Hollywood Studios has a lineup jam-packed with must-ride attractions for Disney World guests. You can expect to encounter some lengthy lines while you try to jump to lightspeed on the Millennium Falcon or shrink down to the size of a toy. Individual Lightning Lane and Genie+ are two paid ways to access the front of the line at WDW. In this guide, we are sharing our tips and strategies to help you get the most out of Lightning Lane at Hollywood Studios. Which rides are worth your money to skip the line? And how can you get the best value out of Genie+ at Hollywood Studios? Read on to find out.

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.

Individual Lightning Lane Recommendations for Hollywood Studios

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 Hollywood Studios Individual Lightning Lane recommendations.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – Consider Buying

Rise of the Resistance is our top ranked ride in all of Walt Disney World. It also has the highest demand of any ride at Disney World. Because Rise of the Resistance is such an innovative and lengthy experience, this is the ride that I would personally consider purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane for the most, even as the most expensive option for ILL. The ride’s popularity also means that this is the one Individual Lightning Lane you might need to purchase as soon as it is available, as it can sell out out early in the day. 

Rise of the Resistance Tip: Don’t want to spend a good deal extra money for Rise of the Resistance? Try going later in the day. Right now, there’s a big rush of people in the morning, but wait times have been surprisingly reasonable in the evenings, and especially right before park closing.

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway - Hollywood Studios Attraction

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Don’t Buy Most of The Time

Like Frozen Ever After in our Epcot Lightning Lane guide, this animated family friendly ride gets a soft don’t buy recommendation. This ride is on the lower end of the Individual Lightning Lane pricing, and that’s been reflected in guest demand, which has been soft so far. This ride usually has a posted wait around 40-50 minutes, but actual waits can be shorter. If you’re visiting on an extremely busy day like Christmas, an Individual Lightning Lane could save you a ton of time here. But for most people, we would recommend riding Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway using the standby line either right after park opening, or in the late afternoon / close to park closing when wait times start to dip down.

Is Genie+ Worth It at Hollywood Studios?

If you’re only going to Hollywood Studios for the day, should you add Genie+ to your ticket? Hollywood Studios currently has 11 attractions available via Genie+ Lightning Lane, with the roster growing to 12 attractions once Indiana Jones reopens on December 19.

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along
  • Disney Jr. Dance Party
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – Returning December 19, 2021
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Toy Story Mania!

This attraction lineup is much more robust than Epcot’s offerings, but not quite as deep as Magic Kingdom. If you love rides, Genie+ should be worth it at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Between Millennium Falcon, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours, Slinky Dog Dash, and Toy Story Mania, you will be saving a hefty amount of time in line for those six attractions. For just those six attractions, you could save between 3 – 3.5 hours in line on an average day – if you’re able to secure each of those Lightning Lane reservations. Even if you remove all the other attractions, spending $5/hour less in line seems like a good value.

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.

Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane Strategy

The value of Genie+ goes out the window if you don’t know which attractions to prioritize. Here are our recommendations for which Lightning Lane reservations you should try to get first at Hollywood Studios.

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

Slinky Dog Dash - Toy Story Land - Disney's Hollywood Studios - Walt Disney World

  • Slinky Dog Dash***
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
  • Toy Story Mania

If you are interested in riding on Slinky Dog Dash, it should be your number one priority by far. The family coaster has the highest demand for Genie+ Lightning Lane and the highest standby wait time of all the attractions in Hollywood Studios. As soon as Genie+ becomes available at 7 am, we would recommend grabbing a Lightning Lane reservation for Slinky Dog and working the rest of your day around that. Tower of Terror would be our second recommendation, because it still can attract long lines. Millennium Falcon and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster are both really great Lightning Lane reservations as well, but it should be noted that both of those attractions offer Single Rider. Millennium Falcon’s Single Rider line will probably guarantee that you get the Engineer role. You can read more about how the roles on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run work here. Toy Story Mania would be the bottom of our big priorities, because it doesn’t quite have as long of lines as the other rides, but it still is an extremely fun ride, and the most family friendly of this top tier.

Middle Priorities: Will Save You Moderate Amount of Time

Star Tours - Star Wars at Disney World

  • Star Tours
  • Alien Swirling Saucers

Toy Story Mania was on the cusp of being included in this category, but there’s a big drop off between the average wait time between the top tier rides and the middle tier. Personally, I love Star Tours, so using a Lightning Lane for that will always be good in my book, but chances are you can find a time in the day where the wait is less than 20 minutes for the OG Star Wars simulator. Alien Swirling Saucers is a blast with its swinging cars and bright colors, but it’s a classic case of being a great ride if you don’t wait too long for it. Lightning Lane solves that issue. 

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

Sign - Muppet Vision 3D - Hollywood Studios Attraction

  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along
  • Disney Jr. Dance Party
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

Can you spot the theme for this part of the list? These are all shows! Shows are a tricky thing when it comes to Lightning Lane – it usually guarantees you a good spot to watch the show from, but you may not save you much time. In some cases, it can mean a longer wait time, because the recommended return time can be 30 minutes before the show, and the guests who show up 5 minutes beforehand may have a worse view but will have a much shorter wait. For these, we would recommend grabbing them in the afternoon once you’ve managed to get your biggest priorities in the morning. Get a Lightning Lane for a show you care about. If your child loves Frozen, they may appreciate having a better view of Elsa during the sing along. 

Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane Tips

  • Rise of the Resistance Individual Lightning Lane and Slinky Dog Dash Genie+ Lightning Lane both sell out the quickest in their respective categories. Be sure to get those Lightning Lane reservations as early as you can. 
  • Don’t want to spend any extra money? Here’s a Hollywood Studios strategy: rope drop Slinky Dog Dash, then go on Tower or Terror. Use Single Rider for Millennium Falcon and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Ride Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in the mid-to-late afternoon, and go on Rise of the Resistance using the standby line in the last hour of park operation. 
  • Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations open up at 7 am for all guests. Individual Lightning Lane reservations open up at 7 am for resort guests, and park opening for all other guests.
  • 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:

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James

James is a lifelong Disney Parks fan. While at the parks, he loves finding new details, learning more about Disney World history, and taking pictures. His favorite WDW attractions include Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours.
James is a filmmaker and writer based in Los Angeles.

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