10 Best Genie+ Lightning Lane Rides at Magic Kingdom You’ll Love

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train” by Jennifer Lynn licensed under CC BY 2.0

Since 1999 Disney World has had three virtual queuing systems. The most current version, Lightning Lane, is a feature available with the new service Genie+. 

Since the announcement of Genie+ in August of 2021, Disney guests from around the world have been asking “What exactly is Genie+ and Lightning Lane?  And how do I use both properly to enjoy rides I love?”

Well, in this article, you will learn exactly what each of those services are, what other features are available with Genie and Genie+, and how to best maximize your time by viewing my personal list of the best Genie+ Lightning Lane rides at Magic Kingdom. 

What are Genie and Genie+? 

Genie and Genie+ are Disney’s new virtual queuing services (that you can utilize via your personal smartphone).  They were designed to replace the Fastpass+ system, a system that many years allowed you to skip the standby line of your favorite ride or attraction, thus saving you tons of time at the parks. 

Both Genie and Genie+ have similarities, as well as a few distinct differences.  Let’s begin by first breaking down what exactly the Disney Genie service is and how you can use it.

Now Disney’s Genie is a free service offered to all guests of Walt Disney World.  To use Disney’s Genie, you must make have a My Disney Experience account. And you can interact with My Disney Experience either on your computer or via your phone.

Genie has many different features that help you to personalize your page so Genie can give you the best recommendations possible. You can choose from either Marvel or Star Wars to begin, and then you’re eventually able to enter your favorite Disney World attractions and restaurants. 

Based on your personal preferences, Genie then will give you recommendations (in relation to the Disney World vacation experience) that you might want to try. 

This free service also allows guests to view attraction wait times, read the tip board, book dining reservations, and check walk up wait times at restaurants. 

This free version of Disney’s Genie also gives guests real time updates on their itinerary. A virtual assistant is also available to chat with guests about any concerns they have while at the park, as well. 

Disney has also set up Guest Experience Teams all throughout the park to assist guests who have questions concerning Genie and Genie+, so never fear if you have a problem or just find everything too confusing.  There will always be someone to help ease your concerns while you’re on vacation.

Genie+ and Lightning Lane

Genie+ is similar to Disney’s Genie, but Genie+ offers even more fun features.  The downside, however, is that Disney Genie+ comes at an extra cost. 

The cost of Genie+ is $15.00 per day, per person. For $15.00, you will get all the same features offered in the free Genie service, as well as fun features like augmented reality lenses and Lightning Lane. 

Now Lighting Lane is similar to the Fastpass+ system, because it allows guests to reserve the attraction they want do in advance.  While guests will always be able to wait in a traditional standby line for every single attraction, if you want the ability to skip past the line and save time waiting in a queue, you’re going to need Disney’s Genie+.

Why?  Because in order to skip the line like you did in the old FastPass+ days, you now must have a Lightning Lane reservation for the ride—and that can only be accomplished by using Disney’s Genie+ in the My Disney Experience app.

So for example—let’s say you want to enjoy Disney’s Haunted Mansion attraction at the Magic Kingdom.  But you don’t want to wait in the standby line, which can be somewhat lengthy at certain times of the day or year.  

Well, in this instance, you’d want to pay $15 for Disney’s Genie+, which will not only allow you to skip the line at the Haunted Mansion, but several other attractions at Disney’s Magic Kingdom too (we’ll get to that soon!).

Guests may only hold one Lightning Lane at a time and they can book a second Lightning Lane after they scan/use their Lightning Lane on the first attraction—or two hours after making the first selection. 

Whichever comes first. 

If the ride the guest has a Lightning Lane for shuts down during their return window, guests will be given an all-day window to return. Whenever the attraction comes back up, you may ride the attraction or can use it at a different ride as long as it is of a similar type. 

Once a Lightning Lane is used for an attraction, guests may not choose that attraction again. 

Lightning Lane vs. Individual Lightning Lane

So are you still with me?  I hope so.  Because there’s still one more layer of this wild Disney reservation web to go.

Why do I say that?  Well folks, we now arrive to what is termed Individual Lightning Lane attractions.  

Now individual Lightning Lane attractions are an add on service of $7.00 per attraction.  Paying this extra cost allows you to skip the standby line of very specific (and highly popular/busy) attractions that otherwise cannot be reserved via the $15 Genie+ and Lightning Lane service. 

Think of it as an a la carte option for the absolute, most popular attractions in the park. 

For example, let’s say you want to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios.  But you don’t want to wait 2 hours in a standby line.  Well, with this new system, you’ll now need to pay $7 per person (price is always subject to change, of course) to skip the standby line and book what was essentially a FastPass+ reservation.

Magic Kingdom Individual Lightning Lane Entrances

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain 

Magic Kingdom Lightning Lane Entrances With Genie+

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
Magic Kingdom Resort Hotels
Photographed by Michael of Countdown to Magic
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • 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

Keep in mind, there’s a reason these are called “Individual Lightning Lane” reservations. You do not need to pay for the Genie+ service first to have access to these.  Instead, you could simply choose (for example) to arrive at Disney’s Magic Kingdom with the plan of only paying the additional $7 to skip the standby line to ride Disney’s Seven Dwarfs’s Mine Train.  

After you complete that ride, you could then choose (if you want) to pay another $7 (for another Individual Lightning Lane reservation) to skip the Space Mountain standby line.  

Or, you could choose to pay $15 (to pay for Disney’s Genie+ service) to be able to skip the standby line of all 15+ attractions listed above.

Or, you could choose neither of those options, choose to pay no additional money at all, and simply wait in standby lines for every other attraction that captures your interest.

The benefit is that you’ll save a little bit of money.  The downside, of course, is that you’ll sacrifice a lot of your time.

There’s no right or wrong answer, especially if you’re traveling with a large group of people.  The choice is yours.

Genie+ vs. Fastpass 

A major difference between Genie+, Fastpass+, and Fastpass is that there is a charge for Genie+, whereas Fastpass+ was complimentary. 

Genie+ allows you to book your Lightning Lane attractions in advance, as Fastpass+ did. A positive effect of Genie+ is that since it is at an extra cost, the assumption is fewer people will use the service. That means the standby line should not be negatively affected because of Genie+. 

If there is a winner between Genie+ vs. Fastpass, it is Genie+. Although Fastpass and Fastpass+ were free options, Genie+ is the superior product. With Genie+ there is a 100 percent chance that guests will ride the attraction they want without having to wait five hours. The wait for Soarin has been over 5 hours before. 

With Genie+, guests are guaranteed to ride the rides they want to ride. So,  if they are going to the Magic Kingdom to ride all 3 mountains, they can ride,Splash Mountain,Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain guaranteed with Genie+. 

The other features offered by Genie are very helpful as well. Even veteran Disney guests can get overwhelmed planning a Disney vacation, which is why the itinerary planner and recommendations feature on Genie is beneficial. If there is a first-time guest, they can get a feel of the theme parks. The AR photo filter is a fun feature as well! 

Best Rides at Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom currently has over 40 rides and and attractions. There are over 15 Lightning Lane attractions available with the Genie+ service. With so many attractions available it can be difficult to decide which ones to see during your trip. This list of the best rides at Magic Kingdom available with the Lightning Lane service can help you narrow down the attractions you want to see. 

Peter Pans Flight

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Yes

When Magic Kingdom opened its gates for the first time in 1971, it had 23 attractions. Today the theme park has approximately 31 rides and attractions! Many of the best rides at Magic Kingdom are some of the original ones.

Prime example? Peter Pans Flight!

Peter Pan’s Flight” by HarshLight licensed under CC BY 2.0

Peter Pans Flight is one of the most popular attractions in the park and has seen very high wait times, making it a one of the best rides at Magic Kingdom to use a Lightning Lane reservation on. 

On this dark ride, you fly through London and off to Neverland with Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, and The Darling children (Michael, John, and Wendy), in a pirate ship similar to Captain Hooks. Peter Pan fights off Captain Hook and at the end of the ride, we see our hero, Peter Pan, on the Jolly Roger while Captain Hook is staving off Tic-Toc the Croc. 

Jungle Cruise

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Yes

Another classic Magic Kingdom attraction that is one of the best to do is The Jungle Cruise. The Jungle Cruise is now a feature film starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson, inspired by the attraction. The story behind The Jungle Cruise is that  you are on a boat tour with a skipper who is taking you through Africa and Asia while seeing animals along the way, all the while, your skipper is telling hilarious jokes and puns. Throughout the ride, you will pass audio-animatronic animals like elephants, monkeys and, hippos. 

During the holidays, The Jungle Cruise undergoes a transformation and becomes The Jingle Cruise. Holiday decorations are added to the ride, while the skipper adds some holiday humor and puns to his spiel. Wait times for this ride can get over 60 minutes and with the release of the new movie I can only assume the wait will just get longer. I would definitely use a Lightning Lane if you want to experience the Jungle Cruise. 

Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Yes

A newer attraction to the Walt Disney World family that makes the list of best rides in Magic Kingdom is Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, which opened in 2012 during the New Fantasyland expansion. In an area of Fantasyland now called, The Enchanted Forest, the ride begins with Scuttle, Ariel’s seagull friend, introducing himself and presenting the story of The Little Mermaid. 

You move through musical scenes from animated classics. Guests pass Sebastian singing Under the Sea with his crustacean band. The clam shell car then takes guests into the Kiss The Girl musical number. The clam shell-shaped ride vehicle even rides past Ursula’s lair as she’s stealing Ariel’s voice with flotsam and botsam! The ride exterior is stunning and looks just like Prince Eric’s castle from the film. 

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Yes

Also located in Tomorrowland is the attraction Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. This is a popular attraction for children of all ages. As you’re waiting in the line, Buzz Lightyear himself explains that you have joined the Star Command.

He tells guests that they must join the Little Green Aliens to stop the Evil Emperor Zurg from stealing all the batteries! Laser guns are attached to the ride vehicles that allows guests to shoot at Zurg’s Z’s. It doesn’t matter that Toy Story is over 25 years old, it is still extremely popular so using a Lightning Lane on this attraction is a good choice, 

Pirates of the Caribbean

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Yes

The next ride on the list of best Magic Kingdom rides for adults isn’t a thrill ride either. It is probably the most iconic ride in any Disney park, Pirates of The Caribbean. Over in Adventureland is where you will find this classic ride.

Photographed by Michael of Countdown to Magic

This is a classic, Disney boat ride that is a must-do for any Magic Kingdom guest. When entering the queue beware of the low and dark lighting. Also beware that this attractions theme song has the potential to get stuck inside heads for the whole day. 

“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me.” 

The whole day. 

There is a small 14-foot drop on the attraction. Pirates of the Caribbean added in a photo feature so now your picture is snapped right before the drop. The storyline goes, Jack Sparrow is hiding amongst a bunch of drunk and partying pirates from Barbossa, the villain in the first Pirates of The Caribbean movie. 

Jack Sparrow was not an original character to the ride and was created for the Pirates of The Caribbean film franchise. Wait times for this attraction can get very long, up to 90 minutes so using a Lightning Lane for it is recommended. The queue for this attraction is very dark so hold onto the hands of little ones so they don’t slip off into any of the pirate’s caverns. 

Space Mountain

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Not required
  • *Individual Lightning Lane Add-on required

Located in Tomorrowland, Space Mountain is an iconic Disney attraction. Many people believe it was an opening day attraction but, Space Mountain actually opened in 1975, four years after the park opened. It is the oldest operating roller coaster in the state of Florida! The white spires that sit atop the building that houses Space Mountain can be seen poking out from behind the trees as you drive up to the Magic Kingdom entrance. 

The ride is heavily inspired by the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, a science fiction film from the 1970s. The ride vehicles on Space Mountain are different than other ride vehicles at Disney coasters. These vehicles have six rows with one person in each row, similar to the Matterhorn attraction in Disneyland. Space Mountain doesn’t pick up much speed, just 27 mph. The track is also 90 feet high and, riders have to be at least 44 inches. 

Even though Space Mountain isn’t very tall or very fast compared to other coasters, it is thrilling because it is pitch dark in there. The track in front of you is invisible making it hard to predict which direction the coaster is going. Space Mountain is included with Individual Lightning Lane for an extra cost since it is a very popular ride. I would pass on this coaster if you have any sort of chronic pain. This old roller coaster will toss you around like you are Slinky-dog. It might be in your best interests to meet your family in the gift shop while they ride Space Mountain. 

Big Thunder Mountain

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Yes

Another Magic Kingdom mountain that is one of the best Magic Kingdom rides for a Disney adult is Big Thunder Mountain. This coaster, in Frontierland, doesn’t have a reputation as being the Wildest Wide in the Wilderness for nothing. Reaching top speeds of 35 mph, Big Thunder Mountain isn’t known for its speed but for its twists and turns as you ride on a runaway rail train during the gold rush of the 1800s. 

The attraction finally opened in 1980 after many stops and starts and delays. While riding on this crazy train, you will pass through caverns filled with bats and experience ‘flash flooding’.  The height requirement for Big Thunder mountain is 40 inches. The attraction aesthetic was inspired by Monument Valley, in Arizona and really makes you feel as if you are in the American Southwest.

Haunted Mansion

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Yes

Located in Liberty Square, The Haunted Mansion is a great ride for adults visiting the Magic Kingdom. Haunted Mansion isn’t a “thrill ride” but it doesn’t have to be, to be great. It is one of the most legendary rides in the Magic Kingdom. The creepy exterior was themed to look like a Tudor house in the Hudson Valley section of New York. 

While going through the mansion in a Doom Buggy, 999 happy will be causing trouble in the graveyard. They want to make sure you know there is always room for 1000. The Doom Buggy drives past different rooms in the mansion including a library filled with haunted busts of the authors, and the dining room where a dinner party is being hosted by none other than the Ghost Host.  

An illusion called Peppers Ghost is used in this scene. There are no height restrictions for this ride but there is a ‘chicken’ exit for those who get too spooked by the pre-show. If you’re brave enough to ride through the mansion beware of the hitchhiking ghosts who will follow you home! 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Not required
  • *Individual Lightning Lane Add-on required

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train  is a roller coaster located behind Cinderellas Castle in the new area of Fantaslyland called The Enchanted Forest. Although this ride takes you up, down, and around, it is a very smooth roller coaster and doesn’t give you the pain in your beck like Space Mountain does. 

The ride vehicles are unique and swing from side to side while speeding through scenes from the Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. This is a must do attraction and is on the Individual Lightning Lane list. If you have Genie+ service this ride is not included and does require an extra fee to use the service for this ride. 

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane: Yes

Based off the 1941 film, Dumbo the Flying Elephant was an opening day attraction and is still as popular today as it was in 1971. This classic Disney attraction is so popular that during the new Fantasyland expansion, Dumbo got a face lift! A water play area was added to there as well as a whole other Dumbo attraction. 

There are now two dumbo attractions side by side. Dumbo was so popular he needs two rides to accommodate all the guests  who want to fly with him. Even with two ride systems Dumbo the Flying Elephant can still see high wait times so it is a very good idea to use a Lightning Lane on this attraction. 

Best Magic Kingdom Attractions for Adults 

A lot of people are under the misconception that Magic Kingdom is just for children, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because there is not an abundance of thrill rides at Magic Kingdom does not mean an adult can not have a great time there. Magic Kingdom is the most famous theme park in the world for a reason there is something for everyone. 

Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover

If you are looking to get off your feet for a little while and out of the hot Florida sun, then the Tomorrowland Transit Authority is a good choice for you. This attraction has you riding in elevated vehicles to get a second-story view of Tomorrowland. This ride starts off very slow. Then the car makes a sharp left turn and, the blue vehicles pick up speed.

You’ll get a view of the new Tron Lightcycle Power Run track which is being built right behind Space Mountain (as of publishing this article), as well as a ride through Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin. If you are lucky to ride the Tomorrowland Transit Authority while the lights are on in space mountain, you’ll be able to see the track that is practically invisible during the ride.

Country Bear Jamboree

This is a very special attraction as it is the last one Walt Disney had a hand in venting. Big Al, Teddi Berra, and Liver Lips McGrowl join their comrade of bears as they sing classic country songs. What makes this one of the best Magic Kingdom attractions for adults

Well first of all, it is a show, so you get to sit down. Second, it is air conditioned. Third, it is a great, family friendly show with some jokes that go right over their headband right into yours. This is a must do for me every time I go to the Magic Kingdom. 

Swiss Family Robinson Tree House

Since The Swiss Family Robinson films aren’t relevant anymore, this attraction id due for a much needed face lift, but it is all a must do Disney attraction for adults. Little ones may begin to complain about climbing the steps, their feet will start to hurt, and they might have to be carried. That is why doing this attraction without children is probably a much more enjoyable experience, believe it or not. 

This is a classic Walt Disney World Attraction where you walk through the treehouse the  family made form the ship wreck salvage. It is a great way to add more steps onto your Fitbit as well.  

Parades and More

Magic Kingdom offers so much more than rides, they have world-class shows and entertainment as well. When walking down Main Street U.S.A there is a good chance that the Dapper Dans will be out singing to the patrons of Main Street. The Dapper Dans are a staple on Main Street. They are a classic barbershop quartet. They sing American and Disney classics such as Yankee Doodle Dandy and Mr. Sandman. 

Throughout the day a cavalcade of Disney characters rolls down the streets of Magic Kingdom. Depending on the time the cavalcade could feature Tinkerbell and her friends, The Disney Princesses, featuring Cinderella and Merida, Mickey and Minnie, and friends, or Goofy and the gang. Tinkerbell and her forest friends also make an appearance during the cavalcades. The characters are on floats and their feet as they greet guests along the parade route. 

At 8:55 AM daily at the Magic Kingdom, you can join your favorite Disney characters as they welcome you to the Magic Kingdom. Before the park officially opens, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and friends will meet you on the Castle stage to celebrate your arrival. To end your day, Magic Kingdom just debuted a brand new firework show for the 50th anniversary called Enchantment! This show features Disney magic, lighting effects, projections, and of course, an incredible firework display. 

The Future of Genie+

The Magic Kingdom is constantly expanding.  The two rides on the Individual Lighting Lane list right now (Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain) might not be the same two rides on this list in the future. And even though many people are hesitant about Genie+, I personally feel this service will decrease the standby wait times since fewer people will pay the premium price for Genie+. 

Genie+ is also a great option to add on if you are traveling with children or just doing an adults-only trip. Even though there is the assumption Walt Disney World is just for kids, there is something at the Magic Kingdom for everyone. 

FAQ

The Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions at Magic Kingdom are currently:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • it’s a small world
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • See Mickey at Town Square Theater
  • See Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • See Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • 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
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain

The quick answer is yes. The longer answer is no–not necessarily.

First, because Genie+ is a replacement to Disney’s Fast Pass system (which allowed you to skip long lines at your favorite attractions), the new Genie+ system does makes sense on the surface. But, Disney’s Fast Pass system was FREE, while Genie+ costs additional money (on top of your park ticket) to use it.

So, that complicates matters greatly.

In short, using Genie+ at Magic Kingdom is worth it in order to save you and your family lots of time at the theme park. It allows you to skip past long lines at more popular attractions, freeing you up to enjoy restaurants and parades and shows and more.

However, because Genie+ isn’t free like FastPass was, you now have to truly plan how you’ll use your time at the Magic Kingdom. Meaning, if you plan to only ride one or two attractions at the Magic Kingdom, and instead plan to use your time to visit gift shops, eat food, take pictures and watch parades, paying an additional $15 per person ON TOP of your park ticket cost might not make much sense.

Instead, save that money for something else and just accept the fact that you’ll have to wait in a 30 or 45 or 60 minute queue for some of your favorite (and more popular) attractions.

If you enjoyed this article on the ten best Genie+ rides at Magic Kingdom, please make sure to “like” our brand new Countdown to Magic Facebook page!

This was a guest post written by Molly.

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