Earlier this week, Disney updated the language on their Genie+ website to say that guests can expect to reserve 2-3 Lightning Lanes per day if they buy Genie+. But is that actually true?
We’re in Disney World all the time, and we’ve done a lot of research by using Genie+ and testing out different strategies. So based on our own experiences, how accurate is that claim that guests will only get on 2-3 rides per day with Genie+? Let’s find out.
First, a little bit of background about Genie+ at Disney World.
What Is Genie+?
Genius+ is an optional paid service that replaces FastPass+ in Disney World. Disney Genie+ allows you to bypass standby lines and enter the Lightning Lane (previously known as the FastPass line) at select attractions by paying a base price of $15 per day, per ticket at Disney World. (Taxes not included.)
Guests are able to select return times — for 1 ride at a time with a 1-hour arrival window — for as many of the included attractions as they like.
You can make your next selection when you’ve either tapped into your Lightning Lane attraction OR 120 minutes have passed since you have made your original selection. We break down this “120-Minute Rule” HERE. Once you’re done with your first attraction, you can select another available Genie+ Lightning Lane timeand so on, throughout the day.
Click here to read our FULL guide on Genie, Genie+, and Pay-Per-Ride at Disney World.
Can You Really Only Go on 2-3 Rides With Genie+?
Disney added this language to their Genie+ website recently: “On average, guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences per day using the Lightning Lane entrance if the first selection is made early in the day.”
Disney didn’t explain where they got their estimate from, but our experiences with Genie+ seem to yield more Lightning Lanes than just 2 or 3. In fact, we think you can get on a LOT more rides with Genie+ if you know how to use it well and if your goal is to get on as many rides as possible.
When Genie+ first came out, we experimented to see how many rides we could get on using the new system. In this experiment, our reporters were able to get on many more rides than Disney estimated. If we’re only counting rides (and not shows), our reporter in Magic Kingdom was able to get in 12 of the 16 available Lightning Lanes in this park in one day. This included some of the bigger rides (like Splash Mountain and Jungle Cruise) as well as smaller attractions (like the Barnstormer, Dumbo, and Mad Tea Party).
In EPCOT, a reporter got on 4 of the 8 rides available with Genie+, including Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Soarin’, and Living with the Land. They skipped a couple of smaller attractions in this park, such as The Seas With Nemo & Friends. And they were able to ride Frozen Ever After in the standby queue by using the wait times estimate feature in the free version of the Disney Genie.
In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a reporter got on all 5 of the rides available with Genie+. (Remember that we’re not counting shows for this experiment, such as Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King or Feathered Friends in Flight, although both are available with Genie+.)
And at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, one reporter was able to use the Lightning Lanes on all 12 of the rides available with Genie+!
So if you really know what you’re doing and are focusing only on getting on as many rides as you can, it’s definitely possible to get on a lot more than 2 or 3 rides per day. But is it reasonable? And do you really WANT to?
What Is the Reasonable Average for Genie+ Rides Per Day?
We proved that it’s POSSIBLE to get on more than 2-3 rides in a day, but it’s also not always reasonable to try to get on absolutely all of the Genie+ rides. Some of the smaller rides available through this system may not be on your list of to-dos at all. And when our reporters were experimenting with the possibilities of Genie+, they were only focused on getting on as many rides as possible. Most guests also want to do other things in the parks as welllike grabbing some snacks, watching shows or cavalcades, and shopping for souvenirs.
So what’s a more reasonable expectation for guests using Genie+ at Disney World? It really depends on what kind of rides you want to prioritize. For those with little kids who want to go on the smaller rides, you’ll likely be able to reserve Lightning Lanes at more attractions than those who want to prioritize the big roller coasters.
The number will also depend on which Disney World park you’re in. Magic Kingdom has a lot more rides available on Genie+ than EPCOT, for example. So here’s our breakdown of how many rides we think the average guest can book with Genie+ in each Disney World park:
In Magic Kingdom, a couple of big rides tend to run out of Lightning Lane availability pretty early in the day. We’ve specifically seen this happen frequently with Jungle Cruise and Peter Pan’s Flight. You’ll probably only be able to book one of theseand that’s only if you book it first thing in the morning.
A couple of other big rides — like Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad — usually still have availability later on in the day but can still fill up on busier days.
And of course, this park has a lot of smaller rides to choose from, such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Tea Party, the Barnstormer, and more. Some of the shows are also easy to book for Lightning Lanes, even late in the day, such as Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
From our experiences, we think it’s reasonable to expect to book 2 to 3 of the big rides, at least 3 to 4 of the small ones, and 1 to 2 shows. That adds up to a total of 6 to 9 Lightning Lane reservations total.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Animal Kingdom has fewer experiences available with Genie+, but we still think you can book more than 3 of them in one day. The most popular ride in this park, Avatar: Flight of Passage, is a pay-per-ride attraction, so it’s not on Genie+. The attraction that tends to run out of availability the fastest in this park is Kilimanjaro Safaris. We recommend booking that one right at 7AM if you want to use the Lightning Lane there.
Expedition Everest — when it reopens — is the next most popular attraction. This coaster doesn’t tend to run out of Lightning Lane availability until later in the day.
A couple of other attractions are also popular but not super difficult to get on Genie+, including DINOSAUR and Kali River Rapids. When we looked recently around 3PM EST, there was still Lightning Lane availability at all of the shows, including Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King, It’s Tough to Be a Bug, and Feathered Friends in Flight.
We think you can expect to get on 1 of the bigger rides with Genie+ (Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest), possibly 2 or 3 of the smaller rides, and all of the shows. That’s a total of 6 or 7 experiences with Genie+.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be tricky with Genie+ because this park has a lot of very popular rides and not a lot of smaller ones. The rides that tend to run out of Lightning Lane availability are Slinky Dog Dash and Tower of Terror. (Also Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway when that’s available with Genie+.) If you’re looking to get on one of those attractions, book it right at 7AM!
Some of the rides that are less likely to run out of availability quickly include Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours, and Toy Story Mania. These are still popular rides, but they don’t fill up quite as quickly.
Still, when we checked around 3PM EST, the only ride with Lightning Lane availability was Star Tours.
On the positive side, this park also has several shows that are included with Genie+. Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, a Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Muppet*Vision 3D, and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular are all pretty easy to get on Genie+.
So in this park, we think a reasonable expectation for Lightning Lanes would be 2 to 3 rides (1 big one and a couple of smaller ones) and all 4 shows. That means a total of 6 to 7 experiences.
EPCOT doesn’t have quite as many rides as Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, which can mean that the limited availability makes some rides more difficult to reserve with Genie+. However, there’s also a lot to do in this park, especially when a festival is happening, so people aren’t always quite as focused on the rides themselves.
A couple of the biggest rides — such as Test Track and Frozen Ever After (when it’s available with Genie+) — run out of availability very quickly in the morning. Get these ones first if you want to ride them!
But this park has several smaller rides that still had availability when we checked around 3PM EST. Journey into Imagination with Figment, Mission: SPACE, Living With the Land, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Spaceship Earth, and Soarin’ all still had availability for Lightning Lane reservations as of writing.
And there are a few shows in EPCOT that are easy to get into as well with Genie+such as Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival and Turtle Talk with Crush.
So we think it’s reasonable to get on 1 of the biggest rides, at least 3 and up to 5 of the smaller ones, and in both shows. That’s a total of 6 to 8 experiences.
So Is Disney Lying?
From our research, we think Disney’s estimate of 2 to 3 rides in a single day is pretty conservative. We think that you can get on somewhere between 6 and 9 rides in a single day (depending on the park) by using Genie+.
Note that our estimates are based on a mix of big rides, smaller attractions, and shows. If you decide to focus ONLY on the big rides, you’ll probably be able to book fewer Lightning Lanes because you’ll have to choose times later on in the day, so some of your time will be spent waiting for a return time. Depending on your priorities, that might be totally worth it to you since you can enjoy other parts of the park or use standby lines in between the bigger attractions.
Also keep in mind that they day of the week you visit a certain park, the time of day and year, and which park you are visiting can all have big impacts on Lightning Lanes. Crowds and wait times may change how many attractions/things you are able to do with Genie+.
If you’re looking to really take advantage of Genie+ and get on all the rides possible, be sure to check out our guides and tips for making the most of this program during your vacation! And keep following DFB for more of the latest news and best planning tips as you get ready for your upcoming Disney trip.
Learn about the BIG Genie+ rule that EVERYONE gets wrong.
Have you used Genie+ at Disney World? How many rides did you get on with it? Let us know in the comments.