Disney World is seeing huge changes coming soon, like the debut of Disney Genie and the 50th anniversary celebrations in the parks.
But, how are those big updates going to change how you plan you upcoming Disney World vacation? Well, we’re breaking down some of the most important ways you’re going to need to alter your planning methods!
Everything You Can Do for FREE on Disney Genie
When Disney Genie rolls out this fall, ALL guests will be able to use the free version on their mobile devices. They will be able to input their reservations (or make new ones) through the service, as well as take advantage of the planning tools available for extra assistance. Ride and experience recommendations will also pop up in Disney Genie, if you aren’t sure where to go next and depending on the area you’re visiting.
Plus, your plans will be easy to share with your party in order to let everyone get involved in the planning of your vacation! You can keep track of your dining reservations, and Mobile Order can be used through Disney Genie when dining in the park, so you can pick up your meals with ease too.
When Paying for Disney Genie+ Might Be Worth It
Although the free version of Disney Genie will be a great asset to your vacation, there will be the paid service of Disney Genie+ as well. Guests will be able to purchase it for $15 per day, per ticket (and guest) in Disney World, and will be able to use the feature in multiple parks with Park Hopper tickets.
Disney Genie+ will give access to Lightning Lanes for select rides (AKA the new FastPasses), audio experiences, and PhotoPass Augmented Reality lenses (note that this is NOT the full PhotoPass service).
Lightning Lane is basically just FastPass in its newly rebranded format, where guests can book their spots in a separate line that allows them to skip standby waits. Once they’ve scanned into that specific ride with their Lightning Lane pass, then they can book their next one. However, it’s important to note that only one Lightning Lane reservation can be held at a time!
Guests can book as many Lightning Lane passes as they’d like throughout the day, as long as there is availability. 40 attractions in Disney World will operate with Lightning Lane, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. Reservations can be made for Lightning Lanes using Disney Genie+ starting at 7AM for select attractions ahead of park opening.
How Does the Pay-Per-Ride System Work?
Not EVERY attraction will be available through Disney Genie+, though! Disney World will also be introducing Individual Attraction Selection, where the most popular rides will have individual costs for their Lightning Lanes. Guests will be able to purchase up to two selections for Individual Attraction Selections that will include E-ticket rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Rise of the Resistance, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
Disney hasn’t provided the costs for the Individual Attraction Selection yet, but there could be surge pricing for popular rides depending on how busy they are or the time of the year. Additionally, it’s important to note that this is separate from Genie+, so you will NOT need to purchase Genie+ to be able to purchase Individual Attraction Selections.
Standby Lines Are STILL in Disney World!
Although we’ve given you all the details on the paid versions of the lines in Disney World, the standby queues are STILL there! You don’t have to pay for the Lightning Lanes, as they are just an additional feature.
But, you may want to check the wait times when you’re visiting to decide whether or not the paid versions are worth it for you.
What Extra Perks Do You Have from Your Disney World Resort Stay?
Guests who are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort, the Swan and Dolphin Resorts, or the Shades of Green Resort will have the opportunity to purchase passes to Individual Attraction Selection rides prior to the park opens at 7AM.
So, if you’re debating on whether you want to stay on or off property, this perk might make a Disney World resort a bigger benefit to your party!
The BIG Transportation Change You Need to Know About
While you used to be able to take the Magical Express from the airport to your hotel, Disney World will no longer offer Disney’s Magical Express shuttle services beginning January 1st, 2022. Instead, Mears Connect will be replacing it with a new reservation system and shuttle service that is no longer free.
There are two options with the Standard or Express Service. The Standard is cheaper at $16 one-way or $32 round-trip for adults or $13.50 one-way or $27 round-trip for children. This service will include stops at multiple Disney World Resorts for drop-offs and pick-ups, so that may mean a longer wait at the airport after you check in. The Express is more expensive at $55 per passenger or $200 round-trip for a party of 4, but it will take guests directly to their hotel with no wait or additional stops.
Arrive Early and Stay Late in the Parks
As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, Disney World will also be incorporating both Early Theme Park Hours and Extended Evening Hours into the parks this fall. They will be slightly different from Extra Magic Hours for two big reasons.
Early Theme Park Entry will allow ALL Disney World Resort hotel guests to enter the parks 30 minutes early before official park opening to ride their favorite attractions with shorter lines.
Extended Evening Hours will ONLY be available for those staying at Disney World Deluxe Resort hotels. They will allow two extra hours at the end of the day on select dates at select parks.
Although change might be a little bit overwhelming sometimes, it does help move the parks forward into the future. And, there are PLENTY of exciting things in store for the parks that we can’t wait to experience! As more changes come to Disney World, we’ll be sure to share everything you need to know before you go! Stay tuned with AllEars for the latest Disney entertainment and news!
How do you feel about the changes coming to Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!
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