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.
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.
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.