Walt Disney World is offering yet another way to make your experience more magical (or more miserable, depending on how you look at it). Set to launch on October 19th, Disney’s Genie service will grant you a number of wishes, including the ability to skip lines — once you pay up.
Disney first introduced the service in an August blog post, noting that you’ll be able to access the Disney Genie service through the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps. The Disney Genie will serve as your personal trip planner and, if you choose the paid option, will let you jump to the front of your favorite rides’ lines via the Lightning Lane entrances. The only caveat is that you can only choose one ride at a time. While this sounds like a handy service to have, it’s the added cost for the Genie Plus that Disney goers aren’t happy about.
Disney Genie Plus is a paid replacement for the old, free FastPass system
Both the free and paid versions of the Genie service provide tailored recommendations for dining options, events, and attractions. Simply tell the service what you want to do at Disney, and it will give you personalized results. It also gives you information on how long the wait may be for certain attractions, as well as provides scheduling suggestions to help you beat the crowds. When you start to solidify your plans, you can use the service to browse through your daily schedule, which might include reservations for restaurants, hotels, and specific events.
If you only want to use the above features, the Genie will prove to be convenient and very useful. The line-skipping perk, however, comes with a price that some might not be willing to pay. The paid Disney Genie Plus service will cost $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World, and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland.
And if you don’t want to use Disney Genie Plus at all, you’ll have to purchase Lightning Lane passes for a very limited selection of individual rides. To make matters even more confusing, those individual rides aren’t even included with Genie Plus. This means you’ll be stuck paying another fee in addition to Genie Plus if you want to experience attractions like Space Mountain or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Disney guests clearly aren’t happy about the change — Disney’s announcement video for the Genie service has a telling 12,000 dislikes compared to 956 likes. The outrage mainly comes from the fact that the FastPass and FastPass Plus, Disney’s line-skipping services that will be imminently phased out, were free to use. Although you didn’t have much control over the specifics of your ride schedule, it still helped you avoid standing in a queue for hours, free of charge.
Right now, the only benefit to the Disney Genie Plus service is that it’s supposed to give you a better chance of getting on the more popular rides. Even still, adding the cost of the Genie Plus service on top of pricey tickets, hotel stays, and restaurants visits isn’t really fair to guests. Who knows, if people aren’t satisfied with their Disney Genie experience, maybe we’ll see more people hijacking employees’ iPads so they can skip lines using some of their own magic.