Our 2023 guide to Disneyland Genie Plus shares what you need to know about the replacement of MaxPass & FastPass at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, Disney Genie Plus tips to formulate your park day, answers to frequently asked Genie Plus questions, the difference between Genie Plus and a la carte attractions, and what else is included in the new Genie Plus program.
The Disney Genie+ program is a paid service on the Disneyland app that includes 19 attractions across both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The new service is very similar to the popular MaxPass service that was launched a couple of years ago.
Keep reading for information on tips for utilizing the new Disney Genie Plus system at Disneyland.
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If you do not yet have tickets or reservations, you can book your Disney Genie+ in advance. There is no discount available on Disney Genie+ if you purchase in advance. Now, on to the Disney Genie+ tips to improve your trip…
What is the Genie Plus Service at Disneyland?
Disneyland Genie+ is a paid offering for Disneyland guests to skip the normal standby queue for 20 attractions at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Using Disney Genie Plus, guests can secure reservations for access to a shorter line called a Lightning Lane for select attractions.
This new replacement of FastPass at Disneyland is remarkably similar to the previous MaxPass program which essentially allows you to book return times from the Disneyland app for popular rides to wait in the newly named “Lightning Lanes” – the old FastPass queues – and avoid longer standby queues.
Disney Genie+ costs $25 per person, per day and includes access to 19 rides along with unlimited PhotoPass downloads. As of now, Disney has not announced any options for adding the Genie Plus service to Magic Key passes although Magic Key passes do receive a discount on purchasing it per day.
If you wait to purchase Genie Plus until you are in Disneyland, pricing will start at $25 per person but may vary depending on the date. You may pay a higher price for Genie+ on busier days of the year which usually coordinate with peak travel times such as October during the Halloween season, the Holiday season, three day weekends, Spring break, etc. We have seen Disney Genie Plus cost $30 at Disneyland multiple times recently. This is just further reason to consider adding Genie+ to your discount Disneyland tickets.
Disneyland also offers individual attraction purchases to access the Lightning Lanes for select attractions not included in the Genie+ price. At the Disneyland Resort, these attractions are currently limited to Rise of the Resistance, Radiator Springs Racers, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
Below we dive into the Genie+ service, tips on how to best utilize it, what rides are included what Genie+, what prices to expect for individual attraction purchases and how to make the most of the complimentary services Genie provides!
What attractions are included with the Disneyland Disney Genie+ Program?
Here is the full list for both parks for attractions that are included with the Genie+ for $25 per person, per day. You can purchase Genie+ in the Disneyland app once you’ve entered the park or you can add it on to your tickets before you arrive! You can begin making your Lightning Lane reservations as soon as you enter the park.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- “it’s a small world”
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Disney California Adventure
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
You can only ride each attraction once using the Genie+ selection. If you want to ride something again you will need to use the standby line. It’s also important to know that if you don’t show up for your specific time slot you reserved without canceling it, Genie+ won’t let you book another one and consider it as your one ride. So if you can’t make a reservation, make sure you cancel it so you can book another one later!
You can book a new reservation every two hours or once you’ve redeemed one. If you book a reservation that’s more than two hours out in advance you will be able to book a new one at the two hour mark.
After you make a selection within the app you’re also able to click the “Modify Plan” button to see other options for available attractions without canceling the original window. The modifications are only available within the same theme park. For instance if modifying Space Mountain you will be able to select from another attraction in Disneyland Park.
Disney Lightning Lanes – Premium “a la carte” Charge for Individual Attractions
Before I dive into my tips for Disney Genie Plus, it is important to know that there are three marque attractions not included with the base level of Disney Genie Plus.
For these attractions, guests are able to purchase and schedule special access to the Lightning Lanes. This new premium up charge is similar to the Disneyland Paris FastPass paid offering, but on a much smaller scale. You will be able to book up to two return times each day for these high demand attractions starting when you enter the park for the next available arrival window.
At launch, this “a la carte” option will be offered at the following attractions:
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Disney California Adventure
- Radiator Springs Racers
Initial pricing will be dynamic and can fluctuate depending on day and time but will range between $7-$20 for access for each attraction, per person. During our trip we paid $20 to skip the line for Rise of the Resistance.
This additional paid service is not for everyone but I will refrain from saying any option is “worth it” or not. Personally using our touring strategies I am confident in my ability to easily get on Radiator Springs Racers with a sub-20 minute wait, but there is less of guaranteed window to do this for Rise of the Resistance.
Disneyland Genie Plus Tips For Your 2023 Disneyland Trip
During my recent trip to Disneyland I finally got my hands on Disney Genie Plus so I can share the tips you need to know to plan out your trip.
As a long time Disneyland attendee and experienced park goer, the system was very familiar. The FastPass and MaxPass strategies you are familiar with largely still work. Let’s dive into the top tips for using Disney Genie Plus at Disneyland.
Once you have entered Disneyland for the day you can make your first Disney Genie Plus reservation. Guests can hold one reservation at a time throughout the entire day within the Disneyland app. Again, this system is remarkably similar to MaxPass which I know is a big relief for many guests.
We had a great experience with the service on our recent trip! We visited on one of the busiest weekends during the holidays and never waited in a line longer than 20 minutes while experiencing everything that Disneyland has to offer.
Get all of these below tips and our most helpful advice on Genie+ in a convenient downloadable PDF.
Here are some actionable tips to take full advantage of Disney Genie Plus:
- Have a plan for using the new Disney Genie Plus in the morning. As we always say, it isn’t as important which day of the year you visit Disneyland to avoid crowds, as much as it is important what time you arrive at the parks on the day you are visiting. Make sure you follow our Disneyland morning strategy or Disney California Adventure morning strategy to get the most out of your morning. Combining these strategies plus the new Disney Genie Plus service will supercharge your park day. You will want to arrive at least 45 minutes before official park opening and use the first hour of the day to experience attractions with little to no wait before using your first Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane pass. On our recent trip on our Disneyland start day we rode in the standby queue for Space Mountain then rode Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster twice before using our first Lightning Lane for Indiana Jones. On our Disney California Adventure start date we rode WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure (in the standby line), Toy Story Midway Mania twice, and Radiator Springs Racers (in the Single Rider line) before using our first Disney Genie Plus pass for the Incredicoaster.
- Pace out the Disney Genie Plus passes in your day! In some cases you’ll have a Disneyland dining reservation or other planned experience like a Disneyland Parade and don’t want a Genie Plus pass for an attraction at the time listed. Keep an eye on the app times to time out your Genie Plus passes. Unlike using Disneyland dining mobile order you cannot select a return time window and instead have to select the next available time.
- Pre-Purchase Disney Genie Plus on your tickets! You can either add Disney Genie Plus to your tickets each day of your trip or add them in advance when you purchase your tickets. I highly recommend you add Disney Genie Plus in advance to your multi-day tickets to avoid the hassle of scanning in your tickets and entering credit card information while you are trying to keep up with the rest of your group hustling down Main Street USA to get to your first attraction. Trust me, you’ll want Disney Genie Plus each day of your trip so you should add it in advance when you purchase. Our travel partner, Get Away Today, provides our readers exclusive discounted Disneyland tickets and provides you the ability to add Disney Genie Plus in advance for the same price the service would be if you waited to fumble with it day of.
- Always be attentive to the opportunity to get a new Disney Genie Plus pass. You can only hold one Lightning Lane reservation (Disney Genie+ Pass) at a time. You can make a new pass reservation once you have utilized your other Genie Plus pass or 2 hrs have passed. Whichever comes sooner. If your next Disney Genie Plus pass reservation is more than 2 hrs away then I recommend setting a 2 hr timer on your phone so that you are alerted to get a new pass when it is time. The Disneyland app has now also been updated to include the time that you can next pull a Genie Plus reservation.
- Take advantage of large parties all traveling together! You can only make one reservation per attraction per day, but here’s a good way around that for super fans of some attractions. In our group of five, a couple of people didn’t want to experience “Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – Breakout!”. In that case the two who did want to ride got to go twice because they still made reservations for everyone.
- Take advantage of your Disneyland Park Hopper ticket! If you a Disneyland park hopper ticket and are planning to switch parks in the afternoon (Park Hopping is permitted beginning at 1 pm each day), you should start looking at return times in the other park around noon. You can make a Disney Genie Plus reservation for an attraction in either park regardless of your location so long as your ticket has been scanned in for the day.
- DIFFERENT FROM FASTPASS! Take advantage of ride breakdowns. If an attraction breaks down during the time window that you have a Genie Plus return time for that attraction, your Genie Plus reservation will automatically turn into a Multiple Experience Pass. The top tier attractions at Disneyland are considered Indiana Jones Adventure, Space Mountain and Matterhorn Bobsleds. If your reservation was for one of those rides, you will be able to use your pass on anything in the park except Peter Pan or Rise of the Resistance. If it was for another attraction, it will exclude those rides too as it wasn’t an e-ticket Genie+ reservation. At California Adventure, the e-ticket attractions are Toy Story Midway Mania and Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. The pass is even better than it sounds! You can use it to walk up to any attraction exit that doesn’t have a Lightning Lane and they will walk you in the exit. We had a couple of breakdowns and used these passes to walk in the exit of Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, Jungle Cruise, and Pirates of the Caribbean. We also used one of these passes in a regular Lightning Lane – these passes are not tied to the same restrictions of only using at each attraction once per day. We rode Guardians of the Galaxy using the pass so that we could go multiple times.
How do you use the Disney Genie Plus app?
The Disneyland Genie Plus app can be confusing. The interface is a little clunky and it is not immediately clear how to navigate to an attraction you want to make a reservation for. The Disney Genie Plus system is burrowed within the free Disney Genie Plus tool so you’ll see attractions with regular line wait times and options to purchase attractions a la carte interspersed with your options to secure a return time.
When you are first logging into the Disney Genie Plus system you will be prompted to select attractions that you are interested in for the day. This list of selections will be used to curate a personal dashboard within the app. Take a moment here to select the attractions that your group will want to experience and entertainment such as Disneyland fireworks or Disneyland parades you are interested in (I really like the feature that displays the next showtime for your selected entertainment). This list will then populate the attractions you want to experience at the top of the “Tip Board” screen. You can access this by selecting the hamburger menu button in the lower right hand corner of the screen.
Another tip that makes it easy to access attractions is to navigate to the screen from the map view. Select the attraction on the map and then click the Lightning Lane button to see the current wait times.
How much does Disney Genie Plus at Disneyland cost?
As of October 11th, Genie+ at Disneyland costs $25 per person, per day when purchased in advance as an add-on for ticket and vacation packages. If you wait to purchase Genie Plus until you are in Disneyland, pricing will start at $25 per person but may vary depending on the date. This variable prices means you can likely expect to see an increase for Genie+ on peak travel times of the year such as busier weeks during Halloween, the Holiday season, three day weekends, Spring Break, etc.
Because of the variable pricing, you may want to consider adding Genie+ to your discount Disneyland tickets. Generally I am pleased with the cost and scope of the new service.
You also have the option to pay for individual one time access to Rise of the Resistance and Radiator Springs Racers. Previously WEB Slingers: A Spiderman Adventure was an individual purchase attraction but now it is included with the purchase of Genie Plus.
How does the Disneyland DAS program work with Disney Genie+ for guests with disabilities?
The existing Disability Access Service program remains unchanged except for the addition of new enhancements! Now guests are able to pre-enroll in the program before arrival and reserve their attraction return times via the app. This is a huge improvement for DAS guests so they don’t have to walk back and forth across the park finding cast members to issue return times.
Guests can utilize live video chat to register for the program with a cast member up to 30 days in advance of their visit. During the video chat, guests can also select two experiences per day using the new DAS advance planning option.
But the same in-person DAS program will continue so if you don’t want to use the app for return times you won’t have to! You can read more about options for guests with disabilities at Disneyland in our guide.
What else is included with Disney Genie+ program?
The Disneyland Disney Genie+ program also includes free Disneyland PhotoPass downloads and exclusive audio tours of the parks with Walt Disney Imagineers and special guests. People loved the extra perks of the Disneyland PhotoPass downloads for MaxPass. This is a great additional offering.
During our trip testing out Disney Genie+ we really enjoyed the PhotoPass option. We stopped at about 4 different photographers during our two day trip and also were able to load in the in on-ride photos. We could then download these professional grade photos! A great feature.
More Disneyland Genie Plus Frequently Asked Questions
Is Disney Genie Plus worth the money for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure?
We highly recommend Disney Genie Plus for guests trying to fit as much as possible into their Disneyland vacation. Unlike Walt Disney World (where we say you don’t need Disney Genie Plus for every park), both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have plenty of attractions to make the service worthwhile. (Read about Disney Genie Plus at Walt Disney World here).
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have a low enough of density of guests using the Genie Plus service that there is plenty of availability for return times for attractions throughout the day.
How should we utilize Disney Genie Plus in our Disneyland and Disney California Adventure day?
We have a full Disneyland morning strategy and Disney California Adventure morning strategy outlining the perfect itinerary to kick off your day right at both parks. These strategies also provide the right tips to get you started using Genie Plus.
Can you select return times for Lightning Lanes and a la carte Lightning Lanes?
When can I make a Lightning Lane selection at Disneyland?
Guests can make a Lightning Lane selection immediately after scanning into the theme park. It does not have to be after the official park opening time to make your first selection – often the parks will open 30 mins before the official opening to allow guests into the park for rope drop.
Can one person make Disneyland Genie Plus Lightning Lane selections for the entire group?
Yes. Once all members of the group have signed into Disneyland, one member of the group can make Disneyland Genie Plus reservations for each member of the group from their Disneyland app. The group leader can connect all of the tickets to their Disneyland app.
What if some people in the group don’t want to experience a particular attraction?
When making a Lighting Lane reservation you can either remove the members of the group that don’t want to ride the specific attraction or you can get the Disney Genie Plus reservation for their ticket and use it to allow others in the group to experience the attraction multiple times. Remember that each ticket can only be used once per day to experience each attraction so don’t use another person’s Genie Plus redemption if they plan on riding later.
How does park hopping work with Disney Genie Plus at Disneyland/Disney California Adventure?
As we outlined in the tips above, the best way to get the most value out of the Disneyland Genie Plus service is through Park Hopping.
Another quirk here – if you try to make a Genie Plus reservation for an attraction before 1 pm when Park Hopping is allowed, the return time will automatically be moved to 1-2 pm. We just experienced this during our last trip. We started our day in Disneyland Park but my sister wanted to ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! in Disney California Adventure so she went to make a Lightning Lane reservation. The reservations were still for some time around noon (before the 1 pm park hopping). When she went to make the reservation for the attraction it automatically move the return time to 1-2 pm.
Should I be worried about my phone battery after being on the Genie Plus all day?
In a short answer, yes! While you only have to be on your phone every 1-2 hrs for Disney Genie Plus you’ll also want to be utilizing Disneyland mobile order, checking wait times, and playing games (we love Headsup) in line.
Combine the use of the Genie Plus service with the likelihood that you’ll be taking photos and video all day at Disneyland. In our Disneyland packing list, we recommend you carry a battery pack with you in the parks. Whenever I am in Disneyland I carry the Anker PowerCore 1000 to replenish my (and my group’s) phone batteries throughout the day. I can’t recommend this high quality yet inexpensive (only $25) battery pack enough.
You could also consider setting up a Disneyland MagicBand+ to store your ticket so that you don’t have to take your phone out every time.
How do the a la carte Lighting Lane purchases and the Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane reservation interact?
The individual a la carte Lightning Lane purchases are completely separate from the individual Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane reservations system. This means that there is no waiting required to book either of the other lanes. For instance, if you buy access to Rise of the Resistance there will be no impact on your next Lightning Lane reservation time.
How does park hopping with Disney Genie Plus work?
Disney made a change to the way that park hopping works with Disneyland Genie Plus. Previously guests could book a Genie Plus reservation for an attraction in the other park and it would automatically shift their reservation back to sometime after park hopping was allowed (1 pm).
This policy has now changed. Guests will no longer be able to book attractions on Genie+ in the other park before the attraction return times have passed 1 pm. You will now have to keep an eye on the app to catch when the return times have crept past the 1 pm mark. This change was already made at Walt Disney World.
This is all a little nuanced and is an edge case, but does impact the way you’ll use the program on park hopping days. Here’s examples of what the process was previously and will be now.
In practice this meant that if you saw that Soarin’ Over the World had an 11 am return time and you were in Disneyland
- Before: If you were in Disneyland and park hopping to Disney California Adventure – you could book a return time for Soarin’ Over the World that was for 10AM and the Genie+ system would then automatically shift your return time back to 1 pm or later
- With Change: Same scenario, if you are in Disneyland and going to park hop to Disney California Adventure – you would have to monitor the Soarin’ Over the World Disney Genie Plus return times in the Disneyland app until the Genie+ return time passes 1 pm and then book that attraction
This is an added layer of complexity for those who were park hopping, but with the amount of attractions at the Disneyland Resort on Disney Genie Plus I don’t expect this will too much of an impact.
Read our more complex answer to this to Genie Plus question – does Genie Plus sell out at Disneyland? for details on when the service has sold out and how to avoid it happening to you.
Disneyland Free Disney Genie Program Overview
The Disney Genie service is a new itinerary planning tool that allows guests to customize their days by either selecting all their favorite Disneyland experiences that they want to optimally experience throughout their day or picking specific character themes and allowing Disney to customize your day.
This new app includes forecasted wait times, the ability to add yourself to the walk up waitlist for restaurants, virtual queues, and dining reservations. All these aspects will be centralized in one easy to use interface. I appreciate that Disney is taking some of what I imagine are internal tools, like the forecasted wait times, and allowing guests to have access.
How can Disneyland MagicKey Annual Passholders add Disney Genie Plus to their passes?
The Disneyland Disney Genie Plus program is available to Disneyland Magic Key Passholders on a per day basis. Disney has said that they are exploring adding the option to allow pass holders to add the Disney Genie Plus to their pass. Much of the reason that the Disneyland Genie Plus service operates so much more smoothly than the Walt Disney World Genie Plus service is that fewer people take advantage of Genie Plus because of the large Magic Keyholder population. Based on this finding, I do not expect that we will see a Genie Plus yearly add on available very soon.
What about people who do not purchase Disney Genie+?
Standby queues remain the same for all attractions so guests can utilize those. If you’re following one of our touring strategies for the morning, you know how easily you can knock out long wait rides quickly that way!
Regardless if you pay to upgrade to Disney Genie Plus, all guests have access to the Disney Genie app services that are included for all guests. These services include:
- Personalized itinerary planning
- Continually updated tip board
- Forecasted future and current wait times for attractions
- Virtual assistant
- Mobile order
- Restaurant wait list, check in and reservations
- Attraction virtual queues (available at select attractions)
Disney Genie offers many of the same features as the Disneyland app already does but with additional benefits!
Personalized Itinerary Planning
- Guests tells Genie what their interests and must dos are based on selecting individual rides/experiences OR picking a specific a profile (princesses/thrill rides/etc.)
- Genie will remember guest preferences and what has been experienced already in their visit
Once a guest has selected their plan and preferences, Genie will create a personalized itinerary based on the availability of experiences, existing plans the guest may have like dining reservations and forecasted wait times for attractions. This optimized plan will take into account walking distance, wait times, park hopping plus any additional preferences like height requirements and accessibility. The app is also careful to consider how many people are being recommended to do certain experiences at once so it’s not directing everyone to do the same thing at the same time.
Guests also have the ability to swap, remove or add any additional experiences to their day giving you full flexibility of this itinerary. Genie will also explain why its recommending experiences with a “Why This?” feature so you know what the reasoning is for the order of the recommendations. For instance, it may recommend an indoor show with air conditioning in the afternoon!
There is also the option to ask a cast member in the app if you have questions as you go along your day!
Included with the Genie planning service is the Tip Board feature which gives guests an overview of:
- Standby wait times
- Available mobile order pick up times and dining reservations/join walk ups
- Attraction Status
- Entertainment Showtimes
- Virtual queue options
Disney has mentioned they’ve also been forward thinking about cell phone battery usage when developing these features. Using Genie will not continuously drain your cell phone battery as it will only reoptimize your plan when opening the app, it will not be running the background. So this shouldn’t have too large of an impact on your cell batteries.
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