Disney Genie Plus vs Lightning Lane: Everything You MUST KNOW!

We have officially left the FastPass era and have entered the new golden era of Disney Genie and Lightning Lane.

In early August of 2021, Disney Parks provided us with the first details regarding Disney Genie, the new in park planning tool within the My Disney Experience app.

They also mentioned that the system would debut at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts in the Fall of 2021.

This new addition was first announced during the 2019 D23 Expo and Disney had been tight lipped ever since up until that point.

In September 2021, rumblings sparked that Cast Members were beginning their training.

Finally, Disney Genie’s rollout was announced to debut on October 19th of 2021 at Walt Disney World, with Disneyland’s version following shortly.

Those who do not frequent the parks often might be overwhelmed by such a big change that is highly dependent on the My Disney Experience app.

But many of your questions will be answered here today, so have no worries or fears!

Today, I will be going over Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, Lightning Lane and everything in between that comes with it!

This includes how to use it, how to purchase it, what’s included and much more.

Disney World Genie Plus Lightning Lane Breakdown

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What is a Genie Pass at Disney World?

Let’s keep it simple! Disney Genie, as per Disney, is the brand new complimentary and convenient new digital service within the My Disney Experience app specially designed to help create your perfect Disney day.

Epcot Journey Into Imagination with Figment Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane Entrance

This replaced the FastPass+ system that we have grown accustomed to since 1999. The in-park planning tool, which can only be accessed through the app and not a web browser, will take your personal park preferences in account to tailor your park day to your interests.

From forecasted wait times throughout the day to itinerary suggestions, this is a revolutionary move in technology for the Disney Parks. The new system also allows you to have more control and help you better plan your days.

Lightning Lane and Genie Plus Pass Walt Disney World Itinerary

Disney Genie features a tip board with customized recommendations and a “My Day” section to help with itinerary planning.

What is included with Disney Genie App?

Disneyland and Walt Disney World Disney Genie could be looked at as your own personal assistant. With that being said, this system shares the park hours for the park you have chosen for the day and a map of the park.

Welcome to the Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane App

With your chosen preferences, which it will have you choose prior to accessing the system, you will get recommendations for:

One of the most interesting features is the forecasted wait times throughout the day based on the attraction, allowing you to choose which attraction to go to next.

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When choosing preferences in the Genie app, it will ask you to select your top attractions, dining and Enchanting Extras for the day.

After this, it will ask you to pick up to 10 options from the Disney Favorites, Park Interests and Dining Interests sections to personalize your day even more.

Disney Lightning Lane and Genie Plus App Entertainment and Attraction Selections Magic Kingdom

The Disney Genie feature will even ask if you would like to see height requirements and accessibility displayed. You will have the option to chat with a Cast Member for assistance if needed.

It will give you the option to purchase an a la carte Lightning Lane option or Disney Genie+ before moving on, so let’s dive into what those are!

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Disney Genie versus Disney Genie Plus

The Disney Genie+ (also known as the Disney Genie Plus) is a version of the complimentary system, Disney Genie, that gives you more bang for your buck. Putting it simply, this is a version you will have to pay for in order to access its features.

Epcot Remy's Ratatouille Adventure Lightning Lane Entrance. One of the best rides at Disney World for Genie Plus.

Not to mention, you still are able to use all the features of the FREE version, Disney Genie.

The main difference between the two lies in the ability to jump the line for attractions through Disney Genie+ vs Disney Genie, where it strictly itinerary planning and recommendations.

Disney Genie Plus Purchase on App for Lightning Lane

So basically, the Disney Genie is the FREE version and the Disney Genie Plus is the upgraded version that allows you to skip lines to selected attractions for a fee.

Disney Genie+ Features

The Disney Genie+ features Lightning Lane selections on 40+ attractions for your entire day. With this, you can book arrival times throughout the day for attractions with very little wait.

Star Wars Rise of Resistance Storm Trooper Scene. One of the best rides at Disney World for Genie Plus.

When can I book my Genie Plus reservation?

You can book your arrival times to the Disney rides at 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time the day of your visit and you can select the next available arrival time for an experience, one experience at a time.

Hipster Power Tip: It’s important to note, Disney Guests are limited to experiencing the attraction once per day with Disney Genie+. You can only book your next arrival window for an attraction 120 minutes (two hours) after the first one or when the first one is used.

What is the Disney Lightning Lane?

Disney Lightning Lane queue is the official replacement for FastPass+ queue line. Normally, where you would enter a queue line for a Disney FastPass, is the same spot you would enter for Lightning Lane.

Lightning Lane features little to no wait times on most Disney attractions so you are in and out. It is important to note the big difference between Lightning Lane and FastPass+.

Disney Lightning Lane Attractions and Genie Plus D23
Walt Disney World Lightning Lane Attractions List at Launch in 2021 (Photo Courtesy of D23.com)
Difference Between Lightning Lane and FastPass

With Lightning Lane, you will have to pay per attraction and can only ride using Lightning Lane once per day.

You can choose up to 2 attractions per day to use Lightning Lane with, which works since there are only 2 Lightning Lane single selection options per park.

For example, if you wish to ride Space Mountain, you would pay using Lightning Lane and ride only once. After that, you would have to use the standby line.

Whereas with the Disney FastPass+, you were allowed to reserve time slots early that were FREE for up to 3 rides per day.

Walt Disney World Lightning Lane Rides and Attractions

Another important thing to note is that Lightning Lane attractions ARE NOT included with Disney Genie+.

Disney Magic Kingdom Boat Ride Over to Tom Sawyer Island at Frontierland
Boat ride to Tom Sawyer Island.

Not to mention Tron Lightcycle/Run, Walt Disney World’s latest attraction, which opened in 2023, runs on Virtual Queue System, while Rise of the Resistance no longer does.

Entrance to Tron Lightcycle Run at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort Florida Tomorrowland. One of the best rides at Disney World for Genie Plus Lightning Lane.

This means in order to ride Tron Lightcycle/Run, you will either have to do the Virtual Queue Standby System or purchase Lightning Lane for it.

Tron Lightcycle Run at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort Florida Tomorrowland roller coaster up close. One of the best rides at Disney World for Genie Plus Lightning Lane.

For Rise of the Resistance, you can either do standby or Lightning Lane for it as well. I have discussed Virtual Queues, Boarding Groups and more in this past article.

Magic Kingdom Lightning Lane and Genie+ Rides and Attractions
Disney Magic Kingdom Park Cinderella Castle in Florida Sun. Keep reading to get the Magic Kingdom Must Do's!
Cinderella Castle

Individual Lightning Lane Selections Attractions:

  1. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  2. Tron Lightcycle/Run

Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections Attractions:

  1. BIG Thunder Mountain Railroad
  2. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  3. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  4. Haunted Mansion
  5. “it’s a small world”
  6. Jungle Cruise
  7. Mad Tea Party
  8. Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  9. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  10. Peter Pan’s Flight
  11. Pirates of the Caribbean
  12. The Barnstormer
  13. Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  14. Space Mountain
  15. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  16. Tomorrowland Speedway
  17. Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

It has yet to be determined where Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will land on this list. I’ll be sure to update this article once the details are released.

EPCOT Lightning Lane and Genie+ Rides and Attractions
Spaceship Earth Beacon of Magic at night at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Photographer Todd Anderson
Photo Credit: Disney Co.

Individual Lightning Lane Selections Attractions:

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy

Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections Attractions:

  1. Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  2. Journey into Imagination with Figment
  3. Living with the Land
  4. Mission: SPACE – Green and Orange
  5. Soarin’ Around the World
  6. Spaceship Earth
  7. Test Track
  8. The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  9. Turtle Talk with Crush
  10. Frozen Ever After
  11. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane and Genie+ Rides and Attractions

Individual Lightning Lane Selections Attractions:

  1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections Attractions:

  1. Alien Swirling Saucers
  2. Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  3. Disney Junior Play & Dance!
  4. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  5. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  6. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  7. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  8. Muppet*Vision 3D
  9. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  10. Slinky Dog Dash
  11. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  12. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
  13. Toy Story Mania!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park Lightning Lane and Genie+ Rides and Attractions
Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest. One of the best rides at Disney World for Genie Plus.
Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest

Individual Lightning Lane Selections Attractions:

  1. Avatar Flight of Passage

Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections Attractions:

  1. Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King
  3. Feathered Friends in Flight!
  4. Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  5. It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
  6. Kali River Rapids
  7. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  8. Na’vi River Journey
  9. The Animation Experience at Conservation Station

Disney PhotoPass Lenses

Another feature is Disney PhotoPass Lenses, where you can add a magical touch to your photos with special, character themed effects, including a slider that lets you take a selfie with Cinderella Castle through the years.

Walt Disney World PhotoPass Photos in the MyDisney Experience App
My Disney Experience App PhotoPass Section

Hipster Power Tip: It should be noted that you can only buy Disney Genie+ the day of your visit that you plan to use it. You cannot buy it ahead of time. This goes for Lightning Lane purchases too.

Audio Tales

Finally, you can access the “Audio Tales” feature, which will let guests discover behind-the-scenes insights and fun facts during your visit that you can listen in on.

Read Next: How to Find the BEST Vacation Home Rentals Near Disney World

What is the Disney Genie Plus Cost?

The Disney Genie+ will cost you at least $18 ( tax included) per person per day. For instance, if a solo traveler wanted to use Disney Genie+ for a 3 days trip, you are looking at $54. The good news is you are able to theme park hop using Disney Genie+.

Disney Genie App with Genie Plus Lightning Lane

If you don’t wish to buy Disney Genie+, standby lines will continue to operate and there will always be the Lightning Lane option.

Just know that the price listed is the starting price and changes based on the popularity of the theme park and the predicted crowd level for that day.

How Much is the Disney Lightning Lane Pass?

The pricing for the a la carte Lightning Lane selections will range from $10-$25 per person, per attraction. The price varies daily based on park, attraction and date you visit.

New Lightning Lane Entrance at Epcot Journey into Imagination Ride. One of the best rides at Disney World for Genie Plus.

Previously Disney had stated that Disney Genie+ would never sell out. However, Lightning Lane can, with Rise of the Resistance being the first attraction to do so in the new system’s history.

Editor’s Note: On my visit to the Magic Kingdom on President’s Day week 2024, the Disney Genie+ option did sell out so I guess Disney was wrong…

Purchasing Your Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane?

Seemingly, it looks as though purchasing Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane may be the easiest part of all of this! I can start with Lightning Lane.

How Do I Buy My Disney Lightning Lane Upgrade?

Step 1: When selecting your preferences, one of the first options you are given, is to purchase Lightning Lane for the 2 attractions in the park you are visiting that day.

Lightning Lane and Genie Plus Walt Disney World App Planning Itinerary

You can skip it or buy then. Otherwise, you can reach the option via the Tip Board or My Day section of the service. I personally would suggest searching via Tip Board.

Step 2: Once you find the Lightning Lane selection, it will show you the current wait time and price to purchase.

Genie Pass Disney World App Lighting Lane Selections

Click on it and you will be given the option to search by hour, to pick when you want your arrival to be, along with a specific time, example “3:15 p.m.” to choose to arrive.

Step 3: It will take you to the next window where you will see attraction details and location, the date you can use the purchase, number of guests using it and the total price as well as the arrival window and any plans you may have during the arrival window time.

Disney Genie App with Genie Plus Lightning Lane

It is important to note that the selection will be held in your cart for 10 minutes once you continue on to the payment page where it will show your guest information, contact information and how you wish to pay.

Step 4: After you have paid, you are good to go!

These selections will have tax added upon payment, so it simply wont be $10 once you choose to pay.

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How Do I Buy My Disney Genie Plus Upgrade?

For Disney Genie+, it’s similar to Lightning Lane. Disney Genie+ will be offered for purchase as well when finishing up your park preferences for the day.

Disney Genie App Phone Alert
  • Step 1: Towards the bottom of the “My Day” section is a purple banner stating “take your day to the next level.”
  • Step 2: You’ll click on it and that will take you to a screen explaining what the service offers.
  • Step 3: You can click “Get Disney Genie+ service” at the bottom. You will see a screen that shows the product, date it can be used, number of guests using it and subtotal.
  • Step 4: You will then see your order summary and by clicking next, you can continue to pay.
  • Step 5: Once completed, you can go on to choose the next available Lightning Lane attraction arrival time for the eligible experiences.

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

Disability Access Service (DAS) Pass System Updates

For those who utilize DAS or “Disability Access Service” at Walt Disney World, they will find that the system has undergone an overhaul along with the Disney Genie Service.

Cavalcade at Disney Magic Kingdom with Tinker Bell

First Option

If you are visiting the parks on or after November 1, 2021, you can now pre-register virtually through video chat with a live Cast Member. The pre-registration will be done in English only, so that is something to keep in mind!

With this option, you can register as early as 30 days in advance, but no later than two days prior. Working with the Cast Member, you can choose two one hour return windows for select attractions. You can choose more on the day of your visit.

Second Option

The second option (now available) makes it more easier for DAS Pass users to make selections on their own versus having to physically go to the experience, Guests Relations or a Guest Experience Kiosk for a return time.

If you and your party are already registered, you can use the same day DAS return time self selection tool.

Any member of the registered party can grab the return time, but the return time must be redeemed by the registered DAS guest.

While the return times don’t expire, the party may only hold one at a time.

How to Use the Disney Disability Access Service?

  • Step 1: In order to access this section, you must enter the app and sign in. Tap the 3 lines at the bottom right hand corner and scroll down to find accessibility.
  • Step 2: Once chosen, click disability access service and it should take you to the self selection tool.

Very important to mention that this new system was put in place to prevent from fraudulent behavior and abuse of this system for guests who need it. Anyone found to be doing so will be banned from Walt Disney World and Disneyland resort.

Any tickets, passes, etc will not be refunded. For more details, click here.

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My Final Thoughts on the New Disney Genie App

I have gone over the basics of the new Disney Genie system and how it works to make sure you are having your perfect Disney day.

While I am sure learning so much information at once can be a bit overwhelming, I sincerely hope this guide has eased your worries a bit as you continue to plan for your upcoming visit to Walt Disney World.

Star Wars Gold Statues Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration at Hollywood Studios

Disney continues to use the very best technology available to ensure your satisfaction. This system will be followed up soon next year with the second version of the MagicBand.

I would always recommend trying to research and play around with the new Disney Genie system if you can prior to your vacation.

Remember to make sure you have your Disney Park tickets for everyone in your party and enjoy this new era of Disney Parks planning technology!

Theme Park Travel Guide to Disney World Genie Plus and Lightning Lane Pass. What is it and how to use it?
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Will you be using the system during your next visit? Share your thoughts and questions below.

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Victoria Wade Disney Writer at ThemeParkHipster

About the Author

Victoria is a professional solo traveler here to make your solo trips as stress free AND enjoyable as possible for you.

She has over 5 years of Disney and Non-Disney travel experience and was featured by POPSUGAR as one of the Top 50 Black Disney Creators you should follow.

She is a Proud Native to Baltimore, Md but always will call Disney World home. You can find her at Disney Tea with V.

UP NEXT: Don’t Go To Walt Disney World Until You Understand These Five Things

(Original Article Date: October 27, 2021/Updated by Editor on April 27, 2024)

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