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When can I make my next Genie+ selection? (with Disney World examples)

HomeWhen can I make my next Genie+ selection?
When can I make my next Genie+ selection? (with Disney World examples)

Oh, Disney Genie+. We *wish* we could say this is an easy system to navigate, but it doesn’t come without its complexities.

To be fair, while there is a lot to remember, the good news is that the first few steps in the Genie+ timeline are pretty clear cut and relatively easy (as long as there aren’t any glitches!) to follow.

Where most people start to get confused is what happens after you’ve made that first Genie+ reservation. That’s when you’ll often find yourself wondering, “When can I make my next Genie+ selection?

If Genie+ fits in your budget (and we definitely think you should consider it for at least Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios), once you get the hang of it, this new paid-FastPass/FastPass+ service at Walt Disney World can be a huge benefit to your vacation.

But, it doesn’t come without a learning curve, even more so if you’ve never visited Disney World or haven’t been in years.

Ready to learn more about how it works? Let’s go!

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

Through August 7, five 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 AND Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (starting May 31)
  • Hollywood Studios: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest

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

When can I book my next Genie+ selection?

Important note: Before we dive too deep into the nitty-gritty details, you’ll definitely want to read up on Genie+ first.

Hands down, one of the most confusing aspects of Genie+ at Walt Disney World is deciphering when you can book your next Genie+ Lightning Lane selection.

But, here’s our tip to make that a bit easier to figure out:

It is only your most recently booked attraction that will determine when you can make your next Genie+ reservation.

That’s it.

But why is it so important to keep track of when that next booking window opens up?

Because, Genie+ isn’t cheap, especially if you are purchasing it for multiple people.

So, to maximize both your day AND your money with Genie+, you’ll want to book your next Lightning Lane reservation as soon as you can.

And, you’ll be able to do that more efficiently if you can keep track of – either mentally or on your phone – when you can use Genie+ to snag your next Lightning Lane spot.

Tip: Use your phone to set a reminder for your next booking window. We don’t recommend you use an alarm unless it is set to vibrate only, as that can interfere with others if it goes off while you are on an attraction.

Genie+ Booking Rules: Only one of these has to happen before you can book your next G+ reservation

Remember, it is only your most recently booked attraction that will determine when you can make your next Genie+ reservation.

So, with that in mind, only ONE of the following has to occur before you can use Genie+ to book your next Lightning Lane reservation:

  1. If the most recently booked attraction return time is MORE than 2 hours away, you can make your next Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation at the 2-hour mark. IMPORTANT NOTE: The 2-hour clock starts when the park opens. If your first booking is more than 2 hours after the park opens, you’ll have to wait until 2 hours after park opening and not 2 hours after you booked.

    OR

  2. If your most recently booked Genie+ ride time is LESS than 2 hours away, as soon as you tap into the tapstiles at the attraction, you can book your next one. IMPORTANT NOTE: some of the more popular attractions have 2 tapstiles and some will have 1. If there are 2, you must tap into both before you’ll be able to make your next selection.

    OR

  3. If your most recently booked Genie+ Lightning Lane pass has EXPIRED (meaning you missed your return window), you can make a new Genie+ selection. IMPORTANT NOTE: you can cancel Genie+ reservations, so if you decide not to ride, don’t waste time waiting for a Genie+ reservation to expire.
Genie+ booking rules

Here is a handy Genie+ timeline to help you keep track of what you can book when, depending on if you’re an offsite or onsite guest.

Genie+ timeline what to book when graphic

Where to find the time you can make your next Genie+ reservation in My Disney Experience

But what happens if you get confused, and you still aren’t sure when you can make that next Genie+ reservation?

Trust us: this is very likely to happen, especially later in the day as return times start to overlap and things start stacking up.

But, the good news is you’ll be able to see when you can make that next selection inside the My Disney Experience app, you’ll just have to dig a little to find it:

Tip: Need help figuring out when you can book your next Genie+ Lightning Lane? Open up My Disney Experience and navigate to the Tip Board. Select an attraction, and if you are not eligible, it will tell you what time you will be able to make your next reservation. If you are eligible, you’ll be able to proceed and confirm the selection.

when to make next genie+ selection notification

Genie+ return times

Now, let’s talk Genie+ return times.

First, and most importantly, you do NOT get to pick your return times with Genie+.

That can be very confusing for people, especially since you could select your return time with FastPass+ and you can select your return time with the Individual Lightning Lane selections, but when making a Genie+ reservation, you’ll only be able to book the next available time.

That means if you are trying to stack return times for later in the day or group nearby attractions together, you may need to spend a bit more time on your phone watching for the “perfect” time or attraction to open up.

Do Genie+ reservations ever run out?

Yes, they do. And, for the most popular attractions like Slinky Dog Dash, they can run out just seconds after reservations start at 7:00 am.

And, while you may see additional spots open up throughout the day, they are limited in number and can be difficult to snag unless you are dedicating a lot of time to refreshing the app.

But, to help with planning, there are definitely trends to which attractions run out of Genie+ spots first.

And, when you know those, you’ll be able to prioritize your selections for the day. We’ve noted what those priorities are below.

Tip: Standby is always an option, but if you have a must-do attraction that you want to use Genie+ for, make sure you prioritize that.

cancel disney genie+ selection

Which attractions can I make Genie+ selections for?

The following are the eligible attractions you can book using Genie+.

Keep in mind that you can only pick the next available time when booking, so use the priorities listed below to help determine which ones will make the most sense.

1 = Level 1 priority (typically runs out of Genie+ spots first)
2 = Level 2 priority (typically runs out of Genie+ spots next)
3 = Level 3 priority (typically runs out of Genie+ spots last)
* = During busy times of the year, these attractions may be available through Genie+, otherwise, they are available as Individual Lightning Lane Selections

Note: We used information from Thrill-Data.com to help with the chart below.

MAGIC KINGDOMEPCOTHOLLYWOOD STUDIOSANIMAL KINGDOM
The Barnstormer3Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival3Alien Swirling Saucers2The Animation Experience3
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad2Frozen Ever After1*Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage3Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King3
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin3Journey into Imagination with Figment3Disney Jr. Dance Party3DINOSAUR2
Dumbo the Flying Elephant3Living with the Land3For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration3Expedition Everest2*
Haunted Mansion2Mission: SPACE – Green3Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular3Feathered Friends in Flight!3
“it’s a small world”3Mission: SPACE – Orange3Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway2*It’s Tough to Be a Bug!3
Jungle Cruise1The Seas with Nemo & Friends3Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run2Kali River Rapids3
Mad Tea Party3Soarin’2Muppet*Vision 3D3Kilimanjaro Safaris1
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin3Spaceship Earth3Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster2Na’vi River Journey2
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh2Test Track1See Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight3
Mickey’s PhilharMagic3Turtle Talk with Crush3Slinky Dog Dash1
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor3Star Tours3
Peter Pan’s Flight1The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror2
Pirates of the Caribbean2Toy Story Mania!2
See Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall3
See Mickey at Town Square Theater3
See Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall3
Space Mountain2*
Splash Mountain2
Tomorrowland Speedway3
Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid3

Read more about how to use Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World.

How does park hopping work with Genie+?

As long as you have a Park Hopper benefit, you can make Genie+ selections at different parks. Remember, you can’t park hop until 2 p.m. (FYI: you can enter each park starting at 1:47 p.m., if hopping), so your reservation must be after this time.

And, to park hop, you must have first visited the park where you held your Park Pass reservation for that day.

genie+ park hopper lightning lane selection

You can even make your first selection outside of your first theme park, if you’d like. But, we don’t necessarily recommend this strategy.

You should really try to make your first selection where you have a park reservation, especially since you have to visit this park before you can hop.

And since you’re able to make your first Genie+ selection at 7 a.m., more than likely you won’t be able to grab a return time for after 2 p.m.

Important note: The exception to that suggestion are popular attractions like Slinky Dog Dash. Because of its popularity, return times here are quickly pushed past 2 pm.

Remember, you can’t select your Genie+ return time!

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!

What are the different Genie+ methods (stacking vs. churning)?

In general, there are two different Genie+ methods: stacking and churning. Keep in mind that most people end up doing a combination of both of these.

What is stacking?

Stacking is essentially you making your Genie+ selections for later times in the day and then stacking one right after the other, so you’ll have a bunch together. You can overlap them and create a situation where you are riding attraction after attraction with very little waits.

Toy Story Mania entrance Lightning Lane

Stacking works well for when you have other plans for the morning, even if your other plans are to tour during the morning without using Genie+.

This method also works well for anyone who wants to get to the parks later, BUT, keep in mind that you can’t sleep in!

Not only can you begin grabbing your first Genie+ selection starting at 7 a.m. EST, but you’ll have to be on your phone grabbing your next Genie+ every 2 hours from the point you make your first selection.

For those staying offsite and therefore can’t use Early Theme Park Entry, the stacking method can also work in your favor too, especially since you can’t enter the parks 30 minutes before official park opening like the onsite guests can.

This is a good example of what stacking can look like. Ideally, by the time you get to the early afternoon, you’ll start using the churning method described below to fill in time gaps with less-popular attractions.

Genie plus examples for booking

Open PDF version

What is churning?

Churning is when you make your Genie+ selections for early times in the day, tap in, and then make another, and try to get as many as possible during your entire park day.

This method works well if your first Genie+ selection of the day isn’t more than 2 hours out, however, even if you start churning 2 hours after the park opens, you’ll likely still have success especially with the less popular attractions.

This is a good example of what churning can look like.

Genie plus examples for booking

Open PDF version

How do Individual Lightning Lane Selections work with Genie+?

Genie+ and pay-per-ride Lightning Lane passes are separate from one another.

They are both built into the Disney Genie system that’s available in the My Disney Experience app, but the Individual Lightning Lane Selections are not included with Genie+.

That means these are sold separately and are pay-per-use, so you pay additional money if you want to use the Lightning Lane to ride these select attractions.

flight of passage individual lightning lane selection preferred time

Unlike Genie+ selections, you can choose your Individual Lighting Lane Selection times.

It’s also important to note that once you book an Individual Lightning Lane Selection attraction, you cannot change the time or cancel your booking.

So when it comes to booking these, you want to make sure there isn’t too much overlapping that it’s impossible for you to get there in time.

The following are the eligible Individual Lightning Lane attractions.

MAGIC KINGDOMEPCOTHOLLYWOOD STUDIOSANIMAL KINGDOM
Seven Dwarfs Mine TrainFrozen Ever After*Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway*Expedition Everest*
Space Mountain*Remy’s Ratatouille AdventureStar War: Rise of the ResistanceFlight of Passage
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

* – During busy times of the year, these attractions frequently move from being Individual Lightning Lane Selections to being included with Genie+.

Pricing for the pay-to-ride option varies by date, attraction, and park. The daily price will be listed next to each attraction on the day of purchase.

You can book both Individual Lightning Lane Selections at the same time. And, as long as you have a Park Hopper ticket, you can make selections at different parks.

You can learn more about Individual Lightning Lane Selections via our handy guide.

Are there any Genie+ loopholes?

In the first few weeks of Genie+ there were some pretty significant loopholes, and guests that knew about them were able to turn 1 Genie+ reservation into 2 or more!

But, back in November 2021 those loopholes were quietly closed.

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Heather Thomas