Lightning lanes and Genie+ are similar but not the same at Disney Parks

You have made up your mind to visit a Disney park and now you have to decide what is the best way to experience attractions. Genie+ or Lightning Lane a la carte?

Slinky Dog coils twist and turn around the curves, hills, and drops of Slinky Dog Dash at Toy Story Land at DisneyÕs Hollywood Studios. The family-friendly coaster is inspired by the hit Pixar Animation StudiosÕ Toy Story films, and is DisneyÕs first coaster with a double-launch. Walt Disney World Resort guests get to race and dive around a track that stretches across Toy Story Land. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)
Slinky Dog coils twist and turn around the curves, hills, and drops of Slinky Dog Dash at Toy Story Land at DisneyÕs Hollywood Studios. The family-friendly coaster is inspired by the hit Pixar Animation StudiosÕ Toy Story films, and is DisneyÕs first coaster with a double-launch. Walt Disney World Resort guests get to race and dive around a track that stretches across Toy Story Land. (Matt Stroshane, photographer) /
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The biggest decision to make when you are planning a trip to a Disney park is whether or not to purchase Genie+ or use the Lightning Lane pass options which is actually separate.

With Genie+ you get to make "reservations" for attractions. Disney says you could get 2-3 attractions in during a normal day depending on demand and your first reservation time. Lightning Lane is a bit different. While both actually use the Lightning Lane queue at each attraction, LL is a pay as you go.

In a perfect world you could simply purchase a "Lightning Pass" for all the rides you want to experience but you can't. If you want to ride certain attractions, they may only be available on Genie+ while certain others are only available through the LL purchase option.

Of course you could always just wait in the lines like the rest of the guests for free. Currently only Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Tron: Lightcycle Run need a reservation to ride. Those reservations are free but require you to make them as early as 7:00 am on the Disney Parks app on your phone.

The big differences with the two options, Genie+ and Lightning Lane (LL) is price and attractions. Genie+ can cost anywhere between $14.00 and $30.00 depending on park and time of year. LL will cost you $14.00 to $25.00 per ride depending on the attraction and the time of year.

Animal Kingdom - Avatar
Na'Avi bust in the guest shop of Flight of Passage. Photo Credit: Brian Miller /

To purchase an LL pass, you simply go to the app's "Tip Board" select the attraction from the available list, and buy it. You can only purchase one pass per day for an attraction and no more than two passes the entire day. So you won't be riding Cosmic Rewind over and over and over again using the FF option.

The most important thing to know, however, is that not all attractions are available through the FF system. Throughout the year, an attraction may drop from the LL option and be included in the Genie+ option so it is important to check prior to attending the park. Don't assume it will be available so you can buy a Genie+ pass if your attraction of choice is not offered that day on LL.

  • Magic Kingdom - Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride and Tron: Lightcycle Run
  • EPCOT - Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Hollywood Studios - Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Animal Kingdom - Avatar: Flight of Passage

It isn't all that bad when you look at the attractions list. Spending a bit of money to guarantee you ride an attraction is pretty simple. The rule about not buying more than two in one day isn't a big deal considering that only Magic Kingdom has two attractions on the list.

It's all about personal choice and budgets. Having the piece of mind to know you will not miss out on an attraction will allow you to experience more at the parks because you won't be waiting hours in the stand-by lane.

Which option is best for you? That depends on what you want to ride and how important that attraction is. Can you do both? Absolutely! It will simply cost you more to do it but you need to be aware of your reservation times.

To read more about Genie+ click here and see why Disney guests would love to see the free passes return.

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