Lightning Lane & Genie+ at Disney World Guide & FAQ

This guide to Genie+ and Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World explains paid FastPass, with answers frequently asked questions about ride reservations, line-skipping, and itinerary tools for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Plus, tips & tricks, how to use the 120 minute rule to strategically stack and save time! (Updated January 15, 2024.)

Since the Genie system launched, we’ve been in the parks extensively testing it out and sharing results in our posts about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. Those are good reads for those wanting to understand how Genie works in practice, problems we have using ride reservations, and all of the latest updates to the ride reservation system.

Unsurprisingly, there have still been a lot of questions–even from seasoned Walt Disney World veterans. The bad news is that the Genie system is convoluted and confusing, with a ton of differences from free FastPass. The good news is some changes have been positive, and Genie+ is now better and easier to use than it was at launch. This FAQ and Guide to Genie+ will answer the most common reader questions and concerns, making you a ‘power user’ of Genie+ in the process!

Let’s start with the changes to start 2024. The biggest of these are the end of theme park reservations for most regular guests and return of all-day Park Hopping. With this, the Genie+ system has become easier to use and with fewer ‘rules’ about where you can subsequent Lightning Lane selections. The end of these policies is very welcome and overdue, and reduces friction from the guest experience at Walt Disney World.

Next on the horizon is the advance booking of Lightning Lanes is coming to Genie+ at Walt Disney World in 2024. Unlike the return of unlimited Park Hopping and end of Park Pass reservations, pre-arrival ride reservations have not yet been rolled out. It wouldn’t be surprising if the new system doesn’t launch until Spring 2024…or perhaps even later if there are technical difficulties.

If you’re anxiously awaiting the new system, see When Will Lightning Lane Pre-Arrival Ride Reservations Start at Walt Disney World? That offers our predicted launch date, along with other expectations about how advance booking will work. In all likelihood, this is going to look a lot like FastPass+ but paid.

Whenever it does change, it’s likely that advance booking of Lightning Lanes will (again) radically overhaul the entire system, rendering much of this obsolete. In other words, there’s no point in “studying” this guide now to prepare for Walt Disney World vacations in the second half of 2024–a lot will be different when you visit! If you’d like to receive Genie+ news as more is announced, subscribe to our FREE Walt Disney World email newsletter for updates.

In the meantime, Genie+ per-park pricing debuted at Walt Disney World over the summer. This is very similar to how single-day park admission works; the less popular parks (Animal Kingdom and EPCOT) cost less, and the more popular parks (Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) are priced higher. Those who want the Park Hopping or Multiple Parks option will pay the highest rates of all, but that has always been identical to Magic Kingdom pricing thus far.

The above screenshot shows prices for the peak week of the holiday season, which is the record high for prices at Walt Disney World. It’s likely that rates will be at or around this level for various dates during Spring Break season, and potentially even higher once pre-arrival Lightning Lanes launch. There are also slower stretches in between, and Genie+ prices will drop during those time frames.

Our final update is that Genie+ has had intermittent issues and multi-hour system wide outages from time to time. We mention this because, in the event that you have these issues, you should just cut your losses and proceed with your day using regular park touring strategy. Not only will you waste your time continuing to try getting it to work, but you’ll likely become frustrated and discouraged in the process.

Trust us: Genie+ is not worth having a meltdown over, and this almost certainly is not a “user error” issue. When the system isn’t working, it’s not working. There’s nothing you can do to change the outcome–just go about your day and request a refund later at your convenience.

Before you get carried away with the prospect of being a Genie+ power user, let’s offer an additional few words of caution. You do not need to buy Genie+ or use Lightning Lanes to have a fun and productive day at Walt Disney World. To the contrary, this feature in the My Disney Experience app can be frustrating due to its unfriendly user interface, propensity for glitches, and the fact that it’ll increase your screen time.

To that end, check out Best Time-Saving Strategies for Walt Disney World, which is the result of extensive ‘testing’ to determine the best and worst ways to beat the crowds. Genie+ is only the clear winner at Magic Kingdom. In the other 3 parks, there are superior strategies for saving time waiting in line. Even Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which has a lot of popular rides with long lines, has better ways to beat the crowds.

Let this also serve as a good reminder for those who are frustrated by glitches or system outages and are worried the lack of Genie+ will ruin your Walt Disney World vacation. It really won’t…unless you let it! (So simply do not do that, and instead pivot to different–and sometimes superior–strategy if Genie+ is giving you problems or headaches.) Anyway, we strongly recommend checking out that comparison and building your itineraries accordingly.

Much of the user experience with Genie+ is crowd-dependent. When school is in session, the price of Genie+ typically drops and it becomes better and easier to use. Around holidays and other school breaks, not only does the cost increase, but the ‘quality’ decreases. Despite that higher price, more people buy Genie+ resulting in more competition for the best Lightning Lanes.

In other words: the busier the parks, the more people who buy the Genie+ service; the more people who buy it, the less useful it is. On some days and in some parks, you might only score a couple of worthwhile ride reservations–making it not worth the money or frustrations.

We’ve found that the ‘sweet spot’ for Genie+ is on moderately-busy days. If crowds are too low, Genie+ is unnecessary; if they’re too high, Genie+ will only help you on a few rides before it runs out of reservation inventory. (See When You Should SKIP Genie+ at Walt Disney World for more guidance on this.)

See our 2024 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar for a rundown of dates that have high crowd levels–as discussed above, those correspond with both higher prices and a higher likelihood of Genie+ selling out.

On a positive note, the usability of Genie+ has improved as compared to last year. That comes with a higher price, but it’s good that the paid FastPass service is now usable even on busier days. Other tweaks have also been made that have made Genie+ better and easier to use. The addition of the modify button (discussed below) is a huge improvement that improves the service considerably. Beyond that, the Genie+ length of stay ticket add-on is no longer available, which alone cuts down the number of people using Lightning Lanes by a significant number.

With that out of the way, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World as of Winter 2024. This will help you master Genie+ and leverage it to score more ride reservations than the average guest!

What happened to the free FastPass+ system?

FastPass+ has been permanently retired at Walt Disney World. Genie+ is the permanent replacement, and is very different.

What are Lightning Lanes, the paid Genie+ service, free Genie feature, and a la carte attraction selections or Individual Lightning Lanes (ILLs)?

This FAQ assumes you’re already familiar with the differences between the various components of the new Genie system. For a full breakdown and foundational knowledge, see Lighting Lanes vs. Genie+ at Walt Disney World.

What is the free Genie service in the My Disney Experience app?

The free Disney Genie service in the My Disney Experience app will “maximize your park time” via a personalized itinerary feature that will “quickly and seamlessly map out an entire day.”

You can read our Review of Walt Disney World’s Free Genie Itinerary Creator for more info on why this is such a letdown and pointless feature. Accordingly, we won’t be wasting any additional time covering it here.

Genie+ Basics

What is the main or most important element of the new system?

In our view, Genie+ is more significant than Individual Lightning Lanes. We mostly recommend planning around the latter–doing those rides at rope drop or late in the evening so you don’t have to pay extra per-ride.

Can Genie+ selections be made 60 days in advance like FastPass+?

No. Genie+ is a same-day ride reservation system and selections can be made starting at 7 am for everyone, regardless of whether you’re on-site, off-site, Annual Passholder, DVC, etc.

The inability to pre-book any ride reservations has been one of the most common complaints we’ve heard from readers. However, this is coming from veteran vacation planners. First timers likely do not share the same sentiment. To the contrary, too much planning is a common complaint from Walt Disney World newbies.

With all of that said, Walt Disney World has indicated that advance-booking of Lightning Lanes is coming at some point. No other details have been released, but our expectation is that it’ll be a “compromise” between the old FastPass+ protocol and current Genie+ same-day system.

What is the cost of Genie+ at Walt Disney World?

You might see outdated resources indicating that Genie+ costs $15 per day plus tax. That changed several months ago when Walt Disney World switched to date-based pricing for the Genie+ service. This means that on days when demand is projected to be higher at Walt Disney World, Genie+ will cost more.

In addition to that, as noted above, there is now per-park pricing, meaning that Genie+ costs more for a multi-park option, and at Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Prices are lower by comparison at EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, but still not less than they were a year ago when the price was a constant $15 per day for all 4 parks.

Genie+ pricing now works very similarly to the date-based ticket system, minus the pre-published calendar with prices for each month–you won’t know how much Genie+ costs until logging into My Disney Experience the day of your visit. With that said, we’d expect the cost of Genie+ to more or less be tethered to tickets, so it should be relatively easy to surmise based on the 1-day ticket calendar.

Since the change, Genie+ prices have ranged from $15 to $39 before tax. We expect prices around $40 to happen again starting in mid-March 2024, and around $25 on off-peak dates between now and then. Mardi Gras, Presidents’ Day, and Mid-Winter Break will also see elevated prices.

When can Genie+ be purchased?

Genie+ service can be purchased as an in-app purchase via the My Disney Experience app beginning at 12:00 am on the date of their visit/use. We’ve simply bought Genie+ at about 6:50 am, shortly before making our first ride reservation–it takes about 30 seconds to buy via My Disney Experience.

Can Genie+ be bought as a ticket add-on?

Not anymore.

Walt Disney World eliminated the Genie+ ticket add-on, which angered many fans. With advance booking of Lightning Lanes returning sometime in 2024, it follows that advance purchases will also return. Whether it’s as a ticket add-on or something else remains to be seen.

Which attractions are available via the Genie+ service?

Here’s the official Genie+ list of attractions:

Magic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
  • Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Mickey and Minnie at Town Square Theater
  • Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Space Mountain
  • Goofy’s Barnstormer
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

Epcot

  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Mission Space
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage
  • Disney Jr. Play & Dance
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • MuppetVision 3D
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours — The Adventures Continue
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania

Animal Kingdom

  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Dinosaur
  • Expedition Everest
  • Feathered Friends in Flight
  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • The Animation Experience at Conservation Station

Which Genie+ selections are the “best” ones?

We actually rank the best Genie+ Lightning Lane picks for each park based upon time saved and how quickly return times fill up and run out. This is incredibly helpful for choosing the order to book your ride reservations:

Since popular rides run out of reservations early in the day and there are no re-rides, we’d strongly recommend making your Genie+ Lightning Lane selections in order of those priorities, or risk getting “shut out” of headliner attractions like Slinky Dog Dash, Frozen Ever After, Jungle Cruise, etc.

How important is it to make a Genie+ reservation right at 7 am–will we be penalized for sleeping in?

Guests who book their first Genie+ selection at or around 7 am will be at an advantage, but certainly not an insurmountable one.

It’s okay to sleep in, but we’d recommend booking something before park opening. The “why” of this is explained in You Do NOT Need to Get Up at 7 am for Genie+ at Walt Disney World.

I’m booking right at 7:00:00 am and am STILL not getting immediate return times–what gives?

You’re not alone–there’s fierce competition right at 7 am, resulting in return times going fast for certain popular attractions. Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Frozen Ever After are all among the rides that go quickest.

Far and away the most popular is Slinky Dog Dash, which can fill up in seconds or minutes, depending upon the season. For this attraction and whenever possible, follow our Speed Strategy for Genie+ Selections.

Is refreshing and rebooking ride reservations possible with Genie+ like it was with FastPass+?

Yes, and it is easier with the introduction of a modify button. As explained in How to Modify Lightning Lane Ride Reservations: A Genie+ Gamechanger!, you can now play the ‘refresh game’ and get better or more convenient return times, and also search for availability at other attractions without losing your existing Lightning lane ride reservation.

Previously, there was no way to modify a Genie+ reservation, so you had to cancel and rebook, which was a tedious process. By the time you got back to the booking screen, what you saw when refreshing was usually gone. Not only that, but cancelling and rebooking reset the clock on the 120 minute rule. With the addition of the modify button, all of that has been fixed.

Is more availability added to Genie+ throughout the day?   

Yes.

If you have trouble loading the app or have an error at 7:00 am (which happens much more than you might think), it can be better to wait ]instead of booking the first Lightning Lane selection you see at 7:03 am (or thereabouts).

There tend to be two refills before 7:30 am, plus others throughout the day, usually shortly after the hour or half-hour. See Ride Reservation Refill Rules at Walt Disney World for more on this added availability throughout the day. This can make it much easier to book Lightning Lanes for the best attractions.

With the introduction of the modify button, searching for ride reservation refills is now easier than ever. Combined, the two strategies can be leveraged to score several more Lightning Lane selections per day.

I’m having trouble visualizing how Genie+ works in the parks, any insight?

For step-by-step single day itinerary using Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, see our series of posts:

Like all of this, those sample itineraries might be overwhelming and discouraging. Just keep in mind that a normal touring plan might also be overwhelming and discouraging for first-timers. Walt Disney World is one of the most complicated and convoluted vacation destinations on the planet, and it only becomes “easy” with knowledge and experience.

Is per-park pricing better or worse for guests?

Walt Disney World claims that per-park pricing was introduced to “simplify” the Genie+ service and “improve the experience” in response to guest feedback. We highly doubt anyone asked for this, and it certainly doesn’t improve anything or make it simpler. But does it make things worse?

Eh, that’s debatable. This may seem like a lateral move, as two parks are now less expensive and two parks are now more expensive on average. In theory, that’s true. However, one of the two less expensive parks is Animal Kingdom, and Genie+ was not necessary there in the first place. Not only that, but anyone who has Park Hopper tickets is either going to need to purchase the multi-park Genie+ option or lose the ability to make Lightning Lane reservations in the subsequent parks they visit each day, meaning Genie+ is less useful.

In practice, the end result is that per-park pricing is effectively a disguised price increase for normal visitors to Walt Disney World. The only people who truly come out ahead are those who disproportionately do EPCOT and Animal Kingdom and buy Genie+ in those parks but not at Magic Kingdom or DHS. That’s an exceedingly small minority of Walt Disney World visitors.

How many Genie+ attractions can guests book per day?

That’s highly variable, and dependent upon which attractions you choose, their return times, park, and attendance levels. The Genie+ system works better for most guests who make their first selections early in the morning and are diligent about booking subsequent selections.

Even on the most crowded days of the year, we have been able to book at least 3 attractions via Genie+. During the off-season, we’ve been able to exceed a dozen Park Hopping between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. With that said, some readers have shared horror stories about only being able to score one or two selections during peak dates.

If you want an idea of how hard using Genie+ is on a 10/10 crowd level day, see My Day Using Genie+ Lightning Lanes in Peak Crowds at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That’s good reading for anyone visiting Walt Disney World during the busy travel seasons. You can also check out Best Way to Use Genie+ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a partial-day approach that’ll avoid a lot of common headaches at Walt Disney World’s most frustrating park.

Individual Lightning Lane Basics

Which attractions are available for Individual Lightning Lane purchase?

Here’s the full list of Walt Disney World’s Individual Lightning Lanes:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom
  • TRON Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom

How much do Individual Lightning Lane attractions cost at Walt Disney World?

Currently, Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) prices start at $11 per attraction and go up to $25 per person depending upon the ride and dates. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is usually most expensive at $20.

Throughout the year, prices may be lower on some days and higher on other days. See our Guide to Individual Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World for everything else you need to know about price ranges, ILL availability, and much more.

When can Individual Lightning Lane attractions be booked?

Guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel are able to purchase and schedule the first Individual Lightning Lane attraction at 7 am, ahead of off-site guests, who can to do so when the park opens.

TRON Lightcycle Run, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance book up fast on busier days. If you’re not staying on-site, you may not even have a chance to buy ILLs for that trio. On slow to moderately-crowded days, you should have a shot.

How many Individual Lightning Lane attraction reservations can each guest book per day?

Two, and those reservations must be at different attractions. (In other words, no doing Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance–or anything else–twice.)

Can you choose times for Individual Lightning Lane rides?

Yes.

Pending availability, you can select your return time slot for Individual Lightning Lane attractions. What we’ve seen so far is that earlier in the day tends to fill up first, and evenings are last to sell out.

Other Common Genie+ and ILL Questions

I’m having a problem with [insert technical difficulty], what am I doing wrong?

It’s probably not a “you problem,” but rather, a “system error.”

Like so much of Walt Disney World technology, the whole Genie system is incredibly glitchy, prone to crashes, downtime, and other assorted errors. About the best technical troubleshooting we can offer is to force close My Disney Experience and reopen the app. That probably won’t fix the issue, but it’s worth trying.

Are there better or worse days for using Genie+ or booking Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World?

As a general matter, the lower the crowds, the more success you’ll have with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.

See our 2024 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar for recommendations when it comes to choosing months, weeks, or specific dates for visiting. If you’ve already chosen your dates but want day-of-week recommendations for each park, see our Best & Worst Days of the Week to Visit Each Park at Walt Disney World.

Can we purchase both Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane access?

Yes.

Since there is no overlap between what’s covered by Genie+ and by ILLs, guests may purchase both.

If a guest purchases one Individual Lightning Lane reservation at 7 am, does this interfere or prevent them from making Genie+ selections?

The system allow both to be booked simultaneously, as they work independently of one another, and each have their own cost.

As a practical matter, we’d recommend making your first Individual Lightning Lane reservation at least a couple of hours after park opening so it doesn’t conflict with your first Genie+ selection–or doing rides via standby before crowds build.

You mentioned booking Slinky Dog Dash and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance right at 7 am…how?

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to the most popular Genie+ attraction and the most popular Individual Lightning Lane attraction in all of Walt Disney World. Both of these often book up within seconds of 7 am, which 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.

Can the same attraction be booked multiple times with the Genie+ service?

No, re-rides are not currently possible.

As with anything, this is subject to change as the system evolves.

How many ride reservations can be made at a time with the Genie+ service?

Guests are able to make one reservation at a time–with the ability to make a subsequent reservation immediately upon tapping into an attraction or pursuant to the 120 minute rule.

What’s the 120 minute rule?

The way Genie+ ride reservations work is that you can book one at a time, and can either make another selection after two hours (120 minutes) or once you tap into your previous Genie+ selection (both tapstiles at attractions that have two)—whichever comes first.

That just barely scratches the surface. For full details, see How the Genie+ 120 Minute Rule Works at Walt Disney World.

In the morning, when does the clock start ticking on the 120 minute rule?

There’s a lot of confusion as to whether the clock starts running at 7 am (or whenever your first ride reservation is made), or at park opening. It does not start until park opening.

To illustrate, let’s say that you make your first Lightning Lane selection at 7:15 am, booking Jungle Cruise with an 1 pm to 2 pm return window, and Magic Kingdom opens for the day at 9:00 am, you can make your next Lightning Lane selection via Genie+ at 11 am. In other words, 120 minutes after 9 am.

Can I hold multiple Genie+ selections simultaneously?

Yes!

Walt Disney World’s official wording is confusing, but it’s possible to “stack” Genie+ selections. In fact, there are quirks to the system that make it possible to accumulate Lightning Lane reservations via Genie+ later in the day. If you want to leverage this, read our Tips for “Stacking” Genie+ Ride Reservations.

Is it possible to return early or late to Genie+ ride reservations?

Yes.

You can tap into Lightning Lanes up to 5 minutes early and up to 15 minutes late. These are automatic grace periods, and you do not have to ask a Cast Member for them–tapping in will simply work. (In fact, don’t ask a Cast Member, as they might tell you there is no grace period, which is wrong.) No exceptions are granted beyond that.

Can guests choose return times via Genie+?

No.

This is just like the old paper FastPass system–you receive the earliest available 1-hour return window, with no option to choose later or earlier times.

What if that conflicts with other plans, ADRs, or ride reservations?

Genie+ will not stop you from making overlapping plans, so you need to monitor this yourself and make sure it doesn’t happen.

If a specific attraction’s return time conflicts with your schedule, either select a different attraction with a return time that isn’t problematic, or wait 5-10 minutes until the clock moves forward on return times and eliminates the conflict.

Which parks do you recommend buying Genie+?

Genie+ is most useful at Magic Kingdom due to that park having the highest number of popular attractions with Lightning Lane entrances. It’s second most useful at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, due to the number of headliner rides in that park. It has become more useful at Epcot now that Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever After are both included in the service, but it can be difficult to score Lightning Lanes for both.

Genie+ is least useful at Animal Kingdom due to the low ride counts. However, operating hours make it easy to split a Genie+ day between Epcot and Animal Kingdom–we cover that in My Morning in Animal Kingdom Using Genie+ and My Afternoon in Epcot Using Genie+.

How does Genie+ compare to Express Pass at Universal? 

Not at all, really. Aside from both being line-skipping services, they are fundamentally different in just about every other material way.

If you’re really curious about how the two stack up and which is better, see Universal’s Express Pass vs. Lightning Lanes & Genie+ at Walt Disney World.

How are groups be able to make Genie+ reservations?

Guests have the ability to select family and friends in My Disney Experience during the ride reservation process, and one person can complete the process for everyone. (It should go without saying, but Genie+ needs to be purchased for every single guest who wants to use the service.)

Can only certain guests in my party book certain Genie+ reservations?

Yes.

It’s incredibly flexible–if half your party wants to do one ride and the other half wants to do another, that’s entirely possible. You select who is riding during the Genie+ selection process.

Can only certain guests within a party choose to purchase Individual Lightning Lane access?

Yes.

Same process as describing above for selecting/deselecting members of your party to buy ILLs.

Does this system work with MagicBands?

Yes. It also works with the MagicBand+.

With that said, MagicBands are not required. You can use your park tickets or MagicMobile via your phone instead if you don’t have MagicBands.

What about virtual queues?

Lightning Lanes are separate and distinct from virtual queues, which are currently in use at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and TRON Lightcycle Run.

You can join the free virtual queue and also pay for an Individual Lightning Lane. The former is an alternative to a standby line whereas the latter skips the line. Even though it’s “virtual,” you’ll still have a longer wait for the ride upon returning to the virtual queue than you will with the Lightning Lane.

What else does Genie+ include at Walt Disney World?

Ride reservations and line-skipping via the Lightning Lane on the aforementioned attractions plus AR filters for photos and guided audio tours of the parks.

Does Genie+ include PhotoPass downloads?

Yes. Guests who purchase Genie+ also receive digital downloads of their Disney PhotoPass attraction photos, taken in the park on the day of their purchase, at no additional charge. On-ride photos are taken while in the parks at more than a dozen of Walt Disney World’s most popular attractions including Space Mountain, Slinky Dog Dash, Test Track, Expedition Everest, TRON Lightcycle Run, and more.

Note that this only applies to on-ride photos. If you go up to a PhotoPass photographer in the park, the resulting photos will not be offered to you for free as part of the Genie+ service.

Does Genie+ and/or Individual Lightning Lane attractions work with Park Hopping?

Yes.

You can reserve attractions in a different park than the one where you started your day. Now that all-day Park Hopping has been restored, there are no limitations on this. You might see references to “after 2 p.m.” in other posts–this is now outdated information.

What has changed with standby lines?

Nothing.

Regular ole walk-up standby lines are still available on all attractions except Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

Is there an on-site advantage with Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes?

Not with Genie+, but those staying on-site are able to purchase ILLs at 7 am instead of park opening time.

Are other on-site perks possible down the road?

That remains to be seen. Walt Disney World has on-site hotel occupancy targets that are incredibly important metrics. If bookings are low or cancellations continue, expect to see more incentives to stay on-site, including the potential for Genie+ included with select stays.

Can Annual Passholders purchase Genie+ or ILLs?

Annual Passholders may purchase Individual Lightning Lanes or add Genie+ on a per-day basis, just like regular theme park ticket holders.

Demand has been incredibly high for Genie+ in Florida. With fewer eligible attractions, the capacity probably does not exist for a Walt Disney World AP add-on. Don’t expect to see one anytime soon.

Are there Annual Passholder or DVC Member discounts?

Not currently.

However, this could happen at some point in 2024 as Walt Disney World looks to improve guest satisfaction. Now that the ticket add-on has ended, Lightning Lane availability has improved, and offering a discount to APs and DVC Members could be a good way to spike sales while also improving guest goodwill among those groups.

Will these systems force me to be glued to my phone all day?

Using the Genie systems definitely requires phone use throughout the day–there’s no way around that. However, it could be as little as a couple of minutes every 90 to 120 minutes, or shortly after entering an attraction queue. It won’t be necessary to be constantly on your phone.

With that said, just as before with FastPass+, it’s likely that those guests who refresh the app compulsively and are diligent about making reservations will be at an advantage.

What about guests without smartphones?

They are out of luck.

Guests without My Disney Experience will be unable to use Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, and instead will be stuck with standby.

How does this impact Single Rider or Rider Switch?

It doesn’t.

Recent changes were made to Rider Switch to better work with this system; those guests use the Lightning Lane entrances for access to attractions that offer rider switch/swap.

What changes have been made to Disability Access Service?

Two features have debuted with Disability Access Service (DAS): pre-arrival registration and planning via live video chart and a same-day DAS return time self-selection tool. These have now launched–read about them in Guide to Disability Access Service (DAS) at Walt Disney World.

We strongly suspect more changes to DAS are coming in 2024. In fact, another system overhaul would not surprise us in the least.

Disney said: “We’ve been listening to your feedback — you want planning to be easier, you want more flexibility and you want better tools to help you make the most of your visit — and that’s exactly what Disney Genie is here to do.” Is it really, though?!?

Lol.

You just read 6,000+ words about this “easier” and “better” tool and there’s a good chance you still have questions. What do you think? 😉

How can we provide feedback to Walt Disney World about Genie+ or Lightning Lanes?

We recommend respectfully expressing your opinions as to how Genie+ or Lightning Lane will impact your vacations or business with Walt Disney World by email [email protected].

This is far superior to complaining in comments, social media, forums, etc. (Although Disney sees all of that, too.) Rather than starting petitions, which are largely ineffectual, share feedback in guest satisfaction surveys, bring it up if you speak with managers or others in park leadership, or even contact Guest Relations.

Walt Disney World has already announced that Genie+ and Lightning Lanes will continue to evolve in 2024, so everything above is subject to change. In other words, the “rules” and how Genie+ works will continue to evolve and we will update our recommendations accordingly.

There actually already have been ‘seasonal’ changes, with some Individual Lightning Lane attractions shifted over to Genie+ and parade viewing added in order to help with demand and capacity. We’ll continue to keep you posted, as more changes are likely on the horizon starting that holiday weekend. We’ll also continue updating this FAQ as we learn more and we receive more reader questions.

This should answer most of the questions that readers have been asking about the Genie+ app feature and Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World. There have been a lot of questions, so if we didn’t address yours, we apologize. Please post in the comments below and we’ll answer more as they’re asked!

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

Have any questions we didn’t answer with the above FAQ? Still confused by how Genie+ or Lightning Lanes work? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Other thoughts or concerns? 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!

524 Responses to “Lightning Lane & Genie+ at Disney World Guide & FAQ”
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