ORLANDO, Fla. -- Disney is finally ready to unleash Disney Genie, the new app-based service designed to help guests navigate the theme parks during their visits.
What You Need To Know
- Disney Genie to launch at Disney World on Oct. 19
- The complimentary service include planning tools to help guests maximize their visits
- There will also be Genie+, a paid option to bypass the regular queue
The service, first announced back in 2019, will officially launch at Disney World on Oct. 19.
Genie will be free and is built right into the My Disney Experience mobile app. It will offer many of the features already available in the app, such as wait times, mobile ordering, park hours, etc. But Genie will go beyond that, combining all of that information as well as guests' interests to create personalized itineraries.
Guests will input their interest, such as specific rides they want to experience, fireworks shows they want to see, or specific restaurants where they want to dine, and Genie will create a schedule for their day.
The service also includes a number of planning tools that can be accessed in one place, including forecasted wait times, a tip board and a virtual assistant. Without leaving the app, guests can see dining availability at restaurants, make a reservation or even chat with a Disney cast member is they have questions.
Pay to Skip the Lines
Probably the most buzzed about part of the new Genie service is Genie+, the paid service that will allow guests to skip the regular queue for a fee. The FastPass+ replacement will cost $15 per person per day at Disney World.
The flat fee will give guests access to Lightning Lanes at more than 40 attractions across Disney World four theme parks, including Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom; Mission Space, Spaceship Earth and Test Track at Epcot; Slinky Dog Dash, Rock n' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios; and Dinosaur, Kilimanjaro Safaris and Na'vi River Journey at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Guests will be able to make selections throughout the day, getting a return time for those attractions. There's no limit to the number of attractions guests can book per day with their $15 Genie+, but they will only be able to make one selection at a time. They can book another selection after redeeming one or after two hours have passed from the time of booking.
Genie+ will also include augmented-reality lenses for photo ops and park-themed audio experiences.
Some in-demand rides and attractions such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance or Flight of Passage will not be included with the Genie+ offering. To access the Lightning Lanes at those attractions, guests will have make separate individual purchases.
Each Disney World park will have what Disney is calling the Individual Lightning Lane attractions. The list includes Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever After at Epcot, Rise of the Resistance and Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios and Avatar Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.
The pricing for the individual Lightning Lane attraction will vary depending on the day and the attraction. On launch day, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure will be $9 per person. On Oct. 23, the price will be $11. For Rise of Resistance, the price will be $15 per person.
Guests will only be able to make individual Lightning Lane purchases for two different attractions per day.
The standby queues and/or virtual queues will still be available at all attractions, Disney said.
Why Disney Genie?
The service is Disney's latest attempt to address crowding at its parks, to "optimize guests time to maximize their fun."
"Sometimes if a guest has never been here before, there's a lot to consider, a lot to learn," said Gary Daniels, Vice President of Digital Experiences at Disney Parks. "So we wanted to make sure it is simple to experience what Disney World has to offer."
Genie is centered on what the guests wants to do. The engine behind it all uses years of data (wait times, strategies, availability of reservations, etc.) to offer up itineraries and recommendations in real time.
The service will take into consideration a number of factors as churns out itineraries such as availability of reservations, park hours, showtimes.
Genie will also respond to other external factors such as weather. If an attraction on a guest's itinerary is temporarily closed because of weather, Genie will suggest another attraction that's not impacted by weather.
The focus of Genie will not only be on planning but also flexibility, adjusting to changes guests might make throughout the day.
The Future of Disney Parks
Genie comes as Disney launches new systems to ease crowding and manage capacity at its parks. When the Disney World theme parks reopened last summer, a new park pass reservation system was implemented. And even though most COVID-19 measures have gone away, the reservation system remains.
For Disney the reservation system has operational benefits. By knowing how many people are visiting the parks on any given day, the company can make staffing decisions.
Disney World is currently marking its 50th anniversary with an 18-month celebration that began Oct. 1. The resort has a number of new offerings, including restaurants, attractions, and nighttime shows.