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Disney World’s FastPass+ and Disneyland’s MaxPass are ending. In their place: Disney Genie. This new app-based system for access to shorter ride lines will be implemented at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. And it will do much more than offer quicker access to rides. The company says Genie will help visitors navigate the parks, guide them to shorter ride lines and more. Here’s what we know about the new Disney Genie Service, including what it will do, what you’ll have to pay for and when it will start.
If you have strategically planned your FastPass+ on past Disney World trips, you know that there’s an art to booking the faster access to rides. FastPass+ was a free Disney World perk that was both beloved by and frustrating to guests. Then 2020 happened and FastPass+ was suspended, with whispers questioning whether it would ever return.
The answer is here: It won’t. The free FastPass+ is a thing of the past. Disneyland’s paid line-skipping system, MaxPass, also will end. In their place: Disney Genie Service.
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What is Disney Genie Service you ask? Here, we break down what we know. We will update this post as more is revealed.
Why the Name?
First of all, it’s not lost on us that when making this massive change that Disney named it after one of the most beloved Disney characters of all time. Who didn’t adore Robin Williams voicing the Genie in Aladdin? So we’ve got to give the company points on the name.
Disney Genie Service was formally announced on August 18, 2021 and here’s what we know so far:
Can I Still Get a FastPass+?
Nope. FASTPASS, FastPass+, and Disney MaxPass are being retired. Disney Genie Service will officially replace them with a variety of options that you can pay for.
FastPass+ lanes will be renamed “Lightning Lanes.”
How Will Disney Genie Service Work?
Just like the Genie in the Aladdin story, you’ll share your wishes with him. Tell Genie what you like- toddler rides, thrill rides, princesses and more. Genie will help build an itinerary and then direct you to rides when wait times are shorter.
This service is digital and built into the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps. This portion of the Disney Genie Service is free to use.
How Much Will Disney Genie+ Service Cost?
The portion of Disney Genie Service that is not free is the FastPass+ style perk: access to the shorter ride lines, now called Lightning Lanes.
Disney Genie+ service will cost $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World Resort. At Disneyland, the cost is $20 per ticket per day, the same price Disney charges for MaxPass.
That means my family of six would pay an additional $90 per day at Disney World or $120 per day at Disneyland for Lightning Lane access. That’s on top of the park tickets.
What Does Disney Genie+ Include?
The daily Disney Genie+ price includes:
- Lightning Lane access for shorter ride wait times at most rides
- Disney parks-themed audio experiences and photos to capture memories
- Augmented reality lenses (Walt Disney World Resort)
- Unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads (Disneyland Resort)
When Will Disney Genie Start?
Disney said only “this fall.” But with Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration coming in October, we expect to see the launch of Genie then.
Will It Be Worth the Cost?
It’s hard to say. If relatively few people buy it, the Lightning Lane access could be a great way to maximize a Disney day.
However, the more people who buy it, the more people who will be waiting in the “fast” Lightning Lane. For now, our advice is: If you can swing the cost, try it on a day you have a Park Hopper and hope other people skip the additional fees.
How Do I Use Lightning Lane Access?
When you pay for Disney Genie+ service, you will be able to use the app to choose the next available time to arrive at that ride or attraction. Upon arrival, you’ll use the Lightning Lane entrance, which should significantly reduce the time you have to wait to ride.
Once you’re off that ride, you can go back to the app and ask for access to another ride. That’s the big difference between Disney Genie and FastPass+. You can only make selections the day of, one at a time throughout the day.
A full list of attractions hasn’t been released yet but Disney has mentioned Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. You can make selections across multiple theme parks if you have a Park Hopper ticket that allows you to visit more than one park in a day.
Get More, for More Money
High-demand attractions such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom in Florida and Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure park at Disneyland will not be included in Disney Genie+. If you want to access the Lightning Lane for those rides, you will have to pay more.
Pricing will vary by date, attraction and park. Expect to pay more during more crowded times like Christmas, Spring Break and summer. Disney hasn’t yet released the full list of rides that will fall into this extra-cost category.
Overall Thoughts on Disney Genie+
I’ve got a lot of feelings on this one. I love Disney and have had many magical memories there. The Genie service within the app seems like it will enhance a Disney vacation. Being able to build a favorites board and predict future wait times will make Disney vacations better.
But we know that Disney is already an expensive vacation. An extra $15 per ticket per day is just one more expense for families to absorb. At this point, I’m reserving judgment until I see the full list of attractions included in the Disney Genie+ service and which ones we’ll have to pay for individually.