The Guide to Disney Genie+

At $25 per ticket per day, the line-skipping Genie+ add-on may not be as beneficial as some parkgoers might expect.
Jennifer Calonia
By Jennifer Calonia 
Updated
Edited by Meghan Coyle

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Unless you’re a Magic Key holder who can return to the parks multiple times, planning a visit at Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort can be hours in the making. With the relatively high cost of admission, infamous long lines, and so much to see and do at the parks, meticulously mapping out an itinerary to maximize your visit is inevitable for some guests and families. 

Disney’s Genie+ service is designed to enhance your itinerary in real time so you get the most out of your visit all day long.

Here’s how Disney Genie+ works and how to get it.

What is Genie Plus?

Genie+ is a paid add-on to the free Genie service that gives guests front-of-the-line access to high-traffic attractions and shows, like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

The price for Genie+ varies between parks, days and how busy the parks are on your reservation date.

Popular attractions like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run are available on Genie+. (Photo by Sally French)

How much is Genie Plus?

Genie+ starts at $25 per ticket per day, and our sample searches could not find examples of days where it exceeded this starting price. If you have a family of three and want all members of your party to have access to Genie+ perks, Genie+ will run you at least $75 total for a one-day visit.

We were not able to find the Genie+ add-on available for Disney World ticket bookings in Orlando, Florida.

Benefits of Genie Plus

If you value riding the most popular attractions or want to save all those special photo-ops throughout the day, Genie+ can help you make the most of your visit.

Access Lightning Lane entrances

Popular attractions like Space Mountain have a standard queue and another (typically shorter) Lighting Lane queue. (Photo by Sally French)

Lightning Lane access lets guests reduce their time waiting in lines. Although Lightning Lane access can be purchased individually for up to two attractions during your visit, Genie+ lets you reserve the next available arrival slot for Lightning Lane entrances all day long. With this feature, you can reserve your place at the front of the line for one major attraction at a time.

Keep in mind not all attractions are accessible through Genie+ Lightning Lane entrances.  In fact, usually the most popular rides are excluded for Genie+ guests. For example, Lightning Lanes aren’t available through Genie+ for Disney World’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, TRON Lightcycle/Run, Avatar Flight of Passage, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Check the current list of Disney World attractions with Lightning Lanes.

Radiator Springs Racers is among the rides excluded for Genie+ guests. To skip the line, you'd need to purchase an individual Lighting Lane, which is a separate transaction. (Photo by Sally French)

Over at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway and Radiator Springs Racers are not included with Genie+. Here's the current list of Disneyland attractions with Lightning Lanes.

If you want to purchase Lightning Lanes for all attractions that have it available, you’ll need to purchase both Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane access for your desired excluded attraction.

Unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads

PhotoPass photo opportunities are available around the park to capture your memories, but downloading Disney PhotoPass images is not free. With Genie+, you have unlimited PhotoPass downloads. 

Once downloaded, you can share your favorite shots with family and friends at no additional charge. This is a helpful feature if there’s a seasonal PhotoPass opportunity that you want to keep without Disney’s watermark emblazoned on the photo, or if you want a physical reminder of a park visit.

PhotoPass Lenses

Disney leverages augmented reality technology within its app with Disney PhotoPass Lenses. These effects add fun characters and backdrops to your photos in select locations to enhance your pictures.

Some examples of AR-enhanced PhotoPass Lens effects include adding the characters Groot or Grogu onto your shoulder, which interacts with you through the lens.

Audio experiences

Genie+ gives you another way to experience the park with Audio Tales. You can listen to behind-the-scenes stories about attractions and park features at select areas of the park. For example, you can hear tales about Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom.

Genie+ integrates Audio Tales into your Genie itinerary, and you can also find them marked on the park map.

How does Genie Plus work?

If you plan on purchasing the Genie+ service at Disneyland, we recommend buying it before your visit as an add-on to your ticket booking or vacation package. If you already have your ticket, you might be able to purchase it on the day of your park visit — after park entry — through the Disney app.

For Disney World, however, it appears Genie+ can only be purchased on the day of your park visit.

  1. Log into your account on the park app. Once you’ve purchased the service, launch the Disney park app and log in. If multiple people in your party have the Genie+ service, make sure each person is linked to your account for your reservation date. This ensures you can book Lightning Lane experiences for the same attraction and time for your entire party.

  2. Book your first Lightning Lane. Each ticket holder with Genie+ can reserve the next available Lightning Lane entrance window at a participating attraction once per visit. The service only allows you to reserve a Lightning Lane entrance one at a time, so you must fulfill your Lightning Lane reservation spot, or it must have expired before you can make another reservation at a different attraction. However, you may book another ride if you are holding on to a selection that has an arrival window that’s more than two hours from when the selection was made.​ To book an attraction using Lightning Lane, go to your Disney Genie service while logged into the app and tap on your Tip Board to find your attraction and the next available window. Select the members of your party for the booking and confirm your reservation.

  3. Scan your pass on the park app or tap your MagicBand. When arriving at the Lightning Lane entrance, make sure your pass through the Disney app is scanned so Genie+ knows you attended your booking during the window. This avoids unnecessary delays when booking your next Lightning Lane reservation. If you’ve decided to purchase a MagicBand — wristbands for hands-free access to park entry and other park experiences — you can scan it here. You can also use your admission card, if you don’t want to access Lightning Lane with a device.

To use the remaining Genie+ features, launch your Disney park app. 

Is Genie+ worth it?

The Genie+ service has limited availability, and the use restrictions might feel prohibitive for some guests — not to mention it’s an added cost for each ticket holder in your group. Additionally, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to ride your favorite attraction, even with the Genie+ add-on. 

However, if you’re willing to stay on top of Lightning Lane availability, Genie+ can be an effective way to maximize your time at the parks when it's crowded and you only have one day.

Credit card options for a Disney vacation

So what's a good card to use for your Disney vacation purchases like Genie+?

Disney-branded cards leave a lot to be desired when it comes to rewards and perks. But those aren't your only options for making your Disney dreams come true. Consider cards like:

Top cards for Disney trips
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
NerdWallet Rating
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Rates & Fees
Annual fee

$95.

$550.

$695.

$0.

Earn rates

• 5 points per $1 on travel booked through Chase.

• 3 points per $1 on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout), select streaming services and online grocery purchases (not including Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).

• 2 points per $1 on other travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other purchases.

• 10 points per $1 on Chase Dining, hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Chase.

• 5 points per $1 on air travel purchased through Chase.

• 3 points per $1 on other travel and dining not booked with Chase.

• 1 point per $1 on other purchases.

• 5 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 spent per year.

• 5 points per $1 on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

• 1 point per $1 on other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

• Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.
Horizontal scroll

Terms apply.

(Top photo courtesy of Walt Disney World)


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Cards for Disney from our Partners
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

on Chase's website

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
4.2
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-3x

Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

85,000

Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Points
See more cards for disney
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.