Many Disney guests adored the FastPass and FastPass+ systems, which allowed guests to prebook a place in line for popular attractions – for free. Alas, Disney's new line-hopping service is not quite the same. But it does have its perks.
Introducing Genie+, Disney's New Line-Hopping Service
Genie+ is Disney's new response to a chief Disney visitor complaint: long waits in lines for attractions. Since 1999, FastPass and, later, FastPass+ were free ways for guests to avoid the lines and enjoy more park time by marking their spot. Best of all, these programs were free of charge. All versions of FastPass were retired by August 2021.
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Enter Genie+, the paid replacement to FastPass+ that rolled out on October 19, 2021.
What Is Genie+?
As part of Disney's sophisticated digital visitor services, Genie+ is an add-on to the My Disney Experience app that visitors can purchase.
Currently, the price for Genie+ is $15 per ticket per day at Walt Disney World (or $20 per day at Disneyland) to gain admission to the new Lightning Lane entrances at select attractions and experiences throughout the theme parks.
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Remember, waiting in the stand-by line is always free, and you can do it as many times as you have time for.
What You Get with Genie+
Lightning Lanes are the physical places where guests claim speedy access to the rides they've reserved times for. And having Genie+ grants guests access to most of the Lighting Lanes. Genie+ benefits include:
- Over 40 attractions: Visit anything on the list between four (4) theme parks
- Freedom to park hop: Book attractions between different parks on the same day
- Flexibility: Modify your attraction reservations as needed
- PhotoPass Lenses: Disney-themed augmented reality effects filters
- Audio Tales: Free audio tours packed with behind-the-scenes insights and fun facts to enhance your visit.
You get to use these features all day long and have the ability to book another Genie+ reservation as soon as you've finished the first one.
In the event of inclement weather, your Genie+ reservation allows you to book an indoor attraction in its place – while still allowing you to keep that "bonus" ticket for the original attraction that got rained out.
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Limitations to Know About Genie+
There are some boundaries when using Genie+:
- You can only book one (1) Genie+ attraction at a time.
- Rides can run out of Genie+ spots.
- You can only use Genie+ at each attraction once per day.
Remember, waiting in the stand-by line is always free, and you can do it as many times as you have time for. But waiting in line does count against your time at the park, which isn't free.
These caveats add up to one important conclusion: to get the most out of your park time and investment in Genie+, you must plan ahead and use the time-saving features of the My Disney Experience app.
What Genie+ Can't Help With
There are some experiences and attractions where Genie+ won't give you an advantage: "Individual Lightning Lane Selections" are a la carte options that don't require Genie+.
The only way to hop the line for these coveted attractions is to buy individual Lightning Lane passes. Prices of the a la carte passes will vary, depending on the ride and time of day, but plan on $7 to $15 per person per attraction.
Something to Note About Lightning Lane Reservations
Here are some important things to know before you book an individual Lightning Lane entry:
- Daily Limit: You may only book up to two attractions per day.
- No Changes: Once you have booked a Lightning Lane, you are locked in. You can't change the time or the attraction, much like a movie ticket.
How to Get Genie+
Getting Genie+ is as easy as adding the option to your ticket or vacation package. You can purchase it through your travel agent or right at Disneyworld.com. Or you can book it day by day at the park.
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Is Line-Hopping Worth It?
In terms of just plain dollars and cents, even a paid line-hopping option can save valuable dollars during your trip to Disney.
A family of four will pay about $900 for park-hopper admission for a single day. If that family stays at Disney for eight hours, they spend $112.50 per hour to be physically in the parks.
If you think of it that way, if a Genie+ pass saves you even a few hours in line, the purchase of this add-on option pays for itself fairly quickly.