Tips and Tricks for Using Disney’s Genie+

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Disney’s Genie+ service generated much excitement upon its release in October 2021. To completely understand Disney’s Genie, you can download our Genie+ guide. Once you have a good grasp of the basics, return to this post to enhance your skills further and become an expert in using Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes. These simple techniques can help you optimize your usage of Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes with minimal effort.

Pro Planning Tip: We recommend using Jessica Lieb with ET Family Travel to book your Disney vacation!

To Do Before Your Trip

Know Disney’s Genie+ Booking Rules

Once you understand how Disney’s Genie+ Booking works you can easily snag lighting lanes during your trip.

Booking Rules

  1. Two hours have passed since you made your previous reservation; you can book again.
  2. After you tap into or cancel your previous reservation before two hours pass, you can book again.

Which Rides are Must-Do’s

Take some time to review the list of which attractions use Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane. Decide which ones are most important to you and your family. If no one in your group is interested in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, then there’s no need to spend time on it. However, if everyone wants to experience rides like Flight of Passage or Rise of the Resistance, plan accordingly.

Choose 1 Person to Handle Lightning Lanes

It’s a good idea to assign one person responsible for booking Lightning Lanes and managing all your reservations on My Disney Experience. This role would be perfect for someone who is tech-savvy and can accurately track timings. This person would require using their phone frequently, so investing in a portable charger would be a good idea.

Break up Large Groups

When traveling with a large group of ten or more, breaking the group into smaller sub-groups is recommended. Disney’s Genie+ reservations can technically be made for up to 12 people at a time, however there are risks of the app failing with the more people you include. Designate one person to book lightning lanes for each group.

Set Up My Disney Experience

The person in charge of managing Lightning Lanes should download the My Disney Experience app and log in. It is important to ensure that everyone in the group is linked, and their tickets are also connected. Spending time with the app is recommended to familiarize yourself with the Tip Board and My Day sections, as they will be frequently accessed. Spend time getting familiar with the app and all of the Genie+ options.

disney's genie+

Using Disney’s Genie+ During Your Trip

Get Up Early

Every morning before 7 am (or when you plan to start booking), run through the free Genie setup and choose your top priorities for your first rides so they will be pinned to the top of the tip board. If you will have one or more members of your party that won’t be joining you first thing, now is a good time to remove them from your party list so you won’t have to do it every time you make a reservation. You can add them back when they arrive at the park and join everyone else.

Get Reservations Early

Don’t wait to book your Genie+ Lightning Lanes. There are a limited number of Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations available, so make sure you get your fair share!

Get an Early Time Slot

To make the most of Disney’s Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation system, booking your first ride as soon as the park opens is best. Once you’ve tapped into your first ride, you can immediately book your next one, and so on. By booking your next ride as early as possible, you can gradually move your reservation time earlier throughout the day. Even getting on a ride 20-30 minutes earlier can significantly impact your overall experience by the end of the day.

Use Your Cell Phone’s Data Plan

It’s a good idea to turn off the Wi-Fi on your phone and use your phone’s data plan to secure your first reservations. Disney’s hotel Wi-Fi can become very congested in the morning when many people try to book simultaneously, increasing the chances of processing delays. Later in the day, the park Wi-Fi should work fine, but it’s best to be prepared to switch to your data plan if the Wi-Fi is unreliable.

Set An Alarm

Set the alarm for when your next Lightning Lane booking window opens. Make sure to make another reservation immediately. The app will not notify you that your booking ability has returned.

Book After You Check Into a Ride

Please remember the following tips when using Disney’s Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation:

  • You can book another ride after you use your most recently booked reservation.
  • Canceling your most recent reservation also allows you to book a new ride.

So, whenever you tap into a ride, check if you can book a new one using your phone. Keep in mind that at some rides, you need to tap at a second point before you can book again. To be safe, try to check for availability every time you tap the Lightning Lane tap point.

If a Ride Breaks

If one of the rides you have reserved using Disney’s Genie+ is closed during or just before your return window, you will automatically receive a Lightning Lane pass that can be used for multiple attractions. You can immediately book a new reservation if the closed ride was the most recently booked. The app will notify you that your Genie+ reservation has been modified, and you will see the multi-attraction pass appear on your home screen and “my day” list. Once you receive the pass, try to make a new Lightning Lane reservation first, and then you can use your multi-attraction pass.

Virtual Queue v. Individual Lightning Lane

If you want to ride an attraction with a virtual queue, try to secure a FREE virtual boarding group before spending money on individual lightning lane reservations. If you obtain an early boarding group, there’s a high chance that you’ll be able to ride the attraction with a relatively short wait. However, if you don’t get a boarding group or your assigned group number is very high, paying for the individual lightning lane may be worth it if riding the attraction is important to you. Another option is to divide and conquer: assign one person in your group to get a boarding group for everyone and another person to get an individual lightning lane for everyone. This way, you’re guaranteed to ride the attraction with the lightning lane, and if you successfully get a boarding group, you can ride twice.

Disney’s Genie+ Strategy Tips

These Genie+ strategies are great for optimizing their time on rides with the smallest wait times. You don’t need to use these strategies to have a great day in the parks.

Refresh, Refresh, Refresh

If you want to ride a specific ride but can only find a time slot later in the day, go ahead and book it. People cancel their Genie+ reservations, which puts them back into the booking pool, allowing you to book them.

Make Any Reservation

It’s important to book a reservation as soon as possible, even if it’s not your preferred time. This is because a two-hour countdown clock begins once you have a reservation. You can use the “Modify” feature to change the reservation to an earlier time for the ride you want or any other favorite ride.

Keep Refreshing

Keep pulling down the screen to force a refresh of the available times. If a better time comes up, tap it immediately, then check to make sure you got the time you wanted.

Check Sold Out Rides

It is still possible to get a Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation even after it appears sold out by refreshing the page to snag a spot that was canceled by someone else potentially.

Stacking Multiple Lightning Lanes

Using the 120-minute rule you can stack Lightning Lane reservations to use more daily.

Late Park Arrival

If you plan to arrive at the theme parks later in the day, you can still book your Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes reservations before you get there. You don’t necessarily have to be physically present in the parks to make your reservations. Assuming you arrive at 3:00 pm and the park opens at 9:00 am, you can make up to three reservations before you arrive. You can book one reservation as early as 7:00 am, another at 11:00 am, and a third at 1:00 pm. Additionally, you can make another reservation at 3:00 pm, right about when you arrive. This way, you can hold up to four stacked reservations by the time you start your day. However, you need to make sure that the rides you want to go on have return times after your arrival time for this to work.

Using Grace Periods

There is some flexibility in when you arrive at your Lightning Lane reservation. You can usually tap into a ride up to 5 minutes before your arrival window or 15 minutes after the end of your arrival window. For example, if your window is 1:00 – 2:00 pm, you could tap in as early as 12:55 or 2:15.

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