On October 19th, 2021 Walt Disney World implemented a new system called Disney Genie. This extra has three different features with it: Disney Genie (free planning tool), Genie+ (for $15/person/day Guests can skip waits in a variety of rides), and finally, Individual Lightning Lanes (pay as you go option for specific rides not included in Genie+). We have been learning more and more about this new system and we want to pass along some information regarding prioritizing your selections to make the most of your investment.
As a review, remember that the first Genie+ selections can be made at 7 a.m. through the My Disney Experience app. This is for all Guests that have a ticket and a Theme Park Reservation. Genie+ includes almost 40 options throughout the four Theme Parks, giving you the ability to skip the Standby Lines. For the Individual Lightning Lane selections, Disney Resort Guests can make their first selection at 7 a.m., whereas those staying off-site can do so when the Park opens. These are the two rides at each Theme Park that aren’t included in the Genie+ cost. Guests can choose to purchase these rides individually.
Individual Lightning Lanes
In each of the four Theme Parks, there are two rides that aren’t included in Genie+ but are able to be purchased individually. Those rides are: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Rise of the Resistance, Expedition Everest, Avatar Flight of Passage, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Frozen Ever After. The cost for these pay-per-ride options is not a set amount but is based on crowds. We have seen prices between $7 and $15. You can choose to purchase up to two of these attractions and they don’t have to be in the same Theme Park. Rides that are available for this feature are those experiences that typically have a higher than normal wait time. By choosing to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane option, you can help guarantee your ability to not only ride a highly popular ride but also do so with little wait.
After watching, reading, and seeing how this new system is working, we have a few current tips that we have would like to share. First of all, we believe that it is important to pick your Genie+ selection first at 7 a.m. prior to choosing your Individual Lightning Lane option. We have seen some Genie+ selections jump late into the day quickly or not be available at all shortly after the 7 a.m. drop. With this in mind, we believe starting with your Genie+ selection first is key. The second big tip we have noticed is the 120 minute rule. Once you have booked your first Genie+ selection, you have to wait until you either ride the ride or it has been 120 minutes from booking it. This means if you wake up early at 7 a.m. to book Slinky Dog Dash and don’t get a return time until 2 p.m., you aren’t going to be able to book another one until 120 minutes AFTER the Park opens so this would be 11 a.m. with a 9 a.m. opening. With this in mind, it would probably be more efficient and better use of your time to snag a Genie+ selection early on between the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. time period. This will allow you to use the Lightning Lanes more during this time instead of just waiting for the 120 minute window to open. Finally, another tip that might seem silly but has been super helpful is setting those alarms. Use your phone alarm when you are waiting 120 minutes so you don’t miss your opportunity to book another Genie+ selection. We are sure there will be more tips we will learn moving forward and we will pass those along.
How to Prioritize Your Bookings
So now that you know the overall basics of this system, what rides should you focus on? After a few weeks, we have seen a few rides in each of the four Theme Parks have their Genie+ windows book up quickly or be only available in the evenings. Because of this information, we have a few recommendations on rides that you should snag a Genie+ selection for early on in the day if not at the 7 a.m. window.
Magic Kingdom: In Magic Kingdom, we would look at booking a Genie+ for Peter Pan’s Flight or Jungle Cruise right away at 7 a.m. Both of these popular rides are seeing their Genie+ selections book up quickly. If you need to fly over London and hang out with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, or if you want an adventure through the main rivers of the world, you will want to grab these early on.
EPCOT: In EPCOT, the one ride we have seen with Genie+ return times later on in the afternoon is Test Track. This thrill ride is extremely popular so being able to skip the Standby Line will really help limit your Wait Time drastically.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the number one ride that we have seen Genie+ fill up quickly. If you are wanting to ride this coaster, we highly recommend trying to make it as your first pick. The other ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that also has been getting snatched up quickly is Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. Keep in mind the 120 minute rule when booking Slinky Dog Dash. If you can’t be it right away early in the morning, think about choosing the Millennium Falcon and coming back to Slinky Dog Dash later on so you don’t miss out.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Na’vi River Journey and Kilimanjaro Safari are the two rides that we are seeing get snatched up quickly with Genie+. If they are a priority to you, we would recommend looking at them as your first selection for Genie+ on your Disney’s Animal Kingdom day.
We hope that these tips on Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes will help you be better prepared when it comes to making selections during your Walt Disney World vacation. We plan to bring you more tips in the future.