Genie Testing: Questions We Got on Day Two

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Two full days of Genie testing in the books! Has it really only been two full days?! We’re still following our testing plan (and have three more days of tests coming, don’t you worry), but we’re also fielding literally hundreds of questions on the blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So today we’re dedicating this post to questions we’ve received and at least attempted to answer. This may repeat some things in our Genie FAQs or Day One info, and it may have new info or correct some things we thought we knew. Here we go!

Definitions to Remember

Genie = free “enhancement” to My Disney Experience App. It’ll plan your day for you (kinda) and show you current posted wait times, plus advertise upcharges to you, pretty much all the time.

Lightning Lane = a prioritized attraction queue that is meant to offer a lower wait time than the standby queue. For those who have visited the parks in the past, it’s the new name for the FastPass+ line.

Genie+ = $15.98 per person per day upcharge that allows you to book the next Lightning Lane return time at many attractions, bypassing the standby line.

Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) Access = Two attractions at each park have Lightning Lane but aren’t eligible for Genie+. Instead, you have to pay separately and individually to schedule a time to use the Lightning Lane and skip the standby queue.

Questions About DAS

**There will be an upcoming dedicated post about “new” DAS and its interactions with Genie, so this is just a first attempt at answering some common questions we’re getting

Q: How does DAS work with Genie+?
A: They’re independent, so you can hold DAS reservations, Genie+ reservations, and ILL reservations all at the same time.

Q: Does DAS cancellation work like Genie cancellation?
A: No, you can’t cancel DAS reservations from the app. You have to go to the attraction or a guest services umbrella.

Q: Is DAS limited to one reservation per attraction per day, like Genie?
A: No. You can get return times at the same attraction on repeat all day if you’d like.

Q: Are DAS return times hour-long windows like Genie?
A: No. DAS return times are start times, but they’re open ended. So you can return any time after the “start time” passes.

Questions About Park Hopping

Q: Can you purchase ILL for attractions at a park you plan on hopping to?
A: Yes! But you will only be given return times that start at or after 2pm. You can select any remaining return times after that point.

Q: If you purchase Genie+ in the morning, but want to hop to a second park, do you have to buy Genie+ again?
A: No! Genie+ covers your whole day, so you can use it to book return times at any of the parks you visit that day.

Q: If I’m hopping to EPCOT, will I be able to join Remy virtual queue, or is ILL my only option?
A: Recently, boarding passes from the 1 pm drop haven’t been 100% claimed before 2 pm, so you will probably have the opportunity to attempt to get one once you hop.

Q: When can I purchase Remy ILL if I’m hopping to EPCOT?
A: As soon as you become eligible. That’s 7 am if you’re a resort guest, and at EPCOT park opening if you’re off-site.

Questions About Booking Return Times

Q: Are ILLs booking up really quickly, so that I really have to get up at 7 am to book them if I want to ride?
A: As of now, the only ILL that has booked up is Rise of the Resistance, and it does book up early in the day. The others have had availability all day.

Q: Do we have to use our first ILL purchase before we can book our second one for the day?
A: No! You can book them both whenever you would like to, including first thing in the morning. They can both be at the same park, or at two different parks.

Q: Can you choose the time of your first Genie+ return, like if you plan on arriving at your first park in the afternoon?
A: No, for Genie+ attractions, you can only select the next available return time.

Q: What happens if, at 9 am, I book a Slinky Dog Dash return time for 6 pm – 7 pm? Am I stuck for the rest of the day?
A: No, you are eligible to make another Genie+ reservation after you tap in for Slinky Dog Dash, OR 120 minutes after you make your first reservation after park opening or 120 minutes after park opening. So if the park opens at 9 am and you make your reservation then, you can make another reservation at 11 am.

Q: Are all return times “released” at once, or are some held back and released throughout the day?
A: For the most part, everything is “released” at once, but other than Slinky Dog, most rides aren’t booking up early in the day, at least on these low-crowd fall days. The one caveat is Rise of the Resistance, where some ILL inventory appears to be “held back” at 7 am to give off-site guests a chance to book it when the park opens.

Rise Stormtoopers

 

Q: Do I have to exit the ride of my first Genie+ reservation before I get a second one?
A: No! As soon as you tap in to that first reservation, you should be able to get a second, so you can do it while you wait to ride!

Q: I’m staying offsite. Will Rise be all booked up before I even get a chance to book it?
A: As of now, Disney is offering some Rise passes at 7 am to resort guests, but is also holding and releasing more at park open. So you should still get a chance.

Q: Can I book return times over and over all day for the same attraction?
A: No. One return time per attraction, per day.

Questions About Being Late or Missing Reservations

Q: Are return times specific, or a band of time?
A: There are return windows, for example 10:15 am – 11:15 am. Currently rides have 1-hour return windows, and scheduled shows have 15-minute return windows.

Q: Is there a “penalty” for booking a Genie+ return time, but not using it?
A: Missing your return time works the same as using it, so if you miss it, the only penalty is that you cannot pick up another return time for that same attraction for the rest of the day.

Q: If I’m 5 (10, 20, 60) minutes late for my Genie+ or ILL purchase, will I still get to use it?

A: We confirmed that when you tap in, you will automatically be admitted into the Lightning Lane from 5 minutes before your return time opens through 15 minutes after your return window closes. Beyond that, it’s up to the Cast Members. We tested 17 minutes late and were allowed in, and we tested 71 minutes late and were not allowed in (and not refunded for the ILL purchase).

Q: Can I cancel a Genie+ reservation if I realize I can’t make it?
A: If it’s before the return time closes, you can cancel and immediately rebook, for that same attraction or a different one.

 

Questions About Logistics

Q: Do I have to wait until 7 am to purchase Genie+?
A: No. If you want it for the duration of your vacation, you can add it to your package before you travel. If you want to purchase it for individual days, you can do it beginning at midnight the “night before” you want to use it. Or you can wake up at 6:50 and purchase it and be ready to book your first return time at 7.

Q: What happens if an attraction breaks down for the rest of the day, if you purchased ILL for it?
A: As of now, if the ride is down during your purchased return time, your return time is extended through the end of day. If it remains down for the rest of the day, and you go to Guest Relations, they may provide you with a gift card for the value of your purchase.

Q: Can you purchase ILL from anywhere (geographically) when the park opens, or do you have to tap in first?
A: Resort guests can purchase ILL from anywhere at 7 am. Off-site guests have to wait until park open, but can still purchase from anywhere.

Q: Can Genie+ or ILL “sell out” for the day?
A: We’ve been told that anyone that wants to purchase Genie+ can purchase Genie+, but return times do book up for popular attractions. For example, Genie+ was unavailable for Slinky Dog Dash on the first day for anyone that attempted to book it after 11 am.

Q: Can you purchase Genie+ before arrival?
A: If you have a vacation/ticket package, you can add it to your entire trip before you arrive. Otherwise, it’s a daily purchase on or after midnight on the day you want to use it.

Fuel Rod Kiosk

Miscellaneous Questions

Q: How does Genie affect battery life?
A: We only have anecdotes at this point, but there were multiple reports throughout the day of batteries draining quickly. Using Genie does require a lot of screen time.

Q: Will Genie+ and LL work during early entry and extended evening hours?
A: From what we’ve seen so far, no, they won’t. Just “regular” park hours.

Q: What the heck does a Genie+ reservation for a show actually get me?
A: If you arrive near the beginning of your window, you will get to enter before other guests, and therefore might get better seating.

Q: What does return time availability look like throughout the day?
A: It’s only been two days, so take this answer with a grain of salt. The only attraction that is selling out quickly is Rise of the Resistance. The only ride that is booking out for Genie+ decently early in the day is Slinky Dog Dash. The vast majority of other attractions have available return times throughout the entire park day, until close.

Questions In Progress

Q: What is the capacity for LL vs Standby?
A: We’re actively working on collecting some of this data to figure it out.

Q: Initially, does it look like Genie+ is “worth it” at all parks?
A: It’s hard to say based on just 2 days, but so far, it’s much easier to make good use of Genie+ at MK and HS than it is at EP and AK. Lots more to come as we collect more data.

Q: How are standby times being impacted by this change?
A: It’s been two days. Statistically, officially, too soon to say. Anecdotally, standby times haven’t doubled or anything crazy like that.

Q: Is Genie+ really worth it?
A: Well… that’s really a matter of personal opinion. But I’d be willing to bet we’ll be trying to calculate it for you as we gather more data.

Q: When will Genie roll out to Disneyland?
A: No official date, other than it was supposed to be 2-3 weeks after Disney World if everything went smoothly.

Q: What are the results of a Genie/Touring Plan head to head?
A: Look at you, thinking ahead. We will be running various head-to-head tests Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (10/21-23). We’ll be on YouTube Live at 4 pm Eastern on 10/21 to go over the results from the first head-to-head. Don’t miss it!

We are sure there are many more questions. Drop them here if we haven’t been able to answer them yet, and we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-gandillon/ or instagram @raisingminniemes

40 thoughts on “Genie Testing: Questions We Got on Day Two

  • October 21, 2021 at 9:51 am
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    Am I counted as a resort guest (can I reserve at 7AM) the day I check in on my reservation, before I arrive at the resort?
    More to the point, can I start making G+ reservations from the Airport at 7AM, when we will arrive at the resort mid-morning and the park at noon? (or do I have to wait until 9 when we’re in the air?)
    I have done online check-in.

    Reply
    • October 21, 2021 at 9:01 pm
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      You can make Genie+ reservations from anywhere in the US as long as you have a park pass reservation and you’ve purchase Genie+. And you can make your first one at 7 am (eastern).
      What I’m not sure about is the ILL purchases, which are the ones that start at different times for resort guests. We haven’t yet tested out ILL purchases on a check-in day.

      Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 12:29 pm
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    As someone staying off property during the peak of Christmas rush, I am extremely concerned about our ability to enjoy the park. It sounds like on property guests will be able to book up all or nearly all of the available lightning lane passes for the major attractions. Should I consider rescheduling my vacation for a time when we can afford to stay on property specifically for this reason? I know its still early, but I’m getting a bit short on time.

    Reply
    • October 21, 2021 at 9:03 pm
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      I think it’s too early to say that resort guests will snap up all available passes for major attractions. FastPasses definitely got booked at a quicker pace on more crowded days, but FastPass was free. There will certainly be high demand for Genie+ and ILL on crowded days, but since we haven’t seen any of those days yet, I don’t think it’s a reason to reschedule your vacation. There are ways to make the most of your time, even on the most crowded days.

      Reply
    • October 21, 2021 at 9:19 pm
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      It’s probably worse than you think. According to blogmickey, at least for Rise, Disney has stopped withholding ILL times to be used to refill the day-guest bucket at park opening. Apparently resort guests felt this stepped on their privilege and they wanted even more access to early ILL purchases. Yet day guests pay the same for ILL as resort guests, so what’s actually happening is that day-guest ILLs are worth less but cost the same.

      Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 12:37 pm
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    I’m just planning a trip – do you have to be on-site to use Genie? If I’m flying in to Orlando in the morning, can I reserve a Genie+/ILL for that afternoon day before I leave home or do I have to check in to my Disney hotel first to use it?

    Reply
    • October 21, 2021 at 2:47 pm
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      If you have a park reservation you can make them that morning… but my question is can you do that at 7 or do you have to wait until park open? (Do you count as a resort guest on your check-in day or upon check-in?)

      Reply
    • October 21, 2021 at 9:04 pm
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      You can definitely make reservations before you arrive! It’s not locked down to people staying in Disney hotels, so you’ll be able to book before your arrive in the afternoon. But, Genie+ only offers “next available” windows, so it maybe be difficult to find an afternoon return time to book first thing in the morning.

      Reply
    • October 21, 2021 at 12:58 pm
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      Is it disability access service?

      Reply
      • October 21, 2021 at 1:02 pm
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        yes it is

  • October 21, 2021 at 1:05 pm
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    Question – party of 3 all have different cards attached in app on our phones. If one purchases LL for group, does the charge go all to the purchaser’s card or each individual card linked in app?

    Reply
    • October 21, 2021 at 9:05 pm
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      I’m willing to bet that it would just go to the card of the purchaser, but it’s not something we’ve tested, so I don’t think that we can say for sure.

      Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 1:06 pm
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    If I’m staying at a Disney Springs Resort Hotel, am I considered a resort guest or off-site in regards to booking ILL?

    Reply
      • October 22, 2021 at 2:29 pm
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        What does “for your entire stay” mean, when it comes to buying Genie+ ahead of time? EXAMPLE: If I am checking in on a Thursday, only going to a park on Friday, and leaving Saturday, do I have to buy three days of Genie+ in order to buy it ahead of time?

        And would a split stay interfere with this?

  • October 21, 2021 at 2:16 pm
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    My kids love to ride everything twice. Let’s say I purchase Genie + and make a lightning lane reservation at 9 am for Thunder Mountain and the return window is 10:05-11:05. But we also get in the standby line at 9:15. Will we be able to ride again via our LL reservation at 10:05?

    Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 2:22 pm
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    That’s a yes. You can ride as many times standby as you’d like – it won’t mess with your LL reservation.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 3:56 pm
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    Our adult daughter with multiple disabilities qualifies for DAS. Assuming we all want to do the same things, is there any benefit for us to purchase Genie+ since we can use the DAS pass?

    Reply
    • October 21, 2021 at 9:06 pm
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      That’s up to you – but Genie+ is separate from DAS, so you could potentially make use of both if you choose. Sort of like “doubling up”. That being said, DAS is much more flexible than Genie+. We’ll have an article related to DAS coming in the next couple of days, so that may answer some of your questions.

      Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 5:15 pm
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    Small correction/tidbit that probably effects very few people (if any).
    You are unable to purchase day of Genie+ or ILL through the app whilst you are outside the US/Canada.

    This is relevant to me, because I have booked FP+ reservations for friends/family currently at WDW whilst back home in Australia.
    It seems I now won’t be able to do that with G+

    Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 9:09 pm
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    If I purchasing Genie+ in advance, does the “entirety of the trip” mean days I made park reservations, or all days?

    Reply
    • October 22, 2021 at 8:57 am
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      All the days of your trip. I’m guessing that’s tied either to your tickets or your hotel.

      Reply
      • October 22, 2021 at 10:10 pm
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        Thank you Len.

  • October 21, 2021 at 9:26 pm
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    Probably a stupid question, but then again we haven’t been there yet under this regime – do we get to see which ILL times are available _before_ we pay up? Or is it pay for an ILL and then see what your options are?

    Reply
  • October 21, 2021 at 11:31 pm
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    Does Genie make recommendations for ideal Lightning Lane reservations? That kind of theorycrafting would be great to have as a touring plans feature.

    Reply
    • October 22, 2021 at 8:05 am
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      The Genie plan doesn’t appear to make those recommendations. It tells you that it’s an option, but in our testing, we haven’t seen it give out “ideal” or recommended options for what/when to buy.

      Reply
    • October 22, 2021 at 8:58 am
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      We’re actively working on this as a feature, Emerald Pham. We did it before, in both the paper FastPass days, and with MaxPass in Disneyland. It’s a matter of figuring out how Disney’s distributing the reservations.

      Reply
  • October 22, 2021 at 12:26 am
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    thanks for the great comparison today of the Genie suggested rides to the touring plans – quite interesting. I’ve used touring plans for the last six years and love your site!! I’ve watch so many videos on the new genie apps, my brain cells are tripping over each other (FastPass, FastPass, FastPass – maybe like Beetlejuice it will come back). Here’s my question – with Genie+, am I able to select which ride I would like next or does it only give me one option? For example, if I just checked in at haunted mansion and while waiting for my ride, pull up genie+ to see what I can do next, does it provide me options of rides? In your next video on the genie+, can you share screen shots of what it would look like? I’m such a planner – I love the details.
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    • October 22, 2021 at 8:09 am
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      Great question, Gina. This is actually a really great feature that we obviously haven’t covered enough. Anyone can see Genie+ return time availability at any time of any day. Even if you’re not physically in the parks, even if you don’t have a park pass reservation, even if you don’t purchase Genie+. If your MDE app is up-to-date, as long as you can see the “Tip Board”, you can see all return time availability. It’s the same after you purchase too. So you can scroll all rides and see what is available all of the time.

      Reply
      • October 22, 2021 at 2:54 pm
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        Thank you Becky! So once I purchase the Genie+, I use the “Tip Board” to book my lightening lane access available for the Genie+ rides. Got it!! Thanks!! You all are awesome by the way with all the details – love the 4ET video updates.

  • October 22, 2021 at 7:28 am
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    Once this is launched for a bit, interested to hear a recommended strategy for folks like me with little children who prefer mornings only at the parks but want to ride as much as we can. Seems like for us, on a DHS day for example, tying up G+ with a late afternoon Slinky Dog isn’t the best way. Kids aren’t making it to 5 pm and we often don’t leave and return.
    Maybe rope drop the super popular ride like SDD and then get less in-demand G+ one at a time?

    Reply
    • October 22, 2021 at 8:13 am
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      Haley, I feel you so much here. I have two young kids, and I’ve also been chomping at the bit wanting to test questions specifically related to them and how to manage Genie/Genie+ as a family.
      We’ll definitely be playing around with the theory and some strategies once we get more data rolling in. DHS is a particularly tricky park with young kids, so I agree there should be some thought _and_ testing there.
      If your kids are tall enough for SDD and Millennium Falcon, I would personally try: Genie+ for Millennium Falcon at 7 am, aiming for earliest return time possible. I’d then rope drop (ideally early entry, don’t know if you’re staying on-site) Runaway Railway and then hop in line for Slinky. Mostly because that’s less walking, and if you still get to SDD before early entry ends, you should be decently ahead of the crowd still. And then, as you say, I’d use the rest of my Genie+ by just grabbing whatever is next available on the next “tier” of attractions to try to burn through them as quickly as possible.

      Reply
  • October 22, 2021 at 3:00 pm
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    I am arriving on Sunday 12/26 and have park reservation for EPCOT. I have checked in on line for Disney Resort but won’t have a room until some time after four (my actual arrival is 2:30PM to resort, so I’ll head over to EPCOT). On the day I am traveling/arriving (12/26) can I purchase ILL for Epcot Attractions at 7:00AM? Can I make first G+ Reservation at 7:00AM? Can I make second G+ reservation starting at 1:00PM and begin Stacking? I suspect yes on the last question but the other two at 7:00AM are more important. In fact can I get into Virtual Q for Ratattouie at 7:00AM? (sorry that last one is off thread)

    Reply
    • October 22, 2021 at 9:21 pm
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      Atilio, we believe based on what we’ve heard that you will be able to use the 7 am ILL purchases and join the virtual queue, etc. because you do qualify as a resort guest that day.

      Reply
      • October 23, 2021 at 10:10 am
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        Thank You!!!

  • October 22, 2021 at 6:45 pm
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    Are resort guests able to purchase a ILL and a g+ return time at virtually the same time or do you have to wait 2 hours to do the latter? Which is best to book first?

    Reply
  • October 22, 2021 at 9:25 pm
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    Yes, you are eligible to reserve all of those right a 7 am. The order in which you book them probably won’t make incredibly much difference. If I was booking a lot of things right at 7, my order would be:
    6:50ish, purchase Genie+ (which qualifies me to make reservations at 7 am)
    7 am: Attempt to join virtual queue [if applicable]
    Next: Book my first Genie+ attraction (have a plan for which one you want, plus one backup)
    Next: Book first ILL
    Next: Book second ILL

    Reply
    • October 22, 2021 at 10:09 pm
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      Thank you so much!!

      Reply

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