I’ve Mastered Disney Genie, and I’m Answering All Your Questions About the Confusing System

Disney’s Genie system is still a hot topic of conversation.

Disney Genie+

Disney World has been pretty busy lately with incoming Spring Break crowds, recent news about the newest snacks coming to Magic Kingdom, and even some rare character sightings! As things get busier, it’s naturally a great time to answer all of your Genie+ questions.

I go to Disney World almost every single day and I’ve used the Genie system more than the average Joe. Thanks to my job, I feel like I’ve mastered the system, and here are the answers to some of the most confusing parts of the system.

What Is Disney’s Genie?

Disney’s Genie system debuted in October 2021 and was the replacement for the Disney FastPass system. It’s the current skip-the-line service offered by Disney and it’s been controversial from the get-go. Genie is broken down into three different tiers.


First is Genie, which is the free version of the service. It allows you to use the tip board and it suggests times for you to do different things like eat, ride rides, and watch entertainment on your Disney World day. Second, is Genie+, which is the first paid tier. Genie+ allows guests to pay to skip the lines by using Lightning Lanes.

Jungle Cruise Lightning Lane entrance

Finally, there is the paid Individual Lightning Lane tier. This tier is a separate charge from Genie+ and there is one ride that requires an Individual Lightning Lane in each park.

Here are 3 critical differences between Disney’s Genie+ and Fastpass

What Are The Basic Rules?

Here’s where things get tricky. When it first debuted, these rules tended to change a lot, but they are actually pretty similar to the original FastPass rules. First, Genie+ can only be purchased on the day you are visiting the park and not any earlier. Before purchasing, you need to make sure all members of your party are connected on the My Disney Experience app. (Guest Relations can help you with that if needed.)

Early morning rope drop crowds!

Once you’ve purchased the service (which you should do before 7AM), you’re ready to make your first Lightning Lane selection!  At 7AM, you can make your first lightning lane selection even if you are not staying on Disney property. If you are staying on Disney property, you can also make your first Individual Lightning Lane selection at this time, too.


After that, guests will have to wait 2 hours (120 minutes) after the park opens to make their next selection OR if their Lightning Lane time comes before that two hours is over, they can make another selection when they use their first Lighting Lane. (Did I lose you there? I hope not!)

Lightning Lane signage in Disney World

Essentially guests will either wait the full two hours to make another choice or they will make another choice as soon as their first Lightning Lane is over — whichever comes first. While it might feel confusing, it’s like riding a bike! Once you figure it out, you’ll be all good to go.

Lightning Lane sign for Meet and Greet

During busier times, you might pull a Genie+ Lightning Lane much later in the day than you would like. No worries, you can try to modify it! Within the basic rules of Genie+, if you see a different time for a Lightning Lane that you want, you can try to modify your original time to your preferred time.

Modify Your Selection

This isn’t always guaranteed that you will get the time you want, but if you keep your eye on the app it could be a game changer for you.

Click here to see the one Genie rule Disney World guests keep forgetting

The Difference Between Lightning Lanes and Individual Lightning Lanes

Even after understanding the system basics, a lot of guests continue to confuse Lightning Lanes and Individual Lightning Lanes. The simple difference? Lightning Lanes are included in the prices for Genie+. Individual Lightning Lanes are a separate fee, and there is (currently) only one individual lane per park.

Individual Attraction Cost at Check Out ©Disney

So on the most expensive days in Disney World, one guest can pay up to $60 to skip some of the lines in one Disney World park. One important note is Disney only guarantees that guests will skip two to three lines per day with Genie+, but don’t worry we have the tips and tricks to help you skip many more!

Here’s how to only use Genie+ when you need it

How Is Genie+ Priced?

Another change that has happened since Genie began is that pricing is now date based! So what does that mean? Basically, the price for Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes will depend on how busy Disney World is. The price can range anywhere from $15 to $29 for Genie+ on any given day. 


So if Genie+ costs $29, you can expect Disney to be pretty busy. You can expect to see prices like this during the spring break season, the summer times, and during holidays. Another issue is that Genie+ can actually sell out!


Recently, in 2023, Disney Genie+ sold out at Disney World for the first time ever! That means during Disney’s peak seasons, if you don’t buy Genie+ early enough, you might not get the chance to. This is to help ensure that guests who buy the service will still be able to move quickly through the lines, but it can seriously impact your plans if you miss out on the purchase.

Learn more about Genie+ selling out here

Weird Problems You Might Encounter Using Genie+

So even after you have the normal basics figured out, weird stuff can still happen when using Genie. From rides going down to some unusual priorities, you might not know how to handle these issues with Genie+.

Kilimanjaro Safaris Lightning Lane

One issue you might encounter is if a ride closes during your arrival time. Traditionally when a ride goes down, Disney automatically gives you a “Redemption Lightning Lane” also known as a “Multiple Experiences Pass.”

Redemption pass

This is a pass you can use at most other Lightning Lanes throughout Disney World, although some exclusions do apply. If you want, you can try to see if the ride you originally chose will reopen, or you can use it at another attraction! So if this happens to you, don’t stress. No matter what, you will still get to skip a line somewhere. Another weird issue? Lightning Lanes will fill up more quickly than you realize. 

No more Lightning Lanes!

This can be an issue for more popular rides like Slinky Dog Dash or The Jungle Cruise. What you might not expect is Lightning Lanes might fill up for character meet and greets or other attractions you might not think of as popular. Recently, Lightning Lanes for Ariel’s Grotto where guests can meet the Little Mermaid have been filling up pretty quickly!

Ariel’s Grotto!

While this one might seem a little odd to you, this is a recently returned attraction, and guests have been waiting on it for a while. Luckily for you, AllEars keeps track of popular lightning lanes so that way you won’t be caught off guard on your next trip to Disney World.

Learn more about the Genie+ info you need to know for Disney World here

What Is The Biggest Downside?

Overall, Genie+ can be a really useful tool on your Disney vacation, but that’s not to say that there aren’t downsides to it. The main downside? You have to be on your phone for the majority of your day to truly get the most from the system. 


Genie+ can be used casually or pretty systematically. If you use the system more casually (mean less time on your phone), you probably won’t get the absolute best Lightning Lane times possible. You will get to be more present in your day and your phone will die less quickly though!

Cast Members scanning for Lightning Lane passes

On the other side of the coin, if you use the system to its utmost potential, you will have the chance to get the maximum amount of Lightning Lanes and get the best bang for your buck, but you will constantly be refreshing on your phone for a majority of the day. Neither option is wrong or bad, both have their good qualities! It just depends on what you value for your Disney vacation. 

Click here to see if we think Genie+ is worth it

Overall, Genie is a pretty complicated system, but it can be conquered if you take the time to learn a bit more about it. Here at AllEars, we have tons of resources for Genie+, and even some super helpful tips and tricks, so be sure to keep following us for all of the latest info and news.

Join the AllEars.net Newsletter to get the free list of the 14 best times to use Genie+ at Disney World! Click here to get started!

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Did this help you understand Genie a bit more? Tell us your other questions in the comments! 

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5 Replies to “I’ve Mastered Disney Genie, and I’m Answering All Your Questions About the Confusing System”

  1. If I am modifying a lightning lane, can I modify to a different park? Or can I only modify to an attraction in the same park as originally booked????

  2. I’ve been a DVC member since 2005 and have been to Disneyland 2X and Disneyworld 25x. The Genie+ system is a nightmare to navigate and is especially annoying when you have to make reservation each day of your visit at 7am. You should be finished planning your vacation months BEFORE you arrive and from my experience with the system many times the Genie+ is sold out at 7am. You shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to use this system. The one great thing about Disney that is now long gone was their customer service and they would bend over backwards to make your stay a pleasant one now it’s just a nightmare. I now live in Florida less than an our from Disneyworld and from now on when I use my DVC points for my Disney vacation I’ll think I’m going to just hangout by the pool and skip the parks and relax this way I won’t have to worry about getting ripped off in the parks anymore.

  3. Yeah, at this point I’m done with Disney. Up to this point I went along with every change they implemented over the years. But this is ridiculous. It’s not even a pleasure trip anymore. It’s an endurance test.

  4. A couple of comments: If this is the best Disney can do, why is it after a year and a half, AllEars is still explaining it to guests? It is NOT a replacement for FastPass which allowed Disney resort guests to pick three fastpasses at each park they planned to visit 60 days in advance, not at 7AM on the day they have a reservation to visit a park (the reservation also being new). Then choosing one at a time after the three were used. Also you describe the day at the parks as spending a great deal of your time looking at your phone. Shouldn’t a day at Disney parks be a time to NOT look at your phone? To relax and enjoy your day not forced, by Disney, to have to look at your phone all day? Just about every other aspect of your life, someone is trying to get you to stop looking at your phone (Driving, at work, at school) and some genius at Disney decided that would be the best way to manage lines at Disney. How about just charging for Fastpass and getting rid of Genie +. I mean who pays for INCONVENIENCE?

  5. With the introduction of this ludicrous system, Disney has ceased to exist for me. (I used to fly to WDW from Europe every other year). What kind of vacation is it if I have to stare at a cellphone all day long? (Besides, I do not even one one…) How am I be supposed to feel “happy”, when I am constantly being ripped off? It´s not even about the money itself, I could easily afford whatever they are asking for – it´s that feeling of being ripped off, that I am dealing with a company that cares about absolutely nothing else than their profit – a feeling I *never* had in the past, even after all the price hikes during Eisner´s reign…