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Disney Makes Change to New FastPass System That Visitors Will Love

If you have a Disney trip coming soon, or if you're planning one, this is must reading.

Longtime parkgoers may remember that until late 2021, Disney  (DIS)  used a system at its parks called FastPass.

FastPass launched in 1999 and was designed to simplify the process of waiting in long lines to go on rides.

It started out as a printable paper ticket showing the next available time for the ride in question. Interested parkgoers would hang onto their tickets, show up at the line at the designated time, skip the line and go on the ride.

Naturally, the system changed over the years, becoming an app in the era of smartphones, and was renamed FastPass+. The service also added new options, enabling guests to book three reservations at a time. 

This free service remained in place until covid hit in 2020, when it was first suspended and then replaced with a controversial system called Genie+

The new service was no longer free, requiring guests to pay $15 to reserve spots in line, and only one reservation could be made at a time.

Even worse, not all the rides in the park were included in the new Genie+ system either. The most popular and newest rides were gated behind a standalone system called Individual Attractions, which folks had to reserve separately -- for an additional fee.

People disliked these changes, and Disney seems to know it, as it's made ongoing updates to the system since it launched. 

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Now a new one will make the service feel a little more fair, especially to those who remember the FastPass+ days.

Disney Genie Lead JS

What Is Disney Changing in Genie+?

In February 2020 Disney said it was temporarily adding some of the Lightning Lane only rides to the Genie+ service. The rides added were "Frozen Ever After," "Remy's Ratatouille Adventure," "Space Mountain," "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway" and "Expedition Everest." And Disney said they would remain available as a part of the Genie+ package through Aug. 7.

But per Disney Food Blog the company has decided to keep all these rides on Genie+, meaning visitors no longer have to pay extra to skip the lines after Aug. 7. This adds a good amount of value to Genie+ and simplifies the process of using it for parkgoers.

Now only a few rides at each park require the Individual Attraction booking: "Seven Dwarfs Mine Train" at the Magic Kingdom, ""Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind" at Epcot, "Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance" at Hollywood Studios, and "Avatar Flight of Passage" at Animal Kingdom.

This is only the most recent change Disney's made to Genie+ in what seems to be an ongoing process of softening what it was at launch. 

In late June it added access to more "Star Wars" experiences, such as opportunities to meet Darth Vader and Chewbacca and access to the "Star Wars: Launch Bay" exhibit.

One thing Disney has yet to bring back is its Magic Key system, which was put on pause in late May. The system allows guests to book their park visit days up to three months in advance, as well as granting discounts to dining, merchandise, or parking (or in the case of the highest tier pass, the Dream Key, parking is included).