Disney created some serious drama in 2021 when they announced that the free FastPass system would be replaced with Lightning Lane/Genie+ which would cost $15 – $29 per person, per day. There has been much debate since that announcement about whether or not the cost is worth it.
We have used Genie+ on our last several Disney adventures and for my crew we find it to be worth the cost. Here are a few of the reasons we found Genie+ to be useful:
Buying time – Time saved from standing in line = time available to do other things.
Here’s an example from our last trip. On our Magic Kingdom day, our Lightning Lanes (LL) saved us 320 minutes of standing in line. Wow! I was legitimately shocked at the end of the day when I added up all of this time. Lightning Lane gave us over 5 hours of park time back! We used this extra time to take in the parade, shop, have extra snacks and enjoy a few “filler” attractions. (Filler attractions = attractions that aren’t must do’s and typically don’t have long waits.) Now, MK is definitely one of the parks where Genie+ can save you the most time. You won’t see savings that high on some of your other park days. The park that we saved the least amount of time in was AK where we saved 155 min of waiting time.
Saved meltdowns – Ahhhh, the Disney meltdown….they are bound to happen but the fewer the better right?
When you take crowds of people, Florida heat, walking 20,000 steps in a day, put them all together and then add in waiting in a 70 minute line, does that sound like a recipe for a meltdown to you? Does to me. Being able to keep moving through a ride que, rest a little more between rides or grab an extra snack is a great way to be able to reduce the number of meltdowns your crew will have.
Opportunity to ride more of the popular attractions
Here’s another example from our last trip. My travel crew is not a crew that believes in rope drop (arriving at or before park opening). We are one of those families that will typically roll into the park around 9:30. Our last Magic Kingdom day we arrived around 9:30 and stayed until fireworks with our last ride being shortly before the fireworks started. This meant we were actively riding rides for about 11 hours. In that 11 hours, we were able to ride Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (you have to pay extra for this LL), Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, It’s a Small World, Peoplemover, Barnstormer, Dumbo, watch Mickey’s Philharmagic, Enchanted Tiki Room and Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor. The average wait time for the popular rides that day was 50 min. Without LL we never would have been able to pack all of this fun into one Magic Kingdom day.
So…is Disney Genie+ worth $15 per person, per day….well, I can’t make that call for you but it certainly can be a very useful tool to maximize the time you have available in the parks.
WOW! Fabulous insight on the value of Genie+!! I had no idea. As the anti-plan-ahead type, I admit a resistance to all the scheduling required these days, but knowing how much you and your crew packed into your time by using the Genie+, you could win me over! Thanks for a great article.
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Thanks for the comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the article! Genie+ does definitely add some structure to your day but can truly be worth it if you have a lot you want to accomplish.
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