Mom and child riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • On Feb 1, 2022
    Emily from SC Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I'm going to WDW at the end of the year this year and I've not been since 2016, Is Disney's Genie/+, PhotoPass, Memory Maker, Disney Vacation Club, and MagicBands/+ worth it?

    Hiya, Emily!

    I'm so glad you're coming back to the Walt Disney World Resort! They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.. and I'm hoping that is exactly what you experience upon returning to the Most Magical Place on Earth.

    Disney Genie is likely the newest addition to Disney Parks, as well as Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes. You're not alone in navigating this new change. Disney Genie is a free service, accessible through the My Disney Experience app. Disney Genie helps grant your wishes by providing a customized itinerary based on your interests and selections. This feature will show you forecasted wait times and recommend the best times to visit rides and attractions. It can also show you which dining options are close by as you make your way around the parks. Disney Genie+ is a paid upgrade to this service. For $15 per person, per day (prices subject to change), you will be able to utilize the Lightning Lane for attractions of your choice. Over 40 rides throughout all four parks are included. With two young kids, lines are the toughest part of Walt Disney World for my family, so Genie+ is certainly worth it for us. To make this decision, I would weigh the cost against the length of your stay, the number of Guests in your party and how many attractions you'd like to visit. You do have the option to purchase Genie+ one day at a time. My suggestion would be to give it a try on your first day and decide if it's right for the rest of your trip. In each park, there are a few Individual Lightning Lane attractions, high-demand rides that are not included with Genie+. You pay a separate fee per person per day for faster access to these rides. If they are rides that are on your must-do list and the cost fits within your budget, I think it's worth it as these stand-by lines tend to be the longest.

    Photopass and Memory Maker are a partnership, like Chip and Dale! There are Photopass locations and Walt Disney World photographers throughout the parks ready to capture your memories. With the purchase of Memory Maker, you will receive unlimited downloads of the photos taken. If you're a person who doesn't do well keeping up with photos or always wishes you had captured more moments, I think Memory Maker will be worth it for you!

    Though MagicBand+ has not yet been released, MagicBands have always been a must for my family. Each person in your party only needs one (for life), so I think the cost is reasonable! They are just the handiest Mousketool of all, allowing you to unlock your Disney Resort Hotel door, use it as payment at participating locations, scan into the parks and rides and more.

    Disney Vacation Club is a much more long-term, greater financial commitment to the Walt Disney World Resort. My husband and I spent at least a year mulling over our options and weighing the pros and cons before finally joining. I'd recommend reaching out to our Disney Vacation Club specialists at planDisney to help with this one!

    Happy planning,

thumbnail image for Ashley

Meet the Panelist: Ashley, New Jersey

Hey friends! I'm Ashley, a Disney-loving mom ready to help you plan your next adventure! I am married to my college sweetheart and we have two young, energetic kids who have inherited our love of Disney! As Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members, we spend our time at Walt Disney World Resort in all different ways, from packed park days to relaxing by the pool, our family has developed a love for all Disney has to offer. I'm excited to share the magic with all of you! Learn More About Ashley

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