Planning a Disney Trip? Starting This Fall, You’ll Have To Pay For Disney Parks FastPasses…

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holding phone showing Disney Genie app

Disney Parks have a new service designed to cut your wait time, but it’s going to cost you!

Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts are preparing to release a new planning tool designed to help you maximize your Park time at both locations.

The new Disney Genie is a complimentary digital service that will be built into the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps. It includes a personalized itinerary feature that will help guests build a schedule and map out their day at the park.

Disney Genie graphic

When this new service goes live in the apps this fall, you’ll be able to tell Disney Genie the rides, attractions, and food you want to enjoy, and the Genie will take care of all the planning so that you can do all those things in the shortest amount of time. That much is free.

But if you really want to maximize your day at a Disney Park, that means skipping the line at some of the resort’s busiest rides and attractions. Before the pandemic, this could be done by securing FastPasses, which were included in the cost of your ticket. Now, FastPasses are being replaced by something called Lightning Lane, which is only available through the paid Genie+ service.

using Disney Genie app

Lightning Lane costs $15 per ticket per day at Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland. It can be used for more than 15 attractions at Disneyland and more than 40 at Disney World. Genie+ will also offer guests exclusive audio experiences, augmented reality lenses for Disney World guests, and unlimited PhotoPass downloads for Disneyland guests.

For an additional fee, guests can also schedule a time to arrive at up to two ultra-popular attractions each day (like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom or Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure) by using the Lighting Lane entrance. Pricing for this option is not available yet but will vary by date, attraction, and park.

What do you think – will Lightning Lane enhance your next day at the Park, or should Disney leave this Genie in the bottle?

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About the writer:

Jenna has a Bachelor's Degree from Lycoming College and her Master's from Penn State, holding 4 years of writing experience between a variety of publications and Hip2Save.

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Comments 47

  1. Callie

    Walt would be disappointed. 🙁

    • Casey

      Not really since he had a pay per ride system at DL from the get go. Walt was a capitalist.

  2. Kl

    Talk about nickel and diming you, you already pay a hefty price to get in. I guess inflation is increasing everywhere

  3. iamkris10

    This is truly disappointing and frankly, unreasonable. You pay a boatload to get in the gate, let alone, above market for food, merchandise, etc. the hotels are more. you have to pay now for extra hours to actually be able to ride the rides. We simply cannot go… not that FL is even safe to go now anyway!

    • jkw

      FL is the SAFEST place to go right now in this wacked out world!

      • LC

        …sure, Jan.

        • laura-24


      • Morticia

        I agree! Plus, I will spend my money in Florida over California any day!

      • Kathleen


      • Gramma C

        {:/ LOL

      • Stella

        What world do you live in? Delta variant is raging out of control in FL, you know like their whacked out Gov. DeSantis who has the audacity to say it’s covid season rather than issue a much needed mask mandate and actually save lives.m

        • Mendy

          As a Florida resident I approve this message. First week of school there were 23 students in my daughters fifth grade class, now only nine. Something has to be done and all the parks here are just worried about making their money back. Shame on them.

  4. Amckilt

    That’s disappointing . By allowing the more affluent people to push their way to the front of the line its going to cause even longer waiting time for those who can’t afford to pay extra.

  5. MommySpendsLess

    This is a bargain compared to Universal’s Express ticket option.

    • Beth M

      It is actually cheaper to stay in a Premier level Universal hotel and get the Express Pass included than it is to stay in a lower category hotel & buy the Express Pass, just FYI.

      • MommySpendsLess

        Thanks, I read that as well. As a Florida resident considering annual passes for the two of us, I was thinking about spending 1 night at Royal Pacific to kick off our passes with 2 days of Express and being able to stay later/arrive earlier than driving home. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help for the remaining 363 days we have the pass. I’d love a $15-$20/ticket/day option that we tack on occasionally rather than Universal’s fluctuating $99+.

  6. kiera

    Why do people feel the need to compare Universal’s cost to Disney’s when people are interested in Disney and not the other? Anyhow, I think them getting rid of many free things back to back is not a good look on the company. No more free magic bands/magical express/fastpass + a reduction of extra magic hours….won’t be surprised if they charge for park transportation next.

    • Beth M

      Mears has filled in the hole that DMX left. Mears was running it for Disney anyway, and now they’re charging for it. So there’s that.

    • Cindi

      Because they are both giants in the industry and often copy each other when it comes to business practices, park offerings, even attractions. Based on the fact that Universal has been charging for express passes, and Disneyland rolled out Max pass years ago – it was honestly just a matter of time before DW followed.

  7. zimme

    Somebody help me! I’m confused as to what the fuss is all about. We’ve always had to pay for a Fastpass per ticket per day at Disneyland if wanting to reserve a time & skip the line.

    • Ker

      ??? I’ve never paid for a fast pass at Disneyland….

    • Beth M

      For MaxPass, yes. The Fastpasses for WDW were included in the price of a ticket (3 initial FPs could be made 60 days prior to the check-in date, then after those 3 were used you could make 1 at a time either on your phone/app or at kiosks in the park.) Now you can still ride rides & stand in lines, but if you want to be able to bypass lines you have to pay $15 per day per ticket for the length of ticket. So if you have a family of 4 with 5-day tickets you’re going to pay $60 per day per person (an extra $300) to be able to use the Lightning Lane. You *have* to get it for each person on the reservation and you *have* to get it for the # of days’ worth of tickets you have, so you can’t just use it for 1 person for 1 day.

      • zimme

        Thank you Beth for explaining!

  8. Barb

    Disney has taken so many things away the last several years, its so disappointing!! 🙁

  9. Sherry

    When we went to Disneyworld 42 years ago tickets were $6. Space Mountain was new and the latest ride. There were no fast passes or Lightning Lanes. It was pouring out and we didn’t mind getting wet so that decreased wait times. It was fun.

  10. Ashley

    i have to agree, people that can budget more money get to have faster lines? So if you have extra cash, you can pay for extra park hours and faster lines but if it’s taken everything you have to make this trip on a budget… you get less hours and longer lines?

    • MommySpendsLess

      Isn’t that how pretty much everything works everywhere? Extra features, higher levels of service, better quality products, etc. usually cost more money. Heck, some of the highways are starting to offer lanes with variable rate tolls that guarantee no waiting in traffic. The toll rate goes up until it’s cost prohibitive enough that it flows freely.
      While Disney markets itself as being “magical” it’s a for-profit business that will monetize its offerings as much as it can get away with.

  11. Em

    I know that extra magic hours were gone due to Covid, but are they never coming back? Has Disney officially said?

    • Casey

      Guests staying in deluxe resorts will get evening Extra Magic Hours. Every onsite guest will get 30 minutes extra in each park every morning.

      • Em

        Thank you, Casey! 🙂

  12. Materof6

    We took a one day trip with extended family in July, and we all got the Park Hopper. We had a total of 2 kids between families who has ADHD. My SIL learned that these kids qualify for the disability pass, which is similar to the Fast Pass as long as each member in your party present their tickets at Member Services. It made the trip go smoother for all, knowing this! It made a big difference…just FYI for parents who have kids with ADHD.

    • Barbara J. Mountjoy

      I thought they’d discontinued the disability pass…. bec some families brought along strangers with a disability just so they could fraudulently use the service.

      • Mima

        We were just at Magic Kingdom in July with my daughter who has a disability, we were able to get a disability pass for her at that time.

    • Laura

      This is amazing to know! We’ve taken our 10 yr old with ADHD to DL 3 times and this would have helped tremendously! Thank you so much for sharing this. If we ever get to go again this will definitely be something we could use.

    • Hope

      It’s not really similar to the fast pas. They give you a return time to come back to ride depending on the wait time. When wait times are low, it’s great. When wait times are high, it can be rough on people with certain disabilities, but somethings better than nothing! We had a better time when we could use it along with the fast pass.

    • Miranda

      Can this be used on young adults? You see I have a 30 yr ol son who is actually a 11 year old kid (mentall impaired) also has autism. It would help us tremendously. We are planning a trip for January 22.

  13. Gramma C

    I’ve been waiting for it Disneyland parks have become rich man’s paradise. And to make it even worse all these rich people who were privileged enough to get access to everything were constantly complaining on group chats about how they need to get rid of payment plans because you know if you can’t afford it you shouldn’t even be going. 🤦‍♀️ They just had this elitist attitude that the Disney parks were for just the passholders. Complaining about people with strollers and little kids it was ridiculous I had to just leave the group even when I was a passholder.

  14. vanessa-7

    Curious if they use Robin Williams voice, that would make me have a sad day at the park

  15. Sarah

    I literally just came back from Disneyland yesterday and that was my last trip. Last year I paid for maxpass park hopper tickets. I have to use the tickets this year. So no maxpass or refund for it. You an only park hop after 1pm. Our last dayat the park we decided to go back to our hotel to nap. Went to CA adventure at 4 rode 3 rides and got dinner. Decided we wanted a dole whip at 7:30 pm so we hopped back over to Disneyland and got one. Thought we could go back to DCA but they were having a special event and would not let us back in even though we had tickets. Nor were we told when we left the park we could not go back in. So we went to guest services at Disneyland and nicely explained what happened. The castmember said maybe we couldget you in another gate let me check. Wellhe went to speak to someone and their solution was to give me fastpasses for a future trip to CA adventure. Which means theyget more of my money. Also, while standing in line we heard someone had upgraded their ticket to include DCA at 5:30 and were not told they could not get back in after 8. The bathrooms were also dirty. We saw trash and gum residue in the park. And grafitti carved into plants. The magic is dead folks.

  16. Chantel

    Ridiculous! I’m a DVC owner and think this is out of hand. Just plain greedy.

  17. Kelly

    I was just looking to try and take my kids. I’m stage 4…terminal cancer. Kids are 6 and 11.
    I can’t walk around there…would be in a wheelchair…
    I’ve been to see 2xs in my lifetime.
    Do we need a pass like this or do we wait with a wheelchair? Ty.

    • ToriSC

      I believe there is a disability pass. I remember getting one when I broke my foot one year. They take you in through a separate entrance a lot of times. Call Disney ahead of time.

    • HBee

      Dear Kelly, many prayers for you. I hope you get to do what you want to do at Disney.

  18. Haley

    The only way Disney will lower prices and re-introduce perks is if people stop supporting them. Stop paying more for toys, books, clothes, and other merchandise just because they have Disney characters on them. Stop letting your children be free advertising for Disney. Stop scrimping and saving for a trip to Disney just so you can get nickel and dimed and spend most of your day waiting in lines for rides or overpriced foods; take that $5000 you would spend on a Disney trip and make ACTUAL memories with your children, taking them somewhere they can learn about this world we live in. Disney is an entertainment company, nothing more. There is nothing magical about it and they just want your money.

    • Laura

      So close, just remove the “spend the $5000 on making actual memories”. We plan to go once. This is the kids big one time trip to Disney world and I’m sure it will be as memorable as any other big memory. I do agree that some people turn it into a cult and build their entire family identity around it. I have heard of families going yearly and they are completely frugal the entire year to blow $10k at Disney. That’s their big thing, sadly some of them can’t see that it has become lost on their kids, but they are still chasing that high from the first time.

  19. Jill

    If you have ever been disappointed in standing in line for hours – than Genie+ is your answer. It’s how you value your time and money. No one needs to buy this.
    When Maxpass came out at Disneyland, we balked at the extra price….but it was so worth it for us. We don’t go frequently to the parks and when we do, we want to do as much as we can. Also – Disneyland includes photo pass pictures (including ride photos) with the cost of Genie +.

  20. Laura

    If this includes the price of the photo pass as well, it’s not that bad depending how big your party is, but for a family of 5, it’s an extra $75 per day, but it doesn’t say it’s good at the other parks as well.

    It’s like their ticket price sliding scale now, where you pay more per ticket on peak days. This is another way to cut down on the number of people who use the system by pricing them out.

    The last time I went to Disney there was no fast pass sign up ahead of time, you had to go to the ride, pull a ticket for 60-90 minutes later and then your wait was cut in half.

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