Disney has announced the start date for their new ‘skip the line’ service at Disneyland Resort, beginning in just two short days on December 8th. We’ll cover the news and information in this post before adding in some of our own commentary.
For those unaware, free and standard FastPass is no more at Disneyland Resort. Instead the new system will be similar to MaxPass, the paid system that was in place for the last few years. At the heart of the Disney Genie service are features like a personalized itinerary creator inspired by your interests. That, in and of itself, is complimentary.
The Disney Genie service will also offer additional features like a personal tip board to see your favorite attractions and dining options in one central place, and forecasted future attraction wait times, helping you predict the best time to visit during the day. These features are created to help you spend less time waiting in line, so you can enjoy more of what you love. Disney Genie service even works around existing plans, like dining reservations. While we might prefer our itineraries, we’re curious to see how the app works.
Similar to a navigation app on your phone, Disney Genie does all the work behind the scenes and updates your itinerary continually from morning to night so you can stay spontaneous and make the most of your time in the parks!
Where the paid features come in is with Disney Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane purchases. Lightning Lanes are essentially the old FastPass lines or a way to skip the majority of the standby line. There are two different ways to utilize Lightning Lanes, the first being Genie+.
Disney Genie+ will be available for $20 per ticket per day, and allows you to select the next available arrival window for Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane entrances at a variety of attractions, one at a time (subject to limited availability; limit one Lightning Lane selection per experience each day). Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane entrances are available at select attractions at both Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park – great for those who have Park Hopper tickets. Disney Genie+ also includes unlimited Disney PhotoPass digital photo downloads from your day, as well as new audio experiences that let you discover the parks in cool new ways.
Disney Genie+ service may be purchased in the Disneyland app after you’ve entered the park and have linked your park ticket. After Dec. 8, you may also choose to purchase Disney Genie+ prior to your visit when you purchase a park ticket. You can begin making your Lightning Lane arrival window selections as soon as you enter a theme park.
The attractions included in Genie+ are:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- “it’s a small world”
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Disney California Adventure
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Toy Story Midway Mania
There’s also the a la carte option. This allows the individual purchase of Lightning Lane entrance arrival windows for some of Disneyland’s most popular attractions: Radiator Springs Racers and WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at Disney California Adventure park, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland park (subject to limited availability; attractions not included with Disney Genie+). Pricing for the “a la carte” option will vary by date and attraction. Be sure to check the Disneyland app on the day of your visit for the latest pricing for each available Lightning Lane attraction entrance arrival window. If you choose this option, you may purchase the next available arrival window, one at a time, for up to two attractions per day upon entering a theme park.
As a reminder, you can select one, both or none of these options. It’s all up to you and what works best for your ideal Disney day. Attractions will continue to offer a traditional standby queue, or a virtual queue may be used at select attractions. Check the Disneyland app for attraction queue status.
Since this was announced way back in August, I haven’t been overly excited about the proposition. The obvious caveat being that I haven’t used the service but, you know the old saying, anytime Disney takes a service that was free and charges money for it an angel loses their wings. Okay, maybe that’s not actually a saying but it is an idea that this site has kind of lived behind more or less over the years. It’s not hard to see why Genie+ and Lightning Lane haven’t been met with a warm reception.
Getting past that, there are some positives. Disneyland didn’t oversaturate their system (yet) by adding Genie+ to dark rides and some of the smaller options. I’m pleased that Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t included and Peter Pan’s Flight is noticeably absent. This should help quell the backups of people in those area and keep wait times lower as a whole. The same goes for some smaller attractions in DCA like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.
Over the past few months it’s seemed that the attractions were finding different ways to set up their queue and, honestly, I’m surprised the likes of Jungle Cruise and Pirates aren’t on the list. Maybe they are breaking in the system slowly? I hope not though.
There’s not much else we can say about this new system without trying it for ourselves and that’s exactly what we plan to do in the coming weeks. We’ll compare and contrast using the system vs. not using it and how vital it is to an itinerary. If you have specific questions about the system then please let us know. For now, we don’t recommend spending the extra money unless you’re going during an exceptionally busy time.
What do you think of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! Planning a trip to Disneyland Resort? Check out our Disneyland Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends and like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!