Disney Replaces Fastpass with Paid 'Lightning Lane'

August 18, 2021, 3:30 PM · Fastpass is not coming back to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts. The old Fastpass queues at their theme parks will become "Lightning Lane," accessible only through one of two new paid options.

One option will be Disney Genie+, which is essentially a rebranded version of Disneyland's old MaxPass service. Disney Genie+ will cost $20 a day at Disneyland and $15 a day at Walt Disney World and allow guests to make one reservation at a time to enter the Lightning Lane at participating attractions. About 15 attractions will be available across the Disneyland theme parks and about 40 will be participating at Walt Disney World, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

The other option will be to purchase individual Lightning Lane access. This option will be available up to twice a day to guests and will allow access to select attractions not available on Disney Genie+. Prices will vary by date and are not yet available, but participating attractions may include Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, and the upcoming Remy's Ratatouille Attraction at Epcot.

Guests who buy Disney Genie+ may make their first reservation starting at 7am the morning of their visit at Walt Disney World and when they enter the park at Disneyland. Individual Lightning Lane purchases will be available at park opening, except for Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests, who may purchase access starting at 7am the morning of their visit. (Disneyland Resort hotel guests will not get that exception.)

This means that making advance Fastpass+ reservations is now a thing of the past. No more getting up early 30 or 60 days before your visit to try to snag coveted Fastpass+ reservations. That will not return. If you want to avoid the standby queue at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, you will need to pay for Disney Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane access on the day of your visit.

For everyone else, Disney will try to minimize your expected wait times by offering its new Disney Genie service through the official My Disney Experience and Disneyland Resort apps. Unlike Disney Genie+, Disney Genie is a free service that will create a custom itinerary for you to visit the parks.

In addition to the personalized itinerary that includes suggested attractions and dining options, Disney Genie will post forecasted future wait times for later in the day, based on Disney's internal crowd data. Visitors will be able to join virtual queues, place mobile dining orders and join table service restaurant wait lists through Disney Genie, as well. A virtual assistant will be included to answer guest questions or connect you to a cast member for help.

What is Disney Genie?
Infographic courtesy Disney

"Disney Genie listens to the preferences that guests share with us to help design their best day and deliver an experience that’s made just for them," Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro said. "Pairing incredible technology with more than 60 years of expertise about how our guests visit the parks, Disney Genie will personalize their Disney day, allowing guests to spend less time planning and waiting and more time doing the things they love."

Free standby or virtual queues will continue to be available for all Walt Disney World and Disneyland attractions. And if fewer people pay for Lightning Lane than used the old free Fastpass queues, theoretically those standby waits should be shorter than they were under the old Fastpass and Fastpass+ systems. (Though those waits likely would be longer than they are now, when neither Fastpass nor an alternative is available.)

In addition to Lightning Lane access, Disney Genie+ will include unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads at the Disneyland Resort, as the old MaxPass service did. At Walt Disney World, exclusive augmented reality lenses will replace PhotoPass as the photo benefit under Disney Genie+. At both parks, Disney Genie+ will include Disney parks-themed audio experiences through the app, including attraction commentary from Imagineers.

Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane will debut sometime this fall. A specific launch date will be announced later. Disney Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane access will be available for purchase through the official resort apps when they launch. For now, annual passholders and Magic Key holders will not be able to add the programs to their passes and will have to purchase them on day-of-use, like other park guests.

And like with MaxPass, there will be no cap on the number of Disney Genie+ upgrades sold each day. The arrival times distributed through Disney Genie+ will be limited based on attraction availability.

In conjunction with the Disney Genie launch, Disney will be changing its Disability Access Service program, adding an option to enroll before arrival and to attractions directly through the app. Those new options will be available in addition to the existing in-person DAS program.

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Replies (52)

August 18, 2021 at 3:50 PM

I just renewed my WDW AP Aug.10 (FL Res Gold Pass Renewal) for $650.72. It included photo pass. Only allowed 3 park active reservations. It also only allowed monthly payments. Genie+ and Lightning Lanes gives me doubts that my AP will stay valid as is. Maybe WDW will increase park pass numbers or will they make me pay for more? It's all a monetization policy now.

August 18, 2021 at 4:12 PM

RIP Fastpass. Anyway there seems to be more information that is missing at the moment but it at least tells us where Disney is headed with this. Big news regardless.

I also think it's interesting to note how the free Disney Genie will reveal projected wait times for later on in the day. Subtle way of trying to convince folks to shell out that extra cash for the upgrades! Haha, Disney being slick.

August 18, 2021 at 4:33 PM

Thank Godness. I was really hoping that Disney wouldn't go the route of "pay $90 upon the ticket price to use our FastPass line".

Maxpass is basically still in place. Depending on how expensive individual fastpasses will be, I doubt I'd ever buy individual ones as long as I'm not a pass holder. I assume that in the future the price will go up but for now I see the $20 price tag as okay. However, its at the range where its cheap enough so everyone will still buy it but no one really wants to. So either way, Disney still makes more money. The fastpass congested problem will still be there though, as long as they continue to not cap the amount of fastpasses during a given time. At the end of the day, no one really is upset at fastpass, but more at the sheer amount of fastpasses they allocate.

Also, Disney seems to be outdoing the touring services competition. Businesses like "Touring Plans" will go bankrupt unless they have more to offer to their customers. Even though they have been recording data for years, and so have other places, I think I'll rely on data straight from the company. It sucks for those businesses and I'm sure they're scrambling on what to do right now.

I really like the inclusion of Imagineer audio commentary on rides. For park geeks like me, it'll be cool to wait in line for a ride and listen to cool stories about the attraction. It sucks though that Passholders don't have the option to upgrade their pass to include Disney Genie. Passes are more expensive and now pass holders will have to spend more to get a top notch experience.

I've also seen a lot of people wanting their to be a paid access to ROTR so I'm glad there's that option if you don't secure a BG.

Sorry this is kinda long but I'm almost done. When it says that you can only make one fastpass selection at a time, does that mean that if it's noon and I make a fastpass selection for 6pm, does that mean I can't make another fastpass until 6pm? They'll really need to let the GP know of this policy before they willy-nilly make a fastpass and waste their $20 by only making 2-3 fastpasses during their day.

August 18, 2021 at 6:18 PM

Robert wrote: "At Walt Disney World, exclusive augmented reality lenses will replace PhotoPass as the photo benefit under Disney Genie+"

Could someone please explain what "exclusive augmented reality lenses" are? Thanks in advance.

August 18, 2021 at 5:27 PM

There’s a video that shows the lenses - selfie filters that bring the characters into your photos.

Really interested in seeing what the E ticket LLs cost. Presumably less than 10 bucks at WDW since Plus is 15 for a full day. Could get pricey, particularly for larger groups. You could link up large groups with Fastpass so that one tech savvy person could book the day - presumably you don’t want to do that if that person hits your credit card for a Remy/RoR/Tron? LL.

August 18, 2021 at 5:37 PM

Disney is going the way of airlines companies, where every single aspect of the tríp is monetized. Windows? $. Lunch? $ Extra leg space? $$ and so on and so on....the experience in the park is going to feel lees of a vacation every time.,.those poor shareholders must be starving...

August 18, 2021 at 6:06 PM

Just another way of increasing their yield from you for mostly outdated and lame rides whilst you suffer ridiculous crowds. At least at Universal, whilst one still suffers the crowds, you at least get exhilarating new rides and attractions on a regular basis.

August 18, 2021 at 6:27 PM

So now everyone has to buy maxpass and it doesn't work for Radiator Springs, where you can only skip the line if you're rich enough to pay even more. Guess it's better than Fastpass+ and what they have now . . .

August 18, 2021 at 6:43 PM

Postcott: “ Businesses like "Touring Plans" will go bankrupt unless they have more to offer to their customers. Even though they have been recording data for years, and so have other places, I think I'll rely on data straight from the company. It sucks for those businesses and I'm sure they're scrambling on what to do right now.”

I would not rely on line data from Disney! They often inflate the posted wait times of their rides now. They can still do that when Genie+ and Lightning Lane go live for crowd control and to encourage more Lightning Lane purchases.

Also to Postcott: if Genie+ follows the MaxPass rules at Disneyland, a new pass can been reserved after the first pass has been used or 90 minutes after making a previous reservation. That means it could be possible to hold two (or more) passes at once. It’s for this reason TouringPlans won’t be scrambling because they have that built into their Disneyland plans software already and with relative ease could port it over to their Disneyworld software.

August 18, 2021 at 7:04 PM

Sigh. I guess its just the leftist side of me, but I hate the idea of a pay system of ride line reservation or preference. I just think that, if you've payed the money to go inside the park, you should be on equal footing with everybody else in regards to getting on the rides. I was fine with the paper Fastpass system, as that was nicely equal for every customer, only allowed you one reservation at a time, and worked best for theme park enthusiasts who knew how to play the game to their advantage.

Oh well. One thing I'm glad of is they got ride of Fastpass+ and the need to plan your day at a specific park, two months before you even go to the airport.

August 18, 2021 at 7:07 PM

@Kento, regarding possible E-ticket LL prices, here’s something I read elsewhere “We understand from various sources that Disney will be asking between $4 and $24 per person, per ride, depending on the category of attraction.”. So with that in mind, look to be paying $24 for those E-tickets!

August 18, 2021 at 7:19 PM

Glad FP+ is gone. The pre-planning was very anti-vacation. They probably should do something for people staying on site, since losing Magic Express and paying for parking, the reasons for staying at a Disney resort is becoming lessened, and I do love their hotels. I am happy to use a system similar to MaxPass. Great news.

August 18, 2021 at 8:00 PM

They gave resort guests something: they can buy Lightning Lane passes at 7 a.m. whereas day guests have to wait until they enter the park. So resort guests get to spend their money earlier in the day before day guests.

August 18, 2021 at 8:18 PM

While I don’t see this as an issue for me since being an avid Disneyland AP holder for years I know my ins and out of taking advantage of riding the most attractions in a day, I can see for many guests their vacations are going to get more expensive.

August 18, 2021 at 8:24 PM

Let's be honest here.
This is going to make Disney a very large amount of money.
For every complaint it gets I guarantee you there are hundreds of people who are happy to pay. I'll never use this service, but that's because I don't buy all my stuff of Amazon Prime.
Good luck to Disney, but I think I'll be fine standing in the lines.

August 18, 2021 at 11:05 PM

I agree with Ryan C. Disney will make a boat load of money and I do foresee Genie+ and Lighting Lane selling out on select days. There's a lot of money out there and most importantly, folks willing to spend it at Disney. If you need proof check out the hard ticket events selling out for them recently and the fact that there is a healthy amount of folks willing to dish out 600+ bucks a night at their resorts. I'm surprised that Disney isn't charging more for this. They'll get there I'm sure.

August 18, 2021 at 11:08 PM

First off, of all the names they could have gone with, why did they pick Lightning Lane? I personally find that among the dumbest names for a skip the line system, but I guess the folks at Disney think otherwise. If they're going with Disney Genie for the system, why not call them "Wish Passes" or something like that?

Anyway, I can see this going one of two ways. The first is that because it's only available as an upcharge, a majority of visitors won't use it, which means the experience may improve overall. A big problem of Fastpass was that it increased the number of guests in the park by adding virtual visitors and parking them in queue lines, making the pathways overcrowded with real visitors. However, if those real guests are in lines, the park won't feel mobbed everywhere you go, and without a constant stream merging in to the queue, it will flow much more steadily and won't feel as long. The other scenario is that because it's so cheap, a majority of visitors do end up using this, which would probably wreck the parks as not only would it make them undesirable to visit if you're not willing to pay the upcharge, but it would also frustrate those that do when their attraction selections are extremely limited. I personally see this as the less likely scenario, as I've got a feeling Disney would be very quick to jack up the price if it sold too well, which would result in fewer people buying.

Would I use something like this? That really depends. At Disneyland, since I'm local I couldn't see myself ever buying it unless visiting with someone from out of town. However, I could see buying it at WDW for the parks that have major new attractions I'd like to hit or if it would be financially a better option for the trip overall.

August 18, 2021 at 11:24 PM

TLDR taking everything into consideration I think this is the least of all evils. I hated FP and have always considered it a failure in every iteration, and although I would never buy this, i'm fine with it if its outrageously priced and they keep the sales low. If its affordable and they decide to sell a lot of them that would be the worst case because you would have similar problems as the old system (that also goes for the possibility of it being outrageously priced and they sell a lot of them which is also possible).

Sadly this is a scenario where you can't even try to make a statement by taking your business somewhere else because literally every other theme park does some version of the same thing.

August 19, 2021 at 12:20 AM

Why didn’t they call it the Dash Pass?

That’s all I have to contribute

August 19, 2021 at 3:16 AM

My initial thought was “urgh”. I liked Fastpass+, being able to guarantee your top 3 picks I think really addeed to the value proposition - even if it was very easy to waste them on attractions thst don’t have a significant wait.

However, if you were going to introduce a paid prioritisation system, this strikes me as a fair compromise. Instead of encouraging everyone to get this thing by offering pre-visit prices lower than in park prices, this system seems to be designed to let you see how bad the crowds are before ponying up the cash, so to avoid wasting cash

As for the name, why didn’t they follow DLP in using the “Premier Pass” branding?

August 19, 2021 at 6:14 AM

I saw $4 to $24 per person for a paid lightning pass. You know that newer rides will only be paid lightning passes. Imagine paying $100 for your family to get a pass to get on an Avatar ride or a star wars land ridge.

That is after paying for your entire vacation. We will see how this works out.

August 19, 2021 at 10:15 AM

It's kind of surprising to me that Disney has ultimately gone with the solution that was the most favored among guests. Let's face it, MaxPass at DL works extremely well (though California guests did have a free alternative with paper FPs), and normalizing the system between all the American parks makes a ton of sense. I do think it's interesting that the California version is more expensive than the Florida version even though you can access more attractions at WDW.

Not having to make ride reservations 30-60 days in advance is a HUGE improvement, and it never made sense to me why Disney perpetuated such a ridiculous system at WDW when Disneyland had a superior solution in MaxPass. In my experience, we were able to get just as many FPs with MaxPass in Disneyland as we were with FP+ in WDW.

The one problem I see with this new system is that it gives resort guests little to no advantage. I think that is going to start impacting vacancy rates, because so many people paid a little extra for a Disney hotel simply to get that 30-day head start on FP+ reservations. With that advantage now gone, WDW resorts lose a lot of their appeal, particularly that they're eliminating Magical Express, are charging guests for parking, and have increased average rates to where they are typically 25-30% higher than comparable off-site hotels. Taking away virtually all advantages to staying on-site while continuously raising rates will eventually push more and more guests off-site. I just don't think Disney realizes how much the FP+ head start contributed to guests booking on-site accommodations, and without something beyond a 30-minute early entry, guests are not going to be as willing to pay the premium associated with on-site WDW resorts.

The free Disney Genie service is a complete JOKE. Why they think people will trust and follow recommendations from an A.I. is just so confounding. The only way this service would work is if they no longer give guests real time waits in MyMagic+ (or whatever replaces the current in-park app). Unless you're a complete buffoon, you're going to view a list of wait times (or the same information presented in map form to see proximity of attractions to your current location) to make a decision on where to go next, not an A.I. spouting recommendations knowing that they're mostly driven by crowd control algorithms.

August 19, 2021 at 9:07 AM

All the line cut passes are just money grabs…designed to take advantage of the mass need for immediate gratification. When enough people buy them, it defeats the entire purpose of buying one in the first place.

Case in point, went to Kings Island on a Wednesday in July. The regular line for Orion was about 15-20 minutes all day because it moves quickly, and so the fast lane line was about the same length. Ended up riding in the front with a guy who bought fast lane at $80 each for his whole family, extra $400 that might have bought him 5-10 minutes less in line for pretty much all the rides it covers. To each his own I guess, but worth it?

Watch the price of that Disney pass go up quickly, because people will buy them.

August 19, 2021 at 9:56 AM

Agree with Derek Porter. There are going to be ways to game any system.

This summer my family went to Dollywood. Despite being a pair, my daughter and I used the single rider line to ride Lightning Rod, the park's most popular coaster. That line was often the shortest line of the three in the park (standby, single rider, and their skip-the-long-lines upcharge line), and we quickly discovered that the single riders got paired with an odd group number of upcharge riders.

We literally rode the coaster TEN times in a little more than one hour when there was a 90 minute standby wait posted, and we didn't pay one extra cent to do so. Often times we were the only two in the single rider line for multiple rides in a row!

We did hear some grumblings our fourth or fifth time through that it was like we were cheating by skipping the standby lines and even more grumbling from those who paid the upcharge and we were still getting multiple rides while they waited, but as I said above, you have to learn to game whatever system is in place. I'm sure some touring plans services independent of Disney will figure this out as well. ;)

August 19, 2021 at 10:00 AM

@Darek - I disagree. I view upcharge FOTL products as insurance on your theme park ticket. Sure, you can not buy it and take your chances with the standby line, but paying extra ensures you will get on all of the best attractions in the park with minimal wait. If you're visiting a park for the first time with lots of big, popular attractions, buying FOTL gives you a much better chance of getting on all of those rides in a single day, whereas sticking with the standby line might force you to visit a second day, which might cost as much as that FOTL pass would have cost you. That's how we approached our recent visit to Dollywood, and while we could have probably still ridden all of the top attractions over our 2 days at the park, it was nice to get all those extra rides on our first day when we paid extra for TimeSaver.

There's also a matter of value with FOTL services that you've pointed out. I would totally agree that spending money on FastLane at Kings Island on a Wednesday is probably a waste if you know anything about that park. Heck, we visited Kings Island 2 weeks ago on Thursday evening and Friday, but knew that buying Fastlane would have been a complete waste with minimal time savings - I would estimate that we would have saved somewhere between 1-2 hours of wait time over our 15-16 hours of park time if we had purchased FastLane. Similarly at Cedar Point, where we were 2 weeks ago Wednesday and Thursday morning, the Fastlane there saves you some time, but still results in some considerable waits for the best attractions. For example, we managed to score some 1-time use FastLane passes from a Season Passholder meet up on Thursday morning, and wanted to use them on Steel Vengeance. However, waiting for the coaster through FastLane would have still necessitated a 90-minute wait (compared to 2.5 hours through standby), which we didn't have time for given that we were driving to Kings Island later in the day.

When it comes to Disney, this is the first time WDW has attempted to monetize queue avoidance. In California, even though MaxPass was an upcharge, guests could still avoid some lines through the free paper FP system, so even at Disneyland, this will be the first time Disney guests will be faced with the choice to pay for shorter lines. Unlike AJ, I think the Disney fans will gobble this up so fast that a significant majority of guests will be using Lightning Lane. This will make standby lines even slower than they were under FP/FP+, and make Lightning Lane attraction availability similar to what FP+ was under the previous system (i.e. scarce for the most popular attractions). However, I do think this new system will still give savvy and experienced users a leg up as they did under the old FP+ system, giving those guests more value, which will inevitably decline as Disney will be forced to increase the cost as it becomes an essential add-on for all guests visiting Disney parks. I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney Genie+ to be in the $30-50/person/day range within the next 2 years.

August 19, 2021 at 10:47 AM

>>Why they think people will trust and follow recommendations from an A.I. is just so confounding.

If I'm just off a ride in Tomorrowland, and I got a notification telling me that Mad Hatter's Tea Party currently had no queue, I'd find that quite helpful

August 19, 2021 at 11:04 AM

Yeah, but I don't need an app to tell me that when I can see all the wait times throughout WDW at the swipe of a finger on the Disney Parks app. Also, while Disney Genie will tell you in a push notification that there's 0 minute wait for the Teacups, it won't tell you that there's only a 5 minute wait for Space Mountain.

I don't want Disney's A.I. suggesting (or subtly telling) me or other park guests where they should go when numerous other variables may be at play. That's even more manipulative than forcing guests to plan their FP+ itinerary 60 days in advance. I also predict that if you enable push notification from Disney Genie that they will be so frequent and annoying that most guests will turn them off before lunchtime.

August 19, 2021 at 1:08 PM

Previously fastpass at Disneyland was available to everyone.
Now fastpass is only available to those who pay more.
So conceivably there will be less overall people in the fastpass line, which means the regular lines should move more quickly than they did before.

I think the whole thing is obnoxious beyond belief, giving wealthier people an advantage over everyone else. Very anti-Walt Disney, who wanted Disneyland to be for everyone.

BUT! I'm a gamer, and I have $20, so I look forward to figuring out how to best game the system to my favor. If all the newbs are spending all day following around some ridiculous AI telling them what to do (can these people not read the park map themselves? Did they not consider what they wanted to do before they arrived?!?), that means people trying to max out their rides will do even better.

Bottom line: shame on Disney for screwing their guests like this, but hooray for the return of fastpass in an even more-gameable form.

August 19, 2021 at 1:53 PM

To each his own on it Russell. I get why someone going to Disney and paying however many kidneys, arms, and legs it costs these days would want the option to not miss half their day. In the scheme of things it’s a small price…for now.

However, when the price of one of these passes far exceeds the price of the actual ticket, the true value is in question, especially when they don’t really buy much more time. Also it presents the possibility of longer lines for those who don’t buy them or can’t afford them. Those customers are in the park paying $8.00 for a Coke and $20 for lunch just like the next guy.

Is what it is I guess.

August 19, 2021 at 2:30 PM

Using the whole, “wealthier people” excuse for paid FOTL never made any sense to me since wealthier people will always go for the VIP option since they can skip all the rides they want.

August 19, 2021 at 2:46 PM

I get where you're coming from Derek, and for Disney it's a bit different because they're essentially going from a completely free queue avoidance system to a paid one where guests not willing to pay are given ZERO tools to avoid lines (sorry, Disney Genie is going to be completely worthless).

Nobody wants to spend extra on top of the price of a ticket to not get a reasonable return on that additional cost, nor do they want to pay for something that used to be free. However, the cat is out of the bag, and when parks are packing in guests shoulder to shoulder, selling the prospect of saving even a few minutes of line waiting for each of the major attractions in a park has serious appeal both from a guest perspective looking to save time and from the park's perspective to make more $$$. It's a massive paradox, because parks, in search of more revenue, want more and more guests to visit and increasing their spending ("per cap"), but with those crowds comes lines, devaluing the guest experience because of excessive waits. So the parks then create a new revenue stream to allow more wealthy guests to avoid the lines (something that parks always did through private tours and park buyouts, but never publicized widely), but making those rich guests happy necessitates the parks being at or near capacity or deliberately lower the quality of the average guest experience. Some parks are now offering tiered queue avoidance services to try to bridge the gap between unlimited FOTL access and standby, which makes it even harder and more nebulous to evaluate from a financial perspective, but you're always going to have people paying for that "red carpet treatment" even if you and I both know that it's not really worth a hill of beans.

I guess for now, we can at least feel that Disney's new system is not as much of a cash grab as it could have been, and if they are able to keep the prices manageable while ensuring guests get comparable advantages for buying Lightning Lane, this new system will be viewed favorably.

August 19, 2021 at 5:27 PM

I cannot look at this other way than blatant discrimination. This is a system designed for discrimination against the non-affluent that just screams hey, got money, skip over the poor people. Your welcome! Year over year they were seemingly unable to price people out of the parks so now, we'll just price you out of a line for our popular attraction.

Yes, I understand Universal has had a paid option however, they place far more restrictions on it.

They took a system that wasn't the greatest, but everyone had the privilege to use it. Disney is placing the ride behind a paywall and when they see it works, they will expend it even more.

August 19, 2021 at 6:43 PM

For those who are saying that this will only benefit the wealthy, they’re not going to pay for Genie+ when there’s VIP packages available. Why wait a little bit on a fastpass line when you can skip the entire line with a VIP tour guide. Heck, they didn’t even bother to pay for Maxpass when it was a thing.

For the wealthy, Genie+ is just a poor person’s skip the line pass and they would rather pay thousands of dollars for VIP.

August 19, 2021 at 7:27 PM

What the Hell! How greedy can this company possibly be? You pay hundreds of dollars to get into ONE of their parks, now a Genie+ charge to ride the rides. Wake up people! It ain't worth it anymore unless you make a million bucks a year. I'm not returning.

August 19, 2021 at 8:21 PM

A question for the more experiencid park visitors on this treads... What would happen if i do the opposite of what the genie AI recommends ( like going to the ride with the longer wait time posted on the app?). Just for sheer curiosity.

August 19, 2021 at 9:13 PM

Not sure if anyone has seen, but the YouTube videos that announced and explained this new system are the highest percentage disliked videos on the channel, with there being almost 3k dislikes with not even 1k likes. Comments on Instagram and other news sites (not saying that Instagram is a news site) are also mainly negative.

@TwoBits- Theme parks always inflate their wait times before closing so guests stay away from rides and just go home so the employees don’t have to stay long after closing time and get paid. My statement meant more towards during the middle of the day but I should’ve made that clear lol.

Also, Maxpass let me hold multiple fastpasses at once which was a great feature. However with the announcement, they for some reason made it clear how you could make up to one fastpass. I also hope they don’t get rid of the refreshing page. Seriously, refreshing saved so many trips of mine I swear.

@TheStormRunner- I love that name, someone contact Disney and have them change the awful new name. I know I (and 90% of ppl) will still call it Fastpass.

August 19, 2021 at 10:26 PM

@Postcott: Disney inflates their wait times ALL day, not just end of day. Part of it is to make guest feel lucky when the 60 minute posted wait only takes 40 minutes, and part of it is for crowd control. I fully believe Genie will be used for crowd control and to encourage more sales of Genie+ and Lightning Lane passes.

August 19, 2021 at 11:12 PM


This is true!!! Went to Disneyland on the 66th anniversary and many attractions that posted an hour or over waits was no more than 20 to 30 mins. It was a breeze.

August 20, 2021 at 8:12 AM

I'm not sure what to think on this. If this decreases the amount of people using the FOTL pass and makes the stand-by lines move quicker with shorter waits, then I would be all for it. When I go to Disney its usually for a week so I usually have around 2 days at each park and can get on all the rides and my favorites multiple times. What made FP+ so bothersome for me was after the 3 rides you got each day, the rest of the time the lines were outrageous and made it difficult to get on every ride. Sure you could keep getting the FP's throughout the day, but with a group of 4 or more, getting FP for the better rides was not always a guaranteed. However, if the stand-by lines are now shorter, I would be willing to wait in them throughout the day. I think the biggest thing is to do a cost analysis vs time. Is the price worth it compared to how much time it saves?

I think the other issue that I haven't seen answered is if you can buy Genie+ for one day here or there or if you have to buy it for all the amount of days you have on your ticket, similar to the dining plan. I understand Lightning Lanes is a one time day of thing, but not sure of Genie+. That would make it a much more difficult decision. For a FOTL pass, I would maybe do it for one day or two at Disney, especially at a park like MK when there are many rides to get on, or maybe at HS where there are so many headliners and I would want multiple rides on them. But I am in the group where I don't think its as bad as it could have been, and can have some benefits depending on how many use it or how many can be purchased. I just wonder how long it will stay at its current price.

August 20, 2021 at 8:49 AM

Most uninteresting move of Disney in 30 years time....
So, as kind of a matter of fact : the "paid attraction tickets are back" , while comparable "general entrance price" went up 2000% ?
(Referring to the old times with ABCDE books)

August 20, 2021 at 12:10 PM

RIP Walt Disney World.
I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous and so completely complicated. Are the management trying their best to deter visitors? It certainly looks like it. I’ve visited many times from the UK over the last 35 years, and it was always a beautiful, carefree place to visit. It now complicates and ruins the very aspect of a trouble free holiday and it’s only going to make every aspect of the visit very stressful. With no meal plans in place either for the resort hotels, they are not exactly doing much to tempt guests to return. Combine all these things with increased airfares and it’s becoming a trip too far for most Europeans.??

August 20, 2021 at 1:28 PM

I noticed that there was no mention of ROTR. Will that and the other upcoming headliners be on this system?

August 20, 2021 at 2:05 PM

I would guess that ROTR would stay on the virtual queue system (Boarding Groups) just like WEB Slingers. I would also predict that Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind and Tron Lightcycle Run will similarly run on a virtual queue with access managed separately from Lightning Lane. However, given Disney's new thirst for revenue via ride access, I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney sell individual Lightning Lane passes for those high demand attractions to guests who miss out on limited spots in the virtual queue.

I feel that Disney is going down a very dangerous road, and given the losses incurred over the course of the pandemic, Disney will be turning over every rock trying to boost per cap spending and quickly recover those losses. The reasons behind these changes are obvious, but they risk alienating their core audience as evidenced from comments here and throughout the Disney blogiverse.

August 20, 2021 at 2:16 PM

The more I think about this, the less I hate it.

I still prefer the “pick three for free” of Fastpass+…

However $15 is a bargain for this.

Merlin at Alton Towers won’t sell you unlimited anything for less than £105 ($143). Single attractions start at £8 ($10.90) per one time fastlane (can’t say which rides are that cheap as singles aren’t on the website, cheapest bundle is £30)

SpeedyPass at Blackpool pleasure beach is £25 ($34) which is more or less the same as Genie plus.

Disney could have asked for a lot more. And they would have gotten it.

August 20, 2021 at 3:15 PM

@Chad H - And I think the fear is that once Disney gets the taste for this additional source of revenue, they will exploit it. The cost for MaxPass went up $5 (33%) after just over a year, so guests should take advantage of these prices now before Disney starts jacking them up. I would agree that the costs for this right now are pretty marginal, and I think that's the point as Disney transitions away from free systems. However, I anticipate Disney to quickly start turning the screws on this to see where the sweet spot is (I'm guessing it's somewhere in the $30/person/day range). I do think the specific details and pricing for the 1-time Lightning Lane attractions may change some impressions of this - if you can't access attractions like MMRR or Ratatouille or 7DMT through the Lightning Lane without buying the single ride passes and those cost upwards of $10 or more per attraction, it will completely change the calculus of Disney Genie+. If you spend $15 for Disney Genie+, but then have to spend another $30 to ride FoP and Everest once each to avoid 90+ minute lines, that's not so cheap anymore.

It may also create an even more stratified theme park experience between those who don't buy any add-ons, those who are willing to buy Disney Genie+, and those who buy individual Lightning Lane passes. The difference between the "haves" and the "have nots" could be even more striking giving these new options, which is what I think so many Disney fans are disappointed to see along with the lack of benefits/advantages for on-site resort guests with this new system.

August 20, 2021 at 6:22 PM

Good lord people find other real vacation alternatives - this Disney thing is played out and has to be one of the worst vacation choices. Who wants to play games or pay extra for each ride - this is way too complicated for something that’s supposed to be fun and magical. Are there really any children over 7 that willingly want to endure any Disney “classic” ride?

August 21, 2021 at 1:34 AM


In a word…yes

August 21, 2021 at 5:10 PM


As someone who 4 years ago whent as a mid 30s child with his mid 20s wife to be for the very first time expecting to like Universal more than Disney... Yes.

August 22, 2021 at 11:08 AM

Chad you proved my point - you’re not a child. Actually an intuitive article was written here in 2015 on this topic:


August 22, 2021 at 9:52 PM

I do remember back in 2012 visiting Universal Orlando and the offered price for a "Fast" lane for rides.

As it happens, we got lucky to catch it on a day when even Harry Potter was a walk-on so not needed but can see how it might feel to pay that much for it not being a help in cutting lines.

August 23, 2021 at 8:05 AM

>> Chad you proved my point - you’re not a child

I may have a job and a mortgage, but I can assure you I’m definitely a child.

August 23, 2021 at 10:57 AM

Tiptop22 - Disney was never a "vacation" for us. Just a stressful day of down to the second planning and waiting in long lines to get on very few rides each day. Leaving a park and coming back is such a hassle, we toughed it out all day in the sweltering sun and passed out when we made it back to the hotel at night.

Nothing about it was fun or pleasant, and we always felt like the value vs money spent was terrible. I looked forward to the 3-4 days at the beach on the other coast to unwind after our Disney ordeals.

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