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Our Top Tips and Strategies for Using Genie Plus at Disney World

by Leap on August 7, 2022 2 Orlando

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Summary

The debut of Disney Genie Plus service at Disney World was an exciting time for us frogs! Since it launched in Oct. 2021, we’ve gained a ton of experience and mastered our top tips and strategies. For a complete breakdown of Disney Genie (including Genie Plus and individual Lightning Lane selections), hop over to our general guide. And if you still have questions, reference the most frequently asked questions that we get. When you’ve mastered the basics, come back to this post so that you, too, can become a Genie expert!

Genie+ Tips at Disney World - App in front of Tower of Terror

Our Most Basic Tips for Using Genie Plus at Disney World

Let’s start off easy with some basic but important things to remember, diving right in with steps you should take before you even leave for vacation. (Our top tips for using Disney Genie Plus service at Disneyland are on their way! In the meantime, hop over to our frequently asked questions about using Genie Plus at Disneyland or our full guide to Genie Plus at Disneyland. Ribbit!)

Genie+ Tips at Disney World

Get to Know the Lingo

Individual Lightning Lane. Genie. Genie+. Stacking. What does all of it mean?! Be sure to brush up before your trip so that you're a pro by the time you go. Like we said, that's where our Genie guide and Genie+ FAQ come in handy!

Download the My Disney Experience App

First thing's first: You should download the My Disney Experience app if you haven’t already. Not only is it where you can access Disney Genie, but it’s also where you can create mobile food orders, make dining reservations, check entertainment schedules and so much more! You’ll want to download it before your trip so you’re ready from the get-go. That way, you won’t have to download it in the parks where the Wi-Fi connection is not as strong and slows down the process (you’ll definitely want to avoid getting into this situation five minutes before you can make your first Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane selections!). If you already have the app, make sure you have the latest version and update it if you need to.

Genie+ Tips at Disney World - Tip Board

Get Familiar with the Tip Board

We highly recommend playing around with the entire app, but especially the Tip Board. The Tip Board is where you will be making the Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane selections. Even from home, you can monitor the availability of rides on any given day, as it will show the most up-to-date time windows for each ride. Check the Tip Board at random times of the day so you can get a good idea of which rides tend to run out faster than others. For example, if you already know Test Track consistently runs out by midday, you can make sure to prioritize it by grabbing a reservation earlier in the day, compared to Spaceship Earth, which rarely runs out of Genie+ availability.

Know How and When to Purchase Genie Plus at Disney World

Are you planning to use Genie Plus at Disney World for the entire duration of your trip? If you purchased your tickets prior to June 8, 2022, confirm that your tickets already include Genie+. You can double-check by going to “Tickets and Passes” (via the app) or clicking on the “Tickets & Memory Maker” tab (via the website) in My Disney Experience.

If you don’t plan to use Genie+ every day of your trip, or if you've purchased your tickets after June 8, 2022, then you will have to purchase it in the app on the day of, each morning. Since you can make your first Genie+ selection at 7 a.m., you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to purchase Genie+ and confirm your party before the top of the hour.

As of June 8, 2022, Disney Genie+ service is no longer be available to purchase as an add-on to new tickets, and is only available for sale on the day of your visit via the My Disney Experience app. If you have multi-day tickets or annual passes, you will need to purchase Genie+ each day. If you have already purchased tickets with Genie+ (prior to June 8, 2022), your ticket still includes Genie+! Note that Genie+ service is subject to availability.

Pack a Charger for Your Phone

Genie+ Tips at Disney World - Phone Charger

One of our wishes would definitely be unlimited phone power! We know it’s not ideal for everyone, but you will be using your phone throughout the day so you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t run out of battery. There are FuelRod kiosks available at the theme parks, Disney Springs and select resorts, so you can purchase a portable phone charging kit for $30 and then swap out the battery when it runs out. However, it’s not always convenient, as you’ll have to locate the nearest kiosk if you need a replacement. Also, it’s usually enough to bring your phone back from the dead, but a FuelRod charges at a slow pace and likely won’t reach 100 percent before you have to get a new one. Instead, we recommend purchasing and bringing your own portable charger. That way, it can last longer and you can easily whip it out in times of need!

Disney Genie Plus Tips by Ride

Tips for Using Genie Plus at Disney World - Lightning Lane Entrance at Rise of the Resistance

As we mentioned before, familiarizing yourself with the Genie Plus Tip Board is one way you can determine which rides to prioritize. Mommy Frog, who loves data and research, has even started her own spreadsheet to track the trends that she finds by keeping tabs on the Tip Board at random times of the day about a week before our trip. She records the exact time she checks and which rides have already run out (or are close to running out). Fair warning, it can get addicting!

Some of these may be no-brainers, but she’s found a couple of surprises. Here are Mommy Frog’s recent findings that have stayed relatively consistent (though it’s always subject to change depending on a variety of factors, such as crowd levels, new ride or land openings, events, weather, refurbishments, etc.).

Check out the lists below to see which rides may run out the fastest! The lists are in order of popularity based on how quickly reservations have disappeared, in our experience, and include both Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane selections.

Magic Kingdom

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train*
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Splash Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Medium-level priorities include: Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance*
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Medium-level priorities include: Rock 'n' Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith, Toy Story Mania!, Alien Swirling Saucers

Note from Mommy Frog: While the listed rides are usually the top five that fill up first, it’s not a rare occurrence for the majority of the rides (and even character greetings) to be unavailable by the afternoon.

EPCOT

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind*
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure*
  • Test Track
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Medium-level priorities include: Soarin’ Around the World, Mission: SPACE

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage*
  • Na'vi River Journey
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Medium-level priorities include: Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR and Kali River Rapids

*Individual Lightning Lane selection

If any of these rides are a high priority for you, you’ll want to focus on getting these Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane selections first. When you set up your plans via My Genie Day, you will be able to select your top picks by attractions, entertainment and dining. By doing so, these will appear at the top of your feed on the Tip Board! This is extremely hopful because when you're refreshing the Tip Board, you won't have to waste any time scrolling down the page to try to find one of your top priority rides.

Also note that, even if you're speedy and act on making a Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane selection as quickly as possible, the time window can automatically change on you, so it's important to remain flexible if this hoppens.

Disney Genie Plus Tips by Theme Park

Genie Plus at Disney World can be more helpful in some parks than others. If you have Base Tickets and are visiting one park per day, you may want to pick and choose the days that you’ll use Genie. Here’s where we find the most bang for your buck, depending on the park that you’re visiting for the day.

Tips for Using Genie Plus at Disney World — Tip Board on Phone in front of Cinderella Castle

Magic Kingdom Park

In this case, we highly recommend Genie+ at Magic Kingdom. We think that, hands down, it’s the best park to get the most value out of Genie+ because there are many rides, as well as character greetings and Festival of the Fantasy Parade, included with the service. With so many options, people are more spread out, which evens the playing field. Aside from Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, there aren’t too many rides that will fill up early in the day. It isn’t until later in the afternoon when some rides will start to run out of reservations, and there are a number of rides that rarely run out at all (such as Mad Tea Party and Magic Carpets of Aladdin).

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Genie+ will come in handy here, as there are many popular thrill rides at this park that can build up lengthy wait times, and having Genie+ reservations would cut down on a lot of that time! However, the main caveat is that there is a smaller number of available rides, so reservations run out much more quickly than at the other parks. We recommend strategically stacking Genie+ reservations that fall in the afternoon and evening at Hollywood Studios (we’ll get into this stacking strategy with more details below!).

EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom

At EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll find only a few high-priority rides at each park, while the remainder of the rides generally has low standby waits or plenty of Genie+ availability. If you’re spending the entire day in one of these parks, you have a higher chance of knocking out everything you want to do without Genie+, especially if you take advantage of rope drop, Early Theme Park Entry and/or Extended Evening Hours. Unless you already have Genie+ included with your park tickets, you may just want to splurge for an individual Lightning Lane selection instead of Genie+. Genie+ may also be worth considering if it’s an especially busy time during summer, spring break or the holidays.

Park Hopping

If you have the ability to park hop, then we think Genie+ can come in handy any day of your trip. When you set up Disney Genie in My Day, you can tell Genie your entire plans for the day, even selecting the timeframe and park(s) you’re hopping to. Since Genie knows you’re hopping, you can snag Genie+ reservations for your second park, even if it says the next available time is before official park hopping hours — it will automatically make a reservation for 2 p.m.! For instance, you’ve started out at EPCOT and used Genie+ to get a 2 p.m. reservation for Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios. Overall, we’d recommend starting at EPCOT or Animal Kingdom and stacking Genie+ reservations for Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom in the afternoon.

Hacking the Disney Genie Plus Stacking Strategy

Before Genie Plus at Disney World launched, Disney stated that Genie+ is limited to one reservation at a time.

We quickly learned, however, that while you can’t book more than one Genie+ reservation at a time, you can hold more than one Genie+ reservation. How is that possible? You can make another Genie+ selection when one of the following happens (whichever comes first):

  • You tap in for your last booked Genie+ reservation.
  • The window for your last booked Genie+ reservation passes.
  • It's 120 minutes after the park opened (if you made your first res at 7 a.m.).
  • It's been 120 minutes after making a reservation during normal park hours.

If you keep utilizing the 120-minute rule, then you’ll be able to stack multiple Genie+ reservations in the afternoon and evening.

A Real-Life Example of Mommy Frog's Stacking Strategy:

Tips for Using Genie Plus at Disney World - Stacking Example Screenshot

  • 7 a.m: For the first Genie+ selection of the day, she made a Slinky Dog Dash reservation for 6:05-7:05 p.m.
  • 8 a.m: Hollywood Studios opened for the day, so she snagged a Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (an individual Lightning Lane selection) reservation for 5:10-6:10 p.m. since we were staying off-site. Also at this time, the 120-minute countdown to our next Genie+ selection started.
  • 10 a.m: Two hours after park open, she made a Tower of Terror reservation for 6:35-7:35 p.m.
  • Noon: Another two hours have passed, so she made a Rock 'n' Roller Coaster reservation for 5:35-6:35 p.m.
  • 2 p.m: Again, two hours later, she made a Toy Story Mania! reservation for 7:15-8:15 p.m.

Tips for Using Genie Plus at Disney World - Stacking Example Screenshot

By then, she had four Genie+ reservations and one individual Lighting Lane reservation stacked and ready to go!

Here’s an important lesson about stacking that we learned the hard way: Don’t cancel a Genie+ reservation, thinking that you’ll be able to make a new one right after you cancel if you’ve got others stacked for later. The timer started after you made your most recent one, so you won’t be able to make one until your next eligible time.

For instance, using the example above, let's pretend that we see the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster standby line isn’t too long at 2 p.m. right after she makes the Toy Story Mania! reservation. Mommy Frog tells us to jump in line, cancels our reservation and then sees a reservation pop up for Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway. She goes to book it thinking, “Oh, this can be an easy swap,” but it won’t let her because we haven’t used the Toy Story Mania! reservation yet and the 120-minute timer started a few minutes ago. Now we’ve missed out on a Genie+ opportunity.

We also don't recommend canceling a Genie+ reservation (especially for popular rides) in general, unless you're absolutely certain that you want to. We'll sometimes see new times pop up that are earlier in the day, but because reservations can book so quickly, it's not worth canceling your reservation to snag it. Often, we refresh the Tip Board only seconds later, and it's already gone. However, if you're wanting to cancel a lower-priority ride such as Star Tours, then the risk of not getting a new reservation isn't as high.

More Expert Tips for Genie Plus at Disney World to Maximize Your Time

Tips for Using Genie Plus at Disney World - Early Entry Sign

Take Advantage of Early Theme Park Entry and/or Extended Evening Hours

If you are a guest of an eligible hotel (any Disney Resort hotel or select off-property hotels), take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry (at any park, any day) and knock out one of the popular rides before the park officially opens.

It’s a bonus if you’re able to get into the standby line early and ride an individual Lightning Lane selection without having to pay for Lightning Lane access!

If you’re a Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa hotel guest (or a guest of the Swan and Dolphin, Swan Reserve and Shades of Green), you have the ability to stay two hours after park close on select nights at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT (dates, hours and parks are subject to change). Likewise, you can save a popular attraction and ride it with a lower wait time during these hours. There is a small risk that a ride could shut down early and, by saving it until the end of the day, it’s more likely that you’ll miss riding it.

Lightning Lanes are not open during Early Theme Park Entry, Extended Evening Hours or special After Hours events. However, Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa guests can take advantage of an extra distribution time (6 p.m.) for the virtual queue at EPCOT in order to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind during Extended Evening Hours.

Get to the Park Early for Rope Drop

On a similar note, if you’re a guest without the Early Theme Park Entry or Extended Evening Hours benefits, arrive at the parks early for rope drop. Even though you might not be the very first people in line, you can still get a hop on the crowds that come later in the morning. We suggest that you make a beeline to a medium-tier priority ride that has a short wait since most people with Early Theme Park Entry will more than likely be in line at a top priority-level ride.

For instance, at Magic Kingdom, the Early Theme Park Entry guests can only navigate through Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Instead of heading in that same direction, go left to Adventureland and Frontierland. (Hop over to our park plans for more information!)

Know When You Can Make Your Next Reservation

As soon as we make our first Genie+ reservation (and so on), we set alarms on our phones to remind us that it’s time to make our next Genie+ reservation. We’ll schedule these alarms just a few minutes before our 120-minute window ends. Otherwise, we might be having too much fun and forget to set up our next selection, wasting that precious time during which we could pick up another. If you lose track, try booking a Genie+ reservation, and Genie will tell you that you’re not eligible and gives you the exact time that you can make another.

Tips for Using Genie Plus at Disney World - Multiple Experiences Pass

Use Multiple Experience Passes, When Applicable

If a ride breaks down during your Genie+ window, each person will receive a Multiple Experience pass, which you can use on any ride within the same "tier level" (also excluding the individual Lightning Lane attractions). The pass will tell you exactly which rides it can be used on. These passes do not have a specific time window, so you can use them any time before the end of the day.

Keep Grace Periods in Mind

You can tap in up to five minutes early or 15 minutes late to your Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane reservation, and you’re still good to go. If you’re outside of that timeframe, it's up to the discretion of the cast member, so aim to be on time! Knowing these grace periods, you can make sure to stack your reservations appropriately with enough time in between.

Don’t Give Up, and Keep Looking!

We saved the best Genie Plus tip for last! Continue to refresh and look for Genie+ reservations to pop up throughout the day. Just because a ride runs out at 7 a.m., it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost your only chance! People might change plans and cancel a reservation, which means a reservation could randomly appear at any time. However, if you see one, your speedy fingers need to act quickly! They can disappear as quickly as they appear. We've even experienced times when we start to book it, but it sells out again in the middle of the process. But that shouldn't discourage you from trying, as we've been successful at picking up a popular ride that was sold out this way.

Tips for Using Genie Plus at Disney World - Slinky Dog Dash

We've also personally experienced a little pixie dust on more than one occasion where it appears that additional Genie+ reservation times are released throughout the day. In our experience, we’ve noticed that once the individual Lightning Lane selections sell out at 7 a.m. for hotel guests, some rides (yes, even Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance!) will release new times around 7:17 a.m. Because not many people know about this and don’t re-check, these reservations will usually stay available until the park opens and other guests can start making individual Lightning Lane selections. Around that same time (about 10 to 15 minutes after 7 a.m.), we've seen more hard-to-get Genie+ reservations drop, as well! We’ve snagged Slinky Dog Dash that way. Other times, we’ve seen reservations drop for Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Test Track all at once around 3:32 p.m. And at 9:32 a.m., more popped up for Slinky Dog Dash, Tower of Terror, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Alien Swirling Saucers and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

This is not an official Disney policy and it is not guaranteed, so we cannot confirm whether this is a regular occurrence. But we suggest trying it if you don’t get your first pick of rides and reservations at 7 a.m.!

Whew! That was a lot of strategizing for Genie Plus at Disney World. Have you tried any of these Genie Plus tips and tricks? What is your Genie+ hack? Be sure to share with us in the comments below!

Related:  Tips for Using Genie Plus with Kids at Disney World

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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May 16, 2022 at 1:33 p.m. Kayla Starr Says...

Hi, thanks for putting this information together. It’s very helpful. Any tips on using rider swap with genie+ ? We’re planning a trip with 3 children 4 and under whose heights allow them to ride different things. Do we need a genie + pass for all those in the party to allow for rider swap or does it work like the old fast passes where we only needed a pass for all but 3 knowing that 3 would be allowed back with the rider swap pass?

Reply
May 16, 2022 at 3:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kayla!

Rider Switch operates normally as long as everyone who will be riding the attraction has Genie+. Also, note that children under 3 will not need Genie+ at all since they do not require tickets for admission. They can just stay with the group :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

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