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A Guide: Disney FastPass Replaced by Genie Plus Service

With the growing number of people visiting Disney parks every year, it can be quite overwhelming with most theme parks like Magic Kingdom reaching capacity during the peak seasons.

When the pandemic hit, all of the Disney parks required reservations for social distancing and limiting the number of people in the park.

disneyland mad tea party ride
Gagliardi Photography

Once the restrictions were lifted, more people began to flock to the parks, increasing wait times for popular attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage.

While the use of FastPass allowed guests to reserve attractions far in advance, it can take away from the ability to spontaneously have fun exploring the parks even if you have the magic bands.

How to Get Free Disney Fast Passes at Disney World?

When booking your Disney park tickets, guests have the option to purchase up to 3 fast passes for each theme park far in advance.

These free passes show up on My Disney Experience account with details like the wait time and the time slot guests have selected. For guests with a park hopper ticket, every FastPass reserved for each park is shown inside the app on the day of your ticket.

There are several ways to get free fast passes at Disney World. One of them is by taking a Disney Vacation Club tour or visiting a kiosk. Once your time slot for the ride approaches, it is best to appear at the FastPass entrance a few minutes early.

What is the Genie+ System?

genie plus app on phone with castle in background
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World has replaced the previous Fastpass service with a new advanced system called the Genie+ that provides guests with better Disney park experiences for an additional fee.

The Genie Plus app is a convenient way to reserve certain attractions. When guests make their reservations at a specific time, they return to the Lightning Lane at the attractions that were reserved.

Guests have the ability to reserve early morning time slots but will have to wait until they have scanned into their first reservation or 120 minutes after the park opens.

This guide will help you learn more about Genie+ and the ways you can make the most of your days compared to worrying about how to get free fast passes at Disney World!

Upcoming Updates about Genie+

Beginning March 20th, all guests who stay in a Walt Disney World Resort with the Genie Plus app will receive digital downloads of their Disney PhotoPass attraction photos at no additional charge.

Guests will also have the ability to change attraction selections through My Disney Experience app. The system will be a bit more lenient on canceling and modifying dining options.

What are Lightning Lane Entrances?

On the Genie+ service, there will be options to purchase Lightning Lane with return windows for certain rides, especially for resort guests staying at a Disney resort hotel. But most of the individual lightning lanes are purchased separately. Guests can enter up to 3 entrances if the purchase was made in the morning.

Genie Plus at Disneyland California

A step up from the Disney MaxPass or MaxPass system in the Disneyland app, The Genie Plus system has paid off for many guests at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park.

However, the California resort has noticed the increasingly high demand and tells guests that they might not be able to use the Genie Plus system to the fullest. They have also included the magic keys or room keys for annual passholders.

Disneyland Paris Debuted Premier Access

disneyland paris castle
Credit: foxtrot

With Premier Access, guests can purchase individual Lightning Lane access for popular rides. With the Genie Plus system, many people can already predict how the system will evolve based on Disneyland Paris.

Recently, Disneyland Paris has announced the Premier Access Ultimate which guarantees access to popular rides for one price.

With the extra cost added to the park admission ticket, the Premier Access Ultimate will have a short wait time and shorter line, especially during the off-season. You may also get some perks for staying in the Disneyland resort areas.

Pros of Fast Passes

For planned travelers, the original free FastPasses was a great way to ride their favorite attractions without worrying about long lines and wait times. The FastPass line also gives travelers the opportunity to experience different aspects of the park such as the food and the shows without worrying too much about the ride times.

The planning window for guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels increases compared to other guests, which will give them a better chance at reserving their favorite rides through the FastPass system.

In addition, all guests have free access to the Disney FastPass which lets guests reserve three fast passes for one theme park. For the FastPass tickets, there are fastpass return times that guests can choose when selecting the rides they want FastPasses for.

Cons of Disney Fast Passes

For hardcore Disney fans, reserving three different attractions in the same park can be restrictive, especially if they love riding certain rides more than once.

Once guests use their 3 FastPass reservations, they can try to get another Fast pass but the availability is limited.

While all Disney parks granted guests access to 3 Fastpasses through the FastPass machine, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios were a bit more restrictive, only allowing guests to select 1 popular ride while the other 2 rides were in the less demanding tier through the tier system.

Pros of Disney Genie Plus System

genie plus interface on phone
Credit: Disney

The Genie Plus system with a Disney account allows every guest to make a detailed itinerary with continued updates. The system also recommends attractions and restaurants based on the users’ interests with an interactive map.

If you’re trying to figure out a great time to eat lunch without the crowds, Genie+ recommends certain times to enjoy your food. For additional information, guests can chat with a cast member virtually.

While the original Fast Passes provided a bigger reservation window for guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels, the Genie Plus app allows all guests regardless of where they are staying to reserve attractions on the day of their Disney adventure.

With the extra costs of the Genie+ service, the whole family can enjoy the most popular rides for all 4 Disney World parks. Book Lightning Lane for Frozen Ever After, Jungle Cruise, Kali River Rapids, and more!

Cons of Genie+ System

While all guests can book reservations through the Genie Plus app on the day of their magical adventure, only people staying in Walt Disney Resort hotels can reserve their attractions before the park opens while others have to wait until later times, which doesn’t give other guests much time for choosing rides.

There are several times during the year that the Disney parks nearly reach capacity, especially during Christmas and summer vacation.

As guests, expect the Genie Plus reservation costs per person to be significantly higher due to the demand. This won’t include the price of the park ticket, and whether you’re looking to reserve other rides in a different park. There may be less availability for high-demand rides with longer lines.

The Genie+ system only allows guests the opportunity to ride an attraction once. If you’re late to the scheduled time for an attraction, you won’t be able to ride it as your time has already passed.

Tips for Making the Most Out of Genie+

disney genie plus brochure
Credit: Chip and Co

When purchasing reservations for rides, use the app for popular attractions that are most likely to have the longest wait times. If you go during the off-season on a weekday, there might be more ride options available where you can get to the front of the line faster.

When visiting during the peak season, guests will always want to have an attraction reserved in advance, especially in the morning as reservations for attractions tend to get booked up.

Guests can always refresh the Genie Plus app and keep on the lookout for cancellations if they couldn’t reserve one of their favorite rides. The app also notifies guests when it may be too late on a certain day to reserve attractions.

For guests visiting Epcot or Animal Kingdom, there are very limited high-demand rides to choose from. It may be better to purchase individual attractions access instead of Genie+.

It is recommended to be 5 minutes early to your scheduled time slot for attractions. However, there is a grace period of 5 minutes before your reservation expires.

  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Splash Mountain
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Buzz Lightyear
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (need virtual queue instead of standby line)
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Test Track
  • Small World (now has FastPass line as of 2023)
  • Na’vi River Journey

Should You Use the Genie Plus App for All Parks?

epcot park
CreditL Flynn_Chris

Magic Kingdom is a magical wonderland filled with a ton of rides and interactive shows.

Due to the number of rides in this Disney park, the Genie Plus app will help immensely compared to the original Walt Disney World FastPass. This system helps narrow down which rides should be on your priority list before the wait times increase. This park tends to be the one that reaches capacity first during the peak seasons.

Animal Kingdom is a slightly toned-down Disney theme park with limited rides, giving guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in a lush, tropical environment.

Other than the Flight of Passage and Kilimanjaro Safari, most of the rides aren’t in high demand and have shorter waits. The easiest way may be to purchase individual attractions rather than Genie+.

Epcot is also a park that would be cheaper to use the individual attractions access as very few rides tend to have high wait times. While waiting for your time slot, park guests can enjoy International cuisine and an endless supply of drinks.

Final Thoughts

Good news! As the Genie+ system evolves to help improve the experiences of Disney park guests without waiting in long standby lines, it is important to keep up to date on how to use this app and plan a Walt Disney World vacation that is worth the money in the near future.

Although the new system can be challenging, we hope this guide will help you use Genie+ with your entire party efficiently even if it’s not a free service.

Make sure to buy Walt Disney World tickets! If you’re visiting Disney World for the first time, take advantage of a travel agent to help you understand all you need to know before embarking on your magical adventure including booking the right hotel room.

disney fastpass replaced by genie service

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