Ever since the parks re-opened in July 2020, many guests have been wondering when Fastpasses will return. At first, crowds were low so Fastpass was not a high priority for guests, but this summer was a different story. With crowd levels increasing, the need for Fastpasses seems more and more obvious. Disney has a new solution to help with ride wait times – Disney Genie+!
There is a lot of new information to unpack with this announcement, so let’s break it down so we can easily digest it:
Disney Genie Service
The first part of the announcement is this new Genie service that will be added to the My Disney Experience app. Genie will be available to everyone visiting Walt Disney World at no extra cost. It’s main function is to help guests navigate the parks. You provide the app with information about what you like, and it will build you an itinerary based on that information.
It operates in real time and will update you during the day as you work your way around the park. It will help provide you with suggestions on what attractions you should do next based on current wait times and the information you provided it.
This all sounds pretty cool and I am very excited to see how it will work. I think it will be a very helpful tool, but just be mindful that the app could be making suggestions based on crowd control. Disney wants to spread out the crowds. People tend to always flock to the same rides at the same times, hence the long wait times, and Disney wants to try and fix that with this new service. So, I don’t know if just blindly following what the app tells you to do will be the best way to tour the parks, but time will tell.
I think it will be interesting to see what it suggests for itineraries, so we shall wait and see how it works…. Still no word yet on a release date for Genie.
In addition to the standard Genie service, there is Genie+, which is a paid upgraded version of Genie. With Genie+, you will then also get access to request access to the Lightning Lanes at select attractions. Lightning Lanes are the lines that were previously used for Fastpass.
If you are familiar with how Maxpass worked at Disneyland, it sounds very similar. At 7AM on your park day, you can begin by requesting your first access for Lightning Lane. You can request 1 attraction at a time. So, you will arrive at the park with your first Lightning Lane pass already secured, and then once you use it, you can go on the app and request another one. And then so on, and so on…
It can get confusing, but just to be clear – Lightning Lane is what Disney is now calling the lines you use to get through the rides quicker (previously called the Fastpass lines). Genie+ is the paid tool in their app that you use to access the Lightning Lanes. Does that make sense?
The cost of Genie+ is $15 USD per person, per day. You will be able to add this on to your ticket purchase or Disney World Resort package.
As part of your purchase of Genie+, it will also include Disney parks-themed audio experiences and photo features to capture your memories – augmented reality lenses for those visiting Walt Disney World. It seems like there will be some really cool “Snapchat” like filters that you will have access to through the app for your photos.
It is important to note that not ALL attractions will be available through Genie+. Some of the most popular attractions will have an additional cost and that is discussed next…
Lightning Lane Purchases
There are a few attractions that will require an extra purchase to access the Lightning Lane. Disney mentioned a few examples of rides such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Rise of the Resistance. This could be modeled after their tiered attractions that they used for Fastpass+, but we will have to wait and see.
You will be able to purchase in the app up to two scheduled rides per day. The pricing will vary based on the ride and day, so the app will probably update every day with what the current pricing is. You would make these selections on the same day you visit the park, so it is no longer required to schedule ride times two months ahead of time.
Disney Resort Guest Perks
On the day of your park visit, all guests with a park reservation will be able to make their first selection through Genie+ at 7AM EST. If you are a Disney Resort Guest, you will also be able to purchase your first Lightning Lane time slot at 7AM. All non-resort park guests will have to wait until park opening to purchase the Lightning Lane ride time. So as a Disney Resort Guest, you get early access to purchase a ride time for the most sought after rides in the parks.
There are still a lot of questions and details left to unveil. Such as, which rides will be included in the Lightning Lane purchase option? So far, we know that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Rise of the Resistance, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Space Mountain will be included. Beyond that, we have to wait and see until Disney releases that list. Stay tuned for more news on this new feature. If you would like to follow my Facebook page, I always post important news there on the day it comes out.
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Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 15 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!