You may be familiar with the Genie+ service with its Lightning Lanes, but that is only half the story. You also need to know “How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Attractions at Disney World.”
Now, that’s not to say everyone is going to use Disney’s new pay-per-ride service in Disney World or Disneyland. However, you definitely need to know how it works before your trip because it will impact how you tour the parks no matter what.
In this post, we are going to show you step-by-step how to purchase Individual Lightning Lane attractions and then how to redeem your selections once you buy a pass.
We also are going to share with you the latest prices for all Individual Lightning Lane attractions, including the highs and lows up to this point, and what the future cost of the service might look like.
We’ll also give you our best tips for using the Individual Lightning Lane selections, strategies, the cancelation policy, and any other FAQs you might have about the service.
Since we’ve used the Individual Lightning Lanes many times in the theme parks, our goal is to help you understand all the basics for using it, and in the easiest way possible.
Besides reading this article, we highly recommend reading our Complete Guide to Genie Plus & Lightning Lanes. There we explain everything you need to know about this ride-skipping system, as well as answer all your FAQs, and give you our best strategies and tips for using it.
If you are trying to use Genie+, make sure to check out our step-by-step guide on “How to Purchase Genie+ at Disney World.”
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest changes to Lightning Lanes, Genie Plus, and other Disney vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter
What are Individual Lightning Lanes?
Individual Lightning Lane attractions is Disney’s pay-per-ride service that lets guests skip the line at one attraction at a time. It’s like line-skipping a la carte.
This is different from the Genie+ service which bundles up a large number of attractions in a park together for one price. The Individual Lightning Lane selections are the few attractions not included in the Genie+ package at a given park.
Normally, there are 2 Individual Lightning attractions per park, although Disney has reduced that to only one per park at times (such as right now).
Instead, Lightning Lanes is just a name for the new FastPass queues in the Disney attractions, and they are accessed either by purchasing the Genie+ package or an Individual Lightning Lane selection.
Before You Purchase Individual Lightning Lanes
We’re going to show you step-by-step how to purchase Individual Lightning Lane attractions, but first, there are some basics you need to know. It’s important to understand how this all works BEFORE your trip begins so it doesn’t slow you down when you are at the Disney World theme parks.
Remember, just like Genie+, the worst part about Individual Lightning Lane attractions is that they cost money. They are not free like FastPass+ was, and you have to pay if you want to skip the lines.
You can’t make any Lightning Lane selections without first buying your theme park ticket. It doesn’t matter what type of ticket you purchase (Annual Pass, One-Day, Multi-Day, or a ticket as part of a Disney World vacation package) but you need to have one before you arrive.
Park Pass Reservations
Separate from your park ticket, you also need to have a Disney park pass reservation for the theme park you plan on visiting that day or you can’t get in. Read our Guide to Disney Park Pass Reservations for more info on how to do that.
When Can I Buy Individual Lightning Lane Attractions?
You buy Individual Lightning Lane attractions at the same time you are making a reservation. Unlike Genie+, it’s not something that’s part of a package that you buy ahead of time.
What time you can make an Individual Lightning Lane selection though depends on if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel or at an off-site hotel.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotel – Reservations for Individual Lightning Lane attractions can be made starting at 7:00 am on the day of your visit to that theme park.
Off-Site Guests – Reservations can be made starting at park opening each day. If the park opens at 9:00 am, that’s when you can start making Individual Lightning Lane selections.
When using the Individual Lightning Lane, staying on-site is a big advantage because it means you can start booking your attractions potentially 2+ hours before someone who is staying off-site.
At Disney World – Unlike Genie+, when purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane attraction at Disney World, you are not required to take the next available time slot but you can choose from any of the available time slots for that attraction.
At Disneyland – the Individual Lightning Lane works a bit differently and you must choose the next available time slot.
Individual Lightning Lane Attractions & Prices
Individual Lightning Lane attractions cost on average between $7-$15 each at Walt Disney World depending on the ride and date you choose to go.
The more popular the ride is, the more it costs. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance for example will always cost more than Expedition Everest because there is more of a demand from guests and they are willing to pay a higher price to ride.
Below is a complete list of all Individual Lightning Lane Attractions and their Prices at Walt Disney World. These are the highest and lowest prices recorded so far:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Low: $10, High: $12
- Space Mountain – Low: $7, High: $9
- Frozen Ever After – Low: $9, High: $11
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – Low: $9, High: $11
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Low: $8, High: $10
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – $15
- Avatar Flight of Passage – Low: $11, High: $14
- Expedition Everest – $7
Keep in mind that these prices can fluctuate depending on the time of year you visit. Disney can raise or lower prices for these attractions if the demand increases or decreases.
Similar to theme park tickets, Individual Lightning Lane prices are made with dynamic pricing and the more in demand an attraction is, the more it increases. For sure, the attractions cost more when the parks are the busiest, that means during holidays.
Usually, each Disney World theme park has 2 Individual Lightning Lane attractions each, and the rest of them belong to the Genie+ package of rides.
*(Disney has made a change at the moment and removed one Individual Lightning Lane attraction from each park and added it to the Genie Plus service through August 7, 2022.)
The rides that have been switched to Genie Plus are:
- Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
- Frozen Ever After (EPCOT)
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Hollywood Studios)
- Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom)
From August 8 and moving forward, these attractions will potentially move back to the Individual Lightning Lane selections. It’s also possible that some of them could be replaced in the Individual Lightning Lane lineup for other attractions, we’ll have to wait and see.
How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Attractions (STEP-BY-STEP)
Now let’s look at all the steps to purchase Individual Lightning Lane selections. Don’t worry, it’s really pretty simple.
STEP 1: Download & Update My Disney Experience
In order to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane attraction, you first need to download the My Disney Experience app on your mobile device. This is the app you use to access Disney Genie and make ride reservations, as well as other functions to help plan your day.
If you already have My Disney Experience, make sure it’s updated with the latest version of the app. This ensures you have all the latest features and that everything is running properly.
To update My Disney Experience manually go to the App Store on your mobile device, find My Disney Experience in the list, and download the update from there.
TIP: Make sure these steps are done BEFORE your trip to Walt Disney World so you don’t waste time trying to figure it out while on vacation.
STEP 2: Open My Disney Experience
Next, you need to log into My Disney Experience. When you do this step depends if you are staying off-site or on-site.
Staying at Disney World Resort Hotel – Starting at 7:00 am on the morning you will be visiting the Disney World theme park you can make Individual Lightning Lane reservations. We recommend opening My Disney Experience at 6:50 am. This will give you a few minutes to get familiar with the reservation page.
Staying Off-Site – If you are not staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, you need to wait until the park opens to make your Individual Lightning Lane selection. If that is 9:00 am, we recommend logging in 10 minutes early.
STEP 3: Open the Tip Board & Find Park
It’s possible you will get a screen that automatically pops up and prompts you to set up the free Genie. That looks something like the photo below.
Otherwise, go to the Tip Board. At the bottom right corner of the app navigate to the “Menu” button and click that. It’s the one with 3 horizontal lines.
That opens a new screen with boxes. Click the box on the top left that says: “Tip Board.”
To get to the Tip Board you also can hit the “+” button at the bottom middle of the Home Screen and tap “View My Genie Day and Tip Board.”
Once you are looking at the Tip Board, make sure you have the right theme park selected.
If the park selected is not the one you are going to that day, click the “Change Park” button and select the correct one.
STEP 4: Select Your Attraction
On this screen you can see all the attractions and shows at the theme park you are going to that day including the Individual Lightning Lane ride.
Scroll through the list of attractions until you find one you want to buy an Individual Lightning Lane pass for. The price per person and earliest available return time are listed.
If you want that attraction click the “Individual Lightning Lane” box.
STEP 5: Choose Time & Select Party Members
On the next page, you need to choose your return window. Search times by hour and then “Choose Your Preferred Time.” Select one of the available one-hour return times.
Make sure to click the button “Plans During This Time” to check your existing plans to avoid overlapping experiences too much. Disney does not prevent you from booking the Lightning Lane even if you already have dining reservations or Genie+ during that time so choose carefully.
Next, select all members of your party that want to purchase the Individual Lightning Lane for this attraction. Some members of your group will likely be pre-selected.
Remember, only buy it for members of your party who are riding it and skip it for anyone too short to ride, anyone physically ill, etc.
If you need to make changes to your party, click the “Edit” button to add or remove those guests.
Once finished, select “Confirm Party.”
Make sure all the correct guests are in the party and then click the “Continue” button at the bottom of the page.
STEP 6: Review Details and Pay
Once you confirm your time and party you will see a page with a summary of your order including the redeem time and party info.
Look at the order and if anything is wrong, hit the back arrow on the top left corner of the screen to go to the previous page to make the needed adjustments.
When you are finished, hit the “Continue” button at the bottom of the page.
The next page has your payment info. Select your payment method and agree to the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the page. You can pay for your purchase by Credit Card, Debit Card, Disney Gift Cards, or Rewards Redemption Cards.
Just like with Genie+, the original price does not include tax, and it is added to the final price.
Once you are finished, click the “Purchase” button at the bottom of the page.
When your purchase is complete you’ll be sent to a confirmation page and an email confirmation will be sent to your account. There is even a cute animation with children wearing Mickey, Minnie, and Donald Duck hats as they are passing by.
Click the “Continue” button to finish.
STEP 7: Redeem Lightning Lane Selection
When your reservation is complete, go to the “My Day” tab whenever you want to check what time your Lightning Lane selection is.
You can also see which Lightning Lane reservations you have booked by clicking on the “Tip Board.”
Guests have 1 hour to redeem an Individual Lightning Lane selection. For example, if the next available return time was 2:00 pm, you have from 2:00 to 3:00 pm to redeem it.
You also are given a 15-minute grace period in case you are running late, so you really have 1 hour and 15 minutes from the time your return time starts.
When your return window arrives, go to the attraction entrance and tap in using your MagicBand or park ticket on the touchpoint. When the touchpoint turns green, proceed through the queue.
If the light turns blue instead of green that means there is a problem. It could be that you are either too early for your reservation or too late. Just ask for assistance from a nearby Cast Member who will be glad to help you.
Some attractions have a second checkpoint later in the queue, and others only have the one at the line entrance.
It’s extremely important to make any Individual Lightning Lane selections first thing in the morning at 7:00 am. The most popular attractions fill up for the day even before the official park opening, and if you don’t book them early enough in the morning, they will run out of selections or you won’t be able to get the return time you want.
Try to decide the night before which attractions you will be purchasing with the Individual Lightning Lane so you can buy them right away in the morning.
Will Prices Increase in the Future?
Of course, the prices we’ve listed above for the Individual Lightning Lane attractions are only how high we’ve seen prices get SO FAR. We’ve seen prices fluctuate about $2-$3 from the highs to the lows, but as time goes on, you can expect the highs to be surpassed.
Since the Lightning Lane hasn’t been open for an entire year up to this point in time, we don’t know yet just how much prices increase throughout the year. It’s possible that the high prices will increase by another $2 by year’s end.
We’ll have a better read on the situation when the next holiday season arrives.
What we do know is that the prices will eventually go up. Looking at Rise of the Resistance over in Disneyland, the maximum price for the ride is $20 and it still sells out. If Disney decided to raise the price on ROTR in Hollywood Studios, you can be sure guests would still pay for it. Who knows, they may even be able to charge as much as $25 for it.
Selling Out & Hardest to Get
Most Individual Lightning Lane attractions will sell out at some point during a given day. This depends on the date you are visiting and how crowded the theme parks are that day. The most popular attractions will sell out first, sometimes within minutes of reservations opening up.
The hardest-to-get Individual Lightning Lane attraction to book is Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. That is the most popular ride in all 4 theme parks and it always has long standby wait times. Those factors make it sell out early in the morning each day.
Here is a list of the hardest-to-get attractions:
These are definitely the hardest-to-get for the Individual Lightning Lane and will likely sell out before the park even opens that day.
Other attractions like Space Mountain or Expedition Everest very rarely sell out, or at least not until late in the afternoon. Honestly, though, they aren’t worth spending the money on since wait times are not nearly as long as the more popular rides.
Future Individual Lightning Lane Attractions
The lineup of Individual Lightning Lane attractions is not static and Disney will modify it from time to time. At times they have already moved some of the attractions over to Genie+ when crowds get too much and they need more offerings on that service.
The lineup for Individual Lightning Lane attractions will also change in the coming years when more new attractions open up. These tend to be the most popular attractions since everyone is excited to ride and therefore make for good choices to use Individual Lightning Lanes.
The most obvious candidate is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT. When it opens in May it will no doubt become the most popular ride in the park and Disney would be crazy to not monetize it with the ILL.
To make room for Cosmic Rewind, we expect Frozen Ever After to move over to the Genie+ lineup of rides and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure to stay an Individual Lightning Lane selection.
At Disney’s Magic Kingdom the TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster is coming soon, and like Cosmic Rewind, that will be the most popular ride in the park, easily surpassing Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
This will also likely use the ILL and we expect Space Mountain to move over to Genie+.
As far as price, both of these rides will be on the level of Rise of the Resistance, and we predict will cost between $12-$15 per guest.
Be Careful of Overlapping Reservations
My Disney Experience doesn’t stop you from making Genie+ reservations and Individual Lightning Lane selections with overlapping return times. That means you could have 2 attractions booked for the same time slot which might be a problem.
You have 1 hour to redeem ride reservations for both systems, so most of the time it’s possible to do one, and then immediately go do the other attraction. Just make sure the physical distance between them isn’t too far and you can walk there in time for the second one.
Genie Plus also does not prevent guests from overlapping Lightning Lane selections with other plans like Advanced Dining Reservations, dessert parties, tours, or other experiences. That means it’s easy to accidentally book two experiences that overlap in the same time slot.
To prevent this from happening, make sure to look at your existing plans BEFORE buying an Individual Lightning Lane selection and choose time slots that are spaced enough time apart. Once you book your selection, you can’t change it, so choose wisely.
Cancellations & Refunds
Once you buy an Individual Lightning Lane reservation, you cannot modify or change that reservation in any way. You cannot change time slots or change your reservation to another attraction. You also cannot cancel your Lightning Lane reservation for a refund.
If you have an emergency that prevents you from using your Lightning Lane pass, you can see Guest Relations and ask if there is anything they can do to help. Please remember to always be polite and ask nicely.
What Happens If My Ride Breaks Down?
Unfortunately, from time to time some of the attractions break down during the day unexpectedly. So what happens if you have a Lightning Lane reservation for that ride?
If you have an Individual Lightning Lane pass when it breaks down, your arrival window will automatically be extended so you can ride that same attraction at any time during the same day.
As soon as the ride opens back up, or any time after that, you can get in the queue to ride it. This gets linked to your My Disney Experience account automatically.
What Happens If It Never Reopens That Day?
If for some reason the ride that you booked never reopens that day, you will be given a full refund for your Individual Lightning Lane purchase.
If for some reason Rise of the Resistance never reopens that day, you will be given a full refund for your Individual Lightning Lane purchase.
Conflict of Plans
What happens if the ride you booked comes back online but you can’t go because of existing plans like dining reservations? In that case, you may be able to get a refund, but it could be difficult.
If a Lightning Lane attraction reopens and you don’t come back to ride, you won’t be refunded your money. However, if you have a conflict of plans such as dining reservations and can’t make it back, you should talk to Guest Relations as they sometimes can get you a refund.
To avoid these complications, we recommend making your Lightning Lane reservations on the earlier side so you have more time in case of unexpected closures.
Rise of the Resistance and the Lightning Lane
Let’s say you are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and you want to skip the line for Rise of the Resistance. In that case, you will pay a one-time fee for a Lightning Lane reservation. You are given a return time at which time you will show up at the attraction to enter the ride.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the hardest Individual Lightning Lane attraction to book. The ride is so popular that it sells out for the day sometimes within a few minutes, or even seconds.
Using the standby queue at Rise of the Resistance is always an option, and you aren’t required to pay for it, but since wait times can be 3+ hours long, paying for an Individual Lightning Lane selection is a top priority for many guests.
In fact, of all the Individual Lightning Lane rides, Rise of the Resistance is the only one that makes sense to pay for and the only one we ourselves actually buy from time to time. We don’t like to pay extra, but we recognize it will save you a lot of time that you can then use for other rides.
Here are some things you need to know before you buy it:
Cost – Right now an Individual Lightning Lane selection for Rise of the Resistance costs $15 per person.
Stay On-Site – Walt Disney World Resort Hotel guests have the advantage when booking Rise of the Resistance since they have 7:00 am access to the system, whereas off-site guests must wait until the park opens. The problem is, on most days, by the time the park actually opens, all Lightning Lanes are already sold out for Rise of the Resistance that day.
Avoid Late Reservations – If you have a choice of times for Rise of the Resistance don’t book it too late in the day, it’s better to get a late morning/early afternoon return time. It often shuts down for maintenance issues, and if it happens late in the day, there is a chance it won’t open back up that day.
Do I Need to Purchase Genie Plus to Get an Individual Lightning Lane?
No, you don’t. The Genie Plus service is completely separate and you don’t need to purchase it in order to use the Individual Lightning Lane selections.
If you want to buy an Individual Lightning Lane attraction you are not obligated to buy Genie+ and vice versa. You can just pay for one ride and that’s it.
How Many Individual Lightning Lanes Can I Buy In One Day?
Each guest is limited to a maximum of 2 Individual Lightning Lane reservations per day. You cannot make more than 2 reservations for any reason, even if you are park hopping.
Let’s say you are planning to go to 2 theme parks on the same day. In theory, there are 2 attractions in each park with the Individual Lightning Lane service available, but you can’t buy 4 attractions.
If you buy 1 at the first park, you are limited to making just one more Individual Lightning Lane selection at the second park. If you use up both selections at the first park, you can’t make any more at the second park.
Can I Hold Multiple Lightning Lane Attractions at the Same Time?
Yes, you can. Each guest can hold a maximum of 2 Individual Lightning Lane attractions at the same time. Also, both reservations can be made one after the other with no waiting time in between.
Whatever number of Individual Lightning Lane selections you are planning to make on a given day, we recommend you make them both as early in the day as possible to ensure getting a reservation. If you are staying at a Disney World Resort Hotel, that means making your selections at 7:00 am. If staying off-site, that means making them at the park opening.
Can I Use Individual Lightning Lane While Park Hopping?
Yes, it’s possible to go Park Hopping at Disney World and use the Individual Lightning Lane. Guests are limited to 2 Individual Lightning Lane attractions per day, but they don’t necessarily have to be in the same park.
You can choose whether to make both reservations at the same park, one at each park, just one at one park, or no to make no selections at all.
Of course, you will need a park ticket with the Park Hopper option. This may or may not be for you depending on your park-touring style or your budget. You will also need a park pass reservation for the first park of the day.
You can make an Individual Lightning Lane selection for a ride at your first park of the day as early as 7:00 am. However, you won’t be able to make a Lightning Lane selection for your second park of the day until you are physically in that park, which can’t happen until 2:00 pm which is when Park Hopping starts at Disney World each day.
At that point, it’s likely that all Individual Lightning Lane selections will be sold out if you wait until 2:00 pm to book it. For that reason, it’s important to make your first park of the day the one that has the attraction where you are most interested in using the Individual Lightning Lane selection.
Can I Use the Lightning Lane with the Virtual Queue?
When the Virtual Queue is being used in Disney World, it’s still possible to use Individual Lighting Lanes at the same time. If you manage to book the same ride with both the Virtual Queue and Individual Lightning Lane, it means you can ride twice without having to wait in line.
The problem is both reservation systems open at 7:00 am. In that case, which one should you prioritize?
In our opinion, you should always prioritize getting into an attraction with the Virtual Queue over the Lightning Lane. The Virtual Queue is FREE to use, whereas you are going to have to pay to buy a Lightning Lane pass for it, and free is a much better option.
If the Virtual Queue sells out for that attraction before you can get a boarding group, then immediately try to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for it. (Follow the instructions we explained earlier in this post.)
The chances are slim that both the Virtual Queue and Individual Lightning Lane selections will both sell out within the first few minutes, so you should have enough time to at least get one of them.
That wraps up this step-by-step on how to buy Individual Lightning Lane attractions at Walt Disney World. We hope this helped you understand it more, we know it can be really confusing. Now hopefully, it will be a little easier for you on your next Disney vacation.
If you have any more questions about Lightning Lanes, ask us below and we will add them to the article.
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.
- Disney World Vacation Planning Guide
- Disney World Crowd Calendar
- When are the Best Times to Visit Disney World?
I want to know what you think about purchasing Individual Lightning Lanes at Disney World…
- Do you like Lightning Lanes?
- What changes would you like to see made to the system?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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