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Understanding How to Use Genie Plus at Disneyland


Show Summary

This audio is from our free course that helps you plan a vacation to Disneyland. In this module, you will learn about Disneyland's Genie+ service and how can save you hours of waiting in line. Especially if you enjoy thrill rides.


Explore purchasing options and costs, Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane access, benefits, and return time rules. We will cover how Genie+ works, what types of rides are available for Genie+ service (and if this option is right for your party), and the different ways of purchasing Genie+. Remember:

  • You can book your first Lightning Lane when you enter the park.

  • You can modify your Lightning Lane return time without restarting your eligibility clock.

  • You only get one ride on each attraction with Genie Plus

  • Not all rides are included- be sure to check the included rides before purchase.

NOTE: Disney has increased the starting cost of Genie + to $30 per person per day.


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Chapters and Time Stamps

0:00 Intro

12:24 Summary

13:45 Outro


Show Transcript

Genie Plus at Disneyland

In this lesson, we're going to talk about Genie+. Now, Genie+ can be a little overwhelming when it's described.  I want you to know that it will make much more sense once you get in there and use it, it's not nearly as stressful as it sounds but it does have a lot of quirks to it. Let's start out with the basics.


What is Genie Plus?

So Genie+ is a pass that allows you to pay to wait in a shorter, faster moving line. Let's say it's 4:00 PM and the wait for Space Mountain is 95 minutes, with Genie+ you can book a return time for the time slot of 5:55 PM to 6:55 PM. Between now and your return time, you can go on another ride, go shopping, grab something, eat. When you do return during your slot, you'll now only have to wait in line 5 to 20 minutes in the Lightning Lane. So if you've ever gone to a nail salon, you know you can call ahead and reserve a spot and you still have to wait a couple minutes, but usually not very long. Or you can just show up and see if there's availability, but you likely will have to wait longer most of the time. So it's the same thing, but you're paying for the ability to have that shorter, reserved wait time.


When To Purchase Genie Plus

 Now when it comes to Genie+, you can purchase one day at a time, and you can also purchase them ahead of time when you purchase your ticket. Now, if you purchase them with your ticket, you have to purchase them for all of the days or none of the days. And if you purchase the day of the park, you have to purchase each day as you enter the park.  If you purchase Genie+ you can use it through the Disneyland app.


Booking Return Times (1 Hour Window)

When you open the app, it will tell you what rides currently have what return times, and then you'll be able to book a return time for the ride that you specifically want to ride.  But if you don't show up during that window, you forfeit the pass for that attraction.


You Only Get One Lightning Lane Per Attraction

You get one Lightning Lane per attraction. So that means you can't repeat the same attraction over and over again. There is an exception to this, but I don't want to get too into that exception right now.


Link Your Park Tickets Before Getting to the Parks

Before you head to the parks, you want to make sure everybody's tickets are all linked on your Disneyland app, and that will allow you to book Genie+ Lightning Lanes for everybody in your group at the same time.


 Let's talk about how the cost works for Genie+. Genie+ is a cost per day per person. If you purchase it ahead of time, it will be locked in at $25 per person per day. So that means that a person holding a three day ticket would be $75 for Genie+, for your whole trip. If you purchase the single day, then you can only buy one day at a time, but the price might change depending on how busy the park is. So if you're going during a really busy season, like Christmas to New Year's some of those days, then we've seen the price be closer to $40 per person per day. So depending on how busy the park is, the price might change if you don't pre-book that in advance.


Do You Need Genie Plus?

Now, before you make the decision whether or not you want to purchase Genie+, in our app, you can filter for which rides are included in Genie+ for Lightning Lanes, especially if you have a bunch of small children that aren't going to be riding a lot of coasters. Genie+ isn't a good deal for everybody who comes to the parks, so make sure and see if the attractions that you want to ride are included in Genie+; if not, you might not need Genie+.


Now let's talk about what you get when you purchase Genie+. One of the benefits that you get outside of the Lightning Lanes to allow you to spend less time in line on each of these attractions is you also get access to your photos. And that means ride photos, the professional photos that are available around the park, and they also have some virtual backgrounds and audio tracks with information about the parks. So even if you're not going to purchase Genie+ for everybody if you know you want to use the professional photographers that are available around the park, what you might do is purchase Genie+ for one person so that you can have those without paying an additional fee.


What is NOT Included in Genie Plus

 Let's talk about what is not included in Genie+. In Genie+, the individual Lightning Lanes that would be Rise of the Resistance, Radiator Springs Racers, and right now Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway; those particular rides you have to purchase individually at a separate cost, and that cost is going to vary usually between $8 and $15, sometimes $20 per day, per attraction.


The other thing that's not included in Genie+ is there aren't any meet and greets. At Disney World, there is a Lightning Lane to meet Mickey or meet a princess that is not included in the Disneyland Lightning Lanes. So you make sure you're clear on what is included before you purchase.


I found that if families are traveling with really small kids and they're only planning on riding those attractions for small kids, especially if they're visiting during a slower time, Genie+ might not be the best value. Most of the attractions that are available through Genie+ right now are the coasters, the thrill rides.


There are other attractions and during a busy season, even a younger family, a family with younger kids might get value out of it. But make sure you use our tools and filter for the rides that have Lightning Lanes. In each of one of the information pieces about the attractions, if you click in through the attraction, we have a ride through video, a link to a ride through video, and more information about the ride so you can make better decisions on whether or not you feel like Genie+ is the right option for your family.


How Do You Use Genie Plus

 Now let's go ahead and start talking about how we actually use Genie+, and the one thing that I want to start out by saying it's that Genie+ is very different in Disneyland versus Disney World. So if you've been watching YouTube, TikTok, Facebook Reels, and you feel like you have an understanding of Genie+, there's just a couple things I want to cover to make sure that you have the correct expectations


The first is, at Disneyland in particular, you purchase your ticket, you purchase your Genie+ if you did not purchase it with your ticket. And you can only use it, you can only schedule your first ride once you scan into the park. At Disney World, you get up at seven in the morning and start booking things but here at Disneyland, you can't book that first Lightning Lane until you scan into the park and that's a great thing because that means that our. Lightning Lanes usually are available later in the day than they are in Disney World. So I have to get up and book things right at the exact moment that happens at Disney World because the Lightning Lanes can go so quickly, you don't really have that as much at Disneyland.


You can book your first Lightning Lane as soon as you scan into the park. Then you can book your next Lightning Lane, either when you scan in to ride that first attraction or two hours after you booked your first attraction.


This can be a little confusing, so I just want to go through it real quick because it's going to be whichever is sooner. So let's say it's 10:00 AM and I book a ride for Autopia, which is where you get to drive the little cars, and my Lightning Lane is for 10:05 AM. As soon as they scan my pass for the Lightning Lane I would refresh the app and then I could book my next Lightning Lane just a few minutes after. Now let's say it's 1:00 PM in the afternoon and I want to book Space Mountain. That is an attraction that generally does book up very quickly for Lightning Lanes. So at 1:00 PM I might book it and the only option would be to return from 8:55 PM to 9:55 PM. I don't need to wait until 8:55 PM to book my next Lightning Lane. I would be able to book my next Lightning Lane at 3:00 PM because it would be two hours after I booked my last attraction.


So again, it's either when you scan into that last attraction that you booked, or two hours after you've booked. Whichever is sooner. And even if you modify your reservation until later in the day, it will be when you first booked that Lightning Lane. When you book a return time for a Lightning Lane there's a grace period of allowing you to enter the Lightning Lane for your booked attraction 5 minutes before your return window and 15 minutes after your return window. It is up to a cast member's discretion to give any additional, but it's very rare that they will give additional leeway outside of that grace period, especially now that you can modify your return time to a later time. This is especially helpful if you are stuck in an attraction line longer than you thought or you're at a dinner reservation and the service is taking a little longer than you'd like, you can move those Lightning Lanes.


If you leave the park, you can still book attractions for the park that you've scanned into, but you have to have at least scan into the park for you to book.


 So we usually will head back to the hotel, take a nap during the hottest part of the day during the summer; while I'm in the hotel, I'm continuing to book Lightning Lanes so that we can have kind of more attractions ready to go when we come back to the parks. It's important to remember that you only get one use per attraction. So you can ride Space Mountain with a Lightning Lane once.


Getting "Golden Tickets"

Now there is an exception to this if a ride where to go down when you had your return time booked, you will get a multi experience pass. We'll get more into that in the advanced section in the other course we're offering for our members.


Some Lightning Lanes Are More Valuable Than Others

 It's also important to know that not all Lightning Lanes are created equally. Some are more valuable than others. There are some Lightning Lanes that will save you a ton of time and you might save two or three hours by using that Lightning Lane, there are some Lightning Lanes that you are not getting really any big advantage because the lines tend to be fairly short for those attractions, especially during slower times of the year.


 Our tool will help you save the most time with Lightning Lanes because we show you which Lightning Lanes to book first. So we've grouped them into tiers. The Lightning Lanes that are in tier one are the ones that usually book out the farthest and the latest. So if you were to wait until two in the afternoon to book your Space Mountain there might not be any availability, or the availability might be for 11:30 at night, which might be too late. If you want to ride those tier one rides, we recommend that you book them first. And then tier two working your way down, skipping any rides that you don't want to ride.


Don't Be Scared Off by Longer Lightning Lane Queues

 Sometimes the Lightning Lanes look longer from the outside, but it will always be shorter and faster. And the reason for that is that the queue is a shorter line, but also they will take up to 20 Lightning Lane guests for every one regular guest. So the Lightning Lane will move faster once you are inside the queue. Sometimes because people don't have their tickets ready or if a ride has recently come back up from being down, there can be a line outside the entrance to the attraction and sometimes on rare occasions, the Lightning Lane can get a little longer, but in our experience, usually it's pretty rare for those to be longer than 10 to 20 minutes. For the most part, you're going to be waiting five to 15 minutes.


You Can Split Up

 Remember, not everybody has to go together. You can book two people to ride one attraction and two people to ride another attraction. However, if you're trying to keep everybody's Lightning Lanes so that they're available to be booked at the same time, it's usually easier to book everybody together.


Summary

So those are the basics for understanding Genie+. You can scan in to book your first Lightning Lane once you enter the park. You can book your second Lightning Lane when you scan into that first attraction, or two hours after if your return time is more than two hours away. You get one pass per ride unless you get a multi experience pass, which would be that an attraction went down during your return time.


Some attractions book out faster and later than other attractions. So you want to book those tier one attractions notated in our app before you book tier two or tier three, as those generally have more availability later in the day. This is especially important if anything in tier one is your most important ride.


If you have a must-do attraction, then I always recommend that you book those as soon as possible early in the day in case that attraction was to go down temporarily, that way you don't miss out on getting to experience that attraction.


So that's the basics for Genie+, and hopefully that helps you determine whether or not you need to purchase and give you a basic idea of how it will work if you did purchase.


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