Disney Genie+, the add on service that provides line skipping capabilities on rides at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, for a fee, has been met with mixed reviews since its launch last year. Some aspects of the service work well for some guests, while others don’t find it to be worth the money. But the necessity of Genie+ may have just drastically increased as several character meet-and-greet opportunities, including those with Disney Princesses, have now been added to Genie+ at Walt Disney World.
Starting tomorrow, January 26, according to BlogMickey, select character sightings will be added to the Genie+ service, meaning that guests can select return times to meet some popular Disney characters. Among those specified to be added include meeting both Cinderella or Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom, as well as meeting Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom’s Town Square Theater or meeting Olaf at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Seeing this addition is little shock. Character meet-and-greets were part of the previous FastPass+ system, and so seeing them get added to Genie+ is honestly expected at this point. The parks were already set up to allow for this and the more items that can be included in Genie+, the more useful it will appear to guests who are considering the purchase.
The primary reason we didn’t see these encounters get added to Genie+ at the outset is likely because they’re still few and far between. Many character meetups that were at Walt Disney World prior to the pandemic shutdown still have not returned. When they do, we can expect they’ll be added to Genie+ in short order.
For some meetings characters is a fun little diversion, for others it’s a necessary part of visiting Disney Parks. If you didn’t get your picture taken with Mickey Mouse, did you even go to Disney World? For this latter group having the ability to get your picture taken will be nice.
For those that are a bit more spontaneous, this is also a good thing. Under the old FastPass+ system, if you wanted to skip the line to get your picture with Mickey Mouse, you had to make that decision a month or more before your trip. Now, if you happen to notice a return time coming up while you’re in the park, you can make the decision right then to go get that photo.
There are a lot of people who are frustrated with Genie+ for offering a service that was once free for an added cost. They will certainly not be happy to see this. While the inclusion of these experiences will eliminate the line for some, it will make the standby line longer for everybody else.
Disneyland Resort never included character interactions as part of FastPass in the same way, so it will be interesting to see if this changes, since both resorts are now using the same Genie+ service. Disneyland Resort is becoming a lot more like Walt Disney World in many ways, and perhaps at some point down the road this will be one of them.