Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers
How to use Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World
Curious how to use Disney Genie+ at Walt Disney World? Below is a step by step guide to 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.
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+ will vary by each park day
- Weekends, holidays and school vacation weeks will always cost more.
- Daily Disney Genie+ prices will be listed on the My Disney Experience mobile app
- 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” .
- If you wish to purchase 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+
Subscribe and stay up to date on all things Disney
Follow Happily Ever Park Hoppers on Social Media!
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 immediately after redeeming your current selection, 2 hours later OR once it’s been 2 hours after the park opened (that only applies for your second selection).
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, go to the Tip Board. 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+
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.
Using Disney Genie+
Just before 7am you want to be on the app ready to make your 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 for your 7am initial ride selection only, you wont be able to see the return time until after you select “Book Experience”. Occasionally, 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.
Again, knowing your ride priorities is important. And knowing what rides will “sell out” the fastest is important. If you know you want to ride Slinky Dog Dash and that it is one of the rides that will run out of Lightning Lanes almost immediately, that should be your top priority.
At 6:59:58 you should be on the Tip Board ready to go and have the park you are going to that day selected. Once you see the “Check Availability” & “Book Experience”, start scrolling to the attraction you want to make your first Lightning Lane selection for. Tap Book Experience and confirm. You will then see a Reservation Confirmation with your return window. From there, if you go back to the Tip Board, you will now see your Lightning Lane selection and the app will tell you when you can make your next selection.
Strategize your selections
If you are looking to maximize your time, you can really utilize Genie+ to your advantage. After your 7am selection. You will either have to wait until the park has been open for 2 hours or make a selection immediately after scanning into that initial selection. If you’re fortunate enough to have an early return window with that first selection, within the first hour the park is open, you can strategically have three to four Lightning Lane selections under your belt.
To do this, you should select attractions that are nearby (so you’re not zig-zagging all over the park), and that have return times close to the current time. This way you can quickly make a new selection, thus allowing you to accomplish more without having to wait in any standby lines. Quickly resetting the clock also allows you to pick up Lightning Lane selections for other popular attractions before other guests are able to make their next selection. Also, keep in mind that you are only allowed to get a Lighting Lane selection once for every attraction each day. So no repeat selections for the same attraction.
Set an alarm for your next Lightning Lane
If at 7am, you make a Lightning Lane selection that is for later in the day, REMEMBER TO SET AN ALARM on your phone for your next Lightning Lane selection. Again, the app will tell you when it will be time to make your next selection. As the day goes on and you make your selections, remember to keep setting alarms if your return times are more than 2 hours away.
IMPORTANT TIP: 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. However! You will not be able to make Lightning Lane selections in another park until the time slots are after 2pm (which is when park hopping hours begin).
If you go to make a selection later in the day and don’t see any return times for attractions you want to ride, don’t give up!
You can always “pound the app”. 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.
You can pick up a Lightning Lane selection for an attraction and modify that selection, and then by pounding the app. Or you can choose to pound the app without picking up anything. Keep in mind that if you choose to not pick up anything, you will be starting the reset process over later than you would have had you just picked up something else and modified.
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.
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.
*NOTE: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is NO LONGER an Individual Lightning Lane attraction. It is now apart of Disney Genie+
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 it 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’re 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 timeKristin