Why Paying for Rides Isn’t Actually NEW to Disney World

When Disney World reopened in July 2020, the free FastPass+ system was temporarily suspended. Many guests called for it to come back over the next year, but no new information was shared until the announcement of the NEW Disney Genie+ system.

New Lightning Lane entrances are popping up all around.

With the Genie+ add-on, you’re paying to skip the line on rides, and some rides aren’t even included — you’ll only be able to bypass the wait on the most popular rides with a pay-per-ride option.

Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time that pay-per-ride has been an option at Disney World!

What is Disney Genie+?

Let’s start with the basics — what is Disney Genie+? Well, Genie+ is an add-on to the free Genie system that debuted on October 19th, 2021 in Disney World (and will be coming soon to Disneyland). At Disney World, Disney Genie is available for free in the My Disney Experience app and has some new features that help you plan your day in the parks.


Disney Genie+ costs an extra ($15 per ticket, per day, to be exact) and allows guests to schedule times to skip the lines at certain attractions, very similar to FastPass+. The main differences from the old system are that it’s not free, you can only schedule one ride at a time, and the most popular rides aren’t included.

More About Individual Attraction Selections

Let’s talk more about those rides that aren’t included. When you buy Genie+, you’ll be able to schedule times to access the “Lightning Lane” (the new name for the FastPass queue) at various rides, but some of the most popular rides aren’t included in the $15/day tag, including Rise of the Resistance, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, among others.


These rides have their own individual prices in order to access the Lightning Lanes. The price could change depending on the season and which ride you choose, as we’ve seen happen with weekend pricing. You may only purchase access to two of these rides per day, but they don’t have to be in the same park (just make sure you have a Park Hopper ticket if they’re not).

Lightning Lane at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

If you’re staying at a Disney World Resort, you’ll have a little jump on the competition. Resort guests will be able to make their Individual Attraction Selections at 7AM on the morning of their visit, earlier than everyone else. Keep in mind that these rides are subject to availability through this system, but you’re still welcome to wait in the standby line or (for some of them) use the virtual queue.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is using a virtual queue for guests.

But Pay-Per-Ride Isn’t New to Disney World!

However, this isn’t the first time that a pay-per-ride system has been in place in Disney World! When Magic Kingdom first opened, rides weren’t included in the cost of admission (which was $3.50). Instead, guests could buy tickets to do the various rides, and each one had an individual price. 

Old Disney World ticket book.

Back then, the rides and attractions were sorted into five categories:

Things were so different back then!

For a while, that’s how guests were able to do ANYTHING in Magic Kingdom! The ride tickets and ticket books were eventually phased out for both coasts in June of 1982, just before EPCOT was slated to open on October 1 of that year. Since then, rides have always been included with the cost of admission.

Things changed when EPCOT opened to the public.

Guests will still be able to do any of the Disney World attractions that they’d like, all included with their tickets. You may have to wait in long lines or secure a boarding group to ride (lookin’ at you, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure), but Disney isn’t going back to the old system of charging extra for attractions — just for the Lightning Lane access to skip the wait.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant Lightning Lane

We’ll make sure to keep you updated with all the Disney Genie+ news and advice, so stay tuned to AllEars for the latest!

Breaking Down Disney Genie+ in the Easiest Terms — Click Here!

Will you pay to use the Lightning Lane on individual attractions? Let us know in the comments!

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7 Replies to “Why Paying for Rides Isn’t Actually NEW to Disney World”

  1. As with DME and luggage service, why not just increase the prices and keep things the way they were? I mean if you have to pay an extra $15. to get the privilege of choosing a lightning lane at 7 AM, getting that one done and then having to sit down and select the next one and so on while you are trying to have a fun day, why torture your guests? Seems to me letting people choose 3 fast passes a month or two ahead of time worked pretty well. If you have to charge for that, so be it and raise the ticket prices. Does Disney think the public is so stupid they think that keeping the entry fees the same (actually they do go up every year) and charging additional fees is doing them a favor?

  2. So why the need to change now? Was Disney not making money all this time they did not charge for rides? Using the rationale that Disney used to charge or other theme parks do it is pretty lame, in my opinion. Disney lost money during the pandemic. As did everyone else. If you had asked Disney during the height of the pandemic if they were going to recoup their losses at guests expense, they would have said no, we wouldn’t do that to our loyal customers and then voila that is exactly what they are doing. The question going forward is will they pay a price for this and all the other things they did to make it harder to visit WDW? I doubt it. It’s like walking down the street on a crowded sidewalk with no problem. Then discovering there is a pick pocket who robs you as you do so. Will the public use a different route to get where they are going? Or stay on the same sidewalk and pull the bills out so they hang out of their pocket to make it easier for the pickpocket to get at it? I bet the latter.

  3. We cant compare apples to oranges. Why should people have to pay $130+ for a day to get in and then pay to ride rides? The elephant in the room is the capacity that Disney allows in the parks that in return creates crowds that are too large, thus causing long lines. It’s not about the experience of creating magical moments at this point, its about creating more and more money is Disney’s pocket.

    1. Based on inflation that $3.50 admission to enter the park in the 1970’s would now be around $25.00 so you make a great point.