Here’s the thing about Genie+… Does it save you time in line? Absolutely. Can you find detailed Genie+ tips, “hacks”, and rules all over the place? Of course you can.
But, the casual traveler isn’t going to remember all of that. In fact, the majority of the people traveling to the Disney Parks want to know just enough to make it worth their money. They certainly don’t want to be shelling out $15+ per person and then not use it because they don’t know what the heck to do.
So, if this is you…you’re in luck.
As long as you remember these 4 tips, you’ll be in good shape. You don’t need to remember everything. You just need to remember enough to save some time in the Parks.
Once you remember and understand these tips, feel free to get a more detailed look at Genie+.
Know The Basic Rules
Although many frequent Park-goers have their own Genie+ tips that they swear by, everyone must follow these rules.
You can book your first Lighting Lane and Virtual Queue at 7AM
This is true, whether you are staying at a Disney Resort or not.
Ideally, you’ll purchase Genie+ prior to 7AM, so you can start booking as soon as the window opens. This will give you the best chance to grab the attractions that go very quickly.
But, don’t beat yourself up if you forget. Lightning Lanes come and go. So, although it may make your Genie+ day a little more challenging, it doesn’t mean you won’t find anything. And if all else fails, you can always stand in the standby queue.
Virtual Queues are a little different. They don’t have a standby queue, so you’ll need to book a virtual queue in order to ride. And while I do recommend trying to get them at 7AM, this won’t be your only chance.
Disney releases more virtual queues at 1PM. Just be sure you’re inside the Park first.
Are you staying at a Deluxe Resort or DVC Resort? You’ll also get a 3rd opportunity, at 6PM, to book a virtual queue on nights when that Park has Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.
Book Individual Lightning Lanes at 7AM, or when the Park opens, depending on where you’re staying
If you are staying at a Disney owned Resort, you’re also able to book your Individual Lighting Lanes at 7AM. If you’re staying off property, your window will open when the Park does.
Individual Lightning Lanes will be the most popular attraction in each Park, with the exception of Magic Kingdom. They have 2 Individual Lightning Lanes: Tron Lightcycle Run and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to remember which attractions has a regular Lighting Lane and which has an Individual Lighting Lane. If you open up My Disney Experience, Individual Lightning Lanes are not only easy to spot, they will list the price next to it.
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When you’re able to book another Lightning Lane
The general rule is that if you’re looking to get your biggest bang for your buck, you should always have a Lightning Lane booked in the App.
However, I know you have a lot going on. And you may not always remember to book another Lightning Lane the second you’re able to.
So, this is the easiest way to remember if and when you’re able to book again:
- If you don’t currently have a Lightning Lane listed in the App, book another one at any time.
- As soon as you tap your MagicBand at the Lightning Lane entrance, that attraction will disappear and you’ll be allowed to book another one at any time. At some attractions, usually popular attractions with a long physical queue, there may be 2 touchpoints. In this case, it won’t disappear from your itinerary until you tap into your 2nd touchpoint.
- If If you do have one booked in the App, you will not be able to book another one for 2 hours.
- Don’t worry…the App will tell you what that time is.
- If your 2 hours is up and you still have a Lightning Lane sitting there in the App, that’s ok. You can hold more than one at a time. This is what the pros refer to as “stacking” Lighting Lanes.
I know this sounds overwhelming. But, the truth is, some attractions will book up in minutes while others will be available all day long.
So, do a little homework.
Check out the attractions and see where they stand. I wouldn’t go so far as to make detailed lists and the order you’ll book them. A lot depends on availability. But, keep in mind that the more popular an attraction is, the sooner you’ll want to book it.
Get To The Parks Early
I know some people who can roll into the Parks later in the day and still ride all the popular attractions. Lucky them…
But, newbies are much more successful when they arrive to the Parks early in the morning. The crowds are lower, so you won’t have to rely on these Genie+ tips right away. Plus, this will give you a chance to learn the system and how to use it to your family’s advantage.
Mix Genie+ With Flexibility
I know that it’s temping to want to use Genie+ on every single attraction. But, the trick to getting a lot done is to mix Genie+ attractions with standby queues. As I mentioned before, some attractions have lower wait times all day long.
If you did your homework, you may know what these attractions are. But, even if you don’t remember, you can always check the App. Each Park has a list of the current wait times. So, al you’ll need to do is choose a nearby attraction or show in between your Genie+ reservations.
Remember: the goal is to let Genie+ help you, not let it control your day.
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