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Yesterday, Disney Parks announced that the free FastPass as we know it is going away permanently. It’s been noticeably absent since the parks reopened during the pandemic. As many suspected, you will now have to pay extra to get a faster queue experience.
Introducing Genie and Genie+
The MyDisneyExperience app and the Disneyland app will roll out Genie and Genie+ this fall right in the apps. The purpose is to allow guests to better plan their time in the parks.
The free Genie aims to help guests better plan their itinerary throughout the day. You can choose the rides and characters you’d like to see, and the app will help you plan your day accordingly. It tells you current ride wait times and forecasted wait times. The Genie has a virtual assistant to answer your questions.
Upgrading to Genie+ costs $15 a day per person at Disney World and $20 a day per person at Disneyland. Genie+ gives you access to the Lightning Lane entrance for select rides with a shorter wait. You can pick one ride at a time through the app for the Lightning Lane. Genie+ also includes audio experiences and augmented photo features.
In addition to Genie+, select rides that are not included in Genie+ will have an additional cost for Lightning Lane access. The most popular rides, like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Radiator Springs Racers, will have their own TBD costs for the faster queue. This is already in place at Disneyland Paris.
You can see the entire update from Disney on the Disney Parks Blog.
My Thoughts on Genie+
Let’s all admit that its sucks to have to pay for something that used to be free. Dang it, Disney! And if you have a large family and are planning a multi-day trip, the extra costs can really add up. My family of 5 on a 4-day trip would need to spend $300 more for this service. And, Disney park tickets are already expensive as it is.
However, Universal has charged extra for faster lines for a long time now, and it costs $100 or more per person per day there. Yes, their system is a bit different in that you don’t have to sign up for it one ride at a time. But in comparison, it’s a lot more expensive.
I do wish that Disney offered Genie+ for free to guests staying in certain onsite resort categories like Universal does.
Since my family visited Disney World this past May without any FastPass system, I am happy that it’s coming back. It’s nice to have the option, and truthfully I will probably pay for it. We don’t visit the parks that often, so when we do visit we need to maximize our time there.
What do you think of these changes?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.