If you are staying onsite at Disney then the biggest advantage is booking Individual Lightning Lane rides before offsite guests can. These easy onsite Lightning Lane tips and Genie Plus Tips will help you get the most of that this and maximize the number of rides you can achieve in a day. There are still relevant tips for offsite guests too!
First up, know the terminology and the difference with this easy guide:
Disney Genie: is a free planning tool with the My Disney Experience App which helps you plan your day and make the most of your time, with real time suggestions and line information.
Genie Plus: (Genie+) is a paid for additional service to normal ticket price. It is an app feature in the My Disney Experience App. It allows you to skip the normal Standby Line and gives you a timed slot to enter the faster, Lightning Lane. You can choose one at a time within a 2 hour slot but they can overlap, see point 5 for how to do this!
Lightning Lane: (LL) is like the old FastPass queue. Guests can pay to use the Lightning Lane via Genie Plus which allows you to queue at a set time, allowing you to save more time exploring rather than waiting in a queue. You can only make one Genie+ selection at a time.
Individual Lightning Lane: (ILL) is a pay per ride service for the Disney World parks that allows guests to skip the standby line and have quicker access to the 2 most popular attractions in each park. Guests may purchase and select an arrival window one at a time for up to 2 attractions total per day. This option is available for all Guests—with or without Disney Genie+ service. Guests are given an allotted time to queue in the Lightning Lane. Individual Lightning Lane selections can sell out but the standby queue is always available for free.
Main (but important) difference for onsite guests and off property guests
Guests staying onsite at Walt Disney World Resorts can book Disney Genie+ attractions and Individual Lightning attractions starting from 7am on the day of their park reservation.
Guests not staying on property can also book Disney Genie+ attractions at 7AM. However, they can only book Individual Lightning Lane rides from standard park opening hours. They can be in the park or outside but cannot book ILL until the park is officially open.
Ok, onsite visitors, this is how to make the most of this perk:
Familarize yourself with the Disney app in advance. The following tips are based on you wanting to initially make 2 Lightning Lane selections and 1 Genie+ Lightning Lane selection. ‘My Tip Board ‘on the Genie+ tool is where you will find the rides.
BEFORE YOU START BOOKING YOUR GENIE+ (LL) or INDIVIDUAL LIGHTNING LANES (ILL)
Make sure you have your Disney App settings on correctly and Wifi signal is strong.
For iphone users got to Settings> DIsney World> Location> Always and select Background App Refresh. I find logging out and then about 10 minutes before and reinstalling the app about 30 minutes or so before the booking stress commences, avoids most issues.
- Purchase Genie+ before 7AM. You can also buy GeniePlus on the same day as your visit -anytime after midnight for that day subject to availability. This saves you time when you want to book rides.
- Preselect the rides you want to do in Genie Plus before 7AM. Again this saves time when you need to do the actual booking. Note which rides you want are Individual Lightning Lane. These are the rides you need to book first in step 3 as they are the most popular.
- At 7AM, book the rides you really want to do with priority going to your TWO Individual Lightning Lane rides like Rise of the Resistance, Slinky Dog if you are at Hollywood Studios. These cost extra with prices fluctuating depending on the crowds and demand. The ILL are not included in the Genie Plus. You do NOT need to be at the park to do this if you are staying onsite at a Disney hotel.
- Accept ANY slot given as these will be gone within a couple of minutes. You can still book rides throughout the day even if your first ride is at 8pm. (Step 5 explains this in more detail.)
- You should now have 3 rides booked. You can book some more in 2 hours once the park opens. Note you can’t repeat a ride and if you miss a rides time slot you can’t rebook for it. You can cancel it beforehand though.
- Every two hours is what Disney allows in-between booking. So book another Lightning Lane (LL) with Genie+ at 9am if that is the scheduled official main opening time (not applicable to Early Entry Hours) However, as soon as you have used your Genie+ ride and tagged to go onto a ride, immediately look and try and book another ride even if it is before the two hours are up! The app will let you know when your two hours is up and you can book another. Make a note or set an alarm and relax for a couple of hours.
- Important Note: the 2 hour booking rule starts from when the park officially opens, so if you first book at 7:01am and the park officially opens at 9am, the 2 hours is up at 11:00. If your first available ride slot is at 4.15pm, you can still book for rides before then, once the two hours is up from when you actually booked the 4.15pm slot. eg at 7.01 book ROTR for 4.15pm, at 11.00am you can book a new ride which gives lets say gives you a 3.30pm slot. At 1pm you can book a new ride.
- You can still book rides even if you were only able to book an 8pm ride at 7am. You just need to wait 2 hours from when you made that booking after park opens, eg You only managed to get a favorite ride at 8pm when you got online at 0700am. If the park opens at 0900, you can then make a new selection at 11am for another ride. If in doubt, the app will let you know if you are trying to book rides too early. It is easier than it sounds, although frustrating to remember when you booked and be on you phone a lot of the time!
- Don’t give up. Rides that appear to be sold out, may become available later in the day.
Park Hopping and Genie Plus
If you have a park hopping ticket, you can book LL for either park. There are some points to bear in mind though.
- Select the park your want to book your LL or ILL for first.
- If choosing the first park you are visiting, take any time available but bear in mind you can park hop from 2pm, so you may want to factor lunch and travel time to the other park.
- If selecting rides for your second park BEFORE 2pm, then make sure you firstly select the correct park and note even if you take a time available by mistake that is before 2pm eg 11:50, the app will automatically change that to a time after 2pm as you cannot park hop before 2pm.
- Disney Transportations for Park Hopping begins at 1.30pm
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Current Individual Lightning Lane Attractions at Disney World.
This option is available for all Guests, with or without Disney Genie+ servicethen.
Magic Kingdom Park
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Guardians of Galaxy
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park
- Avatar Flight of Passage
The park with the most Genie+ rides is Magic Kingdom and the least are Animal Kingdom and EPCOT.
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