If you’re planning a vacation to Orlando Florida’s Disney World and are confused about where to start, you’ve come to the right place. The answer is simple: Animal Kingdom!
Whether you’re a first-timer or a Disney veteran, a trip to Disney World always needs an exclusive Orlando with kids itinerary, and for that, we’ve got you covered! This article makes things even simpler for you by exclusively including all the best rides at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom made available through Genie+.
Disney’s magical Genie+ feature allows you to transport yourself to the front of waiting lines for a one-time per day additional fee. With a mere click of a button, you’ll be able to save yourself time, energy, and tantrums that come with waiting in line. Here’s our list of the best rides to use Genie+ at Animal Kingdom.
What is Disney Genie+?
While Disney World fanatics probably already know all about Disney’s Genie service for planning their trip, the newer Genie+ might be more of a mystery. Both services can be accessed through the My Disney Experience app, but that’s about where the similarities end.
Disney Genie+ is a service that allows paying customers to bypass long queues and save time at select rides through a separate entrance called the Lightning Lane.
The add-on feature allows you to select Lightning Lane services for multiple rides throughout the day, as opposed to the a la carte purchase method that allows you entry to Lightning Lanes for up to two individual rides in a day. which are not available on Genie+.
Keep in mind that guests are required to finish one Lightning Lane selection before moving on to the next one. All you have to do is select the earliest available slot for the ride you want and redeem it on time.
Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Cheat Sheet
Anybody can use the Standby line aka regular entrance.
EXTRA ADD ONS -(Available on the same day only.)
- You can opt to buy just Individual Lightning Lane entry for up to two of the 4 rides listed if you do not wish to purchase Genie + (Park reservation required)
- You can also add on Genie+ from midnight of day of your park reservation.
An additional fee from $15 + tax, enables guests to use the Lightning Lane on select rides at each park.
Available to all guests to buy from midnight on day of park reservation.
Select rides are available in each park.
ILL rides are not available on Genie+
EXTRA ADD ONS (Available on the same day only.)
- Can Purchase Individual Lightning Lane
- Can go on Standby for rides not on Genie+
Individual Lightning Lane
Purchase Individual Lightning Lane entry for up to 2 experiences per day, one at a time. Guests may purchase this option with or without Disney Genie+ service.
Each experiences below, ILL Lightning Lane entrance is available once per day
Guests of a Disney Resort Hotel and other select hotels can make first selection at 7:00 AM. All other Guests can make their first selection when the park opens.
Magic Kingdom Park
- 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
- Avatar Flight of Passage
Note: To use up to two ILLs you would currently need to Park Hop as each park only as one ILL ride available. You cannot use 2 ILLs on the same ride.
EXTRA ADD ONS ON THE DAY:
- Can Purchase Genie+
- Can go on Standby for rides
Pricing is from $15 a day, subject to availability. Genie+ is one add-on that is guaranteed to help smooth out any bumps along the way in your Orlando trip itinerary. An easy detailed guide to Genie+ is here
Best rides to use Genie+ at Animal Kingdom
There are quite a few rides and shows that you can use Genie+ on at Animal Kingdom. But whether you have a 3-day Orlando itinerary or a 3-week Orlando itinerary, you still need to figure out what to do and when. Here’s our list of curated rides and shows ordered according to the best way to navigate them!
Na’vi River Journey
For those who like to savor each moment, the Na’vi River Journey is where to go! While the ride itself is rather short, the wait times are long, which is why it’s worth adding to your Genie+ list while planning a family trip to Orlando, Florida.
Begin your Orlando itinerary by taking a tranquil boat ride in the mystical land of Pandora. The gorgeous visuals are sure to mesmerize everybody, from toddlers to teenagers. Watching your baby’s eyes grow big in wonder in the bioluminescent rainforest will definitely be the highlight of your day.
It’s a great way to beat the heat without getting wet and is the perfect ride to add to your Orlando holiday itinerary this summer. Apart from being slow and calm, the ride has no sudden twists or turns.
However, most of the ride does take place in the dark, which is why it can be a good idea to wear a white t-shirt that’s easy to spot under black light for your timid little ones.
There’s no better way to see the magic of Animal Kingdom come alive than through an open-air vehicle on a ride through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Kilimanjaro Safari is usually busy all throughout the day, which is why it makes sense to access it using Genie+.
Plus, the earlier in the day you visit, the more animals you’ll get to spot before they all retreat for their afternoon siesta. Nobody, not even the animals, wants to be outside under Florida’s afternoon soon!
With 34 species to learn about, including cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, hippos, and rhinos, this ride is a fantastical educational tool for children. Even the moodiest teenagers will be impressed by this guided tour through the 110 acres of landscape that’s complete with verdant jungles, stony wetlands, and a sprawling savanna.
If you can’t make it there early, visit by late noon or evening instead. The after-dark safari is when the nocturnal animals come out under the glow of the moonlight. Be camera ready to take loads of pictures, but hold on tight to your phone because it can get quite bumpy!
Pro tip: Grab a seat on the left side or in the back for much better views.
Kali River Rapids
The Kali River Rapids is one ride you absolutely cannot skip while making your itinerary for Orlando. The refreshing ride involves a giant splash that makes it super popular in the summer.
Take a boat to some whitewaters that pass through an Asian forest, drift by waterfalls, and then catapult down a hill! Slightly wet or completely drenched, this one is a smart way to cool down in the afternoon sun, especially since it often opens later than the rest of the park.
Pro tip: use the free locker or plastic bag to keep your belongings safe.
Genie+ makes all the difference when planning an Orlando vacation in summer that includes a visit to Disney World’s Kali River Rapids. However, not so much in winter when there are fewer crowds.
Although the minimum height requirement (97 cm or taller) will most likely prevent toddlers from joining in on the action, Rider Switch will ensure all the adults get their share of fun.
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Whether you’re spending 3 days in Orlando or 10 days in Orlando, Expedition Everest is one ride that just has to go on your Orlando itinerary planner. This thrilling roller coaster is one of Disney World’s best, so make sure you add it to your Genie+ list.
The ride essentially consists of a race through the snowy Himalayan peaks on a train that is trying to avoid a legendary snow monster that lives deep in the mountain. After a steep climb, you’ll be bracing yourself once again for a sudden backward drop into total darkness!
Although this roller coaster does not go upside down, it does reach speeds of up to 50 mph, which makes it plenty exciting for older kids (112cm or taller) and teens. Just make sure that they don’t mind jump scares, loud sounds, and scary effects.
The next time you spend 2 weeks in Orlando, grab your Indiana Jones hat to take a ride on DINOSAUR. Your mission: a race against time to rescue a 3.5-ton Iguanadon from a flaming meteor!
While you should expect the ride’s height requirement (102 cm or taller) to keep toddlers out, Rider Switch will ensure that all the adults get a turn. And if you are unsure about the “scares”, take a moment before the ride to watch a video and prepare both yourself and your kids.
The Time Rover journeys through a forest filled with life-size animatronic dinosaurs that are loud and terrifying. The ride is bumpy, jerky, and has sudden turns, so those with motion sickness best avoid it.
Festival of the Lion King
Festival of the Lion King is a musical show that celebrates the timeless masterpiece with acrobatics, puppetry, and pageantry. The 30-minute long show is open to all ages but has limited seating, which means it’s not as easy to get in as we’d like!
Having Genie+ will make you feel a whole lot more at ease as entry is not guaranteed with park admission. Even better as it’ll improve your chances of snagging better seats too!
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
If you’re a Nemo fan, set aside some time in your Orlando trip plan for this exciting Finding Nemo attraction. Watch the stage come alive with singers, puppets, and live performers who narrate the beloved tale with classic songs like “In the Big Blue World” and “Go with the Flow.”
The theater is open to all and has special effects, an amazing sound system, and mind-blowing backdrops that keep the entire family entertained. Reimagined and debuted in 2022, this show is worth making reservations for using Genie+ to ensure your little Nemo fans don’t have to miss out.
It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
Visiting It’s Tough to Be a Bug might not be high on your Orlando vacation planner, but it’s a definite stop for those who love stories that end with a life lesson easily learned! The wait times are generally pretty short for this ride and it might not even require Genie+, but be sure to check on the morning of to see how it’s looking.
Pop on a pair of “bug glasses” to watch this 3-D film as you make yourself comfy under the Tree of Life. Learn all about the fun and challenges of being an insect as you dodge tarantulas, smell the stink bug, or feel the spray of a soldier termite. And when the hilarious Hopper comes out, you will once again be reminded of why he’s one of the most loved Disney villains!
Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
Let Mickey and Minnie share the travel bug with your kids at the exploration HQ. This indoor location also has a collection of photos and memorabilia for travel fanatics to drool over.
Including Adventurers Outpost on your Orlando Florida itinerary means that you get a lovely respite from the blistering heat in an air-conditioned room. It’s one of the best places to take your toddlers for a quick photoshoot as you catch your breath.
Feather Friends in Flight!
Is your kid extra curious about birds lately? Then the Feathered Friends in Flight should definitely be on your Orlando with kids itinerary. The show features birds that fly about and perform tricks; it’s enough to make Genie+ worth every penny!
The show features an animal behaviorist that gives viewers an insight into the free-flying birds of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You might even consider giving Anandapur Theater a visit to introduce birds to your toddlers, while the older kids and teens learn the complexities behind bird care and training.
The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
Animators, storytellers, and little, budding artists will all appreciate The Animation Experience at Conservation Station. Although it’s open to all ages, older kids and teens are most likely to value this experience the most.
The 25-minute drawing class teaches participants the ins and outs of Disney character design. While it usually does not require you to use Genie+ to get a spot, you can still use it on more crowded days like holidays and weekends.
Best Rides To Use Genie+ at Animal Kingdom: FAQs
Is it worth it to get Genie plus for Animal Kingdom?
There’s no definite answer to this. While having Genie+ can make everything much smoother, the costs can shoot up during the holidays, putting a damper on things. Ultimately, you’ll want to purchase Genie+ if you detest standing in line, have very young children with you, or are on a short trip that you want to pack with as much fun as possible.
What rides should I book first with Genie Plus?
Animal Kingdom rides to get on early include the Na’vi River Journey and Kilimanjaro Safaris. The Kali Rapids ride depends on the weather at that time of the year and day; it’s busy on warm days and quite sparsely populated during the winter.
How do I get the most out of my Genie plus?
The trick to effective Genie+ bookings is to reserve an attraction with an early return window (soon after park opening), and then book the next one with Genie+ immediately after tapping into the first. This allows you to cover more rides per day before the clock runs out.
Does Genie plus sell out?
While Genie+ itself does not sell out, certain attractions can run out of Lightning Lane selections. Sometimes an attraction no longer offers return times for Lightning Lane, so make sure you access it nice and early. It’s the early bird that catches the worm!
What is the best time to visit Orlando and Animal Kingdom?
Mondays to Wednesdays are when most kids are at school. So, if you can afford to steal your child away for a holiday, the best month to go to Orlando will be one during which children are just starting to return to school. This is best before or after the summer and winter holidays.
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