by Wishes Diva
There seems to be plenty of opinions about the current “skip the line” system at Walt Disney World. We recently used the Genie+ and Lightning Lane system at Walt Disney World for the first time and there was a major learning curve. Overall our experience with the system was good, and I want to share some important things that I learned while using the system.
- The system will likely crash at 7 a.m. Going into this trip we had experience using the app for virtual queues at 7 a.m. but we were not prepared for the seriously slow loading app for Genie+ at 7 a.m. Each morning we were ready with our time.gov loaded to refresh just a few seconds before that magic 7 a.m. time hit, but every time we waited for that refresh to load it felt like ages. Also a few times it still showed us that times were not yet available despite it being after 7 a.m. So my advice is to keep refreshing and try to be patient. It can be frustrating but eventually will load for you!
- Refresh, refresh, refresh. This tip is good for any part of the day while using Genie+. The system does not allow you to select the time you want, rather just assigns you a time. This can be frustrating when something is not at a good time for you. We found through several days of use that if you keep refreshing over and over, chances are good that you will end up with a time that is more convenient for your party. This refreshing can be helpful on the main “Tip Board” page of your My Disney Experience app, or it can also be done between the “Confirm Your Party” screen and the “Review Details” screen. The refresh method can help even when rides say “Not Currently Offered” under their Tip Board section. We had several rides pop up as available after previously showing unavailable. This refresh works because other people change their plans and make modifications to their Genie+ selections so sometimes it is the luck of the day as to whether or not things will populate.
- Stacking times is crucial to get the most bang for your buck. So what is stacking? Stacking is essentially taking advantage of both of the two ways to book and use your Genie+. First, you will be able to book a new Genie+ time as soon as you tap in to your first selection. (Diva Tip: Most rides have two tap styles that all members of your party will need to tap in to before you can book a new attraction.) When you make your initial Genie+ reservation, my advice is to make it as early as you can to utilize a lot of rides early in the morning with close together Genie+ times. Second, you can start stacking Genie+ times at exactly 120 minutes after park open time. This will come in handy as eventually you will not be able to get times close to the current time and will want to start stacking things for later in the day. After you start using the 120 rule for the day, that is what you will follow going forward for the rest of your bookings.
Diva Tip: You can always check the app to see if you are available to book another Genie+ time by simply attempting to book. If you are eligible it will let you complete the process. If you are not eligible yet you will see a time listed under your name for when you will become eligible again. I checked this after every tap-in to a ride and then set an alarm on my phone so I would know when to book again!
- Individual Lightning Lanes are stressful. Even with being prepared by using the system in the past, booking things like Rise of the Resistance and Cosmic Rewind via the Individual (Paid) Lightning Lane is very stressful. We had several problems trying to get these times to load on our app despite it being after 7 a.m. and other Genie+ options loading fine. This made for a very stressful start to our morning. For the morning we wanted to book Rise of the Resistance it took us 13 minutes of refreshing before we were finally able to reserve a time for the attraction. This is where the patience and refreshing definitely paid off for us!
- You cannot adjust the time of reservations for shows. This was my biggest issue on our Hollywood Studios day. We wanted to be able to reserve times for shows using our Genie+ for later in the day after my kid’s nap times. The app would not let us change the show time. So we were stuck not using our Genie+ while we waited for the app to show the later show time availability for what we wanted. This can also be an issue if you’re wanting to use Genie+ and you are park hopping as there is no ability to select which show time you’d like to reserve.
Overall the Genie+ system, in my opinion, is worth the extra money to skip the lines. It allowed for our party of six, including two kids under 6, to wait no longer than 20 minutes for any attraction at all the parks we visited on our trip. I do suggest doing your research on Genie+ to ensure that you get the most out of your money!
If you’re looking for help planning your next Disney vacation, contact Patricia Payne with All for Dreams Travel for help with your travel needs. Patricia Payne is an independent agent with Gateway to Magic Travel, an Authorized Disney Travel Planner.