Hiya folks! Some big news recently dropped. Our beloved, FastPass+, FastPass, and Max Pass are officially NOT returning to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. After being suspended due to the pandemic, rumor had it Disney would be introducing a paid option. Well, Disney just announced a new Genie and Genie+. The latter of which is a version of a paid FastPass. These services are coming this Fall to Disney World and Disneyland. Let’s delve into this further…
Disney Genie Service
This new, complimentary service is being built directly into the current My Disney Experience App. The goal of Disney Genie is to simplify each guest’s experience in the Parks. For instance, it will be able to plan personalized itineraries. These plans will be based on either specific selections (think specific attractions and dining experiences) or general themes (think princesses or Star Wars). Just tell Genie what you like and it will “magically” do the planning for you.
To start, just make your “wishes” and Disney Genie will give you your itinerary for the day. These plans will be continuously updated throughout your visit and the service will provide guests with recommendations. Apparently, this will allow guests to enjoy a more “go-with-the-flow” vacation. Additionally, Genie will keep tabs on your favorite things and let you know when they are experiencing shorter than normal wait times.
Guests will also be able to make dining reservations, join restaurant wait lists, and make mobile order purchases. The Virtual Assistant option in the Genie service will be available to answer any questions as they arise!
Disney Genie Add Ons
On top of the base Disney Genie service, guests will have two additional, paid options. You can purchase one or both of these (more on that later). These options are:
- Disney Genie+ Service
- Individual Lightning Lane Attraction Access
First of all, let’s address the new lingo, Lightning Lane. This Lightning Lane is a rebranding of the FastPass queue for the attractions that skips the main queue line. We’re guessing this is to imply it will give you “lightning” fast access to the attraction!
Guests will have the option to pay for the Disney Genie+ Service. This exclusive service is an additional $15 per person per day, on top of the Disney World Park Ticket. This same service is $20 per person per day at Disneyland. Here is the cost break down for a family of 4 for 5 days at Disney World:
$15 x 4 people x 5 days= additional $300 for Genie+ for the duration of the vacation
Genie+ purchasers will be able to select the next available time to return and experience an attraction. The caveat? You can only make one selection at a time, throughout the day. Genie+ can be purchased for the day beginning at midnight and the first attraction reservation can be made at 7:00AM. All guests, regardless if they are on- or off-property, can make their first selections at 7:00AM.
A full list of the attractions participating in Genie+ is not yet available. However, Disney says it includes “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)“.
Additional perks of the Genie+ include Park audio experiences and exclusive photo features such as augmented reality for Disney World visitors. Guests at Disneyland can also enjoy unlimited downloadable photos from Disney PhotoPass Service.
Individual Lightning Lane Attraction Access
The individual Lightning Lane attraction access is the “à la carte option” for guests. You can purchase return times for 1-2 highly popular attractions per day. These return times will allow you to skip the main queue and enter via the Lightning Lane. Disney says that this option includes attractions 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.
The big take-away from that statement is that this is for “attractions not included with Disney Genie +”. So, that means if you want to have Lightning Lane access to those extremely popular attractions, you’ll need to pay for it. Yes, that means you’ll have to pay even more money, even if you purchase Genie+. Holy guacamole…
So, if you want Genie+, get ready to pay $15 (or $20) per person per day AND if you want to get Lightning Lane access to the most popular attractions, you’ll need to shell out even. more. money. AND… THIS IS ALL ON TOP OF YOUR DAILY TICKET PRICE!
I think I need a glass of wine… or two…
Overall Initial Impressions
First, guests will need to fork (or dinglehopper) over a lot more money just to be able to skip the lines at Disney World and Disneyland. These Genie+ and Lightning Lane access services have the ability to take up a significant part of your vacation budget. And if you decide to not pay for these exclusives, then you will likely be stuck waiting in some longer lines.
Also, gone are the days of advanced planning for a Disney vacation! I don’t know about you, but we always enjoyed making advanced reservations or FastPasses. Yes, that meant there was a lot of early planning involved, but it made for a less stressful vacation overall (at least for us!). Now, the Genie and Genie+ features can only be accessed in the morning for that day. That isn’t advanced planning in our books! Not knowing what will be available or what the daily itinerary is is stressful for us!
Finally, let’s hope that Disney upgrades their wifi capabilities in the Parks! Disney World is notorious for having app and internal accessibility issues while in the Parks. With these Genie services, guests will need to be online more throughout their stay!
So far, we still don’t know:
- how much the a la carte Lightning Lane access will be
- if there are Annual Passholder or DVC discounts
- if Genie+ is included in Annual Passes
- if guests will can purchase PhotoPass access without Genie+
Like a lot of people out there, we are grieving for the loss of our beloved FastPass+ service. What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments below!
Until next time… Cheers!!!