A Confusing Change to Lightning Lane Demystified

Disney Genie

Park hopping with Genie+ just got more complicated. As any new product will, Genie+/ Lightning Lane has experienced some tweaks and changes since it launched at Walt Disney World on October 19, 2021. While we’ve loved some of the changes, others not so much. This one, however, is just confusing. 

As of today, it’s being reported that you can no longer make Lightning Lane selections with a return time before 2:00 pm. While that may seem like common sense since you cannot Park hop before 2:00 pm, it is a departure from how the app previously operated, and it does make it more complicated. 

Disney Genie+

Credit: Disney

In the past, if you were at Animal Kingdom and planned to hop to Hollywood Studios in the afternoon, you could hop on Genie+ and grab the first available time slot, which could have been before 2:00 pm when Park hopping begins. The app would automatically change the time to 2:00 pm. Now it will no longer default. It will simply disallow you from choosing it. 

So what does that mean exactly? You’ll have to do a little more searching and a little more scrolling from now on. In order to make Lightning Lane selections going forward, they will have to be for a time slot that you’re eligible for. This means that sometimes you won’t be able to make a selection because you’re only given the most recent  time options with no ability to scroll for later times. You’ll simply have to keep checking back to see if an appropriate time is available to you. 

If that makes your head hurt, you’re not alone. This change is confusing, but ultimately shouldn’t impact your use of the app much. 

One other important thing to note about this change is that it does not affect Individual Lightning Lane selections (the ones you pay for as you go). That’s because you have a full complement of times to choose from with these selections as opposed to just the earliest three or so. 

Lightning lane changes

Credit: Twitter/Scott Gustin

This service remains incredibly popular, and because of that, we can expect more changes in the future as the wrinkles in the system  get ironed out. What do you think about these changes? Let us know in the comments. 


About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.