In general, I think that Genie+ provides a lot of value for vacationers at Disneyland. Whether you’re using Lightning Lane at Disneyland Park or skipping the lines at California Adventure, you can save a ton of time at both parks at Disneyland Resort on rides like Space Mountain or Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! But what if you’re visiting with a toddler who can’t go on all of the attractions included in Genie+?

Is Genie+ still worth it for families with children too small for the most popular rides at Disneyland? That’s exactly what we will explore today, because the answer is complicated.

(Note: if you’re looking for the WDW version of this article, you can find it here: Is Genie+ Worth It For Toddlers at Disney World?)

The Surprising Truth about Toddlers and Genie+

I recently took my one year old son to Disneyland for two days — his first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. As someone who is somewhat obsessed with skipping lines, I bought Genie+ without a thought on our first day in the parks. Then I realized that our son can’t go on most of the rides included in Genie+ at Disneyland and California Adventure. At a whopping 30” tall, he was too short for any attraction with a height requirement in either park.

Here’s the Genie+ Lightning Lane attraction height requirements for both parks:

Disneyland Genie+ Height Requirements

  • Autopia: 32” to ride, 54” to drive
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 40”
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: No Height Requirement
  • Haunted Mansion: No Height Requirement
  • Indiana Jones Adventure: 46”
  • “it’s a small world”: No Height Requirement
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: 42”
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run: 38”
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin: No Height Requirement
  • Space Mountain: 40”
  • Splash Mountain: 40”
  • Star Tours — The Adventures Continue: 40”

Disney California Adventure Genie+ Height Requirements

  • Goofy’s Sky School: 42”
  • Grizzly River Run: 42”
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT: 40”
  • Incredicoaster: 48”
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue: No Height Requirement
  • Soarin’ Around the World: 40”
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!: No Height Requirement

At Disneyland, there are 4 attractions with no height requirement included in Genie+, and Autopia is the only attraction that your toddler might be able to ride due to its low 32” height requirement. However, Haunted Mansion might be a little too scary for your little one, depending on their disposition. And Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin might be both too scary and a bit too intense, as there is no lap seating on that attraction. That leaves Buzz Lightyear and “it’s a small world” as the only two attractions that would be an easy recommendation for all toddlers. So depending on your child and what rides you want to bring them on, Disneyland Park provides 2-5 options for Genie+.

At DCA, the options are even thinner. Only Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story Midway Mania have no height requirements. Toy Story might not be the best ride for a toddler, as the American Optometric Association doesn’t recommend children enjoy 3D movies or games until the age of 3. But they might just enjoy playing with the pull-string on the ride’s shooting mechanism. Once again, you can use your own judgement if you think your toddler will enjoy Toy Story Mania.

Should you get Genie+ if you are visiting with just a toddler?

its a small world - Disneyland Ride for Toddlers

If you are visiting Disneyland just for a toddler, then your options for Lightning Lane are going to be pretty limited. Is that worth paying $20 per person? Being able to skip the line at “it’s a small world” or Monsters, Inc. with a squirmy toddler is actually really valuable, as toddlers have much less patience for lines. When I went into the park with my son, I was able to skip an hour-long line for “it’s a small world,” which felt like it justified the Genie+ purchase all on its own. But it’s certainly less of a value proposition than if I was going on all the other rides. You can only use Genie+ to get in the Lightning Lane once per attraction, so if you were planning on spending the money to just be able to ride “small world” over and over, you’re out of luck.

It should be noted that you will not have to pay for Genie+ for your toddler if they are under 3, as they get into the parks for free, and Genie+ is a ticket add-on. All guests 3 and over will need Genie+ added to their ticket to use the Lightning Lane.

The other big part of the value for guests visiting with toddlers is that PhotoPass is included in Genie+ at Disneyland. This is definitely a huge perk for parents of small children, as getting their picture around the parks will be one of the best ways to commemorate your visit.

Still, if you are only visiting for a toddler, Genie+ is a toss-up, as most of the attractions and activities you will be doing throughout your visit do not feature Lightning Lane. Personally, we skipped buying Genie+ altogether on the second day of our visit, and had an amazing time going on attractions like the Disneyland Railroad, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and Winnie the Pooh. We missed out on PhotoPass that day, but we made sure to get a ton of PhotoPass pictures taken on the first day of our visit.

What about Rider Switch?

Millennium Falcon - Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

One of the best ways for families to save time is to utilize Rider Switch. This feature lets adults take turns waiting with children too small (or too scared) to go on rides with height requirements.

Here’s how it works, according to Disney:

“If a Guest doesn’t meet the boarding requirements or doesn’t wish to experience a particular attraction, it’s not a problem for family and friends who do! With Rider Switch, one adult or supervising Guest (14 years or older) can wait with non-riders while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. Then, they simply switch roles to allow the supervising Guest to experience the attraction without waiting in the regular queue again.”

Basically, your group will be divided into two parties: party 1 and party 2. Party 1 goes on the ride while Party 2 supervises the child or children who don’t want to ride. Once Party 1 is done, Party 2 (which can include up to 3 guests) can go into the Lightning Lane entrance of the ride while Party 1 watches the children.

You don’t need Genie+ to utilize rider switch, but Genie+ can save you a lot of time, as it will let Party 1 get on the ride in a shorter amount of time. For parents of toddlers also wanting to get on the major rides at Disneyland, saving this time while swapping who watches the baby or toddler can make a huge difference.

I also confirmed that Rider Switch is still supported at Individual Lightning Lane rides like Rise of the Resistance and Radiator Springs Racers.

Should you get Genie+ if your party includes more than just parents and a toddler?

Radiator Springs Racers - Disneyland MaxPass

When my wife and I went to Disneyland, our goal was mainly to make sure our 1 year old son had a great time. We’ve been to Disneyland a lot, so us going on rides wasn’t our biggest priority. The value of Genie+ was questionable for us in that scenario.

But what if your party also includes older kids, teens, or more adults? Then using Genie+ in combination with Rider Switch can mean that you can get a lot more done and spend a lot less time in line. For example, let’s use the Party 1 and Party 2 example from the Rider Switch. Party 1 could go on Indiana Jones using Genie+ without the toddler, while Party 2 goes on Jungle Cruise or the Enchanted Tiki Room with the toddler. Then Party 2 can go on Indiana Jones later while Party 1 takes the toddler on the Disneyland Railroad or to run around on Tom Sawyer Island. For small families, you might not want to be split up so much, but for bigger parties, this is a fantastic way to get a lot done while keeping everyone entertained — including the smallest members of your group.

So, is Genie+ worth it for families with toddlers? It really depends on who else is in your traveling party, and if you think PhotoPass adds enough value if you’re only interested in doing toddler-friendly rides.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out our list of the 10 Surprising Must-Pack Items for Toddlers at Disney, as well as Guide 2 Lightning Lane at Disneyland Resort:


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 Rise of the Resistance, Spaceship Earth, and Tower of Terror.
James is a filmmaker and writer based in Atlanta, GA.

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