Let me start off by saying that this article is all about getting down to the nitty gritty…the pros and cons…the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…to help you decide if spending a bunch of money on Disney Genie Plus is worth it.
I’m going to give you my full Disney Genie Plus review…from a mom’s point of view. Because let’s be honest, using the Disney Genie Plus service with your family (including young kids) in tow is a totally different ballgame than when you’re on an adults-only trip to Disney World.
As a mom to 3 young boys, my Disney World vacations look a little different than they used to. We take a midday break, so we leave the theme parks for hours each day. We don’t go on the super popular rollercoasters or thrill rides too often. And we love to meet allllll the Disney characters.
So with that being said, is Disney Genie Plus still worth it if you’re not in the stage of life where you can just run from ride to ride without worrying about your little ones melting down if they get overtired or overstimulated? Let’s jump into my Genie Plus Review.
Quick disclaimer: If you’re looking for a full guide on how to use and maximize Disney Genie Plus, you won’t find it in this article. Check out this Genie Plus Strategy article instead if that’s the case (that article was seriously a labor of love…it will have everything you need!).
Disclosure: You may see affiliate links throughout this post, which means these are the things I handpicked! If you purchase something through these links, I will get a small commission at absolutely no extra charge to you. And that sure means a lot to me, so thank you in advance!
Pros and Cons of Genie Plus
Pros of Genie Plus at Disney World
You get to skip the standby lines.
This is the most obvious pro of them all! And the bottom line is, this is the reason you pay for the thing.
When using Genie Plus, you get to book a Lightning Lane. That means that when your return window has arrived, you get to scan your MagicBand or park ticket at the Lightning Lane queue of the attraction and smile (or awkwardly try to avoid eye contact because you kind of feel bad…but not really?) while you stroll past all the people who have been waiting in the standby line forever.
This is BY FAR the main reason I love using Genie Plus when visiting Disney with kids.
You’ll be able to enjoy more attractions throughout the day.
Going through the Lightning Lane at an attraction significantly cuts down on your wait time.
Less time in line means more time to enjoy more attractions or other experiences offered in the Disney parks. Simple as that!
Attractions don’t just mean rides.
When you think of Genie+, you automatically think of getting onto the rides at Disney. But those aren’t the only standby lines you’ll be able to skip when using the service.
Genie+ includes some shows, parades, and character meet and greets. So, if you want to make sure you get to meet Mickey Mouse without risking your little one getting cranky while waiting in line, having Genie Plus is a great way to do it!
You’ll be able to visit attractions more than once.
Ok, hear me out on this one. You can technically only book one Lightning Lane per attraction each day. But if you’re good with waiting in the standby line during a lower wait period time, then you can book a Lightning Lane for the same ride later on in the day when the wait times are higher.
For example, my boys looove Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom. So we arrived to the park at opening, and hopped right on with no wait.
We went about our day, then booked a Lightning Lane so that we could ride it one last time before we headed back to the resort for a midday nap.
At that point, the standby line was about 45 minutes, so we never would have went on that ride a second time if it weren’t for Genie Plus.
You can “stack” Genie Plus reservations.
This is one of my favorite Genie Plus hacks.
Since you’re allowed to have overlapping Genie Plus reservations, I always make sure to continue booking Lightning Lanes every two hours even when we head back to the resort for our midday break.
When I book the Lightning Lanes, I make sure the return times are all in the evening. Then once we head back to the park, we get to head through the Lightning Lane of a handful of rides back to back with no wait time.
You’ll get the PhotoPass photos taken on the attractions.
I’m a big picture taker. I love capturing moments of my family. And I put together a scrapbook of said photos each year!
When you purchase Disney Genie Plus, you’ll get any photos that were taken on rides straight to your My Disney Experience app, where you’ll be able to download them.
If you don’t purchase the Memory Maker package or Genie Plus and you want your photos from the rides, you’ll have to pay a fee for each photo.
You can choose which park days you want to use Genie Plus and which ones you don’t.
Genie Plus isn’t an all-or-nothing kind of thing. You can choose which days you want to purchase it and which days you don’t.
You cannot purchase Disney Genie Plus upfront for your entire trip. In fact, you can’t even purchase it for the day you’re using it until 12:00 AM.
So, if you’re going to a park where you think you won’t get much use out of Genie Plus, you can skip purchasing it that day and save yourself some money.
Cons of Genie Plus at Disney World
One word: price.
Genie Plus will set you back at least $15 (plus tax) per person per day (the price can vary daily). And that can add up quick!
Let’s take my family for example. We’re a family of 5. Our littlest guy is under 3, so he doesn’t need a park ticket and, therefore, doesn’t need Genie Plus. So, we’re looking at purchasing Genie Plus for 4 people.
If we plan to go to the Disney parks for 4 days and want to purchase Genie Plus each day, we’ve just burned at least $240 before tax.
But let’s be honest, the price of Genie Plus just keeps inching up, so you’ll probably want to budget for more than $15 per person per day. And if you want to purchase any Individual Lightning Lanes (those are the a la carte rides at each park), that price goes up even further.
You can only book one Lightning Lane for each ride per day.
This Genie Plus rule is a huge bummer. I get that they want to give everyone a chance at everything, but it still stinks when your kiddo falls in love with a ride and you can’t do it a second time (unless you want to wait in the standby line, of course!).
And to piggy back off of this point, if you let one of your Lightning Lane reservations expire before you get a chance to use it, that counts as your one booking for the day. So, you won’t be able to book that Lightning Lane again even though you didn’t technically go on the attraction.
You spend more time on your phone.
Since all the booking for Genie Plus is done on your phone, and you can book Lightning Lanes every two hours at minimum, you get the feeling that you have your nose in your phone all. day. long.
You have to put in some work ahead of time to really maximize it.
As you’re planning your Disney vacation, you need to make sure you take the time to learn all about Genie Plus. This isn’t something that you can just wing on the day you’re at the park.
Well, you could wing it, but you won’t get nearly your money’s worth as you would if you have an idea of how it all works before you start using it.
You have to stay up late or wake up early to purchase Disney Genie Plus.
You can’t purchase Disney Genie Plus until the day you’re going to use it. You can purchase the service starting at 12:00 AM.
If you’re up late at night, might as well hop on the My Disney Experience app and buy it. If you’re already in bed, you can purchase it first thing in the morning.
To get the maximum benefit, you have to wake up early to book your first Lightning Lane.
Everyone, whether you’re staying on Disney property or off property, can book their first Lightning Lane at 7:00 AM. And you really don’t want to miss that booking window.
One of the benefits of Genie Plus is to be able to bypass the standby lines of the most popular attractions with the longest wait times. And those are the exact attractions that you’re probably going to want to target for your first Lightning Lane selection.
If you sleep in and miss that 7:00 AM booking window, you might miss out on being able to book one of the Lightning Lanes you had your heart set on.
So, happy vacation! No sleeping in for you! (But I guess if you’re like me, you have kids that don’t let you sleep in anyways, whether you’re on vacation or not.)
Things to Consider Before Purchasing Genie Plus
What’s your budget?
As I mentioned earlier, the price of Genie Plus can add up quickly. If budget isn’t a concern, then you’ll definitely want to give Genie Plus a go. But if you’re watching every penny, you might want to be more strategic on which park days you purchase Genie Plus for, if at all.
It’s good to note that kids under 3 do not need a Disney World park ticket and do not need Genie Plus, so don’t account for them when creating your budget. Isn’t FREE such a great price?!
Which attractions are priorities for your family?
This is where it helps to do a little homework prior to your trip. You’ll want to decide which attractions are top priorities for your family. Then you’ll want to see if those attractions are a part of Genie+. THEN you’ll want to do a little investigating into how long those attractions’ wait times usually are.
If your top priority rides are offered as a part of Genie Plus and the wait times for those rides can get pretty long, you’ll probably want to lean toward purchasing Genie Plus.
I know that seems like a lot, but I got you. First, download my free daily Disney World park planner to help you prioritize your top attractions in each park by clicking the button below.
Planning a day at the Disney World parks can be overwhelming! But it doesn’t need to be.
Check out my FREE daily Disney World park planner to help prioritize and organize your day, so you can have the vacation you’re dreaming of.
While you’re going through that template, use your My Disney Experience app to help you research the things you want to do on your trip (it will give you an excuse to get used to how the app works).
Next, check out this list of which attractions are available for Genie+ Lightning Lane selections in each theme park (I stuck a * next to all the attractions that have no height restrictions, so you can get a good visual on which attractions would work for your family if you have little ones):
Magic Kingdom Genie+ Attractions
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin*
- Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade*
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant*
- Enchanted Tales with Belle*
- Haunted Mansion*
- “it’s a small world”*
- Jungle Cruise*
- Mad Tea Party*
- Meet Ariel at Her Grotto*
- Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall*
- Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater*
- Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall*
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic*
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor*
- Peter Pan’s Flight*
- Pirates of the Caribbean*
- Space Mountain
- The Barnstormer
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin*
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh*
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under the Sea-Journey of The Little Mermaid*
(Magic Kingdom also has 2 Individual Lightning Lane attractions that can be purchased separately from the Genie+ service: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and TRON Lightcycle/Run.)
Hollywood Studios Genie+ Attractions
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage*
- Disney Junior Play & Dance!*
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration*
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular*
- Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight*
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway*
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Muppet Vision 3D*
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror*
- Toy Story Mania!*
(Hollywood Studios also has 1 Individual Lightning Lane attraction that can be purchased separately from the Genie+ service: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.)
Epcot Genie+ Attractions
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival*
- Frozen Ever After*
- Journey into Imagination with Figment*
- Living with the Land*
- Mission: SPACE – Green
- Mission: SPACE – Orange
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure*
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth*
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends*
- Turtle Talk with Crush*
(Epcot also has 1 Individual Lightning Lane attraction that can be purchased separately from the Genie+ service: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.)
Animal Kingdom Genie+ Attractions
- Festival of the Lion King*
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Feathered Friends in Flight!*
- Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!*
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug!*
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris*
- Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost*
- Naʻvi River Journey*
- The Animation Experience at Conservation Station*
(Animal Kingdom also has 1 Individual Lightning Lane attraction that can be purchased separately from the Genie+ service: Avatar Flight of Passage.)
Finally, you’ll want to look into how long you’ll usually have to wait for your top-priority attractions. To do this, you can peek at the wait times on the My Disney Experience app in the days leading up to your Disney vacation. And/or you can check out Thrill Data’s website to see what wait times have recently and historically looked like.
How do your kids do in long lines?
You know your kids better than anyone, so you know how they do in situations where there are longer waits (with sometimes not much to do).
But also make sure you’re thinking about how your kids do in situations where there are longer waits in an environment where they can get overtired and overstimulated.
Disney World is a lot. Sometimes in a great, magical-type way. And sometimes in a meltdown-type way. So consider both scenarios when trying to figure out how much your kiddo will be able to tolerate.
Tip: utilize the playground areas around the park for mini breaks between attractions.
Are you okay with getting to the park early or staying late?
Attraction wait times are always significantly lower first thing in the morning and later in the evening. If those are the two times you plan to spend most of your time in the parks, you might not need Genie+ after all.
But if you plan to be there during peak hours, you’ll want to think about purchasing it to avoid long lines.
How many days will you be going to the parks?
If you’ll only be going to the theme parks for a couple of days during your Disney trip, you’ll want to pack in as much as possible. And Genie+ is a great way to do this.
If you’ll have several days at the parks and you’re ok with slowing down a bit or you don’t feel like you need to pack in as many rides as possible each day, you might not want to spend the extra money on Genie+. Or you might not want to purchase it every single day.
When is your Disney World vacation?
If you’ll be visiting Disney World during a busy time of year (think summer, holidays, and breaks from school), Genie+ will come in very handy to avoid the crazy long wait times you’ll encounter.
If you’ll be visiting Disney World during a “downtime” when things are less crowded, you might find that the ride wait times really aren’t too bad, so you’ll be able to get away without purchasing Genie+.
You can search for Disney World crowd calendars online to give you an idea if your Disney vacation falls during a busy time or a down time.
Looking for allll of my Disney tips? (Because there’s plenty more where this came from.)
Instagram is where it’s at! Check out @ThoseMagicalDays — an extension of Those Johnson Boys, where I let loose on everything Disney to help make your trip stress-free.
Is Genie Plus Worth It?
I hate to say it, but the answer to this question really is, “it depends!” Based on alllll the conditions I laid out above, the answer for your family might be different than another family.
But I’ll still give you my two cents because that’s why you’re here! Let’s break it down by park:
Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Magic Kingdom?
Number of Genie+ Attractions at Magic Kingdom: 23
Average Attraction Wait Time at Magic Kingdom: 35 minutes
I’ll just come out and say it. Magic Kingdom is the best park to use Disney Genie Plus…hands down.
There are SO many attractions to choose from with Disney Genie Plus at that park. Plus that’s the park that has the most rides with no height restrictions, so your little one will be able to experience quite a bit.
If I only had one day at the Magic Kingdom on my vacation, I would definitely be purchasing Disney Genie Plus for that day. And to be honest, even if I had more than one day, I’d still be purchasing it (Disney, just go ahead and take even more of my money!)
So, FINAL ANSWER. Is Disney Genie Plus worth it at Magic Kingdom? YES!
Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Hollywood Studios?
Number of Genie+ Attractions at Hollywood Studios: 14
Average Attraction Wait Time at Hollywood Studios: 50 minutes
Wait times at Hollywood Studios can get really long. And we’re not a really-long-lines type of family. Or at least not several of them in a row.
While Hollywood Studios doesn’t have as many rides without height restrictions, it’s still home to some of the most popular attractions at Disney World. Hence the long lines.
And remember when I said that using Genie+ actually can help you get on rides a couple times even though you’re only allowed to book one Lightning Lane per ride per day? Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway was the perfect example of this.
My boys love that ride, so we went there right at park opening then snagged a Lightning Lane for later in the day. They were PUMPED to be able to ride it twice.
Plus, while waiting for your Lightning Lane return times, it’s easy to grab a seat at a show. Using Genie Plus for rides and standby for shows seems to help the day move along well at Hollywood Studios.
So, FINAL ANSWER. Is Disney Genie Plus worth it at Hollywood Studios? YES!
Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Epcot?
Number of Genie+ Attractions at Epcot: 12
Average Attraction Wait Time at Epcot: 33 minutes
Epcot is a tough one when it comes to Genie Plus. It really depends on which attractions you have your heart set on.
If your family is going to stick to the likes of The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, Spaceship Earth, Living with Land, and Journey into Imagination with Figment, I wouldn’t spend the money on Genie Plus.
But if you think you’ll do more than one of the following rides, a Genie+ purchase would be worth it: Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Soarin’ Around the World, and Test Track.
So, FINAL ANSWER. Is Disney Genie Plus worth it at Epcot? MAYBE.
Is Disney Genie Plus Worth it at Animal Kingdom?
Number of Genie+ Attractions at Animal Kingdom: 11
Average Attraction Wait Time at Animal Kingdom: 44 minutes
Sure, Animal Kingdom has a few attractions that can have very long wait times (which is why the average attraction wait time is so high), but those wait times are easily avoidable if you get to the park when it opens.
Just for your information, the longest wait times you’ll see will likely be Avatar Flight of Passage (which is available as an Individual Lightning Lane, so Disney Genie Plus won’t be able to help you with that one anyways!), Na’vi River Journey, and Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Get to the park early and you can knock out one or two of those with very short wait times.
To top it off, Animal Kingdom has a reputation for being a “half-day park.” I’m not saying that everyone will only spend a half day there, but if you do, you’ll likely only get about 2 Lightning Lanes booked before the return times end up being too late for you.
So, FINAL ANSWER. Is Disney Genie Plus worth it at Animal Kingdom? NO.
My Honest Genie Plus Review
Of course, there are things I don’t like about the service–the price, the time spent on my phone, the initial learning curve when trying to figure out the system, the price (oh wait…I already said that!). But…ugh, I hate to admit this…I actually really enjoy using Genie Plus.
Yes, the money adds up, but at the end of the day, it makes our trip more enjoyable. And what’s another few hundred dollars in the grand scheme of things when it comes to a Disney World vacation, right?! (Just don’t tell my husband I said that…ha!)
Standing in long lines with potentially whiny kids (thankfully they’re usually really good, but they have their moments just like any other kid!), doesn’t sound like a vacation to me at all. So sign me up to avoid that if I can.
But my favorite part of all when it comes to Genie Plus – and the reason I keep purchasing it time and time again – is that it really helps the flow of the day.
Maybe we don’t use a Lightning Lane for every. single. ride. we go on each day. But between using Lightning Lanes and taking advantage of low wait times at other rides, we’re just able to roll right through our day without any major standing-around time.
To top it off, we almost always add the Hopper option to our Disney World park tickets because we love the flexibility that comes along with it. And a Park Hopper and Genie+ together is just the perfect combo in my opinion.
While I may not purchase Genie Plus every single day on our Disney World trips, I can almost guarantee I’ll purchase it at some point during every trip.
Genie Plus Tips
If you decide you want to purchase Disney Genie Plus for your Walt Disney World vacation, I’ll leave you with a few tips.
Go in with somewhat of a game plan.
Genie Plus really isn’t worth it no matter which way you look at it if you don’t have some sort of strategy to go off of. It will just seem overwhelming…and you’ll get frustrated…and you’ll wonder why you spent so much money on it.
If you have somewhat of a game plan going into the day and you know the basics of how the Genie+ service works, it will make a world of difference in your Genie+ experience.
Make sure each family member taps each checkpoint.
Another way to get frustrated while using Genie+? Wondering why you all of a sudden can’t make a Lightning Lane reservation for one of your family members. The culprit, in this case, is likely the fact that someone’s MagicBand or park ticket didn’t actually scan into the Lightning Lane checkpoint.
Some rides will have two checkpoints…one at the beginning of the Lightning Lane queue and one right before you get on the ride. Make sure that the green light shines and you hear that magical little chime for every person in your party at every checkpoint.
Not everyone in your party needs to book the same Lightning Lanes.
While it can get a little confusing about who’s booked what when, you don’t have to book the same Lightning Lanes throughout the day for your entire party.
When you book a Lightning Lane, you’ll confirm your party each time, so you can check or uncheck anyone in your party you want.
Don’t forget to take other reservations into consideration.
If you have a dining reservation, don’t double-book yourself. Yes, you can have overlapping reservations…just make sure you can get to both reservations if they do overlap.
Use the modify function on Genie+.
Don’t think you’ll be able to make it to your Lightning Lane in time? Or do you want to choose a different attraction or a different return time?
Just modify your current Lightning Lane selection. Don’t cancel and rebook, though, because that might mess up your two-hour clock between being able to book Lightning Lanes.
Bring your portable charger.
If you’re using Genie+, you can automatically sign up to be on your phone even more than you were already planning to be! Bring along a portable charger, so you don’t get into a low-battery situation.
Do you have to purchase Genie Plus for your entire vacation?
No, you do not have to purchase Genie Plus for your entire vacation. In fact, you’ll only be able to purchase Genie Plus on the day you plan to use the service (beginning at 12:00 AM). So, you can pick and choose which days you want to purchase it and which days you don’t.
Does Disney Genie Plus sell out?
Disney Genie Plus can sell out, but it doesn’t happen often. When it has sold out in the past, it was well after the first booking window opens at 7:00 AM, so you should have no problem buying Genie Plus the morning of your park day (versus purchasing it at midnight).
Is Genie+ worth it with toddlers?
Since Genie+ allows you to enter the attraction through the Lightning Lane, you don’t have to wait in long lines. This alone makes Genie+ worth it with toddlers.
What is the benefit of having Genie Plus?
The main benefit of having Genie Plus is being able to decrease your wait times for attractions, which then allows you to have more time for other attractions and experiences during your day at Disney.
What are the complaints about Genie+?
Common complaints about Genie+ include the price, increased time spent on your phone throughout the day, and having to wake up early to book your first Lightning Lane of the day.
Wrap Up: Disney Genie Plus Review
As you can tell, deciding whether or not Genie Plus is worth it will be different for each family. And it can even change on a day-by-day basis. The good news is that you don’t need to purchase it for your whole trip upfront, so you can pivot if you need or want to once you’re on your trip.
Hopefully this Disney Genie Plus Review at least helped guide you in making the best decision for you. After all, it’s your vacation! Do what’s best for you.
Want to know EXACTLY what to pack for your upcoming Disney World trip?
Snag a free printable Disney World packing checklist by clicking the button below. (And how do I know it’s EXACTLY what you need? Well, it’s the list I personally use, so it’s been through plenty of trial and error.)
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