Hey, Disney Fam!
As promised, I am going to break down how to use the new Disney Genie Plus service, including tips & tricks for each individual park! I will be going over how to purchase the service, how to use it for both Disney resort guests & off-property guests, as well as tips for getting the most out of it! To see how I used it Daily during our recent trip, check out my Genie Plus Highlight on Instagram! Step one: Make sure your My Disney Experience App is up to date! Ok, now let’s get into it!
Purchasing Disney Genie Plus
For our trip in November, I added Disney Genie Plus to my vacation package ahead of time; this can be done online by simply editing your current reservation and adding them under your park tickets. **The only way to purchase Genie Plus in advance, is to add it to your entire Disney vacation package, meaning you have to add it to ALL park tickets. You must have a Disney vacation package which includes both a Disney resort reservation & park tickets.*** If you are NOT staying at a Disney Resort, OR you want to purchase Genie Plus for only certain days, you will have to wait to purchase it until 7:00 am the day you plan to use it.
Booking Your First Lightning Lane of the Day
Disney Resort Guests: Your first Lightning Lane selection can be made at 7:00 am the day of your park reservation. You can only make ONE reservation at 7:00 am from the included attraction list. You can, however, additionally purchase one of the extra cost attractions at 7:00 am as well. ( i.e. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure) This means that you can both reserve an included attraction AND purchase an “extra” cost attraction at the same time.
EXAMPLE: Epcot- I can book a 10:00 am Lightning lane for Soarin’ and purchase a 1:00 pm Lightning Lane spot for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, all at 7:00 am.
Guests staying off Disney Property: Your first Lightning Lane selection can be made at 7:00 am if it’s an included attraction; additional cost attractions cannot be booked until the time the park opens. You can only make ONE reservation at park opening from the included attraction list. You can, however, additionally purchase one of the extra cost attractions at park opening as well. (see above example)
PRO TIP: The attractions that are an additional cost, especially at Epcot & Hollywood Studios, will sell out very early on in the day. If you know you want to ride them (and prefer not to spend a lengthy amount of your day in the standby line) just make that purchase right at 7 am or park opening, (whichever time applies to you)
Making Lightning Lane Selections Throughout the Day
After your first selection is made, the next one can be made 2 hours after the posted park opening time. **This applies to EVERYONE** From there on, you can make Lightning Lane selections throughout the day every 2 hours OR after you complete your previous attraction selection. Whichever timeframe comes first!
EXAMPLE: It’s 11:00 am now. You book the Lightning Lane for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad starting at 1:15 pm. You can book your next attraction at 1:00 pm.
EXAMPLE: It’s 11:00 am now. You book the Lightning Lane for Toy Story Mania starting at 11:45 pm. You can book your next attraction as soon as you complete riding Toy Story Mania. In this case, the 2-hour rule does NOT apply.
PRO TIP: Set the alarm on your phone as you go throughout the day for the next time you can book an attraction. This way you never miss a window to book an attraction, which will enable you to book as many as possible all day long.
- EDITED: (0n 1/9/21) Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Epcot) will now be offering a stand-by queue. Previously this attraction was only available by virtual queue (see below for directions on entering the virtual queue for any attraction) OR by purchasing an additional Lightning Lane pass. Now, you can either elect to purchase an additional pass to ride at a certain time, or you can save your money and wait in the stand-by line. Personally, I’m thrilled to see a stand-by line option for this attraction, as I would have loved to be able to ride twice; now you can if you’re willing to wait at least once! (You can only purchase a Lightning Lane pass ONE time, per attraction.)
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance now offers a walk up standby line. You can join this without a reservation. The only way to bypass this line now is to purchase the additional Lightning Lane pass; a virtual queue is no longer offered.
- Secret Cast Member Tip: You can actually scan into your Lightning Lane attraction line up to 5 minutes before the actual start time; but you didnt hear it from me! 😉
Tips For Each Park
Animal Kingdom: In my opinion, this park is 100% doable without the Genie Plus system. FOP and Nav’i River Journey will be your longest wait times, likely followed by the Kilimanjaro Safari. Even so, extremely doable. I would arrive in that 30-minute window resort guests are offered in the morning and get right in line for Flight of Passage before the park is open to the public. Non-resort guests, it’s still totally doable if you have the whole day.
Magic Kingdom: Genie Plus is a MUST for Magic Kingdom. You will be SO glad you have it! This park obviously has the most attractions, and we jumped from one to another all day long! We walked right onto every ride I got a pass for; I was able to make over 7 lighting lane selections that day. I would have made even more had we not already ridden several rides at the Christmas party a few days before. Selections were available up into the early evening; I was very impressed with the flow of the system at Magic Kingdom. 100% worth it.
NOTE: Space Mountain is an additional cost attraction; the day we were there the Lightning Lane never sold out for it. Seven Dwarves Mine Train, however, sold out early. So if you have to pick one, I would definitely purchase Mine Train.
Hollywood Studios: Book Slinky Dog Dash first thing if it’s an attraction on your list. It will be the first ride to be full for the day; I booked this one right at 7 am and already got an evening slot. It goes FAST. I chose to pay the extra cost right at 7 am for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance knowing the line would be crazy; the standby line was over a 200 min wait all day and the Lightning Lane passes sold out almost immediately for the whole day. Don’t wait on this one. I chose to wait standby for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (an extra cost attraction) because the line for that one always moves pretty quickly from my experience. I had time to ride it TWICE that day waiting in standby, so don’t stress out on this one. Other than Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the Toy Story rides are the first to go on Genie Plus, followed by Rockin Roller Coaster & Tower of Terror.
EPCOT: If you do not want to wait in a potentially very long stand-by line for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, purchase the additional Lightning Lane passes immediately in the morning; they will sell out early. Frozen Ever After is an additional cost attraction; the wait is typically quite long for this one all day, so we opted to purchase the extra pass. If you have to choose one additional cost attraction here, book Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure; it was so worth it. I highly recommend using your Lightning Lane reservations for Soarin’ and Test Track first as they typically have the longest standby lines. I had no issue getting passes all day in Epcot, including The Seas with Nemo, as well as Spaceship Earth & Living with the Land.
I hope this Disney Genie Plus Guide is helpful & enables you to really get the most out of your Disney vacation! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a DM on Instagram! I’m more than happy to help! Be sure to save this post for reference and share it with your Disney friends!
Have a magical vacation!