Big changes are afoot at the Eared Circle – both Walt Disney World and Disneyland! Disney is retiring all current forms of Fastpass at the U.S. parks – FASTPASS, Fastpass+ and MaxPass, and will instead integrate a new system based on Disneyland’s MaxPass system into Disney’s upcoming “Genie” planning service that will be rolled out in an upcoming update to the WDW and Disneyland applications.
The first part of the service, “Genie+”, will allow guests to select an available attraction and the next available return time for an attraction that day. You can have only at a time, but as soon as you are eligible you can choose another. It’s like the old FASTPASS system, but without having to go to the attraction to get the ticket – and it can be in another park! The service is paid per day you wish to use it, and for each member of your party (i.e. what they are calling “ticket”) – $15/day/ticket for WDW, $20/day/ticket for DL. So for a family of four to use it it would cost $60 for the day. If you don’t want to use it for a day, you simply don’t pay. However, some of the most popular attractions may not be available in Genie+…
The second part, simply referred to as “Individual attraction selections”, is another upcharge allowing you to schedule up to two arrival times per day for popular attractions that are NOT part of Genie+ – examples given are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom and Radiator Springs Racers at California Adventure – but instead you pay a separate upcharge to gain access to these attractions. Cost will vary by date, attraction, and park and more will be known sooner to launch.
As part of all this, Fastpass entrances will be relabeled as “Lightning Lanes”, as it appears the old Fastpass name is part of the retirement, and the selections will simply be referred to as “Lightning Lane selections”.
Disney’s Genie service itself is a next generation planning utility that will allow you to create dynamic personalized itineraries and recommendations based on your preferences. It will be interesting to see how this works – it could be like having a dynamic Touring Plans system in your pocket, updating if you decide to go off-script for an attraction.
I’m sure there will be a lot of negative feedback in the short term over the upcharge, but MaxPass worked very well and it will have to be seen how it works at WDW.