Let’s Have a Disney Genie+ Strategy Session
Okay, you’ve paid $15 plus tax for Disney Genie+. You are pot-committed now and want to get the most value out of your investment.
Unfortunately, we’re in summer, which means Walt Disney World crowds are as bad as they’ll get all year. So, you need to know what to pick and why.
Disney Genie+ General Thoughts
Disney recently updated its terms of service for Disney Genie+. Currently, the parks only promise “2 or 3” attractions per visit.
In a way, we’ve returned to the old days when FastPass+ first debuted. Guests would get three FastPasses for the day. After that, they must add them one at a time.
The same statement applies to Disney Genie+. And you’ll find different strategies to employ during your visit.
You can target the rides with the longest lines. However, when you do so, you’ll face substantially more competition.
For this reason, you may think you’re booking a reservation for early in the morning. But, when the transaction executes, your time slot could be for the late afternoon.
So, you’re taking a chance when you go big. But, conversely, you’re paying to settle when you book less popular attractions.
You must choose which approach to take, although I suspect you’ll discover that a combined strategy works best.
Aim high at first but then settle later. You’ve dated. You know the deal.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
The strategy: Don’t overthink it and swing for the fences.
The plan: Try to reserve Kilimanjaro Safaris, Na’vi River Journey, and Kali River Rapids…in that order!
Two of Walt Disney World’s parks are so top-heavy that you won’t have much choice with your Disney Genie+ plans.
Booking anything else won’t save you substantial time, merely some aggravation.
Technically, Na’vi River Journey averages the longest wait among Disney Genie+ attractions.
However, Kilimanjaro Safaris exemplifies the soul of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. So you might as well not go to the park if you’re riding it.
As such, you should prioritize it first. Then, when your Disney Genie+ window reopens, you should try for Na’vi River Journey.
Finally, Kali River Rapids is a must…at least during the summer.
When you strike out on these three, the best fallback options are DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest, and Festival of the Lion King.
As a rule, none of them require a long wait in line, but you’ll still save valuable park time while riding a terrific attraction.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The strategy: close your eyes and pray hard for miracles
The plan: Prioritize one of the rides with a wait of 60+ minutes. Those are:
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania!
Personal preference comes into play here. Odds approach 100 percent that you won’t acquire Disney Genie+ reservations for everything you want at Hollywood Studios.
The positive from this constraint of choice is that you’re more in control of your itinerary here than at Animal Kingdom or EPCOT.
The Disney Genie+ options are so obvious at those places that everyone does them. However, Hollywood Studios requires more varied techniques.
The one no-brainer is Slinky Dog Dash. If you plan to ride this, you’ll want a reservation. Otherwise, you’ll stand in the sun for 60 minutes or more. It can get to you.
The general advice I’ll offer here is that based on the past year of wait times and the quality of the ride experience, Runaway Railway is probably the top option.
Smugglers Run depends a bit on how you feel about Star Wars and how much time you want to spend at Galaxy’s Edge.
Also, much of its line occurs indoors, which makes it less stressful than Slinky Dog Dash.
I presume you’ve ridden Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Mania! many, many times. So, they’re not as pressing, but they’re all high-quality attractions.
My one recommendation here is that you avoid wasting Disney Genie+ reservations on shows or character greetings here.
You’ll want to maximize the value of your purchase, and those offerings won’t help you toward that goal.
The strategy: Book the haves rather than settling for the have nots
The plan: Try to reserve Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen Ever After, and Test Track…in that order!
Much of what I said about Animal Kingdom applies to EPCOT as well.
Only a handful of attractions at this park require average waits of 40+ minutes. However, you can knock out most of them thanks to Disney Genie+.
In 2022, Frozen Ever After and Ratatouille have flip-flopped on which one requires the longer wait. I’d suggest Ratatouille first because it’s newer.
I presume you’ve ridden Frozen Ever After many times, but Ratatouille’s still less than a year old. So, you may not be familiar with it yet. But you’re gonna love it.
Also, I should add that Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lane could update on August 8th, switching Ratatouille or Frozen Ever After back to the pay-per-ride option.
I’m writing this advice based on the current method, but please be alert for such a change.
If one of those options drops off the list, Soarin’ Around the World works as the fallback choice.
Other than that, the only attraction that even justifies Disney Genie+ is Mission: SPACE’s Orange version. Everything else comes with a substantially shorter wait.
So, if you schedule or get locked out of the first four options, your next choice comes down to personal preference.
Please pick Spaceship Earth, or you’ll break my heart.
The strategy: Do whatever you want.
The plan: Pick three or four attractions that will make you happiest.
There’s a reason why everyone loves Magic Kingdom and visits it more than any other theme park.
In the Disney Genie+ program, you’ll choose among 23 different attractions and experiences!
Even on the best possible day, you’d max out at eight different Disney Genie+ bookings, something that IS possible at Magic Kingdom.
What determines your ride count is how aggressive you are with your reservations.
Those of you seeking to maximize your park time should know that four of Magic Kingdom’s offerings reach/surpass an hour of line time.
Those attractions are:
- Jungle Cruise
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
Others hover in the 40-minute range. Those include:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Haunted Mansion
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Pirates of the Caribbean
Also, Magic Kingdom is the one park where you could justify spending a Disney Genie+ reservation on a character greeting.
You’ll find Mickey & Minnie Mouse at Town Square Theater and various Disney Princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall.
While the waits will gradually decrease during the second half of 2022, the current line time for these interactions ranges from 30 to 55 minutes.
So, I would recommend that you pick four favorites from this list.
Then, presuming you complete those early enough, you can add others later in the day.
As weird as the statement sounds, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom count as the most open-ended parks for Disney Genie+ users.
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Feature Photo: Disney