If this is your first trip to Disney World, you have probably heard some chatter online about Genie+. If you are confused about what you are reading online, don’t despair! That is a common feeling I hear from many people. It can be a complicated system to try and learn, but once you start putting it into practice, it becomes very easy. I am here to teach you how to use Genie+ at Disney World!
There are two systems being used at Disney World right now to give you access to the lightning lanes. Genie+ gives you access to over 40 rides across the 4 parks. Apart from that, there are the Individual Attraction Selections that you can purchase for an additional price. That only pertains to 1-2 premium rides at each park. You DO NOT need to have Genie+ to purchase the premium ride lightning lane access.
It is also important to mention that you don’t have to purchase lightning lane to any of the rides. You can still ride any ride using the stand-by line, but you will wait longer. The lightning lanes just help you get through faster. When I used the lightning lanes, the wait was usually about 5 minutes or walk on.
How To Get Genie+ Added To Your Ticket
Genie+ is not an option that you can pre-pay for with your package or tickets. It is an option that you will purchase through the My Disney Experience app on a day-to-day basis while you are on vacation. Each day at midnight, it will become available for you to purchase for that following park day. Since you can start making your Genie+ selections as of 7am EST, then I suggest you make sure you compete your purchase of Genie+ PRIOR to 7am.
It is important to make sure you purchase the correct Genie+ option for how you plan to visit the parks that day.
- If you plan to only visit 1 park that day, then purchase Genie+ for the park you plan to visit
- If you plan to visit more than 1 park that day (park hopper tickets required), then purchase the “Multiple Parks” Genie+ option.
How To Book a Lightning Lane Ride Time
Unlike Fastpass, you can no longer schedule these ride times in advance. Genie+ is meant to be used on your park day and you schedule your ride times as you go throughout the park.
You will be able to select your first lightning lane ride time as of 7am EST. Make sure you have the app open with the correct park selected and be ready to go for 7am!
Open the Disney app on your mobile phone and tap on the icon at the bottom right with the 3 lines, and select “Tip Board”. The Tip Board is where you will manage all of your lightning lane selections for the day. Make sure the right park is selected, if not, tap on “Change Park”.
Once the clock strikes 7am, pull down on your screen to refresh the list of attractions. Scroll through the attractions and select your first lightning lane experience for the day. Tap on “Book Experience” and then confirm it on the next screen.
These are the rides that seem to book up first, so they are good choices for your first lightning lane pick of the day:
- Magic Kingdom – Peter Pan’s Flight, Jungle Cruise
- Animal Kingdom – Na’vi River Journey
- Hollywood Studios – Slinky Dog Dash
- Epcot – Remy’s Ratatouille
**You will have a 1 hour window to use your lightning lane. Make sure you go during that 1 hour window, as they will not grant you access once the time has ended.
Individual Attraction Selections – What’s That?
There is 1-2 premium rides at each park that are NOT included with Genie+. If you want to access the lightning lanes for these “premium” rides, then there is an additional cost to purchase that access in the app.
You DO NOT need to have purchased Genie+ to be able to purchase lightning lane access for these premium rides. They are two different systems. If you want to forgo Genie+ and just purchase the premium rides, you can do that.
These are the premium rides at each park:
– If you are a Disney Resort guest, then you can purchase 2 per day as of 7am EST (perk of being a Disney Resort guest)
– If you are not a Disney Resort guest, then you will be able to purchase them as of park opening
You can purchase a maximum of 2 per day. If you plan to park hop that day, you can purchase the 2 rides in different parks. Just tap on the “Change Park” link at the top of the tip board to switch parks.
When To Book Your Next Lightning Lane
It is really important to pay attention to when you can grab the next lightning lane because the earlier you grab them, the more you will get in a day. There are one of 2 rules that determine when you can grab the next one:
- As soon as you use a lightning lane pass
- If two hours have passed since you chose your last lightning lane, but that timer starts at park opening time, not at 7 am.
EVERY TIME you scan through and use a lightning lane, go back in the app and schedule another one. If your next lightning lane is more than 2 hours away, try to book another one and the app will tell you at exactly what time you can select another one. You CAN have more than one lightning lane scheduled at a time and they CAN overlap in times.
**PRO TIP: If you are waiting for the 2 hour period to pass to select the next lightning lane, set an alarm on your phone. It is easy to forget once that two hours passes.
Stacking Lightning Lanes
With Genie+, you can have several lightning lane ride times lined up in your account at the same time. They can even overlap in times. This is called “stacking” lightning lanes, and it works best for when you are planning a visit a bit later in the day.
For this example, we are going to assume that you are planning a late day in the parks and would only like to start your day around 3 PM.
Genie+ launched on October 19, 2021, so it is still a fairly newer system. I think we will still see some changes to it as the years go by. I found that once you actually start using it on your park days, it starts to become a lot clearer. It can be hard to understand if you never used it, but I promise it will all come together once you are there.
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Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 15 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!