There has been a lot of controversy over the Genie+ system as of late, and to be honest, I can understand why. With all of the different screens to navigate, rides not being available until much later in the day, and having to be on your phone constantly, I can see the frustrations for sure. However, at specific times, the Genie+ system can still be very beneficial to you and your trip, depending on your specific trip needs.
Recently my husband and I took a quick two and a half day trip to Walt Disney World, and only had one day of parks, hopping between three out of four of them. We chose to use the Genie+ system since we would only be in the parks for one day and wanted to make the best use of our time. I am here to tell you all about our experience with this, and if, in the end, it was worth having the Genie+ for 1-day of park hopping, or not.
The first key point I want to make is that myself, my husband and our family are not locals, however we frequent Disney World often. So being that we travel from out of state, just in general, the Genie+ makes sense to have. Add on to that the fact that my husband and I were only in the parks for one day, I knew I was going to invest in the service.
Purchasing the Genie+ is so easy. You can either choose to pay for it in your Disney vacation package price, or purchase it on specific days each morning, depending on what park you are going to that day. You just log onto your My Disney Experience app, click the Genie, and it will take you right to it to buy for the day.
You can use the Genie+ at any of the parks once purchased, no matter where you at that moment. For example, if you are at Magic Kingdom, but plan to hop to Disney's Hollywood Studios within a couple of hours and want to book a time for Tower of Terror, you can do so while still at Magic Kingdom, as long as you have an available slot at that time. This is SO nice when you are park hopping, especially to three or more parks.
Another great thing I love about the Genie+ system is the option to save top choice rides for easier access to getting a time later. So if you go into your tip board and click on a must do attraction, lets say Rise of the Resistance, you can actually save that so when you go back to check it later, it moves to the top of your tip board! This feature is so great, especially when you are park hopping between 3 or more parks. It saved me so much scrolling time, and convenience is key when you're rushing around different modes of transportation to get to your next park.
Now, I want to talk about Individual Light Lane for a moment. We used one for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway for our 1-day park hopper experience that morning, and I was lucky enough to get the time frame I wanted, because Disney's Hollywood Studios was going to be our second park for the day. So in our case, it worked out for us on this trip. I definitely recommend at least trying this feature if there is a must do ride you want to try to get. However, there are some downsides to this that we experienced as well, and I will talk more about that in a moment.
Lastly, flexibility. The one thing both my husband and I really loved about having the Genie+ for our 1-day park hopping adventure was the flexibility. I talked about how you can save your favorite rides in your tip board, and this is so when you refresh for new times, it continues to stay at the top. When you are doing 3 or more parks in one day, you're really thinking, "what can we get done while at this park?", rather than, "I want to do this or that, regardless of wait times".
Genie+ was really great in this way, that, every time I refreshed to see what rides had what wait times, there may have been a chance to ride a specific ride we weren't able to do earlier. Now this could also work to your disadvantage too, depending on how you look at it, but let's just focus on the PLUS side for the sake of this portion of the article. For example, say you really wanted to ride Haunted Mansion at 10:30 AM, but the earliest they had to book was 1:30 PM. You find another attraction with a sooner time, book that, and once you get into that rides' line, you refresh the tip board, and now, Haunted Mansion has an 11:45 AM time, so you grab it. Or, you can also see the standby times for all of the attractions as well, and maybe at park opening the wait was 45 minutes, and now its only 20 minutes. This feature is my favorite by far, especially when you are park hopping or on a short trip, or both, in our case. Honestly, I feel like this made Genie+ worth it alone.
Okay, so now for the negative side...