Genie+ is a service guests can pay for to skip the line at different Disney Parks. Select attractions use the system, allowing 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 Magic 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 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+ but Magic Kingdom is the best place to use the system in Walt Disney World. Regardless of which park you’re in there is a time and place for it, 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 to 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 attraction 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. At Disney World, guests staying on-site can reserve their first Lightning Lane at 7 AM.
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. If you’re simply looking for what we think our the best Magic Kingdom attractions, here’s a post for that! The attraction that ranks at number one on this list 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.
At Magic Kingdom, the individual Lightning Lane is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the new Tomorrowland attraction, Tron Lightcycle / Run. The latter is a Fantasyland coaster that has consistently been the most popular attraction in the park for a decade although far from the best in our opinion. You can get on it with a relatively short wait if you do it right before close or show up to the park at least a half an hour before opening. Otherwise, you might be stuck waiting in a long line without the Lightning Lane. The same goes for the Tron coaster which is brand new and is sure to have long lines for the foreseeable future!
When every attraction is open, Magic Kingdom offers 23(!) different Genie+ attractions. That is a far too many and can really bog down the standby lines, but I digress. On a less busy day, getting through all 23 with Genie+ is possible. On the other hand, a busy day may keep guests in the single digits of attractions completed. For a few of these, Genie+ isn’t needed at all and waiting via standby would be just as efficient as pulling out your phone and booking a new window. So it goes when 23 attractions are listed! Let’s get to it, from worst to first.
23. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
These first few attractions are not necessary to get a Lightning Lane for unless you’ve completed everything else on the list. Magic Carpets is last on the list because I wouldn’t recommend going on the attraction at all. The other Magic Kingdom spinners (Astro Orbiter and Dumbo) are much better.
22. The Barnstormer
This kid coaster in Fantasyland doesn’t see a great advantage from using Genie+. The crowds dissipate in the evening so just going via standby is probably easiest.
21. Mad Tea Party
I enjoy Mad Tea Party more than a few of the attractions ranked above it but the average wait time is among the lowest in Magic Kingdom, so this isn’t a great use unless everything else is completed.
20. Tomorrowland Speedway
One of Magic Kingdom’s worst attractions probably isn’t worth wasting a Lightning Lane on. If you must go on the attraction during a busy day then this probably jumps up a few spots because the line is not fun to stand in unless you like to smell exhaust while standing on pavement in the hot sun!
19. Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Just as a general rule, these big theater attractions aren’t a good use of a Genie+ window. The high capacity should get you into the next showing unless the crowds are extremely high.
18. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
The same rule goes for Laugh Floor as PhilharMagic, except Laugh Floor has a smaller theater so it ranks slightly higher. This isn’t necessary unless you’ve completed everything else on the list.
17. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Like I’ve repeated for all of these lowly ranked attractions, if you’ve gotten everything else done then you might as well get one here. That said, a Lightning Lane isn’t all that advantageous unless it’s a hectic crowd day. It’s best to just hit all of these Storybook Circus attractions later at night when no one is back there
16. Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
I don’t especially like this attraction but the lines do get long in the middle of the day. If you’ve completed the top 11 then going here next is advisable but I do think there is a big drop off in urgency between 11 and 12.
15. it’s a small world
Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland in the afternoon is not a place anyone wants to be stuck in. The path feels narrow and bottlenecks near Small World and Peter Pan’s Flight. Getting a Lightning Lane should help alleviate that madness! As for the actual attraction, Small World has some long lines in the afternoon but the Lightning Lane windows aren’t likely to run out very early.
12, 13 and 14. Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater, Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall & Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
All of these meet & greets are boom or bust. If this is one of the big reasons you’re visiting Magic Kingdom then move them higher. I’m sure some people will skip them. I think the top 10 is a better use of Genie+ then these but those with kids would probably disagree. Use your own discretion here, and keep an eye on the return windows as the day progresses.
11. Enchanted Tales with Belle
Most of what I said about the meet & greets applies here. I do think this is a better attraction, but the standby waits just aren’t as high as everything ahead of it on the list. This might be one to add into the morning via standby while in between return windows.
10. Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
This is a tricky one as it’s more of a boom or bust option. If you absolutely want preferred viewing of the daytime parade with the castle in the background then this should move up to the top 5. If you are happy to stroll up and just get parade viewing at any location then don’t worry about a Genie+ window here. You will need to get this a while in advance of the parade whereas the rest of the attractions on the list are open throughout the day.
9. Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
I can’t say that Buzz is anywhere near the quality of the top 7 but it is some fun. The attraction has long wait times, especially in the afternoon and it isn’t the most enjoyable queue to stand in. The positive here is that the attraction doesn’t typically run out of Lightning Lane windows very early so grab it sometime in the afternoon and skip the line!
8. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
I don’t actually like this ride very much but I like standing in line for it even less. The wait times get surprisingly bad with the addition of Genie+ so skip all of that. Getting a Lightning Lane window in the afternoon, once you complete the top 7, should be easily attainable.
7. Pirates of the Caribbean
Despite it’s popularity, Pirates isn’t always the best use of Lightning Lane because of the high capacity. If you have Genie+, a savvy move would be to do this around rope drop via standby before the line stacks up and then go again later if you want to. If not, windows should be available even when selecting in the early afternoon.
6. Meet Ariel at her Grotto
This goes really fast and if you wait until 6th on this list to do it, return windows will likely be gone. I can’t really recommend putting it any higher though, as the other attractions are a better use of your time and doing this via standby early in the day should result in a somewhat short line.
5. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
We’re in the ‘high capacity but great ride’ section of the list. Big Thunder’s standby line is never as bad as you assume but skipping past a possible hour wait to get on one of Disney’s mountains makes for a nice day.
4. Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion falls into the same boat, or Doom Buggy, as Pirates. The capacity will make the standby wait a little lower than others. Still, it’s an extremely popular ride and skipping that outdoor queue is the way to go.
3. Jungle Cruise
I think the top 4 is pretty clear, although you could pick nits with the fourth place option. Jungle Cruise saw a boost in popularity after the reimagining and film release and has never really slowed down. The waits do get long and the queue is entirely outside so it sticks in the fourth spot for now!
2. Space Mountain
On first opening of Genie+, Space was an individual Lightning Lane attraction. It has since moved over and we’re placing it number 2 here as the system can really slow down the standby line. Windows will likely disappear here first.
1. Peter Pan’s Flight
As far as attractions you definitely want to get Genie+ for, this might rank number one. That said, we think grabbing it third makes sense as the windows don’t typically fill up as fast as our top two. One caveat would be that if you can get a Lightning Lane window right at park opening for Peter Pan’s Flight, grab it and then check off the top 2 right after.
What do you think of our Genie+ rankings for Epcot? 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
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