Genie Plus Disneyland: An Essential Guide

Disney Genie+ is a new paid Disneyland FastPass program that will be a replacement for the traditional FastPass and Max pass programs we Disney Nerds all are familiar with.

With the removal of the MaxPass along with the ever popular FastPass system.

Similarly, signing up for the Genie+ program will able you to get reserve and return at specific times for popular rides.

Which will help you avoid long wait times in traditional lines for attractions.

Essentially, the new Genie Plus Disneyland program is a paid service which includes the ability to reserve your spot at 15 attractions at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

The new Genie Plus Disneyland service is almost identical to the well received MaxPass program launched a couple of years ago.

Also, this new Genie Plus Disneyland service is part of an exciting new app interface that Disney is launching at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Genie Plus Disneyland is officially launched at the Disneyland California on December 8, 2021.

The new Genie Plus Disneyland new service is just like the MaxPass program where you are able to book your return times right in the Disneyland app on your smartphone.

This way you can enjoy some of the most popular rides while also avoiding standing in long standby queues.

Genie Plus Disneyland costs $20 per person, each day.

You will receive access to over 15 rides and also unlimited PhotoPass downloads.

Essentially, this is the same price as predecessor, Disneyland MaxPass.

The only question is if this Genie Plus Disneyland service can be added to Magic Key annual passes.

Lightning Lanes

Do you know what FastPasses are? If not, let me tell you. For those of us who regularly visit Disneyland, we were used to gettingFastPasses for certain attractions. However, with the new Lightning Lanes system, things have changed. Now, you can actually pay to access the Lightning Lanes for some attractions – but only a limited number of them. And no, this isn’t included in the Genie+ price (whatever that is). Right now at Disneyland and California Adventure

Other benefits of the new Genie Plus Disneyland service

The new Disneyland Disney Genie+ service also has a new itinerary planning tool helping you customize your day.

You can do this two ways.

By either selecting all your favorite Disneyland experiences you would like to experience.

Or you can select the specific character themes you prefer and then simply allow the Disney app to customize your day.

Another perk of the new app includes the ability to see upcoming wait times.

The convenience of to adding yourself to the walk up waitlist line for restaurants.

Adding yourself to classic virtual queues.

Also making your own dining reservations at the more sit down experience type restaurants.

All these functions are easily accessed withing a few swipes and click of the app!

What attractions are included with Genie Plus Disneyland?

Our Genie Plus Disneyland app includes the following attractions for only $20 per person, per day:

You can also purchase our Genie Plus Disneyland service inside of the Disneyland app even after you’ve entered the park.

Or, you can add it to your tickets before your arrival.

After you enter the park, you will be able to make Lightning Lane reservations right away.

It’s important to know that you can only ride each Disneyland attraction once when using the Genie Plus option. If you want to visit an attraction a second time, don’t worry, you can still use the stand by line like everyone else.

If you miss your reservation for an attraction, you will not be able to book it again. Remember to cancel your reservations so that you can book them later. You can book a new reservation every two hours or right after you’ve used one. This means if you book a reservation more than two hours away,

Finally, for select top-tier attractions that aren’t part of Disney Genie+ membership, you’ll be able to purchase and schedule unique access to the Lightning Lanes. The new premium upcharge is comparable to the Disneyland Paris FastPass premium service, but on a much smaller scale. You’ll be able to schedule up to two return visits each day for these highly popular attractions starting when you enter the park for the next available arrival window.

How does the Disney Genie+ program work?

Essentially, you may make your first Genie Plus Disneyland reservation once you’ve entered the park. You can only hold one booking at a time within the Disneyland app throughout the day. Once again, this procedure is quite comparable to MaxPass, which I’m sure many visitors will appreciate.

How much does the Genie Plus Disneyland service cost?

The cost of the new Disneyland program, Genie Plus Disneyland, is $20 per day per person. This charge can be added on a daily basis or over the course of your whole holiday. The old Disneyland MaxPass program was identical to this.

And because you get Genie Plus for the same price as Disney MaxPass, this is a great deal!

Currently, one-day PhotoPass purchases are $20 each day. I am satisfied with the pricing and scope of the new service since I like MaxPass and believe it will be a fantastic service.

What about Rise of the Resistance and WEB: Slingers attractions?

The virtual queues that Disney refers to in the Disney Genie are WEB: Slingers A Spiderman Adventure and Rise of the Resistance. You can access both of these attractions for an additional fee by going to the Lightning Lane. It’s important to note that you can only experience two of these attractions per day. Standby queues are also available for both rides. Finally, you have the option to purchase individual access for each ride if you so choose.

What about the DAS program for guests with disabilities?

Although the DAS program is mostly the same, we have added a few new features. The biggest one being that you can now pre-enroll and make return time reservations up to 30 days in advance through our app (instead of having to go around the park and talk to cast members).

It will be much simpler for visitors with disabilities to participate in the program using live video chat registration. Guests may select two experiences per day during the video chat using our new DAS advance planning option, which is now available.

What else is included with Disney Genie+ program?

With the Genie Plus program, you also get free professional photos of your Disneyland vacation.

How can Disney MagicKey Annual Passholders upgrade their passes to include Disney Genie Plus?

For now, Disneyland Magic Key Passholders can only buy the Disney Genie Plus service on a per-day basis. However, after additional study of the program’s performance, DISNEY has stated that they intend to include it to annual passes.

What if you don’t have the Genie Plus Disneyland program?

Now that the standby and virtual queues are a permanent part of your Disney vacation, you may utilize them to see all of your favorite activities. All visitors will be able to use the basic Disney Genie app services, regardless of whether they upgrade to Disney Genie Plus.

The new Disney Genie service will offer various features that are similar to the Disneyland app, but with some added benefits. For example, we’re happy to see that the forecasted future wait times will be available as a way to plan our day. Additionally, the Personalized Itinerary Planner and Tip Board seem like they’ll be quite helpful.

The Genie Plus Disneyland plan lets you to build a custom itinerary based on your preferences, the availability of things to do, and any existing reservations.

They’ll take into account walking distances, wait times, park-hopping, and any other preferences you want such as height limitations and accessibility once you’ve chosen your plan and criteria.

With the Genie Plus Disneyland app, you don’t have to worry about recommended experiences being overcrowded. Also, if you want to switch, remove, or add any experiences to their day, you have complete flexibility over the itinerary.

Lastly, if you’re curious as to why the app is suggesting certain experiences, simply use the “Why This?” function for an explanation.

This method allows you to figure out why the recommendations are in the order they are.

For example, a program such as Genie Plus may suggest an indoor show with air conditioning in the afternoon.

You have the option of sending a message via the app and getting answers to any queries you might have.

Disneyland Genie+ launched on December 8 and despite some glitches, the program is a no brainer for anyone looking to spend less time in line and more time enjoying the Happiest Place on Earth.

While Genie+ is completely new to the Disney World contingent, Disneyland visitors –especially locals/Season Pass holders – already experienced Disneyland Genie+’s predecessor MaxPass. Like Genie+, MaxPass allowed guests to secure FastPasses from their phone instead of criss-crossing both parks to physically retrieve a FastPass.

Disneyland Genie+ vs MaxPass

The old MaxPass system cost $15 per person per day. Disneyland Genie+ at $20 isn’t a far cry and in terms of Disney park ticket increases….it’s about right. The new Genie+ system works exactly like MaxPass. The only difference is that Radiator Springs Racers is not included and must be purchased separately as an Individual Lightning Lane (more on this later).

Disneyland Genie+ does not include Rise of the Resistance, but neither did MaxPass. WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure was not in operation during MaxPass and undoubtedly would have gone the way of Rise of the Resistance with a virtual queue; just as it did at launch.

It’s not all “take aways” with Disneyland Genie+. Added to the “FastPass” options are Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue! Additionally, Disneyland Genie+ includes Disney PhotoPass for the day just like its MaxPass predecessor. All in all, the services are nearly identical…with one big difference.

No Free FastPass…a HUGE Disneyland Genie+ Benefit

The biggest single influence on the success of Disneyland Genie+ is the elimination of the free FastPass. The Nerd was a huge advocate of MaxPass and its time savings and convenience. But now…there is no need to compete with the hoards of FastPass users as guests have been slow to adopt Disneyland Genie+.

Case in point…

The Nerd arrived at Disneyland on a Monday evening in December a week after Disneyland Genie+ was released. The park was crowded with guests getting their Disney Christmas fix. Lines for the main attractions ranged from 30 minutes to over an hour.

Walking through the gates at 7p, the Nerd immediately purchased Disneyland Genie+ for two people and made a reservation for Space Mountain – it was immediately available for use.

Once the Space Mountain passes were scanned and while navigating the queue, Matterhorn reservations were made…again, with immediate availability. After a +/- 10-minute wait in the Lightning Lane line at Space Mountain, we ventured to Matterhorn, scanned in and were careening down the icy slopes and avoiding the yeti a handful of minutes later.

While in line, we made a Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters reservation with, you guessed it, immediate availability. After scanning in, but before saving the world from the Evil Emperor Zurg, we decided to snag a reservation for Haunted Mansion Holiday. The soonest we could get a reservation was 40 minutes later.

So…we worked in some Mickey Pretzels and dinner while we waited for our reservation. We quickly navigated the Haunted Mansion queue and made an immediately available Big Thunder Mountain reservation. Once we scanned into the Frontierland headliner, we quickly made a Guardians of the Galaxy reservation with immediate availability.

So far, we were either eating or in a FastPass…errrrr…Lightning Lane line every single moment. We made our way to Disney California Adventure and immediately bypassed the 45-minute Guardians wait and made our way immediately into the pre-show. Meanwhile, we snagged a reservation at Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!

You’ll never believe it! Immediate availability via the Disneyland Genie+ access (as was Incredicoaster, Toy Store Mania, Goofy’s Sky School, and Soarin’ Around the World. Alas, our day was growing short and DCA was to close 33 minutes after we exited Guardians. We decided to pay the $7 for Individual Lightning Lane Access to Radiator Springs Racers and try to use our Monsters, Inc. Lightning Lane just before park closing.

Alas….the Nerd made an error. In no hurry to secure the Radiator Springs Racers access and distracted by an internal debate of getting a soft serve at the Cozy Cone before experiencing the attraction, the Nerd let a few too many minutes slip by. At 9:32pm the Nerd was heart-broken to realize that Individual Lightning Lane access and Disneyland Genie+ reservations could no longer be made (the cutoff being 30 minutes prior to the park’s scheduled closing!).

Hat in hand – of the things the Nerd suffers to develop these articles! – the Nerd diverted for a quick ride aboard Mater’s Jingle Jamboree (no wait), grabbed a soft serve and proceeded to wait the 25-minutes in the Radiator Springs Racers’ standby line. And to add insult to injury, this wait would cause the Nerd to lose the opportunity to experience Monsters, Inc. as it would be after 10pm by the time he raced to victory in Cars Land.

While waiting, we used Disneyland Genie+ to snag a reservation for the Indiana Jones Adventure with immediate availability. After DCA closed, we went back to Disneyland, went to Indiana Jones and then decided to call it a night.

The time savings experienced by using Disneyland Genie+ was incredible and worth every penny (well, 2,000 pennies). Without it, we would have experienced maybe three Disneyland attractions plus made time for a quick meal. With Disneyland Genie+, we experienced nine attractions across both parks….the majority of which were headliners.

Just adding up the Standby wait times on these nine attractions equated to nearly 5 hours. We were at the parks about 4 hours and enjoyed dinner and a snack. We meandered from attraction to attraction, stuck our head in some shops and had a delightful evening with virtually no time spent in lines.

The Nerd is hooked on the Disneyland Genie+ upgrade and will be interested to see how the experience evolves as more people undoubtedly splurge and spend the extra $20. If someone is on a multi-day ticket, the Disneyland Genie+ could easily cut a full day’s ticket expense or, at the very least, make the entire experience more leisurely and enjoyable.

Individual Lightning Lane

Many people have not yet adopted the Disneyland Genie+ extra expense and more are likely bristling at the added cost for the Individual Lightning Lane attractions with the following observed pricing:

Radiator Springs Racers ($7 per person weekdays, $13 weekends, $18 holidays/high crowds)
Rise of the Resistance ($20 per person)
WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure ($7 per person weekdays, $13 weekends, $18 holidays/high crowds)

We don’t love this upcharge because it makes Disney feel more like Six Flags or Universal Studios – like you can feel the Mouse looking for cash and loose change in your pockets.

We do like this upcharge from the standpoint that it allows anyone willing to fork out the money, the opportunity to save an incredible amount of time. Individual preferences will weigh heavily in this decision and it has been fiercely debated among the Nerd family (and the online community at large).

The Nerd enjoys Rise of the Resistance, but has ridden it enough that spending an extra $20 is unnecessary. But so is a 60+ minute wait….the Nerd would not wait this long. To be sure Rise of the Resistance is a world-class attraction and one of the most immersive Disney rides ever created, but the Nerd has experienced it enough that it is not a priority.

On the other hand, Radiator Springs Racers for $7 to squeeze it into a busy day of enjoying attractions makes the cut. The Nerd doesn’t ride Cars every time, but to bypass a 60+ minute wait for a terrific attraction can be worth it.

To Disneyland Genie+ or Not to Disneyland Genie+…Final Thoughts

The biggest obstacle to Disneyland Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes is perspective. It’s hard to spend this kind of money on something that “used to be free”. If FastPass had always been a paid upgrade, this would be a non-issue. In time, memories will fade, Genie+ will catch on and Disney will find another way to make it exclusive all over again.

For now, we say get to the front of the curve and get to the front of the line. Usage will increase, but for now…it’s the best money you can spend at Disneyland!

Final thoughts

The new Disney Genie Plus program has the potential to be a great addition for visitors, especially those who are looking to make the most of their time at Disneyland.

In addition to the obvious benefits of having access to digital FastPasses and standby times, the app also provides some great features like the ability to personalized your itinerary and get explanations for why the app is suggesting certain experiences.

We think that the program has a lot of potential and we’re excited to see how it develops over time.

For now, we’ll definitely be making use of it on our next Disneyland vacation!