What Do You Prefer: Lightning Lane or Queue Experience

Flight of Passage
Credit: D23

There is so much to experience when visiting Walt Disney World; long lines may be one of them. A few things are inevitable while visiting the Parks, including loads of walking, tasty snacks, and oftentimes, some kind of wait time. Disney World offers attractions, meet and greets, and dining that may result in waiting your turn.

While no one loves to stand in line, Disney World comes up with fun and innovative ways to make the wait time feel less tedious. Though many lines can be avoided thanks to Disney’s latest systems, Genie+ and Lightning Lane, not all Guests explore those options. For starters, visiting a Disney Park can become expensive quickly.

Magic band scan

Credit: Disney World

Depending on your trip, if you’re receiving any discounts like Florida resident discounts, Military discounts, Annual Passholders, or Disney Vacation Members discounts, you’re still paying a decent amount just to step foot into a Park. And that’s just the expense to walk inside. Now, of course, that includes all the magical experiences like iconic attractions, new rides, entertainment, and nighttime fireworks. But your day can easily pack a punch if you’re expensing Genie+, Lightning Lane, meals, merchandise, and more.

Related: Disney Guests Disgusting Behavior to Avoid Leaving Ride Lines

But you’re visiting Disney World, and oftentimes, it feels like budgeting goes right out the window. So why not give yourself and your group the best experience possible? This seems to be the mindset of many who purchase Genie+ and Lightning Lane to forgo long lines. “Since their debut in 2021, Guests have blamed both for “ruining the fun” and actually increasing the time you spend in queues,” Inside the Magic adds. Although they are unpopular in the Disney community as well-liked systems, it’s that or getting on the queue line.

Attractions at Disney World

With limited options for getting on your favorite attraction, Guests love the idea of no lines. Regardless of your method, there is nothing better than jumping on a line and getting off of it just as quickly. During less crowded times of the year, Guests can get lucky with this happening throughout the day. Furthermore, you can be even luckier if it happens on classic rides that are notorious for long lines, like Haunted Mansion, Frozen Ever After, and Space Mountain.

Frozen Ever After

Credit: Disney

But with quick or no wait times, poses the question of what you could be missing. Many attractions, especially the newer ones, are built with immersive experiences for Guests to enjoy while waiting online for the ride. Disney Imagineers know the lines can be exhausting, especially when walking around all day. Creating a new attraction doesn’t just start and end with the ride, but it begins the very moment a Guest steps in line.

Related: Change Your Mind on Disney Thrill Rides? Here’s What to Do With Your Lightning Lanes

A Disney Guest took to Reddit to ask the question that most of us don’t think about as we scoot past the long line stating 60 minutes or more. Most of the time, you’re grateful you splurged the extra money to get off the regular queue line for a quicker experience. But some queue lines are a part of the attraction, which is what this Guest questioned.

Lightning Lane or Queue

They wrote they rode Flights of Passage at Animal Kingdom using Lightning Lane. Therefore, they skipped the unique queue line, including the forest, lab, and detailed animatronic. “The Lightning Lane queue skips all these parts. Of course, with how long the wait can be, it’s probably still worth it, but it made me wonder if there are any other rides like this where you might miss out a little by missing the queue,” the Guest wrote.

Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Lightning Lane Feature Image

Credit: Disney / Canva

Guests shared their experiences visiting attractions both ways. One commented, “You lose a LOT of the context and storyline for Guardians by doing LL, but I can’t imagine waiting hours and hours in the regular queue!” Another wrote, “Rise of the Resistance – you lose the feeling of being deep in the mountain. LL takes you straight to the briefing room.”

Related: Virtual Queue Required for the First Time at This Magic Kingdom Event

Interestingly, these are all rides that are on the newer side of Disney World, which proves the efforts of Imagineers to make queue lines fun are working. Sure, no one wants to wait online for three hours, even if the line offers unique sights. It seems Guests feel the same if lines weren’t nearly as long as they often get; they’d love to explore each queue and get the full-ride storyline. But sometimes Florida sun and heat wins, so Lightning Lane is the option to choose.

What is your preference when visiting a Disney Park?

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.