There are many ways to connect, plan and enjoy the magic at Walt Disney World these days. So many, in fact it can get confusing as to know when to use which app or system or experience. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with where to go for tickets, how to make a dining reservation or how to plan your day here is a breakdown of the difference between some of Disney’s systems including Disney World Reservation System, My Disney Experience App, and Disney Genie, which features Lightning Lane and Disney Genie+.

Disney World Reservation System
Before you can visit any Walt Disney World park, you MUST have a theme park reservation in addition to valid admission for the same park on the same date. This is where the Disney World Reservation System comes into play. You will need a valid park admission that’s linked to your Disney account. Then you can make a reservation and create your party. Once you have made a reservation, we highly recommend choosing the date and the theme park that you want to visit. Once that is taken care of, review and confirm your plans and you’re good to go! From there, you are able to link everything to the app and start making dining reservations as well.

My Disney Experience App
The My Disney Experience App is where all the planning magic happens or you can simply just use it to view theme park maps, view attraction wait times, make mobile food orders, interact with some park locations, browse through PhotoPass images, and more. It’s also where you’ll make Virtual Queues for rides like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. You can use this app to act as your Park Ticket using Disney MagicMobile, so you don’t need a MagicBand or physical park ticket if you’ve added your Disney World Ticket to your App. If you’re staying at a Disney hotel, you can take advantage of the in-app check-in process, and even unlock your hotel room door from the app. In order to use the Disney Genie, Genie+ or Lightning Lane, you will need to have a My Disney Experience account. The app allows you to manage and share vacation details wherever you are (in a park or at home) in a super convenient way. My Disney Experience does everything from allows you to create a friends and family list so you can make and share plans to link and share your reservation tickets, book select resorts and dining and again creates itineraries for each park day. And of course, the app allows you to purchase Disney Genie+ as well as make your selections. It is a must-have whatever you decide to do during your Disney stay.

Disney Genie
Built into the My Disney Experience mobile App, the new Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ provide unique services that will make you feel like you really are working with a genie. Disney Genie works with you and uses your likes and interests to create your best Disney day. For example, if you selected that you’d liked Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney’s Magic Kingdom then this will populate on the app and help you plan for when to visit the ride. There is also a personalized itinerary creator that maps out your visit. Disney Genie also reminds you when you are eligible to make a dining and activity reservation in advance. A custom tip board and access to a map is also available. It really does take the guesswork out of planning. Within Disney Genie is the new Lightning Lane and Disney Genie+. Think of Lightning Lane as the new FastPass lane with Disney Genie+ serving as the system used to get you there. For example, when you purchase Disney Genie+ service, you may choose the next available arrival window for Lightning Lane entrances at select attractions and entertainment. You can only choose one selection at a time but it sure does make getting on your favorite ride or attraction easier. Keep in mind, you can only purchase Disney Genie+ on the day of your park stay. Selections begin at 7 a.m.

We hope this helps you plan your next Disney vacation a little easier. Happy planning!