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Guide to Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane

FastPass at Walt Disney World has been popular (and free) for many years. Although it’s changed over the years, it was always a reliable way to save time in lines. Recently Walt Disney World and Disneyland converted the free FastPass system (in addition to the paid Maxpass at Disneyland) to a fully paid Disney Genie+ program. Here’s what you need to know about the Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Disclosure: We’ve received complimentary and discounted Walt Disney World and Disneyland trips in the past, and have also paid our own way. This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click-through on one of these links may result in a commission paid to us. All opinions are my own.

Looking to plan a trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World? Our affiliate, Get Away Today, offers great deals and excellent customer service for hotel packages and tickets to both Disneyland and Disney World.

Signs showing lightning lane and standby lines in Star Wars: Millennium Falcon – Smugglers Run

Guide to Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane

What are Genie+ and the Disney Genie?

The Disney Genie is a new system introduced by Disney World and Disneyland. There’s a free component and a paid component.

The free component simply called Disney Genie is an algorithm within the Disneyland and My Disney Experience apps. Before your trip, select your attraction and entertainment priorities within the app for each day. Then, on each morning of your trip, your Genie page on the app will populate with your recommendations for when you should experience each attraction.

It analyzes all of the information that it has to minimize your wait times and maximize the number of things you can do each day. Even if you purchase the paid Genie + upgrade, it can still be helpful to use this information for rides without Genie+.

Genie+ is a paid upgrade to your tickets. This is most similar to the old MaxPass system offered at Disneyland, and is a replacement for FastPass. However, unlike FastPass, Genie+ has to be purchased and added to each person’s ticket for each day. It’s optional, but can be a great way to save time in the parks and experience more attractions per day.

Once you have Genie+, you’ll be able to select from a list of the most popular attractions to get a time window to return with a very minimal wait time. In addition to the paid component, there are other differences from FastPass – more details are below.

lightning lane entrance sign by WEB SLINGERS

What is an Individual Lightning Lane

You’ll also hear the new terms “Lightning Lane” and “Individual Lightning Lane”. Lightning Lane is the line for those who are within their Genie+ return window. Once it’s time for you to ride, you’ll be able to redeem your Genie+. Do that on the app, and you’ll get a bar code to scan for each member of your party.

Find the lightning lane entrance, scan your bar code, and enter the queue, which is typically much shorter than the standby line. Be sure to already have the bar code up and on your phone, so you don’t hold up the line.

Rides with Lightning Lane, and available through Disney Genie+, include the following:

Disneyland Park:

  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • it’s a small world
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

Disney’s California Adventure:

  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Incredicoaster
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!

Magic Kingdom:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Mickey and Minnie 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 (until 8/22/22)
  • 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:

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Frozen Ever After (until 8/7)
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE – Green
  • Mission: SPACE – Orange
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (until 8/7)
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Disney’s 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 (until 8/7/22)
  • 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!

Animal Kingdom:

  • Festival of the Lion King
  • DINOSAUR
  • Expedition Everest (until 8/7/22)
  • Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • 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

Individual Lightning Lane, however, is something different. These are offered for the most popular rides, and aren’t included in the Disney Genie service. Instead, if you want to go through the lightning lane for one of these attractions, you’ll have to purchase the lightning lane separately.

Those purchases can be made once you are at the park for Disneyland, at 7am for guests at a Walt Disney World resort hotel, and at park opening for those guests staying off property at Walt Disney World. Prices vary depending upon demand, and are charged individually.

You are only able to purchase two individual lightning lanes per day, and you are unable to repeat an attraction in one day. Guests do not have to purchase Genie+ to purchase individual lightning lanes.

Rides using Individual Lightning Lanes may vary, but right now, they are as follows:

Disneyland:

  • Rise of the Resistance (Disneyland)
  • Radiator Springs Racers (Disney’s California Adventure)
  • WEB SLINGERS: A Spiderman Adventure (Disney’s California Adventure)

Walt Disney World:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom)
  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom – after 8/7/22)
  • Frozen Ever After (Epcot – after 8/7/22)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Epcot)
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Epcot – after 8/7/22)
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Hollywood Studios – after 8/7/22)
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Hollywood Studios – after 8/7/22)
  • Avatar Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom)
  • Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom – after 8/7/22)

How Do You Add Genie+ to Your Ticket

When Genie+ was first introduced, you had the option to add it to your ticket for an additional fee. It’s $15 per ticket per day in Walt Disney World and $20 per ticket per day at Disneyland (but prices are always subject to change). You don’t have to purchase it for the length of your stay.

However, Disney has already made changes to the system for purchasing Disney Genie+, and now you must add Genie+ separately, on the day of your visit. The process for doing this is different, depending on if you are visiting Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World in Florida.

At Walt Disney World, Genie+ can be added to a ticket starting at 7 am. You must have both a valid ticket and a valid park reservation for the day. At Disneyland, you can also add it at 7 am, but you must already be in a theme park. Although the parks typically don’t open until 8 am, you’ll be able to scan your ticket before this time.

Signs showing standby and lightning lane lines at Splash Mountain

How Do You Make Lightning Lane Reservations

Once you’ve added Genie+ to your ticket, the app will recognize that you have this upgrade. Then, you can start making your lighting lane reservations. In Disneyland, you must enter a park, while you can make those reservations at 7 am at Walt Disney World.

You can only make one Genie+ reservation at a time. You can make the next one either once you redeem the one you have, or in two hours, whichever comes first. You are only able to get a Genie+ for a given attraction once a day. So if you want to ride an attraction two or more times, you’ll have to utilize the standby line.

To book your Genie+ or individual lightning lane reservations, you’ll need to go to the tip board section of the app. From there, you can get your Genie+ reservation. Unlike the old FastPass system, you cannot choose your return time – the system will automatically assign you one. The only exception to this is for the Individual Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World (but not Disneyland). At Disney World, you can choose your return time window from the available times offered.

Screenshot of multiple experiences alert on screen, showing that Indiana Jones Adventure was unavailable during return time so pass is available for the remainder of the day

What are a Multiple Experiences Pass

Occasionally, you’ll see an app notification that a change was made to your Genie+ reservation. This often means that your Genie+ for a specific attraction was changed to a multiple experiences pass because the attraction you were supposed to ride has broken down.

A multiple experiences pass can be used at any of the Genie+ attractions at any of the theme parks (but not the individual lightning lanes), even if you’ve already used a Genie+ allocation on it. This is a great way to experience a ride twice in one day with a limited wait, although it can be disappointing to have a ride break down.

On our recent visit to Disneyland, we had this happen three times. The app does provide a very timely alert when it happens. Once the window for your Genie+ reservation opens, you’ll be able to access a multiple experiences pass barcode to scan at the lightning lanes.

Virtual Queues

To make things even more confusing, there are also virtual queues. These are offered for a few experiences and attractions in both parks. With a virtual queue, the app will tell you a time to go in and request a spot in the queue. These virtual queues aren’t part of Genie+.

Virtual queue options can always change, but right now, here are the options:

Maximizing Genie+

All of this new terminology – Genie and Lightning Lanes – plus the added cost, can make things very confusing. There are ways to maximize Genie+ so that you can experience the most attractions for the least amount of extra money.

First of all, make sure that you have your tickets and park reservations loaded and that your app is fully up to date. You’ll also need to ensure that everyone in your party is linked so that you can make reservations for everyone.

Because you’ll be using your phone a lot, it’s a good idea to carry around a fully-charged portable charger. That way, you can charge your phone on the go, and won’t have to worry about a dead battery affecting your Genie+ plans.

Before your first theme park day, go through the attractions list, and prioritize them. It’s important to know what your “must-dos” are, so you can make sure you get all of the rides in.

Even though Genie+ does help you get through the lines with a shorter wait, you’ll maximize your time by arriving at the park before park opening. You are able to get through bag check and the turnstiles well before the park officially opens. For Disneyland, this is even more important since you have to scan your ticket before being able to purchase Genie+ and make your first reservation.

During our visit, we noticed that the return times for Genie+ were very quick earlier in the day, and then extended more and more as the day went on. So you can really get a lot of rides in early.

If you do arrive at the park opening, make a Genie+ reservation, and then immediately go wait in a standby line for another attraction on your “must” list. Queues are generally the shortest in the morning.

Individual lightning lanes do add an additional layer to planning. You don’t have to purchase Genie+ to buy the individual lightning lanes. But, you can only purchase two per day. If you go to the parks right when they open, you may be able to save some money.

On our trip, we saved lots of time by utilizing the Single Rider Line at Radiator Springs Racers. That line moved very fast in the morning, and we were able to ride twice within a short amount of time.

If you don’t have a big vacation budget, you can save money but only purchasing Genie+ for one or two days of your trip. That way, you can do all of the most popular rides while you have it, and then use the other days to ride the quieter attractions.

The stand by entrance sign at the Matterhorn Bobsleds

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