Get ready for a big change that’ll affect any upcoming trips to Disneyland and Disney World. Disney unveiled its Genie app on Wednesday, Aug. 18 — a new paid service that’ll allow fans to use the Lightning Lane entrance at attractions to maximize their time at the theme parks. If you’re wondering if that means Disney’s FastPass is gone, here’s what you need to know.
If you’re a fan of Disney theme parks, then you’ve probably used FastPass to make the most of your time. The free service, which was introduced in 1999, has allowed park visitors to reserve time slots at attractions in order to skip long lines. Disney FastPass was temporarily suspended in March 2021 due to the pandemic, and soon, FastPass, FastPass+, and Disney MaxPass will be replaced by a new service: the Genie app. Disney unveiled in a tweet on Wednesday, Aug. 18, writing: “Discover Disney Genie service, a great new offering designed to make planning your best Disney day at @WaltDisneyWorld Resort or @Disneyland Resort that much easier. It’s all coming this fall.” It’s not clear the exact date the Genie app will launch, but when it comes in the fall, that will be the end of FastPass.
With the coming changes in fall 2021, there will no longer be a free service that’ll help you skip long lines. Instead, you’ll need to pay for the Disney Genie app, and there are two options you can choose from on the My Disney (Disney World) Experience and Disneyland apps. The first is Genie+, which can cost you either $15 per ticket, per day at Walt Disney World Resort or $20 per ticket, per day at Disneyland Resort.
Genie+ is like an upgraded version of Disney MaxPass. You’ll be able to make one reservation at a time to visit your favorite attraction, such as Haunted Mansion or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and you can use it across multiple parks. Once you get to the ride, you’ll have access to the new Lightning Lane entrance so you skip the long lines just like you did with FastPass. Genie+ also includes audio experiences inspired by Disney parks, unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads for Disneyland, and augmented reality lenses for Disney World.
The second option for Genie is to reserving an attraction individually. You’ll be able to reserve a time to skip the line at to up to two popular attractions each day using the Lightning Lane entrance, such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom or the Radiator Springs Racers at California Adventure. The pricing for this option will be unveiled closer to the Genie launch in fall, but you can expect it to depend on the day, attraction, and park you choose, according to Disney.
Though Disney is officially retiring FastPass, it appears you can expect more flexibility (for a price) while skipping the lines when the Genie app drops this fall.
The CDC recommends traveling only after you’re fully vaccinated and your vaccine has become fully effective. If you’re not fully vaccinated and must travel, check the CDC guidelines before you book. Check your destination’s vaccination and testing requirements before you depart.