Walt Disney World and Disneyland will now charge visitors up to $20 a day to skip lines for rides, a perk that was previously free

Disney World
The Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World in Florida. Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Disney World and Disneyland are retiring FastPass, which allowed people to skip ride lines for free.
  • Customers will now need to pay $US15 ($AU21) to $US20 ($AU27) per ticket to skip lines, the parks said.
  • The Genie service and optional Genie+ add-on will launch on Oct. 19 at Walt Disney World Resort.
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Disneyland and Walt Disney World have decided that customers will need to pay extra to skip lines for rides.

Customers who want to skip lines will now need to pay $US15 ($AU21) per ticket per day at Disney World and $US20 ($AU27) per ticket per day at Disneyland to access the new Disney Genie+ service, the parks said. Line-skipping for more popular rides, like Space Mountain and Expedition Everest, will have to be added separately through its “a la carte” option.

The entertainment parks in California and Florida said in August that they would retire the FastPass perk, which allowed park goers to skip lines for free.

The Genie service, built into Disney’s apps, is designed to create personalized itineraries for customers, allow them to join virtual lines, and make restaurant reservations. Through the Genie+ service, they can pay to skip lines and access rides through Lightning Lane entrances, the parks said.

Disney’s amusement parks across the world were hit hard by the pandemic, closing for months and then reopening at reduced capacity. The company’s parks business has not returned to profitability, according to its latest earnings results.

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Josh D’Amaro, the chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, told The New York Times that the Genie tool would pull in revenue that Disney could reinvest in experiences. It’s also designed to improve the customer experience, he said.

Still, some customers will likely find the extra charge hard to swallow after years of being able to skip lines for free.

“Change is change, so it will take a moment for the guest to understand what this is,” D’Amaro said. “But we are very, very confident in this tool and its ability to improve the guest experience over all.”

Disneyland Paris also abandoned the free FastPass perk in July.

The new Genie service and the premium Genie+ features will launch on October 19 at Walt Disney World Resort, the company revealed.