Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it? (An Honest Review)

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2021 was a sad year for all Disney fans. The Disney fastpass system was retired and a new paid option to skip the line called Disney Genie Plus was introduced. This had most Disney goers wondering is Disney Genie Plus worth it?

This is such a difficult question to answer. It’s all subjective, and there isn’t an answer that fits across the board.

I’ve used Disney Genie Plus a number of times.

Sometimes I feel like it is worth it, and I got my money’s worth. Sometimes I feel like I wasted my money.

There is no cut and dry answer, so I want to give you my perspective on all things Disney Genie Plus to help you decide if you want to invest in it on your trip.

So, buckle in and hold on tighter than you do on Tower of Terror because we’re going on a ride.

How Does Disney Genie Plus Work?

Before we get too deep into whether or not Disney Genie Plus is worth it, I thought I would briefly go over what it is in case you’re not 100% sure.

Disney Genie Plus is a paid upgrade to your Disney day that allows you to skip the lines at many but not all attractions at Disneyland and Disney World parks.

You purchase Disney Genie Plus on the My Disney Experience app and reserve lightening lanes directly through the app. It’s very similar to how you would book Fastpass+ before they went extinct.

Once you have your lightening lane and are ready to redeem it, you simply scan your magic band, apple wallet, or ticket at the entrance of the attraction.

After that, you pass all the people standing in the regular line and basically walk onto the attraction.

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Two Different Types of Disney Genie Plus Attractions

So, you know how I mentioned that buying Disney Genie Plus will get you to the front of the line on most attractions, well there is another type of lightening lane you can purchase if you want to get to the more popular attractions.

Think Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Rise of the Resistance, and Flight of Passage.

The second type of lightening lane you can purchase are called Individual Attraction Selections (IAS).

You have to pay for each ride separately, and each ride costs between $8 and $20 per person.

So it can add up really quickly if you’re a family of four!

You purchase an IAS in the app the same way you reserve a standard lightening lane.

The only difference is you’ll be redirected to pay for the lightening lane when reserving IAS rides.

It’s important to note that you can only purchase two IAS per day so be sure to consider all the IAS options before deciding what to purchase.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all this information and want a more detailed description of what rides are included in the standard Disney Genie Plus purchase versus the IAS rides, check out this website directly from the Disney World website.

Overview

I know this article is long, so here’s a quick chart to help you decide if Disney Genie Plus is worth it at each park.

Make sure to read the entire article for tips, tricks, and explanations as to why I think Disney Genie Plus is worth it or not in each park.

ParkWorth It?
Magic KingdomYes
EpcotNo
Hollywood StudiosSometimes
Animal KingdomNo
Disneyland/DCAYes

Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Disney World

Now that we have the introduction out of the way, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of what you came to this article for.

You want to know whether you should spend your hard earned money on Disney Genie Plus or if you can still have an amazing Disney World vacation without it and stand in the normal line.

Well, I’ve got you covered!

I’ve tried Disney Genie Plus, so you don’t have to, and I’m sharing everything I learned to help you make the right decision for you and your travel group.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive answer I can give you.

It depends on what park you’re visiting, your goals in that park, the size of your party, and your budget.

But we’ll break that all down next, so you make an informed decision and have a plan before you arrive in Disney World.

FYI- Disney Genie Plus costs $15 per day per person at Disney World.

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Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Magic Kingdom?

Magic Kingdom is the only Disney World park where I would say yes for sure Disney Genie Plus is worth it for pretty much anybody.

Even people travelling with small babies will benefit from having Disney Genie Plus at Magic Kingdom.

There are plenty of baby-friendly rides that you can get a lightening lane for and skip the line.

Magic Kingdom is by far the busiest park at Disney World, and it has the most attractions included in Disney Genie Plus.

But just because Magic Kingdom has the most Genie Plus selections doesn’t mean it is all rainbows and sunshine.

A lot of people use Disney Genie Plus at Magic Kingdom, and most people want a lightening lane for the same very popular rides (like Big Thunder Mountain and Jungle Cruise).

This means that even first thing in the morning at rope drop, the return time for some rides will already be booking a return time six or eight hours in advance.

Which doesn’t mean you can’t book a ride with a later return time and then you’re screwed for the rest of the day.

You just have to abide by the 120 minute rule, which means you have to wait two hours after booking one selection before booking another one.

Or you can book another one after you used the lightening lane your already have if it hasn’t been 120 minutes since you booked it.

You just need to make sure you’re being strategic about the lightening lanes you book and decide if booking a lightening lane so far in advance is worth it for you.

Festival of Fantasy Parade Magic Kingdom

My Experience Using Disney Genie Plus in Magic Kingdom

While I’m glad I purchased Disney Genie Plus at Magic Kingdom, it was a bit frustrating.

I didn’t get as many rides in as I wanted, and it felt like the return times were so far in advance. Especially once it was midday.

At rope drop, the return time for Jungle Cruise was already 6:50pm.

Now, I am speaking about a very busy day at Magic Kingdom, so it likely isn’t always like this, but it is something to keep in mind.

You won’t be running from ride to ride jumping on everything with a lightening lane.

I got to the park at rope drop and left around 3pm, and I was able to get a lightening lane for four attractions.

They weren’t the most popular attractions, but it was still better than nothing. I ended up not riding Big Thunder that day because the line was too long, and the return time was too far in advance for my liking.

My biggest piece of advance when using Disney Genie Plus at Magic Kingdom is to have a strategy going in.

Decide if you’re like me and selected whatever ride had the closest return time or if you want to book your favourite attraction with a later return time and then wait 120 minutes until you can book your next one.

Both strategies are valid.

You just have to decide what works best for you.

But, overall, I think Disney Genie Plus is worth it at Magic Kingdom, and I will continue to purchase it every time I visit Magic Kingdom.

Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Epcot?

Epcot is my favourite Disney World park, but I don’t think Disney Genie Plus is worth it at Epcot.

There aren’t that many rides that offer a lightening lane, and most of the ones that do normally don’t have a long line.

Soarin’ is the major exception to this, but you can normally time it right and only have to wait 15-20 minutes to ride Soarin’ in the regular line. Soarin’ normally gets really busy and then really dead then really busy again throughout the day.

If you do want to save some time waiting in lines at Epcot, I would suggest splurging and purchasing an IAS instead.

Epcot is home to two new and very popular rides: Ratatouille and Guardians of the Galaxy Rewind.

If you’re looking to save the most time at Epcot, skipping those lines is the best way to do it.

It’ll cost you a pretty penny, but you need to decide if it is worth it or not for you and your party.

Overall, I have not and will not be purchasing Disney Genie Plus at Epcot.

Epcot, to me, is more about walking around, enjoying the food and festivals, and riding Spaceship Earth.

I don’t think I would get my money’s worth out of Disney Genie Plus at Epcot.

Epcot

Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Hollywood Studios?

Sigh. This is the most difficult park to decide if Disney Genie Plus is worth it or not.

On one hand, Hollywood Studios has some of the most popular rides with the longest lines.

On the other hand, the lightening lanes sell out super fast at Hollywood Studios, and you basically need to be there at rope drop to make it worth the money.

And if you’re there at rope drop, then you can get pretty much everything done first thing in the morning and not need to stand in long lines.

I think if you want to do every ride at Hollywood Studios and don’t have access to early morning magic hours with the hotel you’re staying at, Disney Genie Plus may be worth it.

You still need to get there at park open and make your first lightening lane selection ASAP, but it should still save you some time waiting in line.

You also have to be okay dedicating your entire day to Hollywood Studios and not jumping to another park.

On the other hand, if you’re able to get into the park 30 minutes early with the hotel you’re staying at, I don’t think you need Disney Genie Plus.

My Experience in Hollywood Studios

I’ve found that I was able to ride everything I wanted once and sometimes two or three times by being at the park super early to get on rides the minute the park opens.

The one exclusion is I didn’t ride Rise of the Resistance or Tower of Terror because I have no interest in those rides. I also used single rider for Smugglers Run later in the day.

I didn’t have a problem getting everything done and was done everything I wanted to do in Hollywood Studios by 11am.

It’s an early day, but I think it’s well worth it to get up early and get everything done without standing in lines for ages or running the risk of the lightening lane I want being booked up.

My normal routine when I rope drop Hollywood Studios with extra magic hours is:

  • Start at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Head to Rockin’ Rollercoaster (ride twice)
  • Go to Toy Story Land. I normally ride Midway Mania and then try to sneak onto Slinky Dog Dash before the line gets out of control

Sometimes I’m not able to get on Slinky Dog Dash, but that isn’t a big issue for me. If it is a must-ride for you, you’ll want to head to it first or right after Runaway Railway.

Hollywood Studios

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Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Animal Kingdom?

Disney Genie Plus is absolutely not necessary at Animal Kingdom.

There aren’t enough attractions to make getting Disney Genie Plus worth it, and just like Hollywood Studios, if you rope drop Animal Kingdom, you’ll be able to get everything you want done in the morning without too much of a wait.

Just be sure you start in Pandora! That’s always the busiest land.

The only thing you may want to consider is purchasing an IAS for Flight of Passage. Even that isn’t necessary. It’s normally a short 30 minute wait first thing in the morning.

I’m not sure I’m willing to pay $12 per person to avoid a 30 minute wait, but I may just be a cheap person. Haha.

Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Disneyland

This is one of the easiest questions for me to answer.

Yes!

1,000 times over yes.

I’ve found that purchasing Disney Genie Plus at Disneyland/Disney California Adventure has been the best use of Genie Plus.

At least it has been for me.

Disney Genie Plus in Disneyland is very similar to the old Max Pass option at Disneyland. If you liked Max Pass, you’ll like Disney Genie Plus.

FYI- Disney Genie Plus is $20 per person per day at Disneyland, and it includes Photopass!

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Why Disney Genie Plus is Worth it at Disneyland

At this point in the article, you may be confused why I was more weary about Disney Genie Plus at Disney World but whole heartedly recommend it at Disneyland.

There are two main reasons for this:

  • It’s easier to park hop and get the most out of your money
  • There are a lot more attractions to use Disney Genie Plus on in Disneyland/DCA, and you’re more likely to get a Lightening Lane for the ride you want with a shorter return time than at Disney World

Yes the lines for attractions is still long, but it’s much easier to get on a ride with Lightening Lane in California than in Florida.

I’ve never had an issue where I couldn’t get a return time for an attraction that was reasonable.

I’ve never had to abide by the 120 minute rule in Disneyland.

The longest I’ve waited for a return window was about 90 minutes, and that was in the middle of the day on a very busy day.

Using Disney Genie Plus is Disneyland requires much less strategy, and you can be more spontaneous without worrying too much about not getting a Lightening Lane for your favourite attraction.

Disney California Adventures

Frequently Asked Questions

Okay. I know that was a lot to take in, and you probably have some questions.

I’m going to do my best to anticipate what your questions will be and answer them. If I don’t answer your question, drop a comment, and I’ll try my best to give you the information you’re looking for.

Do I Have to Purchase Disney Genie Plus for My Entire Trip?

No!

You don’t have to purchase Disney Genie Plus for every day you’re at Disney.

In fact, if you’re going to Disney World, I wouldn’t recommend you purchase Disney Genie Plus for your entire trip.

There are two ways you can purchase Disney Genie Plus:

  • In advance for every day of your trip
  • On the day you’re planning on using Disney Genie Plus

For example, if you only want to purchase Disney Genie Plus for your day at Magic Kingdom, you can’t purchase it in advance.

You have to wait to purchase it until the day you plan to use it.

I personally purchase Disney Genie Plus on the day I want to use it in Disney World.

But I purchase it in advance when I’m going to Disneyland because I know I want to use it every day of my trip.

How Much Does Disney Genie Plus Cost?

Disney Genie Plus costs $15 per person per day in Disney World and $20 per person per day in Disneyland.

You also receive free Photopass photos in Disneyland when you purchase Disney Genie Plus.

Does Everybody in My Party Need to Purchase Disney Genie Plus?

No.

Disney doesn’t require everybody in your party to purchase Disney Genie Plus. You can purchase it for just one person in your party if you want to.

However, only the person who purchases Disney Genie Plus can book Lightening Lanes and skip the line.

If you have somebody in your party that doesn’t enjoy rides, then you may want to skip purchasing Disney Genie Plus for them. You may not get your money’s worth.

You may also want to only purchase Disney Genie Plus for one person in you party at Disneyland if Photopass is important to you.

Depending on how many days you spend in Disneyland, it may be cheaper to purchase Disney Genie Plus than it is to purchase a Photopass package.

It’s important to note that if you don’t want to purchase Disney Genie Plus for everybody in your party, you can’t book it in advance. You need to purchase it on the day you want to use Disney Genie Plus.

If you purchase Disney Genie Plus in advance with your tickets, it will be applied to everybody in your party for every day you have a park ticket.

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Disneyland

Do Annual Pass Holders/Magic Key Holders Get a Discount on Disney Genie Plus?

Unfortunately, there is currently no discount on Disney Genie Plus for annual pass holders or Magic Key holders.

There isn’t an option to pay and add on Disney Genie Plus to your pass either.

You have to pay daily just like everybody else.

How do I Purchase Disney Genie Plus?

Whether you purchase Disney Genie Plus in advance or on the day you use it will impact how you purchase it.

If you purchase it in advance, it’s all done through the website when you purchase your tickets. You simply select the Disney Genie Plus add on and pay for it when you purchase your tickets.

If you purchase Disney Genie Plus on the day you want to use it, the purchase it made in the My Disney Experience app.

This article gives you a complete run down of how to purchase Disney Genie Plus inside the My Disney Experience app.

It’s super easy, and it only takes a few seconds. Especially if you have your payment method saved in the app.

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How Will the Disney Genie Plus Charge Show on My Credit Card?

This is the part that threw me when I got home from my Disney World trip.

I’m not sure if this is the same for everybody, but the Disney Genie Plus purchases I made showed up as WDW All-Star Resort.

I didn’t visit an All-Start Resort on my trip and spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the charge was for before it dawned on me that it was on the right dates I purchased Disney Genie Plus and for the proper amount.

So, moral of the story, if you purchase Disney Genie Plus on a day-by-day basis, the charge on your credit card may be a little strange.

Be sure to track the days you purchase Disney Genie Plus and how much you should be charged.

This will help you piece your credit card statement together.

If you purchase Disney Genie Plus in advance with your tickets, it will show on your statement as a normal WDW purchase. No decoding required.

Flower and Garden Festival

Can I Use My VPN with Disney Genie Plus?

I figured this out the hard way.

You cannot book Lightening Lanes if you have a VPN turned on on your phone.

You need to turn your VPN off, make the Lightening Lane selection, and then turn your VPN back on.

It’s a small hassle but worth it.

If you’re been around my blog for a while, you know I’m always harping on you to protect your online information and data with a VPN.

You don’t want to risk using a public wifi network like the one at Disney World without a VPN.

A VPN essentially puts a forcefield around your phone that keeps prying eyes out of your private online information.

I personally love and use NordVPN and would encourage you to get a VPN if you don’t already have one.

Conclusion

Whew. That was a very long article. Congrats on making it to the end!

There is a lot to learn about Disney Genie Plus and whether Disney Genie Plus is worth it.

I hope this overview helps you decide if you want to invest in Disney Genie Plus or just rely on the traditional standby line.

There are definitely pros and cons to each, and pros and cons of using it in each park.

No matter what choice you make, I hope you have the most magical Disney trip. Please say hi to Mickey from me!

Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it? (An Honest Review)Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it? (An Honest Review)Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it? (An Honest Review)Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it? (An Honest Review)

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