Big Changes to Disney Parks Mean Your Next Trip Just Got More Expensive

by  Christine Dayao | Aug 19, 2021
Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom
Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom / Christine Dayao

Heading to Walt Disney World or Disneyland sometime soon? Make sure to expand your budget if you want to spend less time waiting in line. Starting this fall, the Florida and California resorts will eliminate their FastPass systems to introduce a new service called Disney Genie that has a free personalized itinerary component and a paid option that allows you to make attraction selections ahead of time so you can skip the standby line. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect.

What is Disney Genie?

Disney Genie is a service that will be integrated into the existing Disneyland app and the My Disney Experience app used by Walt Disney World guests (Aladdin’s magic lamp isn’t required). With this free service, you’ll start your park day by inputting the attractions, dining, and entertainment you’d like to experience. Alternatively, you can select what your interests are – ranging from pirates and princesses to Star Wars and more.

Once you’ve provided that information, Disney Genie will come up with your personalized park itinerary that includes suggested attractions and dining locations based on what’s nearby, plus a good time to go and forecasted wait times. If your plans change during the day, it updates in real time to take that into account. There’s a virtual assistant feature that lets you connect with a cast member if you have a question about your visit, as well as a customized tip board that shows wait times for standby queues, lets you place mobile dining orders, join restaurant waitlists, and other features.

What is Disney Genie+?

Disney Genie+ is the upcharge feature that costs $15 per ticket, per day at Walt Disney World and $20 at Disneyland. Think of it as the next-gen version of the FastPass service, allowing you to choose the next available time to arrive at select attractions and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance, one at a time. Lightning Lane access at of the most in-demand attractions – like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Radiator Springs Racers – will have to be purchased a la carte (pricing and availability will be announced later by Disney).

This service also comes with exclusive park-themed audio experiences, augmented reality lenses for Walt Disney World guests, and unlimited PhotoPass downloads for Disneyland visitors.

When can I make my Disney Genie+ selections?

Gone are the days when Walt Disney World guests had to make FastPass selections 30 to 60 days prior to arrival. Those staying at on-property hotels can make their Disney Genie+ selections beginning 7 a.m. the day of their visit. Day guests can do so once the park opens, and all guests of either of the two Disneyland Resort parks can only make their choices once they’re in the gates.


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