With thrilling rides, exciting shows, and a whole lot of magical movie mania, Disney World’s Hollywood Studios offers the perfect little getaway for you and your loved ones. But whether you are hashing out plans for a 1 week Orlando itinerary or an extended 14-day Orlando itinerary, you need to arm your visit with the right strategy. Knowing which are the best rides to use Genie+ at Hollywood Studios is a great start.
The large crowds, long wait times, and general excitement can be too much for the best of us. But for families with little kids? It can be disastrous when unprepared. The Genie+ feature offered on Hollywood Studio attractions can make things a whole lot easier. So, if you are planning a family trip to Orlando, Florida, read on to discover what to do first and how to make your vacation special.
What is Disney Genie+?
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Imagine a toddler meltdown when you are stuck under the sun for hours, waiting for a ride. Thankfully, with Disney’s Genie+ feature, you won’t have to experience these hassles. Accessible through the My Disney Experience app, this service allows you to skip long queues on specific rides by entering through the Lightning Lane lines.
All you have to do is pay the per-day fee and reserve spots for the rides of your choice one at a time. Then, instead of waiting in line, you can spend your time eating, shopping, and trying out other rides around the park. Arrive at the ride at your booked time slot and hop right on with a short wait time.
Prices for Genie+ passes vary by season but are generally around $15-$29 per person per day. It’s a cost that’s worth it due to all the time you’ll save which you can then spend to explore more of Disney on your Orlando itinerary!
Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Cheat Sheet
Best rides to use Genie+ at Hollywood Studios
One thing to keep in mind when making your Orlando itinerary planner is that most Hollywood Studios attractions sell out early and quickly. The best way to utilize your time, whether you plan to spend 7 days in Orlando or 10 days in Orlando, is to keep in mind that Genie+ works based on the first come, first served policy.
To make things easier for your Orlando trip plan, we have curated a list of Genie+ attractions you cannot miss in Hollywood Studios. Choose the rides you want to go on, craft your game plan, and make your Orlando vacation planner that much more magical for the entire family.
Slinky Dog Dash
Appealing to everybody from tiny tots to sentimental parents, the Slinky Dog Dash has the highest demand for Genie+ reservations in Hollywood Studios (read: extremely long wait times). In fact, bookings fill up in mere minutes at 7 a.m.
You’ll need to be quick in getting your Genie+ Lightning Lane pass if you want to hit Toy Story Land right when the park opens, or even within the first hour. However, if Rise of the Resistance is not on your Orlando travel plan, it might make sense to rope drop at Slinky Dog and use Genie+ for Smugglers Run instead.
Dipping, twisting, and reaching speeds of 40 mph, the 3-minute ride is modeled on a sling-like thrust. This thrilling roller coaster is a must-have on your Orlando with kids itinerary, as long as they meet the height requirements (38 inches or taller).
A fantastic start for kids who love a bit of excitement, this outdoor ride stays smooth and steady without going upside down. But if your child has motion sickness or seems nervous, try out gentler rides instead.
Slinky Dog Dash seats two riders together and does not have a Single Rider Line. That’s why it’s a better idea to use Rider Switch for this ride if your group has an odd number of people. Even while waiting, there are tons to see and explore, but if your family includes impatient toddlers, opt for the Early Entry at Hollywood Studios.
If you wish to document your Orlando travel plan for the holiday cards, remember to turn to the right and smile just as Slinky Dog goes over the four mini hills and turns left.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Whether you want to spend just 3 days in Orlando or wish to space out your trip over 2 weeks in Orlando, you simply cannot miss out on flying the fastest ship in the galaxy. The Millenium Falcon, with its hyperrealistic motion simulation, offers a chance for every Star Wars fan to finally experience an exhilarating space mission.
Step into the cockpit as a pilot, engineer, or gunner, and capture contraband for the Rebels to get high scores. Fend off enemies, avoid obstacles, and return safely to port. Large families should keep in mind that the ride seats six at a time, which means that larger groups will be split into smaller parties.
The ride does have a height requirement (38 inches or taller) and can be a bit intense, with its array of lights, loud sounds, and simulated drops. If darkness and motion sickness prevent your kids from riding, parents can opt for Rider Switch or the Single Rider line.
When planning a vacation to Orlando Florida, visiting Smugglers Run is undoubtedly on almost everyone’s Orlando checklist. This is usually perfect for the afternoon and should be your second choice for Genie+ Lightning Lane.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Do your children adore all things spooky and mysterious? Then this spine-tingling and highly in-demand ride at the Tower of Terror is the perfect addition to your Orlando holiday itinerary.
Enter the 13-story hotel, if you dare, and walk right into the elevator to strap yourself in for the ride. The ride is fast and has sudden drops, so bigger kids (40 inches or taller) and teens are likely to enjoy this scary ride more.
If your kids are not big on enclosed places and loud sounds or have motion sickness, it’s best they sit this one out while you enjoy it using Rider Switch. It’s also a good idea to complete this ride before your break for lunch. Once in, put on your best brave face as the camera takes a picture right before you get dropped!
The only hiccup is that this ride sometimes runs at half-capacity due to refurbishment work. Reduced capacity means longer wait lines, making it a popular ride for an early Genie+ booking.
It is a good idea to look at Thrill-Data.com and understand the average wait times for the month of your visits. This way, you can better plan your trip to Orlando Florida, and prioritize this ride for Genie+ if wait times are higher than average.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Your Orlando trip plan is the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of life in the fast lane. Climb aboard the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and join the legendary rock band Aerosmith in a phenomenal limo ride to a red carpet event.
This high-speed thrill ride is completely indoors and launches, in a mere 2.8 seconds, to speeds of 60 mph. Enjoy popular tunes from Aerosmith and zoom through the dark, as your limo loops, twists, and inverts three times.
It is best recommended for families with boisterous teens (48 inches or taller). The fast-paced, big drops make it a no-no for those with queasy stomachs and it is recommended to skip this one if your kids get overstimulated easily. Die-hard rock fan parents can always opt for the Single Rider lane.
Genie+ bookings for this often run out by afternoon, so be sure to make it one of your top priority rides. Also, keep in mind that the park has announced that this ride will be temporarily closed during the early months of 2023. Make it a point to always check the website before finalizing your Orlando itinerary planner.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
This 2.5-dimensional ride is a recent addition to the park and the first to feature the adventures of Mickey Mouse and his friends from the good old days! With no height limits, the Runaway Railway is a must-add to your to-do list while planning a family trip to Orlando, Florida.
The gentle roller coaster is perfect for younger kids as it is trackless and doesn’t generally cause any kind of motion sickness. Most kids should be able to tolerate a few surprising turns and dazzling effects just fine.
The technology integrates with the graphics spectacularly to make it seem like you are really stepping into a cartoon. Watch as your little one’s face lights up at the carnival-like atmosphere, fun songs, and vivid colors.
The best times to try this ride are early during the day or around late noon, so head to Hollywood Boulevard around lunchtime. Since the queues for this ride are lower than the others, this can be a mid-priority ride for your Lightning Lane pass. But, if you have tiny tots in your group, we suggest making this one of your first or second choices as it’s one of those few rides that kids of all ages can enjoy.
Toy Story Mania!
Stop by Toy Story Mania! and let your kids experience a slice of your childhood as you challenge them to a round of old-school carnival games. A truly immersive 3-D experience, the 4-seater trams on this ride are armed with pull-string cannons to virtually fire at targets. Put your skills to the test as you and your little ones compete to rack up the most points playing the five exciting games it has to offer.
No height restrictions means you can take everyone from your infants to your older kids here to experience the colorful world of Andy’s toys. Plus, it is a smart way to keep younger kids occupied while the older ones head to the nearby Slinky Dog Dash.
Being an indoor attraction, Toy Story Mania! is perfect for beating the afternoon heat, but you can also stop by during opening or closing times of the park as the lines are not too bad during these periods. Wait times for this ride only really increase on busier days at the park.
Alien Swirling Saucers
This wild and fun ride is for anyone forty inches and over, and is guaranteed to be a blast for the whole family. Based on the little green aliens in Toy Story that worship “the claw”, the theme is extraordinary and the music is fantastic. The ride isn’t too fast so little ones can fully enjoy it. However, it does whirl and twirl about at a decent speed, so skip it if you spinning makes you queasy.
The line for Alien Swirling Saucers is usually 30-45 minutes long but can shoot up to an hour during peak seasons. Most guests suggest booking it late in the evening, once you have used Genie+ to complete all the other rides. It’s also great for use if you have time to spare on a extended stay like on a 6-day Disney World itinerary.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Usually low in crowds, the Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is best visited at the end of the day. Take an adventure across the galaxy to join forces with the Rebel Alliance in this Star Wars-themed ride that is likely to appeal to older teens and parents.
Extremely entertaining, this attraction is a 3D space flight simulator, and every time you take the ride, you end up on a completely new adventure. Bear in mind that it might cause motion sickness if you aren’t used to being rocked around.
But since it is more like watching a movie than it is an actual ride, it features all but a few minor drops that can be tolerated by most kids (40 inches or more). We recommend giving it a pass if you have back problems though!
Don’t forget to take a photo with the life-size C3-PO and R2-D2 aboard your ship. And at the end, you can stop to pick up all the Star Wars merchandise you desire (your very own lightsaber, for one!).
Best Rides To Use Genie+ at Hollywood Studios: Shows and Other Attractions
Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
The only character meet-and-greet included under Genie+, this one is for all those, both little and old, who love all things Frozen. After all, the face of your kiddo as they get a hug from the adorable snowman is nothing short of a core memory in the making.
Although skip-the-line is available for this attraction, the wait times are rarely ever long enough to warrant it. So, you should be able to “let it go” (and by “it” we mean your Genie+ reservations!) and wait in line for just a bit.
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Raiders of the Lost Ark comes alive in this one-hour Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show where performers reenact scenes from the cult movie classic. Fighting, explosions, and mind-blowing acrobatics will keep you on the edge of your seat.
With zero restrictions, this performance is sure to thrill both young ones and adults alike. Do keep an eye on the weather when you decide to plan your trip to Orlando, Florida, as the outdoor stage closes up during storms.
Genie+ isn’t really needed for this one, but if you do get in early, you can head for seats closest to the stage which might end in an invitation to be called upon during the show!
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
Head on over to Sunset Boulevard and watch this Broadway-style musical of one of Disney’s most beloved classics. Since seating is almost always a sure bet, you might want to skip out on using Genie+ here and instead save it for other priority Lightning Lane bookings.
A retelling of a tale as old as time, watch Beauty and the Beast narrate their journey through this musical performance. The spectacular costumes, the beautiful dances, and the melodious singing will capture the hearts of everyone young and old.
You can catch any one of the five shows, but we suggest trying to schedule your visit here towards the end of your day so it can be a way to unwind and relax in the cool weather at the outdoor stage. You’re also allowed to eat while you watch this show, making it the ideal alternative to a screen when feeding fussy kids.
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
The Frozen Sing-Along at Disney World’s Echo Lake is a no-brainer for Elsa fans, even if you are planning a short trip like a 3-day Orlando itinerary.
It’s immensely popular among toddlers and kids which is why using Genie+ might come in handy during the busy season. Plus, it’s one way (apart from arriving really early, of course) to try and snag the best seats to see Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff up close!
Disney Junior Play & Dance!
This epic Dance Party is where kids can show off their best moves as they bounce along to music from Disney Junior shows and movies. Guided by characters and an in-house DJ, this is one of the best ways to get your sugar-high toddler to burn off energy.
Lasting about half an hour, this show can be quite slow to fill with very short wait lines, so you can skip Genie+ for this one. Plan on arriving 10-15 minutes early in the Animation Courtyard, and you can snag seats close to the stage.
While this hilarious show guarantees a good time with its onscreen musical numbers and live-in-theater special effects, it is rarely ever full. So, why not save on the Genie+ reservations and just wait for about 15 minutes? You’ll be ready to watch the 3D extravaganza come alive in less time than you know!
The indoor auditorium here is the perfect place to seek refuge from the hot sun, so after you’ve made your rounds, head on over to Grand Avenue for a dazzling display by performance artists. It’s the perfect attraction for families with toddlers as there are only a few rides that have no height restrictions like Runway Railway and Toy Story Mania.
Best Rides To Use Genie+ at Hollywood Studios: FAQs
Is Genie plus necessary for Hollywood Studios?
While Genie Plus is not mandatory for Hollywood Studios, it is a great paid service to buy to save precious time and experience all the rides and attractions. The lines here are always long and will feel even longer when you’re accompanied by an impatient toddler!
How many rides can you use Genie+ in a day?
If you plan your trip to Orlando Florida you can reserve at least 4 attractions, saving you upwards of 3 hours. Kids, tweens, and teens are sure to want at least one ride on the roller coasters so ensure that these are a priority when reserving rides.
What Time Can I Buy Genie+ at Hollywood Studios?
Purchase Genie+ as early as 12 a.m. on the day you plan to visit.
How much do Genie+ and Lightning Lanes cost?
The prices for Genie+ are often lower during off seasons but go up during holidays, weekends, and tourist season. In general, it can range from $15-$30 per person per day.
What Time Can I Make Genie+ Reservations?
Use the Genie+ service to make reservations as early as 7 a.m. on the day you plan to visit.
Is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Included in Genie+?
No, but it can be separately purchased as an Individual Lightning Lane ride.
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