RIP fast passes. Here’s everything you need to know about the new tickets, new ways to skip the lines, and planning your next Disney World or Disneyland vacation.
Maximizing the magic at Walt Disney World or Disneyland has always required thoughtful pre-trip planning, from planning popular Orlando rides months in advance to booking coveted 60- to 180-day dining vacations. And while there’s peace of mind knowing you’ve gotten a favorite attraction, there’s little room for the magic of spontaneity. Disney says they’ve listened to customer feedback on flexibility and now the House of the Mouse is making big, big changes to the parks, from removing the annual pass program at Disneyland to changing the one at Disney World to the ‘announced last month that FASTPASS, FastPass +, and Disney MaxPass will be retiring forever.
But something new is coming this fall that will completely change the way you plan (or don’t!) Plan a day at Disney. Whether you’re a regular at the park or only visiting every two years, forget everything you’ve learned about boating at Disney because your experience will be completely different and potentially more $$$$. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your next trip to the park, from paying to skip the line to a new annual pass program that looks a bit like AAA membership with perks.
Goodbye, FastPass. Hello, Genie.
Now is the time to say goodbye to all of our… Free FastPass. On August 18, Disney Parks announced that they were removing the free FastPasses service to avoid queues at certain attractions. These services had been temporarily suspended amid the pandemic to manage queues and social distancing, but they are now permanent.
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In its place, or as the next evolution of the customer experience, Disneyland and Disney World are rolling out a new planning tool: Disney genius. The “digital service” will be integrated with existing mobile apps for Disney World and Disneyland to help customers plan their “best Disney day”. It’s not a way to skip the line, but rather a super smart algorithm. It’s like a mashup of the Netflix recommendation engine with the real-time traffic feature of Google Maps. You tell Disney Genie what your “wishes” are (that is, your top ride priorities and interests) and Disney Genie will perform an analysis of expected wait times and crowds to create the perfect route for your ride. you or your travel group. In theory, this looks like MARVEL’s JARVIS in your phone, as Disney Genie will be constantly updated throughout the day to improve your schedule and adjust wait times. And if you’re the kind of park lover who’s glued to their phone with refreshing wait times, Disney says Genie will do it for you so you can focus on having more fun with your family and less time. screen.
So if the FastPass are gone and Genie tinkers with the perfectly synchronized schedules and entrances for everyone, what happens to the physical FastPass lane inside the queues? Nothing. These don’t go away as there is still a way to skip the line, but you will have to pay for it. In addition to Disney Genie, guests will have the option to upgrade to Disney Genie + for $ 15 per person, per day at Disney World and $ 20 per person, per day at Disneyland. With Disney Genie +, you will be able to use a “Lightning Lane” for popular attractions such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Paid bonuses are not new to Disney or the theme park industry. Disneyland Paris has Disney Premier Access. Dollywood has the TimeSaver pass. Universal Studios is offering an Express Pass for Halloween Horror Rides and Horror Nights with a special ticket. And Disneyland had the old MaxPass for $ 10 a day. In many ways, Disney Genie + is an enhanced MaxPass because you’ll be making one selection at a time, just like MaxPass. But for Disney World regulars, it’s a whole new world. Customers are used to booking up to three FastPass a day months in advance for popular rides like Slinky Dog Dash, which has an average wait time of up to two hours, free of charge. The outcry on social media was swift and fierce as families with children began to calculate the numbers. A Genie + day costs an additional $ 60 for a family of four. A week’s vacation with Genie + for all four parks for a family of four costs an additional $ 240. And the prices of base tickets are not going down. However, the downside to older FastPass was that you are locked into a specific time and this can affect restaurant reservations, show times, and other experiences. For a price, Genie + gives you both flexibility and confidence. And if you only have one trip to take, you don’t need to buy a whole day of Genie +. A la carte offers will include the ability to purchase a single, single-use Lightning Lane pass for a specific attraction.
Magic keys + New ticket offers
When Disneyland canceled its annual tickets, it promised that a better membership program would be ahead. And it’s finally here. The passes are called now Magic Keys and you can buy them online. There are four different keys that range in cost from $ 399 to $ 1,399. It’s a sliding scale of benefits. Some passes have more reservations. Some have higher discounts on shopping, parking, and dining. And all keys come with exclusive access to member lounges in all parks as well as limited-time offers on extended park hours. At present, key holders can ride the popular Nightmare before christmas Overlay of The Haunted Mansion after the park closes to regular visitors.
On the heels of Magic Keys, Disney World revamped its own annual pass program and the changes aren’t as big as Disneyland, but non-Florida residents quickly noticed that the only annual pass available for purchase is the Disney Incredi-Pass from foreground for $ 1,299. Out-of-state Disney Vacation Club members can still keep it under 1K with access to the Disney Sorcerer Pass for $ 899. And unlike premium pre-pandemic passes, entry to the water park and the Disney PhotoPass (digital downloads) will not be included, but will be an add-on option. However, here’s where the ribs differ. You can access PhotoPass same day by purchasing Genie + at Disneyland. But you can’t at Disney World. However, at Disney World, Genie + will give you access to Instagram-like augmented reality filters for unlimited selfies.
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The latest information on reservations and virtual queues
Park pass reservations are always required in addition to a park ticket to manage capacity. And in the midst of the pandemic, this reservation system isn’t going away anytime soon. The language is now built into annual passes with limits on the number of park reservations customers can hold at one time. Reservations for meals are always a thing too, but not as wacky as 180 days in advance, just 60 days for both Disneyland and Disney World.
When it comes to virtual queue reservations, there have been some recent changes at both stations. These travel time lotteries are used to manage crowds at brand new attractions such as Rise of the Resistance indoors Star wars: Galaxy’s Edge and WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at Avengers Campus. Passes for specific times are booked through the Disney app on a frenzy of first come, first served, digital draw chance at 7 a.m. with an additional second chance to score a spot at noon. You can only book one virtual pass per day; therefore, for Disneyland, it will be necessary to choose between MARVEL and Star wars. However, for Disney World, which only has one virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance, the Star wars the route will switch to a standard line on September 23.
When will the meal plans come back?
As many experiences return to Disney World, a big question remains: What about the Disney dining plan? The prepaid meal plan has been put on hold amid the pandemic, but this summer, Disney confirmed that the DDP will return. No date has been announced, but some kiosks and menu boards for the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival have included the restaurant plan logo, sparking speculation the program could return this year. However, some high-end dining experiences are returning just in time for the 50th anniversary celebration of Disney World, such as the new dessert fireworks packages for the Magic Kingdom and the EPCOT.
The Happiest Place on Earth and The Most Magical Place on Earth have definitely gained a new superlative in the midst of the pandemic: Most Likely to Change. And sometimes (most of the time) fans don’t like it and voice their opinion on social media. Disney Genie is a big change and it will be a change in mindset in organizing and planning your day at the theme parks. There is also the concern that it is classist and makes access even less accessible for families on a low budget. But the culture of Disney Parks has always been rooted in change. After all, Walt Disney said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. This imagination led to the first of its kind advances in robotics and the growing number of tech creatives at Disney rivals Silicon Valley. The free genie could prove to be even more valuable than three free FastPass, as long as we’re open to change.