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Ali Baba had his forty thieves, Scheherazade had a thousand tales, and the Disney Parks had Fastpass and Maxpass - but not anymore! I have made my living as a travel advisor specializing in Disney products. And the one thing I have learned about Disney is: anytime you get used to a program, become comfortable with a program, they will change it. So, it shouldn't surprise you that we are saying adios to the best way to skip the lines to popular rides, Maxpass and Fastpass.  But never fear, because a replacement is already near, meet Genie+!

 

 

 

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Ali Baba had his forty thieves, Scheherezade had a thousand tales, and the Disney Parks had Fastpass and Maxpass - but not anymore! Meet Genie+

 

 

New Genie+ Program

 

The biggest change is, the Fastpass (previously at Walt Disney World Resort) and Maxpass (previously at Disneyland Resort) are going away. They are being replaced by a paid service called Genie+. Genie+ will cost $15 per day at Walt Disney World and $20 per day at Disneyland because everything is more expensive in California. There is also a free version, called Genie, that DOES NOT offer any line management options. 

 

Under the Genie+ program, the previous FastPass/MaxPass lines are going to be rebranded and called Lightning Lanes.

 

Under Genie+ you'll choose a return time for your individual attraction selections for the day of your visit, for the entire day. These add-on tickets are available for purchase as a single-day use experience, for your entire Disney vacation, or for existing annual passholders. It works kind of like scheduling same-day FastPasses.

 

You can purchase the Disney Genie service in the My Disney Experience app. Simply log into the My Disney Experience app, select the next available return time for the attraction you want to visit, and then during that time window, you'll be able to enter most of the attractions through the Lightning Lane entrance instead of the traditional standby lines. No more getting up early 60 days in advance to schedule FastPasses! I assure you that I'm rejoicing about that! You will be able to make selections starting at 7 AM every day. 

 

A few very popular attractions require an extra fee for Lightning Lane access. You can purchase just these select rides, with or without the Genie+ service. Unsurprisingly, the most popular rides, like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom or Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot, are the ones that have the additional fee. Prices for these individual rides will range around $7-15 per person per ride. 

 

Lightning Lane selections can only be made on the same day of your visit, but they can be made in more than one amusement park at a time, which is perfect for the park hopper option.

 

 

 

 

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Genie, no plus, program

 

space mountain, disneyland - Genie+ for Disney Resorts

Soon you'll be able to pay to skip past all the other peons in line for Space Mountain. Photo Courtesy of Zino Scheers on Unsplash

 

 

Not as much, but hey the price is right! The free version is called just Genie, no plus. The complimentary version of Genie acts as your virtual assistant and allows you to save favorite rides, attractions, and restaurants. Then, it'll put together a personalized itinerary for you. It'll also let you stand in a free virtual queue for certain rides. Pretty nifty. The program will find the best time for things like dining reservations. As Genie would say "C'mon whisper what it is you want You ain't never had a friend like me."

 

If you're thinking, hey that kind of sounds like Touring Plans with new features, you aren't wrong. The free version of Genie is very similar to what Touring Plans offers. 

 

 

 

 

It's hard to say just how much time the free version of Genie will actually save you in line, I'm definitely very curious to see how it all works when it's rolled out! But hey, anything you get for free is better than nothing. 

 

 

ReImagined Disability Access System (DAS)

 

 

magic kingom, disney world - Genie+ for Disney Resorts

What hasn't changed? Well it's a safe bet that the parks will still be crowded in July! Photo courtesy of Darren Gundling on Unsplash.

 

 

Disney is also making improvements to its Disability Access System (commonly called the DAS pass). You will now be able to enroll before your trip, and you will be able to make selections right from your phone. As a disabled Disney goer, I'm really excited to see this much-needed change! Waiting in a long line at Guest Services to explain my disability to a total stranger was not exactly a magical way to start my day. Please note that guests strictly with only mobility concerns are generally not eligible for DAS, as you can use a wheelchair and/or scooter. 

 

 

star wars, rise of the resistance - Genie+ for Disney Resorts

Sorry Star Wars fans, Rise of the Resistance is one of the attractions you have to pay extra for if you want to use Lightning Lane. Photo Courtesy of Becky Fantham on Unsplash

 

 

When is this happening?

 

The Genie+ program is rolling out on October 19th. If you're traveling after October 19th and want to add Genie+ to your trip, you can do so by contacting your travel agent if you're using one, or within the reservation management website if you're not. 

 

 

magic kingdom, disney

A lot of great things are happening for the 50th! Thank goodness they didn't turn the castle into a giant cake again! Photo Courtesy of Brian McGowan on Unsplash

 

 

Can I buy Genie+ some days but not every day of my vacation?

 

Yes, you can arrange for Genie+ for your whole trip before you travel, or you can buy it day by day during your trip. 

 

 

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Wait a Minute, Do We Still Need Travel Advisers?

 

I have seen a lot of people talking online about how Genie, with its artificial intelligence-designed itineraries, can replace Travel Agents/Advisors so I want to address that. 

 

There is no replacement for having someone in your corner when you have a question or problem. Genie sounds like it's going to be great, and I can't wait for it to be rolled out, but an app can't sit down with you, ask you a bunch of questions and then help you pick a hotel. Or help you when your luggage gets lost. And it's unlikely that the Genie AI will be able to help you with unique situations, like helping you find a restaurant that can accommodate your son's serious allergies, or helping you find every restaurant on property that serves chicken nuggets, not tenders, nuggets specifically. Obviously, I'm biased since I'm an agent, but seriously, a good travel agent is worth her weight in gold. And even seasoned "Disney pros" can benefit from having someone to call when you have a problem. 

 

 

What are you telling your clients?

 

Right now I'm advising my clients that are not traveling immediately to wait and see what people think of Genie + before they pay for it. 

I'm advising everyone to take advantage of the free version of Genie. After all, if something is free, why not at least try it out?

Please note though, that you should always consult with your own personal travel agent, as they know you and your family best!

 

 

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Ali Baba had his forty thieves, Scheherezade had a thousand tales, and the Disney Parks had Fastpass and Maxpass - but not anymore! Meet Genie+

 

Emily Householder Stacey is a travel agent and writer based out of Alliance Ohio, home to the world famous Heggy's Chocolate. She spends as much time as she can manage escaping the snow for Central Florida's theme parks.