Disney Genie+ Survival Guide: What You Really Need to Know


Disclaimer: Disney is adding changes to this new feature daily. The following information is based on my personal experience in January 2022 and information on Disney’s website as of March 2022. 

Cinderella's Castle at Disney
Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Castle

Disney Genie+ Survival Guide: What you really need to know

If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, you’ve likely heard some chatter about their new itinerary day planners called “Disney Genie Service” and “Genie+” options! Among the many changes that the Walt Disney World Resort has implemented this year, these may just be the most significant.

Here are the key things you need to know to make your trip a whole lot smoother.

There are three versions of the Disney Genie Service. They are all found in the My Disney Experience phone app. 

Option 1: The free version (Disney Genie Service) 
Option 2: $15 per person/per day (Genie +)
Option 3: Individual Lightning Lanes for high demand rides

The Free Version 

The first version is free and is provided to anyone using the My Disney Experience phone app. Once you open the app, you will be prompted throughout to start your experience with their Disney Genie Service. 

Once you opt-in to start the process, you will be taken through a series of questions about your personal preferences. You’ll be asked questions about your favorite kind of attractions and the type of dining experiences that you’re interested in. Whether you like thrill rides or slower rides, your interest in shows and entertainment. They even ask if you are looking for experiences for children, adults, or both. Then, the Disney Genie and its algorithm get to work!  

Once it’s done strategically calculating its suggestions of ideal experiences for you, it then provides a customized list of suggested experiences. You can then bookmark your selections in the app! The free Disney Genie Service option also provides wait times for rides (both current and projected) and suggests dining experiences for your party. 

Genie +  ($15 per person/ per day plus tax)

Fast Passes are back! Eheem, I mean “Lightning Lanes.” Fast Passes are now called Lightning Lanes. However, there have been some crucial changes, so here’s what you need to know.

For $15, per person per day, you can access “Lightning Lanes” for select attractions at each park. See below for a breakdown of which rides are included at each park. 

Magic Kingdom Lightning Lanes Info

Epcot Lightning Lanes Info

Hollywood Studios Lightning Lanes Info

Animal Kingdom Lightning Lanes Info

How to Purchase

Multi-day ticket or Vacation Package

If you have a multi-day ticket or a vacation package, you can purchase the Genie+ option before your trip at www.disneyworld.com or through authorized travel personnel. 

Single Day or Annual Passholders

If you have a single-day ticket or if you are an Annual Passholder, you can purchase the Genie+ option on the same day of your park visit on your My Disney Experience App. 

Important Notes:
  • Purchasing your Genie+ service is different than choosing your first Lightning Lane of the day. First, you purchase the Genie+ service for each person in your party, and then on the day of your park visit (as early as 7am) you choose your first Lightning Lane for each person in your party. 
  • If you are a single-day ticket holder or an annual passholder, you will need to wait until the day of your park visit to purchase your Genie+ service.
  • Whether you are staying on property or not, you can book your first Lightning Lane at 7am. 

Pro Tip: According to the Disney website, you can purchase the Genie+ option as early as 7am EST on the day of your scheduled park visit. However, the option is usually available as early as 6:45am EST. You will still need to wait until 7am to book your first Lightning Lane.

Let me say that again for the people in the back! 📣 You cannot book your first Lightning Lane until the day of your park visit at 7am EST! So, you’ll need to set those alarm clocks so you can book your first ride. The available Lightning Lane times are constantly updating and they change by the minute. Your best chance at booking a ride early in the day is by booking your first ride at 7am EST. 

Pro Tip: You want to make sure that everyone in your party is linked to your account so that booking your Lightning Lanes will be easier for your party.  

Booking the Next Ride

Now that we’ve covered how to purchase the Genie+ option and how to book your first Lightning Lane, let’s move forward! When can you book your second Lightning Lane and all others thereafter? 

You can book your next Lightning Lane two hours after you booked your first ride OR once you’ve “checked into” your previous Lightning Lane OR once your arrival window passes.

Individual Lightning Lane Option 

For some of the most highly demanded attractions, individual Lightning Lane access is available for purchase individually. This option is available to all guests, with or without Genie+. You can purchase one at a time, for up to 2 rides per day. 


The price and availability of these higher demanded rides vary by day and by attraction. 

For example, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance varies from $7 on a low occupancy day to $20 on a high occupancy day.  

How to Purchase

Similar to the Genie+ option, Individual Lightning Lanes for the higher demanded rides can be purchased in the My Disney Experience App.

Guests of Disney Resort Hotels and other select hotels can make their first purchase starting at 7am on the day of their visit. Other select hotels include Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Shades of Green.

All other guests can make their first purchase when the park opens.

My personal experience: Our family went to Epcot on a weekday, so there was no need to purchase the Genie+ option. I knew that the wait times for the rides at Epcot that day would be pretty short. Instead, I planned on booking an Individual Lightning Lane for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. When checking the available Lightning Lane times for this ride at 7am, it was available for 10:45am. However, since we were not staying on a Disney property, I wasn’t able to purchase it until the park’s opening time at 9am. Since available times are constantly updating, there was no availability for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure by 9am. Unfortunately, the Individual Lightning Lane option did not work for us on the day that we tried it.  

Child enjoying a Mickey Bar Ice Cream at Magic Kingdom.
All the Disney snacks in-between the rides!

My Personal Experience and Tips!

If I was going to go to Disney again, this would be my personal strategy.

Magic Kingdom: In my personal experience, when it comes to riding the most rides with the shortest lines, nothing beats being at Magic Kingdom at “rope drop.” Magic Kingdom officially opens at 9am, but did you know that they usually unofficially open the park 30 minutes before open time? They drop the rope early and allow guests in even before the clock strikes 9am! This is how our family walks onto rides like the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dumbo…etc. within the first couple hours of getting into the park. In my personal experience, taking advantage of the early rope drop is much more effective than using any fast pass service. However, I’d likely use a combination of the rope drop and the Genie+ option depending on the day’s expected occupancy.

Hollywood Studios: This park has experienced higher occupancy levels ever since adding its latest additions such as Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge…etc.  I would consider using the Genie+ service or Individual Lightning Lane service if there are certain rides you’d like to experience. 

Epcot and Animal Kingdom: Being that these are typically lower occupancy parks, I would say to consider the day or the week as well as the season that you are visiting. Going on a weekday and there are no special festivals going on? Maybe doublethink the need for the paid services. Going during spring break or Christmas break? You may need to use the Genie+ services to your advantage.

General Planning Tips 

Take a wireless phone charger! Since Genie+ is constantly updating availability times for rides and attractions and since you can only book one attraction at a time, this means that guests are constantly on their phones checking availability, booking their next ride, and organizing their day. This also means that your battery life depletes much faster. Be prepared and take a wireless charger! 

Couldn’t get onto your dream ride? Stand in line during the fireworks and nighttime entertainment. Evening shows like Disney Enchantment, Harmonious and the Electrical Water Pageant tend to attract the masses. So, while the majority of the crowd is standing at the main event and watching the evening shows, it’s your chance to make a run for the ride you’ve had no luck getting into all day! As long as you’re in line before the park’s closing time, Disney cast members typically allow you to stay in line until you ride. 

Family picnicking infrot of Cinderella's castle

Remember to “Press Pause & Savor”

As with most things in life, our experiences will vary as changes are being made day-to-day at Disney World. Here is the disclaimer straight from their official site. Keep this disclaimer below in mind as you plan. 

“Experiences may vary by date, are subject to change or closure and are not guaranteed, are limited in availability and may not be available at all on the date of visit or at the time you make a selection. Price, terms and entitlements are subject to restrictions, and change or cancellation without notice.

As mothers, we do the best we can to plan the very best trip for our family. But, the most important thing is that our kiddos see us enjoying ourselves, and enjoying them whether our day goes according to plan or not!

Whether our vacation experience is everything you hoped for or not, may we “press pause and savor” the people we have right in front of us. 

Best wishes to you, Mama!

Miami Moms LOVE Disney… and so do we! We have a TON of Disney content for you to check out here.

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Janelle Fuente
Meet Janelle, a native Miamian, lively personality with contagious kindness and a lover of early morning quiet moments with a hot cup of dark coffee. She’s an advocate of pressing pause on the daily hustle to enjoy life and the people right in front of us. After building a career she adored in hospitality and marketing, she made some hard career moves once she became a momma. She’s now growing daily on the entrepreneur journey, creating a life she’s able to savor. She invites you along as she shares her favorite hospitality and small business finds across Miami and as she shares self-care knowledge, tips and tricks. She chases hard after serving her community through her work and leaving something of worth behind for the next generation. She’s a wife to husband, Gio, and momma to Olivia and Jayce. You’re invited to hang out with them @presspauseandsavor on Instagram!


  1. Janelle, this is an AWESOME post! You worked so hard on sharing all the details! Thanks for this helpful info to make navigating Genie+ easier!

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