Are you looking for ways to maximize your Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane pass purchase? Below are tips and strategies for Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom. I’ve also included a real-life example of my Lightning Lane reservations during my family vacation at Animal Kingdom.
What is Lightning Lane?
Before we start, I just want to go over the basics of what Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane is. It is Disney World’s ride reservation system. There are 2 types of Lightning Lanes at Disney World.
Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane
The Disney Genie+ Lightning can be used to make ride reservations all day long. You can use it on multiple rides but only one ride at a time (or if 2 hours have elapsed since your last booking). It costs $15 per person per day.
Individual Lighting Lane
Individual Lightning Lane is a ride reservation for one ride only. The cost of an individual Lighting Lane will depend on the attraction, the range is $10-$15 per person per ride.
If you are still confused about Lightning Lane. Read my Beginner’s Guide to Disney World’s Lightning Lane before proceeding to the tips and strategies.
Lightning Lane Tips and Strategies for Animal Kingdom
1. Popular Lightning Lane Rides at Animal Kingdom Sells Out
You should be aware that popular Lightning Lane rides at Animal Kingdom can sell out. The Avatar rides do sell out. Individual Lighting Lane passes for Avatar Flight of Passage do sell out and sometimes the other Avatar ride, Na’vi River Journey sells out. You need to book your Lightning Lane reservations early! Don’t assume you have all day to book your Lightning Lane because they can sell out!
2. Wake Up Early to Book Your First Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane at 7 am
In order to make sure you get your ride reservations at Animal Kingdom before it sells out, you should wake up early to book your Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom. Book your first Lightning Lane ride at 7 am.
3. Book the Lightning Lane for the Most Popular Ride at Animal Kingdom First
I suggest booking Na’vi River Journey as your first Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane ride, This is the most popular Lightning Lane ride at Animal Kingdom and can sell out.
4. Buy Avatar Flight of Passage Individual Lightning Lane Early
The line for Avatar Flight of Passage can be long (90 minutes!) If you can save 1.5 hours of your time, I think it is worth paying $11 per person to buy the Individual Lightning Lane for Avatar Flight of Passage.
The individual Lighting Lane of Avatar Flight of Passage do sell out by mid-day. You need to buy it as soon as you are eligible to buy individual Lightning Lane passes.
Individual Lightning Lane passes are sold on the day of your park visit. If you are a Disney World Resort Guest (including Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, Walk Disney World Dolphin Hotel, and Shades of Green Resort), you can buy Individual Lightning Lane starting at 7 am on the day of your park visit.
If you are not staying at Disney World Resort, you can buy Individual Lightning Lane when the park opens. Since Individual Lightning Lane passes for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance sells out, you should buy them as soon as you can. Otherwise, you will be stuck having to stand in line for 1.5 hours or worse, not riding it at all!
5. Book Your Second Lightning Lane 2 hours after Animal Kingdom Opens
You are eligible to book your next Lightning Lane reservations 2 hours after Animal Kingdom opens. Animal Kingdom usually opens at 8 am, so 2 hours after that is 10 am. Set an alarm as a reminder. Book DINOSAUR or Kali River Rapids as your second Lighting Lane reservation.
6. Book Your 3rd Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom as Soon as You are Eligible
Book your 3rd Lightning Lane ride at 12 pm or as soon as you redeem the previous ride. Book Expedition Everest as your 3rd Lightning Lane reservation. If DINOSAUR or Kali River Rapids is still available, you should book these rides first because they are more popular than Expedition Everest.
7. Not 100% Convinced that Disney Genie+ at Animal Kingdom is Worth It
I know I just gave a lot of Lighting Lane tips for Animal Kingdom, but I want to say that after using Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom, I’m not 100% convinced that Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane is worth it. There are 2 reasons why I don’t think Lightning Lane is worth it at Animal Kingdom. The first is there aren’t that many rides at Animal Kingdom. There are only 5 Lightning Lane rides at Animal Kingdom (I didn’t count the shows). The second reason why I don’t think it’s worth it to get Lighting Lane at Animal Kingdom is they didn’t even include Avatar Flight of Passage in the list of Lighting Lane rides.
I suggest you buy the individual Lightning Lane for Avatar Flight of Passage and just skip the Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom. But of course, if you have kids like mine who got spoiled from not having to line up, you should still get Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom. It will still save you from having to stand in line!
Take a look at my in-depth analysis of whether or not Lighting Lane is worth it at Animal Kingdom. Check out my article: Is Lightning Lane Worth it at Disney World?
8. When You Are Eligible, Book Another Lightning Lane Ride
Whenever you become eligible to book a Lighting Lane, don’t waste it, use it to book another one right away. Use Lighting Lane to shorten your wait time. Although, at Animal Kingdom, you will find that there are not a lot of attractions to choose from to make your Lighting Lane reservations!
9. Order of Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom
Here is the order of rides at Animal Kingdom with regards to its likelihood of selling out of Lightning Lane reservations. Try to book the rides with the highest likelihood of selling out first.
1. Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage (Individual Lightning Lane)
2. DINOSAUR or Kali River Rapids
3. Expedition Everest
4. Kilimanjaro Safari
Real-Life Example of How I Used Lighting Lane at Animal Kingdom
Below, is a real-life example of how I booked Lightning Lane when I was at Animal Kingdom for 2 days. I was able to book 4 Disney Genie+ Lighting Lanes rides on the first day and 3 Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane on the second day.
On both days, I noticed that Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage sold out. Kali River Rapids also sold out one day. You also don’t need to book Kilimanjaro Safari because by the end of the day you can get on it with a minimal wait time of around 15 minutes.
Day 1 Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane
Day 2 Animal Kingdom Lighting Lane
8 am- Booked Na’vi River Journey got 12:15 pm
10 am- Booked DINOSAUR got 2:30 pm
6:45 pm- Rode DINOSAUR again on Lightning Lane (because I got a Multiple Experience Pass since the DINOSAUR ride closed down)
Other Disney World Parks Lighting Lane Tips:
Epcot Lighting Lane Strategies
Magic Kingdom Lighting Lane Strategies
Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane Strategies
Check out my Tips for Families Visiting Animal Kingdom
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Is Lighting Lane Worth It at Disney World?