I bet you never thought your trip to Walt Disney World would involve a set of terms and phrases you've never heard of before. Gone are the days of simply getting in line for the ride of your dreams and waiting, well, unless you want to wait for 180 minutes. This idea alone is enough fact to scare several Disney World potential goers away from this kind of vacation. And I get it! No one wants to waste valuable time on vacation crammed in a line, too close to strangers, with kids that will likely start asking "are we there yet?" 10 minutes into your line wait. But here's the thing, with the right resources and tools, your Disney World experience does not have to be that way! Let's talk about Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes (LL).
You will never escape crowds and lines, I'm not here to lie. Disney World is popular and millions of people want to be there. But you can have a day of rides like me, just look up there, in those screenshots of my trip to WDW in November, right before Thanksgiving. These show my return windows of 4 of the most popular rides in Magic Kingdom! I didn't wait more than 15 minutes for any of these, and for one, I walked right in.
So, you're asking now, how much does this cost? Yes, it is an extra expense. To cut in line in front of hundreds of people, it costs some extra cash. Prices per day range from $17-38/day per person, and that is for one 'category'. Okay, let me back up to some explanations. There are two "buckets" of Lightning Lanes (LL).
First off, a Lightning Lane (LL), is essentially a way to cut to the front of the line, once per day, carefully spreading the crowds out throughout the day to keep the line fast. Throughout your day, you have times where you select a time later in the day, to join the LL. As you see in my pictures, there is a one-hour window you have to ride the ride in its Lightning Lane, and as you are selecting, you have options to choose the schedule. (Keeping in mind, a load of other guests are doing this too, so some rides have LL schedules that fill up quickly).
One category is Genie+ (plus): a purchase that includes a list of Lightning Lanes for almost all of the popular rides. This category encompasses the majority of your LLs. It has multiple Lightning Lanes available for one price. Some rides that typically have shorter lines will not have Lighting Lanes offered at all.
Individual (that is the key word here) Lightning Lanes: 4-5 specific rides that you purchase the Lightning Lane separately, and only separately. These are an a la carte purchase, meaning you buy just one ride to ride it faster. These will not be offered in the other "bucket".
Seems simple to this point, right? It is! However, now you have to consider all the rules with selecting all of this. You don't just get to pick them all in the morning and go for it. Nor will they be available just any ol' time of day, because let's be real, LOTS of people want to use this service. If you are a WDW resort guest, you can start selecting your first Lightning Lane earlier in the morning than non-resort guests. Your second selection all depends on which park you're in and what time that particular park opened. Some rides become unavailable (the LLs fill up) and can't be selected later in the day, so should be selected first, even if they aren't your favorites. Put simply, it gets complicated, no pun intended.
The fun part! Stacking! Well, in my opinion, it's fun. My family has discovered quite the thrill from getting the "good" Lightning Lanes. It's almost like a puzzle, or an escape room in reverse, and this is something I feel my husband and I have gotten quite good at. We spend the morning enjoying the park and simply selecting all of our LLs for later in the day. Then we ride back to back to back! So fun! We spend the morning enjoying a late breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants, get to the park after the initial line moves through, and stop for pictures. We buy our kids their Minnie ears, me a new coffee mug and/or puzzle, snack (I could do an entirely other BLOG on Disney snacks), and maybe get in a short line or two. I can't say enough about all the positives of utilizing Genie+.
Trust me, I have not touched each and everything you should know to fully enjoy Genie+ in Walt Disney World. The flow and rules are extensive but are easy to get the hang of. There are also several different ways to enjoy the service. Plus, many people think other ways are better than mine. That's the point! Disney wants you to have the opportunity to make it your theme park vacation. There is so much more there to take advantage of, if you just know where to look, so contact me or one of my fellow agents and let us help you!
Part of That World Vacations