What is a Lightning Lane? A Disney Genie+ Primer

by | Aug 26, 2021 | Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog, WDW News

We can show you the world… of Lightning Lanes. What is a Lightning Lane, anyhow?

OK, so once upon a time, there was this Genie… and he had these lanes. Lighting Lanes. The lanes opened up magical worlds that you’d otherwise have to wait an eternity for.

But Genies love gold, so you’ll need to pay the price. Here’s everything you need to know to get yourself in a Lightning Lane:

What are Lightning Lanes?

All FastPass+ Lanes will be renamed Lightning Lanes. No word yet on if Lightning McQueen will usher us all in.

Just like FastPass+, the Lightning Lane program is designed to get you on your rides faster and help structure your day.

How Can I Access Lightning Lanes?

Lightning Lane Individual Selections Disney Genie+ Service_DPB

To get in a Lightning Lane, guests will first have to do one of two things.

  1. Unlock access to Lightning Lanes when you pay for Disney Genie+ Service
  2. Pay ala carte for Individual Selections (one at a time of your choosing) to get in the Lightning Lane

Lightning Lanes via Disney Genie+

👉 No more picking FastPass selections ahead of your trip.  The Genie is thousands of years old, he loves old-school: We are back to the age day-of ride selections.

👉 Lightning Lanes act a bit more like the old paper FastPass system in that you need to wait till the day of your trip to pick your first one.

The good news? You don’t have to be in the park to pick your first Lightning Lane selection!

If you have purchased Disney Genie+, here is the process to use your Lightning Lane Access:

  1. Wake up before 7:00 AM
  2. Get on the My Disney Experience app
  3. Refresh the Lightning Lane selection screen until 7:00 AM
  4. As soon as 7:00 AM hits, pick your first Lightning Lane selection

Sound familiar? Yep, this is akin to the process to getting a Rise of the Resistance Boarding Pass (our full guide to that is here).

You don’t have to be staying at a Disney World Resort to get your first Lightning Lane selection at 7:00 AM.

A La Carte Lightning Lane Selections

Splash Mountain Lightning Lane_Lazar

Not sure you want to commit to a full day of Genie+? Maybe you just want to keep your day loose, options open. That’s some big Loki energy, we get it.

How to get in a Lightning Lane via the a la carte (Individual Attraction Selection) system:

  1. Wake up before 7:00 AM
  2. Get on the My Disney Experience app
  3. Refresh the Lightning Lane selection screen until 7:00 AM
  4. As soon as 7:00 AM hits, pick your first Individual Attraction Selection (you can buy up to two a day)

Yep, that’s the same process as the guests who bought Genie+. But you, an agent of chaos, don’t have to wake up at 7:00 AM if you don’t want to… that’s for the hardcore planners who want to make sure to score a ride.

You can also be strolling through the park and make the executive decision to not stand in line for Mine Train.

Will Lightning Lane Space Run Out?

Lightning Lane Selections in Disney Genie+ Service_DPB

So with all the 7:00 AM action happening, it begs the question… are Lightning Lane spots limited?

Given past FastPass logic, the answer is yes.

There are only so many time slots per day, so the most popular rides will fill up.

Once spots are full, Lightning Lane ala carte purchases will not be available for the ride.

How Much Do Lightning Lanes Cost?

Magic Kingdom Lightning Lanes Monsters Laugh Floor_Lazar

For all-day use of Lightning Lanes, the cost is $15.00 per guest per day. This is the cost to upgrade Disney Genie to Disney Genie+.

Individual Attraction Selection pricing varies by ride and day.

More details on the cost of Genie+…

Which Rides Will Have Lightning Lanes?

Lightning Lane access of Disney Genie+ Service_DPB

More than 50 rides at Walt Disney World have Lightning Lanes. Some are accessible through Genie+ while others cost extra through Individual Attraction Selection.

⚡ Full List of Genie+ Attractions

⚡ Full List of Individual Attraction Selections

What Else Is Included in Disney Genie+ Service?

Disney Genie+ Service Audio Experiences in the App_DPB

PhotoPass Lenses, Audio Experiences, and PhotoPass Downloads.

For more info on everything that Disney Genie+ has to offer, see our big giant explainer.

What Happened to FastPass+?

FastPass lanes are now Lightning Lanes Judd Helms

FastPass lanes are now Lightning Lanes. Photo by Judd Helms

FastPass and FastPass+ have been sunset.

And the Genie can’t bring anyone back to life, it’s against the three wishes rules, so let’s all take a moment of silence and then move on. We’ve got rides to ride.

Need Help?

Our friends at Destinations to Travel have done all the studying for you. Their services are free and they can talk to you individually to break down all the Lightning Lane, Genie+, and more.


Not sure if you’re going? You can just get more information about a potential Disney vacation.

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We get that Disney Genie+ Service means learning a whole new world of possibilities, and we’re here to help.


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Written by Rain Blanken

Written by Rain Blanken

Rain Blanken is the frying pan-wielding editorial director for WDW Magazine. She is a published author who has been working in digital media for 15 years. She is a DVC Member, WDW Annual Pass holder, former Disney Vacation Planner, and would live inside Boma if they would just stop checking under the tables at night. Did you like this article? Tip Rain in tartar sauce...