DIsney Genie+ can require you to be on your phone…a lot. We’re sharing our best tips for maximizing Genie+ WITHOUT being tied to your phone.
Ever since Disney debuted their Disney Genie+ service, one of the most popular questions we get is how to use it best. The service replaced the widely loved and easy-to-understand Fastpass+ system, and years after its debut, guests are still having a tough time wrapping their heads around it…and understandably so! Between the many rules, the cost (Genie+ uses park-specific pricing at Disney World) and the required use of the My Disney Experience app have many guests scratching their heads…and fearing they’ll spend their whole vacation tied to their phones. I recently spent a day at Magic Kingdom to test just how practical the Genie+ system is and if you can maximize it without feeling tied to your phone!
The Rules of Genie+
Once you purchase the Genie+ service for each party member through the My Disney Experience app, you are ready to start using the service! Guests who buy Genie+ can make their first Ligning Lane reservation (the new name for the FastPass or ‘skip the line’ lane) at 7AM on the day of their visit. This is also when the first Genie+ ‘rule’ comes into play. When it comes to booking your next Lightning Lane, the rule depends. If your first Lightning Lane is less than two hours after the park opens, you can get your next Lightning Lane reservation once you scan into the line for your first. If, however, your first Lightning Lane of the day is for after two hours past the park opening, you will get your second Lightning Lane starting two hours after park opening.
For example, I booked my first Lightning Lane at 7AM, and Magic Kingdom opened at 9AM the day I visited. I was not eligible to make another Lightning Lane until I either used my first Lightning Lane reservation or until 11AM–whichever came first!
Using the Rules of Disney Genie+ to Your Benefit
From the get-go, I got myself on what I deem the ‘use a Lightning Lane, make a Lightning Lane’ schedule to optimize my day…and I recommend you do the same! I got my first Lightning Lane reservation for Pirates of the Caribbean at 9:20AM on the day of this experiment. When I scanned in to the attraction’s Lightning Lane, I was then eligible to make another Lightning Lane reservation, according to the rules. Remember, once you scan into a Lightning Lane, you can then make another Lightning Lane reservation!
Although the Lightning Lane does allow you to skip a majority of the line, there is a small queue you will encounter before riding. My longest Lightning Lane wait was 14 minutes, and my shortest was 4 minutes–not bad! During these short waits is when I would make my next Lightning Lane reservation. I pulled up the My Disney Experience app and selected a Lightning Lane return time for the next attraction I wanted to experience while waiting. This method meant I was only on my phone while in queue lines, allowing me to walk freely around Magic Kingdom and take in the sights and sounds of the Park. I continued this same ‘use a Lightning Lane, make a Lightning Lane’ schedule for the entirety of my day.
Modify Your Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Reservation for a Better Time
Unlike when it first debuted, Genie+ now offers guests the ability to ‘modify’ a Lightning Lane reservation. This feature allows you to possibly score an earlier time for your next Lightning Lane if one is available and also allows you the option to choose a different attraction from the one you had previously selected if you so desire.
It’s very possible to constantly try to refresh the My Disney Experience app in an attempt to modify every Lightning Lane you reserve to an earlier time. But you will spend your whole day looking at your phone if you take this route…and your battery probably won’t last you past lunch! Here’s what to do instead.
Use the Standby Queues and Meal Breaks to Your Advantage!
While it would be a dream to score a Lightning Lane for every single attraction, that is almost impossible…and not the best use of your day! To maximize the Genie+ service, fill in your day between Lightning Lane reservations with shows and smaller attractions. To maximize the ‘modify’ option, I recommend checking for earlier Lightning Lane times while waiting in a stand-by line. Attempting to modify your next Lightning Lane reservation while in a standby line is the best way to utilize your time in these usually longer queues…and keep you off your phone while you’re out experiencing the Park!
I also checked the ‘modify’ option on the My Disney Experience app every time I stopped for a water break, snack, and restroom stop. Checking for a ‘modified’ time or different attraction’s Lightning Lane only takes a few seconds, and making these changes while I was waiting in queues or taking breaks ensured I never felt like I was spending my day on my phone.
Want more Genie+ tips? Make sure to check out our articles below!