Magic Kingdom is the best park for buying Walt Disney World’s new Genie+ service. This paid FastPass replacement offers Lightning Lane line-skipping access to 22 attractions and character sightings in Magic Kingdom, and our guide ranks the rides and entertainment in terms of time-saved and how quickly reservations fill up. (Updated March 13, 2022.)
The idea behind this post is giving you the tools and info you need to build your own Magic Kingdom itinerary with Genie+, rather than relying on our 1-Day Magic Kingdom Genie+ and Lightning Lanes Plan. We’d recommend a best of both worlds approach, consulting that pre-made plan and the rankings here so you understand the why of it, and can make your own itinerary.
Since crowds, weather, attraction downtime, and more can all heavily impact how an actual day at Walt Disney World plays out, it’s almost certain that a sample itinerary cannot be replicated step-for-step with the exact same Lightning Lane time slots, etc. As such, this equips you to put together your own dynamic plan of attack for using Genie+ in Magic Kingdom…
Of course, this assumes that you want to ‘pay to play’ and will use Genie+ rather than simply doing standby lines. In Magic Kingdom, that’s our recommendation. If you want to know the basis for that suggestion, see My Day Using Genie+ for Spring Break 2022 at Magic Kingdom. Basically, it boils down to the ride count. With 22 attractions offering Genie+ at Magic Kingdom, it has almost double the number of attractions as other parks at Walt Disney World.
Additionally, see our Guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ for all of the foundational need-to-know info about this paid FastPass+ replacement. This whole system is confusing and convoluted, so you might have a question or 17. That answers all of the most common ones we’ve been receiving from readers.
Before we get started, we should note that this offers ride priorities for Lightning Lanes via Genie+ and not Individual Lightning Lanes (ILL), which are pay-per-ride. At present, ILL attractions are Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. We are not keen on buying a la carte front of line access, so we recommend doing Space Mountain relatively early in the morning and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train right before Magic Kingdom closes (or in the early evening, if you can’t stay until park closing).
Now, on with the show & ride rankings for Genie+ at Magic Kingdom…
The Best of Genie+ at Magic Kingdom
1. Jungle Cruise – This one might come as a huge surprise, but Jungle Cruise has seen a huge resurgence in popularity since it’s recent reimagining. It is now, on average, the longest wait time in Magic Kingdom and the first Genie+ selection that books up for the day. We anticipate this newfound popularity being sustained during Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary.
2. Peter Pan’s Flight – Now this is probably more like it for those of you who booked FastPass+ reservations in the past! Peter Pan’s Flight is far and away the most popular of Magic Kingdom’s iconic Fantasyland dark rides, with wait times regularly exceeding 90 minutes. Its Lightning Lane reservations have yet to book up early in the day, but it’s still a savvy second pick.
3. Splash Mountain – Another unsurprising pick. Splash Mountain is the most popular ride in the Magic Kingdom Mountain Range, and that’s even truer now that the weather is warming. On most days, doing it third should put your Lightning Lane ride reservation midday, when the weather is hottest. That should be about perfect. Once summer rolls around, don’t be surprised if Splash Mountain jumps into the top 2.
4. Space Mountain – Through at least August 7, 2022, another Magic Kingdom Mountain Range ride moves over from the Individual Lightning Lane a la carte upcharge to the Genie+ lineup. Even though Space Mountain was treated as a “top 2” attraction by that, its wait times tend to be lower than everything in the top 3. Ride reservations do go faster for Space Mountain than the next ride on our list, though.
5. Festival of Fantasy Parade – While all of these are obviously optional, this is even more situation dependent, for lack of a better term. You can easily watch Festival of Fantasy Parade without a Cinderella Castle-facing view. This doesn’t necessarily save any time, it offers a reserved viewing area that’s arguably better than alternatives. Moreover, if you make all of the above selections, there’s a good chance Festival of Fantasy Parade will be gone. Basically, this option is for families with small children who won’t be able to do the Magic Kingdom Mountain Range, and perhaps won’t want to do some other attractions.
6. Haunted Mansion – This one might come as a surprise, but Haunted Mansion’s average wait time since the launch of Genie+ has ranked it #4 in Magic Kingdom, ahead of Splash Mountain and Space Mountain! We’ve moved it down a spot since the launch occurred during Halloween season and Haunted Mansion tends to have better Genie+ availability, but it should be a high priority–Haunted Mansion had long lines even this summer.
7. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Another Magic Kingdom Mountain Range entry, so this one probably doesn’t need much explanation. If anything, you might wonder why Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ranks this low. It’s all a matter of average wait times–which have been moderate–and Genie+ availability–which has been abundant. Both of those things could change, but for now, there’s no need to prioritize BTMRR any earlier.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean – Similar story to Haunted Mansion with Pirates of the Caribbean. Standby waits have been long, so you’re potentially bypassing a lengthy line when using the Lightning Lane for PotC. On the plus side, it seldom runs out of reservation availability in Genie+, except during the busier seasons.
9. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Lines can fluctuate dramatically for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, with waits some days exceeding 60 minutes and it being a near walk-on other days. If you’re visiting when it’s busier, scoring a Lightning Lane reservation here will be important–especially since the overflow queue is outdoors and offers minimal shade. Most days thus far, Genie+ has had instant return times. We’ll revisit and re-rank Space Ranger Spin if that changes.
10. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – The argument could be made that Winnie the Pooh’s Fantasyland dark ride should be in the top 5. Its average wait time puts it there and, subjectively, the wait in the standby line is excruciating (I speak from experience). However, Genie+ availability has been abundant, and the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is more skippable due to its quality (or lack thereof) than the attractions above it.
11. “it’s a small world” – This famous–or infamous, depending upon your perspective–Fantasyland boat ride has not had long wait times historically, but they’ve spiked in recent months. Some days, using the Lightning Lane entrance will bypass a 45 minute (or more) wait, making this a potentially strong Genie+ ride reservation. (Other days, it’ll save you no time at all.)
12. Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid – It’s a very similar story here. If the standby line for the Little Mermaid dark ride spills out into the walkway, this can be a 45 to 60 minute wait. Most of the time, this ‘people-eater’ attraction will have pretty short waits, though. Still, it’s easy to grab a nearly-immediate return time via Genie+, and the potential savings make it a recommended pick for late afternoon.
13. Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Another iconic Magic Kingdom rite-of-passage attraction that’s a real wildcard. Standby waits here can be long, but so too can Lightning Lane waits if you get unlucky. Nevertheless, we’d recommend using Genie+ for it on busier days, as there’s solid time-savings potential.
14. Princess Character Sightings – Cinderella and a Visiting Princess or Tiana and a Visiting Princess are available for this, which is not a traditional meet & greet. Rather, these character sightings at Walt Disney World offer individualized time indoors for selfies and posed photos, but are physically distanced—meaning no hugs or autographs.
15. Mickey Mouse Character Sighting – Same deal here, but with Mickey Mouse. One thing to note here for former FastPass+ users is that these sightings are not nearly as popular as traditional meet & greets and their standby lines move much faster. There are a few reasons for that. First, the lack of PhotoPass. Many guests are surprised to find no photographers and move quickly through after snapping a selfie or quick shot. Second, it’s also likely that at least some guests don’t want masked vacation photos. Finally, no hugs and autographs speeds up the process and makes it solely about the photos.
The Rest of Genie+ at Magic Kingdom
Barnstormer – This kiddie coaster can have long waits on the busiest days of the year, but so far, we’ve found Genie+ to offer almost no advantage here. Get it if you can, but don’t sweat standby.
Mad Tea Party – The iconic spinning teacup is fun, but averages wait times under 15 minutes. Again, use Genie+ if you can (because why not), but it’s not a huge deal otherwise.
Magic Carpets of Aladdin – This is like a knock-off county fair version of Dumbo. We don’t recommend doing it at all–we’d wait in a longer standby line for Astro Orbiter if truly needing our spinner fix.
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor – Using Genie+ here on busier days might get you in one show earlier than you otherwise would’ve making this a potential ‘sleeper pick’ for the Lightning Lane.
Tomorrowland Speedway – Unless vehicle exhaust-induced cognitive impairment and the loud putter of engines is your thing, you’ll want to be in and out of line as quickly as possible here. That also makes it a good sleeper pick for use of Genie+ and the Lightning Lane. Right now, that’s not necessary, but on a busier day, this could sneak into the top 10.
Ultimately, you should be able to knock out all 22 attractions via Genie+ using Lightning Lanes on a good day in Magic Kingdom. On a bad day, you might only be able to do the top 10. On an awful day, it might be the top 5. So plan accordingly based on the crowds when you’ll be visiting, and also give yourself as many other advantages as possible–like Early Entry, rope drop, or Extended Evening Hours.
Regardless of when you’re visiting, Genie+ will save you more time at Magic Kingdom–and allow you to have a more leisurely day–than at any other Walt Disney World park. This is what makes buying it our recommendation for most people and on most days of the year. Even if it requires a bit of a splurge, cut the cost out of your Walt Disney World vacation budget somewhere else.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
How would you rank your ride priorities using Genie+ and Lightning Lanes in Magic Kingdom? Surprised to see Jungle Cruise at #1? Are you planning on buying Genie+ or skipping it? Do you agree or disagree with our rankings? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!