Have you heard of the Disney Genie planning app? Or maybe you heard of it once, but then completely forgot that it existed (perhaps because Disney hasn’t spoken a lot about it)?
At the D23 Expo in 2019, Disney announced that a new planning offering called the “Disney Genie” was coming soon. But since the initial reveal, updates about Disney Genie have been few and far between. So, what’s the deal?? Here’s what we know so far!
What Is Disney Genie?
Guests that have traveled to Disney World in recent years are likely familiar with My Disney Experience, an online planning tool that allows guests to manage dining reservations, check wait times, place Mobile Orders, and more.
With all of the functionalities available in My Disney Experience, what more will Disney Genie add? Well, Disney Genie will take things a step further. Essentially, Disney Genie will work alongside My Disney Experience to make your planning easier. Genie will provide you with customized vacation itineraries based on your specific interests with just a few taps on your phone.
According to Disney, Disney Genie is designed to “help you make the most out of your visit, whether you’re a first-time guest or a seasoned pro.” Disney has also shared some examples of interests that itineraries can be built around, including “a royal, princess-themed day at Magic Kingdom Park to a trip around the world at EPCOT for foodies and even a perfect day for thrill-seekers.”
But, don’t worry — the plans will also be flexible, so you can change things throughout the day to re-optimize your plans. Guests can receive modified itineraries as their day changes with real-time updates, tips, tricks, and recommendations based on nearby experiences. Disney Genie will even be able to assist with any needed reservations for your whole group!
Interestingly, Disney has also stated that “Certain features of Disney Genie will also be available through your preferred travel professional.”
You’ll be able to inform the Genie of what your interests are and what you’d most like to do, and the Disney Genie will then be able to make personalized recommendations for you to best optimize your time. The Genie will also inform you about estimated wait times at attractions, as well as your suggested arrival times based on your current location in the parks.
Essentially, Disney Genie is a more robust and personalized planning tool that’s designed to help guests get the most out of each day of their Disney World vacation.
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, recently said “We are ready to meet guests wherever they are and take them places they have never been before.”
This app could be a game-changer for guests who don’t have time to plan or just don’t enjoy the planning process. It could also be helpful for those who have been to Disney hundreds of times and are looking for a unique itinerary they may have not created on their own, or just want some helpful tips and tricks.
What’s Going On With Disney Genie Now?
When Will Disney Genie Be Available?
When Disney Genie was originally announced in 2019, Disney stated that the new offering would launch in late 2020. Then that whole “Disney World closed for almost half a year” thing happened. 😬 As of mid-2021, Disney Genie has not yet gone live.
During an interview shared in April of 2021, Josh D’Amaro said that Disney Genie will launch “soon” in Disney World. We still don’t have an exact date, but we’re definitely on the lookout for more details!
Disney World’s 50th Anniversary is coming soon and preparations are already underway for this special celebration. Could Disney be waiting to launch Disney Genie closer to the 50th as “part of the celebrations?” It’s possible, but Disney hasn’t shared any exact details on a launch date yet.
Disney Genie Preview
We have seen other signs that indicate this project is still in the works. Tilak Mandadi, Disney’s Executive Vice President of Digital and Chief Technology Officer of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, gave a preview of Disney Genie functionalities in November 2020.
That preview was made back in November of 2020 and it was the first news we had heard about the Disney Genie in a WHILE, but at least it was a sign that the system is still in the works.
We also spotted some artificial intelligence patents in late 2020 that seem like they could be used for Disney Genie. The patents involve an artificially intelligent virtual agent that is designed to have a human-like response to whatever the user says.
The virtual agent system created by the patent could even identify a “character” to embody (could this be a Disney character, like the Genie maybe?!).
As we noted above, in April of 2021, Josh D’Amaro spoke briefly about Disney Genie and how it will debut in Disney World soon. D’Amaro also noted that Disney has a highly talented multi-disciplinary team working on things that will shape the future of guests’ experiences.
Introduction of MagicMobile
In March 2021, Disney launched a new digital planning tool, but it wasn’t Disney Genie. Instead, it was MagicMobile. This new service essentially turns your phone into your MagicBand, allowing guests to use their phones to tap into the parks, link PhotoPass photos, and more. This service is now available for both Apple and Android users.
But MagicMobile mostly just gives guests another option for accessing current features housed in My Disney Experience, rather than adding new functionalities to the planning experience.
The fact that Disney introduced MagicMobile could be a good sign for Disney Genie — showing that Disney is still working on introducing new technology to the parks experience. But the fact that news about Disney Genie has been pretty scarce while an entirely separate technological system has already been introduced and implemented in the parks is not a great sign.
Is There a Cost?
Disney has not indicated whether Disney Genie will be free to use or whether guests will need to pay an additional fee for it. We’re still on the lookout for more information about that!
Between the updates from Disney’s executive team and potential Disney Genie-related patents we saw in late 2020, it seems that this new planning tool is still in the works behind the scenes, even though Disney really hasn’t shared a lot of details about its eventual release.
We’ll continue to be on the lookout for any announcements from Disney regarding the future of Disney Genie, so stay tuned for all of the latest updates!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Are you excited to use the Disney Genie planning tool? Let us know in the comments!