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Hollywood Studios Genie+ & Lightning Lanes Guide | Rides & FAQs

Learning how to use Disney Genie+ is a must when visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Even if you don’t use it you will be affected by the wait times and the ride priorities will change the way you tour the park.

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Guide

In this post, we are going to explain to you everything you need to know about using Disney Genie+ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, and how to skip the lines at your favorite rides when using it.

We’ll tell you which Hollywood Studios attractions use Genie+ and we will rank in order from best to worst.  Getting the ride priority right is important when you are paying all that extra money to use the Lightning Lanes and we’ll help you figure out which order to book them in.

We’re going to give you a couple of Genie+ itineraries when visiting Hollywood Studios you can use as a guide.  Keep in mind, that these are just examples as your experience will likely be very different due to uncontrollable factors such as weather, crowd levels, and closed attractions.

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway

All these factors will determine how many rides you can book at Hollywood Studios on a given day.  Hopefully, you will be able to take our suggestions and tips and turn them into your own ideal Genie+ day at Hollywood Studios.

After reading this, you may even decide that Genie+ is not worth the extra money at Hollywood Studios, and that is totally fine.  We’ve spent countless hours touring all the Walt Disney World theme parks using Lightning Lanes and Genie+ to help you decide if it’s even worth it for you, and if so, how best to use it.

Some big changes have come to Genie Plus at Hollywood Studios in recent months, and it is potentially more valuable.  Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway has been removed from the Individual Lightning Lane lineup of attractions and added to Genie+.

Disney Genie+ attractions

Either way, any visit to Walt Disney World has just gotten more and more complicated in recent years, so hopefully, this helps make your decision easier to make.

Before we get started, we have other guides to the Disney Genie+ service and Lightning Lanes you definitely will need to check out if you haven’t already.  They will give you all the basics you need to know about the service:

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest changes to Disney Genie Plus and other Disney vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter

Genie+ & Lightning Lane Basics

Lightning Lane Rise of the Resistance

Before we can plan your day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are a few basic things you need to know about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.  The above links will give you more details, but here we are outlining just a few of the most important things to know.

What Are Lightning Lanes?

Lightning Lanes is the new name for the old FastPass+ queues at the attractions in a Disney theme park.  Instead of using the traditional standby queue, the Lightning Lane lets you skip the line so you can ride without spending all that time waiting.

Skipping the lines of course is not free and you have to pay for that service.  That’s where Genie+ comes in…

What is Genie+?

Genie Plus at Hollywood Studios

Disney Genie+ is a service that allows you to “skip the lines” on attractions at Walt Disney World.  It replaces FastPass+ at Disney World and FastPass/MaxPass in Disneyland and operates in a similar way except now you must pay to use it.

To use Genie Plus, each guest pays a flat fee per day which then gives you access to the Lightning Lanes.  When you purchase Genie+ you can make ride reservations at various points throughout the day.

If used properly, Genie+ reduces the time you spend waiting in lines throughout the day, making room for shopping, dining, or riding more attractions than you would otherwise be able to do.

Keep in mind that at Hollywood Studios, not all the attractions use the Lightning Lanes, so check the full list below to plan out your day correctly.

Individual Lightning Lanes

Besides the Genie+ attractions, there are 2 in Hollywood Studios that are not part of the service but instead are available for purchase a la carte via Individual Lightning Lanes.  This is a pay-per-ride service that lets guests skip the lines at select attractions, one ride at a time.

Remember, ILL is different from the regular Genie+ service and it lets you ride one attraction at a time and not access to a bunch of attractions for one price.

How Much Do Genie+ and Lightning Lanes Cost?

Cost of Genie Plus at Hollywood Studios

We know they are not free, so how much do Genie+ and Lightning Lanes cost?

Disney Genie+ – This costs $15.98 per person, per day at Walt Disney World.  The base price is $15, plus the $0.98 tax for each person.

Individual Lightning Lanes – The price here is different for each ride.  Prices for Individual Lightning Lane selections at Hollywood Studios range from $8 to $15 per ride, per person.  These prices can vary depending on the season and how crowded the parks are.  The most popular attractions like Rise of the Resistance are always more expensive.

Disney World vacations are already extremely expensive, and you will want to think hard about adding Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes on top of the normal cost when planning your trip.

What Time Can I Buy Genie+ at Hollywood Studios?

You can buy Genie Plus for your visit to Hollywood Studios starting at 12:00 am on the day you plan on visiting.  For example, if you are going to Hollywood Studios on October 12, Genie+ is available for purchase at 12:00 midnight on October 12.

What Time Can I Make Genie+ Reservations?

Disney Genie Attraction Selection Hollywood Studios

All reservations for the Genie+ service are made through the My Disney Experience app.  

  • Genie+ ride selections begin at 7:00 am on the morning you are visiting the theme park.  This is the case whether you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel or not.

One of the main differences from the old FastPass+ service is that you cannot choose a specific return time with Genie+.  Instead, guests must take the next available time for that attraction at that time.  Reservations are assigned to guests in order.  For example, the 9:00 am slots go first, then 9:30 am, etc.  

Once reservations for that ride are sold out for that day, they are completely gone unless someone who currently has a reservation cancels it, at which point it becomes available once again to everyone.

We highly recommend that you make your first Genie Plus selection immediately at 7:00 am.  Sometimes the best attractions in Hollywood Studios sell out for the day even before the official park opening so if you wait to make your reservations you may miss out and be forced to wait in a standby queue.

Again, check out our post on How to Purchase Disney Genie+ for more tips and answers to all your FAQs.

What Time Can I Purchase Individual Lightning Lanes?

Hollywood Studios Genie+ purchase time

Reservation times for Individual Lightning Lanes work differently from Genie+ and the time you can start booking your selections depends on if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel or not.

Purchases for Individual Lightning Lane attractions at Hollywood Studios start each day at:

  1. 7:00 am if you are a Walt Disney World Resort hotel guest.
  2. Park opening if you are not staying at a Disney World Resort hotel.

On-site visitors have a big booking advantage by having early access each morning, and this is one reason why you should consider staying at a Disney World Resort hotel.

For a full step-by-step guide, read our post on How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Attractions.

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Attractions List

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Alien Swirling Saucers

Before we get a strategy for Genie Plus at Hollywood Studios, you need to know which attractions are included and which ones are Individual Lightning Lane selections.

Genie+ Attractions

Right now, there are 14 attractions and experiences using Disney Genie+ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Here is the updated list:

  1. Alien Swirling Saucers
  2. Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  3. Disney Junior Play & Dance!
  4. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  5. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  6. Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
  7. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Until August 7, 2022)
  8. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  9. Muppet*Vision 3D
  10. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  11. Slinky Dog Dash
  12. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  13. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
  14. Toy Story Mania!

All the above-listed attractions are part of the Genie+ package and are available for $15 (plus tax) per person, per day at Hollywood Studios.  You are not guaranteed to be able to book every one of these rides, but they are the ones available to choose from.

Some of these rides included in Genie+ are only temporary such as Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway which could potentially move back to being an Individual Lightning Lane selection in August.  

This is the most likely scenario, but it’s not 100% until Disney makes the announcement.  There is always the possibility that it remains a Genie+ attraction if more ride capacity is needed.

What Rides are Excluded from Genie Plus?

Lightning McQueen sign Hollywood Studios Genie+

Not all attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios are included in the Disney Genie+ service.  Yes, there are 14 attractions that participate, but there are also some attractions, shows, and character meets that do not participate.

Some of them are included as Individual Lightning Lane selections (more on that in a minute), and others do not have any way of skipping the queue.

Here is a list of the Hollywood Studios attractions excluded from Genie Plus:

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
  • Vacation Fun – An Original Animated Short with Mickey & Minnie
  • Disney Movie Magic
  • Fantasmic!
  • Wonderful World of Animation
  • The majority of Character Meets

Individual Lightning Lane Attractions

Individual Lightning Lane Rise of the Resistance

There are 2 Individual Lightning Lane attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, even though one of them currently belongs to the Genie+ lineup of attractions.

Remember, normally, these rides are not included in the Genie+ package and are a separate pay-per-ride service.  Instead of paying for access to a group of rides, you are paying for each one individually.

Another difference from Genie+ is that you can choose your return time for Individual Lightning Lane attractions instead of being forced to take the next available one.  This gives you more options when planning your day out.

It’s important to know that you aren’t required to purchase Genie+ to use the Individual Lightning Lane.  Both services are independent of each other and you can use either one or even both if you like.

Entrance to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Lightning Lane

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Cost: $15

Is It Worth It?: Most of the time we would tell you not to spend the extra money on Individual Lightning Lane selections, they just aren’t worth it.  However, Rise of the Resistance is the exception and if ever you were going to buy an ILL, this would be it.

The reason it can be worth buying an Individual Lightning Lane on Rise of the Resistance is that it is the most popular ride at Walt Disney World and it has the longest wait times currently.  There is a standby queue available and the line can be 2-3 hours long on a regular basis.

If there is a way we can get back 2-3 hours of our visit to Hollywood Studios, that’s worth an extra $15 each to us.

If you don’t want to spend the extra money, we recommend using a rope drop strategy with Early Theme Park Entry, and showing up 90 minutes before the official park opening (60 minutes before Early Entry starts).  Any later than that and your wait time will still be at 60-90 minutes even if you show up before park opening.

The other alternative is to wait until 5 minutes before Hollywood Studios closes for the night and get in line right at that time.  The posted wait time is always exaggerated beyond the actual wait time and it may only be 30 minutes or so.

The only other Individual Lightning Lane attraction we’d recommend purchasing at this time is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT.  That is the newest and most popular attraction in EPCOT and it can also be worth it.

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway Daisy scene Hollywood Studios Genie+

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Cost: $8-$10

Is It Worth It?: No, it is not.  When Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is listed as an Individual Lightning Lane attraction, it is not worth paying extra to ride it.  You can do it using the standby queue without much problem basically every day.

On most days, wait times are between 50-60 minutes, but it can be around 30 minutes if you go early in the morning at rope drop or later in the evening.

Instead of buying an Individual Lighting Lane for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, we think the Genie+ service offers a better all-around value for the money.  It gives you access to more attractions for only a few dollars more.  Thankfully, at the time of this writing Runaway Railway is included in the Genie+ service.

Best Genie+ Attractions

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run table Hollywood Studios Genie+

Since Genie+ is not cheap, it’s important to know which attractions at Hollywood Studios are the best choices when making reservations.

Remember that most attractions sell out at some point during the day, and reservations are limited to first come, first served.  To make the best choices of attractions, and in the right order, careful planning is required.  There may be some rides that while not your favorite, are advantageous to book first because it will save you more time in the long run.

Below we’ve ranked all the Genie+ attractions at Hollywood Studios in order of priority and given a brief explanation to why you need to make these rides the priority throughout the day.

At least we have one extra Genie+ attraction at the moment (Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway) since it is still part of Genie+ at least until August 7, 2022.

Remember, this is not our list of the Best Hollywood Studios Rides and Attractions, that is a completely different list, while this one is only our rankings of these attractions when taking into consideration Genie+ reservations.

Slinky Dog Dash

Slinky Dog Dash Hollywood Studios

Slinky Dog Dash is without a doubt the most in-demand Genie+ attraction at Hollywood Studios and it should be your priority when making reservations.

On average it has the longest wait times in the park and they range from 80-120 minutes on a regular basis.  Since going through the Lightning Lane will likely take you a maximum of 10 minutes, that means a huge savings in time if you can get a Genie+ selection for it.

This is also the first ride to sell out each day.  Some days it sells out even before the park opens, and if it is a slow day it will sell out around 11:00 am.

All of these factors make Slinky Dog Dash a no-brainer choice.  Even if it’s not your favorite attraction you will get the biggest time savings here over any other ride if you use Genie+.  It also frees you up at rope drop to go another direction and aim either for Rise of the Resistance or the Sunset Blvd attractions (Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster).

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run table Hollywood Studios Genie+

After Slinky Dog Dash, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is at the top of the next tier of attractions and a perfect second choice of the day.  Yes, it’s only the second-most popular attraction in Galaxy’s Edge behind Rise of the Resistance but it draws wait times between 60-90 minutes on average.

Not only does it have long wait times, but it sells out quickly each day.  On most days you won’t be able to get a Lightning Lane after 2:00 pm, usually making it the second attraction to sell out, just behind Slinky Dog Dash.

As a ride, we don’t like Smugglers Run as much as Tower of Terror for example, but its long lines make it worth using a Lightning Lane selection here.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™

Tower of Terror pre show Hollywood Studios Genie+

For most of 2022, the Tower of Terror was the #2 priority when making Genie+ reservations.  The reason for this was that it was operating at a reduced capacity with half of the elevators shut down for maintenance.

This refurbishment caused wait times to effectively double and what would have normally been a 60-minute wait turned into 120 minutes instead.  Lightning Lanes would be inexistent after 12:00 pm which made this a no-brainer ride to book with an early Genie+ reservation.

The refurbishment to the Tower of Terror is now finished, however, and wait times have been dramatically reduced bumping it down slightly in importance to Genie+ priority.  

On most days wait times are around 60 minutes and you can still find Lightning Lane reservations after 2:00 pm.  So while the wait times for Tower of Terror have eased up in recent months, it’s still a high priority and should be your 2nd or 3rd choice.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Guitar

The next three Genie+ choices are all very close and it’s really splitting hairs over which one to book first.  For our #4 choice, we are going with Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  Ever since it first opened, this ride has been a guest favorite and has traditionally had some of the longest lines in the park.  

That has been reduced since some of the new rides like Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash have opened, but it still remains extremely popular.  Wait times are often between 60-80 minutes which makes it a good use of a Lightning Lane.

The reason we have it higher on our list over Toy Story Mania! and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is that those attractions have more capacity and Lightning Lane reservations run out more quickly at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster with reservations gone before 3:00 pm on most days.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Until August 7, 2022)

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Runaway Railway opening scene

This ride started out as an Individual Lightning Lane attraction when the Genie+ system first launched, but it has been switched over to the regular lineup of Genie+ attractions at least until August 7, 2022.

While it is the newest attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, wait times have slowly been lowering in recent months.  It is still one of the most popular attractions in the park with an appeal to all ages, but its high hourly capacity and overall efficient ride system make it slightly lower on our priority list.

Its wait times are usually around 60 minutes, but going early or late in the day will cut those in half.  Also, it’s common to still find available Lightning Lanes for it until 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm.

At this point we aren’t sure exactly how long Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will remain on the Genie+ attractions list, but as long as it does it needs to still be one of your top priorities of the day.

Toy Story Mania!

Mr. Potato Head Toy Story Mania Hollywood Studios Genie+

Similar to Runaway Railway, Toy Story Mania! is a family-friendly attraction with a high hourly capacity which is able to soak up Genie+ ride reservations.  

It has similar wait times to the previous two attractions at around 60 minutes, but Genie+ availability usually lasts longer into the day, sometimes even until 7:00 pm.

It’s still a good use of a Lightning Lane and remains our #6 priority in Hollywood Studios.

Alien Swirling Saucers

Alien Swirling Saucers Hollywood Studios Genie+

Even though a lot of guests will skip this simple spinning ride, high wait times make it an ok use for a late Genie+ reservation.

Wait times usually hover around 30-40 minutes, but in busy times they can even shoot up to 60 minutes.  We suggest waiting until late in the day when most other Genie+ reservations are sold out before booking it.  If it’s available and you are interested in riding it, great.  If not, just skip it.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Star Tours droid

While we love Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, there isn’t much benefit to booking a Genie+ reservation here.  Wait times are usually between 20-30 minutes, but Lightning Lanes usually last all the way until park closing.

You could make it your last Genie+ of the day if nothing else is available, but it probably won’t save you any time over just riding it via the standby queue at the end of the day anyway.

Worst Genie+ Attractions

Genie+ Lightning Lane MuppetVision 3D

Below is a list of the remaining Genie Plus attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  While you may want to ride them during your visit, they should be low on your priority list when it comes to making Genie+ reservations.  

99% of the time they are not worth using a Genie+ reservation on and they will not have long waits when compared to the previously mentioned attractions.  Doing them in the standby queue is typically not an issue.

The time you should make Genie Plus reservations here is when all the other attractions are already sold out for the day and you don’t have any other choices.

Using Genie+ on the character meets could save you a few minutes, and are for the most part a better choice than the stage shows.  Stage shows give you priority seating, but it isn’t a big enough difference in views to make it worth a Genie+ selection.  Priority should be given to the popular attractions we recommended in the previous section instead.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Even if you see this listed as a 20 or 30-minute wait, you can likely show up 5 minutes before the show starts and still find a seat.  Yeah, it won’t be quite as good of a seat if you lined up earlier, but it’s not worth spending a valuable Genie+ reservation here for a minimal upgrade.

Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight

Right now this is the only character meet in the Genie+ lineup, though at times others have also been included.  Wait times here are just not long enough to demand a Genie+ selection so it’s best to avoid using one.

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

Similar to Indiana Jones, you get priority seating if you use a Genie+ selection here, but it just isn’t worth it imo.  95% of the time it’s easy to find a seat 5 minutes before the show starts and it’s not worth giving up one of your prime Lightning Lane selections when you could be using it on something else that will save you more time.

Muppet*Vision 3D

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Muppet*Vision 3D

While Muppet*Vision 3D is perhaps our all-time favorite show at Disney World, it’s not a good use of a Genie+ reservation.  Wait times here are rarely more than 15 minutes and the theater is hardly ever full which means the listed wait time is only the time it takes for the next show to start.

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

If you are huge Frozen fans then there might be some value in having a better view of Anna and Elsa, otherwise, pass on using a Lightning Lane here.

Disney Junior Play & Dance!

Like the other shows, not much value in using a Genie+ reservation here either.

Genie+ Rides in Order of Priority

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Slinky Dog Dash

Below we’ve ranked all the Hollywood Studios attractions in a list in order of priority for Genie+ selections.  The list will change slightly depending on which attractions you plan on riding, but it will give you a good baseline to go by when making your own reservations.

  1. Slinky Dog Dash
  2. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  3. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
  4. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  5. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  6. Toy Story Mania!
  7. Alien Swirling Saucers
  8. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  9. Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
  10. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  11. Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  12. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  13. Disney Junior Play & Dance!
  14. Muppet*Vision 3D

Tips & Strategy

Genie Plus at Hollywood Studios

Here are a few of the most important strategies when using Disney Genie+ at Hollywood Studios.  If you use them, it will give you an advantage over other guests you are competing against for ride reservations.

Be Ready at 7:00 AM

While I for one would love to sleep in late and then stroll on over to Hollywood Studios when I’m good and ready, that is an impossibility if you are trying to tour the park efficiently.  Waking up early is one of the essential tips when visiting any Disney park and it gives you a decided advantage.

Reservations for Genie+ start at 7:00 am daily.  That means you need to have the app open on your mobile device and be ready to go at that time.  You are competing with thousands of other guests for reservations to the best attractions in the park so you don’t want to wait.

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Hondo Smugglers Run pre show

If you wait too long past 7:00 am, all the best rides at Hollywood Studios like Slinky Dog Dash, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and the Tower of Terror will all start filling up for the day.  That means a late return time, or worse, you could miss out on a Lightning Lane reservation and be forced to use the standby queue.  

Since some of these attractions have wait times of 2 hours or more, you can see why you would want to avoid that.

If you plan on purchasing a Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, we recommend you do that before making your Genie+ reservations.  That is the most popular ride in the park so if you want to choose your return time this needs to be your #1 priority.

Also, make sure to purchase Genie+ well before 7:00 am.  If you wait until 7:00 am other people will already be booking rides while you are trying to buy the service.

Refresh Often

One of the best ways to get the Genie+ attraction you are looking for at Hollywood Studios is to use the “Refresh Strategy.”  This comes in handy when it looks like a specific attraction you want to ride is sold out for the day.  Things aren’t always what they appear to be and at times you can still find what you are looking for.

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus

If you are searching for an attraction that appears to be sold out, just keep refreshing the Tip Board page in My Disney Experience every few seconds for a couple of minutes.  As you do this, reservations can become available that were not there only seconds earlier.  We use this strategy every time we purchase Genie+ and we are able to find a ton of attractions this way.

The reason this works is that at certain times of the day many guests are in the app all at the same time looking for ride reservations.  Sometimes they book a ride, then while looking they change their mind and book a different one, releasing those other reservations back into the common pool for everyone to choose from.

To do this, keep refreshing the app periodically when you are trying to land one of the more popular rides.  To refresh, drag your finger down the screen and it will show you all available Genie+ attractions.

The best time to refresh the app is just after 7:00 am (up until about 7:15 am) and at 2-hour intervals throughout the day.  If Hollywood Studios opens at 9:00 am, you may have some luck refreshing around 11:00 am when people are trying to make their next selection.

It works even at other random times throughout the day.  If we really want a ride we keep refreshing every few seconds for about 5-minute intervals to see what comes up.  It may not be the exact one that we wanted, but you’d be surprised what you can find if you don’t give up.

Don’t Hesitate

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus rope drop

When making Genie+ reservations throughout the day, every second counts and you need to act quickly.

For example, once you get in the queue for your Genie+ reservation you can start booking your next reservation.  Don’t wait until after you ride the attraction to do this, book your next reservation while you are still waiting in line.

Also, keep a reminder of when you can book your next attraction.  If the return time for your current attraction is more than 120 minutes after the park opening, or later in the day if it’s more than 120 minutes from when you booked it, you will be able to book another ride before you get to ride the first one.

We recommend setting an alarm on your phone to remind you when it’s time to book your next attraction so you don’t waste any time.

Best Times for Genie+ Reservations

How many Genie+ rides per day at Disney World

This is pretty straightforward since guests can’t choose their own return times when using Genie+ and are forced to choose the next best available.

The best strategy when possible is to get early returns for the most popular attractions at Hollywood Studios such as Slinky Dog Dash, Tower of Terror, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. 

If you are able to get an early return time you won’t have to wait 120 minutes to make your next selection since you can make your next reservation once you tap into the queue.  If you do this you should be able to make more Genie+ reservations throughout the day.

Even though getting early return times is ideal, don’t concentrate too much on this.  Get the best return times you can for the most popular rides and move on.  It’s better to get a later return time for a ride like Slinky Dog Dash than an earlier return time for a ride you are not really interested in riding.

Use Early Theme Park Entry

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Early Theme Park Entry

Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel have a big advantage over guests staying off-site due to the Early Theme Park Entry perk.  This lets you get into Hollywood Studios 30 minutes earlier than other guests which is a big help when trying to do the popular rides.

Getting there for park opening is called rope dropping, and we always recommend doing this if you are serious about doing all the rides and saving time.  That 30 minutes may not seem like much, but it will make a huge difference if done the right way.

For example, if Hollywood Studios opens at 9:00 am, Early Theme Park Entry starts at 8:30 am that day.  However, guests can start entering Hollywood Studios earlier than that, even as early as 7:45 am.

When using Early Theme Park Entry, we recommend showing up 90 minutes before the official park opening time, which is really 60 minutes before Early Entry starts.

When the gates open guests will line up on Hollywood Blvd for rope dropping Galaxy’s Edge or Slinky Dog Dash.

Read our guide to Early Theme Park Entry for more details on how it works and why you should use it.

Try Stacking Reservations

Hollywood Studios Genie+

If you can’t get early Genie+ reservations, another strategy you can try is called stacking.  This is when you book reservations with return times later in the day and then can do 2-3 rides all in a row.  This isn’t always the best strategy, and sometimes just getting early reservations lets you do more than stacking later in the day.

However, it’s a good option if you can’t rope drop the park and you show up later that day.  This is especially true if you are going to another park in the morning and then park hopping to Hollywood Studios as your second park of the day.

When you have multiple Genie+ reservations lined up in the afternoon, it lets you skip the most popular attractions at the time of day when wait times are the longest.

You can also use stacking even when you are rope dropping the park.  In this case, make an early reservation, then start stacking reservations with your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th selections.  Stacking isn’t nearly as effective now as it was when Genie+ first launched, but it can still be a viable strategy.

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Star Tours

Here’s an example of stacking at Hollywood Studios:

  • 6:45 AM – Purchase the Disney Genie+ service
  • 7:00 AM – Make Genie+ reservation for Slinky Dog Dash with a 9:20 am – 10:20 am return time.
  • 9:20 AM – Ride Slinky Dog Dash via Lightning Lane
  • 9:25 AM – Book the next Genie+ reservation for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run with a return time of 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
  • 11:25 AM – Book the next Genie+ reservation for Tower of Terror with a 6:45 pm to 7:45 pm return time.
  • 1:25 PM – Book the next Genie+ reservation for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway with a return time of 7:05 pm to 8:05 pm.
  • 3:25 PM – Book the next Genie+ selection for Toy Story Mania! With a return time of 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

In this scenario, we ended up with an early Slinky Dog Dash reservation that we used right away.  We then were able to book Smugglers Run, Tower of Terror, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and Toy Story Mania! all for later in the day.  

This allows us to do some other less popular rides and shows via standby queue while reserving Lightning Lanes for the more popular ones later on. 

Since you can’t really choose your own attraction return time, the most popular rides in Hollywood Studios tend to fill up early, leaving you with more availability later in the day.  Stacking may become your default strategy and you won’t even have a choice.

Ride Rise of the Resistance Last

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Rise of the Resistance

If you don’t want to pay for a Lightning Lane pass on Rise of the Resistance, you have two choices that will get you the lowest wait time possible: Go early in the morning, or late in the evening.

We already told you how important it is to arrive at the parks early in the morning, but if for some reason you can’t get to Hollywood Studios at rope drop, going late in the evening might be an even better option.

Rope dropping can lead to short wait times, but only if you are really one of the first few hundred people in line.  If you aren’t, you will still be stuck waiting 1-2 hours.

We’ve often found the shortest wait times when we make Rise of the Resistance our last ride of the day.  Often the posted wait times are exaggerated at the end of the day to discourage guests from getting in line.  

For example, if the posted wait times outside the attraction are usually still 120 minutes or more right before the park’s closing, when you actually get in line, it’s much less than that.

If Hollywood Studios closes at 9:00 pm on the day of your visit, try waiting until 8:55 pm to get in line.  If you do you will likely be rewarded, sometimes with even a walk-on.

Our Guide to Riding Rise of the Resistance with the Standby Queue will give you the latest tips to help you save time when riding.

Hollywood Studios Touring Examples with Genie+

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus at Rope Drop

Ok now that we’ve shared a detailed explanation of all the attractions at Hollywood Studios and what Genie+ priority you should give them, let’s take a look at some actual Hollywood Studios touring plans using Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.

Remember, these are only examples of how your day might play out when you visit Hollywood Studios.  Your own experience will vary due to factors such as crowds, weather, and ride maintenance.

From our experience, you will probably be able to book somewhere between 3-6 attractions in a day at Hollywood Studios.  While not quite as many as the Magic Kingdom, for example, that can still make a sizeable impact.

We are going to give you 2 sample 1-Day Hollywood Studios Genie+ Itineraries.  The first one is only using Genie+, and the second is if we include Individual Lightning Lane selections into the mix.  These plans can of course be modified according to your personal preference.

With Only Genie Plus

In this touring plan, we are assuming Hollywood Studios is opening at 9:00 am (8:30 am for Early Entry).

6:45 AM – Purchase the Disney Genie+ service ($15+ tax) and select ride and experience preferences in Tip Board on My Disney Experience.

7:00 AM – Book a Genie+ for Slinky Dog Dash with a Lightning Lane return window of 9:30 am to 10:30 am.  Even if you can’t get an early return time, take whatever you can get.

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Entrance

7:45 AM – Get in line outside Hollywood Studios for Rope Drop.  Our strategy is going to be a straight run for Rise of the Resistance once the park opens.  Since we are doing Early Entry, this should give us a decided advantage over most of the public.  Another option is to do the Sunset Blvd attractions instead and save Rise of the Resistance for your last ride of the night.

8:30 AM – Rope Drop Rise of the Resistance via the standby queue.

9:40 AM – Ride Slinky Dog Dash via Lightning Lane.

9:41 AM – While in line for Slinky Dog Dash, make your next Genie+ reservation for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run with a return time of 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm.

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Alien Swirling Saucers

9:55 AM – Ride Alien Swirling Saucers via the standby queue.

10:30 AM – See For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration via the standby queue

11:05 AM – Ride Star Tours: The Adventures Continue via the standby queue.

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Hollywood Brown Derby

11:40 AM – Have lunch at The Hollywood Brown Derby, one of the best restaurants in Hollywood Studios.

11:41 AM – Book your next Genie+ selection for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror with a return time of 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm.

1:00 PM – See Beauty & the Beast Live on Stage via the standby queue.

1:30 PM – Start walking to Galaxy’s Edge where you can take some time to look around the shops and all the cool details this land has to offer.  If you are hungry, try a Ronto Wrap, it will change your life!

1:41 PM – Book your 4th Genie+ reservation of the day for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway with a return time of 6:10 pm to 7:10 pm.

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Millennium Falcon

2:30 PM – Ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run via the Lightning Lane.

3:15 PM – See the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular via the standby queue.

3:41 PM – Book your 5th Genie+ reservation of the day for Toy Story Mania! With a return time of 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  At this point, all the other valuable Genie+ selections have been sold out so we won’t be booking anything else.

4:00 PM – See Muppet*Vision 3D via the standby queue.

Lightning Lane at Tower of Terror Disney World

4:25 PM – Ride the Tower of Terror via Lightning Lane.

4:55 PM – See Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.

5:25 PM – Have Dinner at the ABC Commissary.

6:10 PM – Ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway via the Lightning Lane.

6:40 PM – See one of the character meets like Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight.

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Toy Story Mania! entrance

7:10 PM – Ride Toy Story Mania! via the Lightning Lane.

7:40 PM – Ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster via the standby queue since it should be well under an hour at this point.  If not and Hollywood Studios is open later than 8:00 pm, you can wait to ride this closer to the closing.

8:30 PM – Hop on the Disney Skyliner and either head back to your resort or head over to EPCOT during Extended Evening Hours and enjoy some of the attractions there!

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

In this sample day, we didn’t do Disney Junior Play & Dance! and we didn’t do all the character meets or nighttime shows.  If any of those are important to you, then you can easily substitute them for some of our other plans.

You also could use Genie+ better than we did and for more popular rides if you wanted to ride some of them twice.  For example, even though we booked Genie Plus reservations for rides like Tower of Terror, Smugglers Run, and Runaway Railway, you could have done some of those twice by also waiting in the standby line and skipping some of the shows.

  • TIP: If for some reason you didn’t get a chance to ride any of the Big 4 attractions  (Rise of the Resistance, Slinky Dog Dash, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, or Tower of Terror) during the day due to long wait times, or if you want to ride them a second time, you can get in line for them at 8:55 pm or 5 minutes before park closing.  You should get a walk-on for any of them or at least no more than a 20-minute wait.

Now, let’s look at another Genie+ touring plan for Hollywood Studios, this time also using the Individual Lightning Lane…

With Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes

For the First Time in Forever Frozen Sing Along Celebration Hollywood Studios Genie+

Like in the previous itinerary, in this touring plan, we are assuming that Hollywood Studios is opening at 9:00 am (8:30 am for Early Entry) and that there is still no fireworks show or that you are not interested in seeing it.  Obviously, this can be worked into the itinerary should those plans change.

On top of Genie+, we also are purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

6:45 AM – Purchase the Disney Genie+ service ($15+ tax) and select ride and experience preferences in Tip Board on My Disney Experience.

7:00 AM – Book a Genie+ for Slinky Dog Dash with a Lightning Lane return window of 10:15 am to 11:15 am.  We still are going to book Slinky Dog Dash as our #1 priority though this time we got a slightly later return time.

7:01 AM – Book an Individual Lightning Lane selection for Rise of the Resistance with a return time of 2:25 pm to 3:25 pm.  Earlier is usually better since maintenance problems can come up later in the day and who knows how long it will be down.

Hollywood Blvd at Hollywood Studios Genie+

7:45 AM – Get in line outside Hollywood Studios for Rope Drop.  Our strategy this time is going to be to knock out the Sunset Blvd attractions (Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster) once the park opens.  Since we are doing Early Entry, this should give us a decided advantage over most of the public.

8:30 AM – Rope Drop The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror via the standby queue.

8:50 AM – Ride Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster via the standby queue.

9:20 AM – Ride Alien Swirling Saucers via the standby queue.

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Star Tours R2-D2

9:45 AM – Ride Star Tours: The Adventures Continue 

10:15 AM – Ride Slinky Dog Dash via the Lightning Lane.  Immediately upon tapping into the queue, make your next Genie+ reservation for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run with a return time of 3:45 pm to 4:45 pm.

10:35 AM – Explore Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.  Check out the shops like Dok Ondar’s or build a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop.

Docking Bay 7 Food Hollywood Studios Genie+

11:50 AM – Eat lunch at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, one of the best quick service restaurants in Disney World.

12:15 PM – Book your 3rd Genie+ reservation of the day for Tower of Terror with a return time of 5:10 PM.  We know we already rode this earlier, but we just love it and have to do it twice every trip to Hollywood Studios.  We could have also booked Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway or Toy Story Mania!, however, those will likely still be available later in the day and we are willing to risk it.

12:30 PM – See For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration via the standby queue.

Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular show Hollywood Studios Genie+

1:15 PM – See the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular via the standby queue.

2:00 PM – See Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage via the standby queue.

2:15 PM – Book your 4th Genie+ reservation of the day for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway with a return time of 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

2:45 PM – Ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance via Lightning Lane.

S'mores Cupcake Hollywood Studios Genie+

3:20 PM – Take some time to enjoy a Carrot Cake Cookie, a Gourmet Cupcake, or one of the other Best Snacks at Hollywood Studios.  There are plenty of them, trust us!

3:50 PM – Ride Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run via the Lightning Lane.

4:15 PM – Book your 5th and final Genie+ reservation for Toy Story Mania! with a return time of 7:55 PM to 8:55 PM.

4:20 PM – Do one or more of the character meets in the park such as Meet Olaf, Mickey, etc.

Lightning McQueen Racing Academy Hollywood Studios Genie+

5:05 PM – See Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy via the standby queue.

5:30 PM – Ride Tower of Terror again, this time via the Lightning Lane.

50's Prime Time Cafe Fried Chicken Hollywood Studios Genie+

6:15 PM – Have dinner at 50’s Prime Time Café, THE best restaurant in Hollywood Studios.  No elbows on the table, and wash your hands, or else!

7:35 PM – Ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway via the Lightning Lane.

8:00 PM – See Muppet*Vision 3D via the standby queue.  We could have booked a Lightning Lane here, but there was no point as the wait is no more than 10 minutes anyway.

Toy Story Mania! high score Hollywood Studios Genie+

8:35 PM – Ride Toy Story Mania! and go for your top score of all time!

In this sample day, the only thing we really didn’t do was Disney Junior Play & Dance! since we are not we were able to spend a little more time in Galaxy’s Edge, do an extra character meet and ride Tower of Terror twice.

Though not offering a huge savings in time, the security of having a Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance is very comforting given how much the ride goes down throughout the day.  If you use the standby queue for it, you risk waiting in line for an hour or more only to have it break down and then wasting all that time plus the additional time you will spend later if you want to ride it.

Again, both of these itineraries are just samples, and the wait times for the attractions we did via standby queue could vary during your visit, as well as the availability of the Genie+ attractions or return times.  They should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect, however, and work as nice baseline touring plans with Genie+.

FAQs

Row of Stormtroopers Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Here are some of the most common FAQs for using Genie Plus at Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Included in Genie+?

No, it is not.  Rise of the Resistance is not included in the Genie+ lineup of attractions and is instead an Individual Lightning Lane attraction which is an additional cost over the price of Genie+.  These are reserved for the 1-2 most popular rides in each park, and that is Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios.

If you decide to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance, we recommend purchasing it right at 7:00 am since it tends to sell out quickly each day.

Which Genie+ Should I Book First at Hollywood Studios?

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Slinky Dog Dash

As of this writing, your number one priority Genie+ attraction at Hollywood Studios is Slinky Dog Dash.  There are certain situations where you can go with something else first, but 99% it should be this.  

Slinky Dog Dash is the most in-demand attraction in the park and has lines that are consistently 90-120 minutes long.  This is the first ride each day to sell out of Genie+ reservations.  Even though it’s not our favorite ride at Hollywood Studios, using Genie+ here will save you the most time.

Our second and third choices at Hollywood Studios are Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Tower of Terror.  If you can’t get Slinky Dog Dash for some reason, these are 2 other good choices.  Definitely, these three are the top priorities at Hollywood Studios.

If you book Rise of the Resistance with an Individual Lightning Lane, you can choose to rope drop Slinky Dog Dash and use a Genie+ selection on one of the other two rides previously mentioned.

Ideally, you will either rope drop Rise of the Resistance or have an Individual Lightning Lane for it and a Genie+ for Slinky Dog Dash.  At that point, we would probably rope drop the Sunset Blvd attractions (Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster) and secure a Smugglers Run Lightning Lane for our second selection of the day.

Whichever of the top three attractions you book with Genie+, you should plan a rope drop strategy around the other attractions we mentioned.  This will save you lots of time and let you get the most done possible.

Park Hopping with Genie+?

Goofy at Tower of Terror Hollywood Studios Genie Plus

Combining park hopping with Genie+ is a good strategy that can give you a big advantage over other guests and let you ride the most attractions while skipping the lines.

Keep in mind that when you purchase Genie+, you are purchasing it for the whole day and not just for one single park.  That means you can use it at one or multiple parks throughout the day.

Our suggested strategy for combining Genie+ and park hopping is to rope drop one park early in the morning and ride as many of the popular attractions as possible right away while wait times are still low.

At the same time, start making Genie+ reservations for attractions at the second park so you have them lined up later in the day.  Park hopping starts at 2:00 pm each day so make sure to book afternoon or evening return times.

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway entrance Hollywood Studios Genie Plus

This can be tricky since you can’t necessarily choose Genie+ return times.  To make this happen, keep checking the return times starting at 7:00 am until you see them showing up for 2:00 pm and later.  This is risky so make sure to keep a close eye on things so your ride doesn’t fill up.

If done right, you can start making reservations for the second park at 7:00 am and stack up reservations for 3 or more attractions at the same time.  Again, this is perfect because you will have multiple rides at the time of day when Hollywood Studios is busiest.

Read our Guide to Park Hopping in Disney World for more info.

What About Hollywood Studios Special Events?

The Genie Plus service does not work with special events at Hollywood Studios, it’s only available during normal park hours.  That means Genie+ is not available during early morning events such as Early Theme Park Entry or After Hours Events like Extended Evening Hours.

This isn’t nearly as big of a deal at Hollywood Studios as it is at another park like the Magic Kingdom where there are many more special events going on.

Do Ride Reservations Run Out at Hollywood Studios?

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run cockpit

Yes, they do.  Genie+ selections are “first come, first served,” and almost all attractions at Hollywood Studios end up selling out every day.  The most popular ones can sell out only an hour or two after park opening, and sometimes even before it opens.

At Hollywood Studios the attractions that sell out first each day are Slinky Dog Dash, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, and Tower of Terror.

When an attraction has sold out of Genie Plus reservations for the day, they are gone and no extra inventory is released later on.  You will see “Not Currently Offered” displayed on the Tip Board for attractions that have sold out that day.

However, just because at first glance it looks like one of the attractions is sold out, that doesn’t mean that it really is.  By using the “Refresh Strategy” we outlined earlier, it lets you still score Genie+ reservations you thought were otherwise sold out.

In any case, we highly recommend prioritizing which attractions are most important to you at Hollywood Studios and make reservations for those first.  If you have a list, then if one of your choices is sold out, you can quickly go to the next most important one on your list.

Is Genie+ Worth It at Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Donald Duck in Runaway Railway

While using Genie+ at Disney’s Magic Kingdom is a no-brainer, it’s a little more difficult to understand if it’s worth spending the extra $15 per person for Genie+ at Hollywood Studios.

From our experience, using Genie+ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is generally worth it and you can get a decent value for your money on most days.  It definitely offers more time savings than at EPCOT and Animal Kingdom.

There are more attractions to choose from at Hollywood Studios than at EPCOT or Animal Kingdom, and there are more E-ticket attractions that have long wait times.  Slinky Dog Dash, Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Runaway Railway, and Toy Story Mania! all have wait times that are regularly over 60 minutes.

While you won’t be able to book all of them, you should be able to book at least 4 of them, which will save you at least 3 hours or more.  Paying $5 an hour or less for that time savings is worth it in my book.

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus

It is possible to do Hollywood Studios without purchasing Genie+, but it’s going to be a much more stressful experience on most days and you will need to really run if you are planning on doing all the attractions and shows in one day. 

The fact that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway was added to the lineup of Genie+ gives the service extra value, but it is unknown how long it will stick around or if it will return to the Individual Lightning Lane.

It’s especially worth it if you are park hopping when visiting Hollywood Studios as it will help you maximize your time spent here during that half day.

So, is Disney Genie+ worth it at Hollywood Studios?  Yes, in most circumstances it is.  And it’s especially worth it on busy days when crowds are at their peaks like during the holiday season.

Is It Worth It to Purchase Genie+ AND Individual Lightning Lane Selections at Hollywood Studios?

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Rise of the Resistance

As we explained earlier, Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane selections are completely separate and you don’t need to purchase one to use the other.  The cost can add up quickly when paying $15 per person for Genie+ and then more money on top of that for an ILL selection.

So is there some scenario when it’s worth it to buy BOTH Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane attractions at Hollywood Studios?  Yes, of all the parks, Hollywood Studios is the one where it may make the most sense to do so.

Right now the only attraction using an Individual Lightning Lane at Hollywood Studios is Rise of the Resistance.  This is the most popular ride at Disney World and even at a price tag of $15, it makes sense to pay the extra money since it regularly has 2-3 hour wait times.

Normally we wouldn’t suggest buying both of them, but when you add up the big time savings for both services, it makes sense here.

Rise of the Resistance locker Hollywood Studios Genie Plus

Since reservations for both services go online at 7:00 am, you have to prioritize which one you are going to book first.  The ideal situation would be to have two people, one booking Rise of the Resistance and the other securing a Genie+ for Slinky Dog Dash.  If you are alone, book an early Slinky Dog return time first, then rush over and make your Rise reservation.

If your budget only allows you to pay for one of them, we recommend choosing Genie+ and not paying extra for Rise of the Resistance.  They are both the same price but Genie+ will give you access to more attractions and better time savings for the money.

If this is the case, we recommend rope dropping Rise of the Resistance or saving it for your last ride of the day just before the park closing.

If You Don’t Purchase Genie Plus at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Tunnel into Galaxy's Edge

While it does help, using the Disney Genie+ service is not 100% necessary to have a good time in Hollywood Studios.

So what do you do if it’s not in your budget or you just don’t want to purchase it?  Here are some alternatives that will help you tour Hollywood Studios as efficiently as possible without Genie Plus.

Rope Drop and Use Early Theme Park Entrance

Rope dropping the Disney World parks and taking advantage of Early Theme Park Entry always give you a big advantage over other guests not using them, but even more so if you decide not to use Genie+.

Being there in the morning before Hollywood Studios opens will help you do an extra attraction or two before the majority of guests even arrive.  The first 2 hours of the day are when you will experience the shortest wait times so make sure you are there and ready to roll.

Plan 2 Days

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Crossroads

While you can do Hollywood Studios in one day, there is so much to explore that you may want to consider going there for 2 days during your trip, especially if you don’t use Genie Plus while you are there.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is one of the best lands Walt Disney Imagineering has ever created, and it deserves to be explored thoroughly.  There are plenty of shops, experiences, and great food to eat as well as easter eggs to find for the biggest of Star Wars fans.  Our Food Guide to Galaxy’s Edge outlines the must-get food and drinks when visiting.

Building your own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop or buying one of the dozens of legacy lightsabers at Dok Ondar’s are both experiences you won’t want to miss.  Plus building a droid at the Droid Depot makes a great gift for a loved one.

If you want to do everything in Galaxy’s Edge including meals, experiences, and attractions, you could easily spend 6-7 hours in this one land alone.  When you add in all the other attractions across the park, you can see why it could be useful to have some extra time here.

If you do this, you absolutely don’t need to spend the extra money for Genie+.  You can get all the major rides done one day, and then re-hit your favorites on the second day while also visiting Galaxy’s Edge.

Hollywood Studios Gets Quieter Late in the Day

Galaxy's Edge Hollywood Studios Genie Plus

If waking up early isn’t your thing, another option is a late arrival strategy.  This can be done by arriving between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm and then concentrating on the more popular rides.

The idea here is that many people start leaving the park in the late afternoon/early evening which makes wait times drop off in the last few hours of the day.  Staying for the last 5-6 hours allows you to do a lot of the more popular rides in the park with lower wait times.

Some attractions like Toy Story Mania! or the Tower of Terror will have their wait times cut in half in the last couple of hours of operation each day putting them around 30-40 minutes at times.

This can even work for Rise of the Resistance as you can make it the last ride of the day.  Often the wait times will be less than 45 minutes by then, much better than 2+ hours you get during the day.

While you can’t expect to do ALL of the attractions, overall, it’s a much less stressful park experience. It gives you lower wait times, lower temperatures at the end of the day, and fewer crowded situations that we find it’s definitely worth considering.

Future of Genie+ at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway

There have been some changes to the Hollywood Studios Genie Plus attraction lineup in recent months, but after August there shouldn’t be too many more changes for a while.

For example, when Genie+ first launched, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway was an Individual Lightning Lane attraction.  Since then, it has become a Genie+ ride, while Rise of the Resistance remains the only Individual Lighting Lane in the park for the time being.

These changes are in place at least until August 7, 2022, for now.  Disney hasn’t commented on how the Genie+ lineup will be changing after that.

Our best guess is that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will return to the Individual Lightning Lane.  Even though it would be better if it stayed where it is since Hollywood Studios needs the Genie+ capacity, we are guessing that Disney will try for the extra revenue boost by making it an à la carte selection once again.

Hollywood Studios Genie Plus Toy Story Mania!

We know Disney likes to keep two Individual Lightning Lanes in each park, but there is also a chance they only keep 1 going forward.  A lot depends on the Genie+ demand and how much capacity it needs at the other attractions.

As for new rides coming to Disney World, nothing new has been announced for Hollywood Studios at this time.  Hollywood Studios will eventually build another new ride, but for now, nothing is imminent.  Even if we get an announcement of a new project at the D23 Expo in September, it will be years until it’s built so we don’t foresee many changes to the Genie+ lineup for now.

If more rides are built, it will likely be the Genie+ lineup of attractions that expands which would be good news and bring more value to the service.  We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear of any more changes.

That wraps up this step-by-step on how to buy Genie+ and use it at Hollywood Studios.  We hope that it gives you some good strategies to use and that our itineraries make it easier when planning your next trip here.  Feel free to ask any unanswered questions below and we will add them to the article.

If you are thinking about using Genie+ at any of the other Walt Disney World theme parks check out our other guides:

If you are thinking about going to Walt Disney World in the coming future, here are some other popular articles where you will find all the info and tips you need to plan your trip.

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about buying and using Genie+ at Hollywood Studios…

  • Do you think it’s worth it?
  • What are your favorite attractions to use a Lightning Lane selection on?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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