Wednesday, March 23, 2022

All About Disney’s New Genie+ / Lightning Lane System

After our 2018 trip to Disney World, I felt like a Disney expert, especially when it came to fast passes and how to maximize our time in the parks.  Disney recently did away with the fast pass system, and they rolled out a completely new system called Genie+, and unfortunately, it operates completely differently than the old system which means that my previous knowledge is no longer helpful.

Since we’re heading to Disney World in just a couple of weeks, Brian has been researching the new system and taking notes, so we’ll know exactly what we need to do for our trip.  I was reading over his notes the other day and I realized that they would make for a great blog post that I could share with all of you in case you’re planning trips to Disney World soon, too! 

Here’s what we’ve learned so far…

Regular Lightning Lane (LL) Rules

The ability to add Genie+ to your park reservation starts at 12:00 AM the night before your park reservation.  If you want to reserve it in advance, you have to contact Disney Reservations or your Travel Agent, and this adds it for every park during your trip (all or nothing).

Selections start at 7:00 AM the day of your park visit (same time for on-site and off-site guests).  Disney uses the exact time from, so this can be used to start at the exact right time.

After making a selection, your next selection can be made:

-       2 hours after you last made a selection (for the one selected before park opening, it's actually 2 hours after park opening)


-       After checking into your last selected LL

Put another way, if you have used all of your LL's, you are immediately eligible for another.  If you have any future LL's remaining, you are eligible to select another one 2 hours after you selected your last one or immediately after checking into your most recent selection.

You can’t “change” a LL selection – you must cancel the one you don’t want, then select the new one.  There is risk in doing this, because by the time you cancel one, the new one you wanted may not be available anymore.

You cannot get a LL for the same ride more than once.  You must use the standby line if you want to ride something twice.

The lightning lane window is 1 hour, but you can be up to 5 minutes early or 15 minutes late for a reservation.  After the 15 minutes late grace period, there may be problems booking the same ride again, and you may need to visit guest relations to resolve it.  It is best to cancel in advance if you think you are going to be 15+ minutes late.


Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) Rules

Selections start at 7:00 AM the day of your park visit for onsite guests and at park opening for off-site guests (although some inventory is probably saved for park opening).

You cannot cancel or change an ILL reservation.

You cannot get an ILL for the same ride more than once.  You must use standby line if you want to ride something twice.

Individual Lightning Lane Ride Costs

Hollywood Studios: Star Wars Rise of the Resistance ($15/person vs. a 153-minute average wait)

Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage ($11-14/person vs. a 93-minute average wait)

Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarves Mine Train ($10-12/person vs. a 75-minute average wait)

Epcot: Remy's Ratatouille Adventure ($8-11/person vs. an 85-minute average wait)

For our trip, we decided to use Genie+ for the entire trip, and we already had our Disney travel agent add it to our itinerary.  We will also be making Individual Lightning Lane reservations for the most popular rides to ensure we can experience those attractions without having to wait very long.  We’d rather pay extra to save time that we’d spend waiting in line. 

Keep in mind that Disney tweaks the rules here and there, so to ensure you’re getting the most current information, do check their website before your trip. 

And if you’d like to see some other Disney tips and tricks or posts from our previous trip, be sure to check out the links below! 

Disney World Trip - March 2018

Happy travels, y'all!


  1. How cool is this! Happy Wednesday!

  2. I used to be a Fast Pass expert too and then it changed to Fast Pass on the app and now it's something else entirely! I don't love that it costs money but I bet it's worthwhile.

  3. You won't regret it! Genie+ with either Rope Dropping or stacking is where it's at! I was always terrified to cancel a LL, but it usually worked out well. I seriously can't wait to watch your stories!

    1. I'm nervous, but honestly, I'll just be happy to be there no matter how things turn out with the rides!

  4. I was somewhat of a fastpass expert when we went in 2017. I'm sad you have to pay for the genie program though. I don't think we'll be heading back to Disney til we have grandkids, so I'm sure they will have something different by then. The best Fastpass story I have is when we got unlimited "front of the line" for the afternoon after we were grand marshall's in the Magic Kingdom parade. Our luckiest day ever!

  5. I feel like you need a masters degree to go to Disney now and understand the rules LOL! You guys will have a great time!

  6. I wish Disney's system was as easy as Universals! This is the part that I am dreading planning come our December trip

  7. Ok, this kind of stresses me out!! I loved FastPass and enjoyed playing out all of our rides months ahead. It sounds like you have to select your first rides at 7 a.m. that morning? We are driving in from San Diego that morning, so not sure if I'll have to make our selections in the car while my husband is driving. Argh!! We are doing one day at Disneyland/California Adventure in June and I am going to need to figure this all out before then. Thanks for sharing your post, I am going to bookmark this to come back to when I have more time to read it over. I'd love to hear how you like it and if you prefer it over FastPass once you get there.


  8. It is crazy how they keep changing the systems. I loved the FastPass option and I am not thrilled with this new option. But this is good to know for our next trip because I heard Disneyland is very similar.

  9. Would you believe that in all our trips to Disney we never ever even used Fastpass?! I know it's crazy but we always visited in the offseason and often found we had little to no wait for most rides... that said I was a fastpass expert just in case we ever wanted to use them. This new system sounds pricy for larger families and groups and I kind of hate how much Disney keeps bowing down to the almighty dollar... I mean I get it and I totally understand why you'd want to use it but I just don't love it.

    1. Oh my goodness, that's awesome that you've been able to do that! And yes, I really hate that Disney is doing it this way now. It makes things so much more expensive and SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. I'm hoping everything will go smoothly for us, though!


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