At the D23 Expo in 2019, Disney made several announcements surrounding what Guests can expect to see for the 50th anniversary in 2021 at Walt Disney World — including an all-new planning digital experience called Disney Genie.
Both FastPass+ at Walt Disney World and MaxPass at Disneyland are now officially retired, and instead, Lightning Lane is taking its place — a paid service. Lightning Lane is part of the new Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ service offered. Disney Genie+ is a paid system that charges Disney World Guests $15 per person per day to utilize the Lighting Lane, which is the old FastPass+ queue. Walt Disney World Guests are able to pick one return time at a time for select attractions and skip the lines when their turn arrives.
In addition to Lightning Lane, Disney Genie also has an option that allows Guests to purchase single experience passes for more “E-ticket” attractions such as Rise of the Resistance or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at an added cost. These rides have their own cost, which will differ depending on the day and attraction. Please keep in mind that this option is not included in your Disney Genie+ purchase (if you decide to purchase that offering).
Lightning Lane and Disney Genie have been live in the Parks for a few months now, and while some fans enjoy this paid option, others are extremely frustrated as they feel Disney is becoming so expensive and unaffordable, and I can’t help but agree.
I want to make it very clear that I am one of the biggest Disney fans out there, and I absolutely love going to the theme parks. In fact, I visit Walt Disney World multiple times a year being an out-of-state Annual Passholder. With all of this being said, I have found in the past year, prices have gone up for multiple things, and now seeing FastPass be retired and replaced with a new, paid service, it upsets me.
Additionally, there have been several complaints about Lightning Lane and how despite paying for the service, Guests are sometimes still forced to wait in a long line. This can occur due to ride breakdowns or overbooking of Lightning Lane, but now with Guests having to actually pay for Lightning Lane and to skip the line, then being forced to wait in a line, it is extremely frustrating.
With the free FastPass option, at least if Guests had to wait in a line due to a ride breakdown or overbooking of time slots, Guests were not out any money and instead, it was just a bit of a disappointment. Now, however, since Guests have to pay to skip the line, if something like this occurs and Guests have to wait in line, it is extremely frustrating considering you paid.
As Walt Disney World and Disneyland are becoming more expensive, I would’ve loved to see the Parks keep FastPass as a free perk for Guests staying on property and I wish they would bring it back.
We do want to note that Disney has not mentioned or indicated that Lightning Lane is going away any time soon. For more information on Lightning Lane, visit our website here.
What do you think? Should Disney retire Lightning Lane and bring back FastPass? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: The opinions reflected in this article do not reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.