PlanningThe ParksTips

Disney Rides We Are Willing to Pay to Experience

We would love it if we could visit Walt Disney World and there would be no crowds at any of the Disney Parks and wait times for all the major attractions were under thirty minutes, but this isn’t the case.  Walt Disney World is busier than ever before and that means that crowds and wait times are both high.

Credit: Disney

With the introduction of Disney Genie, Guests now have two ways to skip the long lines at Walt Disney World.  Genie+ is $15/day/person and gives Guests access to the lightning lanes throughout the four Disney Parks.  Genie+ can be purchased the morning of (starting at midnight) and is a day-by-day purchase now.

Guests also have the option to purchase Individual Lightning Lanes.  These are rides in each Disney Park that aren’t included with Genie+.  In order to use the lightning lanes for these rides, Guests have to purchase them al-a-carte.  Pricing ranges from $7 to $17 per person per ride.

When looking at these additional costs, we got to thinking that there are some clear situations we would be willing to pay extra to experience a ride as well as some specific rides we would be willing to pay extra to experience.

Let’s take a look at those situations so you can determine if you would do the same on your Disney trip.

Credit: Disney

When We Would Pay Extra

When we think about when we would be willing to pay extra for rides there are a few instances that we wouldn’t be upset about having to pay extra.

The first is when there is a new ride in a Disney Park.  When new rides and attractions open in one of the four Theme Parks, we see extremely long waits as all Guests want to experience them.  If we could pay extra to both skip the extremely long lines, as well as better, insure our chance to ride them we would do so.

The other reason we would be willing to pay for rides is when we haven’t ridden it yet.  When we hadn’t experienced Rise of Resistance yet, we were willing to pay for the Individual Lightning Lanes to do so.  This is the same for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.  When we head back down to Walt Disney World next, we will be willing to pay extra to ensure a ride on this amazing new coaster.

Finally, we are willing to pay extra for rides that seem to always have long wait times.  If we know that a ride typically has wait times longer than an hour on any given day, we are going to be willing to pay a little extra to skip these long lines.

Those are some of the specific situations where we would be willing to pay extra.  Let’s look at some of the rides we would be willing to pay extra for.

Credit :Disney

Specific Rides We’d Pay Extra to Experience

Right now (until early August) there is only one ride in each of the four Disney Parks that is included in Individual Lightning Lanes.  Those rides are:

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (EPCOT)

Avatar: Flight of Passage (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom)

In order to have access to the lighting lanes for these specific rides, Guests need to pay extra.  The cost is date-based meaning it varies based on the time of year.  Surprisingly when looking at these four, we can see ourselves paying for each of them during our Walt Disney World trip for various reasons.

Rise of the Resistance is the first ride that we would be willing to pay for while on our vacation.  Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is currently the most popular ride in all of Walt Disney World.

With lines constantly over an hour and sometimes reaching two to three hours on busy days, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is one IAS that we would pay for.

The cost for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is constantly $15 each day.  We think that this is a good investment if you haven’t experienced this ride and don’t want to spend an extended period of time in line.

Avatar Flight of Passage
Credit: Disney

Avatar Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is another ride that we would purchase the IAS for during our vacation.  A lot like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Avatar is extremely popular and consistently sees wait times that are higher than 90 minutes.

Early in the morning, this ride moves quickly, but within the first hour of Disney’s Animal Kingdom opening, you will see the wait time rise to 90 plus minutes.

Since we really enjoy this ride and prefer to not spend a long time in line while visiting Animal Kingdom, we will opt to pay $11-$14 to use Lightning Lane.

Credit: Disney

Guardians of the Galaxy:  Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT is the newest attraction in all of Walt Disney World.  This highly anticipated coaster has quickly become a fan favorite.  Currently, in order to ride this coaster, Guests have two options.  They can choose to try for a boarding group or they can purchase an individual lighting lane.

As I like to have control, I would invest in an individual lightning lane.  This would give me the chance to choose my return time as well as have less stress when it comes to a boarding group.

Since this is the most popular ride in all of Walt Disney World right now, we would spend the extra money to experience it while visiting.

seven dwarfs mine train
credit: Disney

The final ride that we would consider paying for is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  To be honest, out of the four rides, this is one that we might consider not paying for during our vacation.  As our kids have become more thrill-seekers, this ride isn’t as high on their list.

This ride is still extremely popular at Magic Kingdom and the lines are long throughout the day making the individual lightning lane a great option.  If we weren’t staying at a Disney Resort or couldn’t take advantage of the extending morning and evening hours offered to some Guests, we would look into purchasing an individual lightning lane just to experience it once during our trip.

It would be wonderful if everything was free and we could all have short lines during our vacation, but that isn’t the case.  Instead, we hope that this helps you determine if purchasing individual lightning lanes is right for your family.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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