Of the four Disney Parks at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the newest having first opened on April 22, 1998. The stunning Disney Park is the largest of the four and boasts intricately themed lands designed to whisk Guests to locations, both real and mythological, for unforgettable experiences that all share the common theme of conservation and preservation of nature.
Guests who spend time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom can wander through the Valley of Mo’ara under floating mountains in Pandora – The World of Avatar, embark on an African safari, travel back to prehistoric times, get up close with animals, wander through temple ruins filled with Asian tigers, come face to face with a mythical Yeti, and more.
Animal Kingdom is also home to its fair share of popular and incredible attractions including Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, and Dinosaur. With so many popular attractions, it is no surprise that Disney’s Animal Kingdom draws large crowds and can see lengthy wait times on busy days.
While some Guests simply accept this and resign themselves to waiting in lines for most of a day spent in the Disney Park, others decide to purchase the Disney Genie+ service for an additional fee to avoid the longest lines and save time, leading to more free time to explore and enjoy other experiences throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Disney Genie+ is essentially the replacement of the FastPass system that Guests can get to know and love over the years and assigns Guests designated return windows for specific attractions with several noticeable differences. The entire system is now accessible only via the My Disney Experience App, and also now costs an additional fee per person per day. The fee varies depending on the time of year, day of the week, and which Park. Guests who opt into the service can expect to pay anywhere between $15 and $22 per person per day.
Those who do decide that purchasing Disney Genie+ is a must-do for a day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom start by downloading the My Disney Experience App, creating an account, linking their tickets, and making a Disney Park reservation for Disney’s Animal Kingdom on their desired day. Once they have done all of that, they can log on any time after midnight on the day of their visit to purchase the service for each Guest in their party.
In order to see and enjoy the most possible in Disney’s Animal Kingdom using the Disney Genie+ service, Guests need to prioritize what attractions and experiences are the most important to them. Logically, the best selections for the service are those with the lengthiest wait times throughout each day, which would lead to saving the most time without being in the standby line. Some great options to prioritize are Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, and Na’vi River Journey.
An important note: Avatar Flight of Passage is not available as a Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane selection, but rather only accessible via the regular standby queue or as an additional Individual Lightning Lane purchase. This individual purchase requires an additional fee per person and provides a designated return window to enjoy the attraction with little to no wait time. This is the same setup as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Once Guests decide which attraction is their top priority in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they should log on to the My Disney Experience App several minutes before 7 a.m. and begin to refresh just before that time. Once the Disney Genie+ service opens for the day, Guests should immediately choose their top priority experience and book a Lightning Lane return window for that attraction.
For example, if a Guest decides that Kilimanjaro Safaris is their top priority in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they should be ready to make that selection at 7 a.m. and grab the first Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane return window that they can.
Once this initial selection is made, Guests have some downtime to finish getting ready and make their way to Disney’s Animal Kingdom before being able to book additional Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane selections. Additional selections can be made in one of two ways: either immediately after Guests tap their MagicBands at their first booked experience, or two hours after Park opening.
For example, if a Guest books Na’vi River Journey as their first selection of the day and has a return window of 9 a.m., they can book a second Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane selection immediately after tapping their MagicBands at the attraction. Alternatively, if their selection for Na’vi River Journey isn’t until 1 p.m. and Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens at 8 a.m., they can begin to make additional selections at 10 a.m., two hours after Park opening.
In order to make the most of each moment in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests need to prioritize what attraction is the most important to them, be ready to make that selection at 7 a.m., and then be aware of when they can continue to book additional Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane selections throughout the day.
By being ready to continue booking one selection after the other, Guests can stack selections and jump from one attraction to the next while avoiding waiting in long lines and saving time. Sometimes even booking selections for attractions like It’s Tough to be a Bug or Festival of the Lion King that rarely have lengthy wait times can help to save short bits of time here and there that can add up throughout the course of a day.
There you have it — an effective way to use the Disney Genie+ service in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to make the most of every single moment and see and do as much as possible. By having priorities, being on top of selection times and windows, and smartly stacking selections, Guests can truly have a busy and successful day seeing it all throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom!