Genie+ PhotoPass AR Lenses are Not as Magical in Some Places

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The Orlando area theme park world has been preparing for the arrival of the Disney Genie system for some time. The system went into full operation October 19th, 2021 and that day may go down in theme park infamy or be called an incredible innovation. Only time will tell about Disney Genie.

As with most changes at Walt Disney World, there will be some surprises good and bad.

One of the less discussed features of Genie+ were the PhotoPass AR (Augmented Reality) lenses that were included. Many of these are location based. The photo lens that can be done standing in front of the castle with it being in its “Birthday cake” 25th anniversary look has been popular early on.

Basically, the PhotoPass AR lenses are like Snapchat filters. You can take photos with these lenses anywhere in Disney World such as in the parks, Disney Springs, Disney buses, and even your resort hotel. With these lenses, you can turn yourself into a genie for example.

There are several other lenses, including some that turn you into a Disney villain or a chef alongside Remy from Ratatouille. You will even get to use some of them at home for 45 days after your Disney World trip.

Photo courtesy of Main Street Magic Podcast

This is where the problem starts!

I was thinking how cool it would be to create photos using these lenses when I got home from a trip to Orlando. The Genie explanation says I could do that for 45 days after a trip. Only one problem, I live in Illinois.

As was pointed out by Scott Gustin on twitter on October 22, 2021, there are limitations to using these lenses after your trip. Some of the filters are attributive lenses with special rules. You must be 18 years or older to use them.

Photo courtesy of Main Street Magic Podcast

However, the oddest part is that if you try to use these special lenses in certain locations you will get an error message. If you live in Illinois, like me, or Texas then you will allegedly get said error message. If you try within Portland Oregon, you will also get an error message. The message will say “Sorry this lens is unavailable in your current area.”

Based on learning this, I have read more about biometric data laws in my state that I ever desired to do. I assume the restriction in certain places is due to biometric data legislation in Illinois and other places.

I guess the morale of this story is if you want to enjoy these lenses but live in certain restricted areas, then enjoy them when in Florida. This may not be the more difficult change regarding Genie+ but it may be the oddest.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!


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