If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World you have probably heard about Disney Genie, Genie+, and Individual Lightning Lanes. You are also probably extremely confused. Don’t feel bad. We have done a lot of learning about these new features, and have used them on our Disney vacation, and we still find ourselves confused.
We hope by breaking down these three new features for you, you will be able to use them with more success and confidence during your Walt Disney World vacation. Grab that paper and pencil and let’s get started.
My Disney Experience
The first step is to make sure you understand My Disney Experience. This is Disney’s official planning app that all Guests visiting Walt Disney World need to have downloaded. It is through this app that Guests will be able to see wait times, show times, bathrooms, mobile orders, and access the three features we are going to talk about today- Disney Genie, Genie+, and Individual Lightning Lanes.
If you haven’t already downloaded the app, we highly recommend you do so now. As in pause in your reading and download it. You will need your sign-in information to do so. This app is essential to a successful Disney vacation.
Take some time using the app before your trip and we even suggest reading some of our posts on How to Disney as well. It has so much to offer, but it can also be frustrating trying to find the information. Hopefully, some of our posts will help you navigate My Disney Experience.
Within the My Disney Experience app, you will find Disney Genie. This is a free planning tool that all Guests have access to through the app. It is through this feature that Guests are given tips and suggestions on rides, shows, entertainment, and dining.
Guests can help Disney Genie with the suggestions by adding their preferred rides, shows, attractions, and dining to their My Day feature. Guests can go through and add and remove what they are interested in. By doing this Disney Genie then has a better idea of what Guests are wanting to focus on throughout their day in Disney Park.
Although this is a nice feature to have, keep in mind that Disney Genie is run by Disney and the suggestions and tips are going to be ones that benefit Disney. This means that a lot of times Disney Genie will suggest experiences that aren’t as popular to help spread out the crowds in a Disney Park.
If you aren’t one that wants to spend a lot of time planning your Disney vacation, Disney Genie might be extremely helpful. We do suggest taking some time to set up your favorites to help them navigate your day.
Genie+ is part of Disney Genie. Guests can choose to add Genie+ to their day at midnight through the My Disney Experience app. The cost of this feature is $15 per person per day. By purchasing Genie+, Guests are given access to the Lightning Lane for over 30 attractions throughout the four Disney Parks (Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT).
So how does Genie+ work? Starting at 7:00 am EST, Guests can select one attraction. This will give them a one-hour return window in which they can bypass that standby line and use the faster Lightning Lane to access the experience.
Guests are able to continue to book attractions throughout their day when the following happens:
- They have used the original Genie+ attraction (so they rode the ride)
- The hour time slot has passed (don’t let this happen, don’t miss your window)
- Two hours have passed since you booked your last Genie+ selection
This is where Genie+ can be confusing and frustrating. A lot of times you will run into the issue that the next ride you want to book isn’t until later in the afternoon or evening. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use Genie+ during that time. You just have to wait for two hours to do so.
If at 10:00 am you are able to book Slinky Dog Dash with Genie+ for a return window of 4:00 pm that evening. At 12:00 pm you are able to book another Genie+ selection. You aren’t stuck until 4:00 pm without being able to use the feature you paid for.
There is a lot of strategy and planning that goes into getting the most out of your Genie+ purchase. Take some time to learn what rides you should book first and which ones might not need Genie+. We have a lot of additional information on Genie+ on How to Disney that will be extremely helpful.
Individual Lightning Lanes (ILL)
The last feature that is part of Disney Genie is Individual Lightning Lanes. This is also a paid feature that Guests can choose to pay for during their Disney vacation. Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes are separate from one another. You can choose if you want to purchase both features, just one, or neither of time each day of your vacation.
At each of the four Disney Parks, there are specific rides that aren’t included with Genie+. In order to use the Lightning Lanes for these rides, Guests have to pay for them individually or al-a-carte.
Disney is constantly adjusting which rides are Individual Lightning Lanes so make sure you stay up to date on this information. Currently, the four rides are:
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom)
Avatar Flight of Passage (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
Pricing for these rides ranges from $7 to $17 per ride per person. Guests are able to choose two per day to purchase if they want to do so.
These are the most popular rides in each of the Disney Parks. Standby is an option the lines often reach two hours during busier days if not longer. By purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane (more here on that) you are giving yourself the opportunity to experience the ride without the wait.
Individual LIghtning Lanes are available to purchase starting at 7:00 am through the My Disney Experience app. Guests are usually able to pick a time for these giving them more flexibility in their planning.
Disney Genie, Genie+, and Individual Lightning Lanes are a big part of a Walt Disney World vacation and will continue to be in the future. We hope breaking down these features will help you be better prepared to use them when you arrive on your magical vacation.