How will the Disney Genie be your ultimate friend at Disney Parks?

(Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Over the past year, the Disney FastPass has become a distant memory. Although the limited theme park capacity had some attractions seeing lower wait times, many theme park guests preferred the idea of “scheduling” that ride time. In a recent Disney announcement, the Disney Genie will be the new way to plan a day at Disney Parks. But, are guests ready to pay for some aspects of this privilege?

In a recent Disney Parks announcement, the Disney Genie service will be available both at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. Although elements of the previous programs have been incorporated into the new service, a few theme park enthusiasts wondering how the service will impact their overall experience.

According to Disney, the Disney Genie will offer a “personalized itinerary” which allows guests to customize their theme park experiences. From more princesses to focusing on superheroes, the idea is to guide guests along the way to maximize their fun. Whether it is flying high on a favorite ride or grabbing the best bites, this system is set to streamline the visit.

Check out this video of the Disney Genie service.

While this system seems to have more services than the FastPass, there is an additional fee to get a specific return time for that popular ride. The Disney Genie+ is $15 for Walt Disney World Resort and $20 for Disneyland. While that amount may not seem like a lot in comparison to the price of a ticket, it is another added expense. $15 per member of your party over several days can add up quickly. Although not the same cost as Express passes at other theme parks, it is still another element to add to the budget.

For this fee, guests can get access to one “Lightning Lane” at a time. “Lightning Lane selections will be made on the same day of your visit and can be used across multiple theme parks, great for those who love the Park Hopper option.” But, it is one ride at a time. And it is unclear if there are a limited number of times available.

In addition, certain individual attractions will have additional options to purchase a Lightning Lane. Although this option does not include the virtual queue options, it will be interesting to see which popular attractions have a purchasable Lightning Lane. But, if a family just has to ride Frozen, Space Mountain or the Smugglers Run, this option might be a priority for them.

As the Disney Genie begins to roll out, it does show a change in the theme park visit. Having a virtual assistant on a device can help make the experience more seamless and potentially more enjoyable. For people who like to plan and feel off put by just wandering from place to place, this option will have a lot of appeal.

In addition, the idea could help to control crowds in certain areas of the theme parks. No one likes to stand in large crowds anymore. If the continually updated guide helps people to avoid busy restaurants and bottlenecks, it could be a big advantage for guests.

While there are many advantages, some diehard Disney fans are not happy about the additional cost. Many people loved the FastPass because there wasn’t a fee. By planning ahead, a guest could guarantee three rides and plan their day around them. Now, that fee goes to planning rides versus that tasty Disney snack.

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What do you think of the Disney Genie? Do you think that this new system has benefits or drawbacks?