. You can find the full list of available attractions below:

Disney World Individual Attraction Selections:
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • TRON Lightcycle / Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Rise of the Resistance
Disneyland Individual Attraction Selections:
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Rise of the Resistance

Key Differences Between the Services

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Photo by Rich Ramos

So, what are the KEY differences and similarities between the two?

Disney Genie:

  • FREE service
  • Helps plan your day with helpful tips and suggestions
  • Available through My Disney Experience

Disney Genie+

One thing to note is that you do NOT need to have purchased Disney Genie+ to buy an Individual Attraction Selection at the parks.

Not sure if you’re going? You can just get more information about a potential Disney vacation.

Destinations To Travel 2021 Disney World ReservationsKnow your dates?
Disney Travel Agent Quote
Just need advice for now?
Disney Vacation Planning Help

 

Guide to Disney Genie+: Everything You Need to Know

How to Use My Disney Experience: A Comprehensive Guide

Posts by Timothy Moore

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Timothy Moore is the editorial director of WDW Magazine, DLR Magazine, and DCL Magazine. He has 15 years of experience in storytelling across roles in content marketing, market research, SEO, and journalism. In addition to running an award-winning Disney magazine, Timothy writes travel and finance content for sites like Business Insider, USA Today, and Forbes.
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Authored by
Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore is the editorial director of WDW Magazine, DLR Magazine, and DCL Magazine. He has 15 years of experience in storytelling across roles in content marketing, market research, SEO, and journalism. In addition to running an award-winning Disney magazine, Timothy writes travel and finance content for sites like Business Insider, USA Today, and Forbes.
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