Disneyland and Disney World Are Officially ‘Retiring’ the Free FastPass Service

Disneyland and Disney World Are Officially ‘Retiring’ the Free FastPass Service

Last month, Disney announced that it would be offering “Disney Premiere Access” to visitors at Paris Disneyland, a pay-per-ride service allowing guests a “designated fast lane” for certain rides. Avoiding long lines is an excellent way to maximise one’s theme park experience, but it’s something that the FastPass program once provided for free. Today came news of a similar (but not identical) change coming to Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida.

This news came cloaked in a broader announcement for Disney Genie — which is free. It’s touted by the Disney Parks blog as well as the Disneyland and Disney World sites as “a complimentary and convenient new digital service designed to create your best Disney day … Built right into the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps, Disney Genie service will maximise your park time, so you can have more fun. It includes a personalised itinerary feature that will quickly and seamlessly map out an entire day.

From specific attractions, foodie experiences and entertainment, to general interests like Disney princesses, villains, Pixar, Star Wars, thrill rides and more — just tell Disney Genie what you want to do and it will do the planning for you.”

That sounds useful, especially for families or groups who might need a little guidance in figuring out how to fit everything on their shared wish list into their visit. However, you’ll need the Disney Genie+ service to access “Lightning Lane,” which will cost $US15 ($21) per ticket per day at Disney World and $US20 ($28) per ticket per day at Disneyland. It will allow parkgoers to “choose the next available time to arrive at a variety of attractions and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance.”

In addition, the parks will also offer “individual attraction selections,” which let you “schedule a time to arrive at up to two highly demanded attractions each day using the Lightning Lane entrance”; pricing for this “will vary by date, attraction, and park and will be announced closer to launch.” Also, “attractions [will] continue to offer a traditional standby queue, or a virtual queue at certain attractions … to maximise flexibility.”

The announcement also confirms that “the FastPass, PastPass+, and Disney MaxPass services will be retired,” the latter two being the previously existing paid versions of FastPass. In 2020, the price of MaxPass was $US20 ($28), but the parks still offered the free FastPass as an alternative. What do you think of this news about Disney Genie? If you feel like the world is safe enough to visit theme parks again, will you shell out the extra bucks for Disney Genie+?