Your vacation is booked, you grabbed those must have dining reservations, and now it’s time to make Park Pass Reservations and think about Genie+ Strategies! So which park should you be booking for each day? Is your crew going to be devastated if they don’t get to ride a certain ride? Are you trying to join a virtual queue or are you good with purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane? Are you overwhelmed yet? Yep. Most people are. So here are a few tips to help take the scary, crazy, overwhelming out of planning your Disney day!
Book Park Reservations Early
Park Reservations are now required for entry into the Walt Disney World Resort Parks, and while availability is generally pretty open, it’s not uncommon for parks to fill up for weekends, holidays, summer dates, etc. The best way to make sure that you get the Park Reservations that you want is to book your resort reservation early!
Reminder: it only requires a $200 deposit to book your resort reservation, and then you can make as many payments as you’d like over time up to final payment at 30 days before travel
The Disney Park Pass system is now open to guests with valid admission. The number of theme park reservation days you can hold at one time varies based on your plans:
- Disney Resort and other Select Hotel Guests can make park reservations for dates during their stay for the number of days that they have valid theme park admission.
- Annual Passholders can make theme park reservations for up to 3-5 days at a time (depending on Annual Pass) and for their length of stay if staying at a Disney Resort or other select hotel.
- Park Ticket Holders can make reservations for the number of days of valid theme park admission.
Genie+ starts at $15 per person per day that gives you access to Lightning Lane (LL). It’s not for every ride, and you can only ride each ride one time using the Lightning Lane. Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) rides in each park are purchased individually that isn’t included in the Genie+ purchase, and the price per ride depends on the day. You can buy up to 2 Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) rides per day, and if you have a park hopper, those 2 rides can be in different parks – ex: Rise of the Resistance + Flight of Passage. You CAN buy just the extra rides without buying Genie+, so if you want to ride Flight of Passage but aren’t concerned about doing Lightning Lane for anything else that day, you can just get Flight of Passage and not purchase Genie+.
Individual Lightning Lane:
- TRON Lightcycle / Run
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Avatar Flight of Passage
Genie+ Lightning Lane:
- The Barnstormer
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
- Meet Mickey and Minnie at Town Square Theater
- Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade (seasonal)
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Frozen Ever After
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE – Green
- Mission: SPACE – Orange
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Test Track
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- 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 Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tour – The Adventures Continue
- Toy Story Mania!
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
- Expedition Everest
- Feathered Friends in Flight!
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug
- Kali River Rapids
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
- Na’vi River Journey
Know Your Must Do List
If you have a person in your group who HAS TO ride Flight of Passage, that needs to be the very first ILL that you book. If there is more than one adult in your group, try to divide and conquer with the virtual queues, ILL bookings, and LL bookings. Make sure that you know which reservations you are looking for so you can get them quickly.
Know Your Park Layout
Location is key to making your Genie+ reservations. You do NOT want to be running from Frontierland for Big Thunder Mountain to Tomorrowland for Space Mountain and then back to Liberty Square for Haunted Mansion. If you have lots of options to work with, try to make sure that you’re not jumping all over the park.
and last but not least…
I know, it goes completely against everything that I just said, but hear me out. Do not let missing out on a LL or 2 ruin your vacation for you! Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to book them if you paid for Genie+, but there are other ways to ride your must do rides: even if that means waiting in standby. Not having a LL does not mean that you can’t ride something. It just means that it may take longer to do it. Also, keep checking back to see if that LL becomes available! People are always changing them, and we’ve managed to score some great reservations at the last minute.
Use a Travel Agent
If you book your vacation through a travel agent, you have someone to do all of this for you! Not only do they save you time, money, and sanity, they’re also FREE. You read that right: 100% free! So if you aren’t using a travel agent, you’re literally missing out on free help and having to do it all yourself. If you don’t have a travel agent, we recommend using Embrace the Journey Travel for all of your travel needs!