Whether we like it or not, Genie and Genie+ started TODAY at the Disneyland Resort. Let's dive in and break down all the info that we have so far.
Let's start with the easy part: Disney Genie (the free part!). To start, always make sure your Disneyland app is up to date (the same app we've all been using for a while, nothing new here) and that it can use your location. Basically what it'll do is help you make an itinerary for your day. It can track your must-do attractions to see when the wait times will be the shortest, it can let you know when a character you're most wanting to meet is available, and it can keep your dining reservations in mind so it doesn't tell you the best time to ride Space Mountain is right when you're supposed to be having your amazing Blue Bayou dinner. I can see this being helpful if there are certain things you want to make sure you can do but don't want to plan it all out yourself.
**If you're a Disneyland expert and would rather not schedule your day so much, you can just ignore this whole thing and pretend it never happened!** This is totally optional and just here to help you out if you think it's useful. I think it's worth a try.
Ok, now for the part no one wants to talk about...Genie+ (aka: the paid version of what we used to get for free). Genie+ is $20 per day, per person and is basically a paid FastPass service. It allows you to schedule a time to use the new "Lightning Lane" on many attractions at both Disneyland and DCA.
**NOTE** You can use the Lightning Lane once per day for each attraction!!! That means, for example, if you want to ride Indiana Jones twice in one day, you're going to be waiting Stand-by one of those times! This is very different from how it was with FastPass where you could do what you wanted as long as you only held one FastPass at a time.
On the upside, you get unlimited PhotoPass downloads and there are supposed to be some pretty cool audio experiences throughout the parks that give you special behind the scenes info. I'm not sure if that's worth $20/day/person, but at least its another perk.
WEB Slingers and Rise of the Resistance are NOT INCLUDED with the regular Genie+!! If you want to use the Lightning Lane for these rides, there is an "a la carte" style piece to the Genie+ system which are the Individual Selections. This is a separate purchase that will vary in price date, availability, and even between the two attractions themselves.
How to buy and when to try! You can purchase Genie+ while you're getting your tickets, or you can buy it and add it to your existing tickets at any time. So here's where that might be good. Let's say you're going on a 4 day trip. You can spend your first day without Genie+, decide you want to give it a try and buy it for the next day, decide it wasn't worth it and not use it for your last two days! I do like that flexibility. Maybe use it on a day when you want to hit all your big rides and buy your ride photos. Then it could be worth it for you! But maybe you don't need it the entire time.
My Personal Opinion: This is obviously infuriating. They're taking a free service, and making it a worse paid service. Making the two newest and most popular rides not even included is a ridiculous cash grab, although I guess you could just purchase WEB Slingers if you don't care about Lightning Lane for anything else, but unless its incredibly cheap (lol) it would be much more worth it to just buy the entire Genie+. I could see trying it out for a very fast trip where I'd worry I can't get in all the rides I want to do, or, like we mentioned before, as one day out of a longer trip. But I'm not planning on giving it a try any time soon. How about you?