Will the Disney Genie Service Replace the FastPass System?


I love Disney parks and became a master of the FastPass system. Unfortunately, that got phased out in 2020, but they recently announced the Genie Service system which made me wonder will the Disney Genie Service replace the FastPass system?

Here’s what I discovered:

Disney Genie Service does not directly replace the FastPass system, but the paid upgrade Genie+ Service does effectively replace the FastPass system. The cost is $15/day at Walt Disney World and $20/day at Disneyland and it will allow guests to make 2 reservations per day on select rides, made on the same day.

But there’s more to know about it.

So we’ll explore whether this is an app if it replaces the My Disney Experience app if it does the same things as FastPass and if it’s free. But we’ll also explore which Disney parks this will be at. After all, FastPass+ wasn’t used at Disneyland which still had the old system.

Let’s get into it!

Campbell girls with Minnie Mouse Middle Class Dad

What is Disney replacing FastPass with?

Disneyland and Walt Disney World are replacing the old FastPass system with their Genie+ Service which is a paid upgrade of their new Genie feature inside its app. The cost is $15/day at Walt Disney World and $20/day at Disneyland.

This is being introduced in the “fall of 2021”.

For WDW, it will be part of the My Disney Experience app. Disneyland doesn’t use that name for its, app, instead, calling it the Disneyland app.

I have links to both apps further down in the post.

There are some key differences though between the old FastPass system and the new Genie+ Service. I get into those below, but I’ll state it here also:

Unlike the old FastPass system where you could make 3 reservations and then add new ones once you were done, Disney Genie+ Service only allows 2 reservations a day.

Also, reservations are made the same day and not the 30-day advance (or 60 if you were a resort guest) that the old FastPass system allowed.

great Father's Day Quotes Jeff Campbell and daughters at Disneyland Middle Class Dad

Is Disney Genie replacing My Disney Experience?

Disney Genie is not replacing the My Disney Experience app. In fact, it is a new feature coming to the My Disney Experience app. It allows users to create a custom itinerary and map, customize it with their favorite ride, and join virtual queues at specific rides.

And the basic Disney Genie is a free service.

But, likely taking a cue from Six Flags and their paid Flash Pass, Disney also offers a paid upgrade version. The cost is currently $15/day at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. And at Disneyland, which just calls their app the Disneyland app, it is $20/day at Disneyland.

Obviously, it’s more expensive in California as they have fewer individual parks compared to WDW.

With the paid version, you’ll be able to go to something called Lightning Lane, which basically is the old FastPass entrances to the rides that offer that.

With the paid version, the name adds a + to the end as the old FastPass+ system did. So the name becomes Disney Genie+ Service.

And as I mentioned above, unlike the old FastPass system where you could make 3 reservations and then add new ones once you were done, Disney Genie+ Service only allows 2 reservations a day.

Also, reservations are made the same day and not the 30-day advance (or 60 if you were a resort guest) that the old FastPass system allowed.

Of course, Hollywood Studios, which is part of WDW in Orlando, used to get a bad rap.

But is it worth visiting now? Is that where Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is located? And how much fun stuff is there to do there? Luckily, I give you a complete breakdown in a recent article.

I cover every ride, all the places to eat and drink, and a complete overview of all the insider tips you need to know. Just click that link to read it on my site.

which Disney park is biggest? Middle Class Dad statue of Walt Disney and Mickey in front of Cinderella's castle at Walt Disney World

Is Lightning Lane replacing FastPass?

Lightning Lane, which is part of the paid version of the Disney Genie+ Service is replacing the FastPass system which was retired in 2020. However, Lightning Lane limits users to 2 reservations per day on participating rides.

What rides are available?

Disney hasn’t announced all the details, but we know for sure it will include the following rides:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure Park

And as I mentioned above, unlike the old FastPass system where you could make 3 reservations and then add new ones once you were done, Disney Genie+ Service only allows 2 reservations a day.

Also, reservations are made the same day and not the 30-day advance (or 60 if you were a resort guest) that the old FastPass system allowed.

But how useful is it? Does Disney World ever sell out?

You have questions, and luckily, I have the answers in this recent article. I get into crowds, limits, and the best days, times, and months to visit Walt Disney World. But I also mention the absolute worst days of the year to go.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Why did Disney get rid of FastPass?

Disney parks eliminated the FastPass system to maximize social distancing which was challenging with the FastPass system’s entrances and lines. They did this prior to reopening their parks following the lockdown and restrictions associated with the worldwide pandemic in 2020. 

So basically, it’s COVID’s fault.

Now having been to WDW in 2020, I can attest that while they did somewhat limit the number of guests in the park, and they put down markers for the lines to the rides, it was still pretty hard to maintain a 6′ distance from other park guests.

So I imagine it was the Disney lawyers that requested the change to minimize liability.

They did introduce virtual queues in 2020, although I was unsuccessful in trying to use that to get on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

I won’t lie. I miss the old FastPass+ system at Walt Disney World.

But you can bet I’ll be paying for the Disney Genie+ Service the next time we go. But I do want to wait before our next visit as our last visit was pretty limited (no Princess sightings, parades, or fireworks).

And walking around Orlando wearing a mask the whole time wasn’t fun either.

Can you pay to skip lines at Disney World?

With the new Disney Genie+ Service, Disney guests can pay $15/day at Walt Disney World to make up to 2 reservations per day on select rides. While this will not eliminate wait times, it will make wait times substantially shorter. The cost for this at Disneyland is $20 per day.

So it’s not exactly paying to skip lines. But it’s the closest we’ll get.

But it’s admittedly not quite as cool as the old FastPass+ system WDW had before the pandemic. That system allowed you to reserve 3 rides up to 30-days in advance. And if you were staying at a Disney resort, you could even do it up to 60-days in advance!

Then after you used them, you could book 3 more!

It was great. The new system, which will be way better than what I experienced visiting WDW in the fall of 2020, will allow you to make 2 reservations per day. But you have to make them that morning; no advance booking.

Is Disney Genie only at Walt Disney World?

Disney Genie is being introduced in the Fall of 2021 at both Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, and Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Being the 2 most popular Disney parks, new features tend to be rolled out here first before going global.

So if you plan to visit a Disney park in the US, you’ll be in luck!

Ready to get the app? Here are the app links for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, for both iOS (Apple) and Android.

Walt Disney World Apps

Disneyland Apps

Final thoughts

I loved the old FastPass+ system that had been used at Disney World in Orlando.

And it was sad for my family to visit there recently and find it not in use. We still had fun though, and if you want to see what was “normal” and what wasn’t check out my recent article where I cover everything we experienced.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

But luckily it looks like the new Disney Genie Service, while not free, will be fantastic and a way for us to get back to avoid that huge line at the Millenium Falcon Smuggler’s Run ride, to name just one of my favorites.

I can’t wait to test it out!


Image by ErikAggie from Pixabay and Image by gdakaska from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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