This guide to Genie+, or the new paid Fastpass system, will cover how Genie+ works, rides included, cost, strategy, and more.
Genie+ is definitely NOT required to have the best time at Disney World, but if you decide to purchase it this guide will help you get the most out of your money.
This guide covers how to use Genie+, so if you are confused about what is what, head over to my Disney Genie FAQ page. This will cover all of the basics, including new lingo and the differences between each part of the Genie system.
If you decide you want to add Genie+ to your trip, you must purchase it on the day that you plan on using it. If you want to use it for your entire trip, you will need to purchase it every morning of your trip before you head to the parks.
This may seem like a pain, but I think not being obligated to purchase for every single day of your trip is a good thing. Not every park is created equal, and you may definitely find times when you want it and times when you don't (more on that to come).
Things to Know When You Purchase
The following rides and attractions are available with Genie+:
You can start selecting your rides at 7am on the morning of your park visit.
You will go in to the app and select the ride you want and tap on the next available ride time. Once you confirm, you have your Lightning Lane for that ride! Simple as that.
I highly recommend being up and ready to select your first ride at this time. Especially if you are looking for a more popular ride. That will give you an advantage, but I will admit that it is not entirely necessary. Genie+ rides will be harder to get later in the day (or on crazy busy days like the Christmas holiday), but typically it wont be impossible to grab rides.
Rides can be booked one at a time.
You cannot book another ride through Genie+ until 1 of 2 things have happened:
The moment one of these happens you can select another ride.
So for example: If you book a ride at 10am and your return time is 11am, you can ride that attraction at 11am and immediately book your next ride.
I suggest having your phone out while in your Lightning Lane ride queue. The moment you scan in to the ride you can immediately select your next ride.
Yes! You can have more than 1 Lightning Lane pass!
In the above example, you were able to select your ride AFTER you have scanned in for your first selection. But if more than 120 minutes have passed you do have the option to book again.
For example, if you book a ride at 10am and your return time is 4pm, you can hold that first Lightning Lane pass, and book another Lightning Lane pass starting at 12pm.
So in this situation you can hold multiple Lightning Lanes!
While this might sound like an amazing strategy, it only really works in a few situations.
First, the 120 rule applies only AFTER the park opens for the day. So what does that mean?
That means you can select your first ride starting at 7am, but you cannot select your next ride until 120 minutes (or 2 hours) AFTER the park opens. So if you are using Genie+ at EPCOT and that park doesn't open until 10am you will be at a huge disadvantage if your first Lightning Lane selection isn't until late in the day. You won't be able to select another ride until 12pm.
So this strategy works in this case only if a park has early opening hours on the day you are visiting.
The stacking strategy can also work well for you if you are taking a break in the middle of the day.
If you decide to head to your resort pool or Disney Springs for the afternoon, I suggest you still start grabbing and using your Lightning Lane selections in the morning.
When you leave the park to take a break, set your phone alarm so that every 120 minutes you can make another selection on your phone. The idea being when you arrive in the evening you will have several Lightning Lane passes available.
The Genie+ system WILL let you overlap times. So if you grab a Lightning Lane pass for one ride at 5pm, and 120 minutes later you grab another Lightning Lane pass that also falls at 5pm, you can do that.
The issue with stacking in this situation is that you cannot chose your return ride time. So if you are sitting at the pool and know you wont be back at the park for many hours, you may be forced to grab passes for attractions that have a time that works for you, rather than your first pick in ride.
As I alluded above, Genie+ is probably not something that you need for every day of your trip. So I do NOT recommend adding it to your tickets ahead of your trip. It is simple and easy to add to your tickets same day. And if you are a bigger family (I have a family of 5, so I'm in this boat) it gets expensive.
If you know you want to use Genie+ I recommend adding it to your Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios park days.
Magic Kingdom has the highest number of attractions that offer Genie+ Lightning Lane entrances. That alone will make grabbing Lightning Lane easier. It is also home to some of the most popular attractions.
Hollywood Studios has several popular headliner rides. And amazingly Slinky Dog Dash has been included in Genie+ (and not the individual ride selection pay to play option).
Animal Kingdom has the least number of rides that are available on Genie+, and EPCOT has fewer attractions and often opens later in the morning. These make this add on far less valuable at these parks.
If you are planning on park hopping, you can make a Lightning Lane selection for your second park using Genie+.
If you try to select a ride with a time before 2pm (when park hopping begins), your time will automatically be adjusted.
The "Big Ticket" rides are not included with Genie+. These rides include:
What rides will be included for Lightning Lane purchase?
If you are using Genie+ and also want to purchase Lightning Lane access for these rides you can do both.
Disney has grace periods with Genie+ ride reservations.
If you have reserved a Lightning Lane pass with Genie+ you can show up no earlier than 5 minutes before your scheduled time or no later than 15 minutes after your scheduled ride time.
You don't need to even ask a Cast Member (and honestly I would suggest you don't. Some Cast Members may just tell you no). Just scan in as you normally would.
If you end up late due to a dining reservation, just let a Cast Member know! In my experience they are always accommodating.
Adjusting Your Ride List
While a lot of the Genie+ system will depend on things crowds and time of the year, there are definitely things you can do to get the most out of your Genie+ purchase.
First, head over to the free version of Genie. Set up your free Genie for the day, which includes adding your party, park, etc.
When you set up your free Genie account you are asked about attractions. The attractions that you select are then placed at the very top of your attraction list.
So for example, if you are looking to grab a Lightning Lane pass for Slinky Dog Dash (possibly the fastest Lightning Lane to sell out on Genie+), you will want to add Slinky Dog (and ONLY Slinky Dog) to your attractions list.
This will ensure that Slinky Dog is at the TOP of your list.
When 7am rolls around, you will save time scrolling to find Slinky Dog and will be able to grab that ride quickly.
This may sound like crazy set up, but anyone familiar with Disney's virtual queues and them booking up within seconds will understand!
This can also be done later in the day with any rides that you want to grab.
Anyone familiar with the old FastPass system will know that I am a fan of the old "Refresh, Refresh, Refresh" system.
And while the refresh trick can NOT be used to adjust a Lightning Lane reservation time that you already have, it can be used when you are making selections.
If you know you want to ride a specific ride, but it is either not showing any availability or only showing times that are hours away, you can simply refresh your screen by pulling down to try and get better times (You'll want to make sure you are using the tip above so the ride you want is right up top).
While results for refreshing will vary (better results for fewer people and not as busy days), it works a good number of the time.
So if you are tryin to get a better time, just keep refreshing until something pops up.
Start With High Priority
My top tip is always "Start Early."
It doesn't matter what you ask. I always think starting early is the answer!
And that is true here as well.
Be ready at 7am to book your first ride. And make that ride your high priority ride. If you are able to get to the parks at rope drop, you can rope drop any secondary high priority rides while waiting for your first Lightning Lane ride time.
The moment you ride your first selection (or 120 minutes have passed) move down your priority list.
It is way easier to spend your time between Lightning Lane reservations in lower priority (and probably lower wait) standby ride queues this way.
And if you are able to knock out a few high priority rides early in the day, you should have no issues grabbing immediate Lightning Lane selections later in the day.
This may differ from family to family, but typically these are the rides that will book up the fastest:
Slinky Dog Dash being the only one that books up very quickly on a regular basis.
If any of these rides are your top pick, I'd suggest grabbing them first so that you can get an earlier return time.
Here are some of the things you will need to know when you are using Genie+:
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See you at the parks,