If you’re looking for the best Hollywood Studios Genie+ and Lightning Lane rides, then look no further! We will help you navigate this confusing system, and make sure that you get the most bang for your buck while using the Genie+ service. We want you to have fun and not feel stressed, while making sure you ride all the attractions you have your heart set on.
If you plan on visiting Hollywood Studios, you need to know how Genie+ and Lightning Lane work, and how using them can affect your trip. We break down how to use the service, what rides are the best bet while using Genie+, and we’ll help you figure out if it’s worth spending money on both Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.
What is Genie+ at Hollywood Studios?
Hollywood Studios Genie+ is a fairly new system at Walt Disney World, and it’s a paid service that allows you to book Lightning Lanes. You have access to all of the Lighting Lanes at Hollywood Studios except for two.
The paid Genie+ service is $15 per person, per day. You can reserve your spots at over 40 attractions across 4 parks, but not all rides and attractions are included in Genie+. Some aren’t included at all, and some are individual paid for Lightning Lanes.
The Genie service is great because it offers tips for free, audio tours, and augmented reality filters and more. Genie+ isn’t just an upgraded version of Genie though – it’s a separate service, but it can be found in the Genie section of the My Disney Experience app.
Paying for Genie+ is the equivalent of paying for FastPasses – you can skip the lines for a fee, prebook your rides and attractions, and even has some fun interactive portions.
For more in-depth information about the Genie, Genie+, and Lightning Lanes, check out our breakdown of Genie/Genie+. Once you have a better understanding of Genie+, you’ll be able to navigate your day at Hollywood Studios much better!
Also, because of the sheer number of attractions at the park, getting Hollywood Studios Genie+ may be a smart decision to help you plan your day!
What is Lightning Lane at Hollywood Studios?
Lightning Lane is the new name for FastPass, which helps you secure a spot in line and skip long lines for rides and attractions. But, unlike the original FastPassses, you have to pay to play with Lightning Lanes.
The most popular rides aren’t included in Genie+ either, and those rides have a la carte Lightning Lanes that you must pay a separate price for in order to secure your spot. These prices run between $7 and $15, and the price will vary by day, park, and time of year that you are visiting. You can buy these per person, per ride, and you can only use a maximum of two a day.
With the individual Lightning Lane rides, buying only allows you access to the ride ONCE. If you decide to ride it again, you will have to wait in the Standby line.
When using Hollywood Studios Genie+, you’ll only be able to reserve one ride at one time – the times cannot overlap.
When Can You Book Genie+ and Lightning Lane at Hollywood Studios?
Before you go purchasing Hollywood Studios Genie+ and booking your rides, you need to have a strategy. You need to figure out what rides are must-do’s for you and your family, and try to make a plan for what your day will look like. When it comes to Hollywood Studios, it’s also important to take a look at height requirements of the rides if you have small children in your group – many of the rides here have some higher height requirements, and you need to be sure your kids can ride them before you book with Genie+.
In general, Genie+ is available for purchase at midnight the morning of your park visit. If you want, you can book your Hollywood Studios Genie+ as part of your Disney vacation package in advance. Just know that if you choose to do that, then you want to make your Hollywood Studios Genie+ selections by 7 am the day of your visit – because that’s when it opens up to everyone else.
For the two rides that aren’t included in the Genie+ service, you need to make sure you purchase those early. For Hollywood Studios, those two rides are Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. If you choose to purchase these individually, you can do it at 7am if you’re a Disney resort guest, or at the time the park opens if you’re staying off property.
Is it Worth it to Buy a Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway?
The short answer: this is entirely up to you! But, we have a few long answers too.
If you have early entry to the park or are planning to rope drop, you may not need Lightning Lane for Mickey and Minnie. You should be able to ride this at the beginning of the day without that long of a wait. Also, if you plan on spending all day at Hollywood Studios, you can keep an eye on wait times for Mickey and Minnie. You might be able to wait in Standby during lunch and dinner times, because most guests will be off eating and not waiting for rides.
When it comes to Rise of the Resistance, this is probably a must-buy individual Lightning Lane. This ride can have a pretty long wait, as well as it tends to go down from time to time. Having your Lightning Lane allows you to have a guaranteed spot for this very popular ride, and you won’t have to wait in one of the longest lines in Hollywood Studios.
Since Rise of the Resistance is such a sought-after Lightning Lane, they do go pretty quickly, and the time you get to ride may not always be your first choice. If you can pay for the Lightning Lane and manage to get it, you don’t want to miss this awesome feat of Imagineering.
Genie+ Refresh Strategy
Understanding Genie+ and planning with it can be stressful! We know that it can be disheartening to open up the app and not see the time or attraction you were hoping for, but don’t give up.
Keep refreshing the app in order to look for more times and attractions to book for your Hollywood Studios Genie+ choices. To do this, drag your finger down the screen and release it – this will reset and refresh the page, and will show some other options that are available.
Also, keep checking throughout the day. When you are using Genie+, what you see the first time isn’t the only option. Throughout the day guests will change their minds, miss their time slots, and even park hop without using Genie+. This will open up Hollywood Studios Genie+ time slots that weren’t there originally, and you’ll be able to snag them!
Using Hollywood Studios Genie+ will help you ride a lot of rides at this popular park, and if you only have one day there, check out our Hollywood Studios Itinerary to make sure you don’t miss anything!
Rides at Hollywood Studios with Genie+
The rides that are featured on Hollywood Studios Genie+ are:
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
- Disney Junior Dance Party
- For the First Time in Forever – Frozen Sing Along Celebration
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
- Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Midway Mania
Rides at Hollywood Studios with Lightning Lane
There are two rides at Hollywood Studios that aren’t included in Genie+ and require an individually purchased Lightning Lane in order to ride. Those two rides are Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
Rise of the Resistance is one of the newest rides at Disney World and is definitely one of the most popular. This ride is found in Galaxy’s Edge, and once boarding, you will join the Resistance in order to battle the First Order. The technology on this ride is amazing, and it’s definitely a don’t miss ride in our opinion – especially if you have Star Wars fans in your group.
Do note though, Rise has a 40″ height requirement, and does feature small drops, darkness, and can be quite loud. It’s great for a lot of families, but make sure this is a good fit for your child before paying for a Lightning Lane.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a fun family-friendly ride that is located in the Chinese theater at Hollywood Studios. Everyone in your group will love this trackless dark ride, and will enjoy the antics of the story. This has some of the latest technology for rides, and since there isn’t a height requirement, it’s great for the whole family.
For Mickey and Minnie, like we said before, it may not the best use of the individual Lightning Lane. The Standby line doesn’t get as long as the one for Rise, and you can ride Mickey and Minnie with a short wait early in the morning, late at night, or during popular meal times.
If you choose not to purchase the Lightning Lane, and only purchase Hollywood Studios Genie+, then you will have to use Standby lines to ride these.
If you do purchase an individual Lightning Lane, remember it’s only good for one ride-through, and you’ll have to wait in Standby to ride again after using your Lightning Lane.
Best Hollywood Studios Genie+ Rides
When it comes to deciding whether or not to get Genie+ for Hollywood Studios, you want to think about how many rides there are in the park, and how many rides your group is going to ride. If your family loves thrill rides and wants to conquer as many of these rides as possible, then we recommend getting Hollywood Studios Genie+.
It’s almost necessary to pay to play just because of the sheer number of rides and attractions at Hollywood Studios. By using Genie+ – and individual Lightning Lane – you and your family could potentially ride just about everything in one day!
These are the rides we think will be the best use of your Hollywood Studios Genie+:
Slinky Dog Dash
This fun, family-friendly coaster is one of our top picks for one of the best rides for Genie+ at Hollywood Studios. This super cute ride allows you to board Slinky Dog, and enjoy climbs, small drops, twist and turns while enjoying the views of Toy Story Land.
We think this is a great choice for Genie+ rides at Hollywood Studios because the line can get very long here! If everyone in your group meets the 38″ height requirement, then book this fun little coaster for early in the day.
This is truly one of our favorite things to do in Hollywood Studios!
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
If you’re looking to take a trip in the famous Millenium Falcon and take part in an interactive smuggling mission, then Smuggler’s Run is a great choice for one of your Hollywood Studios Genie+ rides. This is a family-friendly motion simulator ride that allows guests to be the pilot, engineer, or gunner on the Millenium Falcon and this is a thrilling dark ride with small drops.
The line can get long here, but there is a Single Rider line. This may be a better option for some – and we’ll discuss that a little later.
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Tower of Terror is a classic Disney thrill ride, and it’s the second tallest ride at Walt Disney World. After learning about the fate of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, you’ll board an elevator that drops you almost 200 feet in a random drop sequence.
This ride does have a 40″ height requirement, and it’s not for the faint of heart. There are big drops, it’s very dark, and can be scary for many guests. Before you book, make sure that this thrilling drop ride is right for your group. And if it is, make sure you snag this exhilarating ride as one of your Hollywood Studios Genie+ rides.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
If you’re looking for a real thrill, book Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. This insane ride takes you from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, and sends you hurtling through darkness with Aerosmith music blaring in your ears. This coaster isn’t for the weak, since it moves so fast and goes upside down, but it’s great for thrill seekers.
Many consider this to be one of the best coasters at Disney World, but take note, it has a 48″ height requirement – one of the highest in Disney World. This can be a great choice for Hollywood Studios Genie+ if you have thrill seekers in your group, but if not, you might want to read a little more into our strategy later that involves the Singler Rider line.
Great Secondary or Bonus Genie+ Options
If you’ve used up all of your Hollywood Studios Genie+ rides from our first picks, or thrill rides aren’t for you, then you might want to consider some of these for Genie+ as well. Lines for these attractions aren’t typically that long, but can get long during peak times of the day and during busy seasons.
The rides and attractions that might be good secondary Genie+ options are:
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing Aling Celebration
- Star Tours
Worst Hollywood Studios Genie+ Options and What to Skip
We’re not saying that these attractions aren’t worth seeing – but we are saying they aren’t worth your Genie+ slots. All of these are attractions/shows, and not rides, so they either happen more frequently or have specific times that they are happening. It’s easier to fit a show into your day that’s happening at a specific time, and better to use your Genie+ on rides with unpredictable wait times.
The attractions we think you shouldn’t waste a Genie+ selection on are:
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
- Disney Junior Dance Party
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
- Muppet*Vision 3D
Best Time to Make a Reservation at Hollywood Studios
Planning your ride order and your Hollywood Studios Genie+ selections will definitely affect the flow of your day. We think there a few ways to go about planning your day here, and it depends on what time you enter the park and what rides are most important to you.
If you have early entry or plan on doing rope drop, head to Rise of the Resistance first. You won’t have to pay for an individual Lightning Lane for it, and you’ll get one of the busiest rides out of the way early on. Then you can focus on the Genie+ selections that you had made already. You can also wait to see what the wait is for Rise later at night while everyone else is watching the nighttime show.
If you don’t have early entry, pay for Rise of the Resistance individual Lightning Lane and then try to get Genie+ selections for Slinky Dog Dash and Tower of Terror. Ride Mickey and Minnie using Standby during meal times, and then grab other Genie+ selections after using your first two. After using your first two, start refreshing the app and looking at our secondary choices or even some of the first choices that may have opened up.
You’ll notice we didn’t recommend using Genie+ for Smuggler’s Run or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. That’s because both of these rides offer Single Rider lines. If your group doesn’t mind splitting up, you can use Single Rider to cut down on your wait time without using Genie+.
Also, if your group isn’t into Star Wars or thrill rides, you’ll probably have an easier time using Genie+ and waiting in Standby lines. You may not need to use Genie+ or Lightning Lane if those rides aren’t important.
Like we’ve mentioned earlier, keep an eye on the height requirements for rides at Hollywood Studios. They have some serious thrill rides that may not be for everyone and may not be accessible to all the children in your group. Make sure you don’t waste Genie+ selections for rides that can’t be ridden by everyone.
We hope that you now have a better understanding of both the Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, especially when it comes to the numerous rides at Hollywood Studios. Using our tips and strategies should save you some time – and hopefully money! – while using the paid Genie+ service on your next trip.
Are you planning on using Genie+ on your next trip? Or have you used it already? Let us know in the comments!