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Best Genie+ Choices at Walt Disney World (book these first!)

HomeBest Genie+ Choices at Walt Disney World (book these first!)
Best Genie+ Choices at Walt Disney World (book these first!)

With so many attractions available via Genie+ (47 total across all 4 theme parks), which ones should you make selections for? Which ones are priority?

Don’t fret. We have you covered.

Here are our Genie+ recommendations for priority at each park, along with a list of the average times Genie+ spots run out for each attraction.

Important Update to Genie+ & Individual Lightning Lane Selections at Walt Disney World

Through August 7, four attractions that had been only available as Individual Lightning Lane attractions will be included in the Genie+ service instead.

These attractions are as follows:

  • Magic Kingdom: Space Mountain
  • Epcot: Frozen Ever After
  • Hollywood Studios: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest

There are no changes to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, or Flight of Passage. These remain Individual Lightning Lane (pay-to-ride) attractions.

Note: We used information from Thrill-Data.com to help put together the recommendations below.

Magic Kingdom Genie+ Priorities

Level 1

Level 1 priorities are attractions that run out of Genie+ return times quickly. At Magic Kingdom, there are 2 attractions that typically see their Genie+ spots disappear fast: Jungle Cruise and Peter Pan’s Flight.

Magic Kingdom priorities genie plus

But the good news is that whichever one you pick, when it is time to make your second Genie+ reservation for the day, there may still be availability for the other ride.

If you are an onsite guest and are attending Early Theme Park Entry AND you are planning to purchase a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Individual Lightning Lane, riding Peter Pan’s Flight at rope drop and making Jungle Cruise your 1st Genie+ of the day is a good choice.

Attraction NameHeight Req.Why is this a level 1 priority?Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
Jungle CruiseN/AThis is one of the classic Disney attractions that is popular but also very slow to load. Lines here quickly build and this is typically one of the first attractions to see Genie+ spots run out.Early AfternoonNo
Peter Pan’s FlightN/AThis is one of the classic Disney attractions that is popular but also very slow to load. Lines here quickly build and this is typically one of the first attractions to see Genie+ spots run out.Early afternoonYes

Level 2

Level 2 attractions tend to see their Genie+ spots last a bit longer into the afternoon or evening, making them good options if you are planning to try to stack multiple Genie+ reservations together later in the day.

If the available times aren’t working with your plans, keep refreshing the Tip Board in the My Disney Experience app. On Apple devices, you can do that by pulling down on the screen.

Attraction NameHeight Req.Why is this a level 2 priority?Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad40″The 3 mountains at Magic Kingdom (Space, Splash, and Big Thunder) are always popular. Big Thunder Mountain’s queue is un-airconditioned, and although it is covered, it can get kind of stuffy.Mid afternoonNo
Haunted MansionN/AEven though Haunted Mansion is continuously loading, the waits here can get quite long starting about an hour or 2 after park opening. And, although a large chunk of the queue is covered, it is in the open air (which means it can still be a long, hot wait). Mid afternoon to early eveningNo
The Many Adventures of Winnie the PoohN/AFantasyland attractions are notorious for having long lines during the daytime hours. As night falls and families with little ones head out, the waits will drop. But, if this is a priority for your family, it is a sound option for a 2nd choice.Late afternoon to early eveningYes
Pirates of the CaribbeanN/AAttractions that use boats are notorious for being slow loaders, which means they can develop long lines. Spots for Pirates tend to last for quite a while, so if you want to ride, you may be able to snag a Genie+ spot here later into the day.Late eveningNo
Space Mountain44″Space Mountain is sometimes available as an Individual Lightning Lane Selection, but when it is available with Genie+, spots are often available into the afternoon.Mid to late afternoonYes
Splash Mountain40″When the weather is hot, Splash Mountain is extremely popular so keep an eye on those return times if you’re thinking of using Genie+ to ride it.Late afternoon to late evening (will be earlier on hot days)No

Level 3

Level 3 priorities are great attractions for churning, which simply means snagging return times close to the current time so you can quickly make another as soon as you tap into it.

And, at Magic Kingdom, there are a lot of attractions that make it easy to do that.

We don’t recommend any of these to be your first Genie+ selection of the day, but they all good options for filling in the spots between return times of the more popular attractions in the lists above.

Attraction NameHeight Req.Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
The Barnstormer35″Rarely runs totally outYes
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger SpinN/ARarely runs totally outYes
Dumbo the Flying ElephantN/ARarely runs totally outYes
Festival of Fantasy ParadeN/ALimited reserved spaces (but there are plenty of other non-reserved spots to view the parade w/o using a G+ reservation)No
“it’s a small world”N/ARarely runs totally outYes
Mad Tea PartyN/ARarely runs totally outYes
The Magic Carpets of AladdinN/ARarely runs totally outNo
Mickey’s PhilharMagicN/AEarly eveningYes
Monsters, Inc. Laugh FloorN/AEarly eveningNo
See Mickey at Town Square TheaterN/ARarely runs totally outNo
See Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale HallN/ARarely runs totally outNo
See Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale HallN/ARarely runs totally outNo
Tomorrowland Speedway32″ to ride, 54″ to drive soloLate eveningYes
Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little MermaidN/ARarely runs totally outYes

Epcot Genie+ Priorities

If you want to save a few bucks, you can (relatively) easily tour Epcot by only purchasing either the Individual Lightning Lane selections OR Genie+ here. You don’t have to purchase both.

Epcot Genie Plus Priorities graphic

In fact, if you are staying onsite and dedicated to rope drop and Early Theme Park Entry, and you don’t mind standing in a long line for a couple of attractions, during the slower times of the year, you could even do the park without purchasing either.

But, if you want to make things as easy on yourself as possible and avoid any long lines, or if you would like to have a late start day and skip rope drop, or if you are traveling during a busy time of the year, then Genie+ might make sense.

Level 1

When Frozen Ever After is included with Genie+ (which may be more of a permanent thing now that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has been added as a Lightning Lane, like Magic Kingdom, Epcot has a couple of highly competitive first choices, too.

Either Frozen Ever After or Test Track are decent options for your first selection.

Attraction NameHeight Req.Why is this a level 1 priority?Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
Frozen Ever AfterN/AFrozen Ever After is one of the 4 most popular attractions at Epcot, and the theme and the fact that it does not have a height requirement makes it a favorite with Frozen fans (big and small!). This attraction is sometimes available as an Individual Lightning Lane Selection (which means it isn’t always available with Genie+). Mid to late morningYes
Test Track40″Out of the 4 most popular attractions here, Test Track is one of the slowest to load plus it tends to “go down” often (either due to weather or mechanical issues) meaning it will have long lines throughout the day. Tip: if you don’t mind having your party split up, there is a Single Rider Line here that can greatly reduce your wait time if you opt to skip using a Genie+ selection here.Early to mid morningYes

Level 2

When it comes time to make your 2nd selection of the day, Soarin’ is our recommended choice.

Attraction NameHeight Req.Why is this a level 2 priority?Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
Soarin’40″Although Soarin’ remains incredibly popular, it can move a lot of people through, which tends to keep the wait times lower than Test Track, making this the #2 priority when it comes to Genie+.Rarely runs totally outYes

Level 3

After you have snagged Test Track, Frozen Ever After (when it is part of Genie+), and Soarin’, it is easy to fill in your day with a combination of the remaining selections.

But – we highly recommend you be strategic about how you book.

Epcot is a huge park. And with continued construction going on, it can be a long walk to go from one side of the park to the other.

Whenever possible (at any park!), we recommend trying to group nearby attractions together.

But, keep in mind that when booking Genie+ spots, you can’t choose your return times.

Instead, you’ll just need to keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app and book things as the times and the locations make sense for how you are planning to tour.

Attraction NameHeight Req.Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
Disney & Pixar Short Film FestivalN/ARarely runs outNo
Journey into Imagination with FigmentN/ARarely runs totally outNo
Living with the LandN/ARarely runs totally outNot officially, but it often opens early
Mission: SPACE44″ for orange (more intense), 40″ for green (less intense)Rarely runs totally outYes
The Seas with Nemo & FriendsN/ARarely runs totally outYes
Spaceship EarthN/ARarely runs totally outYes
Turtle Talk with CrushN/ARarely runs totally outNo

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Priorities

The addition of Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge has turned what was once an easy 1/2-day park into one where you can absolutely spend some serious time.

Hollywood studios genie_ booking priorities

The popularity of the new rides also means that there are several attractions that can develop long, long lines. But with Genie+ and a little planning, you’ll be able to avoid all of that.

Level 1

Slinky Dog Dash is the most popular Genie+ selection in any park.

Genie+ spots for Slinky Dog Dash can be gone in seconds, so if you plan to use G+ here, make sure you are ready to book it right at 7:00 am.

Attraction NameHeight Req.Why is this a level 1 priority?Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
Slinky Dog Dash38″Slinky Dog Dash is the most popular Genie+ selection in any park. If you want to use Genie+ here, this should definitely be your #1 priority for G+.Early morning (shortly after 7 am)Yes

Level 2

After Slinky Dog Dash, there is a big selection of extremely popular attractions that you’ll be able to choose from for your following Genie+ selections:

Attraction NameHeight Req.Why is this a level 2 priority?Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
Alien Swirling Saucers32″For families looking for attractions with low or no height requirement, this is a good level 2 option. Plus, the queue is entirely outside, and although parts are covered, if you are traveling during the time of the year when the weather is hot, it can make a lot of sense to use G+ here to avoid waiting in the heat.Mid-afternoonYes
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway RailwayN/ANot only is this attraction one of the newest in the park, it also one of the first families see when they walk in. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is sometimes available as an Individual Lightning Lane Selection, but when it isn’t look for available spots to be gone by midday.MiddayYes
Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run38″Although it is less popular than Rise of the Resistance, the lines here can still get quite long. Tip: if you don’t mind having your party split up, there is a Single Rider Line here that can greatly reduce your wait time if you opt to skip using a Genie+ selection here.Late morningYesRock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith48″Disney World doesn’t have a lot of coasters, so thrill seekers love Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and that means there are long lines here for most of the day. Tip: if you don’t mind having your party split up, there is a Single Rider Line here that can greatly reduce your wait time if you opt to skip using a Genie+ selection here.Mid morning to early afternoonYes
Toy Story Mania!N/AToy Story Mania is one of the few attractions at Hollywood Studios that doesn’t have any height restrictions. That plus the fact that it is fun for all ages makes it a popular choice and lines here can get quite long without Genie+.Late morning to early afternoonYes
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror40″The Tower of Terror is great for thrill riders, but it is also known for its lines – especially if they are only operating one of the elevator shafts. Plus, most of the queue for this attraction is outside, so if you are looking to avoid that, try to snag a G+ for it.Late morning to early afternoonYes

Level 3

Hollywood Studios has a bunch of shows, and in general, the Genie+ spots for those are relatively easy to snag.

In addition, the 2 rides on the level 3 priority list for Hollywood Studios (Muppet*Vision 3D and Star Tours) rarely see long lines except for the busiest times of the year.

Attraction NameHeight Req.Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
Beauty and the Beast Live on StageN/ARarely runs totally outNo
Disney Junior Play & Dance!N/ARarely runs totally outNo
For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along CelebrationN/ARarely runs totally outNo
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!N/ARarely runs totally outNo
Muppet*Vision 3DN/ARarely runs totally outNo
See Olaf at Celebrity SpotlightN/ARarely runs totally outNo
See Disney Stars at Red Carpet DreamsN/ARarely runs totally outNo
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue40″Rarely runs totally outYes

Animal Kingdom Genie+ Priorities

Level 1

Animal Kingdom doesn’t have a ton of Genie+ attractions (8-9 total).

Much like Epcot, if you have a good touring plan, want to save a few dollars, and you don’t mind possibly standing in a few lines, you could skip purchasing both Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes for this park.

But, if you have purchased your Genie+ for the length of your trip or you are looking to stand in as few of lines as possible, Genie+ can come in handy at a couple of attractions at Animal Kingdom.

animal kingdom genie+ priorities lightning lane

If you are staying onsite, a good strategy here is to book Kilimanjaro Safaris first and then ride Na’vi River Journey during Early Theme Park Entry.

Attraction NameHeight Req.Why is this a level 1 priority?Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry?
Kilimanjaro SafarisN/AKS is one of the highlights of Animal Kingdom with nearly every guest having it on their “must ride” list. That means long lines here for most of the day.Mid morning (during busy times), later in the day during the summerIt isn’t officially listed, but it sometimes opens up earlier than park opening.
Na’vi River JourneyN/AAs one of the newest attractions in Animal Kingdom, Na’vi River Journey remains very popular – especially for guests looking for attractions without height requirements. MiddayYes

Level 2

Attraction NameHeight Req.Why is this a level 2 priority?Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry
DINOSAUR40″With so few G+ options at Animal Kingdom, putting Dinosaur in as a 2nd level priority makes sense considering it typically will see its spots run out before any of the remaining G+ attractions in this park.Early afternoonYes
Expedition Everest44″Expedition is sometimes available as an Individual Lightning Lane Selection, but when it isn’t, the return times here don’t typically run out until late afternoon.Late afternoonYes

Level 3

Attraction NameHeight Req.Avg. time G+ runs outAvailable during Early Theme Park Entry
The Animation ExperienceN/ARarely runs totally outNo
It’s Tough to be a Bug!N/ARarely runs totally outYes
Kali River Rapids38″Rarely runs totally outNo
UP! A Great Bird Adventure (currently called Feathered Friends in Flight)N/ARarely runs totally outNo
Festival of the Lion KingN/AMay run out before the last show of the dayNo

An important note made by Disney about Genie+ at Walt Disney World

In March, Walt Disney World added the following update to its Genie+ webpage:

“On average, guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences per day using the Lightning Lane entrance if the first selection is made early in the day.”

disney world genie plus verbiage update

This is a big statement and one alerting guests that even if they start booking Genie+ selections early in the day, the chances of them gaining access to more than 2 to 3 rides or experiences in one single day might not happen.

It seems here that Disney is trying to simply lower expectations, especially for those who aren’t familiar with the parks or using a system like Genie+. It can certainly be a struggle and overwhelming.

We’ve always known that a Genie+ purchase never guarantees a full day of rides and experiences. But, it is supposed to be there to help guests lessen their wait times and hopefully help them enjoy a worthwhile Disney theme park experience.

As much as we want to tell you Genie+ will always work in your favor, we can’t. There are too many factors at play and it varies for different parties.

But, what we can do is try to help you to the best of our ability when it comes to navigating Genie+, providing tips on how to take advantage of the service, and, in the end, help you experience as much as possible at the parks.

It is possible to get on more than 2 to 3 attractions with Genie+, but you have to know what you’re doing and understand the ins and outs of Genie+. And that’s why we and all of our guides are here!

How to time your Genie+ Reservations

Remember:

Unlike the old FastPass+ system, you cannot choose your return times with Genie+.

Instead, you can only select the next available spot.

That means when you are putting your day together, if you are concerned about grouping or stacking return times together and/or if you are trying to keep nearby attractions close together, you may need to spend a bit lot more time on your phone checking those return times so that when your next booking window opens up, you can snag something that will work with your plans for the day.

There are lots of ways to stay organized in the park, and you’ll be able to see what you have planned inside the My Disney Experience app

We have also found it helpful to keep a note on our phone so that we can quickly see not only what we have scheduled, but also what we are personally looking for (and the times we’d like to get them).

For example:

timing screenshot for Genie+

Refreshing for better return times

Although Return Times are constantly being pushed later into the day (or disappearing entirely!), as people change their plans and cancel or miss return times, you can often times snag random earlier return times by refreshing the Tip Board inside the My Disney Experience app.

You may have to refresh for a while (like up to 5-15 minutes), but if you are persistent, earlier times can often pop up. Just make sure you snag them quick – because they will go fast!

Should I book Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes first?

The Genie+ timeline of WHAT has to be booked WHEN is confusing and stressful.

This is especially true if you are staying onsite because onsite guests book Genie+ and purchase Individual Lightning Lanes at 7:00 am. (Offsite guests have to wait to park opening to book their Individual Lightning Lanes, so they only have to worry about snagging 1 thing right at 7 am).

should i book genie+ or lightning lane first infographic

If your traveling party has 2 people with their own My Disney Experience accounts AND you are linked as “Friends and Family,” splitting up the booking duties is your best option by having 1 person be in charge of purchasing the Individual Lightning Lanes and have the other person snagging the first Genie+ spot – both right at 7 am.

But, if you are staying onsite and only have 1 person that will be able to book at a time, work in this order:

  • Magic Kingdom
    • 1st: Purchase Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    • 2nd: Book Genie+ for Jungle Cruise OR Peter Pan’s Flight
    • 3rd: Purchase Individual Lightning Lane for Space Mountain (if not available with Genie+)
  • Epcot
    • 1st Book Genie+ for Test Track
    • 2nd Purchase Individual Lightning Lane for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
    • 3rd Purchase Individual Lightning Lane for Frozen Ever After (if not available with Genie+)
  • Animal Kingdom
    • 1st: Purchase Individual Lightning Lane for Flight of Passage
    • 2nd: Book Genie+ for Kilimanjaro Safari OR Na’vi River Journey
    • 3rd: Purchase Individual Lightning Lane for Expedition Everest (if not available with Genie+)
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Heather Thomas