What to Expect from Disney Genie at Disneyland
After months of anticipation, Disneyland just announced something. We now know when Disney Genie will debut at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Interestingly, that day is December 8th, which is pretty much now. So, it’s all happening and happening FAST!
Here’s what to expect from Disney Genie at Disneyland.
What Is Disney Genie?
If you’ve read MickeyBlog over the past six weeks, you already know this answer. We’ve talked about it plenty because it’s so significant.
For the first time ever, Disney has introduced a new virtual assistant (AI) exclusively for park visits.
With this new product, you will experience better theme park visits than ever before…which is really saying something at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Starting on Wednesday, the Disneyland app will add Disney Genie as an option. Its stated goal is to help you “create your best Disney day.”
How can a virtual assistant do that? Well, it works the same way that Siri makes sure you don’t miss a turn when you’re heading to the stadium.
The app possesses comprehensive knowledge of everything relating to Disney theme parks.
I’m talking about attraction wait times, directions, bathroom locations, and restaurants that sell pizza.
he sheer tonnage of data contained in Disney Genie dwarfs that of any Disney expert, something I say through clenched teeth.
Yes, I’m the dinosaur, and Disney Genie is the comet. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but it hints at the significance of this AI.
For many years now, Disney cast members nicknamed Plaids have hosted VIP Tours. These expensive park visits cost thousands of dollars.
Disney charges that because you can rely on your cast member’s expertise to ensure you have the best possible visit.
With Disney Genie, you’ll get the same effect, at least theoretically. Unfortunately, thus far, results haven’t proven as positive as predictive. That happens a lot with tech, though.
The early release works as a glorified beta test, with paying customers performing quality assurance.
Still, Disney Genie will eventually work as the perfect park companion…and you can start using it this week.
Wait, I Thought You Paid for Disney Genie
Disney did itself a disservice with its naming conventions, which has led to mass confusion about its new virtual assistant.
The Disney Genie product in your Disneyland app is totally free. In fact, Disney wants you to use it.
The Information Technology (IT) department at the company has designed an app that will make Disney plenty of money even though it’s free for customers.
This statement proves true due to the ancillary benefits for the company. When you use Disney Genie, you don’t need to speak with Guest Services as much.
The AI can answer virtually all your questions. When it cannot, it will put you in contact with a cast member via chat within the app.
Disney saves a ton of money on staffing this way. Similarly, Disney Genie will suggest your itinerary for the day. In truth, that’s the whole ballgame here.
IT officials have built a virtual assistant that can plan your park day for you.
First, the system will ask you a few questions about your favorite experiences.
Once you answer, the Genie will create a complete day of park plans, one that can update if/when you change your mind.
In short, Disney Genie will develop the best approach for your visit. Simultaneously, it’ll inform Disney of your plans.
With this information, park officials can anticipate crowds at various attractions and adjust accordingly.
At Disneyland, crowding presents more of a problem than at most parks. Over the past 66 years, guests have decided which attractions are must-dos.
The rest of the experiences generally fall by the wayside. However, Disney Genie will suggest these attractions more, thereby boosting attendance.
Since guests cannot be in two places at once, Disney Genie reduces attendance at popular rides each time it persuades people to try less popular ones. Brilliant, right?
Wait, Disney Genie Is Totally Free?
Yes and no. At Disneyland, you were previously using a service known as MaxPass.
With this option, you could use what we once called the FastPass lines at attractions. These lines required less wait time before riding.
At first, guests paid $10 per person for the privilege. Eventually, the price settled at $20 per person. Then, the pandemic occurred.
Disneyland Resort closed for more than a year. When it reopened, MaxPass was no longer an option.
We’ve since learned that Disney Genie+ is its replacement. The distinction here is simple, even though the names are confusing.
Disney Genie costs nothing to use and will improve your park visit. It’ll recommend the best ways to maximize your time and enjoyment.
Disney Genie+ effectively replaces MaxPass, a new paid system to enter those shorter line queues.
Now, you’re paying $20 per person for Disney Genie+ rather than MaxPass. However, the premise is otherwise nearly identical.
I should mention the one significant change, though. Three rides aren’t available on Disney Genie+.
Previously, the E-ticket attractions almost all provided line-skipping opportunities on MaxPass. But, unfortunately, that’s no longer true.
Is Disney Genie+ the Same As Lightning Lane?
No. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure also sell something new called Lightning Lane attractions.
They’re similar to Disney Genie+ in that you pay to enter the shorter line. However, Disney Genie+ doesn’t entitle you to Lightning Lane access for three rides.
You’ll pay a set fee of $7-$20 for quick admission onto one of them, the Lightning Lane attractions. The options are:
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Pricing varies depending on the attraction and the date of your visit. Also, please understand that you may book only two Lightning Lane experiences per day, with a maximum of once per attraction.
Finally, please be aware that you can use a Disney Genie+ purchase at both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland as long as you buy Park Hopper.
Disneyland vs. Walt Disney World
At Walt Disney World, Disney Genie hasn’t worked as well as hoped yet. The first version of the product is rudimentary.
First-time and infrequent guests love it, but regular Disney guests don’t get much out of it.
The same behavior should occur at Disneyland, where many regulars visit multiple times each month.
Also, Disneyland guests already used MaxPass. So, Disney Genie+ is no different than when your friend changes their name from Sandy to SanDeE*.
All you can do is nod politely and pretend like it’s a massive change in your life.
However, the Lightning Lane part is much different. During your next Disney California Adventure visit, you CAN ride the newest attraction there.
Anyone can pay for the privilege of riding WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. It’ll just cost you about $15-$20 on top of the standard ticket price.
That’s not the best bang for your buck, though. Over the past month, the Spidey ride has averaged a wait of roughly 150 minutes.
Conversely, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has remained absolutely ridiculous with its four-hour waits.
Rise of the Resistance will save you several hours by paying to ride it. Should you pay for one, both, or neither?
So, that’s the type of decision-making you’ll do at Disneyland Resort from now on.
Disney Genie will become an intrinsic part of your visits, although it’ll help you less if you’re a Disneyland veteran.
Then, Disney Genie+ is an option you can use when you want to accomplish a lot at the parks in a short timeframe.
Finally, Lightning Lane represents a $7-$20 upcharge to splurge on one of the top three E-Ticket attractions at the parks.
We’ll have plenty to unpack over the next few days. So, keep reading MickeyBlog for further updates!