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Disney Genie Plus Ultimate Guide + FREE Cheat Sheet!

Here’s everything you need to know about Disney Genie Plus and the Lightning Lanes plus a free cheat sheet to help you plan your trip!

slinky dog dash at disney world

Waiting in line is probably everyone’s least favorite part of a Disney World vacation.

You can avoid a lot of waiting with Disney Genie Plus and the Individual Lightning Lanes, but only if you know how to use them! 

In this post, I’ll answer all of your questions and show you how to get the most out of these services at Walt Disney World.

What is Disney Genie +?

disney genie plus screenshot for jungle cruise

Genie Plus is what replaced the FastPass system at Disney World in 2021. 

Disney Genie + will give you much shorter waits for some rides – for a fee. 

You access Genie+ in the My Disney Experience app. If you purchase it you can make “Lightning Lane” selections throughout the day. 

Read on to learn how to use Genie Plus and how to decide if you should spend the extra money for it on your vacation!

What is a Lightning Lane at Disney World? 

lightning lane at soarin epcot

Photo Credit: Siera Duiser

The Lightning Lane is a separate line (aka “queue”) at each attraction.

You must have a Lightning Lane reservation to use this queue and the wait will be much shorter than the regular “standby” line. 

For most attractions, the wait will typically be less than five minutes. 

How do the Lightning Lanes work at Disney World?

storm troopers at star wars rise of the resistance attraction

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

First, there are two different types of Lightning Lane attractions at Disney World. 

In a perfect world, Disney would have given them distinct names to keep confusion down. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that perfect world! 

First, purchasing Genie+ for the day will allow you to use the Lightning Lane at more than 40 attractions across the four parks. 

These are called the Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions.

Whether you purchase Genie+ or not, you can also buy access to the Lightning Lane at the eight most in-demand attractions. 

These are called the Individual Lightning Lane attractions. 

Genie+ won’t work to get you access to the Lightning Lane at these eight rides. You have to pay individually for these attractions. 

To help with confusion, I’m going to explain these one at a time. I’ve also color-coded the terms throughout the post to help you keep them straight!

How much does Genie + Cost? 

genie plus service screenshot $15 per day

In order to use the Genie+ Lightning Lanes, you will need to purchase Genie + for that day.

Purchasing Genie + costs $15 per day at Walt Disney World. 

This is $15 per person per day, so you can see that the costs can really add up. 

You do NOT have to buy it for every day of your ticket. More on this soon!

Disney Genie vs. Disney Genie +

screenshot of disney genie service in my disney experience app

Disney Genie is a free service within the My Disney Experience app. It is supposed to help you decide what to do in the theme parks based on your interests. 

However, I don’t suggest you actually follow the suggestions that the Disney Genie service provides!

The suggestions are designed to control crowds and won’t necessarily send you to the best attractions. 

On the other hand, Disney Genie + will help you avoid waiting in long lines all day long by giving you access to a special shorter queue.

If you learn how to use it, the quality of your vacation can increase dramatically. 

Is there a Disney Genie App? 

screenshot of disney genie app

No, there actually isn’t a separate Disney Genie app!

You access the Disney Genie service within the My Disney Experience app. 

When you open the app, you will see a link to the Disney Genie service right at the top of the screen after the welcome message. 

How Do I Buy Disney Genie Plus?

disney genie pass logo and tagline

There are two ways to purchase Genie +. 

The first is when you buy your park ticket. If you buy your tickets directly from Disney you can add Genie+ during checkout. 

I only suggest buying your tickets directly from Disney if you are getting one- or two-day tickets. Read about how to get the cheapest Disney World tickets in this post

After you select your tickets you will have the option to add the Disney Genie+ service to your ticket. 

tickets with genie plus already included

If you are buying three-day or longer tickets you will save money when you buy your tickets from my recommended ticket provider, Undercover Tourist.

You can buy discounted tickets with Genie+ already added for each day of your ticket. 

screenshot of buying genie plus in the my disney experience app

Alternatively, you can add Genie+ one day at a time in the My Disney Experience app. 

You can purchase Disney Genie + for that upcoming day starting at midnight. Adding it day-by-day will give you more flexibility with just a little more hassle. 

Depending on how busy the parks are when you visit, you may not need it for every park every day.

When Can I Start Making Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections?

front of hollywood tower of terror

Tower of Terror is a Genie+ Lightning Lane attraction

Provided you have your park ticket, park reservation, and your Disney Genie pass all ready to go, you can make your first Genie+ Lightning Lane selection starting at 7 am each day. 

Regardless of whether you are staying at a Disney resort or not, all guests can now begin making Genie+ Lightning Lane selections at 7 am every morning. 

How Do I Make Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections? 

screenshot of my disney experience with genie plus

When you open your My Disney Experience app, you’ll see at the very top where you can tap “My Day” or “View My Day”.

Tapping this will take you to Disney Genie where you can make your Lightning Lane selections. 

disney genie plus tip board

By far the easiest way to make Genie+ Lightning Lane selections is through the Tip Board.

I found the “My Day” section to be very confusing and not helpful – I suggest ignoring it. 

options in genie plus in my disney experience

Once you are in the Tip Board you’ll see all of your options for Genie+ Lightning Lane selections.

Note that your only option for a Lightning Lane reservation is the next available return time for each attraction. You can’t choose from multiple options like you could with FastPass. 

I’m sure you are wondering what attractions you will want to make Lightning Lane selections for first. Keep reading and I will give you my tips!

disney genie+ lightning lane confirmation screen

Once you make a Genie+ Lightning Lane selection you will see a confirmation screen like this.

You will be able to see any Lightning Lane selections you currently hold in the My Day part of Disney Genie. 

When can I make additional Genie+ Lightning Lane selections? 

And now it gets really confusing LOL. 

In general, you can make another Genie+ Lightning Lane selection either when you check-in for your current selection or after 120 minutes have passed since you made your current selection. 

For example, if at 9 am you get a spot in the Lightning Lane at 4 pm for Slinky Dog Dash, you won’t have to wait until 4 pm to make another selection.

You’ll be able to make another selection 120 minutes later at 11 am. 

So it is possible to “stack” several Genie+ Lightning Lane selections for later in the day if you keep utilizing the 120-minute rule. 

stacking lightning lane reservations in genie+

Here is a screenshot of when I did this one day at Magic Kingdom. I had stacked three Genie + Lightning Lane selections by using the 120-minute rule throughout the day. 

The only exception to the 120-minute rule is if you were to make your first Genie+ Lightning Lane selection before the park opens.

You’d have to wait for 120 minutes after the official park opening time to make another selection. 

So if you make your first selection at 7 am (which you should!) and the park doesn’t open until 9 am, you’ll have to wait until 11 am to make another selection. Or until you use that first selection.

Do I Need Disney Genie+?

space mountain at magic kingdom

Space Mountain

I’m sure you are wondering if Genie Plus is worth the added cost and if you will need it for your vacation. 

Well, like the service, the answer is complicated!

My quick answer is that Genie Plus ISN’T needed at every park and during every time of year. 

Now here is my full answer to the question “Is Disney Genie Plus worth it?”

Genie Plus is almost always needed at Magic Kingdom. 

front of peter pan's flight in magic kingdom

If you want to avoid waiting in lots of long lines, I’d recommend purchasing Genie+ for your day at Magic Kingdom. 

The reason for this is that there are so many attractions at Magic Kingdom.

You’ll likely get your money’s worth out of Genie+ and be able to make many Genie+ Lightning Lane selections throughout the day!

The only times you might not need it are rainy or cold days during a less busy time of year. 

Get my picks for the best times to visit Disney World for low crowds in this post.

I recommend Genie+ at Hollywood Studios in most circumstances as well. 

galaxy's edge in hollywood studios

You’ll get a lot of use out of Genie+ at Hollywood Studios as well. 

There are many Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions at Hollywood Studios that typically have long waits during the middle of the day. 

These include the Millennium Falcon, Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Midway Mania, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and the Hollywood Tower of Terror. 

Unless you are visiting with very young children who can’t go on most of these rides, you’ll probably want Genie Plus at Hollywood Studios. 

Genie Plus is only needed at Epcot and Animal Kingdom during the busiest times of the year. 

soarin sign in epcot

With fewer attractions and crowds, you likely won’t need Genie Plus at the other two parks unless you are visiting during the busy season. 

However, you will need a solid touring plan in order to experience these parks with Genie+. 

I suggest that you invest $18 in a Touring Plans membership as opposed to spending $120 on Genie+ for those two parks for a family of four. 

Get customized touring plans for each park plus more trip planning tools here. 

Disney Genie+ Tips & Tricks

Now that you’ve got the basics down, here are some very important tips and tricks for getting the most out of Genie Plus. 

link a resort reservation in my disney experience

1) Be sure to have these things already done well before 7 am: have your resort reservation linked (if you are staying at a Disney resort), have park tickets purchased for everyone in your party, have tickets linked to My Disney Experience, and have a Park Pass secured for that day. 

2) If you are adding Genie+ day by day be sure to add it in advance of 7 am. You want to be ready to make your first reservation right at 7 am. 

3) The Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations for Slinky Dog Dash will disappear faster than for any other attraction. Grab a Lightning Lane reservation immediately at 7 am, especially if you are park hopping and want an earlier time. 

4) The most popular Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations in Magic Kingdom are for Peter Pan’s Flight and the Jungle Cruise. I suggest grabbing a Lightning Lane reservation right at 7 am for Peter Pan’s Flight. And as soon as you check-in for that attraction, grab a reservation for the Jungle Cruise. The rest of the attractions at Magic Kingdom should be easier to get. 

5) For Epcot and Animal Kingdom, you can wait until you are actually in the parks to decide if you want to purchase Genie+ for that day. If the standby waits are getting long and the Lightning Lane return times are good, you can purchase it on the fly. This is better than buying it ahead of time only the discover you didn’t need it at all that day. 

6) The most popular Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions at Epcot are Soarin’ and Test Track. If you do use Genie+ at Epcot, grab these first. Also, note that Test Track has a single rider line option if you don’t mind sitting separately from your party. 

7) The most popular Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions at Animal Kingdom are Kilimanjaro Safaris and Nav’i River Journey. Grab these first if you are using Genie+. 

8) Set a reminder on your phone to make another Genie+ Lightning Lane selection as soon as 120 minutes has passed. 

Can I Park Hop With Genie Plus? 

Yes, you can park hop and use Disney Genie Plus. 

In fact, it is particularly helpful when you are park hopping!

disney genie screenshot for park hopping

When you are in the Tip Board, click on “Change Park” and you’ll be able to select which park you’d like to hop to later in the day. 

As long as you have a ticket with Park Hopper, you can hop on over to another park starting at 2 pm, as long as that park isn’t at capacity. 

You can make Genie+ Lightning Lane selections for the park you want to hop to throughout the day.

I suggest doing this since the afternoon and evening always have the longest wait times of the day!

What are the Disney Genie Plus Rides at Each Park?

girl with grandma on dumbo ride

I am sure you are wondering what the Disney Genie Plus rides are!

I have organized all of the Lightning Lane attractions in my free printable you get by signing up for my newsletter below.

 

Or if scrolling is your thing, keep reading to the bottom of this post for the full list.  

And now, on to the Individual Lightning Lanes and how they work. 

How much do Individual Lightning Lanes cost?

seven dwarves mine train ride in magic kingdom

The cost of Individual Lightning Lane selections ranges from $7 – $15.

You do NOT have to purchase Genie+ to purchase Individual Lightning Lane selections!

The price depends on the attraction and the day you are visiting – for example, the price is higher during peak seasons and on weekends.

Here are the average costs for the Individual Lightning Lane selections:

  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train (Magic Kingdom) –$11
  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom) – $8
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Hollywood Studios) – $15
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Hollywood Studios) – $9
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Epcot) – $10
  • Frozen Ever After (Epcot) – $10
  • Avatar: Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom) – $12
  • Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom) – $7

Your price may be slightly higher or lower than these prices. 

When Can I Make Individual Lightning Lane Selections?

floating mountains and waterfall in Pandora Animal Kingdom

Pandora in Animal Kingdom

This is a bit more confusing…

If you are staying at an on-property Disney resort, you can start buying Individual Lightning Lane reservations at 7 am the day of your visit. 

Keep in mind that you can only purchase two Individual Lightning Lane selections each day. 

If you aren’t staying “on property”, then you will have to wait until the park opens. 

Check out this page from Touring Plans for a complete list of the resorts that offer this benefit.

And to find out what time the parks open during your visit, check out this Disney World calendar.

How do I purchase Individual Lightning Lane reservations? 

individual lightning lane passes in disney genie

In both the My Day and Tip Board sections of Disney Genie (in the My Disney Experience app) you’ll see the option to purchase Individual Lightning Lane entry for the eligible attractions. 

I suggest scrolling on the Tip Board until you find the attraction you are looking for. 

How Do I Use My Lightning Lane Reservations?

digital disney world park ticket mobile magic

When it is time to use your Lightning Lane reservation, head to the attraction and look for the entrance to the Lightning Lane queue. 

Then you will be asked to scan either your park ticket, Magic Band, or Magic Mobile pass on your phone. 

yellow disney magic band on a wrist

You may have to scan your band or ticket one more time before you get on the ride. 

That’s it – you are now checked in for your Lightning Lane reservation and you can make another selection right away in the app. 

Learn all about Disney Magic Bands in this post. 

Are the Disney Individual Lightning Lanes worth it? 

entrance to mickey and minnie's runaway railway

You are also likely wondering if you should purchase Individual Lightning Lane passes at Disney World.

This depends a great deal on 

  • If you are staying at a Disney resort with Early Theme Park Entry and
  • If you are actually able to get to the parks before they open and
  • If you are up for hanging around the parks until they close. 

If you’re staying on property and get up early, you will be able to ride at least one if not both Individual Lightning Lane attractions before the parks officially open during most times of the year!

For example, if Hollywood Studios officially opens at 9 am, then it will open at 8:30 am to Disney resort guests. 

However, you will likely be allowed to enter at 8 am to get on Rise of the Resistance before the park even opens to resort guests. 

You can then head to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and ride that as well. 

So if you are willing to get up and moving early, you can often save money on Individual Lightning Lane reservations. 

I also suggest getting in line for one of the Individual Lightning Lane attractions a few minutes before park closing.

You can continue to get in the queue up until the minute the park “closes” and you will be permitted to ride the attraction!

The wait will be the shortest of the day, but you will have to hang in there until closing. 

If the nighttime entertainment coincides with park closing, you may have to skip that as well. Just something to consider as you plan!

expedition everest at animal kingdom

And last, Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom also has a Single Rider Line option. You can use this line if you don’t mind sitting separately from your party. The wait is usually VERY short with this option.

Because of this and the fact that the line moves quickly, you will rarely need to buy an Individual Lightning Lane reservation for this ride. 

Note that you can make up to two Individual Lightning Lane reservations per day. This means you’ll have to think ahead if you are park hopping. 

Disney Genie Plus Rules & Individual Lightning Lane Rules

As you may have noticed, Genie+ and the Lightning Lanes are complicated. 

There are many rules you need to be aware of in order to get the most out of these services. 

Here is a quick summary of all of the Disney Genie Plus rules and Individual Lightning Lane (LL) rules: 

  • You can’t make more than one LL reservation per attraction per day. This applies to both Genie+ LL and Individual LL attractions!
  • You can only purchase two Individual LL reservations per day.
  • You can begin making Genie+ Lightning Lane selections at 7 am the day of your visit in the My Disney Experience app. 
  • If you are staying at an on-property Disney resort, you can purchase Individual Lightning Lane passes starting at 7 am the day of your visit. If not, you will have to wait until the official park opening
  • You can make another Genie+ LL selection after you check-in for your current selection OR after 120 minutes have passed since you made your current selection. 
  • You don’t have to purchase Genie+ in order to purchase Individual LL passes. 
  • You can purchase Genie+ for the day starting at midnight. Just be sure to have it added before you go to make your first reservation at 7 am. 

Disney World Lightning Lane Attractions

Here is a full list of the Genie Genie Plus rides and Individual Lightning Lane Attractions at Walt Disney World. 

Magic Kingdom

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Individual Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain

Genie+ Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monster’s, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

Epcot

the seas with nemo and friends at epcot
Individual Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Frozen Ever After

Genie+ Attractions:

  • Soarin’
  • Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Spaceship Earth
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Hollywood Studios 

alien swirling saucers ride

Individual Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Genie+ Attractions:

  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Toy Story Mania!
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  • Disney Junior Play & Dance!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
  • MuppetVision 3D
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

Animal Kingdom

 

giraffe from kilimanjaro safaris ride

Individual Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest

Genie+ Attractions:

  • Nav’i River Journey
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Dinosaur
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Feathered Friends in Flight
  • The Animal Experience at Conservation Station

I hope that you found this post helpful! Disney Genie + (aka Disney Genie pass, Disney Genie app, or the Disney Genie service) is a fantastic way to save time on vacation but only if you know how to use it!

If you have any questions please join the conversation on my free private Facebook group, The Budget Mouse. Or leave a question in a comment below and I will answer just as soon as I can!

Check out these related posts: 

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Mike

Monday 10th of January 2022

After purchasing Genie Plus, can you still use standby lines for less popular rides?

Sandra

Saturday 8th of January 2022

What is a virtual queue and how do you use it?

Carrie Waters

Friday 7th of January 2022

Hello! I was wondering if we purchased the genie plus for the 4 members of the party, would my husband and I both be able to make reservations for our party to double our reservations?

Leah

Saturday 8th of January 2022

Hi Carrie! I think you are asking if you could make more than one reservation for the same ride? Genie+ is linked to your park ticket in My Disney Experience. So there's no way to make more than one reservation even if you both buy Genie+. You would still have the same tickets linked to the same Disney account. However, you can both be logged in and making reservations at the same time which can be helpful if you are trying to get a difficult reservation. Hope that helps - it's really confusing lol! However

Marsha Stamp

Saturday 1st of January 2022

In the same theme of this very helpful post, how do we factor in the rides that have a virtual queue ( and where to find that list!) plus where do we find the list of rides that are open during early entry for each park? So many factors to balance... Thank you Leah!

Leah

Saturday 1st of January 2022

Hi Marsha! The only ride with a virtual queue right now is Remy's Ratatouille Adventure. Here is a link to all of the rides that are available during early entry: https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/early-theme-park-entry

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