Today we’re breaking down Disney’s Genie System, including the difference between Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lanes. If you are confused with Genie+, don’t worry – you aren’t alone! Sometimes it’s just easier to try something for the first time to get the hang of it.
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- Disney Genie System – Used mostly as a replacement of Fast Pass. However, you can also use the Disney Genie section of your My Disney Experience for their tips and suggestions. This has been in the works for a very long time and has been a big investment.
- Lightning Lanes – The new version of Fast Pass. This is no longer free! In order to reserve a lightning lane, you need to pay for each day that you want to make lightning lane selections. The rides that previously offered Fast Passes now offer Lightning Lanes.
- Disney Genie – Completely free. These are just tips about where you should eat and what you should ride first. These are just Disney’s suggestions that don’t have much of a wait.
- Disney Genie+ – This is where most of the Lightning Lanes live and it costs $15 at Disney World and $20 at Disneyland. You used to be able to purchase Genie+ for the entirety of your trip before your trip. You can now only purchase one day at a time during your trip. You can purchase it after midnight for that day. Disney will be limiting how many times Genie+ can be purchased for each day.
- Individual Lightning Lanes – Available for 1-2 rides per park for the most popular rides. These are not included in Genie+ and must be purchased separately. The fee varies depend on time of year and crowd levels. You can purchase these at 7 a.m. if you are onsite. If you are offsite, you cannot book until the park opens. The time often changes before it is confirmed. You can purchase up to 2 of these per day and they can be at any park.
When can you book a Lightning Lane selection?
After you purchase Genie+ you can make a lightning lane selection at 7 a.m. as long as you have a ticket and a park pass reservation for that park.
You cannot choose your time for your lightning lane selection. You can continue refreshing throughout the day. This makes planning your day difficult.
If your lightning lane overlaps with other plans, like a dining reservation, Disney is very accommodating.
After you have booked your 7 a.m. Lightning Lane selection, you will be able to make your next lightning lane selection either 2 hours after the park opens or immediately after you have used your first lightning lane selection, whichever comes first.
You will be able to continue booking lightning lane selections either immediately after tapping in or every two hours throughout the day.
Churning – As soon as you tap in and use your lightning lane, you immediately book another one. This method allows you to use a lot of lightning lanes throughout the day. It is difficult to use this method to get a lot of the most popular attractions.
Stacking – You book lightning lanes for later in the day every 2 hours. You would use standby lanes at the beginning of the day, saving all of your lightning lane selections for later in the day. You would then have a bunch of lightning lanes all together at the end of the day. This allows you to make lightning lane selections closer together geographically.
You’re likely to use a combination of the two of these methods.
I loved the FastPass+ system and do not like how glitchy the Genie+ system is. I do not mind paying for it but it’s frustrating that it doesn’t work as well as FastPass+.
I am always going to pay for efficiency. However, when you’re paying for Genie+ for a whole family, it can get very expensive.
If you are going to use Genie+, I suggest purchasing it for Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. There are several attractions there and it seems to be a better value for those parks.
However, you can also rely on Individual Lightning Lanes at Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Genie+ seems less necessary in those two parks.
Booking Dining Reservations – We recommend having tabs open for each of your individual dining reservations. When you are able to book the reservations at 60 days prior to your trip, you can be ready to go.
We now recommend that you use incognito mode on your browser because this is a good way to avoid errors.
Links for this episode:
- Genie+ FAQ
- Complete Guide to Disney Genie at WDW
- Touring Plan Strategies with and without Genie+
- Quicksilver Car Service
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