Why Savvy Disney World Travelers Are Using EPCOT Genie+

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We’ve found Disney’s Genie+ service a great way to save time in line. While it may cost a little extra, in the case of EPCOT park, it’s a situation where spending a little more could save you a lot of waiting. Some of EPCOT’s Genie+ rides also happen to be some of Disney World’s newest and most popular rides, so knowing how to use the service effectively is another key to success. Below, you’ll find our tried-and-true tips for using Genie Plus at EPCOT as well as our best EPCOT Genie Plus itineraries.

How Disney Genie Works

Disney World FastPass is now part of the Genie service and known as Genie+
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If you aren’t well versed in the world of Disney Genie, let’s just say you may want to spend some time learning the basics. We’ve covered everything in our Guide to Genie+, as well as our personal review of Genie+, but here is an explanation of how the service works in a nutshell.

First, Disney Genie service is available through the My Disney Experience app and consists of an itinerary planning solution known simply as Genie, as well as the line-skipping service called Genie Plus. With Disney Genie, you answer some basic questions about your trip, and the My Disney Experience app will provide you with recommendations throughout your day in the park.

As part of Disney Genie, Disney World Genie+ allows you to pay a daily fee to skip the regular queue at many of the most popular attractions in favor of a shorter Lightning Lane. Entry to the Lightning Lane is controlled by a reservation system to keep lines short. Guests will also use the My Disney Experience app for booking Genie+.

The new way to book fastpasses at Disney World
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When you book your Genie Plus reservation, you’ll be offered the next available time in the Lightning Lane and have one hour from the start of your window to ride. For instance, if the My Disney Experience app shows that EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth has availability in the Lightning Lane starting at 1:30 pm, you could ride anytime between 1:30 and 2:30.

Disney Genie+ costs a flat rate for each day and varies depending upon which day and park you are visiting or whether you plan to visit multiple parks in a single day. While Genie Plus includes most popular rides, you’ll find that at least one ride in each park requires an additional purchase of an Individual Lightning Lane pass to skip the regular queue. Again, the price varies depending on the ride and date you are visiting.

EPCOT Genie+ Rides

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE – Green
  • Mission: SPACE – Orange
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

EPCOT Individual Genie+ Rides:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

Is Genie Plus Worth It for EPCOT

the seas Pavilion at EPCOT
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Since there are a number of things to do in EPCOT that don’t involve rides–such as enjoying some of Disney World’s best restaurants or exploring the World Showcase–people often ask if purchasing the Genie Plus is worth it at EPCOT. If you’re looking to save time in line and experience everything this park has to offer in a single day, then we would say, yes. Purchasing Genie Plus at EPCOT will help you make more of your time in the park by making sure you spend a minimal amount of time waiting to ride popular attractions.

The reason we recommend Genie+ at EPCOT is simple. Lines on popular rides can get very long. It isn’t uncommon for the regular queue at Test Track, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure or Frozen Ever After to stack up 60-to-80-minute waits. In contrast, experiencing each of these rides via the Lightning Lane would take only 5 to 15 minutes.

One reason you need to be concerned with minimizing waits at EPCOT is the sheer size of the park. It can take you 20 to 30 minutes to walk from Test Track over to the Canada Pavilion and an additional 30 to 60 minutes to make your way around the World Showcase, and that’s without stopping.

Additionally, since many rides are housed in pavilions with additional experiences to enjoy, you’ll spend a lot of extra time exploring other sights and sounds.

Mapping Out a Genie Plus EPCOT Strategy

When using Genie Plus at EPCOT, it’s important to have a strategy. We recommend you arrive early. For guests of Disney World resorts, this means taking advantage of Early Theme Park Entry. If you’re staying offsite, make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before park opening, so you can be one of the first guests allowed in.

The early strategy also means booking your first EPCOT Genie Plus selection as soon as your booking window opens in the morning. The booking window begins at 7:00 am.

When creating an EPCOT Genie Plus strategy, it’s also important to understand that Genie+ reservations for some rides will book up before the day’s end. For that reason, we recommend you book certain rides first thing, to ensure that you are able to get a Genie+ reservation before they are gone for the day.

The rides that tend to book up include:

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Test Track

Since Frozen and Remy Genie+ reservations can be gone by midday, we recommend that you book one of these at your earliest booking window. Our strategy usually involves staying at a Disney World resort and taking advantage of Early Theme Park Entry. This allows us to book a Genie+ reservation for Remy and ride Test Track or Frozen using the standby queue with little wait.

Booking Additional EPCOT Genie Plus Reservations

Exterior of Remy's Ratatouille Adventure ride, and experiece worth using the EPCOT Genie Plus system.
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Since it is possible to stack Genie+ bookings at EPCOT, we recommend that you make a new Genie+ reservation every 2 hours or after you ride the earliest booked Genie+. Deciding which to do will depend on your return times. Let’s look at an Example.

During our recent trip to Disney World, we booked Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure as soon as our booking window opened at 7:00 am. We were given a return time of 10:30 am. Since we booked our first reservation before the park opened, the famed 120-minute rule would indicate that we were ineligible for booking again until 2 hours after the park opened at 9:00 am. However, since we rode Remy at 10:30, we could then book a new Lightning Lane experience as soon as we tapped through the second checkpoint in the Lightning Lane queue.

This time we chose Frozen Ever After, with a return time of 1:30 pm. Since we made this reservation at 10:35 am, we were able to use the 120-minute rule to book an additional Genie+ at 12:35, two hours after booking the last reservation. Additionally, when we rode Frozen, we were able to make a new reservation because we used our earliest booked Genie+.

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EPCOT and the Genie+ Individual Lightning Lane

As mentioned earlier in this article, accessing the Lightning Lane on some rides requires the purchase of an Individual Lightning Lane pass (ILL). In EPCOT, the only ILL-enabled ride is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (GOG).

We recommend trying to get into the virtual queue for GoG first thing in the morning. That way, you may also book an Individual Lightning Lane reservation and ride twice with little wait.

At some point in the future, Disney is likely to drop the virtual queue for this ride. At that point in time, ILL will be the only way to skip the regular queue on Guardians. As long as this remains the newest ride in EPCOT, we’d recommend making this purchase, even if you opt out of Genie+, as lines are likely to be long for a long time to come.

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Making Your EPCOT Genie Plus Itinerary

While it’s impossible to plan out a perfectly timed EPCOT Genie+ itinerary, it’s a good idea to arrive with an idea of which attractions you will ride, and the order you will book your EPCOT Genie Plus reservations, as well as the order in which you plan to experience the other attractions on your list.

For guests of Disney World resort, we recommend an EPCOT Genie Plus itinerary that has you arriving for Early Theme Park Entry and making the first Genie+ reservation for the day at 7:00 for either Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure or Frozen. If you’re purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane for Guardians of the Galaxy, plan it for mid-afternoon. You can then follow the steps below:

  1. Ride Test Track first thing during Early Theme Park Entry
  2. Soarin’Living with the Land
  3. The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  4. The Seas Main Tank and Pavilion
  5. Turtle Talk with Crush
  6. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure/Frozen (Make new Genie+ reservation for either Ratatouille or Frozen)
  7. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros (Mexico)
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy Virtual Queue reservation
  9. Lunch
  10. Journey into Imagination with Figment
  11. Redeem Genie Plus for Frozen/Remy (Make new Genie plus reservation for Mission Space)
  12. Mission Space using Genie+ or Spaceship EarthSpaceship Earth
  13. Guardians of the Galaxy (Genie Plus Individual Lightning Lane)
  14. Tour the World Showcase Pavilions

Keep in mind when using any EPCOT Genie Plus itinerary, you’ll need to continue booking Genie+ reservations every 2 hours, or after you ride the earliest booked ride if you are stacking. Also, remember that no one can predict your Genie plus return times in advance, so you may need to tweak your itinerary to make your Genie+ ride window.

Making the Most of Genie+ at EPCOT

EPCOT Spaceship Earth
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EPCOT is the perfect park for using Genie+. Just remember to book a new reservation every 2 hours or as soon as you utilize the last earliest booked reservation. We realize that learning the ins and outs of Genie Plus can be challenging. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at info@secondstogo.net.

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Mother daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S.

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.


Kathleen Hesketh

Kathleen is a travel agent with Mickey World Travel, a platinum level Authorized Disney vacation planner, where she helps people discover the magic of a Disney vacation and other travel destinations. She is also the chief author and editor for Seconds to Go - a travel blog where she shares experiences from traveling the U.S. with her daughters. Kathleen has been a professional writer for more than a decade, helping businesses craft compelling content to advance organizational goals.

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