Tuesday, February 15th, 2022
Disney Genie+ has replaced FastPass+ at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is a paid service that allows you to spend less time waiting in line at over 40 Walt Disney World Resort attractions. Along with Disney Genie+ came Individual Lightning Lane, an express pass reservation system for highly demanded attractions (two at each theme park).
Cost for Disney Genie+ is $15.98 USD per person/per day. And the cost for each Individual Lightning Lane varies but is generally between $7 and $18 USD per person/per attraction. To confuse things, the Individual Lightning Lane attractions are NOT included in the Disney Genie+ service.
When this service was first announced, I was hesitant. I mean why do I have to pay for something that was previously complimentary? But it didn’t take me long to look beyond the cost and realize that this system is a game changer when it comes to a Walt Disney World vacation.
The Cost – Yes, the cost. A big challenge with the previous system was that it was complimentary, so everyone was fighting over the same popular attractions. Which meant if you weren’t staying on-site for four nights or longer, forget securing a FastPass+ for Avatar: Flight of Passage. Whereas now, because it’s an additional cost, only about 50% of Disney visitors are paying for it. Making it truly the premium service it was designed to be. Don’t believe me? There was a time many moons ago that the ability to park hop (visit multiple theme parks within the same day) was complimentary. Now that Guests must pay for this option, nowhere near the same number of Guests bother to visit Magic Kingdom in the morning and grab a bite to eat in the World Showcase at EPCOT at night.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) – This attraction previously provided a virtual queue to book a return time to experience it. Yet it is SO crazy popular that this complimentary queue was sold out by 7:02am. I kid you not. I spent many days in my youth trying to secure Madonna concert tickets and it wasn’t nearly as difficult. Can you imagine, spending all your vacation time and money and then not being able to experience this ground-breaking attraction? Now if you want to guarantee your chance to escape the First Order, you can simply pay a little bit more to do so. Problem (and Guest Services line up about it) solved.
Mornings – Your first Disney Genie+ selection can be made at 7:00am. I don’t like waking up before 7:00am on a workday. Which means, I don’t like having to on vacation either. And yes, you need to if you wish to secure some of the more sought-after options such as Slinky Dog Dash (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Test Track (EPCOT). I really hope that they change this to just a little bit later. 8:00am would work fine by me, or perhaps even allowing Disney resort Guests the ability to book them any time after midnight. Sigh…I can hope!
My Phone – Disney Genie+ requires you to be on your phone – a LOT. Not only does this kill your phone battery, but I don’t like that it takes away from spending time with my family. However, MyDisneyExperience requires you to be on your phone for Mobile Ordering, MagicMobile, Wait Times and more. So, using it to book your next Disney Genie+ experience isn’t really THAT much more. But just be sure to bring a back-up battery. You’ve been warned.
Secondary Individual Lightning Lanes – For the love of Zeus, can we just have ONE attraction per theme park available on Individual Lightning Lane? Disney did this over Christmas, and I wish it was something they kept all year round. It would without a doubt simplify…well everything. And if they were to do this, Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom), Frozen Ever After (EPCOT), Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and Expedition Everest (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) would all move over to Disney Genie+.
Guest Experience Team – These folks be easily spotted by their blue umbrellas and are located throughout all four theme parks. The Guest Experience team are in a word; magical. Not only do they always have a smile on their face, no matter how many times I’ve (sadly) seen Guests yell at them, but they can solve any problem you have with the entire Disney Genie+ system to your satisfaction. And I speak from personal experience when I say in true Disney Cast Member fashion, they can even sprinkle a dose of pixie dust when needed.
No Lines – One of the biggest complaints about a Walt Disney World vacation is having to wait in line. No argument here! But let’s face it, a Walt Disney World vacation is not cheap. So, to pay just a little bit more to not have to wait in line? Sign. Me.Up! Because I can tell you that when using Disney Genie+ in combination with Individual Lightning Lane access, you won’t have to wait in line…for anything.
I’ve been able to use this brand-new service a few times now and it works. Most importantly it works with high crowd levels. I was in Walt Disney World at the end of January and the insane crowds during what is historically one of the two slowest months of the year told me that the pent-up demand to travel post COVID is no joke. So, you can count out any ‘slow’ times at Walt Disney World for some time to come. I assure you that Disney Genie+ will help – a LOT – with this challenge.
So now the question is with SO many options to choose from on Disney Genie+, which do you prioritize? Peter Pan’s Flight? Splash Mountain? Pirates of the Caribbean? And do you really need to purchase the express pass for ALL eight Individual Lightning Lane attractions? Not to worry because your Vacation Specialist at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations is here to help! Included in your personalized Fairytale Guide, you’ll find both recommended Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane experiences best suited for your traveling party’s needs and wants – saving you even more time from standing in line.
– Christine Fiorelli
The Magic is Calling.
Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Answer the Call Today!
(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1
Tuesday, October 5th, 2021
Last week I was invited to a media preview of the World’s Most Magical Celebration – the 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort. I questioned how Disney was going to find new and innovative ways to celebrate such a milestone. But I was quickly reminded that nobody creates magic quite like Disney can and they have pulled out all the stops for this celebration to prove it.
When the Walt Disney World Resort opened its doors back on October 1st, 1971, it consisted of one theme park, two resort hotels and a campground. Today, the 147 square kilometre complex includes four theme parks, two water parks, over 25 resort hotels and much, much more. Yes, the resort has grown – a LOT – over the past 50 years.
The idea of Disney World began one Sunday afternoon, when a father was bored watching his daughters on a carousel. That boredom led to a vision of somewhere in the world where adults and children could play together. Fifty years later, this common enjoyment remains the focus of Walt Disney World, as majority of its attractions and shows are still experienced and enjoyed by Guests of all ages.
One of the main additions for the 50th anniversary is the brand-new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure inside the France pavilion at Epcot. Once onboard, you’ll feel as though you’ve been shrunk to the size of Chef Remy as you scurry though Gusteau’s restaurant on one wild ride. This attraction for all-ages is a welcomed addition to the park, as it fits in perfectly with both The Sea with Nemo and Friends and Frozen Ever After.
The centrepiece of the magical celebration is Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. The castle underwent a lengthy refurbishment and is now dressed up in a new colour scheme and fancy décor. For those of you who remember the 25thanniversary Castle cake, I promise you Disney did not repeat that beautiful disaster.
Scattered across all four parks are the Disney Fab 50 statues, which represent the stories that have moved us to dream bigger, follow our passions and believe in the power of magic. I quite enjoyed trying to find all 50, but I only found 24. I look forward to discovering the remaining 26 on my next visit.
The most exceptional features of the celebration all take place after the sun goes down. Since 1971, fireworks have offered Guests an exclamation point at the end of an enchanting day at Magic Kingdom. From the days of Fantasy in the Sky to the recent Happily Ever After, over and over, each new nighttime spectacular has raised the bar. And the all-new Disney Enchantment nighttime show at Magic Kingdom is no exception to this golden rule. Narrated by Angela Bassett, Disney Enchantment blends fireworks, Disney music and immersive projection effects from Cinderella Castle, all the way down Main Street U.S.A.
Over at Epcot, Harmonious has debuted for the 50th and it is the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney theme park. I’m not going to lie, this show scared me. Mostly because I worried that the giant barges that are required for it are quite the eye sore in the middle of the World Showcase lagoon. But I’m happy to report that these new daytime barges are well worth this amazing evening show. Harmonious celebrates the music of Disney and its ability to unite us all, bridging cultures and generations to unlock the magic of possibility.
On top of these two nighttime spectaculars, all four theme park icons transform into ‘Beacons of Magic’. Cinderella Castle creates a dazzling glow that sparkles with pixie dust. Lights shine across the reflective panels on Spaceship Earth. The Hollywood Tower Hotel returns to its former glory by evoking the glimmer of the golden age and fireflies gather to call forth the magic of nature on the Tree of Life. These Beacons of Magic are stunning! So much so, that I question why it took Disney 50 years to make this happen.
During the celebration, Disney is full of magical touches. Throughout the resort, you’ll discover many royal blue and gold 50th anniversary decorations, EARidescent connects all corners of the resort, monorails feature glowing nighttime lights that match each train’s specific colour and SO much more.
In pure Disney fashion, the 50th anniversary celebration is for all ages to experience. The magic is calling and there has never been a more opportune time to answer that call. But not to worry if you don’t feel comfortable traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort just yet, as the World’s Most Magical Celebration will be ongoing for the next 18 months.
– Christine Fiorelli
Everyone Needs a Fairytale. Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to Take Back the Magic Today!
(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
10 McEwan Drive West Unit 3 Bolton ON L7E 1H1