Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Why the Name?
- Can I Still Get a FastPass+?
- How Does Disney Genie Service Work?
- How Much Does Disney Genie+ Service Cost?
- What Does Disney Genie+ Include?
- Is Genie+ Worth the Cost?
- When Can I Add Genie+ to My Ticket?
- How Do I Use Lightning Lane Access?
- Disney Genie+ Attractions at Magic Kingdom
- EPCOT Disney Genie+ Attractions
- Disney Genie+ Attractions at Hollywood Studios
- Genie+ Attractions at Animal Kingdom
- Overall Thoughts on Disney Genie+
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 launched on October 19th, 2021 at Walt Disney World in Florida. A date has not been announced for Disneyland in California yet. Genie helps guide you through the parks, navigate wait times and more. Here’s how to use both the paid and free Genie services at Disney.
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 it down.
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.
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 are now “Lightning Lanes.”
How Does 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 but you must have a linked ticket to get personalized recommendations. Without a ticket Genie just shows you current wait times and upcoming shows. It won’t be personalized to your priorities.
TravelingMom Tip: If you haven’t updated your MyDisneyExperience app in awhile do it! The full power of Genie only works on updated apps and you certainly don’t want to be trying to run an update the first time you need to buy Genie+.
How Much Does 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)
Is Genie+ Worth the Cost?
It kind of depends on how many people purchase it and how flexible your plans are. So far we’re not seeing a huge advantage to it but we haven’t yet been through a weekend with it. With the 50th Anniversary weekends are busy right now and it is probably a good idea to purchase it if you’re headed to the parks on a Saturday or Sunday.
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 weekend day you have a Park Hopper and hope other people skip the additional fees.
When Can I Add Genie+ to My Ticket?
You can either add Genie+ to your tickets, packages and vacation ahead of time. This option will add it to every day of ticketing. While you can add it before your visit it’s important to note that ride and attraction selections can only be made the day of during regular park hours for Genie+. Or you can add it individually each morning while at Disney. This option is nice because you can get a feel of how crowded the prior days were and make a decision based on your experience.
How Do I Use Lightning Lane Access?
When you pay for Disney Genie+ service, you 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 promises to reduce the time you have to wait to ride. Here’s the current issue in execution. Currently many wait times on the Standby Line will get you in before the next available Genie+ time. On 10/21/2021 you could wait 50 minutes to ride Test Track at 11:45 am OR book it with Genie+ for 5:00pm. That’s a huge difference. Is there an advantage to knowing when you’ll have a promised time? Yes. Is it worth it to wait hours for that promised time? Only if you have other stuff to do in the meantime.
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.
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.
Disney Genie+ Attractions at Magic Kingdom
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Splash Mountain
- The Barnstormer
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
EPCOT Disney Genie+ Attractions
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE – Green
- Mission: SPACE – Orange
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Disney Genie+ Attractions at Hollywood Studios
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage
- Disney Jr. Dance Party
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – Returning December 19, 2021
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania!
Genie+ Attractions at Animal Kingdom
- Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King
- Feathered Friends in Flight!
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Naʻvi River Journey
- The Animation Experience
Get More, for More Money: Individual Lightning Lane Selections
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 as they’ll be sold individually. A la carte Lightning Lane selection pricing will vary based on day, time, and crowds.
We’ve been carefully following trends over the first few days and the value of this option varies. For example on October 21st you could pay $7 for a la cart Individual Lightning Lane Access to walk onto Space Mountain. It was showing for the exact moment we were looking at. Or you could wait for 30 minutes in the Standby Lane. Many Standby Lanes have been trending faster than the time posted. If it it just you or you and one kiddo maybe the $7-14 is worth it? For a family of 4-6 is $28-42 worth it for a saved maximum 30 minutes. Probably not.
In addition, some of the Individual Lightning Lanes (a la carte) experienced hiccups the first few days. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance had a Standby Line wait time of 115 minutes on 10/21/2021 with no Individual Lightning Lane availability. Several guests took loudly to social media after breakdowns of ROR had them waiting around at Hollywood Studios all day. They were told they couldn’t get a refund for their purchase if the ride became available again during the park day they had paid for it on.
The One Ride We Definitely Recommend Individual Lightning Lane For
We do have one big recommendation for the Individual Lightning Lane. If you plan to ride the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure we recommend purchasing access. On 10/21/2021 the price was $9. Though it was booking 4 hours out Remy’s only offers a virtual queue. That virtual queue can be a bit unpredictable. EPCOT is a large park and hustling over to a ride that you’re not quite sure how the timing is going to go can be a bit of a haul. Knowing what time you’ll be riding is worth it to us for this one ride.
We hope Rise of the Resistance figures things out because we’d normally recommend paying to skip a line that averages over an hour and a half. You can do a lot more with your day at Hollywood Studios if you’re not waiting in a 2 hour line. Pending the resolution of breakdown issues and refunds this would also be a recommended use of Individual Lightning Lane for us.
On-Property Advantage for A La Carte Lightning Lanes
With Fastpass+ some off property hotels that were Good Neighbor hotels offered Disney resort perks. This is no longer. A la carte Lightning Lane selections (individual purchases) can be made by Disney Resort hotels and select guests at 7am the morning of. All other guests have to wait until the time that the park opens. This means that most early slots will likely be taken by resort guests. Good news for guests of Shades of Green and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, you’re included in the 7am crowd.
Individual Lightning Lane Selections at Walt Disney World
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Frozen Ever After
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
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. So far it doesn’t appear to be significantly speeding up the experience for those who purchase it. At this point we don’t think Genie+ gives guests a huge advantage on weekdays. If you’re heading to the parks on a weekend or holiday we’d recommend adding it if your budget allows.