For years, Disney World’s Fastpass system has allowed guests to reserve a time to ride some of the most popular rides in the parks for free. But now, Fastpass+ has become Genie+. What’s the difference between the two systems? What changes should you expect? And are these changes good for you and your family? Keep reading to find the answers to these questions and more.
What is Disney World’s Fastpass+ System?
Disney World’s Fastpass+ is basically a reservation system which allows you to schedule a time to experience a particular ride, show, or other attraction at one of the four Disney World theme parks.
A Fastpass won’t guarantee you get to go to the very front of the line, but it will allow you to go through a shorter line so you get on the ride much faster than if you waited in the standby line.
What is Disney’s Genie+?
Genie+ has now replaced the Fastpass+ system. It is similar to the old system in it’s most basic form. It, too, allows you to reserve a time to skip the standby line and spend less time waiting to ride some of the rides in the parks. But Genie+ includes a lot of big differences.
What are the differences between Fastpass+ and Genie+?
There are quite a few big differences between Fastpass+ and Genie+, even though they are both a way to skip the standby lines while at the Disney World parks. Here are the biggest differences you should be aware of:
- Genie+ is a paid system, while Fastpass+ was free.
- Fastpass+ allowed you to make your selections up to 60 days prior to your trip. Genie+ selections, however, can only be made as early as 7:00 am on the day of your visit to the park.
- Under the old system, you could make 3 selections in advance, and then after they were used, you could make additional reservations one at a time. Under Genie+, you can make an unlimited amount of reservations, but only one at a time.
- Fastpass+ covered many of the Disney World rides, including most of the most popular ones. Genie+ covers about 40 rides, but excludes the most popular ones. For these popular rides, you will have to pay for separate reservations in an ala carte system called Lightning Lane Individual Selections. (These are limited to 2 per person per day.)
What should you expect from Genie+?
The new Genie+ system is a major change for Disney World visitors. Here’s a rundown of what you should expect from this new system:
- Genie+ (as opposed to the individual Lightning Lane selections) costs you $15 (plus tax) per person per day.
- Lightning Lane reservations will cost you an additional amount which varies based on ride and when you visit. These cost between $7-15 each.
- This is an optional service. You are not required to pay for it. The standby lines will still be there as a free option.
- You are limited to 2 Lightning Lane individual reservations each day, but Genie+ reservations are unlimited. But some rides will run out of Genie+ reservations on some days.
- The rides included with each of the new systems (Genie+ and individual Lightning Lanes) do not overlap. The two most popular rides in each park are individual Lightning Lane selections and are not included with Genie+.
- It is not yet known whether this will make standby lines longer or shorter than they have been in the past.
- You can use the new Genie feature of the My Disney Experience app on your phone to make and access your Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane reservations.
- Individual Lightning Lane selections include: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Avatar Flight of Passage, and Expedition Everest.
- Genie+ includes, among others: Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, Dumbo, Peter Pan’s Flight, Splash Mountain, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania, Test Track, and Soarin’.
- This same system will also be used at Disneyland.
Is the change to Genie+ good for your family?
Like everything when it comes to a Disney World vacation, the answer to this question is it depends. The answer really depends on your specific situation and budget.
Who should be happy about this change?
This will be a very good change for some families. You should be excited about this if:
- you have an unlimited budget
- time is more important to you than money
- you go to Disney World by yourself or with only one other person
Who should be upset about this change?
But, in our opinion, this is a bad thing for most families. We are personally not happy about having to pay for something that used to be free. Genie+ will cost our family of three $315 for a 7 day vacation, and it doesn’t even allow us to ride the newest and most popular rides.
Here’s why this is a bad thing for most families:
- For families with kids, this will add a huge extra expense to your vacation.
- Genie+ doesn’t include the best/most popular rides. So, to get access to those, you will have to pay even more.
- It will add a level of stress to your vacation that didn’t exist before because you are going to have to be ready to make your selections at 7:00 am every morning for the best odds of getting the reservations you want.
- It takes some of the magic out of the Disney experience.
- If you can only visit during peak times of the year, you will be paying a premium for individual Lightning Lane selections.
- This may make the standby lines even longer than they currently are. (This is yet to be determined. It will depend, in part, on how many people are willing to shell out the extra money for this system.)
- This is going to require you to be tied to your phone during your vacation way more than you are during a Disney vacation right now.
Disney World’s Fastpass+ was a great way to efficiently navigate the lines during your trip. Now, it has been replaced with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. These also allow you to reserve a place in line for some of the popular rides at Disney World. But now, you have to pay for this service. I hope this gives you some information about this big change to the Fastpass+ system.
For help planning your Disney World trip, see our step-by-step guide, quick tips, and best resources. Also check out our posts on Magicbands and whether you should stay on property. To book your trip or find out more about Genie+, see Disney’s website.