Disney’s Genie+ is taking Disney fans for a whirl. Is it worth it? Ultimately guests will have to decide what’s going to work best for their family but I do have some thoughts. Genie and Genie+ has been around for a while but I wanted to go during a busy time and really test out what Genie has to offer.
While on a getaway to the beach, I decided to take 2 of those days to try out Genie+. I knew it would be a very busy week (Spring Break) so I figured it would put this Genie to the test.
At the end of day 2, I thought, “Genie+ is not necessary. You can get everything in just the same as if you don’t use it.”
Then I slowed down my thoughts, because it was really something I needed to really think on. First though, let me tell you how each day went.
Day 1, April 5, 2022, Tuesday
The drive from Daytona Beach to Magic Kingdom is about 1 hour and 20 minutes. My goal was to leave about 6:30am.
At 5am I purchased Genie+. It can be purchased with a package or the day of with a park ticket and reservation. On site guests can book their first Lightning Lane at 7am. Off site guests can book their first one at park opening, which in my case was 9am.
6:40am – I was out the door and on my way to Magic Kingdom.
8:11am – I arrived at the Transportation and Ticket Center to park and catch the monorail to Magic Kingdom.
8:21am – I was on the monorail.
8:33am – I was in the park
8:40am – I was able to purchase my first Individual Lightning Lane to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The time available for purchase was listed for 6:45pm. When I choose the ride and moved through the purchasing process it changed the time to 10:30pm. That was a bummer but it was booked.
8:45 – In line at Starbucks for my coffee fix.
9am – Booked a Lightning Lane for Jungle Cruise for 5:55pm.
9:06am – In line for It’s a Small World. Posted wait time 20 minutes. On at 9:22. (16 min wait)
9:45am – In line for Peter Pan’s Flight. Posted wait time 60 minutes. On at 10:26. (41 min wait)
10:37am – In line for Haunted Mansion. Posted wait time 65 minutes. On at 11:09. (32 min wait)
11am – Booked Pirates of the Caribbean Lightning Lane for 12:55
11:54am – Mobile ordered lunch at Casey’s Corner and Caught the parade on Main Street
12:38pm – In line for Big Thunder Mountain. Posted wait time 55 minutes. On at 1:12. (34 min wait)
1pm – Booked Space Mountain Lightning Lane for 7:55.
1:15pm – In line for Pirates of the Caribbean Lightning Lane. (waited about 5 min)
2:11pm – Mobile ordered Dole Whip from Aloha Isle.
2:30pm – In line for Splash Mountain. Posted wait time 70 minutes. On at 3:22. (52 min wait)
3:00pm – Booked Lightning Lane for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh for 6:30.
3:58pm – Walk on to Country Bears Jamboree.
4:28pm – PhilharMagic, waited about 10 minutes
5:03pm – Booked Buzz Lightyear Lightning Lane for 8:30.
5:15pm – Hall of Presidents, waited about 6 minutes.
5:47pm – Snack at Sleepy Hollow
6:04pm – In line for Jungle Cruise Lightning Lane. (waited about 8 minutes)
6:50pm – In line for Winnie the Pooh Lightning Lane. (waited about 7 minutes)
7:20pm – Walk on to Carousel of Progress
7:58pm – In line for Space Mountain Lightning Lane. (walk on)
I left after this because I had a drive but I did have Lightning Lanes for Buzz Lightyear and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I would have gotten these rides in had I stayed. For this reason I counted them in the total for the day. I got 9 rides in without Genie+ and I was able to book 5 Lightning Lanes and 1 Individual Lightning Lane. I looked at 7 and there weren’t any more available that my family and I would have ridden, and not many at all.
Day 2 April 6, 2022, Wednesday
I left much later than I had planned! The drive and the day before wore me out I guess!
6:50am – I was off to Magic Kingdom from Daytona Beach.
8:30am – Arrived at the Transportation and Ticket Center to park and catch the monorail to Magic Kingdom.
9:19am – In line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Posted wait time 85 minutes. On at 10:51. (92 min wait)
11:15am – Coffee from Starbucks. Since I arrived later than planned I went to my first ride before coffee (EeeeK!)
12:16pm – In line for Peter Pan’s Flight. Posted wait time 80 minutes. On at 1:01. (45 min wait)
1:15pm – In line for It’s a Small World. Posted wait time 40 minutes. on at 1:46. (31 min wait)
2:09pm – Lunch at Pinocchio Village Haus.
2:30pm – Walk on Hall of Presidents.
3:05pm – In line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Posted wait time 35 minutes. On at 3:14. (9 min wait)
3:25pm – In line for Splash Mountain. Posted wait time 75 minutes. On at 4:20. (55 min wait)
4:41pm – In line for Pirates of the Caribbean. Posted wait time 35 minutes. On at 5:16. (27 min wait)
5:34pm – Country Bear Jamboree. Waited about 5 minutes.
6:05pm – Dinner at Columbia Harbour House.
6:30pm – In line for Haunted Mansion. Posted wait time 45 minutes. On at 7:28. (58 min wait)
7:51pm – PhilharMagic, no wait.
8:22pm – In line for Winnie the Pooh. Posted wait time 40 minutes. On at 8:41. (19 min wait)
9pm – In line for Space Mountain. Posted wait time 35 minutes. On at 9:21. (21 min wait)
9:40pm – Carousel of Progress. Waited 4 minutes.
10:05pm – In line for Buzz Lightyear. Posted wait time 30 minutes. On at 10:16. (11 min wait)
10:30pm – In line for Jungle Cruise. Posted wait time 60 minutes. On at 10:39. (9 min wait)
I was able to get everything in without Genie+ that I had done the day before with Genie+. 15 rides/attractions both days.
This was a very busy 2 days. To be honest, I don’t know if it would have worked out this way either day if I had my family with me. We usually take some kind of break or rest mid day. I did take my time, took breaks, and tried to pace myself as if my family were present to make it as close to a real day at WDW as possible.
On the first day, with genie plus, I was on my phone ALOT! I have to admit though, it wasn’t as much as I thought it would be, but it was definitely more than normal. I had to charge my phone twice during the day and left with 12% battery.
On day 2, I was on my phone considerably less. I really only had to use it for mobile ordering. I had to charge my phone once and left with 48% battery.
One thing I noticed a lot more than I ever thought about, was the disadvantage people who are not tech savvy and some international travelers were at with everything being app oriented. I talked to all kinds of people. I asked tons of questions about Genie. I talked to older people, young people, family, solo travelers, international travelers, you name it. There were several people going about the day with Genie+ with no problem at all. Their biggest dislike was the available times and even if you pick a certain time, it changes once you book it. I was so surprised by the amount of people who found it difficult. Most of the older guests said they just decided what they were willing to wait for and went though the day never looking at their phones. There were 2 groups of international travelers that couldn’t get the app to work on their phones so they just went to the rides they really wanted to get in first and waited. Another had family close by that had their reservation linked and made selections for them. They just send a text to confirm the time. Another international group said they could get the app and use it but it was glitchy and inconsistent. That seemed to be a common complaint among most guests regardless of where they were from as well, very glitchy.
My thoughts on the worth of Genie+
My very first thought at the end of day two was that Genie+ is not needed or necessary. After I thought more though, it really depends on a few other things.
If you are willing and able to wait in some very long lines and plan to be in the park from open to close or close to it, you will be fine to not use Genie+. The posted wait times were all over the place. I waited to test this out because I thought it would take some time for them to work this out. I thought it would be at least close to accurate by now. It definitely hasn’t been worked out. I wish I could say maybe they don’t have it down because there has been a boost in crowd size, but I don’t think that is the case. They’ve had oddly high crowds in normally slower weeks so it’s not that.
If you have more than one day in the same park where you can split up the rides, unless you just want to use it, you will be fine to not use Genie+.
If you have kids who have trouble with long lines, you have trouble with long wait times, limited time in the park, need a midday break, or some other reason that makes you think, “I don’t know if I can wait that long over and over,” or “There’s no way I can get (x) amount of rides in with those wait times,” Genie+ may be worth looking into. Make sure you have a portable charger with more than one full charge in it. I would probably also say its best to stay on site for the earlier advantage in booking Lightning Lanes.
When staying on site, if possible and available, book your first lightning lane prior to that 2 hour mark after park opening. You still end up waiting 2 hours to book the next one after that, but it will give you an earlier time to book the next one. For example, off site guests have to wait until park opening to book their first lightning lane. Unless they get lucky and get one before that 2 hour mark, (from what I’ve seen and gotten feedback on, this doesn’t normally happen) they are forced to have to wait that 2 hours to book the next from park opening. This makes their booking schedule (if the park opens at 9am) 9, 11, 1, 3, 5, 7… If you get your first ride between 9 -11, your 2 hours will start from there. Say you get one for 10:30am, once you scan in, you can book the next one, making your 2 hour mark 12:30. You get 30 minutes before almost all off site guests.
If you prefer to stay off site or for whatever reason stay off site, you can still make it work. On WDW’s site, they say you can get 2-3 per day. I was able to get one every 2 hours though, and not just anything, rides we enjoy. I just had to be diligent about the time and book on the dot. Know that the most popular rides run out anywhere from late morning to early afternoon and book those first. Try to get the earliest times possible.
So my final thoughts are, yes, I think Genie+ is likely worth it for most guests. It obviously depends on what each party is willing to do as far as wait times. Each guest will ultimately have to make the decision based on that. In the same breath, I think it’s definitely possible to enjoy your Disney day without it. Again, it depends on what you can do as far as waiting and walking as well as time in the park. I also think it is a shame you have to use the app. You don’t have a choice. I think that makes it unreachable to too many people.