Disney will launch its Disney Genie planning service on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at the Walt Disney World resort. Fully ending its former FastPass+ services, Genie will include the new “Genie+” which guests will use to access and secure “Lightning Lane” return times for attractions in each theme park.
With anything that involves Disney and planning, the process for getting into and using this new service is complicated (to say the least). I have fit the process into just 5 steps, that are easy to follow and include all the major applicable rules in place while using the service. Use this step-by-step guide to get set up for success before and during your next Disney vacation once Genie+ launches.
Step 1: Add On Genie+ to your ticket or pass for the day
While the “Genie” features in the My Disney Experience app are free, the “Genie+” service that grants you access to Lightning Lane return times is an extra fee. Guests will need to pay $15 per person per day to use Genie+. That’s right – what was formerly “FastPass” is no longer free or included in the price of park admission.
You can add Genie+ on to your park admission (ticket or annual pass) for the day via the My Disney Experience app the day of, starting at midnight that day (and you’ll want to do it early once you see step 2). If you have a resort/ticket package, you will be able to add on Genie+ for the length of your stay in advance (at time of booking the package). Note that if adding on to your package, you must add on Genie+ for every day during your stay. If only want Genie+ for one or some (but not all) of your days, you’ll need to add it on day of like everyone else.
Step 2: At 7 am on the day of your park visit, book your first Lightning Lane return time via Genie+ and/or purchase your first individual attraction selection
Once you have Genie+ added on to your ticket, starting at 7 am day-of, you can make your first return time for the available attractions on Genie+. Select the attraction and the next available return time, and you’re set. You won’t need to be in the park for this, since it’s at 7 am before parks open. You will only be able to select the next available return time through Genie+, by the way.
Nearly every park attraction is available to select a return a time for through Genie+. However, there are 2 attractions in each Disney World park that are separate from the Genie+ service. You can still get a Lightning Lane return time for these select, top-tier attractions, but you’ll need to pay individually per-attraction, per-guest for them. These bookings open up at 7 am the day-of as well, and the good news is you won’t need to buy Genie+ to have access to these “individual Lightning Lane” purchases.
If you’ve been keeping up with Disney news at all over the last couple years, you should hopefully see a trend of the 7 am start time. You’ll be able to start booking Genie+ return times, individual purchase return times, as well virtual queue boarding groups for applicable attractions (currently Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure) all at 7 am. Game planning for this is going to be an adjustment, and I’ll be testing different strategies for what to prioritize among the three as this all rolls out, so stay tuned!
Step 3: You can immediately purchase a second individual Lightning Lane return time, or do so at any time
There’s no waiting period for those rides you have to purchase return times for individually, separate from Genie+, so you can book your second just as soon as you book your first if you want to. These rides range from $7-15 per attraction per person at launch, and prices will fluctuate over time depending on demand, so they can be a hefty add-on budget wise!
You are limited to just 2 individual LL purchases per day, per guest, so once you buy the second, you’re done – even if you park hop, if you’ve already bought your two you can’t buy a third that same day.
Step 4: After you use your first Genie+ return time or after 2 hours of booking it, schedule another Lightning Lane return time
Unlike the individual purchases, Genie+ attraction return times do have a waiting period before you can book your next one. You must either use your first return time or wait 2 hours from the time you booked it to book your next one. So, if you book Jungle Cruise at 7:01 am and got a return time for 10:30 am, you can book your second return time at 9:01 am. Then you can book your third return time at either 11:01 am or after using your second return time.
My best guess is you’re more likely to be booking return times every two hours rather than using them all first, but on a slow day you might be able to secure return times faster than two hours. In the above scenario, you’d be booking your third return time at 11:01 am as you got off your first ride (Jungle Cruise at 10:30 am), most likely!
Step 5: Repeat the booking process for more and more return times
You can keep repeating that process, booking another return time every two hours or after using your last one, all day till park close. You can even park hop and Genie+ will travel with you to the next park, and the park after that, and the one after that (if you’re brave enough to try four parks in one day).
And that’s the step by step process for using Genie+ / getting Lightning Lane (formerly FastPass) return times at Disney World. I know it all sounds more confusing than it should right now, but I’m confident once the system rolls out and people start using it, things will start to make more sense. Stay tuned for more coverage to come as I get the chance to try it all out myself too!