Genie+ has rolled out at Walt Disney World. However, Genie+ is with us to stay so will we need to decide how to use it (or not). Genie+ is a paid service to get access to most of the attractions offering a lightning lane (former Fastpass line). This service will cost you $15/day plus tax per person.
This article will only cover the attractions included with your Genie+ payment.
There are 2 additional attractions in each WDW park that are not included. Those are the individual paid access attractions which cost more $$$ but buying Genie+ is not required.
Before we discuss some basic suggestions on which lightning lane spots to select, here are some Genie+ basics.
Currently, you can only buy Genie+ after midnight the day of your park reservation. The only exception is if you have a vacation package. If you have a vacation package, you can buy Genie+ in advance but you MUST purchase for every day of your vacation package. I would highly recommend not doing that unless the probable waste of money is worth it to you in terms of convenience gained (this is your vacation after all).
Also, you can only get a lightning lane for each attraction one time. The standby line may be used multiple times however.
You may select your first Genie+ lightning lane spots at 7am on the day of your visit. Yet, you cannot select the next Genie + lightning lane spot until you use your first within one or two hours after park opening at the park in which you have a reservation.
So, if park opens at 9am officially, then you can get another lightning lane at 11:00 if your previous one has not been used because the time window for it has not come up. Since you are only offered next available spot and cannot pick your time with these attractions, there will need to be some strategy.
You may be thinking: “That seems weird!” Well, let us start with which Lightning Lane spots to select at Hollywood Studios to explain.
Hollywood Studios has 12 Genie+ lightning lane attractions. Several of then really will not require a lightning lane unless it is Christmas week busy such as Frozen Sing-Along, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular (when it returns in December 2020), Disney Junior Dance Party, and Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage.
This leaves 8 attractions to wisely use your Genie+ to acquire.
Those attractions are:
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
- MuppetVision 3D (yes, it could be argued that you do not need a lightning lane for this one, but I waited 27 minutes in May 2021)
- Rock n Roller Coaster
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours
- Toy Story Mania
- Tower of Terror
Your Genie+ choices will depend on your preferences and how you plan to tour the park. There are some basic guidelines based on people’s experience in the first week or so of Genie+.
- Slinky Dog Dash is the most popular selection. Those spots have been running out daily. You may find that if you select this attraction at 7:07am, that the time offered may be in the late afternoon. Therefore, the two-hour window is very important at Hollywood Studios. If you want to use Genie+ for Slinky Dog Dash spot, you may need an alternate plan for the first two hours of park opening. The choices are up to you like going back to bed or get a good breakfast. You could also ride various attractions via the standby lines. Also, you could purchase paid access to Mickey’s Runaway Railway and/or Rise of the Resistance since these are not included in the Genie+.
You could trust the Genie free planning feature but that might send you to PizzeRizzo before it opens (yes, that happened to many guests). This is your first big decision. Try not to wait until 7am that day to decide.
- Then, the next hardest Genie+ spot to get is Smuggler’s Run. If this is important to you then monitor this since availability in late afternoon and evening has been harder to acquire.
- The third hardest Genie+ has been Rock N Roller Coaster. This one seems odd based on other data. Yes, there are reports of the lightning lane being hard to get. Still, there are reports that standby actual wait in the evening for the coaster was 15 minutes. You will need to decide this but if not planning to be in Hollywood Studios all day (perhaps park-hopping, then the coaster should move up in priority.
- The other two that might run out on busier days are Tower of Terror and Alien Swirling Saucers. We lack conclusive data at this point but they did run out in first week of Genie+
This is Walt Disney World so things can change. We expect WDW to tweak the Genie+ system often. However, this is the best advice based on less than 10 days of guest reports. Good luck! Remember you mileage may vary, and your desired attractions may vary also.
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.