Is Disney Genie as powerful as it seems? Here's what I learned after testing it out

Asia's Tech News Daily

Is Disney Genie as powerful as it seems? Here’s what I learned after testing it out
© Provided by The Points Guy MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

When Disney announced Disney Genie in 2019, I was ecstatic. A trip-planning service that would take the guesswork out of where to go, what to do and when to do it at Disney World and Disneyland? Sign me up! 

Disney Genie launched Oct. 19 and I convinced my husband it was important that we wake up at 4 a.m. on the following weekend to fly to Orlando and spend a full day at the Magic Kingdom tinkering with this new suite of services.

I loved certain things and found others confusing, but overall I think Disney Genie is a valuable and robust tool once you learn how to make it work for you. Here’s how my day went and some of my top takeaways.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Is Disney Genie as powerful as it seems? Here’s what I learned after testing it out
© The Points Guy (Photo courtesy of Tarah Chieffi for The Points Guy)

My Disney Genie journey began before we left for Disney World

A few days before our trip, I paid the $15 plus tax per person to add Genie+ to our existing tickets. I also set up my Disney Genie preferences in the My Disney Experience app and poked around to get familiar with the new features. I added a lot of favorite rides and interests (so many that Genie scolded me and told me to choose fewer), which I think may have been a mistake. I’ll share why in a moment.

Is Disney Genie as powerful as it seems? Here’s what I learned after testing it out
© The Points Guy (Screenshot courtesy of Disney Genie)

I also made our first Genie+ selection. You can do this beginning at 7 a.m. on the day of your visit and then make selections throughout the day after you use each one or after two hours have passed since you booked your last one. I went with Haunted Mansion because it’s one of our Magic Kingdom must-dos and the return time was far enough out that we’d have time for breakfast and one or two rides beforehand. 

Is Disney Genie as powerful as it seems? Here’s what I learned after testing it out
© The Points Guy (Screenshot courtesy of Disney Genie)

I spent the morning learning how to navigate the new system

After we landed and were en route to the Magic Kingdom, I looked over Genie’s recommended itinerary for my day. I expected this complimentary feature to be my favorite of the new services and planned to just do whatever Genie suggested. 

The suggestions made sense at first. Genie recommended we head toward Peter Pan’s Flight, which does tend to get a long line as the day wears on, but there were also large chunks of time with no recommendations whatsoever. There were also suggestions that didn’t seem to line up with any of my interests, which is why I wished I’d given a little less gusto while I was setting my preferences. Next time, I’ll only add a few favorites to (hopefully) help fine-tune Genie’s suggestions.

The Tip Board, on the other hand, turned out to be my favorite feature included with the free portion of Genie. I had access to current and forecasted wait times, Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane selections, dining options, show times and more.

Is Disney Genie as powerful as it seems? Here’s what I learned after testing it out
© The Points Guy (Screenshot courtesy of Disney Genie)

As soon as we arrived at the park, I checked the Tip Board and found that we had time to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and mobile order breakfast before heading toward the Haunted Mansion.

While we were eating, I noticed the standby queue for Haunted Mansion was only 20 minutes, so I canceled my Genie+ reservation and re-booked a later one for Big Thunder. This was another instance where my lack of familiarity with Disney Genie led me to do something that didn’t really make sense. I could have kept that reservation and made another one for Big Thunder as soon as I tapped in at Haunted Mansion, but I was still getting the hang of it.

When we got off Haunted Mansion, Genie suggested we ride…Haunted Mansion. I do love Haunted Mansion, but I was a little frustrated that it didn’t suggest something different.

Choosing whether to purchase an individual Lightning Lane selection took some consideration

Is Disney Genie as powerful as it seems? Here’s what I learned after testing it out
© The Points Guy Photo by Tarah Chieffi

The individual Lightning Lane selections work a little differently than the Genie+ Lightning Lane selections. You can only make two per day and once you make your choice, it can’t be modified or canceled (though they will accommodate you if the attraction goes down). I often skip Seven Dwarfs Mine Train because the wait times hover between one to two hours, which is longer than I’m willing to wait, so I went with that.

It cost $12 each plus tax for us to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. That’s a total of $25.56. The ride did have an 80-minute standby line when it was our time to ride and we waited less than five minutes. The Lightning Lane lines were consistently even faster than the old FastPass lines and, for me, the cost was worth it.

That’s easy to say when it’s a one-time purchase for only two people. But what if we’d been there with our kids? Would I pay $60 for all five of us to skip the line? Probably not. I’d be more likely to enlist one of my other tried-and-true methods for finding shorter wait times like arriving early, staying late, attending an after-hours party, or staying onsite and taking advantage of early entry.

By the afternoon, I felt like I was beginning to figure it out

I spent a lot of time on my phone in the morning, which I was hoping Genie and Genie+ would help me avoid. The biggest difference between Disney Genie and FastPass is that there are so many ways to use Genie and there was really only one way to use FastPass.

These new services are so robust and there is a lot to learn, so it’s inevitable there is going to be a learning curve. At first, I was frustrated about spending so much time on my phone (and draining my battery…remember to bring your external charger!), but I think, like anything else new, it just takes time to get the hang of it.

At first, I felt lost if Genie didn’t have a recommendation for me. I hadn’t made a plan so I was relying on Genie to tell me where to go. Eventually, I treated Genie’s recommendations as just that, suggestions I could choose to follow (or not). I stopped constantly checking my phone and went where I wanted to go. I only checked in with Genie when I was looking for something to do. 

This was when it all started to click for me. Instead of having my face buried in my phone, we wandered around and watched a couple of cavalcades and I even visited the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade for the first time. To me, this is the magic of Disney World. These little moments of spontaneity that create lasting memories; not making a beeline from ride to ride without ever stopping to take in the details. 

Is Disney Genie as powerful as it seems? Here’s what I learned after testing it out
© The Points Guy Photo by Tarah Chieffi

Later in the afternoon, when we had a little break before lunch, I checked the app and Genie recommended the PeopleMover with only a 15-minute wait. This became my preferred way to use Genie’s recommendations. Not sure what you want to do next? Genie will show you recommendations that are nearby, match your interests, and have a low wait.

Speaking of saving time…

When we made it over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad around noon for our first Genie+ reservation, the posted wait was 40 minutes. As soon as we tapped in using the Magic Mobile pass on our phones, I was able to make another Genie+ selection. You do have to tap in twice at each attraction, once at the entrance and again before you board the ride, before you can make another selection.

As soon as I tapped that second tapstile, I made a reservation shortly after for Pirates of the Caribbean. When we arrived at that attraction, the posted wait was 30 minutes. Just between those two attractions, we saved over an hour waiting in line. By the end of the day using a couple more Genie+ reservations, we saved over three hours that would have been spent waiting in line.

There’s been some chatter that Disney is padding wait times to convince you to purchase Genie+, but on the day we visited, that wasn’t the case. I timed each standby lane we waited in and it was accurate within five minutes each time.

The day ended much better than it started

Is Disney Genie as powerful as it seems? Here’s what I learned after testing it out
© The Points Guy Photo courtesy of Tarah Chieffi

By the end of the day, I was feeling like a real DisneyGenie pro. Before heading back to the hotel for an afternoon break, I made an evening Genie+ reservation for Peter Pan’s Flight. I knew that after two hours I could make another Genie+ selection and could “stack” those to use later in the day. After the allotted time, I made another reservation for Space Mountain right after the fireworks. Genie even helped me out by suggesting I arrive 30 minutes early for the fireworks.

While we waited for the show to begin, we played with the augmented reality filters that are included when you purchase Disney Genie+. I can’t speak for my husband, but I had entirely too much fun with them and, along with the behind-the-scenes audio tales you also get access to, it was a great way to pass the time.

One thing Genie didn’t know was how tired I was after that  4 a.m. wakeup call. After the fireworks, we skipped out on our Space Mountain return time and left for a quick dinner before retiring for the evening. 

The good and the not-so-good

Like I mentioned earlier, I loved the Tip Board. Seeing wait times, dining, and everything else in one place was invaluable. I utilized it more than any other feature (except maybe the AR filters). 

Although it took me a while to get used to, I really appreciated Genie’s flexibility. I no longer feel like I need to have my entire day planned out before I arrive at the park. If it gave me a recommendation I wasn’t interested in, I could swap it out (playfully called a “swaperoo” in the app) or ask Genie to remove it from my day. 

I also liked that Genie steers you toward attractions you might otherwise skip over. Country Bear Jamboree and the Carousel of Progress might not be headliners, but they are tons of fun and an important part of Disney history. I never regret it when I do make time for them.

On the other hand, the app gave me a lot of issues throughout the day. Sometimes, the app just gave me a blank screen and I couldn’t see my selections or make new ones. It’s also a lot of new information to take in. The first time you use it, there’s a good chance you’ll spend a lot of time on your phone. Don’t let that discourage you.

Once you play around with it and find the features that work with the way you like to do Disney, you won’t need to rely on your phone nearly as much. You can use the three services independently or in tandem in a way that makes sense for your day. 

Is it worth the extra money to skip the line?

There’s no easy answer to that question because there are so many factors to take into consideration. You have to account for how many people are in your party, how long you’ll be at Disney, which parks you’ll be visiting, which rides you hope to get on, how much time you’re willing to wait in line, and, of course, your vacation budget. 

For example, at Epcot, where there are fewer attractions that use Genie+ (and I spend most of the day eating and drinking around the world anyway), I would probably only use the free Genie planning service and maybe purchase Lightning Lane for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure if I didn’t get a boarding group. But I know other people who prefer to pay for any and everything that is going to make their Disney trip easier and they would likely add Disney Genie+ to their entire vacation package and purchase individual Lightning Lane selections every day.

If you are on a tight budget, but want the convenience of skipping the line, you could cut spending elsewhere by choosing quick-service meals or staying in a Value resort rather than a Moderate one. It really depends on what is most important to you and how much money you are willing to trade for your time.

Bottom line

Is Disney Genie perfect? No. But neither am I and, luckily, my friends and family still keep me around. There are a lot of good things about Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and the individual Lightning Lane access and I think over time, they’ll get even better.

I definitely felt I got a good value for the money I spent on Genie+, but I probably wouldn’t spend the extra on individual Lightning Lane selections unless it was an attraction I hadn’t experienced before or if my kids were melting down and I knew 60 minutes in line could mean disaster. 

Based on my experience, I think Disney is trying to get people away from the minute-by-minute, regimented planning that often happens at Disney World. I’ve been one of those people and I always have more fun when I go in with a loose plan and just a few must-dos each day. Now, Disney Genie can help you fill in the gaps between those must-dos, leaving more opportunity for fun, surprises, and maybe even a little Disney magic.

Featured photo courtesy of Tarah Chieffi

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Retired cop fatally shot in robbery attempt of TV crew's equipment in Oakland

Retired police sergeant Kevin Nishita was fatally shot by alleged robbers trying to steal television equipment near downtown Oakland. Alameda County Sheriff’s Office A retired police officer has died after ... Read more »

Giants' Kenny Golladay ‘excited' to face former teammate Darius Slay

They were together for three years with the Lions, working against each other in practice. Receiver Kenny Golladay is in his first year with the Giants and cornerback Darius Slay ... Read more »

After setback from Covid-19, performance artistes saved by wedding bells

Singer-songwriter-music composer Zaman Khan of Hindi band Astitva has practically been living out of a suitcase for the last three weeks or so. Since November 10, Astitva and his project ... Read more »

Subtitles Are An Integral Part Of The Immigrant Experience – They Helped Me Learn English

(Photo: 10’000 Hours via Getty Images) There are two camps of TV watchers in this world: team subtitles and team dubbing. I sit firmly in the former, because as Parasite ... Read more »

Fresno County man allegedly stabs his own mother and kills her boyfriend, deputies say

A Fresno County man was arrested Saturday for allegedly trying to kill his own mom and stabbing his mother’s boyfriend to death. According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s office, Bretton ... Read more »

Pet cats and dogs take internet by storm as Cat Stevens lookalikes

PET pussies hit the purrfect note in a new craze sweeping the internet. With striped tops and mini guitars, they may be mistaken for Cat Stevens. With striped tops and ... Read more »

Second part of BBC's controversial royal documentary will be named ‘Sussexit' to appease Prince Harry

THE second part of the BBC’s controversial royal documentary will be named “Sussexit” to appease Prince Harry. The Duke recently argued the popular term “Megxit” is “misogynistic” and “created by ... Read more »

Levi Bellfield attempted suicide after getting ‘stressed' over treatment in jail

SERIAL killer Levi Bellfield attempted suicide after getting “stressed” over his treatment in jail. He claimed bosses refused to pay him for work as his wing’s barber. Bellfield tried to ... Read more »

Woods scores 15 to lead Grand Canyon past Pepperdine 59-56

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) — Holland Woods had 15 points as Grand Canyon edged past Pepperdine 59-56 on Saturday. Jovan Blacksher Jr. had 13 points, six rebounds and six assists for ... Read more »

A Cardiologist's Advise: Monitor Your Heart Health At Home With An ECG Device

© Provided by Indiatimes Cardiovascular diseases are one of the fastest growing non-communicable diseases. It accounts for nearly half of all NCD deaths making it number one killer globally.  In ... Read more »

Cash-starved Pakistan to keep $3b from Riyadh in central bank

© Provided by The Times of India ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan-led cabinet on Saturday approved an agreement to keep the $3 billion loan, which Saudi Arabia had announced for ... Read more »

The Siege of Dubai

© Provided by The Financial Express Collin Morikawa, the 24-year-old American who’s gone deep into foreign territory and come back with the European Tour’s biggest prize—the Race to Dubai—is without ... Read more »

Brazil football crash survivor finds new life in music

Jakson Follmann remembers the moment the plane’s engine died and everything went black. Then, an intense pain, and cold rain falling on his body. © Nelson ALMEIDA A former goalkeeper ... Read more »

If you get this message from Apple, it means you've been hacked

On Tuesday, Apple announced via a press release that it had filed a lawsuit against NSO Group. The company is responsible for creating the Pegasus spyware that authoritarian governments have ... Read more »

Horston's near triple double leads No. 11 Lady Vols

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jordan Horston just missed a triple-double, Tamari Key had a double-double and No. 11 Tennessee rolled to an 80-55 win over Oklahoma State at the South ... Read more »

Mohamed Salah confrontation as Diogo Jota receives special Liverpool praise

While Liverpool are set to lose Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to the Africa Cup of Nations early in 2022, the Reds are gearing up for a festive period to ... Read more »

Champagnie with 14, St. John's controls OT, tops NJIT 77-68

NEW YORK (AP) — St. John’s never trailed in overtime, defeating NJIT 77-68 on Saturday. The Red Storm scored first in the extra period on a layup from Montez Mathis ... Read more »

No. 3 Alabama rallies late, survives 4 OTs to beat Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — John Metchie caught a scoring pass from Bryce Young in the fourth overtime to give No. 3 Alabama a 24-22 comeback victory over rival Auburn on ... Read more »

Hawkins lifts Creighton past SIU-Edwardsville 70-65

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Ryan Hawkins had 14 points, seven rebounds and five steals as Creighton narrowly defeated Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 70-65 on Saturday. Arthur Kaluma had 12 points for Creighton ... Read more »

No. 23 ULL beats Warhawks to go unbeaten in Sun Belt play

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Emani Bailey scored on a 2-yard run to give No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette a double-digit lead in the third quarter, and the Ragin’ Cajuns held off Louisiana-Monroe ... Read more »

UT Martin forces late INTs to beat Missouri State 32-31

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Dresser Winn threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Donnell Williams with 3:36 remaining, and UT Martin forced a pair of late interceptions to beat Missouri State ... Read more »

Minnesota chops down No. 18 Wisconsin 23-13 to take back Axe

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Tanner Morgan overcame an interception that was returned for a first-half touchdown, leading Minnesota on three scoring drives after halftime to surge past No. 18 Wisconsin 23-13, ... Read more »

Oregon Duck defeats Oregon State Beavers 38-29 to clinch a spot in Pac-12 Championship

A week ago, after a devastating loss against Utah, the Oregon Ducks were hoping to rebound against their in-state rival, the Oregon State Beavers. Not only did the Ducks bounce ... Read more »

COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY: Michigan's Haskins scored 5 TDs

STARS —Hassan Haskins, Michigan, matched a school record with five rushing touchdowns to help the No. 6 Wolverines finally beat No. 2 Ohio State 42-27. —Stetson Bennett, Georgia, passed for ... Read more »

2nd incident this month: Attacked, forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram' in Ranchi, say Kashmiri traders; cops say 3 held

© Provided by The Indian Express A group of Kashmiri traders were allegedly attacked and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Pakistan murdabad” in Ranchi’s Doranda on Saturday morning, ... Read more »

There is no India without Hindus, no Hindus without India: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

© Provided by Zee News Gwalior: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Saturday has said “Hindustan” (India) is a Hindu nation whose origin was Hindutva and that Hindus and Bharat are ... Read more »

Bengal government scared of clubbing Kolkata civic elections, claims Dilip Ghosh

© Provided by The Indian Express EVEN AS the BJP state leadership held a meeting on Saturday to finalise its candidate list for the Calcutta Municipal Corporation polls, the party’s ... Read more »

After UK, these countries report cases of omicron variant of coronavirus

© Provided by Hindustan Times Omicron was first identified in southern Africa just days ago and has since spread in several countries.  (AP Photo) Omicron, the new potentially more contagious ... Read more »

Sputnik financier eyes vaccine facility in Philippines

© The STAR / File Sputnik financier eyes vaccine facility in Philippines MANILA, Philippines — The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is looking at establishing a COVID-19 vaccine facility in ... Read more »

Dan Walker launches PR blitz to avoid axe from Strictly Come Dancing

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Struggling Strictly hopeful Dan Walker has been repeatedly plugging his appearance on the show in a publicity onslaught apparently aimed at staying in the line-up. ... Read more »

‘Woke' London headmaster leaving school amid charges of anti-Semitism

Last year, Robin Appleby announced a “detailed action plan” involving sweeping changes to the school’s “diversity, equality and inclusivity” curriculum. Facebook The headmaster of England’s most expensive private day school ... Read more »

Sea of Thieves Season 5 will start on December 2

© Provided by GamePur Rare has finally revealed that Sea of Thieves Season Five will start on December 2, less than three months after Season Four began on September 23. ... Read more »

Starker Anstieg von Fallzahlen: Abend-Lockdown in den Niederlanden, Proteste gegen die Impfpflicht in Österreich

In Österreich haben am Samstag Zehntausende gegen die Impfpflicht demonstriert. Die Niederlande gehen ab Sonntag in einen Abend-Lockdown © Bereitgestellt von Blick 27.11.2021, Freiheitsplatz, Graz, AUT, Demonstration gegen Corona-Regeln, im ... Read more »

The Post says: It's time for a Dr. Fauci-ectomy

The Post Editorial Board is calling for the removal of Dr. Anthony Fauci — again. Alex Brandon/AP We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Dr. Anthony Fauci must ... Read more »

No. 20 UTSA misses out on perfect season with blowout loss at North Texas

DENTON, Texas (AP) — An undefeated season slipped away from No. 20 UTSA on a rain-soaked Saturday in the Dallas area. The Roadrunners didn’t seem terribly surprised. Whether it was ... Read more »

NSW floods and wild weather: towns along Hunter River ordered to evacuate

Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/EPA Emergency services rescue 12 people as forecasters warn that a second storm and rain front is on way Get our free news app; get our morning email ... Read more »

Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls: Congress list out, two TMC turncoats bag tickets

© Provided by The Indian Express After the Left Front and the ruling Trinamool Congress, the Congress on Saturday announced candidates for 66 wards of the poll-bound Kolkata Municipal Corporation ... Read more »

Northern Command chief meets Army veterans, war heroes

© Provided by The Times of India JAMMU: Northern Command Army Commander Lt Gen Y K Joshi on Saturday interacted with around 300 Army veterans, including war heroes, at a ... Read more »

Variant worry: PM Modi seeks review of plan to ease international travel curbs

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said there is a need to be proactive in the light of the new SARS-CoV-2 ... Read more »

UAE enacts largest legislative reform in its history; new criminal code among 40 legal changes

New UAE criminal code among 40 legal changes in reform push The United Arab Emirates on Saturday said a new criminal code would come into force in January as part ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic