Making Disney World Plans with Disney Genie and My Disney Experience

What Happened to FastPass and MagicBands?

Cinderella Castle Disney World

Disney

In October 2021, Disney World introduced Disney Genie and officially did away with FastPass+ (which was previously known simply as “Fastpass”). This has led to some confusion. You may be wondering how to make ride reservations, how to skip the lines at popular attractions, and have other questions about how to best plan an upcoming visit to the theme park resort.

Let’s briefly take a look at Disney World‘s digital trip planning tools such as Disney Genie and My Disney Experience and review resources such as MagicBands so you can understand what they are, take advantage of them, and maximize the fun you’ll have at Mickey’s Florida getaway.

01 of 08

What is Disney Genie?

Disney Parks Disney Genie

Disney

Disney Genie helps Disney World guests enjoy their times at the parks by making itinerary suggestions. Part of the My Disney Experience mobile phone app (see below), it is a real-time service that is designed to take some of the guesswork out of planning a visit. You let Disney Genie know what rides, attractions, and shows you’d like to experience, and it suggests what you might want to consider doing next based on current wait times and other factors. Disney Genie is complimentary.

02 of 08

What is Disney Genie+?

Jump to Hyperspace on the Millennium Falcon at Disneyland

 Disney Parks

Whereas FastPass+ did not incur any additional charges, its replacement program, Disney Genie+, costs $15 per day, per person. The optional service allows users to choose times for select attractions such as Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Haunted Mansion and get expedited access to them. Unlike FastPass+, visitors can not make advance reservations; instead they choose ride times on the day of their visits.

03 of 08

What is Individual Lightning Lane?

Walt Disney World's Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Walt Disney Company

When Disney Genie+ users show up at the reserved time, they enter through a separate entrance from the standby line, which Disney is referring to as the "Lightning Lane." For especially popular attractions, such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Disney World is making individual Lightning Lane reservations available. Guests can pay a separate fee per ride to gain expedited access to these attractions. Visitors can purchase up to two Individual Lightning Lane Select reservations per day. Prices vary by attraction and crowd levels. At its introduction, Disney is charging $9 to secure an Individual Lightning Lane for Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot and $15 for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Prices are per guest.

04 of 08

What Are MagicBands and MagicMobile?

MagicBands.jpg

Arthur Levine.

The digital info info that guests enter on the My Disney Experience site or app can be stored on RFID chips embedded in wearable MagicBand bracelets. By placing the bracelets on Mickey-shaped readers, guests can use them as tickets to enter the parks, as keys to open the doors of their on-property hotel rooms, and as virtual cash to make purchases throughout the resort. They were also used to store FastPass reservations.

MagicBands use to be complimentary for guests staying at Disney World hotels. However, starting January 1, 2021, the resort no longer provides them on a complimentary basis. As with other park visitors, on-property hotel guests can still purchase MagicBands in the parks and at other retail locations around the resort.

Note that the use of MagicBands is optional. While they are less convenient, standard park ticket cards (which are complimentary) also have RFID chips embedded in them and can be used in place of MagicBands.

Starting in March 2021, Disney introduced MagicMobile, a service that allows guests to perform many of the MagicBand’s functions on their iPhones and other Apple smart devices. By creating a Disney MagicMobile pass through the My Disney Experience app, visitors can use their devices to enter the parks, link their Disney PhotoPass attraction photos and videos (see below) to their profiles, and unlock their hotel room doors.

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05 of 08

What Is Mobile Order?

Satu’li Canteen Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney

In 2017, Disney World introduced Mobile Order, a feature on the My Disney Experience app that allows guests to order and pay for food at most quick-service restaurants in the parks. To use it, tap on the "Order Food" button on the app. It can only be used while guests are in the parks. Guests could also make dining reservations at table-service restaurants using the app.

06 of 08

What Is Disney's Memory Maker Program?

Disney PhotoPass Memory Maker
Disney

You know all of those Disney World photographers parked in front of Cinderella's Castle or other iconic locations in the parks as well as at every character greeting spot? You can view the photos they take and make a la carte purchases of the images using Disney's PhotoPass program. Or, you could sign up for the Memory Maker program and get access to all of the photos.

Part of MyMagic+, guests who purchase Memory Maker can take as many photos with Disney's photographers as they wish during their visit to the resort and are able to download all of them, as well as any on-ride photos. If you buy the program in advance of your visit, Disney offers a discount.

07 of 08

What Is My Disney Experience?

My-Disney-Experience-Maps.PNG
Disney

Disney calls the Website and app at which users sign up for all of its digital programs,"My Disney Experience." It is also the umbrella term that Disney uses to refer to its electronic visit planning and information program. All of the elements listed here, including Disney Genie, Mobile Orders, and MagicBands, are parts of My Disney Experience. In order to use My Disney Experience and pre-plan a Disney World visit, guests need to create an account and register their park passes.This is done at the MyDisneyExperience.com Website or by downloading the My Disney Experience mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

Other My Disney Experience features include:

  • Advance hotel check-in- Hotel guests can skip the registration desk altogether by using this feature.
  • See real-time standby line wait times for rides and attractions.
  • See maps of the parks and locate rides, restrooms, restaurants, and other places.
  • See showtimes for parades, shows, and nighttime spectaculars
08 of 08

What was FastPass+?

soarin-epcot.jpg
Disney. Used with permission.

At Disney World, FastPass+ replaced FastPass, the ride reservation and line-skipping program. As with the original program, guests could book times for the most popular attractions at the parks. Unlike the original program, however, FastPass+ offered all kinds of additional features, such as the ability to make reservations up to 60 days in advance of visits and the option to make changes to reservations using Disney's mobile app or Website. Disney temporarily suspended FastPass+ when it reopened in 2020 after closing for the pandemic. It then permanently ended FastPass+ in October 2021 and replaced it with Disney Genie+.

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