If you’re heading to Hollywood Studios, you’re definitely going to want to make sure you are implementing the best Genie Plus strategy for Hollywood Studios. This is important, because if you don’t implement a good gameplan, you might not get to enjoy all of your favorite rides and shows. So without further ado, let’s jump right into the strategy you’ll want to employ.
Best Genie Plus Strategy for Hollywood Studios
Let’s begin by how you should plan out your morning at Hollywood Studios.
Since you’re looking to hit most (if not all) Hollywood Studios attractions, plan on being at the park bright and early. If you’re staying on property, or at select other hotels, you’ll be guaranteed early entry to Hollywood Studios, which is 30 minutes prior to the park opening. Trust me, you’ll want to take advantage of this!
If Rise of the Resistance is on your “must ride” list, you’ll want to make sure that you purchase a Lightning Lane pass as soon as you wake up on your Hollywood Studios day. Rise of the Resistance is an extremely popular attraction and Lighting Lane does have the potential to sell out. Having this Lightning Lane will allow you to cut down your wait time significantly, as the wait times for Rise of the Resistance are often an hour or more. I recommend taking a time between 2:00pm and 3:00pm, if possible.
Now that you’ve got your time for Rise of the Resistance, go ahead and make your Genie+ selection for some of the park’s other popular attractions. I recommend your first Genie+ selection be for Slinky Dog Dash (try for late morning, sometime between 10:00am-11:00am). Behind Rise of the Resistance, this is often the second most sought after attraction in the park, a crowd favorite among the kiddos and grown-ups alike!
With those two things done, you’re ready to head in! Head straight down Hollywood Boulevard towards the Chinese Theatre and hop into the standby line for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Once you’ve had the chance to ride, make your way over to Toy Story Land.
Now if you didn’t get a Slinky Dog Dash Lighting Lane for the morning, don’t worry! You can easily make your way back here at that time, since Hollywood Studios isn’t too big. Once in Toy Story Land, you’re going to stand by for Toy Story Mania, and Alien Swirling Saucers (if you’re Slinky Dog time is before, or between these two that is perfectly okay!)
As soon as you tap into line for Slinky Dog Dash, go ahead and open your MyDisneyExperience App to make your next Lighting Lane reservation while you wait! I suggest making a Lighting Lane reservation for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. (A quick note about Smuggler’s Run: This ride has a single rider option. So, if you’re party is okay with splitting up, you can easily hop into the single rider queue, have a shorter standby wait, and use your Lightning Lane selection for another “must do attraction.” I’ve waited in single rider with a party of 2 and 3 and as luck had it, we rode together both times – so you never know what will happen!)
You probably worked up an appetite exploring (and riding!) in Toy Story land. Don’t forget to check out Woody’s Lunch Box where you can find the sweet lunch box tarts, or the savory BBQ Brisket Melt.
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You’ll start off your afternoon heading into Galaxy’s Edge. Since you’ve got that Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance (and maybe even Smugglers Run) take your time taking it all in! I love Galaxy’s Edge for its incredible attention to detail, random character appearances and great photo ops! Head over to The Milk Stand to find out if you’re team blue milk or green milk, and follow that up with the sweet and savory popcorn at Kat Saka’s Kettle. I’ll also add here that if you plan your reservations in advance and happen to get into Oga’s Cantina, it’ll transform you right into the Star Wars universe!
If you used your Lighting Lane for Smugglers Run, be sure to make your next selection once you tap in! I suggest an evening time (after 5:30pm) for either Tower of Terror or Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster (whichever your party is most enthusiastic about). Note: Tower of Terror has a single rider option.
You’ve checked out two of the latest and greatest additions to Hollywood Studios! It’s time to spend the rest of your afternoon enjoying the different attractions. As you make your way out of Galaxy’s Edge, hop into the standby line for Star Tours. After that, plan on going to Muppet’s 3D, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, and the Indiana Jones Student Spectacular (a nostalgic favorite of mine that’s been in the park since 1989!). Use this time to get photos with your favorite characters, as well! Olaf is regular start at Celebrity Spotlight, along with Hollywood Minnie and Fantasia Mickey.
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Your evening will bring you to Hollywood Boulevard, where you’ll head to the 5:00pm (and last) showing of Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage. This show has been here for years; it’s nostalgic and charming still. Once you’ve done that, use your last lightning lane reservation (you likely choose Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror). After that, hop in standby for whichever attraction you did not have a lighting lane for! Since it will likely be approaching dinner time (and bedtime for the younger park goers), hopefully the stand by isn’t too long of a wait!
If you’re planning on a sit-down meal at Hollywood Studios, I recommend grabbing a reservation after 7:00pm at the Hollywood Brown Derby. The Cobb Salad is spectacular – trust me on this. For dessert, Make some time here to pop over to Municiberg for Jack Jack’s “Num Num Cookie”, its delightful!
You’ll have that sweet treat just in time for the Wonderful World of Animation at 9:00pm before closing down the park!
Genie+ Attractions with Lightning Lane Entrances
Let’s also take a macro viewpoint of this park and cover all of your options here. Hollywood Studios has seen a lot of changes over the years. The addition of Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge have reinvigorated this park, as it now home to some of Disney World’s most popular attractions! Like Epcot, it’s not impossible to get to everything in one day, so if that one day is all you have, Genie+ is going to be a great tool in getting everything checked off your list!
The following attractions offer Lightning Lane entrances through Genie+:
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
- Disney Junior Play & Dance!
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
- Meet Olaf at Celebrity spotlight
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
- Muppet Vision 3D
- Rock n’ Rollercoaster Starring Aerosmith
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania!
The only attraction (at least at the time of publication of this article) that isn’t offered through the Genie+ service, and instead requires an additional individual Lightning Lane purchase is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Rise of the Resistance is the only Individual Lightning Lane that can be purchased at Hollywood Studios, and could very much be worthwhile if there are any Star Wars fans in your party and you want to reduce the time you’re waiting in line for what has now become the park’s most popular attraction. You can expect a paid Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance to cost about $15. Note: There is no virtual queue option for this attraction.
I’ve often seen online questions by newcomers to Disney World: can you do Hollywood Studios in one day? Well, I think you certainly can, and I think it becomes exponentially easier if you’re able to follow the best Genie+ strategy for Hollywood Studios available anywhere on the internet (in my humble opinion, of course).
Is Genie+ worth the $15 per person, per day, price tag? Well, that’s of course a personal question that only you can answer for yourself. What I will say is that, if this is your first (and perhaps only) trip to Disney World—go for it. It’s certainly a useful tool, and you’ll end up saving time in the long run.
This article was written by Patricia and edited by Michael.
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