Disneyland Individual Lightning Lanes 2023 – Prices, Tips, Worth It?
For incredibly popular rides, Disneyland offers Individual Lightning Lane Entrances that allow guests to skip the line for an additional fee. Instead of waiting for over an hour to experience favorite rides like Rise of the Resistance, you can select the next arrival window, pay the additional Lightning Lane fee, and be on the rebel transport in no time!
Disneyland opened the Individual Lightning Lane option alongside Disneyland Genie+, replacing the intense Virtual Queue Boarding Pass system where guests had to hover over the Disneyland app to make reservations for rides at the exact second they became available. Now, with the purchase of Individual Lightning Lanes, your party can choose your desired arrival window and enjoy three rides at Disneyland without having to worry about potentially long standby times. These three Lightning Lane options are not included with the purchase of Disneyland Genie Plus.
In this guide, we will cover the prices of Individual Lightning Lanes, how to purchase them, and other tips for making the most out of this offering! We’ll also discuss which attractions the Individual Lightning Lane might be worth paying for.
What is the Difference Between Individual Lightning Lanes and Disney Genie+ Lightning Lanes?
Genie+ Lightning Lanes
Genie+ Lightning Lanes require the purchase of Disneyland Genie+, and these serve as a replacement for the old Disneyland FastPass system that’s not in use in 2023. You can choose the next available return window for one ride at a time throughout the day and skip the line (with a limit of one Lightning Lane pass for each ride per day).
These are offered with the Genie+ service cost that starts at $25 per guest per day, and they are available for select attractions.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana JonesTM Adventure
- “it’s a small world”
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
- Soarin’ Over California
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Individual Lightning Lanes
Individual Lightning Lanes allow you to skip most of the line for a much shorter wait time for the park’s most in-demand rides, but these are purchased a la carte and not included with a purchase of Disneyland Genie+. There is a limit of 2 attractions per day for purchasing Individual Lightning Lanes.
- Rise of the Resistance
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (previously this attraction also utilized a virtual queue, but it no longer does)
Disney California Adventure
- Radiator Springs Racers
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How Do I Purchase Individual Lightning Lanes?
Once you are in the park, you can access the Disneyland Individual Lightning Lanes through the Tip Board on the Disneyland app. These are not included in the Genie+ service, and you don’t need to have Genie+ to buy Individual Lightning Lane Entrances. You can hold both a Genie+ reservation and an Individual Lightning Lane at the same time.
Open the Disneyland App, then scroll down to the ride you’d like to buy Individual Lightning Lanes for. You’ll see the standby wait time for the ride and the option for Individual Lightning Lanes below that.
If Disneyland Individual Lightning Lanes are currently sold out for an attraction the option to purchase will be greyed out.
How much Do Individual Lightning Lanes Cost?
Unfortunately, costs for Individual Lightning Lanes at Disneyland used to be much cheaper when they debuted—they used to be as low as $7 for certain attractions but have doubled since then.
While costs do fluctuate, the pricing during the busy 2023 spring break period at Disneyland is currently $25 per person for Rise of the Resistance, $18 for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and $18 for Radiator Springs Racers. Pricing can vary per visiting date and attraction, but generally the Individual Lightning Lanes cost anywhere from $15-25 depending on the attraction.
When the parks are busy and the attraction is in the highest demand, the Individual Lightning Lane costs reflect this. See our Disneyland crowd tracker to see what the busiest seasons at Disneyland are.
Are Individual Lightning Lanes Worth it at Disneyland?
Rise of the Resistance ILL
For extremely popular rides like Rise of the Resistance, there are pros and cons to purchasing Individual Lightning Lanes.
Pros: Individual Lightning Lanes can save you from brutal wait times that can climb to 100 minutes or more. Also, keep in mind that Rise of the Resistance tends to break down quite frequently, and you could get stuck in an already monstrously long line for even longer if this happens. When the ride does resume operations, standby guests are not prioritized until the delayed Lightning Lane guests are funneled through. This makes Individual Lightning Lanes a good option!
Rise of the Resistance is also definitely not a ride to skip, as its design is nothing short of spectacular. It offers various ride experiences (trackless dark ride, simulator, and walk-through) throughout its 18 minute journey, and the full-fledged details of the ride immerse you completely in the world of the story. This is a must-ride at Disneyland, and it makes Individual Lightning Lane purchases all the more worth it.
The Individual Lightning Lane option for Rise of the Resistance also zips you to the very start of the show and saves you from almost any wait. You’ll spend about 2 minutes walking from the entrance of the attraction to the beginning of the first show scene and then be off to your adventure!
Cons: This is the most expensive ride of the three Individual Lightning Lanes currently offered at Disneyland (usually ranging from $20-25 per guest). If you have a party of four, this means the total cost can be $100 total or more for your group. Given that spring break is in effect, this ride could realistically climb to new record-high prices per person in spring of 2023. If you are die-hard Star Wars fan, this might be worth it, but it’s a very steep cost.
However, even with the fear of potentially high wait times for the attraction, the posted waits for Rise of the Resistance are almost always inflated—the actual waits go by much faster. If you hit Rise of the Resistance at the right time, you could only end up waiting an hour, which is absolutely worth it for this epic experience. The question of purchasing the Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance comes down to whether you value an hour or so of park time vs. paying $25 for immediate access. I have waited for the attraction in the standby line and paid for the Lightning Lane many times, and both are good options. If I had only one day at Disneyland, I might consider purchasing the Individual Lightning Lane here just to keep pushing through.
Minnie & Mickey’s Runaway Railway Individual Lightning Lane
For brand new rides, it’s never a bad idea to secure a Lightning Lane pass to avoid extremely long standby times. The average standby time for Minnie & Mickey’s Runaway Railway is not quite as bad as it has been for other new rides (averaging between 20-40 minutes), but Individual Lightning Lanes are still an appealing option, as standby times can climb up to 75 min or more during busy seasons.
Though you could purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for convenience, we have not had trouble getting onto the attraction utilizing the standby line. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway can be best ridden in the late afternoon. We detail in our Disneyland morning strategy how to best start off your day at the park and why we save Runaway Railway for later in the day.
Our recommendation: skip the Individual Lightning Lane here and get in line when you see a 40-minute wait or less! The queue for the attraction is highly themed and goes by quickly.
Radiator Springs Racers in Disney California Adventure
Given that Radiator Springs doesn’t have the most interactive queue, long standby times can be particularly tough for this ride. There are a few pros and cons to explore for buying Individual Lightning Lanes.
Pros: Wait times for Radiator Springs Racers average between 60-90 minutes, and this is a long standby time, especially if you have younger kids. Individual Lightning Lanes allow you to skip this wait and keep your party together in the same car for that adorable racing picture at the end of the ride!
Cons: Disneyland Single rider wait times for Radiator Springs Racers can be unbelievably fast, and it’s a great alternative to purchasing Individual Lightning Lanes. Whether or not you’d like to try this option is entirely dependent on how important it is for you to keep your party together, as you have to be willing to be separated.
Most of the time, however, I’ve found that even with Single Rider, my family of three ends up in the front and back seat of the same car. It’s also sometimes even more fun when you’re in separate cars and can race each other at the end. Looking over and hearing Mom or Dad shouting, “It’s on!” from the next car over can be a priceless experience on this ride. Here we always opt for the Single Rider option rather than the Individual Lightning Lane purchase. Read our morning strategy for Disney California Adventure for tips on how to fit in Radiator Springs Racers.
Which Individual Lightning Lanes at Disneyland Do You Recommend?
In summary, if you are short on time, you should consider purchasing the Individual Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance. For both Radiator Springs Racers and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, there are ways to avoid long waits without purchasing Individual Lightning Lanes.
Do Individual Lightning Lanes Sell Out?
Individual Lightning Lanes do sell out, especially during the busy seasons at Disneyland, but you shouldn’t be too worried about this option not being available. Unless you are at Disneyland on one of the busiest days during the weeks (around Christmas and New Year’s Eve at Disneyland when Genie Plus can sell out), do not worry about Individual Lightning Lanes selling out.
Of the three Individual Lightning Lanes currently offered at Disneyland, the Rise of the Resistance Individual Lightning Lane is typically the most likely to sell out and will sell the fastest. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Radiator Springs Racers will often be available for instantaneous return times well into the afternoon. An instantaneous return time for an Individual Lightning Lane means that you can purchase a Lightning Lane right now and immediately ride!
Here’s a look at a Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Individual Lightning Lane that is set for a return immediately.
Take everything here with a grain of salt and monitor the return times for Individual Lightning Lanes throughout the morning, then purchase when it gets to the window that you desire to ride in.
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- Disneyland Rider Switch Guide 2023
- Ultimate Disneyland Ride and Attraction Guide
- Is Disneyland MagicBand+ Worth It? Prices, Tips, What You Need to Know
- NEW Disney Vacation Club Member Lounge Coming to Disneyland – Opening Date Announced!
- Best Months & Specific Dates to Visit Disneyland in 2023 & 2024
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Great article with solid advice. This was very helpful in planning my family’s Disneyland trip. Thank you!
Does regular genie+ sell out – meaning is it possible that there are no return times left at some point during the day.
We’re only there for one day, and we’re doing park hopper.
Also, we’re most excited about the Avengers Campus and Cars land, so we’re thinking to start California adventure land, but is it a better option to do disneyland first?