planning disney trip with genie

How to Plan with Disney Genie

Next in the How to Plan Series we’re discussing planning with the newest feature in the My Disney Experience App – Disney Genie and Disney Genie+!  These have shifted the way you plan a Disney World day, so it’s important to understand how to use it effectively.

In this blog we’ll break down how to plan with Disney Genie by explaining:

  1. What Disney Genie is and how to set it up
  2. How to effectively use your Tip Board to align with your schedule and intentions
  3. The attractions included in Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightening Lanes
  4. Tips to secure Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightening Lanes
  5. The Pros and Cons to using Disney Genie+

How to Plan with Disney Genie:  Disney Genie 101

Disney Genie creates a Personalized itinerary based on YOUR preferences (sounds a lot like Pillar #3 Intentions!) to map out an entire day.  Disney Genie takes your selections and evaluates them against data such as operating hours, show times, actual and projected wait times, dining reservations etc.  The overall goal is to maximize your time and fun.

To start using Disney Genie first you need to set up your My Disney Experience App.

For a tutorial video on how to do this click here and while you’re there be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Once your MDE Account is set up, you’ll want to start setting up your preferences within the Disney Genie tool in your App.  Follow the below steps to ensure you’re ready to start using Disney Genie and all its functions when you visit Disney World:

  • Step 1:  Top Picks – Tell Disney Genie what you want to do – attractions, dining etc, and the system will look at forecasted wait times and availability and recommend times to experience them.
  • Step 2:  Interests – If you’re not sure what you want to do, be sure to set your interests and Disney Genie will provide recommendations to maximize your park time within your interests and preferences that have been set.
  • Step 3: Maximize Your Time – Based on the preferences you input and the information across the Parks Disney Genie will recommend an itinerary for your day, in fact it can suggest multiple.  Below is an example of what Disney Genie is recommending first for this particular traveling party:

Disney Genie also has additional features within it to help you along your theme park day:

  • Why This? – This feature will explain why Disney Genie recommended this option so if you’re not familiar with an experience or need more information you can click that option to see why.
  • Flexibility – Disney Genie is flexible and can adjust to your needs with real time suggestions based on preferences you set.
  • Ask A Question – Whatever information you need, Disney Genie can provide the information or connect you to a Cast Member that can help within the Theme Park.
  • Tip Board – Disney Genie is a suite of features designed to be your very own Tip Board of attractions and dining options that are available and/or current wait times.  So for example, if you’ve just gotten off Space Mountain your Tip Board will recommend experiences based on your preferences and location to provide at a glance options to go to next.  Based on the example that could be The People Mover with a 10 minute wait time or Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor with its next show time.  Read more on this below.
  • Forecasted Wait Times – Disney Genie puts forecasted wait times at your fingertips so you can decide the best time to ride an attraction or complete an experience, reducing your wait time.  Given the previous example above, you could decide that Tomorrowland Speedway at a 50 minute wait now versus a forecasted 20 minute wait at 6pm and decide what’s better for you.
  • Dining Tip Board – Specifically designed to show available dining options so you can quickly decide where to eat or place a mobile order.  You can also see available dining reservations as well as get on a waitlist if you didn’t make one.

How to Plan with Disney Genie:  Using Your Tip Board

Your Tip Board will become your command center within Disney Genie.

The Tip Board feature populates based on preferences that you set within the app.

The key here is to be specific with your preferences, aligning them with your intentions to ensure you experience the things that are most important to your travel party. Here’s a few things to consider when using your Tip Board:

  1. Be Specific. the more specific you are with your preferences the more fine tuned your Tip Board will be. Even if you’re not sure what you want to do, go back to your must do List and consider your travel party’s needs.
  2. The Tip Board are recommendations on what you can experience, not set plans. Keep this in mind, you do not need to do all the things.
  3. Check the Tip Board often for nearby experiences, dining and attractions to enjoy.
  4. Be sure to refresh your Tip Board throughout the day to get the most up-to-date wait times and experiences.

How to Plan with Disney Genie:  Disney Genie+ Attractions

Disney Genie+ is a paid service within Disney Genie.  This paid feature allows you to save time in line by selecting a ride time for an attraction in the app called a Lightning Lane.  There are over 40+ Attractions at Disney World available for you to choose.  You can choose one at a time based on the next available time slot and enter via the Lightning Lane when it’s your time.

Resort Guests can select their first Genie+ option at 7:00am each day, then continue to select throughout the day as they use their passes or every two hours, whichever comes first. Non Resort Guests can select their first Genie+ selection when the park opens for the day.Individual Lightening Lane Selections are also available for an additional fee for up to two attractions in high demand such as Rise of the Resistance or Slinky Dog Coaster.

The below chart details the full attraction list for Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightening Lane selections (subject to change, this blog will be updated often).

Additional features are also available with your paid Disney Genie+:

  • Photopass AR Lense – Augmented reality feature that allows you to take a picture with your favorite animated character as well as digital downloads from your photopass images.
  • Audio Experiences – Learn behind the scenes information and fun facts from imagineers and special guests about attractions and parks.

How to Plan with Disney Genie:  Tips to secure your Disney Genie+ Selections

Securing your Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightening Lane Selections has become a science.

There are so many variables that it can be difficult to manage, but the below tips can ensure you are as prepared as possible when you make your daily selections:

  1. Be prepared (said in my best Scar voice).  Make sure your MDE App is up to date, your payment and travel party are linked before selections open at 7am. Check this each day.
  2. Have a plan.  Prioritize your selections based on the intentions you set for your trip.  This is something we work with clients to do and it’s one of our Three Pillars.  For more on setting intentions read Blog #3: Setting Intentions
  3. Set up your preferences.  Be sure to have your preferences set up in Disney Genie ahead of time to ensure the top selections shown for you align with your intentions.
  4. Pin Your Favorites.  Before 7am each day, pin your top attractions to see those first to ensure you snag a timeslot.
  5. Check your schedule.  Everyone is trying to get early selections, but if you have your day planned ahead of time, try to secure harder rides like Slinky Dog in the afternoon.
  6. Team up.  Have two or three travelers trying to secure time slots all at once, each of you taking a top selection for your travel party.  Try using your app as as well as your computer if possible.
  7. Keep Trying.  If you don’t snag a timeslot, don’t fret!  Keep trying throughout the day.  We’ve even seen weird instances where top rides pop up around 7:11-7:15am if you keep refreshing.  Refreshing your time slots often can bring up more availability. 
  8. Have a back-up plan.  Can’t get Slinky?  Move on to your 2nd and 3rd picks then try again for your first to ensure you get some of your must-do attractions.
  9. Plan for your hopper.  Make selections for your second park first, it will create a plan for you and you’ll have a higher probability of securing a popular attraction.  No park hopper?  Plan your day backwards, avoiding time slots that coincide with parades and fireworks which tend to have lower waits.
  10. Ask for help.  It’s OK to feel overwhelmed and ask for help.  If you’ve booked with a Travel Agent like me, ask them for help.  If you haven’t, then consider booking a 1:1 Happy Haunts Hour, we’ll plan your entire trip to meet your needs and prioritize your Disney Genie+ Selections so you’re prepared each day.

How to Plan with Disney Genie:  Pros & Cons

Like any new system there are pros and cons to using it.  Here are some things to consider when planning your day with Disney Genie:


  • Estimated wait times help you make decisions
  • Suggestions for dining, shows, parades and attractions assist you to make decisions in real time and remain flexible.
  • Shorter time waiting in line means more time for fun, relaxing, shopping, snacking or whatever it is you want to get done.
  • Ask a Question provides help at your fingertips which is convenient 


  • New technology lends itself to glitches and tech issues which seem to happen often
  • Cost for Disney Genie+ and ILL can be prohibitive
  • Having to select time slots each day and while on the go can be cumbersome
  • Popular attractions can book up quickly (this was a Fastpass+ issue too)

Don’t miss the entire How to Plan Series of blogs!

How to Start Planning a Disney Trip

How to Choose a Disney World Resort

How to Select Disney World Dining

How to Choose Disney World Tickets

“Master, I don’t think you quite realize what you got here. So, why don’t you just ruminate while I illuminate the possibilities.” – Genie


Greetings Foolish Mortals!

I’m Melissa, a self professed Disnerd and Ultimate Planner!   After taking my family on their first trip in October 2016, I found a passion for helping friends and family plan their trips.

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