Most people who have tried to use the FREE genie app at Walt Disney World find themselves disappointed. As you may know Disney fails to tell many things about Genie. Some people have cynically said that the Genie information technology (IT) is so bad people will gladly pay to avoid it. Now, the paid Genie+ IT will not win any awards for productivity either. So far during this busy Thanksgiving (USA) holiday week, guests lack positive things to say about Genie+. Guests must remember this system was designed for Disney not you specifically. However, the flaws within Disney’s IT system with Genie+ can be manipulated by guests
Now, these ways to maximize your Disney day could be fixed by Disney IT department. However, I would not expect that to happen anytime soon. So, how do you maximize purchase of Genie+? If you plan properly, you can have 2 or more lighting lane booking slots for most of your day!
Once you have multiple slots to work with, you can easily use them to reduce your wait. So how does one do that?
Book first Genie+ lightning lane slot for 2 hours after park opening or later!
This plan does not exploit flaws but simply follows the outlined rules. If you have not used a lightning lane slot, you can book another one every two hours. For example, you can book your first lightning lane slot as soon as 7am. If you elected to pick Slinky Dog Dash, then the time offered may be early afternoon. For our purposes, we will say you got a 1-2 pm slot. This means if Hollywood Studios opens at 9pm, then you can book your next lightning lane slot starting at 11am.
For this “stacking” plan, you should select an attraction with earliest offered time slot. For discussion, we will say you picked Toy Story Mania from noon to 1pm. You now have two lightning lane slots. This means every time you use one of these, then you can select another one. This would always give you two slots for rest of day.
Plan on “rope-dropping” the park to use standby for first two hours…
You could use this time to wait in line for the individual paid attraction rides. This would allow you to avoid paying for a lightning lane for attractions like Rise of the Resistance and Flight of Passage. This may seem like a poor use of the morning. However, later in day, you could be going from one lightning lane to another one for several hours with limited waits.
You can let your lightning lane window expire…
This strategy demands excellent timing. Each time you let a lightning lane slot expire, you may select a new slot. However, Disney allows people to enter a lightning lane up to 15 minutes after their time slot expired. For example, you book Alien Spinning Saucers for 9:30am-10:30am. If you wait until after 10:30, then you are eligible to book another attraction. You must then enter the Alien Spinning Saucers queue before 10:45am to use that “expired” lighting lane. Once you scan past the second “checkpoint” in the queue for Alien Spinning Saucers, you can book another lightning lane. You now have two lightning lane slots for rest of day if you are wise.
This strategy presents risks and rewards. Please remember, you can only use lightning lane one time on each available attraction. If you let a lightning lane expire more than 15 minutes, you are at the mercy of the cast member whether to let you enter the lightning lane. One more caveat, this method does not always work. This should be an option you are aware of but do not plan entire day around it!
Once you are working with multiple lightning lane slots, you MUST KEEP booking new lightning lane slots…
In simplest terms, if you have multiple lightning lane slots you are working with, every time an opportunity to get new lightning lane slots happen, you must act. If you fail to act, you will lose you that slot. For example, you have a slot for Tower of Terror from 1-2pm and a slot for Toy Story Mania from 1:45-2:45. (YES, you can schedule overlapping time not unlike old Fastpass+ system) If so, you MUST get a new lightning lane with the former Tower of Terror slot before using the Toy Story Mania slot. If you fail to do that, you will return to having only one lightning lane slot. Based on how the park day is going, you may need to book a lightning lane for something less desirable to keep multiple lightning lanes.
Please remember, Disney made this more complicated. Yes, this does not sound like a vacation. However, people who read blogs and books like this have more knowledge than over 95% of guests in the park. This stress defines a Walt Disney Vacation now. As I am writing this during Thanksgiving week, queues for most major attractions are over 90 minute posted wait.
If you are not entering a park in the morning, you can “stack” a bunch of lightning lane slots for when you do arrive in the parks…
This plan will still demand someone wakes up early. Yet, you simply book one lightning lane slot for later in day at 7am. For example, if you plan to arrive in a park around noon, book your first lightning lane slot for a time at noon or later. With this strategy, you can book another slot at 11:00 for additional lightning lane slot later in day. You would then arrive in the park with two lightning lane slots already.
These plans work well if you desire to park-hop also since you are not allowed to book a lightning lane in your second park until after 2pm. For example, if your park reservation is at Animal Kingdom, you could book lightning lanes after 2pm for Epcot for example. The Genie+ system will only offer you lightning lane slots starting after 2pm if you are needing to park-hop to get there. Once again, this fails to sound like a vacation, but this is what Disney has done to us.
Anytime you take a break, watch the two-hour window…
For example, if you have a scheduled table service reservation or another break from attractions, watch the two-hour timer. If it has been two hours since you booked a lightning lane, then you can book another one no matter how many you currently possess.
Lastly, if you think you are eligible to book a new lightning lane slot, do it…
The worst that can happen is you are unable to book it. You are just asking the computer program for confirmation.
There are still some complication tricks about cancelling lightning lane slots. Not sure I am confident enough to talk anyone through those at this point. This new system demands flexibility for guests since the plan will need to change as day continues. I hope this helps with this awkward Genie+ system. If you want more information about how to use Genie in each park, please consult these links: Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot/Animal Kingdom.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.