Once the company successfully conditioned guests to consult the Disney World app before making any moves, it took the next step in the evolution of itinerary automation: Genie. The baseline version of Genie is a day itinerary planner. It’s free, but it’s not very useful. 
On the app, tap either My Disney Genie Day or View My Genie Day and Tip Board. That brings you to a page with two tabs at the top: Tip Board and My Day. Tip Board shows a list of attractions with the current wait time for each and, alongside that, what time you could get a Lightning Lane reservation for it if you upgrade with a purchase. You can change the theme park or even plan a different day.

The other tab, My Day, uses algorithms to concoct a free itinerary. First, it asks what you like. Tick the boxes for any ride, show, or restaurant you want to include. It’ll also ask if you’re into certain Disney genres, like princesses, pirates, Star Wars, or Pixar. Then it comes up with a suggested order for your day, which Disney claims will be based on projected times for avoiding peak waits. Tap any wait time to see the forecasted waits for the rest of the day, which is represented as a bar chart and not numbers. 

You can keep tapping the three dots (…) to delete or swap a recommendation, but in truth, only you really know what you like and how you like to travel, and Genie has a way of filling some of your time with things that Disney would like you to do and buy. Genie also won’t repeat anything, but we all know people who would happily line up for Rock [‘]n’ Roller Coaster three times in a row.

All during the My Day planning process, the app will keep trying to get you to pay more for the paid version of this, Genie+.

Genie+—the plus means you’re paying—is the form of Genie that most people use. The price fluctuates by day but is usually $15 to $35. During peak holiday periods like Easter, it can sell out by late morning. Genie+ automatically comes with free downloads of photos taken on rides, plus it unlocks a few silly photo filters you can use. But the main reason people buy Genie+ is it gives them access to the Lightning Lane of most rides and shows. 

You’ll have to choose which park you want Genie+ to work in, or, for a few bucks more, whether you want it to work in multiple parks (if you’re park hopping). Other people in your party can’t piggyback on your Genie+ subscription; everyone has to purchase Genie+ if they intend to use it. If you ensure your group is linked (under My Profile> Family and Friends), Genie+ will make matching reservations for everyone simultaneously.

Once you buy Genie+, you’re shown a list of attractions and the next available Lightning Lane slot for each one. Once you choose, you have to wait 120 minutes before making another reservation, which limits how much juice you can squeeze out of Genie+. In fact, in 2022 Disney added the following verbiage to the fine print of Genie+: “On average, guests can enter 2 or 3 attractions or experiences per day using the Lightning Lane entrance.”

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.