Gone are the days when you could simply book a hotel and buy tickets for Disney World and just…go.
As this magical resort continues to grow, so do the crowds. Which in turn means long lines for nearly everything, especially at the most popular park, Magic Kingdom.
That’s where Disney’s Genie+ system comes in handy! If you’re planning a trip to Magic Kingdom and wondering whether to purchase Genie+ to help manage your time, this post is for you.
In this guide, I’ll go over basic info for Genie+ and individual lightning lanes, which rides are worth prioritizing, and overall whether Magic Kingdom Genie Plus and lightning lanes are worth the added cost.
By the end of the post, you’ll know whether you want to buy this add-on service, as well as which rides you want to prioritize on Genie+ and individual lightning lanes.
Genie+ is Disney’s attraction reservation system. It’s like the old FastPass system, except it costs money.
I miss the old days of the 3 free FastPasses, but let’s be real – Disney is a business and they have to find new ways to make money.
Anyway, here’s the scoop on how it works: you get to pick a 1-hour block from available slots in which you access the lightning lane for your chosen ride.
You can pick 1 attraction at a time, starting at 7 AM. From there, you can choose a new attraction after you’ve redeemed the first or 2 hours have passed.
You can purchase Genie+ for a single park, such as Magic Kingdom, or if you have a park hopper or annual pass, you can pay a little bit more to use it at all parks.
Per Thrill Data, average cost for a single park Genie+ pass at Magic Kingdom is $24. However, since pricing is based on crowds, it can go higher or lower than that.
If you want to get Genie+ to cover all parks in a single day, the average cost ranges from $15-35.
Individual lightning lanes at Magic Kingdom
At Magic Kingdom, there are two rides that are available for individual lightning lane purchases: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and TRON Lightcycle Run.
Let’s go over both rides so you can decide if either are worth the added cost to skip the long lines.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the smoothest roller coasters at Disney World.
With an average wait time of 89 minutes – and often climbing higher during peak times of the day, a lightning lane will save you from wasting time in line.
But if you want to avoid paying to get access without a wait, your options include rope dropping it as your first ride or getting in line before the park closes.
TRON Lightcycle Run
Magic Kingdom’s newest ride is the futuristic TRON Lightcycle Run.
This ride is only available via virtual queue, where you can’t choose the time, and individual lightning lane, in which you can choose the time (or at least, choose a slot from what’s available).
Considering the best time to ride this is after dark, purchasing an individual lightning lane makes sense, provided you have the budget for it.
Plus, if you’re not a frequent visitor and want to make the most of your visit, I highly recommend getting a nighttime slot instead of the virtual queue (or even in addition to it!).
Magic Kingdom Genie+ rides
There are 22 attractions that you can choose from on Genie Plus at Magic Kingdom.
In my opinion, not all of them are worth using Genie+ for, so in this section, I’ll go over which rides are worth prioritizing and which aren’t, mainly using average wait times.
Average wait time for Magic Kingdom attractions provided by Thrill Data.
Top priority rides for Genie+ at Magic Kingdom
The attractions I recommend prioritizing for a Magic Kingdom Genie Plus pass include:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Jungle Cruise
- Meet Mickey Mouse
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Space Mountain
Let’s go over each ride so you can decide if you agree or want to deprioritize any of them on the day of your visit.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
This western-themed roller coaster in Frontierland is an absolute classic. It can be a bit bumpy and rickety, hence its reputation for helping people pass kidney stones, but overall a good time.
The average wait time for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is 51 minutes, making it a great selection on Genie+.
On this slow moving boat ride in Adventureland, you’ll see all kinds of (faux) jungle animals and scenery. But the real star of the show are the boat skippers and their punny jokes!
The average wait time for Jungle Cruise is 52 minutes, so it’s a good pick for Genie+, especially if you’re a fan of corny “dad jokes.”
Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
Meet the main man himself, Mickey Mouse, at Town Square Theater on Main Street USA.
If meeting characters is your thing, this is a great pick for Genie+ as the average wait time is 54 minutes.
That said, you can meet Mickey Mouse at other parks, where there’s less of a wait. So if you don’t mind meeting him in different outfits from the classic getup, that’s a good option, too.
Peter Pan’s Flight
This classic, slow moving ride takes you through scenes from Peter Pan, including London and Neverland.
The average wait time for Peter Pan’s flight is 65 minutes, so it’s a good pick for Genie+
Personally I usually skip this ride, even though I’m a big fan of Peter Pan (hence the site’s name, The Park Pixie!). However, I know lots of people like to go on it for nostalgic reasons, plus it’s great for little kids.
Pirates of the Caribbean
This slow boat ride in Adventureland takes you through a pirate ravaged town, with an appearance by none other than Captain Jack Sparrow himself.
It’s a classic ride and with an average wait time of 42 minutes, a decent pick for Genie+.
I usually have this one at the bottom of my priority list given that the wait time is less than the others. But if you’re skipping lots of those rides, then you might want to up the priority on this one.
Last but not least, is Space Mountain, a super duper fun roller coaster through the stars in Tomorrowland.
The average wait time for this classic coaster is 58 minutes, so it’s a great pick for Genie+.
That said, if I’m both rope dropping and using Genie+, I will usually rope drop this ride or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and then head to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
This leaves a better chance of scoring spots on Genie+ for the rest of the big ticket rides.
Other rides to consider for Genie+ at Magic Kingdom
In addition to the 6 priority rides, here are the remaining 16 Magic Kingdom Genie Plus rides that you can choose from.
This kiddie coaster, located in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland, is a great ride for kiddos with their eye on roller coasters, but aren’t quite tall enough yet.
The average wait time is 27 minutes, so using the standby line is a better option than Genie+.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
On this fun ride-turned-game, you and a friend must hit targets with your star blasters to earn points.
Average wait time is 42 minutes, so I do recommend prioritizing other rides. However, if you aren’t a roller coaster fan and decide to deprioritize rides like Space Mountain, this would be a fun swap.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Located in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland, this classic ride takes you up for a spin in the sky on a flying elephant. One of my favorite things about this ride, though, is that it has a play area for the queue!
The average wait time is 27 minutes, so I recommend using the standby queue instead of Genie+ for this one.
Enchanted Tales with Belle
One of my favorite shows at Magic Kingdom is Enchanted Tales with Belle.
It’s an interactive retelling of the classic Beauty & the Beast story, except people in the audience get to play different characters alongside Belle. So fun!
The average wait time for Enchanted Tales with Belle is 31 minutes. With lots of big ticket rides at Magic Kingdom, I recommend using the standby line for this ride so you can prioritize those with higher average wait times.
Festival of Fantasy Parade
This fun parade runs from Frontierland, through Liberty Square, and then down Main Street.
It features stunning floats, tons of characters, and lots of singing and dancing. There’s even a fire-breathing Maleficent in dragon form!
This parade is definitely a must-see, but you can definitely get a decent seat most of the year with just 30-40 minutes ahead. So just grab a snack and wait it out!
But of course, if you’ve never seen it or it’s your favorite, Genie+ will give you access to a reserved seating area and you won’t have to wait that long to get a good seat.
Located in Liberty Square, between Fantasyland and Frontierland, Haunted Mansion is a fun ride through a, well, haunted mansion.
Don’t worry – it’s not too scary, even for most kids. Plus there’s a fun ride photo at the end with a little surprise!
The average wait time for Haunted Mansion is only 28 minutes, so it’s best to use the standby line.
That said, average wait times definitely increase in the Fall when folks are often in town to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. So if you’re visiting around that time, you may want to prioritize this ride.
It’s a Small World
On this slow boat ride in Fantasyland, guests see doll-like animatronics from around the world in their native clothing, singing in their language, etc. It’s a classic ride that’s been around since day 1!
With an average wait time of 28 minutes, I recommend using the standby line over Genie+.
Mad Tea Party
Located on the edge of Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, Mad Tea Party is your classic spinning tea cup ride.
The average wait time for Mad Tea Party is only 17 minutes, so I recommend using the standby line instead of Genie+.
Despite the name, this fun 3D film stars Donald Duck, amongst other popular characters, as it showcases some of Disney’s best music.
The average wait time is only 14 minutes, so I wouldn’t waste a Genie+ selection on this attraction.
Meet Ariel at Her Grotto
Meet Ariel in mermaid form at her grotto in Fantasyland. Photopass photographers will take photos with both their professional cameras and your phone (as long as you ask politely).
The average wait time is 42 minutes, so if she’s at the top of your must-meet list, then I recommend prioritizing it. However, with so many other big-ticket rides, you may have to use the standby line for this.
Meet Cinderella & a Visiting Princess at Fairytale Hall
Meet Cinderella and another princess at Fairytale Hall.
The “visiting princess” rotates regularly, but could include someone like Elena, Rapunzel, etc. It’s basically a two-for-one character meet-and-greet, so you can’t go wrong.
The average wait time for this meet-and-greet is 40 minutes.
This is another attraction that could go either way, priority-wise. At the end of the day, if meeting Cindy and friends is a top thing to do for you, then by all means, prioritize it!
Meet Princess Tiana & a Visiting Princess at Fairytale Hall
On the opposite side of Fairytale Hall, you can meet Princess Tiana and another visiting princess. There’s usually a sign outside the building letting you know who the visiting princess is, so you can decide if the wait is worth it.
Although I will say, Tiana has always been a favorite of ours to meet and the wait is worth it. She’s so sweet and we’re super excited for her upcoming ride!
The average wait time is 38 minutes, so I recommend utilizing the standby line unless Tiana is your #1 pick for character meet-and-greets.
Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor
Mike Wazowski interacts with the audience in this comedy set-like attraction. This attraction reminds me of Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot.
The average wait time for Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor is only 11 minutes, so it’d be silly to use Genie+ for this!
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Located in Adventureland, this ride is your chance to know what it feels like to fly on a magic carpet, just like Jasmine and Aladdin.
The average wait time is only 27 minutes, so I recommend using the standby line. Plus, you can grab a Dole Whip to snack on while you wait, as there are 2 different spots nearby that sell it!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
This dark but slow ride takes you through scenes straight out of Winnie the Pooh’s adventures.
Personally I usually skip this one unless I’m there with young kiddos, but lots of folks still love to go on this one for nostalgic reasons, just like Peter Pan’s Flight.
Aside from that, the average wait time is only 39 minutes, so it’s best to use your Genie+ selections for rides with higher wait times.
Tomorrowland Speedway is your classic go-kart like ride where you can speed around a track. Well, maybe not speed, but you get what I mean! Oddly it’s not Cars-themed, but kids still seem to love it.
The average wait time is only 29 minutes, so I recommend using the standby line over using Genie+.
Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
Located in Fantasyland, nearby the Ariel grotto meet-and-greet, this ride takes you on a journey through the story of The Little Mermaid.
While it is a fun, nostalgic ride, the average wait time is only 26 minutes, so I recommend using the standby line instead of Genie+.
Which attractions are excluded from Genie+ at Magic Kingdom?
There are a few attractions at Epcot that are excluded from Genie+, mainly due to average wait times on the lower end.
- Meet-and-Greet with Characters from Aladdin
- A Pirate’s Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
- Casey Jr. Splash n Soak Station
- Meet Daring Disney Pals as Circus Stars in Pete’s Silly Sideshow
- Meet Mirabel at Fairytale Garden
- Meet Winnie the Pooh & Tigger at the Thotful Spot
- Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel
- Walt Disney World Railroad – Storybook Circus
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade
- Tom Sawyer Island
- Walt Disney World Railroad – Frontierland
- Hall of Presidents
- Liberty Square Riverboat
Main Street USA
- Disney Adventure Friends Calvacade
- Happily Ever After
- Let the Magic Begin show
- Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire show
- Walt Disney World Railroad – Main Street USA
- Astro Orbiter
- Character Meet-and-Greet near Buzz Lightyear’s Star Command
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Final tips for Genie Plus at Magic Kingdom
Before you go, here are a few more tips for managing Genie+ at Magic Kingdom.
- Many of the big ticket rides at Magic Kingdom’s Genie+ list are roller coasters. If you’re at Disney World with young kids that aren’t tall enough or uninterested in these rides, swap out the priorities with rides based on the average wait time noted above.
- If you only have 1 day at Magic Kingdom, get to the parks before they open and get Genie+ so you can experience as much as possible. It’ll be tiring, but if you’re strapped for time, it’ll have to do!
- During busy season, you may want to dedicate at least 2 days to this park if there are tons of things on your must-do list, regardless of whether you get Genie+ or not.
Is Genie+ worth it for Magic Kingdom?
Overall, getting Genie+ for Magic Kingdom is absolutely worth it.
There are so many different attractions at this park, that it’s quite hard to “do it all” without it! So if you’re not local or a frequent visitor, I highly recommend getting Genie+ for this park.
I hope this guide helped you decide whether to purchase Genie+, and if so, which rides to prioritize.
About the author
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.