We have been predicting FastPass+ would not return to Walt Disney World for many months, and now it has been confirmed. In 2019, Disney announced that Walt Disney World would introduce a new service called Disney Genie in the future. For obvious reasons the introduction of this new service stalled. However, in the original announcements, there was no suggestion it would ultimately replace FastPass+. Cynics may have thought at the time that Disney may use Disney Genie to upsell their experience, and perhaps that would include some degree of paid FastPass. That upselling has now been confirmed with the introduction of Disney Genie+, giving guests access to the new Lightning Lane plus an additional paid option for the most popular attractions. All this, of course, means that your day in Walt Disney World has just become a lot more expensive!
Disney Genie isn’t just coming to Walt Disney World; Disneyland’s MaxPass will also be retired. Plus, it will cost more at Disneyland!
The premise of Disney Genie is, in fact, excellent and might even make websites like ModernLifeisGood redundant. However, the truth might well not be as good as what Disney is promising.
Through My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps, the Disney Genie service will maximize your park time. It is promising to create personalized itineraries to design the perfect seamless days. However, how many of us will unexpectedly receive slots in the Enchanted Tiki Room or the Hall of Presidents?
I feel I need to be a little less cynical, and if it works as promised, these are some of the features Disney is promising:
Get Itinerary Updates from Morning to Night: Disney Genie will continue to update your itinerary throughout your day, so you can be more spontaneous and go with the flow.
Find Your Favorites at a Glance: Create your very own personal tip board to instantly see your favorites. It will display current AND forecasted future wait times, helping you predict when you might experience quicker entry to attractions.
Enjoy More Flexibility and Fun: Disney Genie brings existing planning features together in one place. Join a virtual queue at certain attractions, make dining and experience reservations, mobile order food at many locations, get help from a virtual assistant and more.Disney Parks Blog
While the above might be useful, it isn’t going to replace FastPass! Unfortunately, your replacement to FastPass+ is going to cost you money, and probably quite a lot of it.
For even more convenience and flexibility, there are two other options for enjoying our theme parks, through a queue we are introducing called the Lightning Lane entrance that also saves you time in line:
Disney Genie+ service (available for purchase): For the price of $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World Resort and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland Resort, choose the next available time to arrive at a variety of attractions and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance. You can make one selection at a time, throughout the day – from classics like Haunted Mansion to thrill rides like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and newer favorites like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (attractions subject to limited availability). This convenient option is the next evolution of the fan-favorite Disney MaxPass service from Disneyland Resort. Disney Genie+ will also include Disney parks-themed audio experiences and photo features to capture your memories – augmented reality lenses for those visiting Walt Disney World Resort and unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads from your day if you are visiting Disneyland Resort.
Individual attraction selections (available for purchase): Schedule a time to arrive at up to two highly demanded attractions each day using the Lightning Lane entrance – like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park and Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure park (subject to limited availability; attractions not included with Disney Genie+). Pricing for this option will vary by date, attraction and park and will be announced closer to launch.Disney Parks Blog
Rumor has it those individual attractions are going to cost you between $4 and $24. For a family of four, this could mean a Disney Genie+ and a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride could cost you an astonishing $156 a day extra. I can see the new Deluxe Resort perk of Extended Evening Hours being very sought after.
However, if you don’t want to spend money traditional Standby and Virtual Lines will remain, but how much will they cost?
Lightning Lane selections will be made on the day of your visit and can be used across multiple theme parks. For all guests staying at Walt Disney World, the first Disney Genie+ selection can be made at 7 am on the day of the visit. Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels will also make individual Lightning Lane attraction selections at 7 am. Day guests will not be able to make selections until the park opens. I’m not sure this hotel benefit will adequately replace the lost FastPass+ benefits. It hasn’t been confirmed whether Disney Genie+ will run during Extended Evening Hours or Early Park Entry.
We can’t decide yet whether Disney Genie will transform Walt Disney World vacations in a good way. Yes, it will cost more, but FastPass+ had so many problems. We expect the service will launch on October 1st or shortly afterward.
Visit our Beginners Guide to Walt Disney World to learn more. Our guide includes all the latest information on the reopening of Walt Disney World.
This post is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.