Using Disney World Genie Plus, the Magic Is in the Details

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The new Disney World Genie Plus service was rolled out in October of 2021 with little fanfare, a few glitches and a whole lot of grumbling from past guests who were well accustomed to the former FastPass service.

Similar to FastPass, Genie Plus allows you to skip the queue on popular attractions in favor of a pre-booked space in a much shorter queue called the Lightning Lane. It sounds great and just what the mouse ordered for a little extra sprinkling of magic, but there is one caveat. Disney World FastPass was included in the price of admission to Disney’s four theme parks, while Disney World Genie Plus requires a per-user, per-day fee for anyone wanting to skip the regular line.

Here is how it all works out.

Using Disney World Genie Plus to Skip the Queue

Similar to FastPass, Genie Plus is easy to use. Simply open the My Disney Experience app and click on “Summon Disney Genie.” Once your park tickets are appropriately linked, you’ll be able to start making ride reservations to skip the regular queue.

But once again, this is where things differ from the old and beloved FastPass. First, with FastPass, you could book up to three reservations in advance of your trip.

This led to hordes of Disney resort guests waking up bright and early on a morning exactly 60 days before the start of their trip to grab coveted FastPasses to the most popular attractions, such as 7 Dwarves Mine Train or Flight of Passage.

With Disney World Genie Plus, there is no more early morning wake up calls in advance of your trip. You are only able to book one reservation to the Lightning Lane at a time using the Genie Plus service.

If you really want to get a jump on the day, you can grab your phone at 7:00 am each morning of your trip and make a Genie Plus reservation for any one attraction enabled with a Lightning Lane. When you reach the Genie Plus booking page, you’ll be presented with a number of attractions for the park you are visiting. By selecting one, you’ll be presented with a ride return time.

By selecting a 10:30 am ride time, for example, you will be permitted entrance to the Lightning Lane between 10:30 and 11:30 am. Yes, this is another similarity to FastPass, as you are provided a one-hour window to claim your position in the expedited Lightning Lane queue.

While Genie Plus sounds like a great option for skipping the longer regular queue on rides, there is one very important thing to note: you can only book one Genie+ reservation per ride.

That means if you book Space Mountain at 9:00 a.m. and use your reservation to enter the Lightning Lane, you will not be permitted to book another Genie+ reservation for Space Mountain that day. Again, this is a difference from FastPass.

This new rule also means you’ll need to cancel any Genie+ reservations that you decide not to use, in case you should decide to rebook that ride later in the day. If you make a reservation with Genie Plus for Splash Mountain, for example, and then notice a tantalizingly low wait time in the standby queue, you are welcome to ride standby. At this point, you can either keep your current Genie Plus reservation for later or cancel it and rebook for another ride.

If you fail to cancel the Genie Plus reservation before the end of the specified ride window, the system will consider the Genie+ reservation as used. You won’t be able to book this ride again on that day.

Another important thing to note is that once you’ve made a Genie Plus reservation, you are not able to make another for two hours or until you have used your first reservation, whichever comes first.

Summary of Disney World Genie Plus Service

Disney World Genie Plus screenshot over scene from Disney Hollywood Studioes Star Wars Land
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Given the combination of similarities and differences between Genie+ and FastPass, there has been a lot of confusion for repeat Disney World guests. The long and short of the services is this:

  • Genie Plus must be purchased. The cost starts at $15 a day plus tax, totaling up to $15.98 per person, but may be more, depending on the day you visit (see more on pricing below).
  • You may begin booking Genie+ reservations at 7:00 am each day. While doing so gives you a better shot at getting a return window on popular attractions, you won’t be able to make another Genie+ reservation until you enter the Lightning Lane for that attraction or two hours after park opening, whichever comes first.
  • Upon logging into the app, you will be presented with the next available ride time for each ride. You are not able to select the time you want to reserve a Lightning Lane Entry using Disney Genie Plus, so there are some limits on flexibility.
  • You can book one Genie+ reservation to the Lightning Lane at a time. However, you may book an additional reservation 2 hours later or after you have used the first, whichever comes first.

How Much Does Disney Genie+ Cost?

While the original Disney World Genie Plus started out at $14.99 per person, per day plus tax, there have been some changes along the way. Disney now incorporates variable pricing into its Genie+ model, meaning you’ll pay more on some days than others. This makes sense when you consider that the purpose of Genie+ is to improve the park experience by keeping wait times low. More people purchasing Genie+ equates to longer Lightning Lane queues and fewer rides reserved. Variable pricing may cost you more on days when demand is high, but it should also keep the system operating more smoothly.

On June 27, 2023, Disney will begin offering single and multi-park pricing. While you will likely pay more to use Genie+ across multiple theme parks in a day (in conjunction with a Park Hopper ticket), you could also pay less if you are visiting a single park where crowds are lower. For instance, fewer people typically visit a park when it is scheduled to close early due to a specially ticketed event. According to Disney, when this happens, you are likely to see lower Genie+ pricing when compared to other parks.

Disney Genie Plus is Only Available for Select Attractions

Availability of the Disney Genie Plus service is another big difference between FastPass and Genie+. Currently, Disney Genie Plus is available for about 40 attractions, and the list excludes some of the most popular rides across the four theme parks.

You can use Disney Genie Plus at the following attractions:

Magic Kingdom Park

Cinderella's Castle decorated for a Disney World Christmas
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Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Attractions include:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom (character meet)
  • Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • It’s a small world
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey at Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom (character meet)
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom (character meet)
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid


Epcot ball at night in purple hosting Extended Extra Magic Hours
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Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Attractions include:

  • 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

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

night view of slinky dog dash at Disney World HOllywood Studios
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Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Attractions include:

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  • Disney Junior Play & Dance!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight (character meet)
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • See Disney Stars on the Red Carpet
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
  • Toy Story Mania!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

The Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom
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Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Attractions include:

  • Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King
  • Expedition Everest
  • Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Naʻvi River Journey
  • The Animation Experience at Conservation Station

Disney World Genie Plus and Individual Lightning Lane Purchases

If your wheels are turning thinking of all the time you’ll save by skipping the regular queue on Disney’s top attractions, it’s time to introduce another new factor of Disney Genie Plus: Not all rides are included.

When perusing the list of Genie Plus attractions above, you may quickly notice that the most popular rides, those that rack up the longest standby lines, aren’t included in the daily fee you’ll pay for Disney World’s Genie Plus. However, Lightning Lane access is available through a separate booking known as an Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) pass. An ILL pass requires an additional fee.

Individual Lightning Lane reservations are available for high-demand rides, such as Rise of the Resistance, 7 Dwarves Mine Train, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Flight of Passage and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. We anticipate as new attractions open, such as the Tron Coaster in Magic Kingdom, they will also be added to this list.

Individual Lightning Lane bookings for these rides are assessed on a sliding scale. That means, they change according to the day you are visiting and the attraction you are booking, but typically range between $7.00 and $30.00 a person.

One of the most important things to know about booking an Individual Lightning Lane reservation is that you cannot change or cancel them. Once you have paid the fee and made the reservation, you’re committed to ride. If you later decide not to do so, there will be no refunds for monies paid.

The only exception would be if the ride is offline during your designated ride time. Refunds will be automatically issued in these instances.

Booking an Individual Lightning Lane reservation is as simple as booking your Genie Plus reservation. Simply open the My Disney Experience app and tap on your tip board. If this is not immediately visible, click the hamburger icon in the lower right corner.

Your tip board will show a list of attractions for the park. Scroll down to the ride you want to book. In the example below, we are looking at Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. If there is availability, you will see what time the booking windows start and the cost for purchasing the Individual Lightning Lane reservation.

Screenshot of the Disney World Individual Lightning Lane booking screen
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Keep in mind that the listed time only indicates the first available opening. You may find other times available later in the day by clicking through to make the purchase.

Each guest can book up to two individual Lightning Lane experiences each day, and it is possible to hold a regular Genie Plus reservation and an Individual Lightning Lane reservation simultaneously.

It’s also possible to book Individual Lightning Lane experiences for two separate parks. If you have a Park Hopper ticket, you may book an ILL for your first park of the day as well as an additional ILL for the second park you plan to visit.

You can book your Individual Lightning Lane reservation at 7:00 am, before the park opens. Since these attractions can sell out, it’s a great advantage to have.

The following rides offer expedited access through an Individual Lightning Lane reservation at a separate cost not covered under Disney Genie Plus:

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Individual Lightning Lane Entrances
Attractions include*:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage


Individual Lightning Lane Entrances
Attractions include*:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Individual Lightning Lane Entrances
Attractions include*:

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Magic Kingdom

Individual Lightning Lane Entrances
Attractions include*:

Is FastPass Really Better than Genie Plus?

While FastPass+ was beloved by many guests, it did stir a bit of controversy, particularly with guests who were unaware of the ability to make reservations in advance or those who stayed at offsite properties and were unable to book 60 days ahead of their visit.

In a way, Disney Genie Plus levels the playing field. Under FastPass, the most popular rides were usually booked within days of the ride window opening, meaning anyone who got in late, particularly those staying offsite, were often out of luck when it came to scoring a FastPass. Since most of the more popular experiences available for purchase are now available through Individual Lightning Lane, more guests have the opportunity to skip the line.

On the downside is certainly the cost. A family of four would easily add $300 or more to the cost of a five-day trip, by adding Genie+, but when compared to the cost for a similar service offered at other theme parks, this added fee is starkly lower.

For example, Universal Studios offers an Express Pass which offers entry to one ride per day via an expedited queue. The service starts at $79.99 per person per day and includes most of the same restrictions as Disney Genie Plus. The only exception is that some of the more popular rides are not excluded.

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Purchasing Disney World Genie Plus

Genie+ must be purchased before you can book reservations to the Lightning Lane. Doing so is fortunately simple and can be accomplished through the My Disney Experience app.

Once you link your Disney World ticket to your My Disney Experience account, you’ll automatically be able to make Disney World Genie reservations through the app. Purchasing Genie Plus through the My Disney Experience app is extremely easy. Simply open the app, login if necessary, and click on “My Tip Board.” If the option is not available from the opening screen, click the menu button (hamburger icon) in the lower right of the screen.

After tapping on My Tip Board, you will be given the option to purchase Genie Plus for the day.

Looking at the Lightning Lane in Action

For many guests, the new Disney Genie Plus service sounds quite complicated, but once you get started, you will find that it’s pretty easy to navigate. Let’s look at an example.

I am planning a trip in May, staying at Disney’s Old Key West resort. The first day my tickets are open for use is on Monday.

To make the most of my experience, I get up a little early on Monday morning and log into the My Disney Experience at around 6:50 am from my hotel room. I then click on “My Genie Day.”

Screenshot from My Disney Experience app featuring disney world genie plus reservation system
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On the next screen, you will see the option to take your day to the next level by getting Disney Genie+. You’ll will need to click here and complete the steps to purchase Genie+ for each person in your party.

Screenshot from my disney experience app featuring disney world genie plus reservation service
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From here, I’ll be asked to select my date and park. Since we are required to make a park reservation in 2022, the park is preselected according to my current reservation.

Select park screenshot for making disney world genie plus reservation
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I’ll then be asked to select each guest in my party.

roll call screenshot disney world genie plus reservations
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Last, you will be shown a list of attractions available in the park, as well as the current ride window. In the example below, you would be able to ride Rick’n’ Roller Coaster between 9:10 am and 10:10 am.

disney world genie plus tip board
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When booking at 7:00 am and hoping to score a Genie+ for some of the more popular rides, such as Slinky Dog Dash, it’s best to open the app before 7:00 and be on your tip board. At 6:59 am, I’ll begin refreshing this screen until I see a time listed below the Genie+ option. Then, I’ll click book experience and follow through with the remaining steps.

I have now booked my first Disney Genie Plus reservation for 9:10 am. Since I am a Disney resort guest, I am able to enter the park at 8:30 am using Early Theme Park Entry, so I will get there early and experience an attraction with a low wait time.

I will then arrive at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at approximately 9:10, find the queue labelled Lightning Lane and scan my MagicBand, plastic ticket or phone. At this point, the automated system should detect my reservation and allow me to enter the expedited queue.

For some rides, you will be required to rescan as you approach the ride loading area. After scanning a second time, I’ll be free to make a Genie+ reservation for an additional ride. Since there is time before I load, I do this while I am waiting, picking up a 12:30 pm reservation for Tower of Terror.

Initially, it may seem that I will not be able to book another reservation until after 12:30 when I have ridden Tower of Terror, but there is a simple trick I can use to get more out of the Genie+ system. It’s commonly referred to as stacking Genie+ reservations, and it’s perfectly legitimate.

What is Genie+ Stacking?

If you’ve done any research into Genie+, you’ve probably come across talk about stacking Genie+ reservations and the 120-minute rule. Simply put, stacking Genie+ reservations takens advantage of the 2 hour booking rule (120-minute rule) to book and hold more than one Genie+ reservation at a time.

Let’s take a look at an example. In Magic Kingdom, Jungle Cruise typically stacks up very long wait times throughout the day. For this reason, it’s one of the more popular rides for Genie+. As such, reservations can sell out during the day, making this attraction one of the first booked in the morning.

Since so many people are vying for a spot before and at park opening, you’ll most likely be awarded a ride window later in the day, even when making your reservation at 7:00 am. Without the 120-minute rule, you’d be required to wait until you ride Jungle Cruise to book another Genie+ reservation. Since return times can be as late as 4:00 pm when booking in the morning, this would essentially mean you wouldn’t be able to use Genie+ for most of the day.

Fortunately, the 120-minute rule makes it possible to continue using Genie+ throughout the day, while waiting for a later ride window. In this case, if we booked Jungle Cruise at either 7:00 am or at park opening, we would be able to book another Genie+ 2 hours after the park opens. This holds true even if our return time isn’t until much later in the day.

Best of all, by following the 120-minute rule, you may continue to book a new Genie+ every two hours. Using Jungle Cruise as an example, our Genie+ bookings may look something like this:

  • 7:00 am book Jungle Cruise Genie+ with return window of 4:00 pm
  • 2 hours after park opening book Peter Pan’s flight for 6:00 pm
  • 2 hours after booking Peter Pan’s Flight book Space Mountain for 2:00
  • Ride Space Mountain at 2:00 and immediately book Splash Mountain for 3:30
  • At 3:30, ride Splash Mountain and make another Genie+ reservation
  • When you get off of Splash Mountain, head over to Jungle Cruise and redeem your 4:00 Lightning Lane reservation
  • At 5:30, make another Genie+ reservation.
  • Continue making a new reservation every 2 hours or as you use the most recently booked Genie+ until you leave the park

By following the example above, you can see that stacking Genie+ reservations and booking a new reservation as soon as you ride the most recently booked Genie+ will allow you to maximize the use of the service.

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What if I Change My Mind? Can I Modify Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections?

When Genie+ was first rolled out, guests were unable to modify Genie+ bookings. To make a change, you needed to cancel the current booking and rebook a new selection.

This approach presented a number of challenges. For one thing, a guest may view an earlier return time for a currently booked attraction and want to make a change. However, by the time they cancelled one booking and got to the point of booking a new one, the return window may have changed to a much later time.

Second, every new booking restarts the 120-minute rule, meaning guests were forced to wait another 2 hours to make a new reservation, simply because they decided to opt for a new return window on an existing reservation.

Fortunately, changes made in late 2022 did away with early inefficiencies like this. Guests are now able to change Genie+ reservations through the My Disney Experience app without cancelling the reservation and rebooking.

Tips and Strategies for using Genie Plus

If you’re staying offsite and are worried that you’ll miss the chance to use Genie Plus to skip the queue on your favorite attractions, the best piece of advice we can give is to arrive early. Lines are often light in the morning, so fewer people are booking reservations first thing.

By arriving early, you can also jump in line for some of the attractions which typically experience long lines and still experience a short wait. You can also be one of the first offsite guest to score a spot in the Lightning Lane for your first must-do.

Arriving early could also be your friend if you’re looking to save money and not purchase Genie+. Rides for many Lightning Lane enabled attractions are short enough first thing in the morning that you won’t need an expedited queue. In some parks, such as Animal Kingdom where the rides with the highest wait times aren’t available through Disney Genie+, you could skip the purchase, ride these attractions early and then spend the rest of the day experiencing shows or walk-through animal exhibits.

Depending on when you visit, you might also be able to score an Individual Lightning Lane reservation for Avatar Flight of Passage and hit Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safari first thing with no wait for less than what you’d pay for Genie+.

Also, keep in mind that it is possible to purchase Disney World Genie Plus at any time. That means if lines start to escalate during the day, you can check the app, see what return times are available for Genie Plus, and purchase it then if there seems to be enough availability.

Just keep in mind that Genie+ reservations will run out. If you check the app and all return times are within 2 hours of park closing, it may not be worth it to purchase Disney Genie Plus, as you may only get to use it on a few attractions.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

When all is said and done, the fee-based nature of Disney Genie Plus is a big deterrent for many guests, since FastPass+ was included in the cost of a theme park ticket. However, when compared to other parks offering this type of service, the Disney fee is far lower and offers added flexibility when planning your Disney World vacation.

The ability to book only one attraction at a time or within a two-hour booking window is actually consistent to the early FastPass service in which guests would get a physical ticket to return at a later time from kiosks located at the attraction entrance. With Genie+, the option of booking a return is much easier, since it is done through the My Disney Experience app.

Whether you use Genie+ or not is entirely up to you, but it is an option that could help you see and do more. However, the real magic of a Disney vacation often comes from “off script” moments, such as special experiences with cast members or in noticing the little details. It’s important not to get so hung up on avoiding lines that you’re unable to realize these special experiences.

After years of religiously avoiding lines and getting less enjoyment out of every Disney adventure, we’ve found that the best approach is to worry less about how long you stand in line and focus more on enjoying the people you’re with.

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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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