We can all breathe a little better now that our masks are off, however using Disney’s new Genie Plus service is likely to make some of us hyperventilate. Before my most recent trip to the parks in March, I took note of some advice from some Disney experts and I’d like to share which of their tips actually worked! I will also give you a detailed anatomy of the Genie Plus system and include some tricks I have learned along the way.
Genie Plus Basics
As we stated in our Complete Guide to Disney Genie Service, the paid Genie Plus system (currently $15 per person) is designed to help parkgoers book Lightning Lanes. What in the world is a Lightening Lane? It’s the new system which took place of the older free Fastpass. When you are reserving a Lightning Lane it assigns you a time to enter a separate queue that is significantly faster than the Standby Line.
In order to purchase the Genie Plus Service in advance, you must buy a multiple-day ticket. Otherwise, you must purchase it the day of your Park Pass, which is a reservation at a specific park that is now required in order to gain entrance into any of the parks. This can all be accomplished in the My Disney Experience App on your mobile device.
How to Use Disney Genie
To use the Genie Service in the My Disney Experience App, click “View My Day” on the home screen. You should then be directed to a screen with two tabs that read “Tip Board” and “My Day”, which is the default. Click “Tip Board” and you will see the name of one of the parks, today’s date, and the option to “Change Park.” Below are two additional tabs, “Experiences”, which is the default, and “Dining.” Under “Experiences” should be a title reading “My Top Picks” with “Edit Selections” next to it followed by a list of all the attractions at the park mentioned at the top of the screen. Under each of the listed experiences the height requirement is mentioned right underneath it as well as the Standby Line wait time with an option to “View Details” and the earliest available time for either the Lightning Lane that is labeled “LL Disney Genie+” with an option to “Book Experience” or the Individual Lightning Lane labeled “LL Individual Lightning” with the option to “Purchase for” followed by the fluctuating price (this is an additional fee on top of the Genie Plus service however Genie Plus does not need to be purchased in order to buy an Individual Lightning Lane.)
If you are park hopping and wish to book or purchase a Lightning Lane, click “Change Park” at the top of the screen to the park you plan on going to at 2:00 PM or later which is the official time Disney allows guests with Park Hopper tickets to enter another park (you do not need another Park Pass Reservation for the park you would like to hop to.)
It is important to note that anyone who has bought the Genie Plus Service for the day has the ability to book their first Lightning Lane at 7:00 AM, however, only deluxe resort guests are given access to secure Individual Lightning Lanes at this time and all other park goers must wait until the specific park opens to do so. Only one Lightning Lane is able to be booked at a time and you must wait until you have either used it, or two hours have passed, whichever occurs sooner.
Individual Lightning Lanes can be booked on top of regular Lightning Lightning lanes, however only one can be purchased for the associated ride in a day. It is crucial to scan either your Magic Band or Magical Mobile Pass (Disney’s new mobile ticket that can be added to your mobile wallet on your mobile device) to alert the My Disney Experience App that you have used your Lightning Lane so that you can book another one. There is a one-hour window to use a Lightning Lane or Individual Lightning Lane based on the assigned time and you should be able to scan your Magic Band or Magic Mobile Pass up to five minutes early. The current list of attractions included in the Genie Plus Service for each park can be found here.
Pro Tips and Disney Genie Plus Hacks
Tip: Keep Refreshing the Tip Board to Secure an Earlier Lightning Lane
Frustrated that the next Lightning Lane available is 6 hours away? Use this tip for refreshing your tip board! No idea how to refresh your tip board? To refresh this page, drag your finger down the screen and lift it up. This will allow you to see the updated list of wait times as well as the earliest available Lightning Lanes and Individual Lightning Lanes. To shorten the list of attractions that appear on the Experiences tab, click “edit selection” and check only the attractions you wish to view on your Tip Board.
I was able to accomplish this hack for both Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway as well as Kilimanjaro Safaris by constantly refreshing the Tip Board for less than 10 minutes! These are two more popular rides for their respective parks that averaged an hour or more wait time while I was there. Let this be a testament that it is possible to get an earlier Lightning Lane than initially listed even for busier attractions.
Trick: Edit the Tip Board Selections to only include one ride
By doing this you are able to quickly glance at the Lightning Lane time without scrolling down the Tip Board page which allows you to refresh your screen more times! My theory is that this also gives the application fewer things to load but I have no evidence that this is actually the case.
Tip: Stay at a Deluxe Resort for Early Purchasing Access for Individual Lightning Lanes
This tip worked flawlessly on the second day of my visit. At 7:00 AM I was able to purchase two 9:35 AM Individual Lightning Lanes for Avatar Flight of Passage. By not waiting in line for this ride, I was able to enjoy five attractions at Animal Kingdom before noon!
Having early access to purchase Individual Lightning Lanes is especially crucial if you’d like to book one for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Unfortunately, the My Disney Experience App deleted my resort stay from my account so I missed the three-minute window it took for this Individual Lightning Lane to sell out. This leads me to the next trick I learned…
Trick: Make Sure your Resort Stay is Linked to your Account in the My Disney Experience App on the day of your park visit
(before 7:00 AM) especially when staying at the Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin, or Swan Reserve resorts (these are the only deluxe resorts that are not owned by Disney)
Sweaty and jittery pre-morning coffee was my predicament as 7:00 AM sluggishly approached. All the time researching and planning came down to this moment! I clicked to purchase the Rise of the Resistance Lightning Lane and excitement washed over me as the next screen appeared signaling that I was one step closer to skipping a 3-hour line.
With nimble fingers, I kept clicking the prompts when suddenly my heart sank as I read that I was not eligible to book this experience. I later spoke with the front desk of my hotel and they explained that this has been happening frequently and relinked my resort stay for me. They also claimed that it was an issue that the My Disney Experience App was having itself.
Tip: Stack your Lightning Lanes by booking another one 2 hours later even if you have a lightning lane you have not used yet
This tip was incredibly helpful to know! I had overlapping lightning lanes throughout my trip which allowed me to experience many attractions back to back. However, it was difficult keeping track of when the 2-hour time frame began.
Trick: Take a screenshot once you’ve booked a Lightning Lane to keep a record of when the two hours begin
Between the thick Florida air, swarming crowds, booming music, and all the mingling aromas that come along with spending a Day at Walt Disney World, it’s almost a guarantee to become overstimulated making concentration difficult. I found myself befuddled when trying to recall the time that I had most recently booked a Lightning Lane due to the sensory overload and also the numerous other reservations I had booked for my trip.
Once I started taking a screenshot every time I booked a Lightning Lane I felt more in control of my day and did not have to second guess myself or miss the chance to book another one I had my eye on. You can take this a step further and set a timer or alarm on your phone or smartwatch.
Tip: Book Lightning Lanes for Attractions with the Longest Lines
With the crowds returning to Disney in full swing it is nearly impossible to avoid waiting in a line for over an hour at least once during your trip. By prioritizing Lightning Lanes with the longest wait times, you can fit more in your visit. I was actually able to enjoy a dine-in lunch at Sanaa located at Disney’s Animal kingdom Lodge on a day that I park hopped to three different parks because I used this tip! The longest line I waited in for that day was for 35 minutes and I experienced seven attractions before 5:00 PM.
Trick: Book Lightning Lanes for Attractions you Do Not Want to Wait in Line for
Some queues have air conditioning, shade, and/or things to look at before boarding the ride. These are the lines I do not mind waiting in especially in the sweltering Orlando heat! Plus if you grab a snack before entering these types of queues, your long wait becomes a nice intermission.
Hollywood Studios had the highest wait times for almost every ride in the park. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run was averaging an 80-minute wait on the day of my park visit and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith was about the same. I opted to book a Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Lightning Lane instead and I’m so glad I did! While waiting to ride Smuggler’s Run, Chewy and Rey paid us a visit, there were interesting props to gaze at, and the majority of the wait was inside. Although I sympathized with the park goers as I walked past their perspiring wearied faces when skipping to the front of the line for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, I was relieved to not be in their shoes.
Conclusion on Disney Genie Plus Hacks
Disney Genie is a very complicated system. They seem to have figured out how to make it more complicated than the previous Fastpass system. Hopefully, these Disney Genie hacks have helped you get a better idea of the system and will let you sail through your next Disney vacation like a pro. Kudos to all the Disney bloggers and vloggers out there sharing their useful tips! My most recent trip to Walt Disney World would not have been as successful without them. I hope that my insights will help make your visit to the parks even more magical as well! If you have any Disney Genie questions for us be sure to ask in the comment section below.
Kelly is a coastal gal from Savannah who has planted roots in the big city of Atlanta. Like many south easterners, she grew up vacationing in Orlando, and Walt Disney World is the setting for some of her most cherished childhood memories. As she recently became a mother, Kelly is thrilled to continue the tradition and share the magic with her son! She has a passion for helping others and previously had a career as an educator as well as a social services worker. Kelly hopes to use her expertise to create empowering content that will allow our readers to gain confidence for their next visit to Disney!