You Do NOT Must Get Up at 7 am for Genie+

One large criticism about Genie+ is that it “forces” Walt Disney World visitors to stand up early with a purpose to e-book their first trip reservation at 7 am. This submit exams whether or not that principle is correct, with a have a look at Lightning Lane availability later within the morning and if you truly “want” to make first choices for every park. (Up to date April 30, 2023.)

Earlier than we get going, I wish to begin with one thing that has been bugging me with regard to the Genie+ service. It’s now been over a 12 months since Walt Disney World revealed that free FastPass+ can be completely changed by the Genie+ service. (Time flies if you’re having enjoyable, amirite?!)

I believe we will all agree that the preliminary announcement, subsequent communications (or lack thereof), branding, consumer interface, and a lot extra about Genie have left lots to be desired, to place it charitably. You’ll be able to most likely already inform there’s a “however” coming…

Nevertheless it does nobody any good to magnify the system’s shortcomings, issues, and woes. Sure, it stinks {that a} previously free service was changed by one thing that prices cash. It was additionally an inevitability that was years within the making, and would’ve occurred no matter who was/is CEO. (As we’ve joked earlier than, don’t cry as a result of free FastPass is over, smile as a result of it didn’t occur 3 years earlier, per the unique plan. 😉)

It’s additionally true on the identical time that not every little thing about Genie+ is terrible. Every subsequent change is just not unhealthy information. The service is just not wholly irredeemable or with out worth. The sky is just not falling. There have been plenty of tweaks made within the final 12 months to make Genie+ higher and simpler to make use of. The addition of the modify button is a large enchancment that improves the service significantly. Past that, Lightning Lane availability is best and the service is mostly much less glitchy.

Amongst some Walt Disney World followers, there’s a seemingly reflexive response to bulletins or updates on Genie+ that seeks to vindicate their preconceived opinions and validate their anger. Every point out of Genie’s title summons extra hostility and outrage. There isn’t even an inner logic to it–if Genie is actually the worst factor ever, it ought to stand to motive that it’ll probably profit from tweaking and iteration. Nope. Dangerous begets extra unhealthy.

Partially, this simply appears to be the method issues are these days. All the things is both terrible or superior. Folks type snap judgments and don’t deviate from entrenched positions. They’re both group X or Y, with little center floor. Clearly, this extends far past Disney. Simply because it isn’t wholesome in different facets of life…it isn’t right here, both.

Once more, Genie+ has a whole lot of issues and shortcomings, all whereas it continues to extend in worth as in comparison with launch. This isn’t to reduce any of that. Thankfully, as has been defined in myriad posts, you possibly can both leverage it to your benefit or use different approaches and keep away from the entire thing!

Admittedly, a few of the fault lies with us. We’ve shared a whole lot of technique to leverage paid FastPass for optimum profit and grow to be energy customers of the system. Though we’ve repeatedly supplied the caveat that advanced-level data is just not obligatory for the overwhelming majority of individuals, the mere existence of a lot technique however creates strain.

Even past Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, that is one thing with which we’ve grappled. It won’t present from some posts, however we’re comparatively laid again and spontaneous vacationers ourselves when doing issues for enjoyable. Our purpose is to provide the instruments to assume otherwise and beat the crowds so you may get extra out of your trip and luxuriate in time with your loved ones. With few exceptions, we’re not presenting strict technique that should be memorized and adopted meticulously. (After I say that I hate spreadsheets, I imply it.)

Ideally, the objective is extra “instructing you to fish” than something–placing you ready to know learn how to method the parks and Walt Disney World’s many convoluted and quirky insurance policies/methods/and many others.

We’re cognizant that it doesn’t at all times work that method in observe. The FOMO machine drives a lot of the mindset behind Walt Disney World trip planning. The substance of an Early Entry at DHS technique submit detailing why that’s superior to Lightning Lanes would possibly carry much less weight than the quantity of posts in regards to the Genie+ service.

It’s a tricky and typically delicate stability. My objective is to current a level-headed and sincere have a look at the nice, unhealthy, and ugly of Walt Disney World with minimal sensationalism and hyperbole. In furtherance of that, I are likely to assume extra info is best than much less, however typically that may be perceived otherwise.

I’m most likely simply rambling at this level, so I’ll reduce this brief. To begin with, opposite to the fears of many followers, you do not want to be up at midnight to buy Genie+ or else threat it being bought out at 7 am. As of Spring 2023, Genie+ has bought out precisely 7 occasions ever, and never as soon as has it bought out earlier than park opening. The earliest it has ever bought out, thus far, is 9:45 am and that was through the peak of Easter week. Except you’re visiting through the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Yr’s Eve, there’s zero threat of Genie+ promoting out earlier than park opening for the rest of 2023.

So that you don’t should be as much as buy Genie+ earlier than 7 am, nor do you want to be up at 7 am to make your first Lightning Lane choice. The entire level right here is to alleviate a few of the strain Walt Disney World guests could really feel to stand up proper at 7 am, use velocity technique, superior stacking strategies, and so forth. Genie+ doesn’t should be so difficult, or have excessive stakes. You don’t want to stand up at 7 am, and even through the 7 am hour.

When Walt Disney World followers assume they should e-book at 7 am or be at an enormous drawback, that is typically resulting from a elementary (but oddly persistent) misunderstanding of How the Genie+ 120 Minute Rule Works at Walt Disney World.

As a reminder the clock on this does not begin ticking at 7 am (or at any time when your first early morning trip reservation is made). The clock begins *at* park opening. Should you make your first Lightning Lane choice at 7:00 am, reserving Slinky Canine Sprint with a 2 pm to three pm return window, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens for the day at 8:30 am, you may make your subsequent Lightning Lane choice through Genie+ at 10:30 am.

Somebody who made their first DHS Lightning Lane choice with a return window of 3-4 pm at 8:29 am also can make their subsequent choose at 10:30 am. Each of you’re within the very same place. In different phrases, the subsequent spherical for each examples is 120 minutes after 8:30 am.

Accordingly, it follows that the pertinent consideration is Lightning Lane stock between 7 am and park opening occasions. If availability remains to be good for the preferred sights, there isn’t a lot of–or any–drawback to sleeping in a bit and reserving through the 8 am hour. That’s what the screenshots right here showcase, with commentary sprinkled in.

It’s not solely honest to say that stock is the one factor that issues. In spite of everything, the best way Genie+ trip reservations work is you can e-book one by one, and may both make one other choice after two hours (120 minutes) or when you faucet into your earlier Genie+ choice, whichever comes first.

As such, in the event you’re capable of e-book a Lightning Lane return time inside the first two hours that the park is open, you’ll often be capable of e-book one other as quickly as you faucet into your first choice. That means that in the event you one way or the other scored Slinky Canine Sprint for 8:45 am to 9:45 am, you could possibly e-book your second Lightning Lane as early as 8:45 am and get a slight jumpstart on everybody else.

This provides a bonus, however with a couple of caveats. First, in the event you prioritize sleeping in on trip–the entire motive for avoiding the ~6:45 am Genie+ alarm–it’s most likely not a paramount concern. You probably wouldn’t make it to the park that early in the event you’re not up by 7 am, anyway.

Second, really savvy technique often received’t have you ever returning to Lightning Lanes through the first ~90 minutes the parks are open–that’s prime time for utilizing standby strains to beat the crowds. You’re not going to wish to return to Slinky Canine Sprint–or another trip reservation–that early. (Now, 9:45 am at DHS is a special story–strains are beginning to get longer by then. So there’s nonetheless some upside.)

Lastly, anybody reserving their second Lightning Lane an hour or so after park opening is nearly definitely going to have a return time greater than 2 hours into the longer term, thus subjecting that to the 120 minute rule. At greatest, they’ve a 30-45 minute head-start and get a barely earlier return time for attraction #2 of the day.

That’s not nothing, however it’s comparatively insignificant over the course of the day. That’s very true on the parks that aren’t Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the place availability for headliner sights lasts lots longer. (EPCOT will be one other problem, as scoring Lightning Lanes for each Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Journey with out making a reservation at 7 am depends on luck with cancellations or trip reservation refills.)

Talking of which, this additionally doesn’t bear in mind Lightning Lane refills, that are going to be a predominant technique of scoring choices at fashionable sights later within the day. (See Experience Reservation Refill Guidelines at Walt Disney World for extra on this added availability all through the day.)

By pure luck/accident, we truly hit one in all these whereas grabbing screenshots for this text. As you possibly can see, Slinky Canine Sprint was ‘refilled’ shortly earlier than 8:30 am. This didn’t go shortly, and it nonetheless had availability at 8:55 am. (Though not pictured, even previous 9:30 am!)

It’s solely doable–and by no means unusual–that somebody who obtained up early for the 7:00:00 am Slinky scramble would have a later return time (or miss out solely) whereas somebody who obtained up over an hour later would have higher success. (To deal with one other false impression: you’ll have the identical success with refills no matter social gathering measurement. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a celebration of 1 or 100.)

In different phrases, somebody who books their first Lightning Lane proper at 7 am is just not going to be operating across the park stacking up dozens of Lightning Lanes whilst you’re asleep, depleting the trip reservation stock and rendering Genie+ ineffective earlier than you’ve even made your first choice.

At greatest, they may have entry to higher return occasions for sure sights and the power to faucet into their first choice earlier than the park opening 120 minute rule window elapses. That is a bonus, particularly in terms of fashionable #2 precedence sights that go quick. Nevertheless, it’s one in all levels and in addition assumes some velocity technique talent or luck in getting that early return window.

In observe, it typically doesn’t work out that method. Anybody who books a 7 am Lightning Lane with a return time over 2 hours after park opening is in actually the very same place as somebody who books 1 minute earlier than park opening. There’s no benefit to reserving Jungle Cruise with an 11:00 to 12:00 return time at 7:00 am over Jungle Cruise with a 1:30 to 2:30 return time at 8:58 am. Zero.

Now, this isn’t to say we’d advocate taking a laid-back method to Genie+ through the week of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any peak season dates. That’s not a good suggestion if you wish to get as a lot carried out as doable, as every little thing is amplified (for the more serious) with 10/10 crowd ranges. Nevertheless, that’s true throughout the board, and never unique to Lightning Lanes. We’d by no means advocate anybody going over these peak weeks sleep in in the event that they wished to get lots carried out. It merely isn’t a good suggestion, and for causes virtually solely unrelated to Genie+.

The precise early riser benefit is similar because it has at all times been: attending to the parks earlier than the crowds arrive. It’s type of odd to be quibbling over a theoretical ~30-45 reserving benefit for a single Lightning Lane when the park-goers who stand up at 7 am will probably be knocking out attraction after attraction through standby strains throughout Early Entry and at rope drop. Commando touring methods beat all different approaches, together with the Genie+ service.

That is the actual motive we’d strongly advocate getting up early on trip at Walt Disney World and one which has been mentioned in quite a few morning technique posts lately. As at all times, you’re at an amazing benefit in the event you arrive earlier than park opening or keep till park closing. The center of the day is at all times the busiest/worst time at Walt Disney World, which is just a byproduct of conduct of people on trip and may’t be “blamed” on new expertise. It would at all times be true that the early chicken will get the worm and the evening owl will get the…mouse, I suppose?

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Find out about accommodations on our Walt Disney World Motels Opinions web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Opinions. To economize on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a novel have a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Experience Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, one of the best place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for every little thing you want to know!


Does this reassure you in any respect about utilizing Genie+ when sleeping in at Walt Disney World? Present readability in regards to the 120 minute rule in relation to park opening, and why it’s not crucial to make a trip reservation proper at 7 am? Have you ever had success or failure reserving your first Lightning Lane nearer to park opening as a substitute of proper at 7 am? Ideas on availability round park opening occasions or later within the day? Are you planning on shopping for Genie+ or sticking to free standby strains? Do you agree or disagree with my evaluation that Genie+ is usually a laid again expertise in the event you select to not stress over it? Any questions we may also help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even if you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

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