Genie+ is a service park guests can pay for to skip the line at different Disney Parks. Select attractions use the system for guests to get past most of the standby line once Genie+ is purchased. The process of skipping the line is called Lightning Lane, replacing FastPasses. In this post, we’ll rank which attractions are the best and worst to use Genie+ on in Disney California Adventure.
In case you missed it, we’re on the fence about Genie+. Without a doubt, you can complete an entire park without utilizing the system but it does make things go faster. Not being able to repeat rides and the cost per person end up ultimately have us not recommend paying to skip lines. There is a time and a place for it though, especially if you’re on an abbreviated trip and want to hit the headline rides. It’s like a steak dinner – you’d like to have it all of the time but if you do that then you’ll eventually end up broke and maybe a little larger than you want to be. I’m not here to say that Genie+ will make you fat but the data is inconclusive (I kid, I kid). For those of you that do (ahem) partake in Lightning Lanes, you’ll want to know which attractions are the best to get first and that’s where this post comes in.
A quick rundown on how to use Genie+: After purchasing, you can select one of the attractions available at whatever park you’re in. All of the attractions will have a return window, essentially acting as a time that guests can go the ride and use the Lightning Lane. This process is repeated throughout the day, as guests can get access to another Lightning Lane either once they’ve scanned their pass inside of the previous attractions or 120 minutes after reserving a return window, whichever comes first. Typically, this will be once you tap into the attraction unless it’s a very busy day. All of this is done within the resort app.
These rankings, which don’t include the individual Lightning Lanes that you have to pay extra for, take into account the quality of the attraction, how much of the queue the Lightning Lane skips and how popular each ride is. The attraction that ranks at number one would be the one that we recommend getting a return window for first, second would be the one to get second and so on and so on.
California Adventure only has 7 attractions involved in Genie+ while having 2 individual Lightning Lane attractions. Radiator Springs Racers, one of the individual Lightning Lane rides, does have a single-rider line and we recommend using that. Overall, the field is not very deep here and we’d recommend staying away from Genie+ at DCA unless you can park hop over to Disneyland at some point or if it’s a very busy day. Even with that recommendation, the rankings must go on. We’ll go from worst to first, giving our reasoning as we go!
7. Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
Honestly, we question whether the attraction is even worth going on at all. It simply is not a very good ride. Monsters, Inc. does have long lines once in a while though and we would stay away from the standby line unless it’s under 20 minutes. The first few hours of the park day should offer just that, as should the last few. This finishes last mostly because there’s no way we’d prioritize over the top 5 and do think the 6th will be slightly better. The return windows should be open well into late afternoon and evening so save it for last. At times, the attraction offers a buddy pass which is a weird version of single rider that you can use with one other person. Check to see if they’re offering this at the front of the attraction.
6. Goofy’s Sky School
The bottom two attractions are pretty easy to pick as the top 5 are just a higher quality of attraction. Goofy’s Sky School is a wild mouse coaster with some Goofy tie-ins. It’s absolutely terrifying, at least for me. Please don’t judge me. The line is a pain to stand in but this is another case where the return windows won’t go up as fast as other attractions. Grabbing one here in the late afternoon shouldn’t be a problem.
5. Grizzly River Run
Spots 4 and 5 could flip on this list depending on the weather. If it’s an especially hot day then prioritize Grizzly River Run more because the line will start to fill up in the late morning. Still, I don’t think putting this river raft ride in the top 3 would be wise thanks to other attractions being more popular. The return windows shouldn’t start to stack up too much until the early afternoon.
While we love Incredicoaster, it has a fairly high capacity so return windows don’t get too late in the day. This should be a dependable choice in the early afternoon after completing the top three attractions. Consider flipping this one with Grizzly River Run after looking at the times because Incredicoaster near sunset is ideal while you’d rather ride Grizzly during the hottest part of the day. That is, unless you’re hopping over to Disneyland then just get everything done as fast as possible!
3. Toy Story Midway Mania!
Has this attraction’s title always had an exclamation point at the end? Anyway, this standby line is a pain and the Lightning Lane skips almost all of it. As I’ve mentioned, there’s a clear top 3 but Midway Mania is a step behind the other two simply because the attraction isn’t as strong. Also, it makes touring sense to start with your first Lightning Lane in the front of the park before heading back to Pixar Pier.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
We head over to Avengers Campus for the second spot in our rankings. Mission: BREAKOUT! is a very popular ride and you’ll want to grab a Lightning Lane here in the morning, as the return windows can stack up. I do actually prefer this attraction to the current iteration of Soarin’ and the Lightning Lane does skip the entire line, heading straight into the building. But the return windows don’t get overloaded here as quickly as the first place finisher.
This attraction will be an interesting one to keep an eye on. Wait times have shot up in the last few months and it’s hard to know if that’s all due to Genie+, if a theater is down or if there’s COVID issues. For now, Soarin’ is in the top spot because the return windows end up being a few hours out from when you reserve unless you do it in the morning. That has us recommending getting a Soarin’ Lightning Lane right away, heading straight there and then grabbing your next one for Guardians ASAP. This should lead to a very efficient and productive day with Genie+.
What do you think of our Genie+ Rankings for the Disney California Adventure attractions? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Planning a trip to Disneyland Resort? Check out our Disneyland Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends and like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!