Let’s face it: When you’re at Walt Disney World, the clock is ticking. There is a lot to see and do, and since the theme parks open and close at set times, there is only so much time to work with each day.
Understanding that visitors get frustrated waiting in long lines, Disney introduced FastPass in 1999. The free system allowed visitors to reserve a time for an attraction, show up at the designated time, and jump to the front of the line.
FastPass has now been replaced with Lightning Lane, a service in the new Genie+ app. Through Genie+, which costs $15 per person per day, visitors can reserve a Lightning Lane entrance time for one attraction at a time.
There’s just one hitch. Well, one hitch in addition to it not being free.
While Lightning Lane is available at more than 40 attractions across the four theme parks at Walt Disney World, that doesn’t cover all the attractions. Instead, Lightning Lane access for the “most highly demanded attractions” will only be available as, what the resort calls, an “á la carte” purchase. In other words, there are additional fees for Lightning Lane access to the two most popular rides at each park — even if you already paid for Genie+.
Here’s a quick rundown on the 8 popular Disney rides that will now cost you to skip the line.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Located in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a steel roller coaster ride for the whole family — as long as kids are 38 inches or taller. While there aren’t any tall hills or steep drops, the vehicle’s seats do sway back and forth as the ride makes its way along a curvy track.
“Deep inside an age-old mountain, clamber into a rustic mine train and make your way up a steep incline,” Walt Disney World explains. “At the summit, feel the wind across your face as you navigate hairpin turns and head deep into the mine shaft — your creaky cart teetering back and forth. Soon, the dark sparkles with glittering jewels and you encounter the Seven Dwarfs, whistling and singing while they work.”
Space Mountain has been a staple of Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom since 1975. The outer space-themed, indoor roller coaster is appropriate for kids 44 inches or taller, ’tweens, teens, and adults.
“Dip and careen into the inky blackness as a futuristic soundtrack echoes all around you,” the theme park explains. “Fly past shooting stars and celestial satellites. Roar past streaking orbs of light, wayward comets, and migrant meteors. Feel the pull of gravity as you’re drawn into a swirling wormhole!”
Frozen Ever After
Suitable for any height and all ages, Frozen Ever After is a log flume ride at EPCOT at Walt Disney World. While the ride is short, it does move forward and backward — and even goes over small waterfalls. Anyone on the ride should be prepared to get wet. And, of course, there will be music.
“Soon, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with some ‘boulders’ — a.k.a. Kristoff’s family from Troll Valley — before bracing for the cold,” the theme park explains. “High up in the icy blue world of the North Mountain, Queen Elsa’s enchanting ice palace awaits. Behold the wonder… and keep an eye out for Anna, Olaf, and a few more Frozen friends.”
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Located in the France pavilion, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT, which just opened this month, is suitable for all heights and ages. Similar to Ratatouille: The Adventure ride at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, France, the ride uses rat-shaped vehicles.
In Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, “you’ll feel like you’ve shrunk to the size of Chef Remy as you scurry through Gusteau’s famous restaurant on a wild adventure for the whole family,” Jeremy Schoolfield, managing editor, Walt Disney World Resort public relations, explains. The 3D chase across Gusteau’s kitchen floor is possible thanks to “trackless ride vehicles.”
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Based on the recent Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the first ride at any Disney park that stars Mickey Mouse and friends. Located on Hollywood Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the trackless dark ride has no height or age restrictions, so it’s suitable for the whole family.
“Climb aboard a runaway railway and embark on a whirlwind ride through a world where the rules of physics don’t apply,” the theme park explains. “Prepare for unexpected twists, slapstick gags, and mind-boggling transformations at every turn as Mickey and Minnie try to save the day.”
Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance
Set in the time between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is located at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Billed as a “massive” attraction, it features a trackless dark ride, a walk-through, a motion simulator, and a drop ride system. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is suitable for kids 40 inches or taller, along with ’tweens, teens, and adults.
“With the First Order desperate to extinguish the spark of the Resistance, the mission is bound to have unexpected twists and turns. When your transport is captured by an imposing First Order Star Destroyer filled with legions of stormtroopers — and even Kylo Ren! — you’re going to need all the help you can get,” the theme park explains. “Fortunately, a covert team of Resistance fighters — including Rey and BB-8 — is at the ready to give you a fighting chance to escape… and a chance for the Resistance to rise.”
Avatar Flight Of Passage
Located in Pandora, the world of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Avatar Flight of Passage is a 3D flight simulator that gives visitors a view from high above Pandora’s landscape. Billed as a “thrill ride,” the attraction is suitable for kids 44 inches or taller, ’tweens, teens, and adults who want to fly on a banshee — a large, dragon-like creature.
“Board your own mountain banshee and embark on a thrilling expedition, where interstellar explorers like you get an up-close look at this moon’s incredible landscape,” the theme park explains. “Bonding with a banshee is a crucial step in the life of a Na’vi hunter on Pandora — and flying on the back of one of these powerful creatures is an important rite of passage.”
Expedition Everest — Legend Of The Forbidden Mountain
The theme for Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain in Asia at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is that a Yeti is protecting the Forbidden Mountain. The steel roller coaster is the fastest roller coaster at Animal Kingdom and the tallest roller coaster at any Disney theme park.
“After a steep ascent, your train picks up speed and races into the darkness. Without warning, a broken and twisted track appears in front of you,” the theme park explains. “Brace yourself as you plummet backward into total darkness. Inside the cavern, the mythical tale comes true as you see the shadow of a massive, growling beast!”
Although the attraction is said to be suitable for kids 44 inches or taller, ’tweens, teens, and adults, it must be pointed out that it is a thrill ride moving through the dark with frequent loud noises.
“Some parts of Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain may be scary for children,” the theme park cautions. “This attraction features loud noises, fast drops, high speeds, dark places, and frightening creature effects.”
Know Before You Go
Visitors must pay attention because Lightning Lane prices will vary by date, attraction, and park.
While Disney hasn’t announced specific price ranges for each ride, it has offered some examples. For instance, the Lightning Lane entrance to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will be $9 per person on Tuesday, October 19, but on Saturday, October 23, when the park will presumably be busier, the price rises to $11 per person. On the other hand, on both those dates, Lightning Lane entrance to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be $15 per person.
You can find all the details about the Lightning Lane entrance here.
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