While the Disney Genie planning service is free, guests do have the option to purchase Genie+ and/or Individual Attraction Selections. These paid services grant guests the ability to select return times to access the Lightning Lanes (or what used to be FastPass+ lanes) of different rides. But, just how long did we actually wait for rides using these new paid FastPass+ replacement services?
Let’s go through a quick break-down of these new services.
First, there’s Disney Genie — this is a FREE planning service that can help show you wait times, ride suggestions, suggestions for what to do next in your day, and more to help optimize your time in the parks.
Next, there’s Genie+. For Genie+, you’ll pay $15 per ticket, per day in Disney World. Those $15 give you the ability to select the next available return times to use a ride’s Lightning Lane and skip the standby lane for that ride.
You can use Genie+ to make 1 Lightning Lane selection at a time throughout the day (with some exceptions). Over 40 attractions in Disney World are included in Genie+.
Finally, there’s Individual Attraction Selection or pay-per-ride. Select, highly popular Disney World rides are NOT available through the regular Genie+ service. Instead, if you want to skip the lines at these popular rides, you’ll have to pay to use each ride’s Lightning Lane individually. You can only purchase a maximum of 2 pay-per-ride selections per day.
The idea behind Genie+ and pay-per-ride is that they can help you skip those (sometimes long) standby lines. But, just how long were the wait times today and how long did we wait when using a Lightning Lane?
One of our reporters shared that they weren’t even timing many of their morning selections with Genie+ in Magic Kingdom because they were able to essentially walk right onto the rides they used Genie+ for.
That same reporter shared that they never waited longer than 20 minutes for any of the rides they went on (both using the Lightning Lanes and through standby).
Another one of our reporters shared their times and most rides were essentially a 5-10 minute wait when using Genie+. For example, Splash Mountain was a 4 minute wait using a Lightning Lane.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was at a 60 minute wait for the standby line, but our reporter was able to use a pay-per-ride selection and only waited 6 minutes.
For Space Mountain, the standby line was 30 minutes when they visited, but they were able to buy a pay-per-ride selection and ultimately only waited 6 minutes.
Over at the Haunted Mansion, the wait time was 40 minutes. Our reporter used Genie+ and was able to go through the Lightning Lane and only wait 13 minutes (appropriate).
Also, at one point one of our reporters used a Genie+ Lightning Lane for Peter Pan and waited 10 minutes, in comparison to the 80 minute standby wait time.
At EPCOT, we purchased a pay-per-ride selection for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure for early in the morning. We were essentially able to walk right onto the ride just as groups 1-20 for the virtual queue were being called.
We also had a Genie+ selection for Test Track. At the time our Lightning Lane return time came up, the posted wait time was 35 minutes. With the Lightning Lane, we walked right onto the ride.
Later, we got a Genie+ Lightning Lane selection for Spaceship Earth and walked right onto the ride, versus its posted wait time of 15 minutes for standby.
For Soarin’, the posted standby wait time was 50 minutes. With our Genie+ Lightning Lane selection, we waited 5 minutes to get to the pre-show/concourse area with everyone else.
At the land, the posted wait time was 5 minutes. With a Lightning Lane pass, we waited 2 minutes until the loading area.
Also in EPCOT, we had an interesting Genie moment. We had a break during our plans and the free Disney Genie planning suggested we ride Frozen Ever After through the standby line, noting that the wait time was “low.” The wait time was posted at 70 when we walked in, but we only actually waited around 30 minutes. When we walked out, the posted wait time was 40 minutes, so it did appear that Genie knew that ride’s wait time would (according to trends) go down, as it truly did.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
At Hollywood Studios we encountered some interesting issues as we had a pay-per-ride selection for Rise of the Resistance, which then proceeded to go down. We were able to ride it later, and during our ride…it broke down again and we were evacuated. #WeNeedMoreWishesGenie
Other than that, we were able to ride Alien Swirling Saucers with Genie+ and the standby wait was 30 minutes. Our wait with Genie+ was 5 minutes until we were basically next to load.
In terms of non-Genie+ or pay-per-ride wait times, Tower of Terror had a 20 minute wait time in the morning and we were off the ride in 18 minutes. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run had a 60 minute wait time, but we rode it through Single Rider in just 11 minutes. Of course, that was our experience today, but those wait times and experiences can vary.
At Animal Kingdom, the posted wait time for Expedition Everest at one point was 15 minutes. We waited in the standby line and only waited about 4 minutes. With a Genie+ Lightning Lane, the wait was just about 2 minutes.
At Navi River Journey, the standby wait time was 40 minutes, but with a Genie+ Lightning Lane, it was just 7 minutes. At another point in the day, it had a 50 minute wait time, and we waited in the standby line for 40 minutes.
Flight of Passage, a very popular ride in the park, had a posted time of 75 minutes for standby. With a pay-per-ride selection, we were able to ride in just 8 minutes.
Finally, over at the Kilimanjaro Safaris, the wait time for standby was 50 minutes, but our wait with a Genie+ Lightning Lane was just 5 minutes. At another point, we hopped in the standby line (when it was still at a 50 minute wait) and waited 24 minutes through standby.
At DINOSAUR the posted wait time was about 15 minutes. We waited in the standby for 8 minutes. With a Genie+ Lightning Lane, the wait was 5 minutes.
And that was our experience with wait times for Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selection. For some rides, like Flight of Passage, the Lightning Lanes did significantly cut down on wait times. For others, particularly spots like Expedition Everest, where the wait times were already SO low for standby, the Lightning Lanes really didn’t dramatically change our wait time experience.
Remember, you can’t cancel your pay-per-ride reservation, but you can cancel those Genie+ Lightning Lane selections and move them around to best fit your plans. Either way, you’ll want to be thoughtful about your choices to make sure you’re getting the most out of your day. Keep reading DFB for more Disney Genie news!
Have you tried the Disney Genie yet? Tell us in the comments!