Disney Genie officially launched on October 19, 2021! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
Like I explained before, this free component of My Disney Experience will be available for all guests. This complimentary service offers new features, including a tool that can map out an entire day based on your pre-travel choices. It will also help to reduce wait times in rides, pace your day, and build around existing plans.
While Disney Genie is free, there will be 2 different ways to utilize paid Lightning Lanes to save time in lines. Lightning Lane entrances, available for a fee, will be used.
Disney Genie+ will be an add-on at 40+ attractions. It will cost $15 per person, per day. Using this service, you can select arrival windows for Lightning Lane entrances, one at a time throughout the day. Genie+ will also feature audio files and PhotoPass lenses. Genie+ will not sell out.
Once you have Genie+, you can book the next available arrival window for your first experience via the My Disney Experience app beginning at 7:00 AM on the day of your visit. Once you’ve redeemed your initial selection (or the arrival window has passed), you can make another selection using the app, up to park closing.
I can add this on to your ticket or package for the duration of your visit prior to travel, or you can choose to purchase for single days on your own in the My Disney Experience app.
Individual Attraction Selections
These are the headliner attractions. These highly demanded rides will offer Lightning Lane entry as an "á la carte" purchase. This option will be available for everyone—with or without Disney Genie+ service—and lets you choose a time to arrive at up to 2 attractions each day (booked one at a time).
Purchase of Lightning Lanes for these headliners will be only be via Disney Genie in the My Disney Experience app on the same day of your visit. Pricing will vary by date, attraction and park. Prices and availability will be listed in the My Disney Experience app on the day of your visit.
You can only purchase individual selections for up to 2 different attractions per day. These will have a limited, and can sell out. Guests at Disney resorts will have "first dibs" on attractions.
The photo below outlines which rides are included with the Genie+ add-on, and which are included with the “a la carte” premium Individual Attractions.
Disney Genie, as well as its paid components, only work if you have the most updated version of My Disney Experience app. Update this the day before you travel, and double-check that it's the most updated version before you use any part of Disney Genie. We also learned that it's MUCH easier to add Genie+ prior to travel, rather than adding by day once you're already there.
I have already added Genie+ for all currently booked clients who have requested it. If you have questions about how I can add Genie+ to your trip, contact me. For more information about becoming a concierge-level client, click here.
Disney Dining Review: Via Napoli
"In Napoli where love is king, when boy meets girl, here's what they say."
It's definitely "amore" at first sight at Via Napoli. This restaurant and pizzeria is the perfect tour of Southern Italy, right in the heart of EPCOT!
We visited Via Napoli in September for an early dinner. After just a few hours in EPCOT, we were already hot, thirsty, and had worked up a bit of an appetite. After checking in, we were seated right away.
The restaurant is actually much larger than it looks, but we were fortunate to sit inside with a perfect view of the wood burning ovens. If you haven't visited Via Napoli, it's worth a reservation just to check these out! The ovens are named after the 3 active volcanoes in Italy: Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius, and Stromboli.
Via Napoli features traditional Neapolitan pizza. The thin-crust pizzas are made with fresh mozzarella cheese, San Marzano tomatoes and real Caputo flour imported from Southern Italy. (Water for the dough is even sourced from a spring similar to Italy's Campania region!) Restaurateur Nick Valenti actually spent time in Naples studying the art of dough, crust, sauce and oven temperatures before creating the menu at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria. Talk about attention to detail!
We decided to share a Piccante pizza, and added pepperoni at the suggestion of our waitress. It. Was. Heavenly. I'm self-admittedly not a pepperoni pizza girl, but this was perfect!
(On previous trips, I've also enjoyed the prosciutto e melone and the margherita pizzas. I've also had the chance to try their heavenly sangrias and tiramisu!)
I strongly recommend Via Napoli to guests of all ages and groups of all sizes. They are easily able to accommodate large groups. (I once personally visited with a group of 19!) Via Napoli has a kid-pleasing menu, very shareable pizzas, a wide variety of drinks, and is a lovely reprieve from the parks. Find it at the back of the Italy pavilion.
Advanced Dining Reservations are recommended for Via Napoli. All of my clients receive my personalized dining recommendations. Click here to be added as a concierge-level client!
What a crazy week it's been! “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” is in full swing as of October 1st, and now Disney has some MORE news!
The previously announced Disney Genie service will launch on Oct. 19 at Walt Disney World Resort! This service will be available for all guests right in the My Disney Experience app! This complimentary service will perfectly compliment my tips and suggestions with your decisions in real time!
The technology will work similarly to a navigation app on your phone. Basically, Disney Genie will update your itinerary. This will help to:
This launch will also include Lightning Lanes at 40+ attractions! This will be available for additional purchase through Disney Genie+ OR individually “a la carte” at the most highly demanded attractions. Pricing will vary, depending on date, attraction, and park. Additionally, some rides, like Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, may still operate on a virtual queue.
For more information about how Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, or Lightning Lanes will work, contact me!
Walt Disney World Turns 50!
Walt Disney World is officially 50 years old!
I was fortunate enough to be in Magic Kingdom on its actual 50th anniversary. While it was magical and emotional, it was also crowded. Read along to find out how I skipped all of those crazy lines and what I did instead!
I've been planning this trip for a long time. I predicted that the crowd situation would likely look intense, and I was right. However, what I wasn't prepared for were where the crowds actually were.
I personally prefer my "merch" in the forms of things I can use in my daily life. (Water bottles, coffee mugs, hoodies, etc.) After over 20 personal trips over the last 31 years, I've learned what I use the most. Anyway, I never got super into things like popcorn buckets, pins (I do have a few), or other items that I otherwise can't use in my daily life.
If you saw the INTENSE lines on the news, TikTok, IG, etc., those were lines for merchandise and popcorn buckets. No joke. As of 8:15 a.m., the Emporium and Main Street Confectionary were literally full for the day and were not accepting anyone else into their virtual spots. With those people in lines for merch, as well as people who didn't mobile order food in advance (more on that soon), lines for rides were crazy short all day.
While most people were extremely polite, I sadly saw some very ugly behavior on October 1st, too. Literally fighting over merchandise, folks screaming at Cast Members, complaining about having to wait for food, you name it. Please, no matter where or when you're traveling, remember to BE KIND.
What I Ate
I pre-ordered our breakfast, dinner, and snacks at 5:30 a.m. (We had table service lunch reservations.) While that may sound extreme, I mentally thanked myself for that all day long. I was also sure to hydrate constantly, and carried snacks in my park bag, just in case! (If you're wondering what's in my park bags, get my packing list here!)
Breakfast - Fresh fruit waffle sandwich and French Vanilla Iced Coffee (Sleepy Hollow)
Lunch - All-You-Care-to-Enjoy platter and 2 adult beverages (Liberty Tree Tavern)
Snack - Pineapple Dole Whip cup (Aloha Isle)
Dinner - 1971 Meal (Casey's Corner)
One of the highlights of my day was seeing absolute legend Randy Morris play at Casey's Corner! Randy started as a pianist at Casey's Corner (then called Coke Corner) back at the park opening in 1971. He's since retired, but returned on the 50th to play again! It was incredible, and I'm getting emotional just typing about it!
What I Did
While these aren't the order we rode them in, we experienced:
I was at Magic Kingdom on September 29th for the last-ever Happily Ever After, and I thought that surely nothing could top that show. This one absolutely did.
Stunning. Absolutely stunning. This show made my jaw drop, gave me goosebumps, and made me laugh, cry, and sing along. The theme song, "You Are The Magic", is one of the best, most magical pieces written for a Disney attraction ever. This show is a must, MUST see. I was so glad to get up close to the Castle (we were in front of the hub grass) for the premiere, but next time I definitely want to watch from Main Street USA.
Did you know that there are projections along Main Street during this show?? Depending on where you watch, you'll have a completely different experience!
This was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I'm so incredibly thrilled that I was there to experience it. The heat, the crowds, the exhaustion...they were all well worth it.
The World's Most Magical Celebration lasts for 18 months, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to experience everything that the 50th Anniversary has in store, including cavalcades, nighttime spectaculars, shows, and merchandise (did I mention that the infamous Starbucks cup that people were punching each other over is already back in stock???? LOL!!)
There is tons of fun, excitement, and magic to be had. If your trip isn't on the books yet, contact me to get started or schedule a complimentary vacation consultation to get more information!
What I Wore
I opted not to do a DisneyBound for the 50th, and instead relied on a few of my tried and true favorites. I wore a pink version of my favorite FunkyMonkey park sandals, a pink "bunny ear" scrunchie at the bottom of my Dutch braid, rose gold Mickey earrings, (mine were "Hey June" brand and a gift from a friend, but I've linked something similar), and my favorite Disney Parks Attractions Loungefly mini-backpack. You can find each of these right on Amazon and can shop them from these links or from the photos below!