What Is the 7 A.M. Struggle and How Can You Overcome It?
My family recently returned from an extended Walt Disney World vacation. I relished the opportunity to catch up with them tonight at dinner.
During the conversation, a family member expressed her frustration over one aspect of the vacation.
She wanted others to learn from her experiences. So, she kindly relayed her issues with what I call the 7 a.m. Struggle at Walt Disney World.
Let’s talk about this relatively new phenomenon.
What’s the 7 a.m. Struggle?
Disney now sells two kinds of virtual queue upgrades. One is Disney Genie+, while the other is Lightning Lane.
Simultaneously, guests staying on property at official Disney resorts – and you should ALWAYS do this – must plan their mornings at this time.
After all, one of the massive benefits of staying onsite involves Early Morning Theme Park Entry.
You get to enter a theme park 30 minutes before it officially opens to the public. That’s a huuuuuge competitive advantage.
So, you want to spend the first part of the morning getting ready and preparing to head out for your theme park of choice.
However, when you purchase Disney Genie+, the booking window opens at 7 a.m.
Similarly, when you desire a Lightning Lane reservation, that window begins at 7 a.m. as well.
In totality, this is a serious problem. You just woke up, you’re barely awake, you need to get dressed, and your body is seriously lacking in coffee.
You’re not at a high functioning capacity yet (unless you’re an absolute freak like my wife, who works out at 5:45 a.m. every morning), but your Disney day is on the line.
You need to get all your ducks in a row to maximize your park visit. But, are you capable of doing that at 7 a.m.?
I won’t lie. It’s a challenge. So, let’s talk through a few aspects of the 7 a.m. Struggle so that you’ll know what it is and how to excel in a challenging situation.
After all, chaos is a ladder. You can climb it to the top!
The Problems with the 7 a.m. Struggle
Some aspects of the booking process may confuse you. Others may prove entirely beyond your control.
To wit, your plans could collapse completely if you’re using shaky Wi-Fi service or a dicey cellular network.
My family members traveled with one person whose cell phone connects to 5G. That person became the glue of the operation.
Disney’s fledgling 5G service proved vastly more reliable than regular cell phone connections. Also, hotel Wi-Fi is…mercurial.
In order of precedence, I’d suggest 5G service, regular cellular service, and (when you have no other options) hotel/theme park Wi-Fi.
I mention theme park Wi-Fi because it’s entirely possible that you’re trying this while standing in line at the park.
If so, congratulations! You’re quite the early morning go-getter! When I wake up in an hour, I’ll give you a fist bump.
Anyway, where you are doesn’t matter as much as how well you have prepared.
By 6:55 a.m., you should know which Lightning Lane attractions you desire as well as your order of preference for Disney Genie+ bookings.
You’ll only get one chance at Lightning Lane. So, you should prioritize it first. If you’re traveling in a party of two or more, assign one person to each duty.
One works on Lightning Lane while the other schedules the initial Disney Genie+ reservation.
7 a.m. Booking Struggles
Speaking of Lightning Lane, you should emphasize it because of the hectic nature of the system.
At 7 a.m., everyone will try to book the same Lightning Lane reservations. So, they’ll go fast.
You’ll watch this phenomenon play it in real-time…and to your horror. You could feasibly pull up Avatar Flight of Passage and notice a 10 a.m. window.
When you try to schedule it, you’ll cycle through two more screens. The time can and will change each time.
By the moment you confirm your reservation, it could theoretically be for several hours later.
When you plan to spend the whole day at the park, it’s not a big deal at all.
However, let’s say that you intend to Park Hop at 2 p.m. If your Lightning Lane reservation goes through for 4 p.m., you’ve paid for it. So, you must stay in the park until then.
Disney Genie+ isn’t quite as aggravating. Booking windows open and close throughout the day.
When you miss something at 7 a.m., there’s always a chance you’ll find a later time that fits into your schedule.
Plus, you’ll schedule up to eight Disney Genie+ reservations during your visit. So, it’s not a major setback if you don’t get your first one to start the day.
Given these potential sticking points, you should know which Lightning Lane you want and have the window loading at 7:00 a.m. on the dot.
I recommend trying at 6:58 a.m. until you finally get into the system. Then, once you have reserved your Lightning Lane, build the rest of your day around that.
Similarly, you should plan later Disney Genie+ reservations around your Lightning Lane.
Unless you’re legitimately one of the first people to book at 7 a.m. on the dot, you likely won’t have a reservation until hours later.
Other Tips for the 7 a.m. Struggle
I’ve given out many Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Boarding Group tips over the years.
While that service is no longer in operation, many of the same tips apply.
Generally speaking, while you’re at Disney, you should get in the habit of clearing your cache consistently. You want your phone running at optimal speed.
Similarly, if you have 5G, you should verify that you’ve connected to a network before 7 a.m. Your phone should display the service you currently have.
I’d strongly recommend turning off Wi-Fi until you have booked your Lightning Lane and Disney Genie+ reservations.
Everyone surrounding you will be using that Wi-Fi. So, you’ll gain a competitive advantage by choosing cellular service instead.
Finally, if you’re standing in line at a theme park at the time, I’d strongly suggest that you find a quiet spot, presuming someone can save your space.
You don’t want any interruptions when you try to book. Otherwise, you may miss your window of opportunity for wildly popular attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Please remember that Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane reservations can and do sell out. That’s why you should plan ahead to overcome the 7 a.m. Struggle.