Genie+ & Lightning Lane Guide (Disney World)

by Dom
June 5, 2023

Walt Disney World: where dreams come true and long lines can ruin them. That’s where Genie+ and Lightning Lanes come in, but the new system can be confusing. How do you skip the queues and make the most of it? We’ve tested and tested and tested, and we’re here to help!

First, you do not need to buy Genie+ or use Lightning Lanes to have a fun and productive day at Walt Disney World. To the contrary, this feature in the My Disney Experience app can be frustrating due to its unfriendly user interface, propensity for glitches, and the fact that it’ll increase your screen time.

Second, much of the user experience with Genie+ is crowd-dependent. When school is in session, the price of Genie+ typically drops and it becomes better and easier to use. On weekends and during holidays, not only does the cost increase, but the ‘quality’ decreases. Despite that higher price, more people buy Genie+ resulting in more competition for the best Lightning Lanes.

Lighting Lane queue entrance sign for Mission Space at EPCOT
Lighting Lane queue entrance sign for Mission Space at EPCOT

In other words: the busier the parks, the more people who buy the Genie+ service; the more people who buy it, the less useful it is. On some days and in some parks, you might only score a couple of worthwhile ride reservations–making it not worth the money or frustrations.

We’ve found that the ‘sweet spot’ for Genie+ is on moderately-busy days. If crowds are too low, Genie+ is unnecessary; if they’re too high, Genie+ will only help you on a few rides before it runs out of reservation inventory.

See Also: Disney World Crowd Calendar

On a positive note, the usability of Genie+ has improved as compared to last year. That comes with a higher price, but it’s good that the paid FastPass service is now usable even on busier days. Other tweaks have also been made that have made Genie+ better and easier to use.

The addition of the modify button (discussed below) is a huge improvement that improves the service considerably. Beyond that, the Genie+ length of stay ticket add-on is no longer available, which alone cuts down the number of people using Lightning Lanes by a significant number.

With that out of the way, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World as of Summer 2023. This will help you master Genie+ and leverage it to score more ride reservations than the average guest!

What happened to the old, free FastPass+ system?

FastPass+ is officially a thing of the past. Lightning Lanes are the new name for the old FastPass+ entrances and the system is no longer free.

Lighting Lane queue entrance sign for Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom
Lighting Lane queue entrance sign for Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

What are these “Lightning Lanes” I keep hearing about?

As you might have guessed, this means that Lightning Lanes are actual lines or queues that guests who have purchased Genie+ or individual attraction line-skipping access will use. You can find them marked with new ‘Lightning Lane’ signage that’s been installed.

Lightning Lane entrances are the ultimate game-changer for select attractions at Disney World! With the options to either purchase Disney Genie+ or á la carte Lightning Lane entrances, Guests now have the power to avoid long lines, save precious time, and focus on experiencing the magic!

But how do they work, you ask? It’s easy! Just select an arrival window for the attraction or experience you want to conquer through the My Disney Experience mobile app. Then, hop on without the headache of a lengthy queue. Remember, some Lightning Lane entrances are included with Disney Genie+, while others can be purchased individually. So, plan wisely and maximize your time in the happiest place on earth.

There are two main ways to purchase Lighting Lane:

1. Lightning Lane Entry Through Disney Genie+ Service

Disney Genie+ service provides you with exclusive access to Lightning Lane entrances for attractions and experiences not available for individual purchase, subject to availability.

On average, you can enter 2 to 3 attractions per day using Lightning Lane entrances, as long as you make your first selection early on.

With Disney Genie+ service, you get one Lightning Lane entrance daily. But if you’re looking to experience an attraction again or catch a certain show, you can always jump into the regular standby line. So no need to worry, you won’t miss out on the fun with our amazing Disney experience.

2. Purchase of Individual Lightning Lane Entry

If Disney Genie+ doesn’t quite cover your attraction needs, you can purchase Individual Lightning Lane entries for specific rides á la carte.

But hold on, there’s a catch! You can only purchase access to one attraction at a time and up to two attractions per day.

Oh, and don’t forget, attractions with Lightning Lane entrances are subject to change, closure, and limited availability. So, keep that in mind when selecting. As always, price and entitlements are subject to restrictions and change or cancellation without notice.

What is Free Disney Genie service?

While the Lightning Lanes exist in physical form, Genie exists digitally within the My Disney Experience app. It offers a personalized itinerary feature that maps out your entire day, forecasted wait times throughout the day, and attraction suggestions to help you save time in line.

However, the free Disney Genie service is not receiving as much attention as it probably should, mostly due to skepticism surrounding Disney’s IT track record.

It remains to be seen whether the free Disney Genie service will work as advertised, but one thing is sure: it’s more likely to benefit Disney than its guests. Maybe Disney will prove us wrong, and deliver a free service that truly changes the game, but until then, we’re not focusing too much attention on it.

First drop hill on Slinky Dog Dash.
Slinky Dog Dash

What is Premium Disney Genie+ service?

For around $15 to $35 per day, per person, purchase this option in My Disney Experience app to get priority access through the Lightning Lane at more than 40 popular attractions.

You can skip the line at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Splash Mountain, and many others. Just like a digital version of paper FastPass, acquire return times from your phone instead of walking around—and it’s a modified version of the MaxPass service offered at Disneyland.

Keep in mind that while Genie+ is technically limitless, guests can only obtain new return times every ~90 to 120 minutes. Additionally, there are internal rules inherited from legacy FastPass and MaxPass systems in place to ensure fair and efficient access to subsequent selections. These rules haven’t been announced by Walt Disney World yet, but rest assured you won’t be shut out!

What’s the difference between Genie+ and Lightning Lane?

Genie+ and Lightning Lane both assist in managing attraction wait times despite serving different purposes.

Lightning Lane replaces FastPass queues and acts as a skip-the-line queue for speedy access. On the other hand, Disney Genie+ is a paid service that enables entry to Lightning Lane by offering the choice of a return time. So why wait in line when you can make the most of these innovative tools to experience all the fun and none of the hassle?

Do I need both Genie+ and Lightning Lane?

You don’t need Genie+ to access Lightning Lanes! I repeat, you don’t need Genie+ to purchase Individual Lightning Lanes!

Each Lightning Lane for every attraction is available to buy separately through the My Disney Experience app. Genie+ might be helpful, but it’s not a necessity. Got it?

Can I do Genie+ and Lightning Lane at the same time?

Absolutely! While you can’t double up on Genie+ reservations, here’s a trick: use the 120 Minute Rule to maximize your Genie+ stacking capabilities.

This neat feature allows you to hold multiple reservations at the same time. And wait, there’s more! You can also snag an Individual Lightning Lane entrance while holding a Genie+ reservation – talk about a double win!

How much does it cost to use Genie+ Lightning Lane?

While it does come with a price tag of $15 to $35 per ticket per day, the freedom to enjoy all the park has to offer without the long wait times, might just be worth it.

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway cartoon show scene
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Do you have to pay for Individual Lightning Lane?

Yes. The Individual Lightning Lanes offer pay-per-ride line-skipping access.

Does Genie+ sell out?

Genie+ service doesn’t usually sell out at Walt Disney World, though it can happen during peak seasons. Book early to avoid the stress and kick back with a dole whip while others scramble for ride reservations.

How many Lightning Lanes does Genie+ give you?

With Disney Genie+ service, you get at least one Lightning Lane entrance every day. By making an early pick, in a day Guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences. Find your way around the parks with ease!

What’s the price tag for Lightning Lane’s individual “á la carte” selections? Let’s find out!

Prices for attractions and parks vary by date. Keep an eye out because prices can be lower on some days and higher on others. It’s important to note that à la carte Lightning Lane entry for individual attractions is not included in the Disney Genie+ service. That means you’ll have to purchase them separately.

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue and Lightning Lane entrance
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Virtual Queue and Lightning Lane entrance

Wondering if you must buy Disney Genie+ to obtain a solo “à la carte” Lightning Lane arrival time?

Nope! Guests are not required to purchase Disney Genie+ service in order to choose individual, or “á la carte” Lightning Lane entrance selections.

It’s important to keep in mind that these Lightning Lane selections are specifically for those attractions that are not available through Disney Genie+ service. So, go ahead and pick your Lightning Lane selection à la carte! Disney’s got you covered.

Can you use Disney Genie+ and purchase Individual Lightning Lane entrances on the same visit?

Absolutely! Guests have the flexibility to purchase Individual Lightning Lane entries, also known as “a la carte”, for attractions not covered by Disney Genie+. But wait, there’s more! They can also make use of Disney Genie+ to select Lightning Lane entries.

It’s important to keep in mind that all Lightning Lane selections, whether “a la carte” or through Disney Genie+, are subject to change and availability.

Is Disney Genie+ worth purchasing late in the day? Can you still experience the rides and attractions you want?

Be sure to purchase your Disney Genie+ service early, as waiting until later in the day may reduce your chances. If you’re arriving later in the day, don’t worry – you can check the availability of Lightning Lane entrance for your favorite attractions before purchasing.

Does Genie+ have expanded availability during the day?

If you’re having trouble loading the app or get an error message at an ungodly hour like 7am, it’s probably tempting to settle for booking the first available Lightning Lane selection. But wait! There’s a smarter way to score reservations for the hottest attractions.

You see, there are usually two refills before 7:30am and more throughout the day, typically at or shortly after the hour or half-hour mark. By keeping an eye out for these, you’ll have a much easier time securing the best Lightning Lanes.

And guess what? Thanks to the new and improved modify button, hunting for ride reservations is easier than ever! By combining this tool with our suggested strategy, you’ll be racking up Lightning Lane selections like a pro.

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy at Disney's Hollywood Studios
The only thing Lightning Lane and Lightning McQueen have in common is they’re both speedy

How do I Add Disney Genie+ to my tickets or vacation package?

Disney Genie+ Service is available for purchase starting on June 8th, 2022! To make your visit magical, easily buy Genie+ just for the day with My Disney Experience App. Here are the simple steps:

  1. Select “My Disney Genie Day” from the main menu.
  2. Go to the “My Day” tab and click “Get Disney Genie+ for Today”.
  3. All set, enjoy your day in the most hassle-free way!

Reminder: Genie+ is subject to availability.

Standby queues: Still an option?

While standby queues are readily available in most cases, some select attractions or experiences utilize virtual queues. If the virtual queue is being used, sadly, no standby queue is available, and you must use the app to enter the attraction.

What does “next available arrival window” mean?

“Next available arrival window” is actually just a fancy way of saying that you’ll be given a range of time during which you can use your Lightning Lane selection.

To give you a better idea, imagine it’s 9:00 AM and you just booked your Lightning Lane entry for “it’s a small world”. Awesome, right? Once you’ve made your selection, your My Day feed will confirm it and give you a range of time. For example, your range might be from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Now here’s the kicker: to actually use your Lightning Lane selection, you’ll need to head to the Lightning Lane entrance for the attraction during those times. So, make sure you keep an eye on the clock and don’t be late!

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Entrance Nova Corps Starblaster ship
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Entrance Nova Corps Starblaster ship

When can I purchase Genie+?

The Genie+ service can be purchased via the My Disney Experience app starting at 12:00 AM on the day of your visit. We snagged our Genie+ at 6:50 am, moments before we made our first ride reservation—easy-peasy, only took us 30 seconds through My Disney Experience.

When can I start booking Lightning Lane selections?

It depends. There are two ways to get them: “à la carte” purchases or through Disney Genie+ service. Let me break it down for you!

For “À La Carte” Lightning Lane Entrance Selections:

If you’re staying at a Disney Resort hotel or select hotels, you can start booking your Lightning Lane arrival windows at 7:00 AM on the day of your park visit. For everyone else with valid admission and a park reservation, you can purchase Individual Lightning Lane entry when parks open.

For Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Entrance Selections:

Guests can purchase Disney Genie+ service on the day of their park visit and make their first Lightning Lane selection starting at 7:00 AM.

Keep in mind that availability is limited, so act fast! This information is subject to change, but we hope it helps you plan your Disney experience.

Can I book Genie+ selections 60 days in advance like FastPass+?

Unfortunately, no. Genie+ is a same-day ride reservation system that lets you select your ride starting at 7:00 AM. You heard us right – no pre-booking! That’s something veteran vacation planners have been complaining about. But, let’s be real, first-timers aren’t usually big on planning. Too much of a hassle, right?

That being said, Walt Disney World is working on a way for you to book Lightning Lanes in advance. How they plan to do this is still unclear. Will it be like FastPass+? Or a different system altogether? Only time will tell. But the expectation is that it’ll be a compromise of some sort. Keep your Mickey ears peeled for more information!

What attractions can you access with Genie+?

Below is the official list of Genie+ attractions: (subject to change)

Magic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
  • Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
  • Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space 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
  • “it’s a small world”

Individually Purchased Lightning Lane Entrances (not part of Genie+)

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • TRON Lightcycle / Run
Abstract view of Spaceship Earth at EPCOT


  • 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

Individually Purchased Lightning Lane Entrances (not part of Genie+)

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Hollywood Studios

  • 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
  • Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania!

Individually Purchased Lightning Lane Entrances (not part of Genie+)

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Animal Kingdom

  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
  • Naʻvi River Journey
  • The Animation Experience at Conservation Station

Individually Purchased Lightning Lane Entrances (not part of Genie+)

  • Avatar Flight of Passage

Which attractions can you purchase Individual Lightning Lane for?

Our comprehensive list of Walt Disney World’s Individual Lightning Lanes below:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • TRON Lightcycle Run at Magic Kingdom

Does Lightning Lane & Genie+ work with MagicBands?

Indeed! The Genie+ system supports MagicBand+ and it is operational even if you do not have a MagicBand. In the case you don’t, worry not! You can still make use of the park tickets or MagicMobile right from your phone – convenient, isn’t it?

Magic Kingdom park entrance MagicBand tap entry and fingerprint scanner

Is PhotoPass included in Genie+?

Kind of. Genie+ guests receive digital downloads of on-ride Disney PhotoPass attraction photos taken on the day of purchase, at no extra cost. From popular attractions, including Space Mountain and Slinky Dog Dash to Test Track and Expedition Everest, get ready for an adventure you won’t soon forget.

Note: Disney PhotoPass photographers throughout the park are not included.

Lightning Lane and Genie+ in a Nutshell

Picture this: a carpool lane on a highway where hybrids, motorcycles, and other special vehicles can zoom by in an effort to make traffic flow more efficiently. Similarly, Disney’s Lightning Lanes allow you to bypass the gridlocked standby line. You can utilize it through Genie+ or individual attraction purchases. However, unlike the carpool lane, you can’t access both Genie+ and individual attraction purchases with the same Lightning Lane.

I know, it all seems a bit daunting right now, but don’t worry, it’ll make sense soon enough. Think of it like driving a car for the first time – it’s only when you hit the road that you truly understand the rules in action. And believe me, once you get the knack of the Disney Genie+ system and Lightning Lane, you’ll be soaring to the front of the line like a pro.

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Written by Dom

Dom is fascinated with the magic and scale of Walt Disney World and visits the parks as often as he can.

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