At time of writing, the new Walt Disney World Genie upgrade to the My Disney Experience has been around for a week. As with most new things, we need to understand that data is important. We will know more in upcoming weeks. Still, we have learned a few things about Disney Genie that Disney might not want you to know.
Today, we are only discussing Disney Genie, a free service supposedly designed to help your theme park day. We are not discussing, in this article, about Genie+ or lightning lanes. Those subjects would demand an article of their own. So, what is Disney not telling you? To be clear, Disney is not blatantly lying to guests. They have “lawyered up” their new app to leave our details as we will see. However, you may feel lied to if you do not recognize the following things about Disney Genie.
Disney Genie “can” help you reduce time in attraction queues.
This is a true statement. In most early reports, this is true. However, Disney Genie never guarantees shorter waits. It also never guarantees you will get to ride the attractions you want if you follow its advice. The data is limited so far, but Genie mostly direct you to short attraction queue but DO NOT expect those to be the ones you requested.
For Disney Genie to work at all, you need to be in same theme park all day.
If you get lucky and the Genie smiles upon you, the system seems to plan by assuming you will be in the same theme park all day. Most of the time if the attractions you wanted to do have longer waits, then Genie will skip them. Genie might come back to that attraction later but no guarantee. You may have told Genie you just want to ride Jungle Cruise and Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom. You might arrive at the park 9:30am to do this. Genie may not direct you to either of those attractions until after 7pm. Genie has told some guests to just wait for several hours doing nothing. This can be frustrating if you trust Genie and wanted to park hop.
Genie gives you inadequate data on predicted wait time.
The Genie system shows you a graph but does not explain it. A similar graph may be shown for Rise of the Resistance as Star Tours. The Genie system does not label the graphs with any numbers so you have no idea how long the predicted wait might be later.
Disney Genie is not using actual hard cold data.
Many guests will assume the Genie system is using actual data to predict attraction waits. However, Genie’s own explanation says: “Wait times are estimates generated using a variety of factors. Wait time estimates can vary significantly from the wait time you may experience and are subject to frequent changes within each day due to a variety of factors such as attendance, guest interest, weather and attraction downtimes.”
In Genie’s legal terms it then says: “Because we cannot guarantee the accuracy of these wait time estimates you should not rely on them when making purchase decisions.” I realize we are not talking about the paid option in this article but seriously? You want guests to use your service but you know it cannot be counted on for help.
Disney Genie was made for Walt Disney World’s purposes not for your theme park purposes.
I know this sound cynical, but Disney made this app update to control the crowd. They did not create it so guests would be more informed. Disney is a business with crowded theme parks. If they can get more guests to go where others do not want to go, then they win. If they can get guests to dine at places they want, then Disney wins.
So far based on actual guest reports, Disney Genie does some things well but helping you tour the park with an organized and efficient plan—NO! Sadly, you will have to pay someone else for that touring plan. Genie can be useful for dining spots and a few other things, but I would not advice anyone to simply trust the data Genie gives you. You ain’t ever had a friend like this Genie and I mean that in a bad way. I could have listed more things Disney does not want you to know but those are most important ones right now. Be prepared!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.