Individual Lightning Lanes at Disney World: Prices, Sell Outs & How to Buy

Individual Lightning Lanes are pay-per-ride access at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood, and Animal Kingdom. Guests can buy line-skipping privileges at the most popular attractions in each park. This guide covers pricing, when attractions are selling out and how to book ILLs. Plus, the best ones to buy–and why we don’t recommend purchasing the others. (Updated May 27, 2022.)

The first thing you need to know is that Individual Lightning Lane attractions are not included in the Genie+ service. Think of that as a paid “FastPass Minus,” which is to say that it’s like FastPass+, except it costs $16 per person per day, and excludes 2 rides per park that are ILL. (That’s an unfortunate acronym, but perhaps it’s meant to evoke how you’ll feel after dropping ~$28 for your family to skip a 5 minute wait for Expedition Everest!)

We’ve address the differences between Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes in numerous posts, including our Guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ. We’re not going to rehash those foundational differences here, so please refer to that if you’re still confused. Instead, we’ll focus on how to buy the pay-per-ride Individual Lightning Lanes, pricing, and how ILL is selling thus far…

Before that, a quick housekeeping note. Walt Disney World has used several terms to refer to this same line-skipping option: a la carte Lightning Lanes, Individual Attraction Selections (IAS), and individual Lightning Lanes–all interchangeably–when referring to this.

These all mean the same thing. Typically, Disney now refers to this pay-per-ride option as Individual Lightning Lanes, but you might seem other terms used here and there. Essentially, these are the Lightning Lanes that are not part of Genie+. They’re the ones available for the most popular attractions with the longest waits in each park. (It still can be confusing, but hopefully that helps.)

If that wasn’t complicated enough already, Walt Disney World moved Individual Lightning Lane attractions to Genie+ for the spring and summer months. Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios, Frozen Ever After at Epcot, and Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom will be included in the flat-rate Disney Genie+ service and will not be sold a la carte as Individual Lightning Lanes through at least August 7, 2022.

In addition to that, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot will be added to Genie+ beginning May 31, 2022. It will also not be sold as an Individual Lightning Lane through at least August 7, 2022. Our expectation is that all of these will permanently become Genie+ attractions, but Walt Disney World has not confirmed that yet. So for now, we’re leaving them in this guide. Just be mindful that you won’t be able to buy them individually until at least August 8, 2022.

Next, let’s take a look at Individual Lightning Lane pricing. Walt Disney World previously announced that prices will vary depending on the attraction and day of visit. Think of it like Express Lanes on highways—dynamic pricing that increases with demand.

It’s thus slightly inaccurate to say that prices have already “increased” on Individual Lightning Lanes. Rather, the service launched on a weekday when crowds were lower, and prices went up on the weekend when crowds were higher. If Genie launched on a weekend when prices were higher, we wouldn’t say they “decreased” once the weekdays rolled around. They’re going to be up and down with demand.

Here’s a look at high and low price points we’ve seen so far:

Magic Kingdom

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: high $12, low $10
  • Space Mountain: high $9, low $7

Epcot

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind: high $17, low $14
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure: high $11, low $8
  • Frozen Ever After: high $11, low $9

Hollywood Studios

  • Star Wars Rise of the Resistance: $15
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway: high $10, low $8

Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage: high $14, low $11
  • Expedition Everest: $7

It’s almost certain that we haven’t seen Individual Lightning Lane peak prices yet. Even though Walt Disney World didn’t increase prices last year for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve, that’s likely only because the system was so new and the company didn’t want to appear (overly) greedy.

When Disneyland’s version of Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes launched a couple of months after Walt Disney World, $20 was the maximum price for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. And as with the DHS version, that attraction sells out with regularity early in the morning even at the higher price point. In other words, current demand already suggests that the prices could likely go up significantly.

Despite that, Walt Disney World did not increase prices for Individual Lightning Lanes when debuting Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. In other posts before it debuted, we made public our guess that this would cost $20, with the caveat that we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it were $25 or even $30 per ride.

Instead, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is $17 for its opening weekend and $14 thereafter. Technically, that is a new record for an Individual Lightning Lane price at Walt Disney World…but only for a few days. After that, it comes in at $1 less expensive than Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. While we’re still not fans of paying per ride as a matter of principle, this was nice to see. You could say a pleasant surprise within general disappointment!

That brings us to our next topic: Individual Lightning Lane availability or lack thereof–what’s selling out and what’s readily available.

In Magic Kingdom, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train sells out with regularity, but usually lasts into the afternoon. By contrast, Space Mountain almost never sells out. There are some days when it has return times in the not-too-distant future, and low standby wait times as a result of the low demand.

Over at Epcot, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is doing pretty well, selling out most afternoons. The addition of a standby line (it previously used a virtual queue) hasn’t really changed the equation in terms of demand for the Individual Lightning Lane.

Similarly, Frozen Ever After usually has availability until the afternoon, but often sells out later in the day. This attraction also has an issue with standby times ballooning when there’s more demand for ILL, which in turn creates even more demand for the paid line-skipping option.

Finally, there’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Not much “data” on this one, as it’s only been sold as an Individual Lightning Lane for one morning as of this update. However, it sold out within seconds on that first morning, which comes as no surprise. Expect this to be a regular thing, with Cosmic Rewind going as quickly as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance on a daily basis.

As with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, buying an Individual Lightning Lane for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind might be a good idea. Our recommendation is having two adults up at 7:00 am, having one try for the virtual queue and the other ready to refresh the Tip Board at 7:00:01 if the other fails at the virtual queue.

Another alternative is doing the virtual queue first, and then waiting for a refill of the Individual Lightning Lane for Cosmic Rewind. See Ride Reservation Refill Rules at Walt Disney World for timing on when these typically occur. (For what it’s worth, I was able to do both the virtual queue and navigate over to buy an ILL on my own–but I’m pretty experienced with these systems.)

See our How to Ride Guardians of Galaxy Cosmic Rewind & Virtual Queue Speed Strategy for improving your odds of success at the free virtual queue. (For what it’s worth, we also recommend doing the virtual queue for your first time experiencing Cosmic Rewind as the Lightning Lane bypasses cool parts of the queue.)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to the other best-seller: Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. This Individual Lightning Lane attraction always sells out before DHS opens, which is when off-site guests are eligible to purchase. In fact, there are many mornings when it’s gone within minutes of 7 am.

To compound matters, DHS is also home to the unequivocally most popular Genie+ Lightning Lane attraction: Slinky Dog Dash. This presents a practical problem–how do you book both? There is no good way for one person to accomplish both beyond trying to do things quickly and hoping for the best. Realistically, you’ll want to have two adults awake at 7 am, with one booking Slinky Dog Dash and the other booking Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. For the best outcome, follow our Speed Strategy for Genie+ Selections.

With all of that said, if you’re only going to buy one Individual Lightning Lane, make it Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. This is the one big exception to our recommendation that you strategize around ILLs, and is for a few reasons. First, we think it’s the best attraction of all 82 at Walt Disney World. Second, it typically is the longest wait time in all 4 parks.

Finally, and most importantly, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the most unreliable attraction, with breakdowns occurring daily. If you jump into a multi-hour standby line, there’s moderate probability of downtime while you’re waiting. That not only means you’ll potentially be stuck in the same spot for an hour or so, but also that when Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance returns from downtime, it’ll have a backlog of Individual Lightning Lane guests–who are prioritized–to process before the standby line.

Speaking from experience, it is incredibly frustrating and a huge waste of time if this happens while you’re in the standby line. While we hate Individual Lightning Lanes as a matter of principle, we are also realists and recognize that vacation time is finite and has a per hour value. There’s also the reality that enduring a ride breakdown of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance while in the standby line could really put a damper on your day, and vacation as a whole.

For this reason alone, we recommend Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance during Early Entry, at the end of the night, or via the Individual Lightning Lane. The risk and potential for wasted time via standby during the middle of the day is simply too high. It’s not an overstatement or exaggeration to say that a negative standby experience with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance could ruin your day.

As for the other Individual Lightning Lane attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a similar story to Frozen Ever After. It’s typically available for quick turnaround times and often doesn’t sell out completely until later in the day; it seems to be doing fine from Disney’s perspective.

Animal Kingdom is where you’ll find one of Walt Disney World’s most popular attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage. This has sold pretty well, often being gone before afternoon while posting hour-plus or even triple digit standby wait times.

Conversely, there’s Expedition Everest. There have been some days and times when you could do the attraction faster via standby–literally. The time it takes to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane plus the delay between booking and using is longer than the walk-on wait times for Expedition Everest. It’s so unpopular that we’d be shocked if this ever returns to the ILL lineup.

Given all of the above, our expectation is that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance sees a price increase between now and the end of 2022. If I were visiting this year and planned on buying Individual Lightning Lane access on this Galaxy’s Edge headliner, I’d budget $25 per person for it. That’s not to say it’ll increase to that amount, but I would not bet against it.

There’s no shortage of demand for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Individual Lightning Lanes at present, and that’ll only increase along with crowds and as standby wait times likewise go up. Walt Disney World could potentially triple the price on that to $45 per person and still sell more of those Individual Lightning Lanes than they do for Expedition Everest or Space Mountain. With that said, Disney didn’t price Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at a higher level, so perhaps they want the appearance of not being overly greedy. There’s a first for everything!

Next, here’s how to book Individual Lightning Lanes…

There are a few different ways to make an initial purchase of Individual Lightning Lanes.

It’s entirely possible you’ll be prompted while browsing My Disney Experience or setting up the free Genie service, in which case you’d see something like the above.

You can also navigate to the Tip Board via the + button at the middle bottom of My Disney Experience or the hamburger button on the bottom right.

From there, you’ll see something similar to the above screen. Click the Individual Lightning Lane box for the attraction to which you’d like to buy line-skipping access.

From there, you’ll either see the screen above or one to select your party. This is pretty self-explanatory; you select the start time of available one-hour return windows.

Be sure to check your existing plans (tap the arrow next to “Plans During This Time” for a dropdown) to avoid significant overlap between Advance Dining Reservations, Genie+ selections, and other plans. My Disney Experience will not prevent you from booking conflicting plans–it’s up to you to make sure you’re not double-booked.

It’s also possible you’ll first be directed to this screen, where you can select which members of your party for whom you’d like to purchase Individual Lightning Lane access. This means that you do not need to purchase ILL for anyone who the ride might make physically ill, kids who are too short to ride, etc.

If you don’t see the above screen first, you can get to this point by tapping the “Edit” button to the right of your party on the time slot selection screen.

After confirming your party and selecting a time, you’re sent to a screen to review the details before completing the purchase.

If anything is inaccurate or you’d like to change it, tap the back arrow on the top left corner of the screen.

Otherwise, it’s on to enter or confirm your contact details, payment info, and agree to Disney’s terms & conditions before tapping purchase. Notably, Individual Lightning Lane prices do not include tax–just like the Genie+ service–which feels like nickel & diming on top of nickel & diming.

On a more humorous note, there’s a caveat above the terms & conditions that this Individual Lightning Lane can only be redeemed at Walt Disney World–near Orlando, Florida. If someone can’t distinguish between Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World, they are seriously going to be lost when it comes to the convoluted Genie system!

From there, you’ll receive a receipt with a lengthy confirmation number and order details that should look similar to the above. I say “should” because I’ve never actually bought Individual Lightning Lane access and have no intentions of doing so.

No offense to those who plan on buying these–to each their own–but it’s simply a line we’re not willing to cross, so to speak. While we are already fans of Genie+, that’s bundled access for multiple attractions that makes the whole day easier. This is different, as it means putting a price on a single attraction–all of which we have done many, many times over the years.

Beyond that, us buying Individual Lightning Lane access is not necessary “for the sake of research,” whereas testing and using Genie+ very much is. Since there are only 2 ILL rides per park, it’s pretty easy to rope drop one and do the other right before park closing and bypass the lines that way.

If anything, thinking up, trying, and testing other savvy strategy to bypass long waits at Individual Lightning Lane attractions will be a “fun” challenge. That’s more important to us than getting to skip the lines ourselves! We recommend a similar approach to most vacation planners who are on a tighter budget, with the one potential exception being Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. For the reasons outlined above, it can be a good use of money that minimizes headaches and saves a ton of time–but even then, doing it during Early Entry or at the end of the night is a viable alternative.

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!

YOUR THOUGHTS

What do you think of the pay-per-ride Individual Lightning Lane ride reservations? Planning on using this to skip standby lines, or do you prefer not to pay even more for an already expensive Walt Disney World vacation? Are you more likely to purchase Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes–or neither? Do you agree or disagree with our advice and assessment? 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!

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