Mickey Mouse Watch - Disney World Tip

7 am is a very important time for Disney World guests. With virtual queues, Genie+, and Lightning Lane, you'll want at least one person from your party up at 7 am with the MyDisneyExperience app open to be able to plan your day.

Here's everything that becomes available for your Disney World day starting at 7 am:

  • First draw for Virtual Queues open up at 7 am for all guests. Currently, a virtual queue is used at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (once it opens on May 27). Disney World previously used the virtual queue at Remy's Ratatouille Adventure and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Disney has announced that they might use virtual queues at certain popular attractions even on a temporary basis, so be sure to check the MDE app to see what attractions are using virtual queues at Disney World and plan accordingly. If you miss the 7 am draw, more virtual queue spots open up at 1 pm (and 6 pm for Deluxe Resort Guests on Extended Evening Hour nights). You can read all the details you need to know in our Disney World Virtual Queue Guide.
  • Genie+ Lightning Lane access becomes available for all guests at 7 am. You'll be able to make your first Genie+ Lightning Lane reservation of the day starting at 7, so this will be your best shot at getting early Lightning Lane access to a popular ride like Slinky Dog Dash or Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run.
  • Individual Lightning Lane Selections become available for purchase for resort guests at 7 am. Not included in Genie+, these are a la carte Lightning Lane purchases available at the two most popular rides in each park - Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom, Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot, Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios, and Flight of Passage  at Animal Kingdom. You can pick which time of day you'd like to purchase your Lightning Lane reservations, and you can purchase up to two per person per day.

If you have multiple people who are up and have the MyDisneyExperience app open, designate one person to focus on Virtual Queues, one person to focus on Genie+, and one person to focus on Individual Lightning Lane Selections. If you are the only person setting all the plans for your party, we would recommend prioritizing Virtual Queue (if the attraction is one of your must dos), Genie+, then Individual LL selections, in that order.

Slinky Dog Dash - Disney World Roller Coaster

When you sign up for Disney Genie, you'll be asked what your Top Picks are in each park. This lets Disney Genie know your preferences and give you smart suggestions throughout the day. But for power-users, there's an even more useful way to use Top Picks. The Tip Board section of Disney Genie lists all attractions alphabetically, but it places your Top Picks at the top of the list. The Tip Board section is also where you will be booking your Lightning Lane reservations. You can save yourself a lot of scrolling and put the attractions that you're most interested in getting Lightning Lane reservations for as your Top Picks. That way when you scroll to refresh the Tip Board, you'll see the updated Lightning Lane slots for the attractions you're interested in first. This tip could be the difference between snagging that elusive Slinky Dog Dash Lightning Lane slot and missing out.

Star Wars Rise of the Resistance

If you purchase an Individual Lightning Lane reservation, it is non-refundable and non-cancellable. But what happens if the ride breaks down during your return window? It can happen, especially with technically complicated rides like Rise of the Resistance. First of all, your return window will automatically be extended to the end of the day. So keep checking the official Disney app to see if the ride reopens. This information can be found in the Disney Genie Tip Board or the park map in the app. If you are able to go back onto the attraction at a later time, then just arrive at the Lightning Lane entrance. There might be a mini-rush to get in line as soon as the ride reopens, so if you have time, you might want to wait a little bit for the initial glut of guests to die down to have the shortest wait time possible.

What if the ride doesn't reopen for the rest of the day? Unfortunately, you won't be able to go on the ride with your Lightning Lane reservation. Fortunately, you will be automatically refunded, but only if the ride doesn't reopen for the rest of the day.

What if you can't go on the ride once it reopens? This is a trickier situation. If there's a reason that you can't make it to the Individual Lightning Lane attraction after it reopens, such as a dining reservation, or you left the park and you couldn't come back, you will need to go to Guest Relations. They will be able to give you a refund, but it won't be automatically triggered. This is the only scenario where you can get an Individual Lightning Lane refund.

For more in-depth info, check out our Guide 2 Disney Genie, which lets you know everything you need to know about Disney World and Disneyland's new line-skipping systems.

Running a bit early or late for your Lightning Lane reservation at Disney World? No worries. Like FastPass+, Lightning Lane offers a grace period buffer outside of your reserved time slot. The Lightning Lane grace period lets guests be 5 minutes early or 15 minutes late to their Lightning Lane reservation. If you have a Haunted Mansion Lightning Lane timeslot for 12 pm - 1 pm, that means your actual window is 11:55 am - 1:15 pm. This extra 20 minutes can help you plan accordingly if you have overlapping reservations.

This applies to both Genie+ Lightning Lane and Individual Lightning Lane Selections.

If you are running more than 5 minutes early or 15 minutes late for your Lightning Lane reservation, talk to the cast member stationed at the Lightning Lane entrance. In our experience, if you explain your situation politely, they will usually be accommodating, but this is not guaranteed.

Genie+ Logo - Disney World and Disneyland Service

If you are going to buy Genie+, you should do it in advance or before you head into the park for the best value. Why? For $15/day at Disney World and $20/day at Disneyland, guests can use Genie+ to get access to the Lightning Lane at select attractions - check out the full list of Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions here. Guests who purchase Genie+ can use the app to secure Lightning Lane reservations one at a time. Once you get one Lightning Lane reservation, you can then get another Lightning Lane reservation either once you've used your first reservation or 120 minutes after you've made the reservation - whichever is first. So the earlier in the day you get Genie+, the more Lightning Lane reservations you'll be able to secure.

There are a few more reasons you'll want to buy Genie+ as early as possible. Reservations for Lightning Lane through Genie+ will open each day at 7 am, even if the park doesn't open until later. Much like the FastPass+ system or Virtual Queue, there will be a rush for the most popular Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions, such as Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run or Slinky Dog Dash. Purchasing Genie+ before 7 am will give you the best shot at getting into the Lightning Lane at the best rides. While Genie+ access will not sell out, Lightning Lane access is limited, so those waiting until later in the day to purchase Genie+ will find a more limited selection than what was available earlier in the day.

Basically, as the day goes on, the value of buying Genie+ goes down. Guests who buy Genie+ in advance and start making reservations at 7 am will get the most bang for their buck. Guests who wait until they are in the park will lose valuable time inside the park signing up and will have a harder time using Lightning Lane at the most popular attractions.