When FastPass was included with your ticket, it was important to figure out which rides you should choose first for your reservations. Now that Genie+ has arrived and front-of-the-line access costs an additional fee, it’s even more important to know which rides to prioritize and which rides to skip. In our Guide 2 Lightning Lane, we are sharing tips and strategies to make the most out of your day at Walt Disney World. We’ll share whether Genie+ is worth it at each park, which rides you should prioritize for Genie+ Lightning Lane, and if it’s worth it to spend extra money for Individual Lightning Lane for the top two rides in the park. 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.

As the most popular theme park in the world, Magic Kingdom is usually the first place guests visit when they head to Walt Disney World, so our Guide 2 Lightning Lane will start there. With iconic rides like Space Mountain, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, it’s easy to see how Magic Kingdom has earned its “World’s Most Visited Theme Park” status. It’s also the park with the most attractions at Disney World by a wide margin; naturally, Magic Kingdom also has the most number of options for Lightning Lane.

So, which of these attractions are worth your money for Lightning Lane? And which are worth skipping? Read on to find out.

Individual Lightning Lane Recommendations for Magic Kingdom

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 Magic Kingdom Individual Lightning Lane recommendations.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: Consider Buying

Even after several years, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the newest ride at Magic Kingdom, and demand for the ride remains hight. It’s easy to see why: with a 38 inch height requirement and a ride that offers mild thrills to all ages, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has mass appeal that the other coasters at Magic Kingdom don’t quite have. Even Big Thunder Mountain Railroad can be too rough for some, and Barnstormer is very much a “kiddie” coaster in comparison. SDMT hits that sweet spot that pleases anyone toddlers to grandparents. Especially on more crowded days, Individual Lightning Lane can save you 60-120 minutes in line. With pricing hovering between $10-$12, saving an extra hour or two for your day at Magic Kingdom could be worth it. Buying for the middle of the day makes the most sense, as it will save you the most time on average.

If you don’t want to pay for Individual Lightning Lane, we would recommend going on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as your first ride after rope drop for the shortest line.

Space Mountain Line - Magic Kingdom Attraction

Space Mountain: Don’t Buy

This is a pattern that we’ve noticed with the introduction of Individual Lightning Lane at Disney World. Each park typically has one attraction that seems like you should at least consider buying, and one attraction that you absolutely should not buy. Space Mountain plays that latter role in Magic Kingdom. You can typically find short wait times for Space Mountain, especially in the morning and the hour before park closing. Even with prices for Individual Lightning Lane being on the low end, $7-$9 just doesn’t seem like a good deal to skip a line that may be only 30-45 minutes. If the parks are extremely crowded, maybe think about it. If money is no object to you, congratulations, go for it.

It should also be noted that we feel very strongly that Space Mountain will move to the Genie+ attraction pool once the Tron roller coaster opens sometime in 2022-2023.

Is Genie+ Worth It at Magic Kingdom?

The first question you need to answer is if you should add $15 to your ticket for your day at Magic Kingdom. Like Individual Lightning Lane, budgets will be different for everyone, so it’s impossible to give a one-size fits all recommendation. That having been said, Genie+ delivers the most value at Magic Kingdom. With 17 Genie+ Lightning Lane attractions included in the price, you have the best chance of getting several Lightning Lane timeslots for some pretty awesome rides. If you are on top of making your Lightning Lane reservations, you could skip the line at over 10 rides at Magic Kingdom, depending on crowd size. For tips on how to best use the Genie+ Lightning Lane system, be sure to check out our tips for maximizing Genie+ Lightning Lane.

Here is the Magic Kingdom Genie+ Lineup.

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • The Barnstormer
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

Genie+ Lightning Lane Priorities for Magic Kingdom

With 17 attractions available for Genie+ Lightning Lane at Magic Kingdom, it’s theoretically possible to go on all of them if you go on an uncrowded day and get lucky. However, most likely you won’t be able to squeeze in 17 Lightning Lane rides during your day at the park. So, you’ll need to make your priorities. Below is our list of Genie+ Lightning Lane recommendations, based both on what will save you the most time and which rides are the best within this list. Typically, the best rides attract the longest lines, but some guests may want to prioritize rides in the middle or bottom tier, as they may not like thrill rides or may be looking for the most kid-friendly attractions.

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

Splash Mountain - Exterior - Disney World

  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Jungle Cruise

These rides can get long lines, especially during peak seasons. If you are traveling with small kids, a Lightning Lane reservation for Peter Pan’s Flight is a must. If your kids are bigger or if you only have adults in your party, Peter Pan could be placed lower on your list of priorities (unless you want to go on for nostalgia reasons). If you have thrill seekers in your party, then you can’t go wrong with Splash or Big Thunder Mountain. Both Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean are two of Disney World’s best dark rides, and are worth grabbing a Lightning Lane reservation for. Jungle Cruise used to be in our middle tier of FastPass recommendations, but its recent refurbishment and story revamp has given it a big boost in popularity.

Lightning Lane tip: Consider making these your “Top Picks,” as it will put the attractions at the top of your Tip Board within the My Disney Experience app. This will save you time from scrolling.

Middle Priorities: Will Save You Moderate Amount of Time

Buzz Lightyear - Zurg

  • it’s a small world
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Any of these attractions are a solid pickup for your Lightning Lane selections, especially in the afternoon when the top attractions start becoming unavailable. These rides won’t have wait times quite as long as the earlier mentioned attractions, but you’ll still be saving a good amount of time by grabbing a Lightning Lane in these scenarios. All of these attractions are great for kids, so if you’re traveling with a small child, you may want to prioritize it’s a small world or Dumbo over a top attraction like Big Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain.

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

Mickey's Philharmagic - Magic Kingdom

  • Mickey’s Philharmagic
  • Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Barnstormer
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin

This definitely isn’t a recommendation to skip these attractions. In fact, Monsters Inc and Philharmagic are two of my personal must-do attractions on a Disney World vacation. It’s just that a Lightning Lane reservation might not save you that much time versus the standby line for these attractions, as they have some of the shortest wait times on average in Magic Kingdom. These are the type of attractions that you may be able to find immediate or almost immediate return times for Lightning Lane. If that’s the case, go ahead and grab a Genie+ Lightning Lane time slot, especially in the late afternoon or early evening.

Magic Kingdom Lightning Lane Tips

  • 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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