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Disney Genie, Genie Plus & Lightning Lanes Guide

What is Disney Genie? What about Genie+? And Lightning Lanes? When are FastPasses coming back?

With so many changes in the way you plan your day at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, it can be confusing to sort it all out and know how to make the most of your visit.

That’s where I come in.

If you’re planning on visiting Walt Disney World resort or Disneyland, read this guide to learn more about Disney Genie, Disney Genie Plus, and Lightning Lanes, so you can plan the best day ever.

What is the Disney Genie app?

Photo of a woman checking into a dining reservation using her mobile phone.
Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy of Disney.

Disney Genie is technically not an app, it’s a service. It’s an update to the existing My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps that helps create your most magical day. 

This Disnified algorithm provides personalized tips and itineraries, working off of your park, ride, and dining reservations, as well as your occasional check-in from the app.

Disney Genie is available free of charge as part of the Disney World My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps.

What is Disney Genie+?

Photo of the Toy Story Mania! ride entrance at Disney World's Hollywood Studios.
Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy of Disney.

Disney Genie+ is an add-on to a park reservation that provides entry to the Lightning Lanes of select rides and attractions. 

It’s basically the new version of FastPasses, except it isn’t free. So yes, friends, that means free FastPasses are not coming back.

The Disney Genie Plus price depends on which resort you’re visiting, as well as other factors such as guest demand.

On average, Genie Plus is $15 per day per person, plus tax at Disney World and $20 per person per day, plus tax, at Disneyland.

Wait, what are Lightning Lanes?

Lightning Lanes are the new version of FastPass lines. Think of them like VIP lines with a shorter wait than the regular attraction line – or no wait at all.

So how does Genie Plus work?

Photo of a dad and his son at Disneyland, looking at the Disney World app.
Photo courtesy of Disneyland Resort.

At midnight on the day of your park reservation, you can purchase Genie+ for that day. However, you can’t select your first Lightning Lane ride until 7 AM.

By and large, you can likely wait until 7 AM to purchase Genie+ and make your first selection.

However, this odd rule is likely in place for those super busy days, such as around major holidays, as Genie+ does have a limit as to the number of people that can buy it each day.

After you access your first Lightning Lane ride OR after 2 hours, whichever comes first, you can select another Lightning Lane ride.

In my opinion, this is the worst feature of Genie+, as it forces you to be on your phone all the time, disconnecting you from your experience. 

I’m hoping in the future Disney will allow guests to pre-select 3 lanes like with the FastPass system. That way guests can be more present with their friends and family while at the theme parks.

How many Lightning Lanes do you get per day?

Photo of Princesses Anna & Elsa at the Frozen Sing Along show at Disney World's Hollywood Studios.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

If you’re a rope drop to fireworks kind of visitor, you can really minimize wait times by staying on top of your Lightning Lane reservations and at the same time, maximize the number of attractions you can snag with Genie+. 

On average, Disney estimates guests should be able to get 2-3 ride selections out of Disney Genie Plus (source), even with park hopping.

That’s not to say that you can’t get more – especially if you’re a rope drop to fireworks kind of guest.

Plus, you have the option of purchasing individual Lightning Lane passes. More on that in the next section!

Can you purchase individual Lightning Lanes?

Photo of a family on the Ratatouille ride at Disney World's Epcot theme park.
Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy of Disney.

Yes, you can purchase individual Lightning Lane passes for up to 2 rides or attractions per day, one at a time.

If you opt to get more than 1 individual Lightning Lane pass, you can select your second one 2 hours after selecting the first OR after redeeming the first one – whichever comes first.

You do not have to purchase Genie+ in order to purchase individual Lightning Lanes.

The catch is, the price varies depending on the ride and the day. On one day, a pass might be $7 and on another day it might be $15. This helps keep the lanes from overfilling!

Overall, if you purchase Genie+ AND 2 individual Lightning Lanes, you should be able to access 4-5 per day.

Which rides work with Genie Plus?

Each park boasts a good number of rides you can choose from. 

Like FastPasses, however, as the day goes on, selections will run out. So if you have your heart set on certain rides, choose them in your preferred priority order if you can and start as early in the day as you can.

The list of rides available for individual Lightning Lane passes differs slightly, as some rides are only available for individual passes and vice versa.

To learn about which rides are available for Disney Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane passes, check out the blog posts for your favorite Disney resort below.

Genie Plus at Walt Disney World Resort

Photo of BB-8 at Star Wars: Galaxy Edge.
Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy of Disney.

Headed to Disney World? Check out the guides below about the best rides and attractions at Disney World, including which ones are available with Genie+ and individual Lightning Lane attractions.

  1. The Best Animal Kingdom Rides & Attractions
  2. The Best Epcot Rides & Attractions
  3. The Best Hollywood Studios Rides & Attractions
  4. The Best Magic Kingdom Rides & Attractions

Here are my top Genie+ and LL picks per park:

*Individual Lightning Lane attraction.

That’s not all! Coming later in 2023 is the addition of ride photos if you purchase Genie+. This does not include character meals or Memory Maker photo spots around the park.

Disney hasn’t announced when this is coming to Disney World, but it is already starting to roll out at Disneyland, so hopefully that means WDW is right around the corner.

With this new add-on for Genie+ purchases, guests will get free digital downloads via the My Disney Experience app of any ride photos. Prints cost extra and the Memory Maker add-on is NOT needed.

Genie Plus at Disneyland Resort

Closeup of the entrance to Grizzly River Run standby and lightning lane entrances at Disneyland in California.
Photo by Christian Thompson, courtesy of Disneyland Resort.

My top picks for Genie+ and LL at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are:

  • Disneyland: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Space Mountain, Rise of the Resistance*
  • Disney California Adventure: Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!, Web Slingers, Soarin’ Over California, Radiator Springs Racers*

*Individual Lightning Lane attraction.

Is Disney Genie Plus worth it?

Overall, I think Genie+ can be a helpful add-on, especially if you don’t visit often. 

On the other hand, it’s also not necessarily in order to have an enjoyable day at Disney World or Disneyland.

At the end of the day, whether it’s worth your hard earned money and vacation time, is up to you!

Will you be purchasing Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane passes for your next visit? Let me know in the comments below!

About the author

Photo of Meg Frost on Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Blast at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.

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This post was published April 27, 2022. It was last updated February 4, 2023.

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Jeff Nissley

Saturday 30th of April 2022

I think you are making it too complicated and add stress to a family experience by adding additional tasks to do on the day of a visit that are never a good idea. Fast passes allowed families to plan better and map out the day of how they would navigate a park. Both these passes make this a 7am decision on the day of your visit.

Meg Frost

Wednesday 4th of May 2022

Jeff, I'm not making it more complicated - Disney is! I too would very much prefer the old Fastpass system over Genie+ any day. That said, I doubt Disney will go back to the old system when this one makes them more $$.