Grandparents and Grandchildren meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse; Magic Kingdom; carousel
  • On Feb 16, 2024
    Stephanie from MI Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My family is staying at a Disney resort, but my parents are not. We plan on going for early entry and have parents join us after regular rope drop. If I add their tickets to our reservation to control genie+ will it mess up entering at different times?

    Hey howdy hey, Stephanie! Welcome to planDisney! It sounds like you're looking forward to a magical multi-generational Walt Disney World Resort vacation! This is precisely how my family prefers to visit the Most Magical Place on Earth, so we have a ton of experience with situations just like yours. Hakuna matata - no worries, your plans don't have to be altered because of the fact that some of your party will not be staying at a Disney Resorts Collection Hotel.

    If you're planning on arriving for "rope drop" for Early Theme Park Entry at a Disney Theme Park, you'd fit right in with my family! Catching that first bus from your Disney Resort Hotel is exhilarating and always worth it, in my opinion! Keep in mind that offsite guests can purchase Genie+ beginning at midnight on the day of the park visit, and can make their first Genie+ selection and enter a Virtual Queue at 7:00am - just like a Disney Resort Hotel guest. They will not be able to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane until the time that the park opens. So, if you're wanting to keep all of your plans in sync, go ahead and book a Genie+ selection and join a Virtual Queue for your entire party, if desired. Enjoy Early Entry to the fullest, with those lower wait times and cooler morning temperatures. 

    Stephanie, if you already know that you'd like to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for an attraction, go ahead and do that at 7:00am for as many guests as are eligible. We found recently that the demand was too high to purchase a particular Individual Lightning Lane purchase that we'd been hoping to secure, by the time the park opened, so I definitely recommend grabbing that as soon as you're able.

    When we plan to enter a park early, we always have a strategy for which attractions we want to visit first. Remember, at Magic Kingdom Park, Early Entry allows guests access to Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. The remainder of the park opens at the time of park open. When we stay offsite and go to Magic Kingdom Park, we head straight for Adventureland at park open, rather than joining the already-formed queues in Fantasyland. 

    My favorite way to keep a large group on a similar timeline, and to ensure you have some quality time together, is by enjoying meals together. Don't forget to secure an Advance Dining Reservation for any Table Service Restaurants you'd like to visit during your vacation. I recommend one Table Service meal during each day that you'll be in a theme park - the time we spend relaxing, catching up, and refueling around the dinner table gives us the energy we need to finish strong!

    Stephanie, I hope this has helped you and given you some ideas about how you'd like to strategize for your upcoming vacation. Remember, you can ask 50 people their opinion, and you will get 50 different answers - there is no right or wrong way to do Disney! Trust your gut, go at your own pace, pack your patience and a sense of humor, and have a magical time!

    See you real soon!
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Meet the Panelist: Jennifer, Georgia

Hi friends, I’m Jennifer! I live in Georgia with my handsome Prince Charming and our three awesome Mouseketeers. My Disney favorites are food, princesses, holidays, and festivals. I thrive on logistics and details, so I love all of the intricate plans that go into making a perfect Disney vacation. So let’s get started, because tomorrow is just a dream away! Learn More About Jennifer

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