Disney Genie Plus vs FastPass Plus: A Comparative Look

With the October 2021 commencement of the 50th Anniversary Celebration, Disney has introduced many new attractions and features that have changed the experience of visiting Disney World. One of those key new additions was the introduction of Genie Plus, Disney’s replacement service for what was previously known as FastPass Plus. This is a comparative review of the two services meant to help you form your own opinion on whether or not the introduction of Disney Genie Plus is a good addition overall. More importantly, it’s meant to help you determine if it is right for you!

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Wide shot of the official arched entrance over the freeway to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

Photo Credit: Jshanebutt | Depositphotos.com

Comparing What is Offered

Let’s begin with simply explaining what Disney Genie Plus and FastPass Plus offer to Disney guests and what they include with their respective services.

Visitors checking into the old FastPass+ entrance to Splash Mountain at Disney World in Orlando, Florida

Photo Credit: Jshanebutt | Depositphotos.com

In years past, Disney has always offered the FastPass Plus service to their visitors. This service allowed guests to have a limited number of fast passes to book specific ride times for their favorite attractions. These bookings could be made up to 60 days in advance of their trip and would offer them a limited queue wait time compared to the standard standby queue.

Doing so opened up the opportunity for guests to schedule times for specific attractions. In turn, they were then free to go enjoy other experiences or perhaps have a break for a meal while they “wait” for their selected attraction. It removed the hassle of physically standing in a long queue. When visitors returned at their scheduled window of time, they would have a much less significant wait time to board the attraction.

The introduction of Disney Genie Plus has brought a slightly different experience to visitors. This service also offers the opportunity for guests to book ride times or reservations for their favorite attractions and experiences without physically waiting in the queue.

A big difference with Genie Plus is though FastPass Plus allowed booking of reservations up to 60 days in advance, Genie Plus is a same-day service. The service itself can only be purchased starting at 12:00 am on the day of your trip. Genie Plus reservations then open for ALL who have purchased the service beginning at 7:00 am. Reservations are offered on a first-come-first-served basis so it’s best to be ready to book right at 7:00 am to secure your favorite attractions.

Comparing Costs

In addition to the aforementioned difference between advanced and same-day bookings, cost is the other major difference between the two services. FastPass Plus was offered free of charge to Disney guests who had valid park admission purchased. Conversely, Genie Plus is an in-app purchase adding on to the initial cost of your park admission.

The cost to purchase Genie Plus at Disney World (more on Disneyland below) is $15.98 per person per day. A lot of guests have mentioned that Disney Genie Plus is just a paid version of the previously free service, FastPass Plus.

Disney Genie Plus: Disney World and Disneyland

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dancing in front of a marching band during a parade on Main Street at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Parade on Main Street at Disneyland in Anaheim, California

For the purposes of this article, the focus is on Disney Genie Plus at Disney World. However, the service more or less works the same at Disneyland. The major differences are:

  • Release: Disney World debuted Genie Plus in October 2021 and Disneyland followed roughly six weeks later in December 2021.
  • Cost: Disneyland is $20 per guest whereas Disney World is $15 plus tax
  • First Choice: At Disneyland, you must be inside the park you have reservations and tickets for to be able to select your first choice. At Disney World, you can make your first selection starting at 7 am whether inside the park or offsite.
  • Operations: Disneyland and Disney World conduct their services via their respective apps, Disneyland and My Disney Experience. TIP: This is only one of MANY helpful, fantastic reasons to download these apps.
  • Purchasing: As of June 2022, you can only purchase Genie Plus for Disney World in the app beginning at midnight the day of your visit. At Disneyland, you can purchase the service as a ticket add-on or in the app on the day of your visit.
  • Rides: Disney World includes many more rides as it has four parks. With only two parks, that number is obviously lower at Disneyland.
  • Disclosure: These are the major differences only. They are subject to change and should not be considered all-inclusive or be taken as a guide.

You might also like: EPCOT UPDATES: BREAKDOWN OF THE NEW PARK LAYOUT

Disney Genie Plus Included Rides & Attractions

The nice thing about Genie Plus is that most rides and attractions are included in the service and are therefore available for booking reservations. There are a handful of exceptions across all four parks that require an additional purchase of Lightning Lanes. Otherwise, there are a wide variety of experiences to select from when making your Genie Plus reservations.

Here is a breakdown of rides NOT included with Genie Plus. A la carte Lightning Lane Passes must be purchased in order to skip the line at these attractions:

Magic Kingdom: 

  • Space Mountain (Tomorrowland)
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Fantasyland)
Entrance to Space Mountain against a blue sky with plants in the foreground. The old FastPass+ Entrance sign is on the right

Photo Credit: Jshanebutt | Depositphotos.com

EPCOT: 

  • Frozen Ever After (World Showcase) 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (World Discovery)
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (World Showcase)
Statue of Remy from Ratatouille outside the entrance to the experience at EPCOT in Orlando, Florida

Photo Credit: Jshanebutt | Depositphotos.com

Animal Kingdom:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage (Pandora the World of Avatar)
  • Expedition Everest (Asia)
Distance shot of Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida; snowcapped mountains against a blue sky with water in the foreground

Photo Credit: VIAVAL | Depositphotos.com

Hollywood Studios: 

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Hollywood Boulevard)
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge)
Nighttime exterior of the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida

Photo Credit: VIAVAL | Depositphotos.com

How Many Reservations Can You Make with Genie Plus?

Honestly, there is no real answer to this question because a lot of variables come into play. When it comes to making Disney Genie Plus reservations, guests may only book one reservation at a time. However, this does not mean that you can only book one reservation for your entire visit.

There are two stipulations that arise when booking additional reservations for Genie Plus. Visitors can make the next reservation when either 120 minutes (2 hours) pass since making the initial reservation OR once they complete the existing reservation.

As you can see, there are a lot of variables that affect making Genie Plus reservations including the length of time you spend at the park, how busy the park is, and how long queues are for each attraction.

Is Genie Plus Worth Purchasing?

Statues of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse holding hands with Cinderella's castle in the background against a blue sky at Disneyland in California

Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse-Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Also a difficult question, this one doesn’t have a simple yes or no answer either. There are many factors on the table such as what time of year you are planning to visit. The queue wait times will be significantly longer during peak season for the park than in the offseason.

In such instances, I would highly recommend purchasing Genie Plus whereas if it is a lesser populated time of year, I would say there is a better chance to get by without purchasing. Ultimately, it comes down to your budget and if paying the extra $15 per person per day is worth it.

Really, unless you are looking to ride some of the highly popular attractions, most queues aren’t too bad at Disney parks. In my opinion, you can have a completely productive and fulfilling day at Disney parks without the added benefit of paying to skip the line.

PRO TIP: Use the single-rider lane! This is a fantastic free alternative to purchasing Disney Genie Plus. My friend and I opted to do this vs paying for Genie Plus in June 2022 at Disneyland. It did save a LOT of time. However, the cons are not all rides have this option and you must be willing to split up and ride separately.

PIN IT!

Pinterest graphic with Disney Genie+ Compared to FastPass+ as a title with Mickey and Minnie in a parade
Pinterest graphic with Disney Genie+ Compared to FastPass+ as a title with Mickey and Minnie in a parade
Pinterest graphic with Disney Genie+ Compared to FastPass+ as a title with Mickey and Minnie in a parade

I’ve heard a lot of chatter from both sides on whether or not Disney made the right choice with Genie Plus. What are your thoughts? Do you think this was a good change on their part? If so, why? What do you like about it? For those in the other camp, do you think that there has been enough negative feedback to make Disney bring back a no-cost option for guests?

Feel free to share your thoughts below. If you have had the opportunity to physically use Disney Genie Plus in the parks, please do share your experience and thoughts on how the service worked in real-time. The more opinions and tips shared, the better everyone’s experience will be!

‘Til next time…

Trimm Travels,

Heather

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