Disney theme park fans have lit up social media griping over Disney’s new paid line-skipping service, Genie+, but the service is an effective way to save time in the theme parks.
Genie+ debuted Dec. 8, 2021 as Disney’s new paid service that promises to cut down on wait times for rides. The service says it can reduce an hour of waiting into 20-25 minutes. The controversy comes with the service’s $20 per person per day price tag, and that does not include Disnyeland’s main three attractions, Radiator Springs Races, WEB Slingers and Rise of the Resistance. To access the fastpass queue for these attractions requires a separate purchase ranging from $7 to $20.
The service replaces Disney’s maxpass system, a similar system started in Jan. 2017 in an effort to help park-goers reduce wait times. Just like maxpass, you can purchase and make reservations for Genie+ through the Disneyland app.
Here’s how it works. After purchasing Genie+ for the day, guests can make reservations for the 19 attractions included. Theme park goers open the app and click on the tip board where all the return times are posted for each attraction and as the day goes on the return times get later in the day. Guests can have one active reservation at a time or wait two hours after making their first reservation to add a second.
If a ride breaks down during the day and you had a reservation, your booking turns into a multi-experience pass. A multi-experience pass lets guests join any fastpass line at any time except Radiator Springs Races, WEB Slingers and Rise of the Resistance. Once your tickets have been scanned, you can begin to make reservations on other desired attractions.
Disney’s Genie+ is worth the purchase because just a few taps of the app allow you to save hours in line. The best part of Genie+ is once you use a reservation on a ride, you can make a new reservation for another attraction. If done efficiently you can jump from ride to ride very effectively and use your additional free time for dining, shopping — and more rides.
In my experience the attractions where I saved the most time were Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Guardians of the Galaxy. A 60-minute wait for Space Mountain turned into 10 minutes. That night we had six multi-experience passes from a ride breaking down earlier, so my brothers and I rode the Matterhorn Bobsleds twice. We waited five minutes each time, compared to the 55-minute standby wait. But the best time savings was at Guardians of the Galaxy where we waited 15 minutes compared to the 75-minute standby wait. With the time my family saved we ate at fancy dine-in restaurants like Blue Bayou, Wine Country Trattoria and Lamplight Lounge for dinner.
The downfall of Genie+ is the $20 cost. A family of five would have to spend $100 to save some time in the park, which is on top of the $600 it costs to buy five tickets to enter the park at all. The biggest part Disney theme park fans are enraged about is the additional cost of the resort’s three major rides. Radiator Springs Racers and WEB Slingers cost varies from $7-$20 and Rise of the Resistance is $20.
The Genie+ service can also be glitchy on the Disneyland app; it bugs out sometimes. Even if you acquire a multi-experience pass, you will have to wait 20 minutes for the app to refresh every time you get a pass to be able to use those tickets.
A must-do for your next visit to Disneyland is to try out Genie+ for a day to see how much time it saves. To get the most out of Genie+, get a Park Hopper ticket so you can make reservations for rides in both Disneyland and California Adventure. To save time and money, do what in-the-know visitors do and “rope drop” the main attractions when the park opens. Rope drop is to get to the entrance of the park an hour early, in order to beat out the large crowds. The wait times are the shortest for those attractions then, and it saves you from paying extra for a main attraction fastpass queue.
Every day my family entered the park we were first in line for rope drop. We rope dropped Rise of the Resistance, WEB Slingers and Radiator Springs Racers and 15 minutes was the longest we waited. We saved more than three hours of park time using rope drop and saved half a day’s time with Genie+.