How to use Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World

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On my most recent trip to the Walt Disney World, I purchased the new paid add-on feature called Disney Genie+.

If you are unfamiliar with what Disney Genie & Disney Genie+ and want a full explanation on these new features are, click the button below.

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How to use Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World

Quick Rundown

Even if you have already read my previous post on Disney Genie+ or have a pretty good idea of what it is, I still want to quickly go over a couple things.

Disney Genie+ Cost

  • The add-on cost for the “package” Disney Genie+ is $15/person each park day
  • Individual / “á la carte” Lightning Lane purchase prices vary depending on the time of year & the day of the week
    • For Example: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is $9 on a Wednesday but $11 on Sunday. And Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is $15 on Wednesday and $20 on Friday.
    • Individual Lightning Lane prices will be listed day of on the My Disney Experience app on the “Tip Board” .
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Paying for Disney Genie+

  • If you bought your theme park tickets before Disney Genie+ was available or chose to purchase your tickets without Disney Genie+, know that you wont be able to pay for Disney Genie+ until the day of as early as 12am.
    • Either stay up until midnight and purchase or get up a little before 7am and purchase Genie+
  • If you purchase your tickets with Disney Genie+ added, all you will have to do is make your Lightning Lane selections beginning at 7am each park day.

As of June 8th, 2022: Advance purchase of Genie+ is no longer available. If you purchased tickets prior to June 8th, your Genie+ add-on will still be linked to your tickets.

Disney World ticket options screenshot

Making Lightning Lane Selections

At the start of of each day, you can begin making Lightning Lane selections at 7 am. You will have a 1-hour return window, where you will tap in and redeem your Lightning Lane selection. Additional selections can be made 2 hours later OR once it’s been 2 hours after the park opened (that only applies for your second selection). *previously you could immediately get a new Lightning Lane selection after redeeming your current selection but we were never able to do that.

For your 2nd Lighting Lane only: it must be 2 hours after park opening or after the arrival window, even if it’s been 2 hours since your initial Lighting Lane booking. IE: at 7 am you make a LL for Slinky Dog Dash but the return time isn’t until 4 pm and the park opens at 9 am, with the 2 hour & 2 hour after park opening rule you won’t be able to make your 2nd LL until 11 am. Then for every LL after that it’s the normal 2 hour rule. *When in doubt, try and make an additional selection. The app will tell you when you can make your next selection.

It IS possible to have multiple Lightning Lane selections at once AND/OR have a Lightning Lane selection along with one of the Individual attraction selections. (I will explain this below)

My Disney Genie+

My Disney Experience app

In the days (or weeks) leading up to your trip, I suggest going on the My Disney Experience app and making your Top Picks for each park day under “My Day”. Doing this will sort the rides on the Tip Board and will show you your tops picks first versus listing them alphabetically. This will save you time in the morning so you are not scrolling to the bottom of the screen to get to Slinky Dog Dash or Space Mountain.

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Our Experience Using Disney Genie+

We prepaid for Disney Genie+ with our theme park tickets. Just before 7am I was on the app ready to make my first selection. It’s best to know what your first selection is so you don’t waste any time scrolling. Try to have a watch or second phone that shows the seconds. At 6:59:58 pull down on the Tip Board to refresh and the Lightning Lane windows should appear (or keep refreshing until the times do appear). Also, know that you cannot choose what time slot you get for Genie+ selections (only Individual Lightning Lanes). And sometimes when you make a ride selection, the time that you initially saw and the return time you actually get can change by the time your selection is finalized. It all depends on the day and what ride you are attempting to get a Lightning Lane for.

We knew we wanted to ride Slinky Dog Dash and that it is one of the rides that will run out of Lightning Lanes almost immediately. So I was on the app with my Tip Board ready to go and had Disney’s Hollywood Studios selected. At 6:59:58 I refreshed the app clicked on Slinky Dog Dash and got a return time of 2 pm. Success!!

On this particular day, we actually had park reservations for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you have a hopper ticket, you ARE NOT restricted to only making Lightning Lane selections for the theme park you have a reservation for. Because we made our first Lightning Lane for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and it opened at 8 am, this meant that I couldn’t make our next selection until 10 am, instead of 9 am since our reservation window hadn’t expired, we were restricted to the 2 hours post park opening rule.

My Disney Experience app

Set an alarm for your next Lightning Lane

My Disney Experience app

Once you’ve made your Lightning Lane selection, REMEMBER TO SET AN ALARM on your phone for your next Lightning Lane selection. We were checking out of our hotel so I missed the next one by a little. At 10:23 am, we get and stack our second Lightning Lane for Kali River Rapids. Then I set my next alarm for 12:23pm so I could make my third selection. By 11:30 am we were walking into Disney’s Animal Kingdom to redeem our first Lightning Lane.

My Disney Experience app

When my alarm went off at 12:23 pm I immediately jumped on the app and searched for our next Lightning Lane selection. There wasn’t a lot of time slots available so we decided to pick up a Lighting Lane for Star Tours with a return time of 4:30 pm.

We continued to pound the app. And then we learned a very important lesson. Only pick up Lightning Lane selections for rides you really want. Because if one comes available, by the time you drop your current selection and go back to get the ride you want, it’s already long gone.

“Pounding the app” is when you continue to refresh the app over and over until a time slot becomes available. This is very tedious and requires a lot of patience. But eventually, will pop up and you have to be SUPER quick to snag it. Once we dropped the Star Tours Lightning Lane and after a ton of attempts at pounding the app, we finally got the Lightning Lane we wanted.

My Disney Experience app
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As the day went on, we were able to continue pick up more Lightning Lane selections. We were successfully able to reserve a total of 6 Lightning Lane selections. We probably could have fit in at least one if not a couple more had we not fumbled around and restarted the 2 hour wait because of the add/drop of a couple selections.

My Disney Experience App

Stacking Lightning Lanes

Again, the way to maximize your day and get your money’s worth is make sure you’re on the app ready to make your next selection when it is your time. Stacking your Lightning Lane selections is incredibly important if you’re really trying to maximize your day. Whether you’re in the parks on a super busy park day or a certain ride just happens to have a window that is really far out, it’s important to know you can and should stack your Lightning Lane selections. As I said before, set an alarm for 2 hours after the last selection was made.

Like I mentioned before, with Genie+ selections you can’t choose the return time of any specific ride. You either have to take what’s available or wait until a time slot that works becomes available. Unfortunately if you’re in the parks on a super busy day, you might just take what you can get and that might mean that you’ll be zig-zagging all over the park. It’s still better than waiting in an hour and half standby line.

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Stacking an Individual Lightning Lane & a Genie+ Lightning Lane

Yes, you can stack an Individual Lightning Lane selection AND a Genie+ Lightning Lane selection. Since the Individual Lightning Lane isn’t included in the “package” of Genie+, there is no restriction on how long you have to wait to book a Genie+ Lightning Lane and an Individual Lightning Lane.

For us, stacking these Lightning Lanes allowed us to skip some really long standby lines. The standby line for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was 130 Minutes!! That is just a little more than 2 hours. In those 2 hours we had already walked around the World Showcase and stopped to get food from 4 different Outdoor Kitchens.

When attempting to make an Individual Lightning Lane – If at 7 am you don’t see any time slots, keep refreshing. More time slots become available a few minutes after. Try force closing out the app and going back and refresh.

Would I buy Disney Genie+ again?

After paying and using Disney Genie+ for all three of our park days and one Individual Lightning Lane attraction; I hands down would pay for them again. We are all about maximizing our time while in the parks and would rather pay to wait in any standby line over 30 minutes (Disney Snobs remember 😉 ). Spending less time in standby lines allows us to not only ride more rides, but allows us to walk around at a slower pace and really take in all the fun and unique detail each section of the parks.


A couple suggestions I have are, if you can help it. Go during the middle of the week. The weekend was significantly busier than it was during the week and the return times were a lot further out than what we had seen on Tuesday versus Saturday. If you wanting to limit your spending or just don’t want to drop $15 a person for multiple days, purchase Disney Genie+ for one park day. Opting to purchase Disney Genie+ on a weekday can potentially mean the return times will be a lot closer to the time of selection. And you will be able to ride more rides than on the weekend. Or only purchase Disney Genie+ on a weekend day knowing that the standby waits are going to be very long; and use your weekday park visit to wait in the standby lines when the waits during the week are typically shorter than on the weekend. And remember that you do not have to stick with Lightning Lane selections just for the park that you have a park reservation (if you have a park hopper).

Despite the other two days that we went into the parks (Saturday & Sunday) were a LOT busier than our last park day, we were still able to successfully get Lightning Lane selections for all the rides we wanted. Partly because we made those rides our priority for our initial 7 am selection, and because we kept pounding the app until a time slot finally popped up. Again, if you want to try and limit how much extra money you’re spending on the Lightning Lanes, go during the week and pay for it on a mid-week day. The Individual Lightning Lanes will be cheaper and you could be a lot more efficient during the week than on the weekend.

If you have a specific question regarding Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes that I didn’t address in this post, please drop a comment below and I will get back to you.

Spreading magic one post a time

Kristin
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