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Genie+ Priorities at Animal Kingdom

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Everyone wants to talk about Genie+. And a lot of people feel like they need to learn all about Genie+ before their next trip. Our YouTube series about Genie+ has gathered over 100,000 views. And there are many, many Disney sites that are offering prioritized lists of Genie+ attractions at every park.

A lot of those lists are based on gut feel. And some are even based on some pretty thorough testing by the authors or their teams. But here at TouringPlans, we’ve got the math. And I’m confident that we’ve got enough data to make some real data-driven prioritized attraction lists for each park.

This post was last updated on February 21st, 2024.

Explain the Math

We can rank the Genie+ attractions in each park in multiple ways. In this post, we are aggregating three of those measures by doing a simple average.

  1. Rank by average availability, ascending – the attraction in each park that typically sells out first will receive rank 1, and the attraction in each park that maintains book now/ride now availability the most through the day receives the lowest rank.
  2. Rank by average time savings, descending – the attraction in each park where Genie+ typically saves the most time compared to standby will receive rank 1, and the attraction in each park where Genie+ typically saves the least time compared to standby will receive the lowest rank.
  3. Rank by attraction satisfaction, descending – the attraction in each park with the highest overall average satisfaction from the past two years will receive rank 1, and the attraction in each park with the lowest overall average satisfaction from 2023 will receive the lowest rank.

Once I calculated all three ranks, then I averaged the three results and sorted from score that was closest to one all the way to the highest number. I used those averages to come up with the following prioritized list! Phew.

Prioritized List of Animal Kingdom Genie+ Attractions

Happily, the math supports what should have been everyone’s top priority anyway – the unmatched awesome of Kilimanjaro Safaris.

1. Kilimanjaro Safaris

Availability Score = 2 out of 7
Time Savings Score = 2 out of 7
Satisfaction Score = 1 out of 7

At Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris has the second-worst availability of all Genie+ attractions, and is the option with the highest satisfaction (a spot it took over from Expedition Everest). Its time savings are decent, with an average of 30 minutes saved. That used to be a lot higher, and can still be higher on high-crowd days or if you use it during popular times like the early morning.

 

 

4th place originally, but they’ve moved up!

2. Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost

Availability Score = 1 out of 7
Time Savings Score = 4 out of 7
Satisfaction Score = 3 out of 7

Character meet and greets are incredibly popular. And, while capacity has increased a bit thanks to the easing of some staffing issues, demand is still high for a relatively low supply. So time-savings have gone down, but availability is still really terrible – it is always the first attraction to sell out each day at Animal Kingdom. Its satisfaction is decently high for this park as well, coming in third. But it’s leagues behind second place.

 

 

The mark of a great attraction, IMO: excellent addition to the geography of the park from afar, and exciting to experience.

3. Expedition Everest

Availability Score = 3 out of 7
Time Savings Score = 3 out of 7
Satisfaction Score = 1 out of 7

Ohhhhhhh … Expedition Everest. As of the inaugural rankings, this fan favorite was in 2nd place. Since our last update, availability of reservations for Everest has gotten much worse – which makes it a better choice to get a reservation for early. Its satisfaction score is also MUCH higher any other attraction on the rest of this list. As far as satisfaction goes, you’re better off not making any other reservations on this list and exploring the animal trails or watching the shows. Or playing Wilderness Explorers!

 

 

Let’s be honest – as an engineer, I mostly ride Na’vi River Journey so that I can watch the Shaman at work. Oh, and the wonder in my kids’ eyes. That too.

4. Na’vi River Journey

Availability Score = 4 out of 7
Time Savings Score = 1 out of 7
Satisfaction Score = 5 out of 7 (ouch)

Na’vi River Journey is the obvious choice for Genie+ priorities – if you only care about time savings. It typically doesn’t sell out until after 5 pm. But it has great time savings – averaging over 40 minutes.

And when you factor in satisfaction, the decision to prioritize Na’vi River Journey doesn’t hold true. River Journey ranks 5th out of the 7 Genie+ attractions in average satisfaction. But I’m going to go ahead and say it’s worth trying, especially without much of a wait.

 

 

Much more popular in the hot summer months!

5. Kali River Rapids

Availability Score = 6 out of 7
Time Savings Score = 5 out of 7
Satisfaction Score = 4 out of 7

Kali River Rapids is pretty low on the list, thanks to easy availability all day and not-spectacular time savings (hovering around the 10 to 15 minute mark with somewhat low sample sizes). The bright side was that its satisfaction score is … not as terrible as some others. Kali River Rapids does experience a much more volatile availability than any other attraction on this list. If it’s a hot day, it will sell out much more quickly!

 

I’m a scaredy-cat, and therefore never ride DINOSAUR. This is where my personalized Genie+ priority list would stop abruptly for this park.

6. DINOSAUR

Availability Score = 5 out of 7
Time Savings Score = 6 out of 7
Satisfaction Score = 6 out of 7

DINOSAUR ranks in 5th place for availability (frequently not even selling out for the day) and 6th place for time savings compared to standby (close to the 15 minute range).

And out of the seven Genie+ attractions we’re ranking, DINOSAUR has the second-worst overall satisfaction from the past 6 months. That’s all bad enough news to keep it solidly on the low end of our list.

 

Terrified by this picture? Yeah, everyone else is too.

7. It’s Tough to Be a Bug

Availability Score = 7 out of 7
Time Savings Score = 7 out of 7
Satisfaction Score = 7 out of 7

It’s tough to recommend It’s Tough to Be a Bug (see what I did there?). At all. Ever. To anyone. Genie+ reservations have almost immediate availability all day every day, and the cost savings are close to zero on all except the very most crowded days of the year. It also has really low overall satisfaction, performing especially poorly with the young kids set who tend to be scared of all of the in-theater elements. I’d say don’t ever waste your time on this one unless you’re not park-hopping, have already purchased Genie+ for the day, and have already used reservations at basically every other eligible attraction or show.

 

What Does This Mean For You?

  1. I’d generally not recommend using Genie+ at Animal Kingdom. But on high crowd level days, and especially if you tend to miss rope drop, it could be worth it even if you only get reservations for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Na’vi River Journey. (bonus points for Adventurer Outpost)
  2. There are so many other things to do in Animal Kingdom that have higher overall satisfaction than the Genie+ attractions that I’m tempted to just say forget Genie+ in all circumstances and go hit the trails or watch Flights of Wonder and spend your time getting Wilderness Explorer badges. You’ll have a full and informative day without the hassle of long queues and booking reservations.
  3. What is most likely to change as we head further into the spring summer? Kali River Rapids will see a decrease in availability and increase in time savings with warmer weather, and Kilimanjaro Safaris should see an increase in availability as sunset gets later.

Have you used Genie+ at Animal Kingdom? Do you agree with these rankings or would yours be different? Let me know in the comments! 

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Becky Gandillon

Becky Gandillon was trained in biomedical engineering, but is now a full-time data and analytics nerd. She loves problem solving and travelling. She and her husband, Jeff, live in St. Louis with their two daughters and they have Disney family movie night every Saturday. You can follow her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-gandillon/ or instagram @raisingminniemes

12 thoughts on “Genie+ Priorities at Animal Kingdom

  • Hi Becky,

    On a friend’s recommendation based on his many successful Touring Plans vjsits, we are using your strategies exclusively for our family’s first trip to WDW on the incredibly busy week of 10/9-10/15. We have been deep diving the blogs, the YouTube videos, optimizing touring plans, and studying the data to hit try to hit all the headliners for our “one and done” WDW trip with our 8 and 6 year old boys.

    I find the G+ return time data you’ve reviewed this September 2022 particularly useful.

    The only recent data I have not seen is on return times for the ILL rides. The last data I’ve seen was before Disney changed to having only 1 I’ll per park, which I’m assuming has had an impact on the return times. Can you direct me to recent data or if you haven’t yet reviewed it, can you please let us know if you’ll be reviewing and releasing this data soon? It would be very useful in planning my trip.

    Thank you,
    A Reluctant Visitor

    Reply
    • Ah, A Reluctant Visitor. I knew you all existed 😉
      Next week I’ll be updating the Genie+ availability charts _and_ the ILL ones. Thanks for the reminder!

      Reply
  • What about the Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King? Is that just not in the running because it isn’t really needed? I know it had long lines when I was there in last June but didn’t know if that has changed. Thanks!

    Reply
  • What about Flight of Passage? Is that a rope drop scenario?

    Reply
    • Flight of Passage is an Individual Lightning Lane attraction, so you would have to pay for it separately anyway. Or you could rope drop (only if you have early entry), or wait until late at night.

      Reply
  • Where would we guess that Expedition Everest will rank on this list when it returns (hopefully soon)?

    Reply
    • Of course Disney would open the ride 3 days after I press publish! I plan on updating the blog with a data-driven ranking tomorrow 🙂

      Reply
  • Um… I *love* Na’vi River Journey! *ducks for cover*

    Reply
  • I really want a t-shirt, a sticker, something that says “Touring Plans. We have the math.” 🙂

    Love these posts and series about Genie+. We’re headed there in June and these have helped so much with understanding the process and planning. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Surely _someone_ could make that happen 😉

      Reply
  • LOL I agree that it’s tough to recommend It’s Tough to Be A Bug. Ever.

    Reply
    • There are very few attractions I feel this way about. They will all come to light in this blog series. Ha!

      Reply

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