Disney Claims You Can Expect to Skip 2 to 3 Lines a Day. Why They’re WRONG.

We’ve been on a long, fun, complicated, satisfying, confusing, and pricey journey ever since Disney World launched the new (paid) way to skip the lines at select attractions throughout the parks last year — Disney Genie+.

Magic Kingdom

The system is very different from its predecessor, FastPass+, and it comes with a whole host of new rules, new fees, and new tech features to figure out, so we’ve been bringing you our best tips and tricks to make the most of your park day and purchase. And, if you’ve been keeping up with us, you know that just a few days ago, Disney updated their website to set guests’ expectations for how many attractions they can experience in a day with Genie+, so we decided to take on a new challenge and put that theory to the test!

As a quick refresher, Disney Genie+ is the newest way to bypass the standby line at several attractions throughout the Disney Parks. It costs $15 per person, per day and, while the idea is similar to the FastPass+ system that we once knew in that you’re securing the next available return window, there are some key differences.

For one, Genie+ Lightning Lanes can only be booked on the day of your visit (not in advance) beginning at 7AM, and you can only make your next Lightning Lane reservation when (1) you’ve scanned into your first Genie Plus attraction OR (2) 120 minutes have passed since you’ve made your last reservation (don’t forget, the two-hour countdown starts at park OPEN, not at 7AM when you can make your first selection).

Disney Genie

Disney recently updated the Genie+ website to state that “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.” And, though this may be a good place to set your expectations, we’ve found that we can ride MUCH more with Genie+ in our experience. So, we’re putting that to the test once again and seeing how many of the 24 Genie+ attractions in Magic Kingdom we can tackle in ONE day!

Lightning Lane at Princess Fairytale Hall

Spoiler alert — we WERE able to secure a Lightning Lane return window for every single Genie+ attraction in Magic Kingdom! Here’s how!

7:00AM

Like Disney suggests on their website, the best way to maximize your Genie+ selections is to start bright and early! All guests who purchase Genie+ (whether it’s before your trip or on the day of your visit) can select their first Lightning Lane reservation at 7AM.

Do you think they have room for another happy haunt?

When you’re visiting, which park you’re headed to, and what attractions are your priority will determine the best strategy for securing that first return time, but since our goal for the day was to ride as much as possible, we opted for the earliest Lightning Lane window possible which ended up being Haunted Mansion at 9:15AM-10:15AM.

9:00AM

To truly ride all of the attractions with Lightning Lanes in Magic Kingdom, we also needed to purchase an Individual Attraction Selection (which is separate from Genie+). Disney recently made a few adjustments to what rides are an extra cost, so we didn’t have to worry about paying to ride Space Mountain separately (it’s included in Genie+ for a limited time) and just needed to secure a time for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Some rides are pricier than others!

Unlike Genie+ selections, Individual Attraction Selections can only be booked by guests staying at a Disney World hotel at 7AM. So, since we weren’t staying at a Disney resort we had to wait until 9AM (park open) to book ours and ended up securing a 7:25PM-8:25PM return time.

9:23AM

By 9:23AM, we were already done with our ride on Haunted Mansion and it was time to make another selection. The next available was “it’s a small world” for 9:45AM-10:25AM so that’s what we booked!

“it’s a small world”

9:57AM

We scanned into “it’s a small world” at 9:57AM (tackling TWO rides before the park had even been open for an hour) and then snagged a Lightning Lane for Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid shortly after for 10:05AM-11:05AM.

It’s better Under the Sea, we spoke to a crab who knows about these things.

10:11AM

Up to this point, we had ridden attractions that aren’t necessarily “hot commodities” on Genie+ (aka they’re a bit easier to book usually), but our first “hard-to-get” attraction became available after riding Journey of the Little Mermaid for a 10:25AM-11:25AM return window — Splash Mountain!

Splash Mountain

10:30AM

We accepted our fate of getting wet before the clock even struck 11AM (it was already warm enough to warrant a cool off anyway) and were then able to get a Lightning Lane for the Magic Carpets of Aladdin for a 10:50AM-11:50AM return time. 

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

11:05AM

By 11:05AM we had made our way across the park to the Magic Carpets and it was time again to make our next selection. We decided to take a break from rides to go visit Mickey at the Town Square Theater from 11:20AM-12:20AM.

Mickey at Town Square Theater

These character sightings are a newer addition to Genie+ and it can save you a lot of time if you take advantage of the lighting lanes!

11:25AM

While we waited in the short line to meet Mickey, we were able to score a Lightning Lane for Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade at 11:30AM. 

Festival of Fantasy Genie+ viewing area

The parade is another recent addition to Genie+, granting guests who utilize the Lightning Lane option a special viewing area in the hub area near Cinderella Castle.

11:34AM

While we waited for the parade, we employed one of our best techniques for getting an earlier (or hard-to-get) Lightning Lane return window — the “fiddle-faddle.” Basically, we just keep refreshing the Genie+ page on the My Disney Experience app until a reservation we want comes up!

Jungle Cruise

And, it was a success — we were able to book Jungle Cruise for 7:50PM-8:50PM. Now, this is where the 120-minute rule comes into play. Because the Lightning Lane return window we selected was more than 2 hours after the time we booked it (in this case it was about 8 hours), we just needed to wait an additional 120 minutes (so 1:34PM) before we could book another attraction for earlier in the day!

1:35PM

So, when the clock struck the 120-minute mark, we booked our second experience — Mickey’s PhilharMagic for 1:40PM-2:40PM.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

1:45PM

We scanned in for PhilharMagic and decided we would head right across the way for a 2:10PM-3:10PM Lighting Lane return time to go meet Tiana and Rapunzel at Princess Fairytale Hall.

Hey Tiana!

2:10PM

While we were waiting to meet up with the royal duo, we “fiddle-faddled” once again and were able to score a Lightning Lane for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad shortly after from 2:15PM-3:15PM!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

3:03PM

It took us a little bit of time to make our way over to Big Thunder Mountain, so we searched for the next available Lightning Lane after scanning in and grabbed a 3:20PM-4:20PM return time for Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Our favorite flying elephant.

3:35PM

And, after riding Dumbo, we did some more fiddle-faddlin’ and booked Peter Pan’s Flight for 4:15PM-5:15PM!

We’re off to hang with the Lost Boys.

4:21PM

As we mentioned earlier, Space Mountain is currently included in the purchase of Genie+, so we didn’t have to pay extra for our Lightning Lane return window of 5:25PM-6:25PM after riding Peter Pan.

Space Mountain

5:38PM

With only a few more Genie+ attractions to go in Magic Kingdom, our next Lightning Lane selection was Mad Tea Party from 5:40PM-6:40PM.

We’re all mad here.

6:01PM

And, it wasn’t too long after riding the tea cups that we were able to score a a 6:05PM-7:05PM return time for Goofy’s Barnstormer

The Barnstormer

6:23PM

Then it was over to Monsters Inc Laugh Floor we went for a Lightning Lane reservation window from 6:30PM-7:30PM.

Sadly, no, we weren’t “that guy”.

6:30PM

After scanning into Monsters Inc, we were lucky enough to find that a Pirates of the Caribbean return window of 6:30PM-7:30PM had popped up, making it so that we wasted no time at all between attractions!

Pirates of the Caribbean Lightning Lane

7:26PM

We then snagged a reservation to go meet Cinderella and Elena at 8:10PM-9:10PM, which left us just enough time to use that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train lightning lane that we had gotten earlier in the day (remember when we booked it nearly TWELVE hours ago?).

Hi Cindy!

8:20PM

With only THREE more attractions to go, we snagged a Tomorrowland Speedway Lightning Lane for 8:25PM-9:25PM.

Tomorrowland Speedway

8:35PM

And, then we fiddle-faddled for a few minutes until we snagged Buzz Lightyear for 9:15PM-10:15PM.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

9:29PM

Finally, there was only one Lightning Lane left —The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. And, after some refreshing, we were able to find a Lightning Lane for 9:50PM-10:50PM to wrap up ALL of the Genie+ experiences in Magic Kingdom!

No bothers here!

So, while Disney is probably right to set the expectations low at 2-3 attractions or experiences using Genie+, you can actually tackle MANY more attractions (if not all of them) if you really want to and don’t mind spending a lot of your day refreshing the My Disney Experience app. That being said, you’ve got to be willing to take on the rides in the order that they become available rather than the order that makes the most sense for making your way around the park (we logged A LOT of steps this day).

You are now entering Tomorrowland

While we did this experiment as one person, it’s important to note that Lightning Lane selections can be made for up to 12 people in your party at once, and the group number will not change your outcome. We have been told by Cast Members that while up to 12 people in your party can be added for Disney World, that they have found that it tends to work best with 10 or less — and we can’t guarantee how easy it will be to dash across Magic Kingdom with a large group like that!

It’s also important to consider the time of year that you’re visiting Disney World (and even the park you’re visiting), as the more people you have in the park, the fewer Lightning Lane return windows there are because they’re being scooped up by other guests.

And, no matter what, you’ll need to be prepared to spend the ENTIRE day in the park — as you can see it took us from 7AM to nearly 9:30PM to ride it all.

Genie+ can be pretty useful!

Now, even if you aren’t able to book a lightning lane for every single Genie+ attraction on the day of your visit, there are a few other strategies to employ that will help ya ride everything you’re hoping to! You can learn more about those in these posts:

And, we’re not done testing out just how many rides you can really book with Genie+ in one day just yet! We’re headed to all the other parks to try it out too, so be sure to stay tuned to AllEars for more!

I’ve Used Genie+ 20+ Times in Disney World — These are the Rides You Should Prioritize

 

 

 

 

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15 Replies to “Disney Claims You Can Expect to Skip 2 to 3 Lines a Day. Why They’re WRONG.”

  1. We had a great experience with it at both MK and HS. Got 7 or 8 at MK including Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise and Big Thunder. HS has less options but still used it for Slinky Dog, Smugglers Run, Swirling Saucers and a couple shows. Definitely worth it. We didn’t spend more than 20-30 minutes in any line and used the down time between reservations to do rides/shows we don’t normally do or to pick up a snack (breakfast tachos or Woodys Lunchbox). Well worth the extra $$, especially if you’re not going to the parks everyday and want to max out the experience.
    Definitely recommend Genie +. Also check out All Ears YouTube videos on strategies for the parks. We didn’t do exactly what was recommended but it helped a lot and had some fun extras that weren’t on our radar.

  2. We are a family of 4 with an 11 and 14 year old. We had a park hopper ticket. We averaged 5-8 lightening lanes per day. It worked really well with our park hopper. We probably used 2-3 in the morning and then took a break. Once we knew we were leaving our first park, then I would start stacking our evening lightening lanes. I watched many of Molly’s videos and her tips were super helpful. The fiddle faddle works and we often got earlier times with just a few fiddle faddles. With early entry and genie plus the longest line we waited in was about 30 minutes. We went during a time when all four parks were at capacity and many lines were 60+ minutes. I was on my phone a lot but it probably wasn’t much more than before because I was always checking wait times or trying to get new fastpass times.

  3. So rides you used to be able to usually just walk on are now paid attractions? And bring in my phone all day in a park updating to get rude times sounds like hell. It’s supposed to be a VACATION!! I would go home more stressed than I came. If my husband and I hadn’t purchased 8 tickets in the past, I doubt we would even go back to WDW. Might be time to try and sell them at our cost.

  4. Good for you – glad you were able to get on all the MK rides. However, getting up each day before 7AM, crossing the park numerous times AND messing around on a phone all day is not my idea of a magical vacation. And that’s the problem – Genie+ requires too much work (also makes Park Hopper tickets a waste of money).

  5. I agree that’s true for MK but genie sucks for HS, and Epcot. I haven’t been able to ride slinky dog dash in years because my kids’ won’t wait 100+ minutes, and even with lighting lane I have not been able to get one on two trips thus far. They are gone in less than 30 seconds. tried refreshing throughout the day.

  6. Just realized that you crossed the park at least 5 or 6 times. You can’t walk that far with little kids or older people in your party. Hell, i am not sure i could even do that much walking in a day and i am pretty fit.

  7. I’ve made more than 30 trips to Disney, and always felt that I needed a vacation when the trip was over. Disney has now gone from work to it beings a job to plan your park day, not much fun or very relaxing. I no longer feel like a guest there, but someone to take advantage of with all of their nickel and dime changes. I get it they looking for ways to make up for lost revenue due to the pandemic, but the changes have done nothing to enhance the Disney experience, it’s sad watching what is going on. Management is totally out of touch with the average fan, read the blogs!! Genie+ more like Genie-…

  8. I have the answer: Disney should provide a cast member for say $250/day who would be hired by a family to go through the park you have a reservation for with you and do all the work necessary to be able to enjoy the parks and go on the rides. That way the family can just relax and enjoy themselves. I mean from Disney’s perspective money isn’t an issue for it’s guests so people shouldn’t have a problem with the new system. You could call it :Thunder for the Lightning Lanes.

  9. Send someone out with kids and then report back. No family is going park open to close and running around the resort. 2-3 LL sounds reasonable for a family especially with kids.

  10. What about Hollywood Studios? Magic Kingdom offers more rides then any other park, but HS does not.

  11. I’d like to see the results for someone who is going to Hollywood Studios and most importantly getting up at a vacation time like 10-11AM instead of 7AM

  12. You guys should do a test with a party of 4 or 6. Lots of us have families. It’s always been easy for singles to get a ton of fast-passes.

    1. I agree! Doing the test as a party of one and making it sound like disney is crazy for saying expect 2-3 rides is misleading. Even in your instagram stories you mentioned having to take a bit to get certain rides to appear. And that’s for just 1 person. Can you try it as a group of 4?

      (On a positive note, my Husband and I have been enjoying your videos, instagram stories, articles, etc!)