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Walt Disney World Resort Tips and Tricks

Walt Disney World is situated in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida near the city of Orlando. Disney World is indeed the most magical place in the world; it’s pure fun and blissful environment is an escape from the real world stresses and realities we all face day-to-day. To make the most of a trip to Disney and avoid long lines, you need to plan in advance by prioritizing the attractions you most want to experience and follow some of these tips mentioned below!

Disney Tip and Tricks

In 2022 Gone Are Fast Passes! Lightning Lanes Are Here To Stay!

In 2021 Disney Fast Pass ended and was replaced by Disney Genie+. While you can avoid waiting in lines with Disney Genie+ and the Individual Lightning Lanes there is a learning curve to use them and it’s a little complicated but no worries! Read on to familiarize yourself with this new system to make the most out of your next Disney Trip! 

So first things first, What is Disney Genie+? If you purchase Genie+ you can get much shorter wait times for some rides by paying additional fees per ride (using the “lightning lane”.) You access Genie+ in the My Disney Experience app

What is a Lightning Lane at Disney World?The Lightning Lane is a separate line (aka “queue”) at some of the each attractions or rides.The Lightning Lane requires a reservation to use this queue and the wait time will be much shorter than the regular “standby” line. For most attractions, the wait will typically be less than five minutes if you purchase the lighting lane for that attraction. 

How do the Lightning Lanes work at Disney World? First, there are two different types of Lightning Lane attractions at Disney World. 

One called the Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions allows you to use the Lightning Lane at more than 40 attractions across the four parks right off the bat. The second type are called the Individual Lightning Lane attractions which you pay a fee at each of the 8 most in demand attractions and it doesn’t matter if you Genie+ or not.

In order to use the Genie+ Lightning Lanes, you will need to purchase Genie+ for that day which is $15 per person, per day at Walt Disney World.  There are two ways to purchase Genie+. 

The first is when you buy your park ticket directly from Disney you can add Genie+ during checkout. Alternatively, you can add Genie+ one day at a time in the My Disney Experience app starting at midnight for that upcoming day. This gives you more flexibility based on how busy the parks are when you visit in case you don’t want to buy the Genie+.

You can reserve your Genie+ Lightning Lane ride selection at 7am every morning, after you make sure you have your park ticket, park reservation, and Genie+ all ready to go. You do this by opening your My Disney Experience app, you’ll see at the very top where you can tap “My Day” or “View My Day”.Tapping this will take you to Disney Genie where you can make your Lightning Lane selections However, the easiest way to make Genie+ Lightning Lane selections is through the Tip Board. Once you are in the Tip Board you’ll see all of your options for Genie+ Lightning Lane selections. You start each day only make one Genie+Lightning Lane reservation and you can make your next Genie+ Lightning Lane selection either when you check-in for your current selection or after 120 minutes have passed since you made your current selection.For example, if at 8 am you get a spot in the Lightning Lane at 3 pm for Slinky Dog Dash, you won’t have to wait until 3 pm to make another selection.You’ll be able to make another selection 120 minutes later at 10 am.  So you can “stack” several Genie+ Lightning Lane selections for later in the day if you keep track of the 120-minute rule. The only time the 120-minute rule doesn’t work is if you make your first Genie+ Lightning Lane selection before the park opens. Then you would have to wait for 120 minutes after the official park opening time to make another selection. So, if you are smart and make your first selection at 7 am when the Genie+Lightning Lane first lets you make the reservation on the app but the park doesn’t open until 9 am, you’ll have to wait until 11 am to make another selection. Or until you use that first selection. Also, just as a side you can park hop and use Disney Genie+ so you can plan this into your day as well.

So I’m sure you are wondering if Genie+ is worth buying and if it is necessary for your vacation. The quick answer is that Genie Plus ISN’T needed at every park and during every time of year. Genie Plus is almost always needed and really helpful to have at Magic Kingdom. 

The reason for this is that there are so many attractions at Magic Kingdom that the Genie+ Lightening Lane pass works with and you will get your money’s worth. Days you might not need it are rainy or cold days during a less busy time of year. 

As for Hollywood Studios you’ll get a lot of use out of Genie+ as well for these rides in particular: Millennium Falcon, Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Midway Mania, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and the Hollywood Tower of Terror.  Note if you are visiting with very young children who can’t go on most of these rides, you’ll probably not want Genie Plus at Hollywood Studios.  Genie Plus is only really helpful at Epcot and Animal Kingdom during the busiest times of the year. 

Here are the most popular Genie+ Lightning Lane rides you want to make sure to grab first. At Hollywood Studios it is  Slinky Dog Dash. For Magic Kingdom make sure to get Peter Pan’s Flight first and then Jungle Cruise.  The most popular Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions at Epcot are Soarin’ and Test Track. And lastly at Animal Kingdom are Kilimanjaro Safaris and Nav’i River Journey are the first you want to grab here.

Now let’s talk about Individual Lightning Lanes not to be confused with Genie+ Lightning Lanes. Remember you do NOT have to buy Genie+ to buy Individual Lightning Lane selections! The price of Individual Lightning Lane attractions depend on the day you are visiting – for example, the price is higher during peak seasons and on weekends. In general, the cost of Individual Lightning Lane selections ranges from $7 – $15.

Here are the average costs for the Individual Lightning Lane selections:

  • Seven Dwarves Mine Train (Magic Kingdom) –$11
  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom) – $8
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Hollywood Studios) – $15
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Hollywood Studios) – $9
  • Frozen Ever After (Epcot) – $10
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Epcot) – $10
  • Avatar: Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom) – $12
  • Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom) – $7

If you are staying at an on-property Disney resort, you can start buying Individual Lightning Lane reservations at 7 am the day of your visit. If you aren’t staying “on property”, then you will have to wait until the park opens. Keep in mind that you can only purchase two Individual Lightning Lane selections each day.  To find out what time the parks open during your visit, check out this Disney World calendar. In order to purchase reservations for Individual Lightning Lane attractions you also need to go to the My Disney Experience app and in both the My Day and Tip Board sections you’ll see the option to purchase Individual Lightning Lane for eligible attractions.

When it is time to use your Lightning Lane reservation just head to the attraction and look for the entrance to the Lightning Lane queue. You will be asked to scan either your park ticket, Magic Band, or Magic Mobile pass on your phone. Once you are checked in for your Lightning Lane reservation and you can make another selection right away in the app. 

As you may have noted, Genie+ and the Lightning Lanes have many rules you need to be aware of in order to get the most out of using them. Here is a quick summary list of all of the Disney Genie Plus rules and Individual Lightning Lane rules: 

  • You can’t make more than one Lightning Lane reservation per attraction per day. This applies to both Genie+ Lightning Lane and Individual Lightning Lane attractions!
  • You can only purchase two Individual Lightning Lane reservations per day.
  • You can begin making Genie+ Lightning Lane selections at 7 am the day of your visit in the My Disney Experience app. 
  • If you are staying at an on-property Disney resort, you can purchase Individual Lightning Lane passes starting at 7 am the day of your visit. If not, you will have to wait until the official park opening
  • You can make another Genie+ Lightning Lane selection after you check-in for your current selection OR after 120 minutes have passed since you made your current selection. 
  • You don’t have to purchase Genie+ in order to purchase Individual Lightning Lane
  • You can purchase Genie+ for the day starting at midnight. Just be sure to have it added before you go to make your first reservation at 7 am. 

Finally, here is the list of the attractions with Genie+ Lightning Lanes and Individual Lightning Lanes:

Magic Kingdom

Individual Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain

Genie+ Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monster’s, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

Epcot

Individual Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Frozen Ever After

Genie+ Attractions:

  • Soarin’
  • Test Track Presented by Chevrolet
  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Spaceship Earth
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Hollywood Studios 

Individual Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Genie+ Attractions:

  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Toy Story Mania!
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • 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!
  • MuppetVision 3D
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue

Animal Kingdom

Individual Lightning Lane Attractions:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest

Genie+ Attractions:

  • Nav’i River Journey
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Dinosaur
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Feathered Friends in Flight
  • The Animal Experience at Conservation Station
Avoid long lines at disney

Disney Tips With Little Ones

If you are a little worried about being at the park with littles here are a few tips for families with little ones.

  • Strollers: You can stroll around with your babies but keep in mind that all strollers at Disney Worldmust be no larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long. Because there are so many strollers and you must park them in front of rides while you wait in line, tying a bright colored bandana will help you find the strollers after the ride or show as they sometimes get moved as well. Even small battery operated string lights isn’t a bad idea to have like these to help you find your strollers at night: https://www.amazon.com/Twinkle-Battery-Powered-2xCR2032-4days-Christmas/dp/B0753HWXW3/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=small%2Bblinking%2Blight&qid=1568652243&s=home-garden&sr=1-4&th=1
  • Rider Switch: This allows members of a group caring for children to take turns for rides and get a FastPasses for those members waiting with children. Here is how it works, go to the cast members at the start of each line and let them you know want to do a “rider switch”. They will then allow one adult in your group go through the regular line and go on the ride while the other adults wait with the children. Once the first rider goes on the ride the other adults waiting with the children can then use a FastPass+ to go through that ride avoiding the long line!

Disney Parks, Rides and Eats

Disney World in Orlando, Florida has four main parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Each park has its own amazing setup of numerous rides and eating enjoyment options. Here are some of the famous rides and eats from each park not to miss.

Magic Kingdom Rides and Eats

Popular rides at Magic Kingdom:

  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Pirates of the Caribbean

Popular Eats at Magic Kingdom:

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn in Frontier land is among the top pick for eating at Disney World on a budget. The price is right and given you also get to sit in air conditioning while you eat and cool get to cool down it is a no brainer in the summer months! For you little price and princess eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table is one for the books. You are greeted by Cinderella herself with the opportunity to get pictures with her without the crowds, which is a really magical. Breakfast is a good option because you can also meet the Fairy Godmother, Suzy, Perla and other princesses. Reservations are required and should be made in advanced. Last to mention here is Aloha Isle! This place is not a restaurant but does have some of the best snacks in the park. But the reason this place has a cult following is for its infamous Pineapple Dole Whip that can’t be missed, especially on a hot day!

Cindarella's Royal Table Insider Tips

Animal Kingdom Rides and Eats

Popular rides at Animal kingdom:

  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Kali River Rapids

Animal Kingdom has the most vegetarian-friendly food in all of Disney World. Starting with breakfast you might enjoy a giant Mickey cinnamon roll at Kusafiri Bakery. For lunch at Satu’li enjoy a crispy fried tofu bow or vegan bowl! On a hot day, whether you are vegetarian or not you won’t want to miss the Double Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich you can get at Tamu Tamu! However for the carnivores among us you will love the Korean BBQ Ribs at Yak and Yeti. At Harambe Market don’t miss the Friend Sausages, friend in curried corn batter and served with green papaya slaw and blacked-eyed pea, corn and tomato salad! YUM! For a sit down experience that truly is an experience make reservations days or weeks in advanced for the Rain Forest Café with fish tanks, indoor thunderstorms and jungle animals that move all around this is a fun place for lunch or dinner! The Rasta Pasta is my favorite dish!

Disney Cookie Animal Kingdom

Epcot Rides and Eats

Popular rides in Epcot:

  • Ratatouille Ride
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Test Track

With all the countries to visit in Epcot the food options are as diverse the world itself! Here are two options for the solo or the couples among us. First stop, San Angel Inn in Mexico is perfect to have a romantic candlelight meal under the stars overlooking a river, temple, and volcano. Another option for couples is the Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie located Epcot’s France Pavilion. It has pastries galore and more intimate seating so you will fall in love all over again. With limited seating it’s a place you might want to hit up both those place early to not have a long wait for a table. For the bigger groups Biergarten, located in Epcot’s Germany Pavilion is a great choice with a unique atmosphere, live music, wide variety of beers and a yummy buffet to let you try lot of typical German eats you wont want to miss this experience! Another great option for big groups or a group with kids is Teppan Edo restaurant in Epcot’s Japan Pavilion. The hibachi-style meal brings food and fun together as only Disney can do. Make sure you make advance-dining reservations ahead of time for this place in order to have a seat!

Hollywood Studios Rides and Eats

Popular rides in Hollywood Studios:

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance 
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Slinky Dog
  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

The food at Hollywood Studios isn’t as renowned as the other parks and with the evening amazing Fantasmic Show most travelers opt out of focusing on dinner experience in lue of the show. However for a really hip lunch experience the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater is a well-known and super fun! It is modeled after a 1950’s dine-in movie theatre, the tables are like sitting in a 50’s automobile, the waitresses roll up to take your order and Sci-Fi movies play on the big screens. For a place that has less theme but bigger tastes the ABC Commissary located on Commissary Lane is the place for you! The food is consistently delish with a diverse menu from salads to seafood! It is a quick service restaurant with air conditioning that makes it’s a relaxing spot to fuel up for the rest of the day in the park!

Sci-Fi Dine In Theatre Hollywood Studios Disney World Experience

What is your favorite ride or eats in Walt Disney World? Comment below!

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