Finally, Disney Announces Their FastPass Replacement Plans

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Disney FastPass Replacement

Disney FastPass Replacement System – It Could’ve Been Worse

At long last, Disney announced the next evolution of their FastPass/FastPass+/MaxPass system, although it won’t use those terms anymore.  We haven’t received much clarity on FastPass since the pandemic began.  But we now have plenty to chew on thanks their announcement.  Let’s take a look at the new Disney FastPass replacement specifics, and I’ll subsequently share my initial take.

Disney FastPass Replacement News

There’s lots of new stuff, but here are the two major changes that most will care about:

Disney Genie+ Service

A Disney park guest can choose the next available time at many attractions and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance.  This service costs $15 and $20 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World and Disneyland parks, respectively.  Disney considers this as the next evolution of Disneyland’s MaxPass service, which has been a fan favorite of many.  Shawn and Joe are two MtMers who vouch for the MaxPass service.  With this service, Disney also promises “augmented reality lenses” for Disney World guests and unlimited PhotoPass downloads for Disneyland visitors.

Individual Attraction Selections (Available for Purchase)

Park guests can schedule a time to arrive at up to two high-demand attractions daily using the Lightning Lane entrance.  Dynamic pricing will exist for this option based on the date, attraction, and park.  These prices, and hopefully a more concise name for this service, will be announced closer to the capability’s launch.

Disney FastPass Replacement

My Initial Take

Undoubtedly, the news is bad, as guests will now have to pay for something they previously obtained for free.  But I had much worse expectations, and I’m pleasantly surprised that the updates aren’t as terrible as I feared.  I expected only the “Individual Attraction Selection” pay per ride model, not a more reasonable option and product like Disney Genie+.  I don’t have experience with MaxPass, and I’m particularly intrigued to use a similar version of the system at Disney World.  Disney is shrewd in their pricing scheme, too, as many will rationalize paying the extra $15 per ticket per day for Genie+, including this writer.  Meanwhile, Disney creates yet another revenue stream.

I’m reserving full judgement on the second “individual attraction selections” option for when we get a better idea of pricing.  Inevitably, though, I may cave here also, based on the situation and if the price is right.  And methods exist for cheaper (or free) Disney.

It appears all Lightning Lane selections (from both products) can only be made the same day as your park visit but can be used across parks.  That’s great, as long as you were planning to pay for the park hopper ticket option, anyway.

Disney Genie will be built into the existing My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps.  Many more small enhancements will be part of the rollout, as well.  You can check them out here.

Conclusion

We didn’t obtain closure, but it’s nice to get more clarity on the evolution of Disney’s FastPass system.  I expected bad news, and Disney delivered.  But there’s stuff to like in the announcement, particularly around the Genie+ service.  These changes will keep Disney dorks like me busy in the future, and I look forward to getting my hands on the service.  With change comes opportunity!

What’s your take on this Disney news?

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA expense-free (or close to it). He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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9 COMMENTS

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9 COMMENTS

  1. They already have “pay to ride” fastpasses in Disneyland Paris. Some rides, such as the Tower of Terror, cost the equivalent of nearly $18 for the privilege of getting a secured low wait spot. That’s $18 for ONE ride for ONE person! Really wondering what the pricing will be in the States.

    • Bill G,
      Yes, the Disneyland Paris pay to ride option is very new, as well. I’d be surprised if the per-ride option is more expensive domestically, but we’ll have to wait to find out.

  2. So as an annual pass holder what do u get for that on Genie +. Nada. So the popular attractions are going to be an up charge besides the $15 a day genie +. Limit 2 rides per day. So what are they going to consider popular? Probably the 70% of them to have an up charge. Dis is prick the average family out. When u start seeing a drop in bookings then they will figure out the up charge is not going to cut it i their revenue stream.

    • Nick,
      I think it’s a bit early to presume passholders will get nothing or that bookings will drop. We’ll see how things develop.

  3. This is disappointing. WDW and DL are becoming luxury vacations. More and more every day people will not be able to go. For many it will end up being a once in a lifetime trip and that’s it. Maybe that’s what they want. It giant seen that they want repeat vacationers. Seems these kind of people are being pushed out. My heart hurts because Walt Disney didn’t envision this type of land or world. He wanted a safe fun place for families to enjoy. Everyone to be able to go. See the old photos of him showing how happy he was for people to be there with their families As it presently is it’s expensive to vacation AT Disney period. Disney is not hurting in making revenue… people still eat and buy merchandise in the park, pay for character encounters, etc. Tickets keep going up and so does the nickel and dimming. Its starting to feel to be too much. It’s frustrating. For a family of 4 that’s $60 per day $360 for 5 days for the Genie+. For most that’s 3 full work days before taxes. I am a huge fan of Disney. Was strongly considering a DVC purchase but with all these changes it doesn’t seem worthwhile the extra expense to stay onsite unless you are looking for the Disney bubble. When we first started going to WDW we would rent a condo offsite. However, the perks of staying onsite made it worthwhile even though it was more expensive. Not worth it now. We only get 30 minutes early access to the parks! This is silly. Frustrating is that I already paid for a DVC TS for 2022. Had I known all of these drastic changes were coming I would have stayed offsite. I’m surprised we are not getting charged to see the fireworks show! At this rate I should not be shocked if they charge for evening parades/shows (when they come back).

  4. Personally, I don’t think it will cost us that much more because we will be saving by not staying at a Disney hotel. I don’t see any value any more in the Disney hotel with no magical express and now not even choosing your fast pass early. I mean, who wants to wake up at 7:00 AM on vacation just to choose fast passes. And even the Disney bus service to the parks isn’t that great. Two nights ago I waited 20 minutes after the fireworks at Epcot ended for the bus to arrive. I was one of the first at the stop so I know I didn’t just miss a bus. By the time the bus came there was a line of over 200 waiting for the bus. The offsite hotels all had. At least 2 buses come and go before the Disney one showed up.

    • Jason Smith,
      You nailed it. Since this announcement, I’ve reconsidered my loyalty to Disney resort properties.

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