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Magic Kingdom Lightning Lanes & Genie+ Guide

If you are visiting Disney’s Magic Kingdom in 2023, you absolutely need to know how to use Genie+ during your visit.  Even if you don’t purchase it, this paid FastPass service will affect wait times and ultimately how you tour the park.

Magic Kingdom Genie+ Guide

In this post, we are going to explain everything you need to know about using the Genie+ service at Disney’s Magic Kingdom park in Disney World and skip the lines for your favorite rides there.

We’ll share which attractions use Genie+ at the Magic Kingdom and rank them all from best to worst.  Since you are paying extra for it, you definitely need to know which ones are worth using a Lightning Lane selection on and in what order you should book them.

While we will give you our ideal Genie+ itinerary when visiting the Magic Kingdom, it’s only a rough guide.  There are many factors such as weather, crowd levels, and attraction maintenance that will play a part in determining which Lightning Lanes you’ll actually be able to book.

Splash Mountain Magic Kingdom Genie+

Our hope is to give you the tools you need to build your own Genie+ plan and make a strategy that helps you have the perfect day at the Magic Kingdom.

Also, just because Genie+ is available at the Magic Kingdom, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth the extra cost, so we’re going to explain if it’s worth it to buy Genie+ at the Magic Kingdom or not based on your family’s needs.

This article is a reflection of our experiences using Genie+ at the Magic Kingdom.  It may not be in your personal budget or your touring style may not coincide with this paid FastPass service.  It’s also getting more and more complicated just to visit a theme park these days and we hope this will make your decision easier to make.

Don't wait to book Lightning Lanes at Disney World

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

Get Disney Genie Plus Service

Here is some basic info you need to know about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes before planning your day at the Magic Kingdom.  Again, reading the info in the links above will give you more details, but this section will get you started.

What Are Lightning Lanes?

Simply put, Lightning Lanes is the new name for the FastPass queues at the attractions in a Disney theme park.  They are different than the traditional standby queues, and if you have access to these lanes you can skip the lines and get on the ride with much less waiting time.

Of course, this convenience doesn’t come free and you have to pay for this service.  That’s where Genie+ comes in.

What is Genie+?

Magic Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane Jungle Cruise

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.

With Disney Genie+ guests pay a flat fee per guest, per day, which gives you access to the “Lightning Lanes Entrance” at a majority of attractions in a given theme park.  Once guests have the service, they can book reservations for individual rides at various intervals throughout the day.

This means guests will experience much shorter wait times in line for multiple attractions throughout the day. 

Just keep in mind, not all the attractions at the Magic Kingdom use the Genie+ service, but the majority of them are available.

Individual Lightning Lanes

It’s important to know that there are 2 attractions at the Magic Kingdom that are not part of the Genie+ service, but that are available for purchase a la carte.  This is a pay-per-ride service that lets guests skip the lines at select attractions, one ride at a time.

This is different from the Genie+ service which bundles up a large number of attractions in a park together for one price.

How Much Do Genie+ and Lightning Lanes Cost?

Genie+ Lightning Lane price

Disney Genie+ costs between $15-$29 per person, per day at Walt Disney World (plus tax).  Disney has introduced a date-based pricing system, so the cost can change according to demand on a day-to-day basis.

Prices for Individual Lightning Lane selections at the Magic Kingdom range from $7 to $12 per ride, per person.  Prices can vary depending on the season and the most popular rides cost the most.

A trip to Disney World is already an extremely expensive vacation, so adding Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes on top of the normal price means you will really have to take this additional cost into consideration when planning your trip.

What Time Can I Buy Genie+ at the Magic Kingdom?

You can buy Genie Plus for the Magic Kingdom starting at 12:00 am on the day you plan on visiting.  For example, if you are going to the Magic Kingdom on October 15, Genie+ is available for purchase at 12:00 midnight on October 15.

What Time Can I Make Genie+ Reservations?

Ursula Journey of the Little Mermaid Magic Kingdom Genie+

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.

Unlike the old FastPass service, you cannot choose a specific time slot with Genie+.  Instead, guests must take whatever the next available time for that attraction.  Reservations sell out in order, so the 9:00 am slots go first, then 9:30 am, etc.  Once reservations for that ride are gone, it is sold out for the day unless someone cancels a reservation.

We highly recommend that you make your first Genie Plus selection immediately at 7:00 am.  Some of the best 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 and you will have to wait in the standby line.

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?

Magic Kingdom Genie+ My Disney Experience

What time you can make Individual Lightning Lane selections at the Magic Kingdom depends on if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel or not.

Purchases for Individual Lightning Lane attractions at the Magic Kingdom 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.

Magic Kingdom Genie+ Attractions List

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Magic Kingdom Genie+

Before you can figure out your touring strategy at the Magic Kingdom, you need to know which attractions are part of the Genie+ package and which ones are Individual Lightning Lane selections.

Genie+ Attractions

Currently, there are 22 attractions using Disney Genie+ at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  Here is the updated list:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
  • Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

Remember, all of the above-listed attractions are part of the Genie+ package and are available for $15-$29 (plus tax) per person, per day at the Magic Kingdom.  You are not guaranteed to be able to book every one of these rides, but they are the ones to choose from.

Some of the rides on this list are only temporary, such as Space Mountain which could move back to being an Individual Lightning Lane attraction in the future.

Individual Lightning Lane Attractions

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Magic Kingdom

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

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain (Currently part of the Genie+ lineup of attractions)

Remember, Individual Lightning Lane attractions are not part of the basic Disney Genie+ service 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.

One difference is that you get to choose your return time for Individual Lightning Lane selections, whereas with Genie+ you need to take the next available window listed.

You also do not have to purchase the Genie+ service to be able to buy Individual Lightning Lane attractions, they are not mutually exclusive.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train queue Magic Kingdom Genie+

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Cost: $10-$12

Is It Worth It?: Generally, we don’t recommend buying a Lightning Lane pass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  It’s better to just rope drop the Magic Kingdom and make it your first attraction of the day.  If you do that you will probably be able to ride it with a 30-minute wait or less.

However, an Individual Lightning Lane can be worth it if you are visiting during extremely busy times like during the holiday period.  It also can be worth it if you can’t rope drop the Magic Kingdom when you visit as wait times can be 120 minutes or longer after the first hour of the day.

If you are trying to decide between buying Genie+ for the day or an Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs we think there is more value in Genie+.  The price is a little more expensive for Genie+ ($15-$25 vs. $12) but you can skip the lines in more attractions throughout the day which will save you more time in the end.

Again, in that case, rope drop Seven Dwarfs to get the lowest wait time.

Space Mountain Magic Kingdom Genie+

Space Mountain

*(Not currently an Individual Lightning Lane attraction)

Cost: $7

Is It Worth It?: No, it’s not.  In no circumstance would we recommend spending the extra money to buy a Lightning Lane pass for Space Mountain.  On most days it has wait times of less than 45 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes or less early in the day.

Instead of paying the extra money, we recommend making Space Mountain your second priority of the day and going straight there after rope dropping Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Unless you are extremely strapped for time, we don’t suggest making any Individual Lightning Lane purchases at the Magic Kingdom at this point in time.  Genie+ is a much better value because it gives you access to a group of attractions rather than spending almost the same amount of money for only one ride.

Best Genie+ Attractions

Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox in Splash Mountain Magic Kingdom Genie+

Even though it can save you a lot of time, Genie+ is still expensive, especially if traveling with your whole family.  So in order to get the most bang for your buck out of this service, it’s important to know which rides at the Magic Kingdom are the best choices when making Genie+ reservations.

Since you only have a limited number of attractions you can book each day, it’s important to use your selections on the ones that will save you the most time by skipping the queues. We’ve put all the attractions in 3 different tiers ranked by priority and given a description for each ride as it relates to Genie+.

Keep in mind this is not our list of the Best Magic Kingdom Rides & Attractions, that is a completely different topic. This is only about Genie+ priority.

Tier 1

In the first tier, there are two attractions.  These should be your priority when making Genie+ reservations because they are the first two rides to sell out for the day on a consistent basis. 

It’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to book both of them as reservations are usually gone before the Magic Kingdom even opens each day, so choose whichever one is a higher priority for you and do the other one in a standby queue later on.

Peter Pan's Flight Magic Kingdom Genie+

Pet Pan’s Flight – This is the iconic family ride in Fantasyland, and one of the most popular dark rides Disney has ever created.  Throughout the day, lines here are always long.  In fact, it’s rare to see the standby queue here drop below 60 minutes (most of the time it’s over 90 minutes).

It also has a lower ride capacity than others which means there aren’t many Genie+ reservations to go around.  All of this means it’s a perfect candidate for Genie+ and our number one choice when visiting the Magic Kingdom.

Jungle Cruise Magic Kingdom Genie+

Jungle Cruise – This is our second choice for Genie+, but only by a hair.  It’s a super popular ride, and it has become even more so after its recent refurbishment.  This timeless classic averages in wait times between 60 and 120 minutes depending on the day, making it a top priority.

One thing to keep in mind is that Jungle Cruise is a much longer ride than Peter Pan’s Flight, making it a bad choice to rope drop as your first attraction of the day or to use an early Genie+ selection on.  That makes Peter Pan’s Flight a slightly more attractive option imo.

You can really think of Peter Pan’s Flight and the Jungle Cruise as 1A and 1B when it comes to Genie+ selections.  Go with whichever one is more of a must-do for your family.

Tier 2

The attractions in Tier 2 are some of the most beloved at the Magic Kingdom and even though they don’t sell out quite as quickly, they are definitely a priority for Genie+.  Depending on how crowded it is when you visit, you will probably end up with 1 or 2 from this category.

Splash Mountain Magic Kingdom Genie+

Splash Mountain – We have this right behind the top 2, but not by much.  It is perhaps the most beloved of all Magic Kingdom rides, and when the weather gets hot, it has either the longest or second-longest wait times in the whole park.

If you can get one of the Tier 1 attractions plus Splash Mountain, your day can already be considered a success.  Try to avoid an early return time here as it’s not ideal to get soaking wet right at the beginning of the day.  If you pick it second, you will probably end up with a return time in the afternoon which is ideal for the heat.

Space Mountain – Even though it’s possible this is only included with Genie+ temporarily, Space Mountain remains an excellent use of a selection.  It’s still really popular with guests, but it doesn’t sell out as quickly as the attractions we’ve listed above it.

If you are rope dropping Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you can easily come here next without a long wait.  If that is the case, we recommend using your Genie+ selections on Splash Mountain first and that you even consider Big Thunder Mountain over it.

Big Thunder Mountain Magic Kingdom Genie+

Big Thunder Mountain – This is the third of the famed “Magic Kingdom Mountains” and a great ride for thrill-seekers but also whole families.  We don’t rank it quite as high as the others for Genie+ because standby wait times are not as long on average.  On most days it will be between 30-60 minutes and usually on the lower end if the park isn’t extremely busy.

There are enough reservations for this that it’s possible it will still be available when you are making your third Genie+ reservation of the day, and that is the best-case scenario.  It’s also helpful if you rope drop Fantasyland and Tomorrowland so you don’t have to worry about going to Frontierland until later in the day.

Haunted Mansion – Even though this is probably a top 2 or 3 ride at the Magic Kingdom in popularity, you don’t need to prioritize it that high for Genie+ because it has a ton of capacity, and wait times are not usually as long as the previously mentioned rides.

If you are visiting during the Halloween season, you may want to bump it up a couple of spots as it tends to be more popular at that time of the year.  Either way, it is one of the most detailed attractions Disney Imagineering has ever built and it makes a good #3 selection when you visit.

Festival of Fantasy Magic Kingdom Genie+

Festival of Fantasy Parade – Getting a Genie+ reservation here won’t save you any time, but it will get you into a reserved seating area offering superior views of the parade rather than just waiting on the sidewalk of Main Street U.S.A.

Using a Genie+ selection here though is very situation-dependent.  Some guests don’t care about the parade at all and are more focused on the rides.  In that case, you won’t use it here.  If on the other hand, you have small children and will be skipping some of the mountain rides, Festival of Fantasy is a good use of a Genie+ selection.

Pirates of the Caribbean Magic Kingdom Genie+

Pirates of the Caribbean – No matter how young or old you are, no visit to the Magic Kingdom is complete without riding Pirates of the Caribbean.  In fact, this is one of my all-time favorite attractions.

That said, it’s not incredibly important to use a Genie+ selection here.  It generally has low wait times (usually 30-40 minutes) and even in the busier seasons, it rarely runs out of reservation availability.  It’s a good choice for your 3rd selection of the day, but not before that.

Tier 3

Unfortunately, the majority of your Genie+ selections for the day will likely come from the 3rd tier.  These tend to be popular attractions, but not ones that are really a priority and you usually get to when you have time.

You will probably end up with 2-3 attractions from here, which is still useful and will save you time.  Try to plan them for when you are already doing some of the nearby rides so you don’t have to make a special trip all the way across the park to get here.

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin Magic Kingdom

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – This is a fun ride and definitely worth doing, but you shouldn’t prioritize it with Genie+.  It’s known to have wild swings in wait times and at certain points of the day it will be 60 minutes, while at other times 20.  

If you are visiting during the busy season it may be worth it, but don’t go out of your way.  If you are in Tomorrowland toward the end of the day, you will find low wait times making Genie+ optional.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – This makes for a nice 4th choice as it has the longest wait times of all the Fantasyland dark rides behind Peter Pan’s Flight, sometimes getting as high as 60 minutes when busy.

It’s also convenient to use Genie+ here because of the lack of shade in the standby queue which will feel excruciating on a hot day.  If you have small children not going on the thrill rides this may rank higher for you, but we consider it a solid choice later in the day.

it's a small world Magic Kingdom Genie+

“it’s a small world” – Usually this infamous attraction doesn’t have long wait times which means it won’t save you much time and it’s low on our priority list for Genie+ reservations.  It can be hit or miss however and recently wait times have increased over the historical average.  It is good as a 4th or 5th selection on the day, but don’t choose it any higher than that.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant – This is definitely the most iconic spinner ride at the Magic Kingdom and a must-do if you have small children.  That said, it’s not a priority Genie+ attraction since most of the time wait times are not too bad in the standby queue.  If you see wait times around 45 to 60 minutes for this ride in the days before your trip then it might be worth it as a late-day selection.

Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid – This is very similar to “it’s a small world” in that most of the time you won’t have to wait more than 30 minutes since it has a high hourly ride capacity.  It can be useful as one of your last reservation selections of the day when the crowds get higher.  Other than that it’s not a priority.

Princesses Character Meets Magic Kingdom Genie+

Princess Character Meets – The Magic Kingdom has added some character meets to the Genie+ attraction list but there isn’t much incentive to use a selection here unless meeting the princesses is your family’s #1 priority of the day.  Even in that case, you’d be wasting a selection if it were anything higher than your #4 choice so don’t rush to book it.

Mickey Mouse Character Meet – Just like the princess character meets, we don’t think it’s very wise to use a Genie+ selection at the Mickey Mouse character meet either.  Getting real photographers back as well as guests being able to hug and get autographs from the characters has increased wait times all around, but Genie+ should only be used sparingly here.

Worst Genie+ Attractions

Though you may want to go on these attractions during your visit to the Magic Kingdom, it’s rarely worth it to waste a Genie+ selection on any of them.  The wait times here are not long in comparison to others so you are better off just waiting in the standby line.

Any Genie+ selections on the following attractions should be as a last resort when all of the other higher priority attractions are already sold out for the day and you have no other choices.

The Barnstormer Disney World

The Barnstormer – This popular kiddie coaster often has long waits, but Genie+ doesn’t offer a good enough advantage to make this an early selection.  Unless this is the only roller coaster your children can ride, we’d probably skip this attraction altogether.

Tomorrowland Speedway – Most of the time, there is no need to use a Genie+ selection here as wait times are often under 30 minutes.  If it’s a busy time of year you may see wait times longer than that, but then again, wait times will be longer everywhere which means you are better off using a selection at one of the previously mentioned attractions.

Mad Tea Party – This is a fun ride if you don’t mind the extreme nausea it causes to all but the guests with the most iron-clad stomachs, but it’s not a good choice for Genie+.  This has on average the shortest wait times of any ride at the Magic Kingdom which means you aren’t getting any time savings here.

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin Magic Kingdom Genie+

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin – This is a less popular version of the Dumbo ride and not worth a Genie+ selection.  If you really feel the need to go on a spinner ride, you are better off waiting in line for Dumbo or Astro Orbiter.

Mickey’s Philharmagic – This is a 3D show full of clips from classic Disney animation and features some of your favorite characters.  Most of the time it’s a walk on and we like it as an attraction to do while you are waiting for your next Genie+ return time to be ready, not one that we’d use a selection on.

Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor – This is also an attraction that is walk-on most of the time so it just doesn’t make sense to use Genie+ as it won’t save you any time except on the busiest days of the year.

Genie+ Rides in Order of Priority

Astronauts in Space Mountain Magic Kingdom Genie+

Below we’ve ranked all the Magic Kingdom 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. Peter Pan’s Flight
  2. Jungle Cruise
  3. Splash Mountain
  4. Space Mountain
  5. Big Thunder Mountain
  6. Haunted Mansion
  7. Festival of Fantasy Parade
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean
  9. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  10. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  11. “it’s a small world”
  12. Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  13. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  14. Princess Character Meets
  15. Mickey Mouse Character Meet
  16. The Barnstormer
  17. Tomorrowland Speedway
  18. Mad Tea Party
  19. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  20. Mickey’s Philharmagic
  21. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor

Tips & Strategy

Magic Kingdom Genie+ Itinerary

Here are a few of the most important strategies when using Disney Genie+ at the Magic Kingdom.  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

We love sleeping in when on vacation as much as the next person, but unfortunately, Walt Disney World is not the place where that is going to happen, at least not if you are interested in getting the majority of rides done at the Magic Kingdom.

You need to start making Genie+ reservations at 7:00 am, right when they become available in the app.  Thousands of guests are all competing for a limited number of Lightning Lane passes for the best rides, and if you wait much past 7:00 am, you can forget about skipping the lines at the Jungle Cruise or Peter Pan’s Flight.

That means you will instead have to wait in the standby queues, which in some seasons could mean up to 2 hours for each of them.  Not ideal.

So don’t think you can sleep in and make your reservations on your way to the park.  Get up early and take care of this.

Refresh Often

Refresh strategy using Magic Kingdom Genie+

Often when you open My Disney Experience and look at the list of Genie+ attractions, you might not see exactly what you are looking for. But just because you do not see Genie+ reservations available for your desired attraction, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are out of luck.  One thing that can help is the “Refresh Strategy.”

Many times we’ve been looking for a specific attraction and after refreshing the app a couple of times it became available.  This is because other guests are booking rides at the same time and they change their minds and let go of the reservations they were looking at.  When that happens, they go back into the pool for everyone to snatch up.

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.

This is most effective around 7:00 am when reservations first become available or around every 2 hours after park opening (if the Magic Kingdom opens at 9:00 am, you may have some luck refreshing around 11:00 am when people are trying to make their next selection).

Best Times for Genie+ Reservations

it's a small world ride Magic Kingdom Genie+

Since you can’t pick your return times for Genie+ attractions and you are given the next available time slot, you shouldn’t worry too much about getting the best reservation times.

Yes, ideally, it would be nice to get some of the most popular attractions early in the day.  Remember, you have to wait 120 minutes to make your second selection of the day, or you can make another reservation as soon as you use your first one.  In theory, this means you’ll be able to book more Genie+ selections.

However, our advice is not to concentrate much on the return times, and just go for the highest priority attractions and take whatever you can get.  Rides like Peter Pan’s Flight or the Jungle Cruise are hard to come by and you should take whatever you can get.

Use Early Theme Park Entry

Early Entry at Magic Kingdom Genie+

One way Walt Disney World Resort guests have a big advantage over other guests is by using the Early Theme Park Entry.  This lets you get into the Magic Kingdom 30 minutes earlier than other guests which is a big help when rope dropping.

Rope dropping is when you show up at the park before the park officially opens which we always recommend, but this is even better because you can get in 30 minutes before that.  It may not seem like a big deal, but it can make a huge difference and help you get a couple of the most popular attractions done right away.

For example, if the Magic Kingdom opens at 9:00 am Early Theme Park Entry starts at 8:30 am.  However, they start letting people in the park much earlier than that, sometimes around 7:45 am.  

For that reason, if you are 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 near the entrances to Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.

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

Try Stacking Reservations

Magic Kingdom Genie+ app

Stacking Genie+ reservations 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, if you do not rope drop the park and/or show up later in the day, stacking is what you want to do.  This is especially true if you are going to another park in the morning and then park hopping to the Magic Kingdom later in the day.

If you have a few Genie+ reservations all lined up in the afternoon, it means you can skip the lines right when wait times are the longest.

Again, you can’t really choose your own attraction return time, but if you are going for the most popular rides at the Magic Kingdom, it’s only natural that they will fill up early and many will only have availability later in the day anyway.

Magic Kingdom Touring Examples with Genie+

Walking down Main Street U.S.A. Magic Kingdom Genie+

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

Keep in mind, these are just examples of what is realistically possible on a given day at the Magic Kingdom, but your experience may vary from ours if you are visiting during a busier than normal time of the year or if some attractions are down that day.

Genie+ attractions will also sell out more quickly on some days depending on how many people are using it, so the number of selections you can make will probably vary between 4-7.

We are going to give you 2 sample 1-Day Magic Kingdom itineraries using Genie+, one only using Genie+ and the other incorporating Individual Lightning Lanes into the plan.  Many of our choices can be switched around easily based on your preferences.

With Only Genie+

In this touring plan, we are assuming the Magic Kingdom is opening at 9:00 am (8:30 am for Early Entry), and the Disney Enchantment fireworks show starts at 9:00 pm.

6:45 AM – Purchase the Disney Genie+ service ($15-$29 + tax) and select ride and experience preferences in Tip Board on My Disney Experience.

7:00 AM – Book Peter Pan’s Flight with a Lightning Lane return window of 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

7:45 AM – Get in line outside the Magic Kingdom for Rope Drop.

Rope Dropping Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Magic Kingdom Genie+

8:30 AM – Rope Drop Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

8:50 AM – Run to Space Mountain and do it via standby queue.

9:15 AM – Do Astro Orbiter via standby queue.

9:40 AM – Head to Fantasyland and ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh via standby queue.

10:10 AM – Ride Peter Pan’s Flight via Lightning Lane. Upon tapping into the ride book Jungle Cruise as your next Genie+ with a return time of 12:40 pm – 1:40 pm.

Haunted Mansion entrance Magic Kingdom

10:30 AM – Do Haunted Mansion via standby queue.

11:05 AM – Do “it’s a small world” via standby queue.

11:40 AM – Do Pirates of the Caribbean via standby queue.

12:05 PM – Have lunch at Skipper Canteen in Adventureland

Brer Bear wanted sign Splash Mountain Magic Kingdom Genie+

12:10 PM – Make 3rd Genie+ selection after the 120 minutes are up from previous booking at 10:10 am.  Book Splash Mountain with a Genie+ return time of 3:15 pm to 4:15 pm.

1:20 PM – Ride the Jungle Cruise using the Lightning Lane selection made earlier in the day.

1:50 PM – Watch the classic show Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room via standby queue.

2:10 PM – Make a Lightning Lane reservation for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with a return time of 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

Dole Whip at Aloha Isle Magic Kingdom Genie+

2:15 PM – Stop at Aloha Isle for a Dole Whip, one of Walt Disney World’s most iconic snacks.  In fact, a lot of your time in the afternoon should be spent enjoying some of the Best Magic Kingdom Snacks so make sure to do your research ahead of time!

2:35 PM – See the Country Bear Jamboree, a Magic Kingdom classic.

3:15 PM – Redeem your Lightning Lane selection and ride Splash Mountain

3:45 PM – Take a break from the hot sun and watch Mickey’s Philharmagic

4:10 PM – Make 5th Genie+ Lightning Lane selection and book Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid with a return time of 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm.

Magic Kingdom Rides Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor

4:25 PM – See Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor via standby queue.

5:05 PM – Ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin via standby queue.

5:35 PM – See Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, our favorite Disney show of all-time.

6:05 PM – Ride Tomorrowland Speedway via standby queue.

6:10 PM – Make 6th Genie+ reservation for The Barnstormer with a return time of 8:15 pm to 9:15 pm.  By this time, most Lightning Lane reservations are sold out for the day and you likely won’t be able to get another one.

Big Thunder Mountain entrance Magic Kingdom Genie+

6:40 PM – Redeem Lightning Lane selection and ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

7:05 PM – Have dinner at Pecos Bill’s Tale Tale Café in Frontierland.

7:40 PM – Redeem Lightning Lane selection and ride Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid.

8:15 PM – Redeem Lightning Lane selection and ride The Barnstormer.

8:45 PM – Grab a last-minute spot in Fantasyland to watch the Disney Enchantment fireworks show.  This is an underrated location with scenic views of the show from behind Cinderella’s Castle.

Fireworks at Magic Kingdom

9:20 PM to 11:00 PM – If the Magic Kingdom is open past 9:30 pm on the night you are visiting, this is a chance to ride any attractions you didn’t get a chance to do during the day, or re-ride some of your favorites.  Crowds start to dissipate once the fireworks are over making it a great time to ride the popular attractions.

In our sample day we didn’t do the Princess or Mickey Mouse character meets, the Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, The Hall of Presidents, or The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  If you feel the need to do those, be my guest.  

However, I would use this time to re-ride some of the Best Rides in the Magic Kingdom such as Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (make sure to do the PeopleMover though since it’s a classic and much better experienced at night).

  • TIP: If for some reason you didn’t get a chance to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train due to the extremely long wait times during the day, or you want to ride it a second time, we recommend getting in line here at 10:55 pm, 5 minutes before park closing for what should be a walk-on with less than a 20-minute wait.

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

With Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes

Train Station at Magic Kingdom entrance

Like in the previous itinerary, in this touring plan, we are assuming the Magic Kingdom is opening at 9:00 am (8:30 am for Early Entry), and the Disney Enchantment fireworks show starts at 9:00 pm.

On top of Genie+, we also are purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

6:45 AM – Purchase the Disney Genie+ service ($15-$29 + tax) and select ride and experience preferences in Tip Board on My Disney Experience.

7:00 AM – Book Jungle Cruise with a Lightning Lane return window of 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

7:01 AM – Book an Individual Lightning Lane pass for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with a return time of 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm.

7:45 AM – Get in line outside the Magic Kingdom for Rope Drop.

Captain Hook and Croc Peter Pan's Flight Magic Kingdom Genie+

8:30 AM – Rope Drop Peter Pan’s Flight via standby queue.

8:40 AM – Go to Big Thunder Mountain and ride via standby queue.

9:05 AM – Ride Splash Mountain via standby queue.

9:35 AM – Ride Pirates of the Caribbean via standby queue.

10:05 AM – Redeem Genie+ selection for Jungle Cruise and ride via Lightning Lane.  Once you tap into the ride, book your 2nd Genie+ attraction, Space Mountain with a return time of 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm.

Magic Kingdom Early in the morning with Genie+

10:35 AM – Ride “it’s a small world” via the standby queue.

11:10 AM – Have lunch at Be Our Guest restaurant.

12:05 PM – Book 3rd Genie+ attraction, Haunted Mansion with a return time of 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

12:20 PM – After a big lunch, see Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress via standby queue.

12:50 PM – Redeem Lightning Lane selection and ride Space Mountain.

1:15 PM – Watch Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor via standby queue.

Riding Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Magic Kingdom Genie+

1:45 PM – Ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train via Genie+ Lightning Lane selection.

2:05 PM – Book 4th Genie+ selection, Festival of Fantasy Parade which gives you a reserved viewing section.

2:10 PM – Ride Tomorrowland Speedway via standby queue.

3:00 PM – Watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade from a reserved seating location using Genie+ reservation.

3:20 PM – Get a Citrus Swirl from Sunshine Tree Terrace, or any other Magic Kingdom snack you are craving.

Enchanted Tiki Room Disney World

3:40 PM – Watch Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room via standby queue.

4:05 PM – Book 5th Genie+ selection, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh with a return time of 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

4:10 PM – Watch Country Bear Jamboree via standby queue.

4:35 PM – Ride the Haunted Mansion via Lightning Lane queue.

Mickey's Philharmagic Magic Kingdom

5:00 PM – See Mickey’s Philharmagic via standby queue.

5:35 PM – Ride Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid via standby queue.

6:05 PM – Book 6th Genie+ reservation, Dumbo the Flying Elephant with a return time of 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  By this time most Genie+ reservations will be sold out for the day.

6:10 PM – Watch The Hall of Presidents via standby queue.

Eating at Columbia Harbour House Magic Kingdom

6:40 PM – Have dinner at Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square.

7:10 PM – Redeem your Genie+ selection and ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

7:30 PM – Ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant via standby queue.

7:50 PM – Grab a spot in front of Cinderella Castle for the Disney Enchantment fireworks show.

9:00 PM – Watch Disney Enchantment.

Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover robot scene

9:20 PM to 11:00 PM – As we explained in our other Genie+ itinerary, hopefully, the Magic Kingdom is open until 11:00 pm which will give you a chance to ride any attractions you didn’t get to during the day or re-ride your favorites once the crowds die down.

In our sample day, we didn’t do the Princess or Mickey Mouse character meets, the Mad Tea Party, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, The Barnstormer, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, or The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  Make sure to do the ones that interest you most after the fireworks.

Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin Magic Kingdom Genie+

9:20 PM – Ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin via standby queue.

9:45 PM – Ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover via standby queue.

10:05 PM – Re-ride Big Thunder Mountain via standby queue

10:25 PM – Re-ride Splash Mountain via standby queue

10:55 PM – Re-ride Pirates of the Caribbean via standby queue

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

Country Bear Jamboree Magic Kingdom

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

Which Genie+ Should I Book First at Magic Kingdom?

It’s clear that your first Genie+ reservation choice at the Magic Kingdom should either be Peter Pan’s Flight or the Jungle Cruise.  Both of these rides are the first to sell out each day and have extremely long wait times in the standby queue.

These two are in a tier above all other attractions and should be given priority when booking your Lightning Lane choices.

The ideal situation is you can book one of these two attractions right at 7:00 am with a return time between 9:00 am and 10:00 am.  If you are able to do that, you will likely be able to book a Genie+ reservation for the other attraction for sometime later in the day.

As long as you get a morning return time, whichever one of the two you book you should plan a rope drop strategy around other attractions on that side of the park.  This will save lots of time and help you get the most done possible.

Park Hopping with Genie+?

Walking into Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom Genie+

The Disney Genie+ service actually works great when park hopping and can give you a big advantage when moving to a second park for the day.

Our best strategy when combining Genie+ and park hopping is to rope drop the first park of the day and get as many of the big attractions done as soon as possible.  In the meantime, start booking Genie+ reservations at the second park.

The reason this works is because the theme parks are always busier in the afternoon and if you try park hopping to a second park during that time, you are likely to run into very long lines for most attractions.  

Remember, park hopping doesn’t begin each day until after 2:00 pm, so even if you wanted to go earlier you can’t.  That’s where Genie+ comes in.  If you start making Genie+ lightning lane reservations for the second park starting early in the morning, you can stack up reservations for 3 or more attractions that will just be there waiting for you to ride, right when that park is at the busiest part of the day.

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

What About Magic Kingdom Special Events?

Magic Kingdom Liberty Square

The Genie Plus service does not work with special events at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, it’s only available during normal park hours.  That means Genie+ is not available during early morning events (Early Theme Park Entry) or after hours events (Extended Evening Hours, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, etc).

If you are visiting the Magic Kingdom during normal hours on a day when there is a special event in the evening, Genie+ is not worth it.  If regular park hours are shorter, it means there will be fewer attractions available with Genie+, which means you won’t get as many reservations as normal and not as good a value for your money.

Do Ride Reservations Run Out at the Magic Kingdom?

Magic Kingdom Rides sign

Yes, they do.  Genie+ selections are “first come, first served,” and almost all attractions at Disney’s Magic Kingdom sell out every day, and the most popular ones can sell out only an hour or two after park opening.

At the Magic Kingdom, the attractions that typically sell out first include Peter Pan’s Flight, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean, just to name a few.

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.

Again, that’s why we highly recommend prioritizing which attractions are most important to you at the Magic Kingdom and then book those ones first.  If one of your choices is sold out, go to the next most important one on your list.

Is Genie+ Worth It at Disney’s Magic Kingdom?

Frontierland in Magic Kingdom Genie+

Of all the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, it makes the most sense to buy Genie+ at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  This is where you will get the most value for the cost if you choose to buy it.

The reason why Genie+ is worth it at the Magic Kingdom is that there are more than 20 attractions that use the Lightning Lane which means there are plenty of reservations to choose from and reservations last late into the day.  There are also even more attractions not included with Genie+ that also soak up some of the guest capacity.

This isn’t the case at other parks like EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom where there just aren’t enough attractions to make it worth the extra cost.

What also makes Genie+ nice at the Magic Kingdom is that there are plenty of attractions without height requirements which means Genie+ can be worth it even if you have small children that aren’t going to ride any of the roller coasters.

So, is Disney Genie+ worth it at the Magic Kingdom?  Yes, absolutely, and more than any other park.

What to Do If You Don’t Purchase Genie+

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin Adventureland Disney World

While we recommend Genie+ at the Magic Kingdom, it’s not 100% necessary to still have a good time.  If you decide that Disney Genie+ is not worth it for your family we have some alternatives that will help you tour the parks in the most efficient way possible.

Rope Drop and Use Early Theme Park Entrance

These two things are important even when using Genie+, but they are vital if you don’t purchase it.  We already explained how rope dropping the Magic Kingdom gives you a decisive advantage over late risers, and you really need that extra time without Genie+

The first 2 hours of the day are when wait times are at their lowest all day, so make sure you are there and ready to go.

Extended Evening Hours

If you aren’t an early riser, another option you can look into is Extended Evening Hours at the Magic Kingdom. This allows guests staying at one of the Disney Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort hotels extended access to the Magic Kingdom on select nights. Currently, that is mostly on Wednesdays.

2 extra hours at the Magic Kingdom is a lot, and since only Deluxe Resort guests can experience it, you get much more benefit out of it than you do from Early Theme Park Entry. This is the lowest you will see wait times throughout the day so if you can, use it.

Read our Guide to Extended Evening Hours for more details.

Plan 2 Days

Journey of the Little Mermaid Magic Kingdom Genie+

There are more attractions at Disney’s Magic Kingdom than any other Walt Disney World theme park with 22 of them that use Genie+.  Ultimately, that means you are not going to be able to do them all in one day, or at least it will be very, very difficult to pull off.

That’s why we recommend planning 2 days at the Magic Kingdom.  This will give you way more time to get all the attractions and shows done without having to be in a huge rush the whole time.

If you do this, you don’t have to buy Genie+ for both days.  In fact, you really don’t have to buy it for either day if you are trying to save money, and you can still get all the major rides done.

Future of Genie+ at the Magic Kingdom

view of the TRON Lightcycle Run construction site

Even though the current selection of Genie+ attractions at the Magic Kingdom is set for now, Disney is going to modify it as time goes on.  It’s not static and there could be some big changes in the future.  

For example, when Genie+ first launched, Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train were the two Individual Lightning Lane selections, but since Space Mountain has moved over to the Genie+ lineup of attractions, at least for now.

After that Space Mountain will likely move back to ILL, but perhaps only for a short period of time.  The TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster is the new E-Ticket attraction opening soon at the  Magic Kingdom, and when it does it’s certainly going to be an Individual Lightning Lane attraction.

When that happens, we could easily see Space Mountain moving back to Genie+.  It’s also possible that this summer Disney decides to leave Space Mountain as a Genie+ permanently.  A lot depends on Genie+ demand and how much it needs from the inventory of other attractions.  They may just decide to only keep one ILL attraction and keep the rest as Genie+.

TRON is the only real new attraction we know about coming to the Magic Kingdom, but you can be sure that in the future when more attractions open up, they will either be introduced into the Genie+ lineup, or other attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will eventually move over.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as there are any changes.

That wraps up this step-by-step on how to buy Genie+ and use it at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  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 Disney’s Magic Kingdom…

  • 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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