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New Disney Genie service launches this fall
Last week, the Walt Disney Company unveiled the new Disney Genie program.
Disney Genie is the next generation of digital planning tool, which the company says "takes the guesswork out of 'what's next,' so that visitors can spend less time in line and more time having fun with friends." The core Disney Genie functionality is free to use, and adds new features to the existing Disneyland mobile app to help visitors plan a customized itinerary for their visit.
Disney Genie offers visitors a variety of ways to experience the theme parks. Image courtesy Disney.
With this new offering, Disney is officially retiring its Fastpass and MaxPass services at the Disneyland Resort, and replacing them with new access called Lightning Lane. The Lightning Lane is a separate attraction entrance, similar to the former Fastpass entrance, which offers a shorter wait time. There are two ways to get access to the Lightning Lane, and both of them come at a premium.
Disney Genie+ is the next generation of the MaxPass service formerly offered at the Disneyland Resort. Visitors will use the service to reserve a digital return time at a participating attraction. When it's their time to ride, users will enter the attraction through the Lightning Lane. Most of the attractions that were previously available through MaxPass can be reserved through Disney Genie+, but Disney has yet to release a complete list.
Disneyland Resort visitors can make their first Disney Genie+ selection once they've entered a theme park, and can hold one attraction reseravation at a time throughout the day. Users make a new reservation once they have used or canceled the previous one.
The new Disney Genie app features free and paid options. Image courtesy Disney.
The cost for Disney Genie+ is $20 per person, per day at the Disneyland Resort. You can purchase Disney Genie+ for just one day or two, or for the entire visit. Magic Key holders will also be able to add Disney Genie+ by the day; at present, there's no option to add the service for the length of the pass or key.
At the Disneyland Resort, Genie+ customers also receive unlimited Disney PhotoPass digital downloads from their visit.
The second premium offering is a version of the Disney Premier Access service introduced earlier this month at Disneyland Paris. The domestic version doesn't have a fancy new name—Disney refers to it as Individual Attraction Selections—but the idea is the same: Pay to play.
Disney Genie+ users can choose to purchase access to the Lightning Lane for up to two "high demand" attractions per day, like Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventures, or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland. Disney only said that rides available as Individual Attraction Selections are not be the same rides as are available through Disney Genie+, but they may include attractions that currently use a virtual queue. If you're not lucky enough to get into the virtual queue for Spider-Man Web Slingers, you may be able to pay to get into a boarding group.
Disney Genie+ is a premium service and replaces the former free FastPass offering. Photo courtesy Disney.
Individual Attraction Selection pricing will vary by date, attraction and park, and is expected to be announced closer to launch. Disneyland Paris uses dynamic pricing for its offering, which even changes throughout the day depending on the length of the standby line. These passes can run up to $20 in U.S. dollars, and it's not a stretch to see that happening here, too.
Even with these changes, it's still possible to visit the Disneyland Resort without paying for premium access. Disney will continue to offer standby lines for most attractions, just as they did when Fastpass launched. And we're back to having five tiers of attractions:
Standby only – the types of rides which never offered Fastpass
Virtual Queue (free) only – no standby line
Standby (free) OR Disney Genie+ reservation (paid)
Standby (free) OR Individual Attraction Selection (paid)
Virtual Queue (free) OR Individual Attraction Selection (paid)
It's this last tier that gives me pause. When the virtual queue for rides like Rise of the Resistance fill up in seconds, there's clearly a capacity issue. Disney will have to divert some of that already-inadequate capacity to offer paid Individual Attraction Selection access. How Disney manages that—and how much inventory they divert from free virtual queue to paid Lightning Pass—remains to be seen, but it's not a stretch to expect the virtual queue to become much more difficult to join once this new system rolls out.
Disney Genie promises to provide your Best Disney Day. Photo courtesy Disney.
You can read more about the Disney Genie service, including how the program will work at the Walt Disney World Resort, here on MousePlanet.
We also took a deep dive into the topic last week on MousePlanet Live, and you can watch a replay of that broadcast below:
Three wishes and a bunch of questions
Disney Genie is definitely posed to change the way we visit the Disney theme parks, and MousePlanet readers understandably had a ton of questions about the new offering. We asked readers to submit their questions via Twitter, and we did our best to clarify the details. Here are some of the top hits:
Q: Do I have to buy Disney Genie+ for my entire vacation?
A: No, you can purchase the upgrade for one, some, or all days of your vacation. The Disney PhotoPass digital downloads will apply only to photos taken on days Disney Genie+ is purchased.
Q: Do I have to buy Disney Genie+ for my entire family?
A: No, but you can't make Lightning Lane reservations for anyone in your party who doesn't have Disney Genie+ active that day.
Q: Do I have to buy Disney Genie+ to make an Individual Attraction Selection for Radiator Springs Racers or Rise of the Resistance?
A: No, you can purchase Individual Attraction Selections without also purchasing Disney Genie+.
Q: Will PhotoPass still be offered?
A: Yes, the Disneyland Resort will continue to sell the PhotoPass+ One Week product, which includes digital downloads of all PhotoPass photos taken during that week.
Q: Is the Individual Attraction Selection fee per person, or per party?
A: The Individual Attraction Selection fee is per person. If a given ride is $10, you'll need to pay that for each member of your party who wants to ride.
Q: Will Disney Genie+ or Individual Attraction Selection change the way rider swap works?
A: No, there is no change to rider swap.
Q: I'm about to buy a new Magic Key this week, can I add Disney Genie+ to my pass?
A: At this time, Magic Key holders can purchase Disney Genie+ for $20 per person, per day, but there is no option to add it to a year-long pass.
Q: Can I make Disney Genie+ selections and/or Individual Attraction Selection in advance?
A: At the Disneyland Resort, you must first enter a theme park before you can begin to make Disney Genie+ selections and/or Individual Attraction Selections.
Q: How will this change the way the virtual queues work for Rise of the Resistance and Web Slingers?
A: There should be no change. Virtual queues will still open at 7:00 a.m. for those rides which use it.
Do you have more questions about the Disney Genie, Disney Genie+ , or Individual Attraction Selections? Drop us an email, or reach out via Twitter or Facebook. You can also check out Disney's official 14-minute overview of the new services.
Disney Genie Service – Full Overview | Walt Disney World & Disneyland Resort
The Genie grants an update to the Disability Access Service
With the debut of Disney Genie+, Disney is also introducing a change to its Disability Access Service. The biggest change is that visitors will be able to register for DAS before their visit, and even make some attraction selections before they arrive.
The Disability Access Service offers visitors with disabilities an alternative to standing in the traditional queue. Eligible guests reserve a time to return to ride an attraction, and can spend that time in a way which best meets their needs—seated, out of the sun, away from other visitors, or just walking around. The return time is based on the current standby wait for that attraction, so it's not a front-of-the-line pass, nor does it allow the user to skip the line. DAS users can hold one attraction reservation at a time throughout the day, and can only make a new reservation once they have used or canceled the previous one.
To qualify for the DAS at present, visitors must present themselves in person at a guest relations location and discuss their needs with a cast member. If approved, the cast member issues the DAS, and helps the guest make their first return time reservation.
The line at guest relations on any given morning can be quite long, and DAS users have often opined out the irony of needing to stand in a line to demonstrate that you can't stand in line.
Another concern with the DAS was that users had to go to one of a handful of guest relations kiosks in the theme parks to make each subsequent reservation. Disney addressed that issue by allowing another member of the DAS cardholder's group to make the reservation for them, but it wasn't as convenient as it could have been.
Disney is helping solve both problems by rolling the DAS process into the Disneyland smartphone app, and by introducing the option for visitors to register for DAS before their visit using the new DAS Advance program. Disney will implement these two updates later this fall, but did not say exactly when.
Through DAS Advance, visitors can schedule a live video call with a Disneyland guests relations cast member between 2 and 30 days in advance of their visit. The guest can complete the screening process during that call, and if approved, the cast member will assist them in making up to two DAS reservations for the day of their visit.
Visitors do not need to use DAS Advance, and can still register for the DAS program in person upon arrival at a Disneyland Resort theme park.
When the system is fully implemented, DAS users will also be able to use the Disneyland app to reserve their next return time without having to visit a guest relations kiosk in person. The DAS is completely separate from the Disney Genie+ service, and DAS users can also purchase and use Disney Genie+ and/or Individual Attraction Selections if they so choose.
Once issued, the DAS is valid for the length of the visitors ticket, or up to 60 days for Magic Key holders. Users must re-register after the pass expires. DAS passes issued at the Disneyland Resort are not valid at Walt Disney World, and vice versa.
For some, the best change in this program is language aimed at those who abuse the system. Disney's policy now states, "If Disney determines that any of the statements a Guest made in the process of obtaining DAS are not true, the Guest will be permanently barred from entering Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort, and any previously purchased annual passes, Magic Key passes, tickets and other park products and services will be forfeited and not refunded."
While we absolutely applaud these two improvements to the DAS program, there are a few things we noted. Disney says at present, the live video calls will be available in English only. There was no mention about accommodations for users who have hearing or speech impediments. We expect Disney will add options for these visitors, as well as for non-English speakers.
Oogie Boogie Bash sold out, but dessert isn't
All nights of the 2021 Oogie Boogie Bash event at Disney California Adventure have sold out, weeks earlier than the same event sold out in 2018 and 2019.
Oogie Boogie Bash is sold out for the 2021 season. MousePlanet file photo.
The 2021 event was already five nights longer than Disney has run the event in past years, and we don't expect that Disney will add more nights this year. That said, Disney hasn't yet published park hours for the three Saturdays before Halloween, October 9, 16 and 23. Those would be the ideal dates to add, without inconveniencing guests who have already made their plans .
In past years it was still possible for some visitors to purchase tickets to sold-out event nights in limited circumstances. Disney's ticketing department says these extra tickets will not be available this year. There are no tickets set aside for Disneyland Resort hotel guests, and no same-day tickets will be released.
Good news for those who already have tickets, reservations for the Sonoma Terrace Oogie Boogie Bash Dessert Party are available for the October 14, 17, 19 and 21 events. Only the 10:00 p.m. seating was available for each event as of press time, but it's always worth checking back to see if a spot opens up for the date or time you want to attend. Tickets for this party are available online through the Disneyland web site.
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Refurbishments and Attraction Closures
Attraction, restaurants, and stores that are closed for refurbishment are noted below. All other closures should be presumed to be due to COVID protocols, and are subject to change at any time without notice as the state of California issues new guidance.
All information was current as of this article's publication date. MousePlanet does not edit past Updates; for the most up-to-date refurbishment calendar, check the most recent Disneyland Resort Update, visit Disneyland.com or use the Disneyland smartphone application on your iOS or Android device.
View the different areas of the Resort by scrolling horizontally and selecting the one you want to read about.
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Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – under construction in ToonTown; scheduled to open in 2023.
Chip 'n' Dale Treehouse
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Frontierland Shootin' Exposition
Star Wars Launch Bay
Haunted Mansion – closed through September 2 for installation of the holiday overlay.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – closes September 7 for refurbishment. Reopening Fall, 2021
Sailing Ship Columbia – closes September 13 for refurbishment. Reopening date unknown, but after September 26.
Carnation Cafe – opens September 16
Clarabelle's – closed due to construction in ToonTown.
Daisy's Diner – closed due to construction in ToonTown.
Pluto's Dog House – closed due to construction in ToonTown.
Royal Street Verandah
Magical Transformations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Fairy Tale Treasures
Gag Factory – closed due to construction in ToonTown.
Main Street Photo Supply
Newsstand – closed through September 15
Disney California Adventure
Red Car Trolley
Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar
Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta
Downtown Disney District
Rainforest Cafe – now home to the Star Wars Trading Post.
AMC Theaters – building remains closed, courtyard is used as seating for Downtown Disney restaurants.
ESPN Zone – building is being used as a pop-up shop.
The VOID – permanently closed in 2020.
Rinse Cosmetics – closed in March 2021.
Disney Grand Californian Hotel – now open at limited capacity
Tenaya Stone Spa debuts on Thursday, September 16. Reservations are now open for Disneyland Resort Hotel guests.
Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel – now open at limited capacity
PCH Grill – permanently closed. No timeline released for a possible replacement.
Disneyland Hotel – now open at limited capacity
New DVC tower – concept plans filed with city of Anaheim. No timeline released.
Guest room refurbishment – was ongoing at the time of the Resort closure. Fantasy tower appears to be complete, but Frontier and Adventure towers may still be under renovation. No updated timeline available.
Steakhouse 55 – permanently closed. No timeline released for a possible replacement.
Check here to see if a large convention, competition, or park event might fall during your next trip to the Disneyland Resort. If you know of any in-park events, official or unofficial, that should be listed here, please send us an e-mail.
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Halloween Time – September 3 through October 31.
Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney California Adventure – select nights September 9 to October 31. Tickets on sale via the event website.
Gay Days (unofficial event) – September 17–19. More information on the event website.
Dapper Day (unofficial event) – Fall Outing to Disneyland scheduled for November 13-14. More information on the event website.
2022 D23 Expo – September 9–11, 2022 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Disneyland After Dark: Villains Nite – postponed from Thursday, April 30, 2020. Visitors who had already purchased a ticket to the sold-out event will automatically receive a ticket for the rescheduled event once a date is selected. However, anyone who purchased a ticket and prefers a refund can call (714) 781-4636 to request one.
Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite – postponed from Thursday, August 27, 2020. Visitors who had already purchased a ticket to the sold-out event will automatically receive a ticket for the rescheduled event once a date is selected. However, anyone who purchased a ticket and prefers a refund can call (714) 781-4636 to request one.
We also recommend checking the convention calendar at the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau website. When looking at that site, remember to note both the number of people and the number of rooms resulting from each convention. A gathering of 25,000 people booking few room nights (indicating most will be driving in to the area for their meeting) can impact traffic around the resort much more than a crowd of 25,000 staying in area hotels. Of course, that second group is going to make finding a hotel room more difficult (and possibly more expensive), so it's best to book your own room as early as possible if you see that a big convention is in town during your trip.
Non-Disney Resort Events
Notable events at parks and attractions around Southern California. If you know of an event that should be listed here, please send us an e-mail.
Current Discounts and Promotions
Disneyland prices as of February 2020.
Note: MousePlanet does not edit past Updates to reflect price increases; for up-to-date prices, check the most recent Disneyland Resort Update. Several current promotions offer discounted admission to the Disneyland Resort. For your convenience, we have grouped the discount offers based on the number of days the tickets are valid. Check out the category that best matches the amount of time you plan to spend at the resort, and pick the offer that works best for you. And keep those tips coming—let us know if you find a better or different offer, so we can share it with other readers!
This first section is a list of discounts on ticket-only purchases. Though it has become more common in recent years, Disneyland tickets are rarely offered at deep discounts unless you are a resident of Southern California or Northern Mexico. For residents outside that area, the best discounts available tend to be simple advance purchase discounts. If you know of any additional discounts, offers, promotions, or contests that should be listed in this section, drop us a line. Note, we are no longer listing offers from the Anaheim-Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, as their convenience fee negates any savings.
Ticket Prices and Promotions
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One Day Tickets
Ticket & Season
Adult Park Hopper
Child Park Hopper
One Day – Tier 1
One Day – Tier 2
One Day – Tier 3
One Day – Tier 4
One Day – Tier 5
MaxPass Add-On [Not currently offered]: $20 per day, per ticket
Check the Disneyland website to see what type of ticket you need for the day you plan to visit. Seasonal pricing applies only to one-day tickets.
Two Day Tickets
Two-Day, One-Park per Day Ticket – regularly $235/$220
Two-Day Park Hopper – regularly $290/$275
MaxPass Add-On [Not currently offered] – $20 per day, per ticket
Advance purchase Two-Day tickets – check for current discounts and promotions from Get Away Today
Three Day Tickets
Three-Day, One-Park per Day Ticket – regularly $310/$290
Three-Day Park Hopper – regularly $365/$345
MaxPass Add-On [Not currently offered] – $20 per day, per ticket
Advance purchase Three-Day tickets – check for current discounts and promotions from Get Away Today
SoCal Resident Ticket Offer
The 2020 Southern California Resident Ticket was available to residents of Southern California and Northern Baja California in spring, 2020. Due to the closure of the Disneyland Resort, the expiration date of this ticket is extended. Per Disney, If you purchased a promotional Southern California Resident Ticket, the expiration date will be extended through December 16, 2021. Tickets may be used on non-consecutive days. Blockout days of July 4; November 20–27, 2021 apply.
Special Ticket Offer for Kids Everywhere
This promotional ticket was also sold in spring, 2020. If you purchased a promotional Child Ticket and have not used it, the expiration date will be extended through December 16, 2021, and the ticket will expire 13 days after first use or December 16, 2021, whichever occurs first. Guests who used their first visit between February 28 and March 13, 2020, but did not reach their ticket’s maximum number of uses, will have the 13-day expiration period of the promotional ticket extended to December 16, 2021. Blockout days of July 4; November 20–27, 2021 apply.
Four Day Tickets
Four-Day, One-Park per Day Ticket – regularly $340/$320
Four-Day Park Hopper – regularly $395/$375
MaxPass Add-On [Not currently offered] – $20 per day, per ticket
Advance purchase Four-Day tickets – check for current discounts and promotions from Get Away Today.
Five Day Tickets
Five-Day, One-Park per Day Ticket – Regularly $360/$340
Five-Day Park Hopper – Regularly $415/$395
MaxPass Add-On [Not currently offered] – $20 per day, per ticket
Advance purchase Five-Day tickets – check for current discounts and promotions from Get Away Today.
Six Day (or more) Tickets
No longer offered by Disneyland for domestic customers. Some travel providers may offer tickets for 6 days or longer as part of a package to international customers; residents of Canada, Australia, or the U.K. should check with local travel agencies to see what options may be available.
If you purchased a promotional Canada Resident Ticket or Australia/New Zealand Resident Ticket, and have not used it, the expiration date will be extended through December 16, 2021, and the ticket will expire 13 days after first use or December 16, 2021, whichever occurs first. Guests who made their first visit between February 28 and March 13, 2020, but did not reach their ticket’s maximum number of uses, will have the 13-day expiration period of their promotional tickets extended to December 16, 2021.
Disneyland Resort Annual Passports
The Disneyland Resort has ended the annual passholder program. A new membership program is expected to launch in late 2020.
Passholders who held a valid Disneyland Resort annual passport as of March 14, 2020 are considered Legacy Passholders, and continue to receive certain benefits. Check the discounts section below.
Check with your employer, school or credit union to see if any other discounts are available through them.
Did we miss an offer? If you know of an authorized discount on Disneyland Resort tickets, standing offers for Annual Passholders from non-Disney vendors, or other promotions which might interest our readers, please drop us a note!
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Purchase with purchase offers – Disneyland Resort shops frequently offer a reduced-price souvenir (often a tote bag, watch, or blanket) with a qualifying minimum purchase. These are offered at Disney-operated stores only, and selection may vary by location.
Disney usually allows customers to purchase more than one of the offers in a qualifying transaction, so if you spend $40 or more you can buy both items currently available if you wish. If you're a passholder, the minimum purchase is calculated after your discount, and your discount does not apply to the promotional item.
Legacy Annual Passholders
After ended the former annual passholder program and creating the Legacy Passholder designation earlier this year, the Disneyland Resort said it would continue some passholder benefits for Legacy Passholders, including merchandise and food & beverage discounts at participating shops, until a new program is announced. At press time, the discount has been extended through May 31, 2020, but we expect that will be extended even further.
Legacy Passholders must show a digital discount ticket on their Disneyland app along with their physical passport and valid photo ID to receive any applicable food or merchandise benefits, or to access passholder-only opportunities.
Disney will automatically uploaded this digital discount ticket to the accounts of passholders who had previously linked their ticket to their Disneyland app. Passholders who had not previously linked their ticket to the Disneyland app must now do so, using a ticket code that was sent to them via email in March.
If you had already linked your ticket but the digital discount ticket does not appear on your account, contact Passholder Member Services at (714) 781-4567 or use the chat feature in the Disneyland app for assistance.
Disney Magic Shot at Disney California Adventure – cardholders have access to a private photo opportunity at Disney California Adventure, where a Disney character will be digitally added to your photo. The location is open daily from 10:30am – 1:30pm., and is adjacent to the Monsters, Inc. attraction in Hollywood Land. Members receive one free image download per visit.
Star Wars Magic Shot at Disneyland – cardholders have access to a private photo opportunity outside of the Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland, across from Autopia. This is open daily from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. Members receive one free image download per visit, and Star Wars character will be digitally added to your photo.
Disneyland Resort merchandise – cardholders also receive 10% off qualifying merchandise purchases of $50 or more from Disney-operated retail stores.
Disneyland Resort dining – 10% off at selected Disneyland Resort restaurants, (River Belle Terrace, French Market, Cocina Cucamonga, Wine Country Trattoria (lunch), Paradise Garden Grill, The Lounge at Steakhouse 55 (breakfast), Steakhouse 55 (breakfast), PCH Grill (breakfast and dinner), and Storyteller's Café (lunch).
Downtown Disney District dining and merchandise – 10% off at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen (maximum discount of $40, excludes alcohol), Wetzel's Pretzels, and Alamo Rent a Car.
Disneyland Resort Guided Tours – 15% off the "Welcome to Disneyland," "A Walk in Walt's Footsteps," "Discover the Magic," and "Cultivating the Magic" guided tours.
Southern California Residents
SoCal Resident Ticket Offer
The 2020 Southern California Resident Ticket was available to residents of Southern California and Northern Baja California in spring, 2020. Due to the closure of the Disneyland Resort, the expiration date of this ticket is extended. Per Disney, If you purchased a promotional Southern California Resident Ticket, the expiration date will be extended through December 16, 2021. Tickets may be used on non-consecutive days. Blockout days of July 4; November 20-27, 2021 apply.
If you know of an offer that we've missed, please drop us an email with the details.
Disney Vacation Club Members
None currently available
If you know of an offer that you think most Members do not know about, please drop us an email with the details.
Disneyland Resort Military Discounts
Disneyland has not yet announced details of a 2021 Military Salute program.
If you purchased a ticket under the 2020 program, the expiration date will be extended through December 16, 2021. Tickets may be used on non-consecutive days.
Hotel & Travel Packages
Costco Travel Packages – many different travel packages including visits to Disneyland and Disneyland hotels are available through Costco.
Disney's Resort Magic and Good Neighbor Magic Packages – these package includes accommodations in one of the three resort hotels or at one of 40 Good Neighbor hotels, along with theme park admission. The packages also come with a variety of extra inclusions and bonuses, usually a souvenir pin and lanyard, and discount coupons for various Downtown Disney merchants.