Few things are as memorable as a family vacation to the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World. What's not as magical? The mountain of planning—like booking accommodations, flights, and park tickets—it takes for your family to make the most of your precious time together.

That is where Disney Genie comes into play. It's the latest roll out in technology to help families plan and enjoy the trip of a lifetime. Disney Genie, which was released in October, is like a personal vacation concierge right on your mobile device and is integrated into the existing Walt Disney World mobile app. The system will be rolled out soon at Disneyland as well.

The Disney Genie basic version is free

Disney Genie builds personalized daily itineraries for you based on your family's interests and preferences—from Disney princesses to Star Wars and Pixar. You can also plug in your favorite attractions—like it's a small world—and the app will show forecasted wait times as well as predict the best time of day to visit. Dining and mobile ordering is also integrated into the app for many locations.

What to do when your little ones are suddenly starved and panic begins to creep in? The app will inform you as to which dining locations have immediate availability. The tip boards are continually updated throughout the day and it also includes a virtual assistant.

Disney Genie is available for an additional charge

For an additional charge, Disney Genie operates similarly to the now retired FastPass system. Unlike FastPass which opened attraction bookings 60 days in advance (meaning popular attractions booked up well ahead of your trip), the new system operates on a day of basis adding a level of flexibility to your vacation. The service includes over 40 attractions and experiences, including favorites like Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Jungle Cruise. Upon reservation arrival time, you will receive expedited entrance to the attraction through a Lightning Lane.

Guests using Disney Genie can book one selection at a time with the ability to book your next selection as soon as you scan into the current one or if your next selection is two or more hours later. Your first selection can be made beginning at 7 a.m. Again, this service is available by the day so you don't need to purchase it for the entire length of vacation. It costs $15 per day, per person at Walt Disney World. Guests have the ability to purchase this at midnight on the day of their visit or when purchasing park tickets.

Pro tip: Kids will love playing around with the augmented reality lenses that transform them into iconic Disney characters, including Lady and the Tramp and the Genie from Aladdin, through photo filters on your device. This is exclusive to Disney Genie .

Main Street USA at Disney World filled with crowds with Cinderella's Castle in the background

Not all rides are included with Disney Genie

Certain high-demand attractions, including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the recently opened Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, are not included in the Disney Genie add-on. Instead, individual access to their Lightning Lanes can be purchased. The price is based on demand and date of visit, with a maximum of two purchases each day. There isn't a requirement to purchase Disney Genie if you are interested in any of these individual Lightning Lanes. Walt Disney World resort guests have priority access to this at 7 a.m. each day, while all other guests can make their desired purchases at park opening.

Pro tip: Individual Lighting Lane access is known to sell out so book early if there are any attractions your kids are set on riding.

The Disney Genie app is a game-changer for families with disabilities

As Disney works toward more inclusivity in the parks, perhaps one of the most exciting things about this launch is that it has completely transformed and upgraded the availability and access of the system for families with disabilities. The Disability Access Service (DAS) previously only worked in-person and required guests to visit a representative at each attraction. This new system is seamless and completely handled virtually on your mobile device within Disney Genie. Guests using this service can begin making attraction reservations once the park is open and they have scanned in, but they can enroll in the DAS system prior to vacation.


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