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’s Animal Kingdom.
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, especially Animal Kingdom, but it does make things go faster. Not being able to repeat rides and the cost per person ultimately have us not recommend purchasing Genie+. 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. I think Genie+ could be a nice treat that everyday park guests should consider splurging on every now and then. But there are other and, in my opinion, more interesting things to splurge on. For those of you that do 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. To see other posts in this series, click here.
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 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 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.
When all of the attraction are open, 11 are available via Genie+ in Animal Kingdom. Flight of Passage continues to have an individual Lightning Lane. Animal Kingdom doesn’t have many attractions to begin with, so having most of them involved with Genie+ isn’t ideal for anyone. We’d recommend Park Hopping and using Genie+ elsewhere before using it on some of the lower rated attractions on this list. As far as parks go, Animal Kingdom is likely the worst one to purchase Genie+ solely for. If you have a park hopper ticket, you can use Genie+ in different parks on the same day. Let’s get to the rankings, from worst to first!
11. The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
I’m terrible at drawing anything but I really enjoy these classes. That said, I was in shock when I found out that it was included in Genie+. First of all, it’s at Conservation Station which very few guests make their way out to. Even if you do take the pleasant train ride, there’s a slim chance that you’ll encounter much of a line for this experience. This is a classic case of there not being enough attractions at the park so they threw this up against the wall and thought “why not!” Don’t spend a Lightning Lane here unless everything else is done and you’ve already petted the goats out at Conservation Station.
10. Feathered Friends in Flight!
This show, similar to The Animation Experience, is worth going to but not necessary to use Genie+. Feathered Friends in Flight is in a pretty large theater and if you show up about 5 minutes before start time via the standby then you should still be able to get in, unless it’s a ridiculously crowded day. This one’s just not necessary and the other options are a better use of a Lightning Lane.
9. It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
Unlike the previous two, It’s Tough to Be a Bug can have a little bit of a line at times. Mind you, it’s not usually more than 20 minutes and the queue is the best part of the attraction, taking guests under the Tree of Life, but I digress. It’s Tough to Be a Bug comes in 6th because the Lightning Lane selections don’t run out. Honestly, our 8th place pick might run out of selections before this one due to only having a few shows. We placed this one above it simply to avoid any standby waits but it’s usually not needed, especially with any urgency.
8. The Festival of the Lion King
This is easily our favorite Animal Kingdom show and that’s why it comes in the 7th slot. Like all of the previous offerings, you could do this via standby without much trouble. But if you got Genie+ and arrive near opening then you’ll likely make it through the top four on the list by early afternoon so you might as well reserve a window to go watch those swinging monkeys!
7. Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond
This stage show has returned in June (the 13th) of 2022 and enters into the Genie+ fold. As it’s a newly reimagined show, we have it placed fairly high on this list. No, I don’t think it will surpass the quality of Festival of the Lion King but novelty will probably win out in popularity for a short amount of time. If you want to see the show via standby, I’m sure that’s doable as it’s a big theater. I would likely target the first or last show of the day if you’re going that route.
6. Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
Also opening in June 2022 is the chance to meet classic Disney characters in their best safari garb. Honestly, this meet & greet is pretty cute and I don’t even like meet & greets. The placement of this likely depends on what your priority is. If you’re coming to Animal Kingdom with little ones or love characters then this could move all the way up to the third spot. Or maybe you don’t care about character meets at all and this won’t be on your radar. Either way, it’s fairly popular!
5. Kali River Rapids
Number four and three could easily swap, as we’ve finally made it to attractions on this list. If it’s during the summer months then you should definitely move Kali River Rapids up to the fourth or third spot. The rest of the year, I’d place it fifth. The queue here is the best part of the attraction so you will miss some aspects of that via the Lightning Lane but it still beats waiting in a long line in the blazing Florida summer sun.
If you’re doing DINOSAUR via the standby line, hit it early or late. This is because everyone will grab a Lightning Lane window for it after completing the first three attractions on the list. We do like DINOSAUR better than the second place finisher on this list but it isn’t nearly as popular so putting it fourth is an easy decision. The Lightning Lane will save you a good amount of time and I would encourage booking it third even if the window for it is a long ways out.
3. Expedition Everest
For now, Everest is a part of Genie+ and is an easy choice for number 3 on the list. While the loading capacity is pretty high making lines go faster, Everest is extremely popular and one of the best attractions in the park. A savvy move is going here at park opening via standby while focusing your Genie+ selections on the top two picks. Everest will have short wait times in the first and last hour of park operation in case you can’t grab a Lightning Lane.
2. Naʻvi River Journey
There’s nothing wrong with Na’vi River Journey, it’s pretty, but it isn’t as strong as most of what Animal Kingdom offers. One day, I do think it’s popularity will drop some but that hasn’t happened in the five plus years since it opened. So, what do I know? Having this in the top two is an easy pick, it’s more whether it should be number one. I put it second simply because I think the quality is far below the number one choice. That said, the Lightning Lane windows can run out quickly here so definitely get it ASAP.
1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
One of my favorite attractions in a Disney Park surpasses all of the other options here in both quality and popularity, making it the easy choice for the number one spot. The only reason I wouldn’t get this first is if you want to take a risk. Many times, the animals on the attraction are a little more active in the afternoon so you could monitor the app and shoot to get a return window around that time. I’m not sure it’s worth to risk an experience that might not be any better. Whatever you choose, this is really one of the few reasons to get Genie+ at Animal Kingdom so don’t miss out!
What do you think of our Genie+ Rankings for Animal Kingdom attractions? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our WDW 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!
Categories: Genie+ Attraction Rankings