Our Disney Genie+ Experience at Disneyland

Credit: PaulaK

Since its rollout in October at Walt Disney World, there have been too many complaints about Disney Genie+ to count. Guests are upset about having to pay for a service that used to be free, and for many of them, the perks don’t outweigh the cost.

The same isn’t quite as true at Disneyland in California. Disney Genie+ became available earlier this month. It’s more expensive on the West Coast; $20 per person per day instead of $15 at Walt Disney World. The Disneyland service is similar to the former MaxPass, which cost the same amount.

Credit: PaulaK

My daughter and I just returned from Disneyland. We decided to purchase Disney Genie+ two of the five days that we were in the Theme Parks. Here is our experience.

I’ll start with the bad. With Disney Genie+ you can book each selection only once a day. That is the biggest difference between the new service and MaxPass, which allowed you to book the same ride over and over.

The other drawback of Disney Genie+ is the amount of time that I spent on my phone. The first of the two days my low battery warning came on by 1:00. I had a portable charger, but that ended up being another awkward thing to carry.

Credit: PaulaK

Now for the good. If you plan on spending a full day at Disneyland, I highly recommend purchasing Disney Genie+, especially if you have Park Hopper. We did everything that we wanted and hardly waited at all.

On our first day we started at Disney California Adventure. We immediately got into line for Radiator Springs Racers, and while in that line we made our first Disney Genie+ reservation for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! We headed that way right after we got off the first ride.

Related: Is Disney Enchant Magic Key Worth It? Here’s My Experience

While at Disney California Adventure we used every Disney Genie+ selection. The return times were never far off.

At 1:00 we Park Hopped to Disneyland Park and started there. We were both amazed by the number of rides we got in, and the furthest away return time was 30 minutes. It ran flawlessly.

The second day that we purchased Disney Genie+ was a bit different, but still worth it for us. There was some type of power problem, and several rides were down during the day. We ended up using that to our advantage.

If a ride wasn’t available at our return time, we were given a new Lightning Lane for multiple locations. Not all Lightning Lane rides were included, they were for similar level attractions. For example, when Haunted Mansion went down we couldn’t use the LL for Space Mountain, but when Indiana Jones went down, we could.

Since we had this happen several times the second day, we looked at the return times for the rides that were open. Haunted Mansion had been down for a good part of the day, and when we looked the return time was hours away. It was up again, so we used our multiple location Lightning Lane on that.

Even with several rides down, we still rode everything that we wanted to and more. When we used a Lightning Lane that was part of a multiple location selection, that didn’t count for that ride so we did ride some of our favorites a second time.

Another thing that I loved about Disney Genie+ at Disneyland is that it includes your PhotoPass downloads. This alone was worth the cost to me.

There’s a QR code on the Disneyland App that the photographer will scan. For ride photos, you will add the photo’s number when you get off the ride.

We never used the Audio Tales feature. My battery was draining quickly enough as it was. We also didn’t use the My Day suggestions that are part of the free Disney Genie.

Individual Lightning Lane is available for an additional cost at Disneyland for three rides. At Disney California Adventure, you can purchase Radiator Springs Racers or WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. At Disneyland Park, the only Individual Lightning Lane is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Credit: PaulaK

We didn’t purchase Individual Lightning Lane, and we still rode all three. In fact, we rode WEB SLINGERS three times. I’m glad that we didn’t spend the extra money.

Related: My Goofy’s Kitchen Review

Overall, I could not have been happier with Disney Genie+ at Disneyland. On the days that we purchased it, we concentrated on those rides, and on the days that we didn’t purchase it, we rode everything else. Disney Genie+ did help us to make the most of our Disneyland vacation.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.