Guide to Disney’s Genie+, Lightning Lanes, and Ride Reservations: Navigating the Parks Like a Pro

Disney’s Genie+ service is a paid feature that allows you to bypass regular lines at Walt Disney World’s attractions by booking access to Lightning Lanes. Lightning Lanes are essentially fast-track queues that can significantly reduce your wait time for many popular rides. By purchasing Genie+, you gain the ability to select the next available time to join a Lightning Lane at a variety of attractions throughout the day.

When planning your visit to Walt Disney World, understanding and utilizing Genie+ can enhance your experience. To make a reservation for a Lightning Lane once you’ve purchased Genie+, use the Disney mobile app. The process involves choosing an attraction and selecting the return time from those available. You are eligible to make one selection at a time, with the next opportunity to book a Lightning Lane coming after you use your first selection or a certain time period has passed, whichever comes first.

Keep in mind that Genie+ is subject to availability and does not cover all attractions. Also, some of the most in-demand rides may offer individual Lightning Lane entries outside of Genie+ for a separate purchase. These selections allow for even quicker access and are priced per attraction, offering an alternative for those who wish to prioritize specific high-demand rides during their visit.

Understanding Genie+ and Lightning Lanes

Disney’s Genie+ service and Lightning Lane selections are pivotal in maximizing your park experience, offering a more efficient way to enjoy rides.

What is Genie+

Disney’s Genie+ is a paid service that acts as your digital planner and queue optimizer. Once purchased, you can reserve access to select attractions using Lightning Lanes, which are essentially fast-track queues. These reservations can be made on the same day of your visit and are used to bypass the standard lines.

The Basics of Lightning Lanes

Lightning Lanes refer to the reserved queues at Disney parks. Use Genie+ to book arrival windows for attractions from a list of eligible experiences. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use Lightning Lanes:

  1. Purchase Genie+ through the Disney Genie service in the official Disney app on the day of your visit.
  2. Select an attraction with Lightning Lane availability and reserve your arrival window.
  3. Scan your code at the Lightning Lane entrance during your assigned time to enjoy the attraction with minimal wait.

Getting Started with My Disney Experience App

Before you experience the magic of Disney parks, unlocking its full potential begins with the My Disney Experience App. This app is key to managing your park tickets, reservations, and enjoying the Genie+ service through your phone.

Setting Up Your Account

Download the My Disney Experience App onto your phone from your respective app store. Create an account by entering your email address, setting a password, and providing the requested personal details. Verify your email to activate your account. Ensure your details are accurate for a smooth experience.

Linking Park Tickets and Reservations

Connect your park ticket to the app by selecting ‘Tickets and Passes’ and tapping ‘Link Tickets & Passes.’ Use your phone to scan the ticket code or manually enter the ID. Next, secure your park reservations by tapping ‘Reserve Park Entry’ under the ‘My Plans’ section. Select the dates and parks you intend to visit, confirming availability within the app.

Purchasing and Pricing Details

When planning your Disney adventure, understanding the purchase process and pricing of Genie+ and individual Lightning Lanes can help manage your budget and enhance your experience.

How to Purchase Genie+

Start by downloading the Disney World or Disneyland app on your smartphone. Once installed, link your park tickets to the app. On the day of your visit, purchase the Genie+ service through the app. Sales begin at park opening and are based on daily availability.

  • Step 1: Open the Disney app and sign in to your account.
  • Step 2: Tap on ‘My Genie Day’ and select ‘Get Genie+ Service’.
  • Step 3: Follow the prompts to link your ticket and complete the transaction.

Individual Lightning Lane Costs

Individual Lightning Lanes are premium, paid reservations for the most in-demand attractions, separate from the Genie+ service. Prices for individual Lightning Lanes vary based on the date, park, and attraction. You can buy up to two selections per person, per day, with prices generally ranging from $7 to $15 per ride.

  • Attraction Selection: Choose from the most popular rides.
  • Variable Pricing: Expect costs to reflect demand and seasonality.
  • Same-Day Purchase: Buy through the Disney app once you’ve entered the park.

Remember to check the app regularly for up-to-date pricing and availability to make the most of your Disney experience.

Reservations and Planning Strategies

Achieving an enjoyable and efficient visit to Disney’s parks necessitates a structured plan, incorporating Genie+ reservations and a well-thought-out itinerary.

Making Genie+ Reservations

Upon purchasing your Genie+ service, link it to your Disney account immediately. Choose your first Lightning Lane reservation starting at 7 AM on the day of your visit if you’re a guest at a Disney hotel, or at park opening if you’re staying elsewhere.

  1. Select your preferred attraction in the Disney Genie Tip Board or My Disney Experience app.
  2. Confirm your party’s details and the desired return time window.
  3. Book your Lightning Lane selection as soon as your reservation window opens.

Repeat these steps to secure subsequent Lightning Lane entries after you redeem your initial reservation or two hours have passed since securing the last one, whichever comes first.

Optimizing Your Itinerary

Manage your day effectively by keeping a close eye on the Genie Tip Board. It provides real-time updates on attraction wait times and available Lightning Lane bookings.

  • Prioritize attractions with historically long lines for your Lightning Lane selections.
  • Monitor the Tip Board throughout the day to adjust your plans as necessary.

Combine Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations with standby lines for attractions that have shorter wait times. Strategically alternating between the two will help maximize your time and experience more of what Disney has to offer.

Maximizing Park Hopping with Genie+

Park hopping allows you to visit multiple Disney parks in one day. Genie+ can enhance your experience by helping to efficiently plan ride reservations.

Understanding Park Hopper Options

Park Hopper options let you visit more than one Disney park after 2:00 PM. This upgrade is essential if you’re planning to visit multiple parks in a single day. To start off, select your first park where you’ll make your initial Genie+ selections. Remember, after 2:00 PM, you can switch parks and continue using Genie+.

  1. Make your first Genie+ selection at 7:00 AM for the park you’ll start your day.
  2. After 2:00 PM, you are free to hop to another park.
  3. Use the Disney Genie tip board to track availability of Lightning Lane selections in the park you plan to hop to.

By aligning your ride reservations with park hopping times, you maximize your day.

Genie+ and Park Hopping Tips

Genie+ helps you streamline your park day with quick access to Lightning Lanes. Here’s how to use Genie+ effectively when park hopping:

  • Keep an eye on the tip board to plan your Lightning Lane selections ahead of park hopping time.
  • Reserve rides with longer wait times for the morning and check the tip board regularly for Lightning Lane availability at your next park.


  • Secure a morning Lightning Lane for Space Mountain.
  • Around 1:00 PM, begin checking the tip board for Lightning Lane availability at the park you intend to hop to.

Exploring Individual Lightning Lane Attractions

Individual Lightning Lanes allow you to purchase access to certain high-demand attractions, bypassing the standard queues. This option offers a reserved time slot for the experience, providing a more predictable visit.

Selecting Individual Attractions

Individual Lightning Lane attractions are specific, popular rides available for a separate purchase outside of Disney’s Genie+ service.

  1. Review the list of available attractions in the park you are visiting. Each park offers a different set of Individual Lightning Lane entries.
  2. Determine which attractions are must-dos for you and your party, as each Guest can buy access to a maximum of two Individual Lightning Lane attractions per day.
  3. Assess the demand and popularity of the attractions. Historically in-demand rides like “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” typically have Individual Lightning Lane availability.

Reservation Windows and Times

Once you select your preferred Individual Lightning Lane attraction, booking your return time is the next step.

  • Choose a time slot for the attraction based on the available return times displayed on the Disney app.
  • As ride times are subject to availability and offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, it’s essential to reserve as early as possible. Guests staying on-site at a Disney Resort can make their first purchase at 7 AM on the day of their visit, while off-site guests can purchase when the park officially opens.
  • Keep track of your reservation details and return time in the Disney app to ensure a smooth experience at the attraction.

Park-Specific Advice for Ride Reservation

Reserving rides at Disney parks optimizes your visit by reducing wait times. Strategic use of Disney’s Genie+ and Lightning Lane selections can significantly enhance your experience at each park.

Magic Kingdom Highlights

Magic Kingdom offers an assortment of classic attractions and beloved characters. Begin with prioritizing popular rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Peter Pan’s Flight for your Lightning Lane selections. Schedule these early in the day, as they quickly fill up.

  • First, secure a reservation for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train due to its high demand.
  • Second, aim for Peter Pan’s Flight which consistently has long wait times.

Magic Kingdom has multiple attractions, so plan to utilize Genie+ for rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion later in the day.

Epcot Must-Dos

At Epcot, your focus should be on new and innovative experiences. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a must-do and warrants an early Lightning Lane reservation. Test Track is another high-octane ride that often sees longer lines.

  1. Book a Lightning Lane for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure as your first pick.
  2. Follow with a reservation for Test Track to experience high-speed thrills.

Epcot hosts a variety of educational exhibits and slower-paced attractions which typically require less planning.

Adventure at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom combines wildlife with exhilarating rides. Avatar Flight of Passage should be your top priority for reservations. It’s one of the most sought-after attractions across all Disney parks.

  • Secure your spot at Avatar Flight of Passage quickly due to its immense popularity.
  • Consider reserving Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safaris as secondary options.

Although Animal Kingdom has fewer rides, each offers a unique and immersive experience.

Hollywood Studios Favorites

Lastly, Hollywood Studios caters to fans of Disney’s blockbuster franchises. Lightning Lane selections for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash are essential.

  • Ensure a Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance for an epic adventure.
  • Select Slinky Dog Dash for a family-friendly coaster experience, great for all ages.

Remember to also explore other immersive experiences Hollywood Studios provides.

Frequently Asked Questions

When visiting Disney parks, understanding the Genie+ system and how it interacts with FastPass, Lightning Lanes, and Disability Access Service (DAS) ensures a better experience. If plans change, knowing how to manage cancellations and adjust reservations can save time and stress.

Understanding FastPass and DAS

FastPass is a virtual queue system replaced by Disney’s Genie+ service. Genie+ allows you to select the next available time to join the Lightning Lane at an attraction. As soon as you redeem your first selection, or after a period has passed, you can make another selection for that day.

Disability Access Service (DAS) is designed for guests who cannot wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability. DAS allows guests to schedule a return time that is comparable to the current standby wait time for an attraction; you can then spend your waiting period elsewhere.


  • Availability: Genie+ selections are limited and subject to availability.
  • FastPass+: This was the previous iteration of the system, now fully integrated into Genie+.
  • Making Selections: Make your Genie+ and DAS selections via the Disney app.

Managing Cancellations and Changes

If you need to cancel a Genie+ selection or change a return time with DAS, you can do so directly through the Disney app. Timely management of your plans ensures better availability of experience reservations.

Steps for Changes:

  1. Open the Disney app.
  2. Locate your current selections.
  3. Select the reservation you wish to change.
  4. Follow prompts for cancellation or reschedule.

Key Points:

  • Cancellations: Please be aware that last-minute cancellations can limit future availability.
  • Rescheduling: You may reschedule based on the existing availability of experiences or Lightning Lanes.
  • Proactivity: Act quickly to adjust your plans as ideal time slots may fill up.
  • Flexibility: Regularly check the app for new openings if your desired time is not initially available.

Genie+ Tips and Tricks

Leveraging Genie+ effectively can transform your Disney experience, streamlining ride reservations and minimizing wait times.

Expert Advice for First-Timers

When you first use Genie+, understand that this service provides access to Lightning Lanes, which are faster lines for popular attractions. Begin your day by selecting the highest-demand ride as your initial reservation. Make your reservations starting at 7 AM on the day of your visit, as availability can quickly diminish for top attractions. Prioritize rides that typically amass long wait times and secure a Lightning Lane for these early. After redeeming your first selection or two hours have passed since your last booking, immediately make another reservation. This strategy helps maximize the Genie+ service, ensuring you experience more attractions with reduced waiting.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One mistake is not booking your first Lightning Lane reservation promptly at 7 AM; delaying can result in losing a spot on must-do rides. Avoid selecting attractions with characteristically short standby lines as your Genie+ choices; instead, target rides that draw larger crowds and have lengthier queues. Don’t overlook the rebooking window after redemption or two hours since your last booking, or you might miss an opportunity to reserve another Lightning Lane. Also, resist the temptation to save Genie+ selections for late afternoon or evening times, as you reduce the number of reservations you could potentially secure throughout the day.