How to Use Disney Genie+ for the First Time
Disney Genie+ debuted on Tuesday, October 19th. The Orlando Sentinel described the reception to this new service as “mixed.”
Let’s quickly discuss how to use Disney Genie+ for the first time and help you avoid some of the problems other users have faced.
Starting Disney Genie+
The next time you load My Disney Experience, it’ll notify you that you need to upgrade to the latest version. That’s the one with Disney Genie on it.
By agreeing to update, the process will start almost automatically. I think I had to tap two buttons.
As a pro tip, some guests have reported problems in getting Disney Genie to start.
In such instances, cast members recommend that you delete My Disney Experience entirely, reboot your phone, and download the software again.
The first time that you use Disney Genie, you receive a welcome message. It’ll highlight software features and then ask you a few questions.
Friends, it’s in your best interest to answer as honestly as possible. Disney is building a profile of what you want to do at the parks.
You’ll gain better recommendations by telling the system what you like to do.
Finally, please ensure that you have a valid admission ticket linked to your account. You cannot do anything on the app without one.
Buying Disney Genie+
After you have Disney Genie loaded, you can buy Disney Genie+.
Presuming that you’re staying on DVC points, your booking window starts at midnight on the day of your visit.
There’s no advantage to buying that early, though. You cannot schedule your first Disney Genie+ attraction until 7 a.m. So, I’d suggest purchasing the product at like 6:55 a.m.
By starting at 7 a.m., you’ll have a choice of earlier options that other guests lack. I suggest that you take full advantage of this, presuming you’re an early riser on vacation.
The service will allow you to choose up to eight “My Top Picks,” which are the attractions you want to experience.
Using Disney Genie+
The daily cost for this service varies per day at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
The flaw with it thus far is a familiar one to DVC members. Wi-Fi and cellular reception remain spotty in some parts of the park.
As expected, some guests struggled to get a signal as they tried to book their Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane.
My pro tip here is to ignore Wi-Fi and use your cellular service whenever possible.
A Forbes study last year found that AT&T delivers the most consistent performance at Walt Disney World.
Verizon finished second, T-Mobile third, and Sprint last. I’m not shilling for anybody here.
Consider this more of a warning that if you have T-Mobile/Sprint — which I do — you may struggle more with Disney Genie+. So please factor that into your plans.
Also, you should expect a learning curve as you use the app. You must experiment a bit to gain a comfort level.
Early Impressions of Disney Genie+
Once you work out all the kinks, Disney Genie+ performs shockingly well.
You’re facing less competition now that the old FastPasses aren’t available to everyone.
So, the new Lightning Lane line queues go faster on many attractions. To wit, here’s a great video from 4K WDW about their experience:
You’ll note that Peter Pan’s Flight and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin both take less than 15 minutes from entering the Lightning Lane to exiting the attraction.
Obviously, those are best-case scenarios, but these examples show what Disney Genie+ looks like when it’s working as planned.
You should also know that you can Park Hop with Disney Genie+. You can schedule attractions at other parks after 2 p.m., the time when Park Hopping begins.
Day One Overview of Disney Genie+
Obviously, this is an emerging story that we’ll talk about for years to come, presuming that Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane are here for the long haul.
Something you should know right now is that users experienced some issues trying to book additional Disney Genie+ attractions.
Previously, you could book another FastPass as soon as you tapped your MagicBand in your current attraction.
First-day users of Disney Genie+ suffered delays of 10-15 minutes, which doesn’t seem like much. However, that could mean the attraction window you prefer sells out.
This issue may stem from high opening day experimentation.
Disney’s promised customer service within Disney Genie proved super-slow, sometimes taking hours for replies. So, we’re all flying a bit blind here.
Still, the combination of Disney Genie, the free virtual assistant, and Disney Genie+, the paid access to shorter lines, worked well together overall.
Despite the expected technical snafus, when people entered the lines, they expressed satisfaction with the service.
Remember that the play’s the thing here. In that regard, Disney Genie+ performed quite well.
Disney has plenty of work to do to satisfy its diehard paying customers, though. I suspect that this system will need several months to smooth out the rough edges.
As for Lightning Lane as a paid service, that’s the next discussion…and it’s not as positive.