Is it WORTH Staying at a Disney World Hotel for the Pay-Per-Ride Perk?

Disney Genie+ has been around for a little while now, and we have plenty of thoughts on it. The planning service features both a paid “FastPass” through Genie+ service that’s $15 per person per day as well as an extra pay-per-ride charge for the Lighting Lanes of popular rides called Individual Attraction Selection.


Now that we’ve had a chance to get to know the FastPass+ replacement service, we’ve learned quite a bit. And, one of the most common questions we get is: does staying at a Disney World Resort hotel give you a distinct advantage with the pay-per-ride system? Here’s what we’ve seen.

When Disney announced that Genie+ was coming, they also announced a new “perk” to staying on-site for the new services. Guests at Disney World hotels can begin booking Individual Attraction Selections as early as 7AM. By comparison, guests not staying on property will have to wait until the opening of their respective park to be able to book their first Individual Attraction Selection.

Remy’s Ratatouille Entrance

And just as a reminder, here are the rides included in the Individual Attraction Selections list currently (though Disney does occasionally make some of these attractions available with a regular Genie+ purchase):

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

With the early 7AM booking window for resort guests, you could get your Individual Lightning Lane selections booked several hours before other guests staying offsite (depending on what time the park opens that day). But is that advantage really necessary to get the rides you want?

Flight of Passage Entrance

One morning at 7AM, our team jumped headfirst into Genie+, booking our virtual queues, Genie+ selections, and our Individual Lightning Lanes (the “FancyRides” option, as Molly calls it). We were able to secure incredibly early windows for some of the Individual Attraction Selections, including snagging one for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at 10:20AM, just minutes after the scheduled park opening time that day.


But even after the resort guests got the chance to make their decisions for the day, there were still plenty of Individual Attraction Selection times left. In fact, none of the rides even “sold out” until about an hour after Hollywood Studios opened, when Rise of the Resistance filled up for the day. (Keep in mind that the standby line was still available, even when the Lightning Lane times were gone.)


It is important to note, however, that as of park opening at 9AM, the remaining Rise of the Resistance Individual Attraction Selection time slots were for 5PM and beyond. So, if you aren’t staying in a Disney World hotel, you might want to plan for a later time slot if you’re using Individual Attraction Selection for Rise. And if you are staying on property, you might have the advantage of earlier reservation time slots.


Several hours later, there were still plenty of options. By mid-afternoon, return times were still available for purchase for the other seven rides. Space Mountain, Frozen Ever After, and Expedition Everest all still have Individual Lightning Lane selections available within the next 30 minutes, so you could purchase one, skip the standby line, and be on the ride right away!


On Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind’s opening day however, things were a little different. We were able to secure an Individual Attraction Selection reservation for the ride right at 7AM since we were staying onsite, but reservations SOLD OUT completely by 7:20AM leaving no return times for regular day guests.

Lightning Lane/DAS

This means that by the time the park opened at 8:30AM, those guests didn’t even get the chance to purchase an Individual Attraction Selection for Cosmic Rewind.

Guests waiting to ride Guardians

However, it’s important to keep in mind the date of your visit and if there are any special events that might draw larger crowds. If you’re visiting during a holiday weekend or a particularly busy time of year, things may look very different.

Crowds have varied based on the park today.

But don’t worry — if you’re not staying onsite, the standby lines are still open for many of these rides throughout the day (with the exception of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind which is currently using a virtual queue). You can also plan to rope drop one of these rides in order to avoid the longest wait times in the middle of the day. And for those who are purchasing Genie+ already, you’ll hopefully save so much time waiting in line that you won’t have to worry about waiting an hour for ONE ride during the daytime.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT

And, even if you’re staying at a Disney Resort, don’t feel obligated to purchase the Individual Attraction Selections. Many of these rides are open during Early Theme Park Entry, so if you time things right you may be able to knock out both of the IAS rides in your chosen park before it even opens to the non-resort guests!

Early Entry sign

Now, if you are planning to purchase an Individual Attraction Selection (whether you’re staying at a Disney hotel or not), you will want to study up on how the new system works! Luckily, we’ve laid it all our for you in the easiest way possible — you can check out our step-by-step on how to book an Individual Attraction Selection here. And, stay tuned to AllEars for more of the latest Disney news and updates!

There’s still one FREE way to skip the lines in Disney World — learn about it here!

Will you purchase Individual Attraction Selections on your next trip? Let us know in the comments!

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Rachel Franko has been going to Disney Parks since she was a baby, and her love of Disney has only grown into a SLIGHT obsession since! She's been writing for AllEars since 2019 and loves sharing the magic with all the readers. When she's not writing, you can catch her heading to Disney and Universal Studios with a heart full of dreams and a backpack full of themed ears!

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2 Replies to “Is it WORTH Staying at a Disney World Hotel for the Pay-Per-Ride Perk?”

  1. If you are staying at a Dinsey springs hotel since it’s on property do you get the 1hour before park opening to book ILL too?

  2. I won’t stay On Site and I’ll use the money I save to buy my way to the front of the line. I’ve done the math and offsite is now a better and more economical option. Since most of the On Site benefits can just be purchased there’s no upside anymore to being on site. My grand kids could care less about the “experience”, as long as there is a pool and we can get on the rides they want