Are you looking for ways to maximize your Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane pass purchase? Here I will share 9 tips and strategies for maximizing your Disney Genie plus at Magic Kingdom and real-life examples of my Lightning Lane reservations experience at Magic Kingdom. I will also share which Lightning Lane ride sells out so you will know how to prioritize your lightning lane reservations. I want you to learn from my mistakes! Below are tips and strategies for Lightning Lane at Magic Kingdom. I’ve also included a real-life example of my Lightning Lane reservations during my family vacation at Magic Kingdom.
What is Disney Genie Plus?
Before we start, I just want to go over the basics of what Disney Genie Plus is. Disney Genie Plus is Disney World’s ride reservation system. There are 2 types of Lightning Lanes at Disney World.
Disney Genie Plus Lightning Lane
Disney Genie Plus 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 Disney Genie Plus. Read my Beginner’s Guide to Disney World’s Lightning Lane before proceeding to the tips and strategies.
Disney Genie Plus Tips and Strategies for Magic Kingdom
1. Popular Lightning Lane Rides at Magic Kingdom Sells Out
You should be aware that popular Lightning Lane rides at Magic Kingdom can sell out by mid-day or in the afternoon. Some of the most popular rides at Disney World are in Magic Kingdom. These rides are Jungle Cruise and Peter Pan’s Flight. You need to book your Disney Genie Plus reservations early! Don’t assume you have all day to book your Lightning Lane because they can sell out!
2: Buy your Disney Genie plus BEFORE 7 am!
This is important. Disney Genie plus go on sale starting at midnight on the day of your visit. If you don’t want to stay up past midnight, you can set an alarm and buy your Disney Genie plus at 6:30 am. That way, you are ready to go with your Disney Genie Plus and can start making reservations at 7 am.
3. Wake Up Early to Book Your First Magic Kingdom Lightning Lane at 7 am
In order to maximize your Disney Genie plus you should start making lightning lane reservations at 7 am. I made the mistake of sleeping in on our first day at Magic Kingdom, so I ended up with fewer lightning lane rides the first day when compared to the second day, when I didn’t sleep in and was up making my first lightning lane reservations at 7 am.
Learn from my mistake! Set an alarm. Get up early and make your first lightning lane ride reservation promptly at 7 am!
4. Book the Lightning Lane for the Most Popular Ride at Magic Kingdom First
I suggest booking Jungle Cruise or Peter Pan’s Flight as your first Magic Kingdom Lightning Lane ride, These are the most popular Lightning Lane rides at Magic Kingdom and can sell out.
5. Book Your Second Lightning Lane 2 hours after Your Previous Reservation
You are eligible to book your next Lightning Lane reservation 2 hours after you booked your last lightning lane reservation. However, the 2 hours start when Magic Kingdom opens. Assuming you booked your first reservation at 7 am and that Magic Kingdom opens at 8:00 am. That means you are eligible to book your next lightning lane reservation so 2 hours after opening which is 10 am. Set an alarm as a reminder. I wasn’t aware of this 2-hour rule and wasted my Disney Genie plus. I could have booked more lightning lane rides. Learn from my mistake!
Book Jungle Cruise as your second Lightning Lane ride. Jungle Cruise is the second most popular Lightning Lane ride at Magic Kingdom and the stand-by wait time is always long- typically an hour or more. Even in the evening, Jungle Cruise standby wait time can be 40 minutes or longer!
6. Book Your 3rd Lightning Lane at Magic Kingdom as Soon as You are Eligible
Book your 3rd Lightning Lane ride at 12 pm which is 2 hours after 10 am. I recommend booking the Magic Kingdom roller coaster rides next as your third Lighting Lane reservation. These rides are Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or Splash Mountain.
7. 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 immediately. Remember, even if you have a lightning lane reservation that is later in the day, you are eligible to make your next lightning lane reservations if 2 hours have elapsed since the last time you made your reservation. There are many good rides at Magic Kingdom. Use Lighting Lane to shorten your wait time.
8. Not 100% Convinced that Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Individual Lightning Lane is Worth It
The line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train can be long (85 minutes!) If you are set on riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and you can save 1.5 hours of your time, I think it is worth paying $12 per person to buy the Individual Lightning Lane for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
However, there are other roller coaster rides at Magic Kingdom that is “similar” to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad). If you and your kids are happy riding the other roller coasters, do what I did, save the $12, and use it to buy dole whips instead! You shouldn’t have a problem securing Lightning Lane reservations for one of the other Magic Kingdom roller coasters using your Disney Genie Plus Lighting Lane.
9. Order of Lightning Lane at Magic Kingdom
To help you prioritize your Lighting Lane reservations, here is the order of rides at Magic Kingdom with regards to popularity. Try to book the most popular rides first because there is a chance that these rides sell out.
1. Peter Pan’s Flight
2. Jungle Cruise
3. Thrill Rides- Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, or Splash Mountain
4. Haunted Mansion, Pirates of Caribbean and Winnie the Pooh
5. Speedway, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Little Mermaid, and Barnstormer
Real-Life Example of How I Used Lighting Lane at Magic Kingdom
Below, is a real-life example of how I booked Lightning Lane when I was at Magic Kingdom for 2 days. I was able to book 6 Disney Genie+ Lighting Lanes rides on the first day and 8 Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane on the second day. I slept in on the first day that’s why I didn’t book as many Lightning Lane rides as on the second day.
Plus for both days, I didn’t know I was eligible to book my next ride 2 hours after I booked the previous lightning lane ride. I was booking my next ride after redeeming the previous ride. Learn from my mistake! If I had known about the 2-hour rule, I could have had multiple lightning lane reservations at the same time! I think if you were to book a ride every time you are eligible to make a lightning lane reservation, you can definitely get more than 8 rides in one day.
On both days, I noticed that Jungle Cruise and Peter Pan’s Flight sold out. We wanted to go on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but you had to pay $12 for Individual Lightning Lane so we ended up not riding it.
Day 1 Magic Kingdom Lightning Lane
9 am- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Booked Pirates of the Caribbean
Booked “it’s a small world”
Booked Haunted Mansion
Booked Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid
Day 2 Magic Kingdom Lighting Lane
7 am- Booked Space Mountain for 10:30 am ride time window
Booked Pirates of the Caribbean
Booked Small World
Booked Winnie the Pooh
Booked Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Booked Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid
If you are still on the fence about whether or not, Lighting Lane is worth it at Magic Kingdom. Check out my article: Is Lightning Lane Worth it at Disney World?
Check out my Tips for Families Visiting Magic Kingdom
Other Disney World Parks Lighting Lane Tips:
Epcot Lighting Lane Strategies
Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane Strategies
Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane Strategies
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Is Lighting Lane Worth It at Disney World?