What is Genie+?
Genie+ is Disney’s new, technological version of FastPass; it’s a way to ensure you skip the long standby queues on the top attractions at Walt Disney World. However, there is a bit of a learning curve to understanding Genie+. Found on your MyDisneyExperience app, Genie+ can be purchased for $15 + per person, per day. The price changes depending on how busy the parks are estimated to be each day. The highest we have seen it so far is $29 around Thanksgiving. You can purchase Genie+ starting at 12AM (midnight) on the day of your Park Pass reservation.
Genie+ Lightning Lane vs Individual Lightning Lane
The similarly named Lightning Lane and Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) are slightly different concepts. You don’t have to use them and can still use normal standby for every ride.
Lightning Lanes are what you book through Genie+ to skip the Standby queue. You can book a Lightning Lane for rides, shows, and even character meet and greets at any of the four theme parks.
Individual Lightning Lanes work like the regular Lightning Lanes except they are an additional charge ranging anywhere between $13-$17 per person, per ride (with prices varying depending on the day). However, you don’t need to purchase Genie+ to book an Individual Lightning Lane- anyone with a park ticket can book one! Currently, there is only one ride per park that has an Individual Lightning Lane option available.
Individual Lightning Lane Purchases are for these rides currently:
Lightning Lane Entrances for Individual Purchase (NOT Offered Through Disney Genie+ Service)
Magic Kingdom Park Experiences
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Experiences
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park Experiences
- Avatar Flight of Passage
You can buy just an Individual Lightning Lane and not buy Genie+ at all.
Standby, Genie+ Lightning Lane or Individual Lightning Lane? What are my options?
Your options at the parks are:
- Standby only (just buy the Park ticket and queue in standby for all rides and attractions
- Buy Genie+: Have the opportunity (not guarantee!) to book one ride/attraction at a time that is eligible for Genie+. and use the Lightning Lane to gain faster entry than the standby queue. For rides that are not included in Genie+ (which are currently the most popular rides in each park) you would have to join the standby queue. Disney advises you can expect to book at least two rides each. In my experience I have usually had several more than that.
- Buy Genie + AND buy up to 2 Individual Lightning Lanes experiences per person: With this you have the opportunity (not guarantee!) to book one ride/attraction at a time that is eligible for Genie+ and use the Lightning Lane to gain faster entry than the standby queue. PLUS use the Lightning Lane queue for the most popular eligible ride in a park once with your Individual Lightning Lane booking. If you Park hop and have bought two ILLs, then you can use one in one park, and your second one at another park. You cannot book an ILL to go on the same ride twice.
- Buy Individual Lightning Lane Only: Purchase individual Lightning Lane entry for up to 2 experiences per day, once only. ie you cannot book an ILL to go on the same ride twice. Guests may purchase this option with or without Disney Genie+ service. If you have a Park Hopper ticket and have bought two ILLs, then you can use one in one park, and your second one at another park.
Genie+ Explained: How does it work?
Remember when we said there is a learning curve? Well, that’s where these next Genie+ tips come in. Genie+ comes with a set of rules on how and when you can use it. These rules ensure that everyone has a fair chance of getting a spot on the attractions of their choice, but that doesn’t mean these rules can’t get a little confusing, especially if you’re new to Genie+.
On the morning of your Park Pass reservation you’ll want to open your MyDisneyExperience app and purchase Genie+ for each person in your party. To make things easier, make sure everyone in your family or group is linked together in the app ahead of time. This way you can easily book Lightning Lanes for everyone in your group in one go throughout the day.
Book your first Lightning Lane
You can book your first Lightning Lane starting at 7AM. Genie+ Lightning Lanes for the most popular rides can “sell out” quickly, so if these are on your must-do list, make sure to be ready to book right at 7AM! The exception to this would be Individual Lightning Lanes; only Disney Resort guests can book these right at 7AM. Everyone else can book an Individual Lightning Lane starting at the time of park opening.
When to book your next Lightning Lane
You can book your next Lightning Lane once ONE of the following happens:
- You’ve used your FIRST Lightning Lane (which happens once you scan into a ride at the beginning of the queue)
- You’re first Lightning Lane expires because it wasn’t used
- 120 minutes has passed since you last booked a Lightning Lane
So, if you booked your first Lightning Lane at 7AM, when could you book your next Lightning Lane? Well, the 120-minute rule begins at the time of park opening. So, if you booked your first Lightning Lane at 7AM, and the park you’re going to opens at 8:30AM, you can book your next Lightning Lane at 10:30AM. Unless you’re first Lightning Lane is booked for a time prior to 10:30AM, at which point you can book your next Lightning Lane as soon as you scan in to that first ride.
If all of that has you confused, that’s okay! We get it! Luckily, Genie+ does tell you what time you can book your next Lightning Lane. So, if keeping track of the technicalities of how to book Lightning Lanes is a bit overwhelming, just keep an eye on your booking window that Genie+ gives you and you’ll be good to go!
Genie+ Lightning Lane or Standby Queue?
Sometimes you can get away without having to worry about Genie+ for certain rides. The MyDisneyExperience app will tell you what the Standby queue wait times are. Anytime a Standby queue is under 30 minutes, you don’t really need to book a Lightning Lane. Lightning Lanes come in handy for longer ride queues. But if you see a low wait time for a popular ride or a must-do attraction, don’t wait too long before jumping in that Standby queue. Wait times can be unpredictable, and there’s no guarantee that a 20-minute wait will still be that short in an hour from now.
Is Disney Genie+ worth it?
From a financial perspective, we will leave that up to you to decide based on your family’s needs and budget. But if your goal for your Disney trip is to experience as many attractions as possible, then yes, it’s worth it. Genie+ takes some getting used to, but it can really cut down on the amount of time spent in lines, especially if you’re spending a day at Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom, as these tend to be the busiest of the four parks throughout the whole year. When it comes down to it, Disney Genie+ is the best way to ensure you get the opportunity to enjoy the rides and attractions you want on your next Disney trip!
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