As a Disney blogger, I can tell you how hard it is to talk about Genie without confusion. You can’t say anything without 11 syllables of buzzwords and they all sound the same. If it’s frustrating for me, I can’t imagine how baffling it is to someone who’s just starting to learn about it!
Never fear, I’m going to run down all the Genie-associated definitions for you in this short primer that only talks about what these terms are, and not about how to use these systems. If you’re looking for guides on how to actually use these features and services, try one of the following:
Tickets used to be solely physical objects, but can now have digital formats. It’s common to see discussion of things that can “replace your ticket” or “be used as your ticket”. What this means is that they can be linked to a digital record of your park ticket and used to enter theme parks or do other things that a physical ticket card would be used for.
A bracelet that can be used as your park ticket at Disney World. It can also be used to open your door if you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort.
A next-generation MagicBand that is able to light up or “respond” to objects or events in the parks. Unlike “MagicBand-“, the MagicBand+ needs regular charging (like your phone) in order for these extra interactive features to work. If the battery is dead, it only affects these features where your MagicBand is responding to an object or event. Your MagicBand+ can still be used to enter the parks or do other things that “regular” MagicBands can do.
A digital pass that can be added to your smartphone’s wallet (or your smartwatch) and be used as your park ticket at Disney World.
My Disney Experience
My Disney Experience is Disney’s all-in-one system that lets you organize your vacation. All your ticket, resort, dining, park pass, etc. information is stored in My Disney Experience.
At Disneyland, a very similar system exists but it doesn’t come with a fancy name and MagicBands aren’t available. It’s just “the site” or “the website”. (Disney has said that MagicBand+ will be available at Disneyland sometime in 2022, but it isn’t yet.)
My Disney Experience App
This is Disney World’s mobile app that gives you access to My Disney Experience, plus features that are useful only in the parks such as Mobile Ordering food, reserving rides through Disney’s upcharge line-skipping system, or just looking at wait times for attractions or finding the closest restroom.
At Disneyland, the Disneyland App is used for the same purposes and has very similar features.
A special queue that allows guests to experience attractions with [usually] a much shorter wait than the regular line. Your ticket is used to access these queues in combination with a reservation time.
Lightning Lane Reservation (LL)
A reservation to use the Lightning Lane queue at a specific attraction during a specific period of time. For instance: a Lightning Lane reservation for Peter Pan’s Flight from 1 to 2 p.m. allows you to enter the Lightning Lane for Peter Pan’s Flight between 1 and 2 p.m. The time period (in this case 1 to 2 p.m.) is often referred to as the Lightning Lane window.
Because it is far, far more common to discuss LL reservations than it is to discuss the queues, it’s very common for the reservations to be referred to as Lightning Lanes, or LLs, instead of Lightning Lane Reservations or LL Reservations. Yes, this is confusing. Yes, Disney probably could have foreseen this. Yes, we’re stuck with it.
A paid service that lets you make Lightning Lane reservations for most attractions at Disney World or Disneyland. The line-skipping service is purchased once per day to enable reservations at any of the included attractions.
Individual Lightning Lane (ILL)
A reservation that lets you access the Lightning Lane queue for attractions that can’t be reserved using Genie+. These reservations are purchased individually, thus the name.
Unlike Lightning Lane Reservations, there’s no need to distinguish between the reservation and the queue here, so referring to these as Individual Lightning Lanes or ILLs creates no confusion. But you’ll sometimes hear the Lightning Lane reservations that can be booked through Genie+ referred to as “regular Lightning Lane reservations” to differentiate them from ILLs.
Genie (Disney Genie)
Genie is an itinerary (touring plan) management service that is included free with the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps. Genie displays any ILLs or LL reservations you’ve made on the “My Day” tab, along with dining reservations or other plans you may have for the day. If you take some time to set it up, Genie can also display itinerary suggestions on the My Day tab.
Genie’s “Tip Board” displays attraction information including wait time and Lightning Lane availability. It also displays information about dining including Mobile Order windows and reservation availability for Table Service restaurants.
Genie is free, but it’s used as the access point for Genie+, Lightning Lane Reservations, and Individual Lightning Lanes. In order to use these paid features, you’ll need to use Genie. However, when people refer to Genie they are often (but not always) speaking about the itinerary planning features, which are independent of Genie+, Lightning Lane, and Individual Lightning Lane. This can be a source of some confusion.
Did you find this article helpful? Are there any terms left out that you think we should add? Let us know in the comments!