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Disney Genie vs Fast Pass: What’s the Difference?

This article is your complete guide to Genie Plus vs Fast Pass. If you’ve visited the Disney World theme parks prior to 2020, you might remember the free FastPass Plus system in place. That allowed guests to essentially choose their place in line, 60 days in advance for three attractions in Disney World parks. After the Disney parks reopened in late 2020, guests noticed that the FastPass system did not return with it.

Since then, Disney has replaced FastPass Plus, the free system, with a paid version called Disney Genie Plus. This article is going to explain the difference between the old Disney Fast Pass vs Genie to see what you’re all paying for on your next Disney vacation.

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Disney Genie Plus vs Fast Pass Overview


In 2020, Disney World made a lot of changes to their parks with the CEO change, and the pandemic closure of all parks and operations. With that, the Walt Disney World FastPass and Disneyland FASTPASS and MaxPass skip-the-line services were cut. It took over a year for Disney to debut the Disney Genie, and with it, it’s new paid line-skipping program, Genie Plus.

The Disney Genie has two different paid portions, an a la carte, per ride situation and a one-price for multiple attractions service. The Disney Genie has received mixed reviews, with guests often wondering if it is worth it over the old system.

What is the difference between Disney Fast Pass vs Lightning Lane?

While both are “skip-the-line” services, the main differences is that FastPass was offered for free, where Lightning Lane is a paid service. Lightning Lane is the paid, line-skipping lane in Disney World that guests can access by purchasing Disney Genie+ or the individual selections. FastPass Plus was offered to every single guest who had a ticket, with three FastPass choices completely free!

DIsney FastPass+

When comparing Genie vs FastPass, we’ve got to start with the original system that was implemented in the parks for 21 years. In 1999, the FASTPASS program originally started at Disneyland allowing them to skip the lines. Guests were given tickets to return to a special entrance at a certain time to skip the regular queue.

This system was brought over to Walt Disney World in 2014 as FastPass+ and was a huge hit! Guests were allowed to choose up to 3 FastPass+ selections up to 60 days in advance for their trips via the Disney mobile app. Disneyland got MaxPass in 2017, which was comparable to FastPass+, but was paid. Both parks halted the use of FastPass and MaxPass in 2020 when Disney closed for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disney Genie+

The Disney Genie+ is the official replacement to the FastPass+ system, but as a huge component of the brand new Disney Genie system. Your virtual Genie is the guide right in your phone that helps you plan your day when you’re in any Disney park. The Disney Genie will give you suggestions for dining, wait times, and even give you the option to purchase the Disney Genie+.

While essentially being the same service as FastPass, the overall system is comparable, just much more complicated. Unlike 60 days in advance, you can only buy Disney Genie+ day of – which a long list of rules attached. You can only book one selection at a time, and not another until you’ve used it, or waited 2 hours since booking.

The main difference between Disney Genie Plus vs Fast Pass is the pricing. Where Fast Pass was free, the Disney Genie+ rolled out with a $15 per day, per person price tag in Disney World. Disneyland guests had to pay $20 per guest, per day when it rolled out, being slightly more. Now, Genie+ has a dynamic scale that changes per day. The busier the day, the more expensive the Disney Genie+ can be, with some days being as much as $30 per person.

Lightning Lane

Lightning Lane can be confusing, as it is technically the name of the lane that guests use to skip the line. Therefore, if you purchase Disney Genie+, you are using the Lightning Lane to skip standby. But, guests can also purchase individual Lightning Lane, a la carte, for the fanciest and most popular rides. Attractions like Rise of the Resistance goes for $15 per person on normal days. Lightning Lane acts as your virtual “rope drop”, without having to leave your bed!

Lightning Lane also has a rule system, which differs between on-site resort guests and those staying offsite. You’ll get to select Lightning Lane choices at 7am if you’re staying on-site, versus offsite guests who get access at park open.

Related post: Is Genie Plus Worth It in Disney World?

Disney Lightning Lane vs Fast Pass – Comparing Costs

If you’re wondering about comparing the cost of Disney Genie Plus vs FastPass Plus, its pretty simple. FastPass Plus was offered free of charge to all Disney guests who had valid admission to the park. On the contrary, Disney Genie+ is now an in-app purchase, per guest, per day. If you’re looking to purchase Genie+, you can expect to pay no less than $15 but potentially up to $30.

Disney has introduced date-based pricing, which gives incentives to guests visiting on slower days. You will see higher ticket prices, and Disney Genie+ pricing on weekends on holidays to keep it competitive.

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Which Has a Better Disney Ride Selection – Fast Pass vs Genie Plus?

Luckily, while Disney Genie+ will cost you, you can find nearly every single ride in all four Disney parks on the list. The only rides that are not included when purchasing Disney Genie+ are the Individual Lightning Lane Selections. There are only a handful of Lightning Lane attractions per park, so as long as you’re diligent, you should be able to snag any ride you want!

What are the Individual Lightning Lane attractions?

  • Magic Kingdom – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • EPCOT – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Animal Kingdom – Avatar: Flight of Passage
  • Hollywood Studios – Rise of the Resistance

So, as you can see, there are only four attractions you will be missing out with Disney Genie+. Which, FastPass+ included every single attraction as long as you could grab it. Another caveat of Disney Fast Pass vs Genie is that you can only use Genie+ selections once. FastPass+ allowed you to ride an attraction as many times as you could get a slot to populate.

Related post: Complete Guide to All Scary Rides in Disneyland

Which is Better – Genie Plus vs FastPass?


Overall, if we’re saying if the Genie Pass vs Fast Pass is better, it’s a hard call. We were huge fans of Disney’s FastPass+ system, but to be honest, the parks have changed and have become much more crowded at times. Of course, we love free, and would take that over any other service because a Disney vacation is expensive enough. With that being said, the Disney Genie+ will get you on all of your favorite rides, and you will get your money’s worth.

We prefer the simple system, and hope that Disney works out the kinks in the Genie+, as it is a decent system. Comparatively, it is cheaper than other Express Pass systems, which are hundreds of dollars in other parks. Disney is full of surprises though, so we might see the return of free Fast Lane Passes in Disney World. Just with a little faith, trust and Pixie Dust!

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Disney Genie Plus vs Fast Pass FAQ


Q: What is the difference between Genie and Fast Pass?

A: The difference between Fast Pass vs Genie is mainly that one was free and one was paid. The overall system and point is the same: to skip the line. FastPass+ was the free version of what Disney Genie+ is today. FastPass+ used to allow guest to skip the lines unlimited amounts as long as there were slots, where Genie+ does not.

Q: Is FastPass coming back to Disney World?

A: There is no word if FastPass is coming back to Disney World, but we wouldn’t bet on it. There is a paid replacement called the Disney Genie+ which is currently offered to guests at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.

Q: Does Disney have express passes?

A: Yes, Disney does have express passes, and it is called the Disney Genie+. Guest can purchase the Disney Genie+ the day of their visit for each guest, and start selecting Lightning Lane selections at 7am.

For additional vacation planning tips to Walt Disney World be sure to check out our main Disney planning page. And for the latest Walt Disney World Vacation package deals be sure to check out our partners The Park Prodigy!