Genie First Impressions

Okay. I’ve updated my app and clicked the button to start exploring Genie. Aaaaand it won’t let me do anything until I’ve made a park reservation. Next week at the Magic Kingdom it is.

Annoyance number one. As soon as I turned on my app, it jumped into trying Genie, then it kicked me to the reservation system. Now there is no obvious way to get back to Genie. My Plans? Nope. Maybe this? If you go to the three lines in the left corner under the usual covid stuff, you have the MDE option. When you click that, Genie is the sixth thing down. Way to emphasize it, Disney. Okay, never mind. That just takes you to the Genie webpage that has been up for ages. At this point, the easiest thing was to close the app and re-open it.

That’s better. It now puts the reservation at the very top. It’s the first thing you see. Next to the date and park you can select My Day. This takes you into Genie after first running through some standard questions about your party.

It gives you a list of attractions, and you select the ones you like. Unsurprisingly, it only gives you a yes-no choice. You can’t make any differentiation between absolutely-must-ride and okay-if-I-have-time. It then does the same for restaurants. Next you get to select categories for both attractions and dining. Do you prefer thrill rides, slow rides or both? Are you looking for character dining experiences?

After you make your choices, it offers two things to customize – height requirement and accessibility. These do not change your selections, but it has the app show those conditions so you will know in advance that your small child can’t ride Big Thunder Mountain.

At this point, it cheerily tells you that you should make dining reservations, and has recommendations. One thing it points out is that the app does not do anything for you. It just nudges you in the direction it thinks you want to go. And honestly, since most of the dining recommendations were not on my preferred list, I suspect they are nudging us towards the restaurants that don’t have as many reservations for that day.

We’re not done yet. Because of park hopping, it lets you move on to other parks. I don’t know if Genie keeps your selections or if you have to do it every day that you go. I’ll find out soon, I’m sure.

One last point. The ‘block selection’ in the app has quite a few more things linked to it, including the Genie and Disney MagicMobile functions.

This is as far as you can go without being in a park. I am interested to see just how hard it nudges you towards the rides it thinks you want, or if it pushes you towards rides that aren’t on your list but have low traffic. So far, I think free spirits will ignore the app and people who are less experienced with Disney will appreciate the help. More later!

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