This guide to Walt Disney World Genie+ and Lightning Lanes dives into this new “paid FastPass”, how to use the Disney Genie Plus service, tips on which rides you should use Genie+ for, which rides have Lightning Lanes at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, and how you can take advantage of loopholes in Genie Plus system to maximize your Walt Disney World day.
The Walt Disney World Genie+ is a complete replacement of the previous FastPass Plus service. The Genie Plus service allows guests to make attraction “reservations” from the Walt Disney World Genie Plus app. Guests then return to the Lightning Lane for the specific attractions at the designated time. There are over 40 attractions that can be reserved through the Genie Plus service.
The new Genie Plus service is quite a departure from the FastPass+ service where guests would schedule attractions far in advance. This new system is much more like the MaxPass system previously available at Disneyland with a few tweaks. This 2023 guide to Disney Genie Plus at Walt Disney World will dive into all the specifics you need to know as you get ready to make Lightning Lane reservations with Genie Plus.
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What is Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World?
Walt Disney World Genie Plus is the paid replacement for FastPass. The tool allows guests to make Lightning Lane reservations directly from their smart phones on the same day that they are visiting rather than in the FastPass+ style of reserving rides months in advance.
Disney Genie Plus is the paid service to schedule what would have been a FastPass return time while a Lightning Lane is the new name of the physical line that is shorter than the standard standby queue. Lightning Lanes exist for attractions that are access via Disney Genie Plus and via a la carte access purchases (more on this below).
The new Disney Genie+ costs $15.98 per day per person after tax at Walt Disney World. This is actually $5 less per day per person than the Disney Genie+ service at Disneyland.
If you want to book any of the Disney Genie+ Individual Lightning Lanes this will be an additional cost per person, per attraction. This price will vary depending on peak times of the year and crowd levels. More about this below!
NEW Update to Genie+ When Park Hopping
Previously guests could book their Genie+ reservations for the park they were park hopping to with a valid park reservation and even if the reserved time was before 2PM (when guests can park hop) the app would automatically default the time to 2-3PM.
Now this has changed and guests will no longer be able to book a Lightning Lane reservation for the park you're hopping to until the return time for the attraction has actually reached 2PM or later. This could put guests at a bit of a disadvantage for the park they're hopping to so make sure you keep an eye on those Lighting Lane reservation return times if you want to access the return line right when you park hop.
This is a bit confusing so here's an example of what the before and after of this looked like:
- Before: If you were at Magic Kingdom and park hopping to Animal Kingdom- book a LL for Expedition Everest at 10AM and Genie+ would automatically default your return time to 2PM-3PM even if the return time was currently for 10AM-11AM.
- Now: If you are at Magic Kingdom and park hopping to Animal Kingdom- book a LL for Expedition Everest at 10AM and since the return is currently for 10AM-11AM, the app will tell you this selection is unavailable. You would have to wait until the return time for Expedition Everest naturally reaches a time beyond 2PM.
There are pros and cons to this approach! While this may be a hassle for those park hopping into a different park, this helps slow down a build up that was likely happening to the Lightning Lane attractions at 2PM from all the guests that booked return times and park hopped.
This change has now also been announced for Disneyland.
What are Walt Disney World Disney Genie Plus Rides & Attractions?
There are over forty Disney Genie Plus rides across the four Walt Disney World theme parks. You will choose the next available time on the day of your visit for a variety of experiences and attractions using the Lightning Lane entrance.
Every guest, regardless of where you are staying, can book their first Lightning Lane reservation at 7AM each day of their visit. You can book another ride reservation once 120 minutes has passed OR you've redeemed your previous reservation- whichever comes first. Keep in mind that even though you book your ride reservation at 7AM, that 120 minute rule won't kick in until the park officially opens.
All attractions will still offer traditional standby or virtual queues with Lightning Lanes receiving priority- just like the way FastPass+ worked.
Genie+ Lightning Lanes- Magic Kingdom
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Haunted Mansion
- “its a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Mickey's PhilharMagic
- Monster, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan's Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Splash Mountain
- The Barnstormer
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Space Mountain
Genie+ Lightning Lanes- EPCOT
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission Space: Green & Orange
- Soarin' Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas Nemos & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Frozen Ever After
- Remy's Ratatouille Adventure
Genie+ Lightning Lanes- Hollywood Studios
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast- Live on Stage
- Disney Jr. Play and Dance!
- Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
- MuppetVision 3D
- Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours- The Adventure Continues
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania
- Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
Genie+ Lightning Lanes- Animal Kingdom
- A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King
- It's Tough to be a Bug!
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Na'vi River Journey
- The Animation Experience
- Feathered Friends in Flight
- Expedition Everest
All of these attractions and shows are included with your Disney Genie+ purchase. You can reserve a Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation once every two hours or once you've redeemed your Lightning Lane reservation.
You can only ride each attraction once using the Genie+ selection. If you want to ride something again you will need to use the standby line. It's also important to know that if you don't show up for your specific time slot you reserved without canceling it, Genie+ won't let you book another one and consider it as your one ride. So if you can't make a reservation, make sure you cancel it so you can book another one later!
You can also redeem your reservation up to five minutes before the arrival time which was the same rule in use before with FastPass.
Disney Genie+ Lightning Lanes for Premium Attractions
Lightning Lanes Individual Attractions service is an option for guests to purchase one off access to the most popular Walt Disney World attractions on the same day of their visit. This service is limited to two attractions per theme park which includes:
Individual Lighting Lane- Magic Kingdom
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Individual Lighting Lane- EPCOT
Individual Lighting Lane- Hollywood Studios
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Individual Lighting Lane- Animal Kingdom
- Avatar Pandora Flight of Passage
Guests can book for everyone in their party and prices will vary for each attraction depending on day and wait times. You can book access for up to two Individual Lighting Lanes per day. You will be given the choice of what time you want to ride when you make your purchase in the Genie app.
PERK for on-site Walt Disney World hotel guests- Guest staying on-site at Walt Disney World can book their upcharge Lightning Lane reservations at 7AM while guests staying off-site have to wait until the park opens.
Here is an example of pricing per person so you can see what to expect:
- Rise of the Resistance: $15 weekday and weekend
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind $14 weekday / $17 weekend
- Avatar Pandora Flight of Passage: $11 weekday/$14 weekend
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: $10 weekday/$12 weekend
Of course, if you're visiting during a peak travel week like Thanksgiving or Christmas week you can expect to pay the higher tier of pricing even if it's a weekday. The price is influenced most by crowd levels but this is an average of the trends we've seen in price.
Essential Walt Disney World Genie+ Tips
Now that Genie+ has been around for awhile we've had time to find the best tips and tricks on how to use it. I highly recommend you read through our extensive Walt Disney World theme park strategy and touring guides for each theme park which includes my advice on how to best use Genie+!
Use Genie+ on the most high demand rides
For some guests, trying to ride as many rides as possible with Genie+ can become stressful and the better strategy is to snag reservations for rides that will end up with the longest waits in the park.
Always have a reservation booked
Have a lunch reservation? Heading back to the hotel for a break? Always make sure you have a ride reservation in place beforehand. You can book your first reservation at 7AM everyday so be prepared to book one at the beginning of the day! There are Walt Disney World Genie Plus refills in the morning so if you aren't seeing anything you want right around 7AM, be sure to check again about 15-20 minutes later for an additional drop of reservations.
Refresh, refresh, refresh!
Keep refreshing the app (pull down on the screen to reload it) to check for Genie+ reservations that may have ‘sold out' or are too late in the day… as people cancel, times will get released back to the pool for everyone else to grab.
Only pay for what you need
Individual Lightning Lane attractions do not require the purchase of Genie+ since they are a separate purchase. For parks like Epcot with limited high demand attractions, you may be better off just purchasing the individual attraction access.
Know when to book next
You can book your next ride reservation once 120 minutes have passed or you've redeemed your ride reservation. Some rides book up really fast, especially in Hollywood Studios (looking at you, Slinky Dog!) so try to make that reservation before you eat lunch, take a break or have other plans in the park.
Know the grace period
Typically, you have a grace period of five minutes before your reservation officially expires. Try tapping your Magic Band or discussing with a cast member but be nice- Disney is not required to allow you to redeem your pass if you missed your arrival time!
Multiple Experience Passes
If you have a ride reservation and the ride breaks down you will be given a Multiple Experience pass which you can use on any attraction within the same ‘tier' of what you originally booked. The app will tell you which rides qualify!
When to Use Genie+ at Walt Disney World
Most guests want to know: when can I skip Genie+ and just use standby? When should I use Genie+ at Disney World? This will all depend on the time of year you visit but generally some lines remain consistently more popular than others. This list will help you focus on what is included in your $15 per day Genie+ access.
Remember: the most in demand attractions are separate from what's included with Disney Genie+ and you pay separately for.
Yes, you definitely need Genie+ for Magic Kingdom due to the sheer amount of rides that are in this park! You will get the most for your money purchasing Genie+ at Magic Kingdom.
You should book either Splash Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain for your first reservation time- not just because these rides are popular but weather can often shut these rides down making it a must to do them early. This is a good rule of thumb anytime you're visiting Walt Disney World, those afternoon rain storms can come in quick and most outdoor rides will stop until the storm passes.
Pro tip: stay late until park closing! I have walked on to many rides at Walt Disney World in the late evening even popular ones like Space Mountain, Peter Pan and Pirates of the Caribbean!
You should always book Slinky Dog Dash first in this park since it is easily the most popular ride! The Genie+ reservations often run out (which can happen!) within an hour for this ride so you should prioritize this if you don't want to wait in a long line. This ride easily has the longest line of all rides in the park (aside from Rise of the Resistance) so I would always use it for Genie+ before others.
Booking Slinky Dog Dash first will likely give you a return time beyond two hours which means you can't book other rides the first two hours of the park opening. In this case, I would recommend going right to Tower of Terror and Rockin' Rollercoaster. You can usually ride these two rides with the lowest waits of the day early in the morning and since they're right next to each other it's easy to finish both within the first hour of the park being open.
Genie+ is a must for Hollywood Studios-especially since it's such a popular park with fewer rides than Magic Kingdom… meaning the lines tend to be longer here.
The top two tier attractions on the included Genie+ list for Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safaris and Na'vi River Journey. I always try to do Kilimanjaro Safaris for Animal Kingdom first just because the animals will be more active! I would book this ride first just for that reason. And then at rope drop, I would go ride Expedition Everest (which is an attraction that is a separate purchase!) because it will always have a small line first thing in the morning.
Animal Kingdom is a park you could get away with skipping the $15 per day purchase of Genie+ and instead buy the individual attractions (Flight of Passage is a must!) which could save you money. If you are starting your day at Animal Kingdom, you can easily ride both Kilimanjaro Safari and Na'vi River Journey in the morning with no wait!
Test Track is easily the most popular attraction in the included Genie+ list for Epcot so I would make your reservation for Test Track before the other rides. After Test Track, the next most popular would be Soarin' and the rest can usually have low waits during most times of the day.
This is also a park where you could skip purchasing Genie+ if you're just doing a 1-park per day and not park hopping. I would save my money for those individual attraction rides at Epcot (Frozen and Remy!) and just ride everything else early in the morning or late in the day.
Walt Disney World Genie Plus and Lightning Lane Frequently Asked Questions
Let's dive into some of the frequently asked questions on Genie Plus at Walt Disney World we have been answering recently.
Can I make Genie Plus reservations 60 days in advance?
No. Walt Disney World Genie Plus reservations can only be made for the same day you are experiencing this attraction. This is the most dramatic difference from the Walt Disney World FastPass Plus offering.
How do I purchase Walt Disney World Genie Plus?
Genie Plus can be purchased on a daily basis each day of your trip or added in advance for the length of your trip. Either way the service costs the same $15.98 per day. It is very simple to add the service to your tickets each day of your trip, but if you know you want the amenity for each day there is no reason you shouldn't add it in advance.
Do we really need to make Disney Genie Plus selections at 7 am? Is there a true impact?
Some attractions will sell out for the day during the first 7 am release of Genie Plus slots. By waiting to make a reservation until you are in the parks you are giving up on an additional potential attraction. We do recommend getting up and getting your selection made.
If you do miss the exact 7 am window, there will be more reservation slots released throughout the morning.
What are Genie Plus refills?
Warning – this is an intermediate to expert level Disney Genie Plus tip.
Additional time slots are added for some attractions throughout the morning and day. Starting around 7:05 am and lasting until 7:25 am, additional ride slots may be added for attractions that are earlier in the day than the initial drop for the attraction which will likely have return times shoot late in the afternoon right after the service opens for guests to make Genie Plus selections at 7 am.
There are lots of nuances to this trick, but it really works. We are going to share more in a separate article soon.
When can I make another Disney Genie Plus reservation?
Guests can make another Disney Genie Plus reservation either after they have scanned into their first reservation or 120 minutes* after they made their first selection. This 120 minutes gets tricky because there is an asterisks on that time. The 120 minutes starts once the park opens so if your first Genie Plus reservation isn't until after 2 hours post park opening your first time to make another Genie Plus selection will be 2 hrs after the park officially opens. If you follow the tips here to make an early selection you shouldn't end up with a Genie Plus slot more than 2 hours after park opening.
How early and late can I arrive to Disney Genie Plus slots?
The Walt Disney World Genie Plus system is built to allow for guests to scan into Genie Plus attractions up to 5 minutes before the stated window and 15 minutes after the state window. Anything beyond these times is up to the discretion of the Cast Member.
Can guests choose return times for an attraction?
No. Just like the original paper FastPass system, you cannot pick a return time for a Genie Plus reservation.
Does Genie Plus at Walt Disney World include unlimited PhotoPass downloads?
No, at Walt Disney World unlimited PhotoPass downloads are not available as part of the Genie Plus package. Disneyland Genie Plus does include unlimited PhotoPass downloads.
How does Disney Genie Plus handle park hopping?
The Disney Genie Plus system handles park hopping in a smart way. You'll be able to make reservations for attractions in any park after 2 pm if you have a park hopper ticket. If you try to make a Genie Plus Lightning Lane reservation that starts before 2 pm, the slot will automatically be shifted to the 2 pm – 3 pm slot for that attraction.
Will Disney Genie Plus increase the length of the lines for attractions?
No. In fact, the queues for attractions should all be shorter now than they were during the FastPass+ era because fewer guests are utilizing the paid service and you can only ride each attraction once per day using the service.
Is there any Disney Vacation Club or Annual Passholder add on for Disney Genie Plus?
No. Disney Vacation Club members and Walt Disney World Annual Passholders are able to add Disney Genie Plus on a daily basis, but they are not able to add the service on for a set yearly rate.
What is Disney Genie? Is it separate from Disney Genie Plus?
You do NOT have to pay for Genie+ to experience rides at Walt Disney World as each ride will still offer its same standby line or virtual boarding queue in the case of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Some guests will choose not to utilize the new Disney Genie+ service and that is ok.
In addition to rolling out Disney Genie Plus as the replacement for FastPass+ at Walt Disney World, they also launched the free Disney Genie section of the Walt Disney World app. The free version of Disney Genie in the app has a number of itinerary planning tips and suggestions, but we have found these suggestions to be largely convoluted and unhelpful. In success, a Walt Disney World itinerary planning service that was responsive to inputs including your interests, weather, crowd levels, and wait times would be very popular but this service is not yet at that level. For example, in Magic Kingdom I have seen the itinerary builder recommend attractions that would have low wait times throughout the day like the carousel in the morning rather than encouraging you to rope drop Seven Dwarf's Mine Train. You will be far better off familiarizing yourself with our tips for using Genie Plus listed above and reading our general Walt Disney World strategies for touring rather than messing around with the Disney Genie touring itinerary builder in the app.
The most helpful aspects within the Disney Genie Plus service are:
- Mobile order option
- Restaurant wait list, check in and reservations (this was actually very helpful during our most recent trip)
- Attraction virtual queues (available at select attractions)
- Virtual queue options
Disney has mentioned they've also been forward thinking about cell phone battery usage when developing these features. Using Genie will not continuously drain your cellphone battery as it will only reoptimize your plan when opening the app, it will not be running the background. So this shouldn't have too large of an impact on your cell batteries.
What about the DAS program for guests with disabilities?
The existing DAS program has also received new enhancements such as the ability to pre-enroll in the program before arrival and for DAS participants to select attractions from the app. This is a great improvement for the DAS program because sometimes it can be tricky for guests to find areas where the Guest Services cast member are located to receive a new DAS time.
Guests will be able to utilize live video chat to register for the program with a cast member up to 30 days in advance of their visit. During the video chat, guests can also select two experiences per day using the new DAS advance planning option.
The same in-person DAS program will remain so it's not required to use the app if you don't wish to! You can read more about options for guests with disabilities at Walt Disney World in our guide.
What else is included with the new Disney Genie+ service at Walt Disney World?
Guests are also given additional perks who purchase the Disney Genie+ service at Walt Disney World. The other perks that Disney has shared so far include:
- Augmented Reality Lenses for use throughout Walt Disney World
- Exclusive behind the scenes audio tours with appearances from Walt Disney Imagineers that make the Disney magic
What special perks are included for Walt Disney World Hotel Guests?
Walt Disney World on-property hotel guests will have the opportunity to purchase some of the limited Lightning Lane access before non-hotel guests at 7AM each day. The Disney Genie planning service will also integrate with the Walt Disney World hotels to provide recommendations to start your day.
Disney Genie Plus Digital Overview Video
You can also watch the video above to get a great look at how Disney Genie works in real time!
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