Genie+ Priorities at Hollywood Studios

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Over the past week, we’ve been using math to help us determine what your Genie+ priorities should be at every WDW park. You can check out the results for Animal Kingdom and EPCOT in their own articles. Because, in case you didn’t know, Genie+ is complicated and frustrating. And if you don’t do your research, you can get stuck paying a lot of money to only skip 2 or 3 waits each day, and that would be a bummer.

But if you’re not a nerd like me, spending hours and hours studying Genie+ can be equally frustrating and painful. Unless you do your research by watching this really great “teacher” that I know on YouTube.

So for the portion of the population that doesn’t want to do all of that research, I’m offering these simpler priority lists. They combine information about booking attractions that you should enjoy, that can save you the most time, and before they tend to sell out for the day. And of course they’re based on data. Because if you find a list that’s not based on data, run away! (Last updated September 13th, 2022)

Explain the Math

Even if we limit ourselves to ranking Genie+ attractions with math, and not with our “feelings“, there are still many ways to do that ranking. In this post, I am going to aggregate 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 the past two years will receive the lowest rank.

The first two of of these rankings are relatively easy to figure out based on our most recent Genie+ analyses. You can find those results (and how they were calculated) here and here.

The last rank is where I’m things get a little tricky. On my first pass, I used a straight rank from highest satisfaction down to lowest satisfaction (average of all satisfaction ratings from all demographics for the past two years). But after looking at the results, it didn’t really appropriately capture all of the complexity. It wasn’t fair to parks where several attractions had significantly higher satisfaction than all of the rest, or when one attraction has worse satisfaction by far than all the rest. So I created a linear regression where the top satisfaction score received a 1, and the lowest satisfaction score received the lowest possible rank (count of the Genie+ attractions in that park).  Then I used the resulting equation to convert the rest of the scores to a relative number between 1 and the worst possible rank.

Update: After reader feedback, I’m implementing the linear regression for all three metrics to be more fair!

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 Hollywood Studios Genie+ Attractions

If you ride Slinky Dog Dash, you too can have as much fun as us! Even if you don’t have adorable matching masks and hairbows.

1. Slinky Dog Dash

Availability Score = 1 out of 10

Time Savings Score = 1 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 1.8 out of 10

Are you all shocked? Well, pick your jaws up off of the floor. If there were a WDW-wide priority list, Slinky would be on top. It always sells out before any other option. It also saves you more time than approximately any other attraction (more on that below). And on top of all of that, it has almost the highest satisfaction of any attraction in the park. It’s a triple threat, and should be your obvious top priority.

 

If my then-4-year-old wants to ride Tower of Terror … then pretty much anyone should want to ride Tower of Terror.

2. Tower of Terror

Availability Score = 2.5 out of 10

Time Savings Score = 2.5 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 1.9 out of 10

Here’s where things get fun. You know how on the Animal Kingdom post I said whenever Expedition Everest opened it would change everything? And then Animal Kingdom opened THREE DAYS LATER?! Well, get ready for the refurb on Tower of Terror to be done tomorrow. Because being second on this list should be temporary, for the duration of this attraction’s half-down refurb.

As a result of capacity being halved, standby waits totally skyrocketed, often being even higher than Slinky Dog Dash. That means time savings are higher too. I’m still going with a historical average, but the recent uptick has done enough to mean that Tower of Terror has the 3rd-biggest savings in the park. And people have figured out that they need a reservation for it, so it’s also booking up second, just behind Slinky. And its satisfaction is higher than Falcon, so it climbs all of the way to 2nd place.

And here’s the fun stuff – time savings are still incredibly high, even though both sides are now back open. So Tower of Terror retains its number two spot!

 

We like re-riding Millennium Falcon during our trips if possible so that we can each experience multiple roles!

3. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Availability Score = 6 out of 10

Time Savings Score = 1.3 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 3.3 out of 10

This is where I question whether I should’ve added a “Star Wars Quotient” to my equation. Because … Millennium Falcon is a lot of fun. Alas, I’ve already made the rules and now I have to abide by them.

The last time we updated this list, Millennium Falcon was booking up second out of all attractions in Hollywood Studios. And … my, how times have changed. Now it’s usually the fourth attraction to sell out, behind all of the attractions ahead of it on this list plus the Rock’n’Rollercoaster. But, it can still you a large amount of time compared to standby, and in fact, that number is increasing. Its satisfaction score is a little lower, though. The lowest of any of the top 5 priority attractions on this list. So I guess it can live in third place for now until Tower of Terror gets back to full health.

 

Walk this way … don’t wait this way … I dunno. I’m out of clever captions.

4. Rock’n’Roller Coaster

Availability Score = 6 out of 10

Time Savings Score = 5 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 1.8 out of 10

Rock’n’Roller Coaster is still very much a worthwhile option behind the top three on this list. Even though it’s in 5th place for time savings, that still means you’re saving over half an hour on average (and more on high-crowd days). And it has started reliably selling out before Millennium Falcon, but you’ll save so much more time at Falcon that the coaster comes in 4th. It also has stellar satisfaction scores, coming in just behind Slinky Dog Dash and ahead of Tower of Terror and Millennium Falcon.

 

A dad and his daughter on the Toy Story Mania ride vehcile
Any guesses about which participant scored more in this ride vehicle?

5. Toy Story Mania

Availability Score = 8 out of 10

Time Savings Score = 4.6 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 1 out of 10

Toy Story Mania has the highest satisfaction score out of any Genie+ attraction at Hollywood Studios. In fact, it beats out any attractions/entertainment other than Rise of the Resistance or Savi’s Workshop.

That amazing satisfaction score can’t quite help it past its better (and improving) availability. But thanks to greatly improved time savings (35 minutes, on average!) it moved up a spot on these rankings compared to our original list. Some of that is due to a concerning increase in unexpected ride downtime that backs up standby and increases Lightning Lane guest prioritization. That being said, you should pretty easily be able to hit Toy Story Mania either early in the morning or late at night if you want to avoid using a reservation to experience it.

 

Interesting to see a previous Individual Lightning Lane “fall” all the way to fifth priority among the Genie+ options!

6. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Availability Score = 7 out of 10

Time Savings Score =  5.9 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 2.3 out of 10

I’m honestly really surprised that Runaway Railway dropped this far down in the list. But its wait times have been dropping (relative to the other attractions in the park), so time savings don’t earn it any big points. And it usually has slightly better availability than any of the attractions further up in the list. All of that, combined with a satisfaction score of 2.3 means it gets 6th place, amazingly dropping into the bottom half of attractions at Hollywood Studios. That satisfaction score actually speaks really highly to the Genie+ lineup at DHS. Animal Kingdom and EPCOT both had many attractions with below-average satisfaction scores, and Hollywood Studios has the opposite “problem”.

If you are travelling with young kids and are using Genie+, this priority should very obviously shift up in your individual rankings since they don’t qualify for a lot of the other attractions. Or, y’know, you can use Genie+ and rider swap for the adults to have a fun day, and just let the kids dance with Disney Junior stars all day.

 

Writing this article while watching this exact song during family movie night. I think this is what the kids call “work-life balance”.

7. See Olaf at Hollywood Studios

Availability Score = 6.5 out of 10

Time Savings Score = 9.2 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 5.8 out of 10

Olaf is character – and a huggable one at that! So that means decently high demand, and low supply thanks to staffing issues. Time savings here are decent, but availability is also pretty good. It all sort of evens out and makes this one a big “meh” for Genie+.

 

Your time savings probably won’t be great, thanks to Batuu absorbing all of the Star Wars fans – but it’s still a great ride. Or 54 rides if you count all of the options.

8. Star Tours

Availability Score = 10 out of 10

Time Savings Score = 10 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 4.8 out of 10

Star Tours has the best availability out of any Hollywood Studios attraction, which earns it the last-place availability ranking. But this gets balanced out by a higher satisfaction score than the options that follow lower on the list. You can save some time by using Genie+, but Star Tours doesn’t typically generate high standby waits compared to many of the other attractions in this park.

 

There’s really no good reason to wait for more than 10 minutes for a ride on the saucers. If you’ve got a reservation to make and all other priorities are gone … I guess you could default to this. ©Disney

9. Alien Swirling Saucers

Availability Score = 8 out of 10

Time Savings Score = 8.2 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 10 out of 10

IF you plan on riding Alien Swirling Saucers, please please only do it with Genie+, or when the posted wait is something like 15 minutes or less. It’s just not worth anything more, as showcased by its worst-in-park satisfaction ranking. But don’t get this reservation before any of the others already covered by this list.

 

This cool character knows what the smart people know – Muppet*Vision is an awesome classic. You just don’t need Genie+ to watch it.

10. Muppet*Vision 3D

Availability Score = 9.5 out of 10

Time Savings Score = 10 out of 10

Satisfaction Score = 6.8 out of 11

Wrapping up our list is Muppet*Vision 3D, with a disappointing satisfaction score (who are you, you monsters? Muppet*Vision is a national treasure), pretty much zero time savings, and plenty of availability compared to the other Hollywood Studios attractions. It really isn’t a Hollywood Studios day unless you’ve watched Muppet*Vision, but you certainly don’t need to use Genie+ to do it.

 

What Does This Mean to You?

  1. When will we need to revisit this math? When the Tower of Terror refurb ends. So, keep an eye out for that announcement any day now 😉
  2. Hollywood Studios has more “worthwhile” Genie+ choices than Animal Kingdom and EPCOT … combined. The problem is that everyone knows it and competes for all of the same reservations. Things book up absurdly quickly and it can be very frustrating. Go in with a plan.
  3. Because the top priorities book up into the afternoon and evening even before the park opens, you need to be spending the whole day at Hollywood Studios, or be hopping here from a different park, if you want to take advantage of Genie+.

Have you used Genie+ at Hollywood Studios? Do you agree with these rankings or would yours be different? Let me know in the comments! And check back on the blog for a similar list for Magic Kingdom.

 

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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

11 thoughts on “Genie+ Priorities at Hollywood Studios

  • April 18, 2022 at 2:49 pm
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    Wow! You know the Becky who does the YouTube videos. What’s it like to know such a famous personality?

    In case you missed it, the Disney characters have returned to giving hugs at the meet and greets. Your “any day now” prediction has already come true!

    Another nice article, as usual.

    Reply
    • April 18, 2022 at 3:04 pm
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      She is pretty cool. A good friend to have, really.

      Yep – keeping track of that (although my habit of writing articles early before posting is biting me a little). It’ll take a while to see what effect (if any) it has – keeping an eye on it though!

      Reply
  • April 18, 2022 at 4:12 pm
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    Fun! I wonder how Fantasmic (still waiting, Disney!) might change things when it finally returns.

    Reply
    • April 19, 2022 at 5:46 am
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      Honestly when it returns, I would assume Disney would bring back the Fantasmic dining packages with it.

      Reply
  • April 20, 2022 at 2:35 pm
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    I think Disney is messing with you, Becky, with their attraction reopenings right after your latest articles. Now that you have finished the MK update, I fully expect to hear the Tron coaster is opening this coming weekend…

    Reply
    • April 20, 2022 at 9:46 pm
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      If that happens, they better invite me to test it!

      Reply
  • April 23, 2022 at 9:44 pm
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    So how about one of these with park combos? For example, I’m going to AK for rope drop and then hopping to DHS. What order should I prioritize with park combos?

    Reply
  • April 24, 2022 at 8:40 pm
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    General question…. Family has annual passes and I have a corporate event coming up at Hollywood studios. They are going to severely limit our time and rides. I want to use my pass to stack a bunch of rides for the end of the day when I will be there.
    Here’s the question: if I make reservations for my entire family, bring the passes and ONLY I SCAN INTO THE PARK, can I still book and use the genie plus for some colleagues who will be with me using my family’s passes or will genie plus not work on a pass hat hasn’t scanned into the park?

    Reply
    • April 24, 2022 at 9:33 pm
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      At Disney World, you don’t have to check in to start making reservations (that’s only the rule at Disneyland).

      Reply
      • April 24, 2022 at 10:15 pm
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        But do you have to check in to redeem them?

        Ex. I have 3 AP tickets in my pocket that I made genie+ reservations for. Those tickets belong to three people who aren’t going to the park but I have in my planning party. Can I go into the park with *my* ticket and then redeem Genie+ reservations on the other three?

      • April 24, 2022 at 10:54 pm
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        I don’t think you can do that. The people that use the reservations have to be the people holding the tickets. They’re tied together.

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