I think many of us miss the days of the free fast passes. Unfortunately, like everything else in life, things change and so does Disney. The amazing Fast pass service is no longer around but they did replace it with a much more in-depth, confusing process. So let’s break that down for you.
There are three different levels to the new program and they all integrate with the My Disney Experience app. What is our view on it? You will see when walking around the park more people are looking into their phones then enjoying the intricate details of the park.
Disneytap Tip: Invest in a portable charger so you can charge your phone while walking around the park.
Disney Genie is a complimentary service. This is supposed to help you plan your day to get the most out of it. You can tell Genie how you want to spend your day and Genie with all the magic it has will plan an itinerary for you. The idea behind Disney Genie is to have you spend less time in line and more time having fun.
This service will update real time, so when it first plans your day, don’t just count on that itinerary. You should continually check it. It will change the next ride/show depending on wait times.
This service will help you go with the flow. If this is not you and you are one of those people who like to start in one section of the park and then move around in a certain way this service may not be for you.
This is the next level up and is a paid service. If you purchase this service you can reserve an arrival time at certain attractions. Then when your window comes, you would go to the attraction via the Lightning Lane.
It is important to note that with this service you have to wait 2 hours to make a second selection. This means if you go on the My Disney Experience App at 7am and make a selection, you cannot make a second selection until 2 hours after the park opens.
When purchasing Disney Genie + you can make the purchase at midnight the day you have your ticket and reservation for that park. To make the reservation for the rides you have to do it the day of at 7:00am.
Previously this service would set you back $15 per person and could be purchased prior to your trip. Recently these rules have changed.
The concern many people have with the new change is that this may become a situation where they will raise the price on a day to day basis depending on how busy the park will be that day. This has yet to be confirmed.
Disney states that on average Disney Genie + guests are usually able to use the Lightning Lanes for 2-3 attractions a day and only if the first one is made early in the day.
You also cannot use the Genie + option if you already used it for that attraction.
There are other perks to having Genie + but you have to weigh the pros and cons to see if it is worth it for you.
You also get with your purchase of Genie +:
- Audio Tales which is Disney Parks themed audio experiences.
- Disney Photopass Lenses. These are Augmented Reality lenses that you can use on your Photopass images.
Side Note: If you do not purchase Disney Genie + and are waiting in standby, do not be surprised if 20-40 people are going to jump in front of you in the Lightning Lane.
The big question when determining if Genie + is worth it, is what rides are included?
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Splash Mountain
- The Barnstormer
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along
- Disney Jr. Dance Party
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – Returning December 19, 2021
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania!
- Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King
- Feathered Friends in Flight!
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Naʻvi River Journey
- The Animation Experience
Lightning Lane a la carte
Lightning Lane is the line you will go into if you reserved a ride with Genie + on certain rides but the Lightning Lanes are also used for the a la carte version.
For certain rides, you do have the option to purchase a la carte. This typically includes 3 rides from each park.
The cost varies per ride so you would have to check on the My Disney Experience App to see what the cost would be.
So how do you purchase the Lightning Lane a la carte?
- Have a valid theme park ticket and reservation.
- Purchase the a la carte Lightning Lan for up to 2 different experiences a day, one at a time.
- Make sure you get on the My Disney Experience App at 7am to try to reserve your time if you are staying at a Disney resort.
- This is all subject to availability.
The big question that people ask is if the price is worth it? It depends on how often you visit the parks, what you want your trip to look like, and how much time you have.
If you are booking your trip with a Disney travel agent it is important to discuss this with them, to see if these options are financially worth it.
- Stacking Reservations You may hold multiple LLs at a time. For example, if you are arriving at 4pm on a day with 9am park opening, you could obtain one LL reservation at 9am with a 4pm return time, another at 11am with a 5pm return time, and another at 1pm with a 6pm return time (all subject to availability of those attractions and return times).
- Staggered Openings You can take advantage of staggered park openings. For example, if your first park is Epcot with an 10am opening, but you are hopping to HS with a 9am opening, you could obtain your first LL for an attraction at HS at 7am with a 2pm or later return time, then you would be eligible to obtain a second LL reservation at 11am (2 hours after the 9am opening of HS), not 12pm (2 hours after the 10am opening of Epcot), because your first LL reservation is for that park.
- Refresh Method Genie+ will often show you more availability if you continue to refresh the app while looking for availability for a specific attraction.