Disclosure: This post on “Is Walt Disney World’s Genie+ worth it?”: is sponsored by Disney, however all opinions are my own.
Like a lot of people, when Genie+ and Lightning Lanes were introduced at Walt Disney World, I was a little skeptical. Is Genie+ worth it? It seemed complicated and I will admit, I don’t like change. My family used Genie+ for four days, one day at each park, and I wanted to give you my thoughts on the service as a whole, and if we thought it was worth using at all four parks by using a numbered ten point scale. I will start with a park by park breakdown, and then give my overall thoughts at the end. As always, let me know if you have any questions!
Magic Kingdom: 10/10
This park has the most rides dedicated to Genie+, and is a no brainer in my opinion. SO worth it! There are a whopping 22 attractions available for Genie+ at Magic Kingdom! We were able to knock out a lot of things by balancing between standby lines and Genie+, and it made me less stressed knowing we were able to get more things done in one day. We also like to arrive within the first hour of opening when lines are the shortest to further maximize our time. Highly recommend, especially if you have little ones with you. Very, very worth the money.
Hollywood Studios: 8/10
While this park has more options than the other parks besides Magic Kingdom (14 as of this posting), there are four attractions that are shows/time-based meaning you have to arrive at a certain show time, so it makes planning a little more difficult (especially if you also have dining reservations.) We found that the attractions we were interested in were booked by early afternoon, so be sure to pick your favorites and book them first or get in the standby line early! However, there were several to choose from if we wanted to use them, we are just picky with what rides and shows we visit (#spoiled). This park would be my second choice for Genie+, especially since standby lines can get long in Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land.
Epcot would be my 3rd choice of the four parks for Genie+. This one is tricky because the park is so spread out, that it really requires planning ahead to make sure you maximize your time (and minimize your walking!) There are currently 11 attractions to choose from, and only five that my family personally would participate in that normally have a longer wait. Depending on the time of year, what time you arrive, and if you are staying on property, you may not need Genie+ for this park, but it is a “nice to have” if you can swing it! Also keep in mind that part of EPCOT opens earlier than the rest, which can work to your advantage when planning your day.
Animal Kingdom: 6/10
In my opinion, you either really love Animal Kingdom or just don’t care for it, there isn’t a lot of in between. My family LOVES this park, mainly because my seven year old loves it, so it’s a really fun day for us. I think this also is because Animal Kingdom has walk through attractions with no wait times to help fill time gaps like the Boneyard playground, walk through animal exploration trails, and the Wilderness Explorer badges. The walk through attractions that make this park unique make the need for Genie+ less, especially if you are staying on property and have access to the extra magic hour. There are only 3 attractions on the current list that usually have longer wait times, so if you arrive early and knock those out, you shouldn’t need Genie+. Again, a nice to have but not going to impact your trip as much as getting Genie+ at say, Magic Kingdom.
*A word on Lighting Lanes. At each park, there are a couple of attractions that are NOT included in the price of Genie+, however you can pay per person per attraction for these, so when you see that some things are not available as a part of Genie+, that may be why.
A visit to Walt Disney World is something a lot of people save up for a long time to experience. I understand that it can be hard to swallow an additional fee for quicker access to attractions you are already paying to experience. Please know that you can still have an AMAZING time on your trip if you cannot swing purchasing Genie+. We have been to Disney many, many times, and have only done Genie+ on this one trip, and always have a blast no matter what. Is it nice to have? Sure, so is staying club level at a deluxe resort, but it’s not necessary, so please don’t panic if it isn’t in your budget at this time. With careful planning and arriving early in the day, you can still maximize your time and have a memorable family vacation. Also to note, navigating the app was not nearly as complicated as I thought. It was super user friendly and I got the hang of it very quickly, so don’t worry if it seems like a lot at first, once you make your first selections you will feel more confident!
The plus side of Genie+, is yes, less waiting in line. The downside is that I felt like I was on my phone a lot, playing chess with ride choices, picking our next option and making sure we didn’t miss anything. So if you prefer a laid back go with the flow kind of trip, Genie+ may not be for you, and that’s ok! I love that Disney gives us many different options to fit our family’s needs and planning/vacation styles. It’s not one size fits all, and that creates happiness for a larger set of guests.
I hope you found this post helpful in deciding is Genie+ worth it, and no matter what you choose for your next Walt Disney World vacation. Have a magical vacation and say hi to Mickey for me!