FastPass in Disney World Replaced by Disney Genie
By James | Last updated October 6, 2023
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The FastPass in Disney World has now been replaced by Disney Genie! The FastPass system allowed guests to reserve specific time slots to visit certain attractions when entering the parks at Walt Disney World before you got to the park.
With Disney Genie, you pay per person, per day. Disney Genie allows access the new ‘lightening lanes’ which are all pre-bookable through the My Disney Experience App. These queue jumps give you speedy access to all park rides with bookable queue jump times.
You can expect to skip two to three ride queues with the Disney Genie pass. Busier days can vary and you could have more uses on your park day.
Individual Lightening Lane Passes
You can purchase individual Lightening Lane passes to specific rides of your choice at Disney World. Sometimes for new rides, Lightening Lanes may not be included in the Disney Genie purchase. You may therefore be required to purchase an additional Lightening Lane Pass to access these Lightening Lanes.
Individual Lightening Lane passes are separate to Disney Genie and you can purchase unlimited individual lane passes. The passes normally range from $10-$20 per purchase. With unlimited Lightening Lane passes, you can skip all the normal ride queues if you wish.
Buying Disney Genie and Lightening Lane Passes
All purchases are made through the My Disney Experience App. Please note, you can purchase your Disney World Tickets at any online retailer. They do not need to be through the Official Disney Website to use Disney Genie.
That said, if you are planning on spending some extra money on the Disney Genie or Lightening Lane individual Passes, save money upfront on your Disney World Tickets first. You can save hundreds on a simple comparison as all sites have different deals on at any given time.
Our top tip for saving big on Disney Ticket Prices
For the best prices, you will want to compare a few sites. Prices differ even from the official Disney site. You are likely to get a great deal if you shop around.
The Remainder of this article describes how the previous FastPass systems used to work at Disney.
The Previous FastPass System
On arriving at the attraction at your allotted time, you join a FastPass+ line rather than the regular “standby” line. In theory, this gets into the attraction a lot quicker than the regular queue.
When there are wait times of 60 to 120 minutes, which are not unheard of, this is a real bonus. What is more, it is free unlike similar systems introduced at both Universal Studios and SeaWorld. To give you an example when Anna and Elsa from Frozen moved to the Magic Kingdom in Easter 2014, meet and greet wait times of 240 minutes (4 hours!) were posted on several days. Similar wait times are being experienced at the new Pandora – The World of Avatar.
During December 2013 and January 2014 all FastPass systems at all four parks were replaced by the new FastPass+ system
In 2012, Walt Disney World started testing the new enhanced FastPass system called FastPass+ (Plus). This was alongside the original paper ticket based FastPass system which was first introduced in 1999.
Initially only Walt Disney World Resort guests could reserve in advance. As of late April 2014, anyone with an admission ticket could make advanced reservations.
To start with, the FastPass+ system allowed you to reserve a maximum of three attraction time slots at one given theme park per day, subject to availability. In late April 2014 Disney opened this up to allow guests to book an additional FastPass+ reservation on the day. This was once the first three reservations had been used.
Subject to availability guests can continue to book one additional reservation at a time. You can even book an attraction you have already reserved earlier in the day.
To start with these additional reservations could only be made at a FastPass+ kiosk. In April 2016, the My Disney Experience website and App were upgraded to allow additional reservations online. Another added bonus is you are no longer forced to make three reservations, you can now reserve fewer.
In addition, Disney has opened this up to allow park hopping. Once the first three reservations are used, you can switch parks and then make further reservations using the kiosks.
My Disney Experience and Fast Pass
Whilst the My Disney Experience app allows you to book time slots at different parks for the same day, the in-park kiosks only allow you to book time slots for the park you are currently in though you can delete any existing time slot.
You will find that there are significantly more FastPass+ enabled attractions compared to the old FastPass Legacy system. Also you can reserve special viewing areas for watching parades or the fireworks.
However, at both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they have split the attractions into two tiers, Group A and B.
You need to think very carefully about which attractions you add to your initial FastPass reservations.
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you are able to pre-book your FastPass slots up to 60 days in advance of your visit, using the My Disney Experience website or via an app on your mobile phone. If your plans change you can go back in and make changes.
In January 2018, Disney started piloting a new scheme whereby certain high spending resort guests who book through Disney Signature Services could purchase additional FastPass+ reservations.
Some people may like this ability to specify exactly which attractions you want to see at very specific times on a particular day. Others will prefer a more spontaneous approach to planning their days.
Disney issues complimentary MagicBands to their resort guests and annual pass holders. Non-resort guests can buy a MagicBand for around $12.95 upwards.
FastPass and Resort Guests
When FastPass+ was first introduced, non-resort guests could not reserve slots until they arrived at the park. Only resort guests could make online reservations in advance. Now resort guests can book FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance and non-resort guests up to 30 days in advance.
Resort guests include guests at all Disney owned hotels plus the Dolphin and Swan (operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts). Disney confirmed in December 2017 that they were opening up the 60 day advance reservation window for Disney resort hotel guests at some “Disney Good Neighbor Hotels”, particularly those on Hotel Plaza Boulevard near Disney Springs. The trial ran from January 10, 2018 until December 31, 2018. Guests at these resorts were also able to take advantage of the “Extra Magic Hours”.
Disney subsequently extended both benefits until December 31, 2019.
The seven hotels involved are the B Resort & Spa, Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort, DoubleTree Guest Suites by Hilton Orlando, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Palace, Hilton Orlando Resort Lake Buena Vista, Holiday Inn Orlando and Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista.
FastPass In The Parks
In each park there are special touchscreen kiosks with Cast Members on hand to help out at various locations. You may find you will need to wait in line to make your reservations so it may not always be best to go to the very first kiosks inside the park entrance.
Having scanned in your ticket or MagicBand, you can then make or amend your reservations. You can see all available times and be able to choose the ones that suit you best. The system will automatically allocate all your reservations if you do not select them yourself.
You need to keep a record of your bookings as there is no longer a paper ticket. You can either write them on the provided leaflet or take a photo of the screen.
All these options are of course subject to availability and like FastPass Legacy. The number of tickets is controlled to keep the line lengths short.
When you arrive at the attraction, all you need to do is place your ticket or MagicBand close to the FastPass+ reader and join the FastPass+ line.
Disney World Fastpass Attractions
When Walt Disney World introduced FastPass+, they increased the number of attractions that were eligible and also allowed reservations for some of the best viewing points for the daily parades and meet and greet experiences.
All four parks operate FastPass+ but at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they have introduced a two-tier system.
With the two-tier system, when making your initial advanced reservations you are only able to select one attraction from the Tier 1 list and the remainder must come from the Tier 2 list. Once you have used up your original reservations, you can select one attraction at a time from either list.
Some experiences at special events such as the >Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios also offer FastPass+.
Not surprisingly, Disney’s Magic Kingdom has more FastPass+ attractions than any other park, nearly 30 in total. As well as nearly all the attractions, you can also reserve viewing spots for both the daytime and evening parades as well as the nighttime fireworks show.
Magic Kingdom FastPass+ attractions
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Festival of Fantasy (afternoon parade)
- Haunted Mansion
- it’s a small world
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Main Street Electrical Parade (evening parade)
- Meet Anna and Elsa with a Visiting Princess (Princess Fairytale Hall)
- Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
- Meet Cinderella and Rapunzel (Princess Fairytale Hall)
- Meet Mickey Mouse in Town Square Theater
- Meet Tinkerbell in Town Square Theater
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- The Barnstormer
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Wishes Nighttime Spectacular
Epcot operates the two tier system. Guests may only select one attraction from the Tier 1 list and the rest from the Tier 2 list.
Epcot Tier 1 FastPass+ attractions
- IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
- Living with the Land
- Test Track
Epcot Tier 2 FastPass+ attractions
- Captain EO
- Journey Into Imagination
- Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
- Mission: SPACE
- Spaceship Earth
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Like Epcot, Hollywood Studios also operates the two tier system. Guests may only select one attraction from the Tier 1 list and the rest from the Tier 2 list.
Hollywood Studios Tier 1 FastPass+ attractions
- Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- The Great Movie Ride
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
Hollywood Studios Tier 2 FastPass+ attractions
- Disney Junior – Live on Stage!
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
- Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- The American Idol Experience
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Like Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom does not have a tier system. Guests can select up to three attractions from the list.
Animal Kingdom FastPass+ attractions
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo – The Musical
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition
- Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
- Primeval Whirl
Advantages and Disadvantages of Fastpass
FastPass+ has a number of advantages over the original FastPass Legacy system:
- you do not need to visit the attraction first to get a ticket
- you can choose the time slot rather than being given the next available slot (subject to availability)
- you can select your reservations in one go during the day instead of having to wait for the previous ticket to expire before making your next reservation
- you can amend your selection whilst in the park using one of the touchscreen FastPass control station kiosks or a smart phone
- there are more FastPass+ enabled attractions than the original FastPass attractions
- Cast Members will know your name and if you are celebrating any sort of special occasion like an anniversary or birthday (though this could become tiring by the end of the day!)
However there still some restrictions:
- the number of initial reservations you can make in a day is limited
- you cannot park hop and make reservations at multiple parks in the same day until after your initial reservations have been used
- some parks have a tiered system where you can only make one reservation from one group of attractions (typically the most popular)
- if you are a non-resort hotel guest then you cannot make reservations until 30 days in advance whereas resort hotel guests can make their reservations up to 60 days in advance and hence get the best choice of times
One of the biggest disadvantages is the lack of choice for non-resort guests. It is often difficult for non-resort guests to get FastPasses for the most popular attractions like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or at Pandora in Animal Kingdom as they are booked well before non-resort guests are able to try and make a reservation.
Purchases with the FastPass In Disney World
Walt Disney World has announced that select hotel guests can now purchase additional FastPass+ reservations.
The new premium system is being piloted starting January 12, 2018 for some of Disney’s highest paying hotel guests who have booked Club Level rooms with Disney Signature Services. This includes Club Level rooms at Disney’s deluxe hotels plus the Cascade Cabins at Wilderness Lodge and the Bungalows at the Polynesian Resort and some suites at the Swan and Dolphin hotels.
The cost is $50 plus tax for three additional reservations per day per guest. This is on top of the three complimentary reservations that all park guests can book through the normal FastPass+ system.
Not all guests in the party have to participate and you do not have to buy the extra passes for every day of your stay but there is a three day minimum.
At this time it is strictly a trial so it could end at any time, be rolled out further or be amended.
Extra Reservations For The Fast Pass
The extra reservations can be booked 90 days in advance of the final day of stay as opposed to the normal 60 days in advance of the first day of stay for other Disney resort guests.
In addition, there are no tier restrictions so a guest could potentially book top attractions like Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey at Animal Kingdom on the same day. However you cannot book the same attraction twice on the same day.
The extra reservations must be booked in advance through Disney Signature Services, they cannot be booked using the My Disney Experience or at time of check-in.
One extra perk allows you to also book seating for one of the reserved viewing nighttime attractions, i.e. Illuminations at Epcot, Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom, Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios, or Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom. This is separate from the three additional FastPass+ reservations and one reserved viewing selection is allowed for each day you buy the three extra passes.
This means anyone paying for the extra FastPass+ reservations actually gets seven FastPass+ reservations to start their day.
Day guests will continue to be restricted to booking up to three FastPass+ selections up to 30 days in advance but all guests are able to make extra reservations on the day after all three free reservations have been used or time expired. This is on a one-at-a-time basis as each additional reservation is used.
Neighbouring Universal and SeaWorld already offer a paid for “FastPass+” style skip-the-line system namely Universal’s Express Pass and SeaWorld’s Quick Queue.
History of FastPass
In late 2012, Disney started trials for selected Walt Disney World Resort guests visiting either the Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios using the new FastPass+ system. During this interim period the original FastPass was renamed as FastPass Legacy.
Over time all resort guests received the new RFID tickets and now instead of a plastic card, they receive a wearable band called a “MagicBand” similar in looks to the popular charity coloured wristbands.
Between December 2013 and January 2014 all FastPass systems were replaced by the new FastPass+ system at all four theme parks at Walt Disney World.
Disney FastPass Legacy
idea was that you could reserve a time slot to visit a particular attraction and instead of waiting in the regular line you could return at your allotted time and effectively go straight to the front of the queue.
When there are wait times of 60 to 120 minutes, which are not unheard of, this was a real bonus.
In 2012, Walt Disney World started testing an enhanced FastPass system called FastPass+ (Plus) using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The original FastPass was renamed as FastPass Legacy and during December 2013 and January 2014 all FastPasses were replaced by the new FastPass+ system.
Unlike the similar Universal Studios Express Plus and SeaWorld’s QuickQueue tickets, Disney’s FastPass system is completely free.
To use the original FastPass system, now called FastPass Legacy, you had to visit one of the attractions you wished to ride on and put your Magic Your Way Pass into a FastPass machine. Note that not all attractions operated the FastPass system.
The machine returned your pass plus a FastPass ticket for that specific attraction (not transferable) with a one hour time stamped window on it. If you then returned to that attraction during your one hour window, you could in theory get on the ride much quicker than standing in the regular line, which saved you time.
The downside of the system was that firstly you had to physically visit the attraction to get your ticket and you didn’t get to choose the timing of your ticket. Current return times were displayed by the ticket machines so you could see if the return time was convenient for your plans.
Also once you had got a FastPass ticket, you could get another FastPass for another ride until a specific time, usually around the first FastPass ticket “expired”. The “next available” FastPass time was printed at the bottom of your ticket and so you could get another FastPass until after the printed time.
To start with Disney cast members did not enforce the one hour time window if you arrived after your one hour slot. This meant you could buck the system to some extent by collecting a number of FastPass tickets as each time slot expired and then visit them later in the day, when you liked. However, during 2012 they started to be more strict about timings and they refused you admittance if you arrived after your slot has closed.
In late 2012, FastPass+ started trials for selected Walt Disney World Resort guests visiting either the Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In late 2013/early 2014 all FastPass tickets were superseded by the new FastPass+ system.
With FastPass+, you can go online before you even visit the park and pre-book one hour FastPass slots at a number of selected attractions. This has a number of advantages over the normal FastPass Legacy system.
FastPass Legacy Summary
The original FastPass system did have some advantages, not least that it was free but on busy days you may only have been able to get a couple of FastPass tickets during your visit.
FastPass+ is much more flexible as it allows you to plan your entire day around the rides and attractions that you really want to see, even on busier days.
With FastPass+ you do not have to visit the park first thing in the morning to guarantee a FastPass slot for the more popular rides and attractions.