Cinderella Castle 50th Day
  • On Apr 10, 2022
    Frank from CA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    With only being able to make one reservation at 7:00am with Genie+, what do you suggest if we also arrive when the park opens? Should we choose to do a popular individual paid lightning lane first, or save that for later? Any tips on that?

    Mouseke hey, Mouseke hi, Mouseke ho, Frank!

    When it comes to planning your upcoming Walt Disney World Resort vacation, I can tell you're a thinking and a solving working througher. Plotting Disney logistics is a hobby of mine and I would love to share my top tips for maximizing the magic on your park days.

    With Disney Genie+ service, I recommend being on the Tip Board in your My Disney Experience mobile app (three small lines at the bottom right of the home screen --> Tip Board) ready to book your first Lightning Lane attraction at 7:00 a.m. sharp. My recommendations for your first Genie+ Lightning Lane selection at each park are based upon the approximate time saved by not waiting in the standby queue as well as an attraction's likelihood to run out of return times. Those attractions are Space Mountain*, Jungle Cruise, or Peter Pan's Flight at Magic Kingdom park, Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway*, Slinky Dog Dash, or Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Frozen Ever After* or Test Track at EPCOT and Na'vi River Journey or Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom park. The attractions marked with an asterisk appear on the list of Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions instead of the Individual Lightning Lane attractions list through August 7.

    Keep in mind that you are required to select the next available arrival time when booking a Genie+ Lightning Lane attraction. This means your first one-hour arrival window could begin at 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., or even later. I encourage you to choose magic and remain flexible on your park days. If your first Lightning Lane selection is more than two hours after park opening, or a subsequent Lightning Lane arrival time is more than two hours after the booking time, you are given a time when you can make an additional Lightning Lane reservation. If/when this happens, set a timer on your phone so you don't forget. You don't want magical distractions to interfere with Genie's phenomenal cosmic powers! 

    Honing in on your question, Frank, I highly support your desire to arrive when the park opens. This strategy is known as "rope drop." Standby wait times are historically the lowest right when the parks open, so you'll be able to ride multiple attractions before the peak crowds hit. I've got some more good news for you. Guests of Disney Resorts Collection hotels and other select hotels, including the Walt Disney World Swan Hotel, can and should take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry. This incredible perk gives you 30-minute early entry at all four theme parks every day, which is essentially rope drop+. 

    If taking advantage of Early Theme Park Entry, I recommend heading straight for an Individual Lightning Lane attraction. My neighbors just got back from Walt Disney World and confirmed this approach worked for them as they were able to get on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios in less than an hour. If you plan on arriving closer to the regular park opening, I recommend taking a look at the standby wait times on the Tip Board in your My Disney Experience app before plotting your course. Chances are the Early Entry folks will already be queueing up at the Individual Lightning Lane attraction, so this would be a good time to use the standby line to experience one of the attractions I listed above that you didn't choose for your first Lightning Lane attraction.     

    Please reach out with any follow-up questions. 

    Plan magic; planDisney.


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Meet the Panelist: Jennifer, Virginia

Hey there, hi there, ho there! I’m Jennifer from Northern Virginia, close to Washington, D.C. Together is my family’s favorite place to be, and I’m so grateful that Walt Disney World Resort is designed to make that dream a destination. I’ve visited The Most Magical Place on Earth at every age and every stage, in every season, and for countless reasons. I can’t wait to help you maximize the magic on your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation! Learn More About Jennifer

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