Effective use of Genie+ at Walt Disney World is a total moving target. Availability keeps changing, attractions get added or removed, people tend to use it differently, and now it even costs a different amount each day … and all of this makes it really hard to plan. Bonus: if you don’t plan, you’re probably only going to get to make and use 2 or 3 Genie+ reservations in a day. And Disney knows it, which is why they added language to lower your expectations.
All of this constant changing means that you need updated information to make decisions with. I already updated this information in late September, but with the total moving target and variable pricing, it already needs an update. This is mostly due to the removal of Genie plus pre-purchase from vacation packages. If people have to decide to individually purchase every day, it turns out … they don’t! Availability is looking significantly better than it did less than a month ago, even with crowds picking up (Last updated October 19th, 2022)
Explain the Math
If you read the original articles from February, you already know all of this stuff. You can “test out” of reading this section if you can interpret the color chart below!
Each park below will have a set of three tables. Each table shows you data from a certain range of crowd levels:
- LOW = Crowd Levels 1 through 3
- MED = Crowd Levels 4 through 7
- HIGH = Crowd Levels 8 through 10
You can look at any attraction (which are shown in the rows) and a booking time (which are shown in columns, and represent the time you’ll be able to make a reservation). The color of the box where you land will show you the chance that you’ll be able to get a return time. A green box means the attraction is never sold out at that time. A red box means it’s always sold out by that time – you’ll be out of luck. And if the box is yellow, you’ve got a 50% chance of it being sold out already. Brand new for this series – I’ve also got accessible versions of the charts in each section for those with color blindness. For those charts, blue = 100% availability and orange = 0% availability.
In addition to the color, you’ll see a time in each box. That is the average return time you can expect for that attraction at that booking time, given a certain crowd level. So, for example, if you look at Millennium Falcon on a low crowd day, and you think you’ll book it at 11 am, you can expect a return time of 1:15 pm. The times in each box are rounded to the nearest 15 minutes so that your brain interprets them more easily. Don’t want to tire out those brains in the middle of important Disney planning.
One important note is that the time in the box is an average return time for that entire hour. So if a 2 pm booking time box shows an average return time of 2:30 pm, that means that attraction has immediate availability. That’s because the 2 pm return time you’d get at 2 pm averages out with the 2:55 pm return time you’d get at 2:55 pm, etc.
If an attraction doesn’t appear on a list, it means that we have no return time data for that attraction at that crowd level. If it does appear but is blank/colorless, that means that we did have some return time data at that crowd level, but not enough to make statistically significant inferences.
- On low crowd days, availability looks really nice – and even better than it did before this most recent update. You can get and redeem Genie+ reservations for a lot of rides almost immediately throughout the day, and almost everything is available all of the way through the early evening. The only thing that sells about before 5 is meeting Disney pals at Adventurers Outpost., and it becomes the most in-demand reservation at every crowd level!
- On medium and high crowd days, availability looks similar to what it did when I last ran the numbers in July and September. Na’vi River Journey is selling out by 2, the Safaris sells out by 4 or 5, and DINOSAUR is available until 5 or 6. My guess is that demand for Genie+ has significantly dropped at Animal Kingdom. Folks are using those days to stack or just not purchase Genie+.
- EPCOT was our most-changed park in the July update, thanks to the addition of Remy to the Genie+ lineup there. Now that things have leveled off, what is the impact?
- First and foremost, according to the data, Remy still sells out pretty quickly. But things aren’t as dire as they were back in July. It’s not booking up instantaneously, especially not on low or medium crowd days. You’ll likely only have trouble with it on high crowd days, when it does sell out incredibly quickly.
- As previously discussed, the increased demand for Genie+ with the introduction of Remy initially totally cancelled out its additional supply. Return times and average sell-out times for Frozen Ever After and Test Track on medium and high crowd level days are completely unchanged. But this has started to even out. In fact, Test Track are selling out even later on medium and high crowd days than they were pre-Remy. Barely. It will still be difficult to book all three of these headliners on medium and high-crowd days.
- After those top 3 … demand for Genie+ at all other attractions isn’t high. At all. In fact, return times on high crowd days aren’t even that different than the ones on low crowd days for all of the other attractions. This is the only park where we see this weird behavior. It goes to show how difficult it is to make good use of Genie+ at EPCOT beyond the top three.
- Well, Hollywood Studios is almost unrecognizable on low crowd days, compared to our July update (and anything we’ve seen previously). On low crowd days, Slinky and Tower of Terror were always sold out before noon. Now they’re both available into the evening.
- On low crowd days you can also get reservations for “B-Tier” attractions like Runaway Railway, Toy Story Mania, and Rock’n’Roller Coaster almost until the park closes, and with close to immediate availability throughout the day. This is crazy. Using Genie+ at Hollywood Studios on low crowd days might be … dare I say it … pleasant? Words I’d never thought I’d say.
- Things are better on medium crowd days too. Slinky stays available until around 11, and Tower of Terror lasts until mid-afternoon! The “B-Tier” sold out mid-afternoon in September, and now lasts until the evening. Remarkably better!
- On high crowd days, we used to see five attractions sell out around noon. In September, that dropped to two attractions. Now that number is down to ONE attraction. The others still sell out in the early afternoon, so you’ll have to prioritize which reservations you’re making and using. But it’s not quite as bad as it used to be.
- Low crowd days at Magic Kingdom continue to be a really lovely time to use Genie+. The abundance of options mean that you have plenty of attractions to choose from throughout the day, and you can still save a lot of cumulative time compared to standby just because you can get and use so many reservations. That being said – essentially all of the low-crowd days from this time period were party days. You can learn about why you should take advantage of these days here. Expect this trend to continue throughout the fall and winter – you won’t really need Genie+ on party days at the Magic Kingdom. And non-party days won’t have low crowds.
- Character. Meet. And. Greets. They sell out incredibly early. Capacity here is severely limited, and these reservations can save you a large amount of time. So don’t sleep on these reservations. They’ve moved way up on our Genie+ priority list for Magic Kingdom!
- Otherwise, not much has changed with return times, when compared to our last updates in July or September. There are so many options at Magic Kingdom that demand is spread out pretty nicely. You’ll still see the very most popular rides book up in the afternoon … but you’ll have plenty of selection and many ways to save a lot of time with Genie+ at this park.
What Does This Mean For You?
- Advance planning is not shockingly still required if you want to get more than your “2 or 3” reservations in a day with Genie+ … but (as I struggle to type the words) … it’s actually getting easier.
- Hollywood Studios remains the most frustrating park with big potential time savings at each attraction, but availability that will slip through your fingers as you’re attempting to book on high crowd days. Still, low and medium crowd days are looking much better than they were previously.
- Magic Kingdom on low and medium crowd level days is still a sweet spot – there’s good availability everywhere, and availability at the big headliners is slightly better than it used to be. But the high crowd level days at MK are seeing slightly worse availability.
Did you use Genie+ during the fall at WDW? Have your opinions changed about whether you’d use it on a future trip? What are your successes or frustrations? Let me know in the comments!