Disney California Adventure has grown into a worthy second park at Disneyland Resort. With additions like Avengers Campus and Cars Land, there are a ton of great attractions for kids and adults alike. Whether you’re slinging webs with Spider-Man, racing with Lightning McQueen, or dropping in with Star Lord and the gang, you’re certainly going to find adventure while visiting California Adventure. But will you get your money’s worth if you pay to skip the lines for these attractions and more? And if you do, which rides should you prioritize, and which rides can you skip? We’re tackling all things Lightning Lane at DCA today in our Guide 2 Lightning Lane at Disneyland Resort.

If you need a refresher on Disney’s FastPass replacement, check out our 6 part Guide 2 Disney Genie, which explains how Lightning Lane and Genie+ work.

Update 10-11-2022: Web Slingers – A Spider-Man Adventure has changed to a Genie+ offering at California Adventure starting today.

Individual Lightning Lane Recommendations for Disney California Adventure

Individual Lightning Lane attractions are not included in Genie+ and are an extra fee. Since everyone has a different budget and sensitivity to pricing, I’m not going to say that you should definitely buy an Individual Lightning Lane or not. What I will say is if you should consider it. With some attractions, Individual Lightning Lane could represent a value as it will save you a ton of time in line. With others, you shouldn’t waste your money. Here are our California Adventure Individual Lightning Lane recommendations.

Radiator Springs Racers – Consider Buying If You’re A Group

Radiator Springs Racers - Disneyland MaxPass

Radiator Springs Racers is California Adventure’s best ride. Even at almost 10 years old, this ride draws in massive lines. With approachable thrills and an amazing dark ride experience, it’s easy to see why. With wait times averaging between 50-90 minutes, an Individual Lightning Lane will definitely save you a lot of time, and that might be worth every penny if you have impatient little kids in your travel party. And let’s face it, Radiator Springs Racers has one of the more boring lines at Disneyland. But with prices ranging between $7 and $18, it really depends on which day you visit if it will be worth it for you. If you don’t mind getting split up from your group, consider Single Rider. This will save you a massive amount of time, and you don’t need to pay extra.

Is Genie+ Worth It at California Adventure?

If you’re only going to California Adventure for the day, should you add Genie+ to your ticket? DCA currently has 7 attractions available via Genie+ Lightning Lane.

  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT
  • Incredicoaster
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • Web Slingers – A Spider-Man Adventure

With a thinner attraction lineup, this isn’t as easy of a slam dunk recommendation as Genie+ at Disneyland Park. As I mentioned in the Disneyland Lightning Lane Guide, Genie+ Lightning Lane availability is very good throughout Disneyland Resort, and that’s the case at DCA. If you spend all day at the park, you should be able to get Lightning Lane access to almost every attraction, if not every attraction. Even if you go during a time where Grizzly River Run is closed for the season, you could still save over 4 hours in line if you’re able to get a Lightning Lane for every other attraction. At $5/hour saved, that makes Genie+ a good recommendation, especially when you consider that PhotoPass is included. If you’re park hopping, Genie+ will help you maximize your half of the day in the park, so our recommendation still would be to buy it for this park.

California Adventure Lightning Lane Strategy

Which Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations will save you the most time?  Here are our recommendations for which Lightning Lane reservations you should try to get first at California Adventure.

Top Priorities: Will Save You The Most Time / The Best Rides

Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout Line - California Adventure Lightning Lane Guide

  • Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Web Slingers – A Spider-Man Adventure

Besides Radiator Springs Racers, the next longest lines at DCA will easily be for Spider-Man, Guardians, and Soarin, with lines getting between 60 and 75 minutes long.

Tucked in the back corner of the park, Toy Story Mania will have the shortest standby lines during the morning of these top priorities, but the wait times will catch up to these other rides as the day goes on.

Any of these rides are a great pickup for Genie+ Lightning Lane

Middle Priorities: Will Save You Moderate Amount of Time

Incredicoaster - Disney California Adventure Lightning Lane Guide

  • Incredicoaster
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Monster’s, Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue
  • Grizzly River Run (When it’s hot)

There’s a fairly big drop off in average wait time between Top Priorities and Middle Priorities. These rides can all get waits between 30-60 minutes, although earlier in the day you can definitely find sub-30 minute waits for any of these. Genie+ Lightning Lane will be the most valuable to you on these attractions during the afternoon, when lines get the longest.

Lowest Priorities: Lightning Lane Might Only Save You A Little Time

Grizzly River Run - Holiday Sweater

  • Grizzly River Run (at night or when it’s cold)

Like all water rides, lines for Grizzly River Run disappear once the temperature dips. If you don’t mind getting wet while its cold, you probably won’t need to wait in a long line for Grizzly River Run anyway, so Genie+ won’t save you that much time here.

California Adventure Lightning Lane Tips

  • Genie+ Lightning Lane become available as soon as you enter the park.
  • When you’re making your first pick, try to get a Genie+ Lightning Lane time slot for one of your priority rides as early as possible. You can make another reservation either 2 hours after you make your reservation, or once you use your Lightning Lane reservation, whichever is first. Grabbing your first Lightning Lane reservation for sometime in the first 2 hours of park opening gives you the best chance of getting another high priority Lightning Lane reservation early. Check out our in-depth guide for maximizing Genie+ Lightning Lane to find out more about how often you can get Lightning Lane reservations.
  • Lightning Lane reservations are a limited pool and are first come, first served. The rides in our “Biggest Priorities” section of the list above will typically sell out first, so try to get Lightning Lane reservations for those as soon as you can.
  • If you can’t find a reservation, pull to refresh on the Tip Board section of Disney Genie. Return times fluctuate, and it’s possible for somebody else’s cancellation to open up a time slot for a ride you are going for.

Be sure to check out our entire Guide 2 Lightning Lane at Disneyland: