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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 last rank is where I’m going to be 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.
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
1. Slinky Dog Dash
Availability Score = 1 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 1 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 1.6 out of 11
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.
2. Tower of Terror
Availability Score = 3 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 2 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 2.3 out of 11
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 have 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 2nd-biggest savings in the park. It’s still generally booking up after Millennium Falcon, but the gap is narrowing. And its satisfaction is higher than Falcon, so it climbs all of the way to 2nd place.
BUT when that refurb is completed, I’ll have to redo the math because time savings will go down, and availability should go back up. And Disney likes forcing me to redo my math, so … yeah, that refurb should finish up any day now.
3. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Availability Score = 2 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 3 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 3.5 out of 11
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.
Most days, Millennium Falcon books up for the day first out of all non-Slinky-related attractions at Hollywood Studios. And it also saves you a large amount of time compared to standby, at around 40 minutes on average. 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.
4. Rock’n’Roller Coaster
Availability Score = 4 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 5 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 1.9 out of 11
By “4th place” on the Animal Kingdom and EPCOT lists, they were already struggling to provide worthwhile attractions. Rock’n’Roller Coaster is, in a refreshing twist, still very much a worthwhile option. 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). It typically sells out at almost the same time as Tower of Terror and Millennium Falcon, but just slightly behind those two. It also has stellar satisfaction scores, coming in just behind Slinky Dog Dash and ahead of Tower of Terror and Millennium Falcon.
5. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Availability Score = 5 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 4 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 2.5 out of 11
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 2.5 means it gets 5th place, just barely breaking into the top 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.
6. Toy Story Mania
Availability Score = 6 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 6 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 1 out of 11
If we continue down the path of recommending Genie+ priorities for families with young kids, this one should pair nicely with Runaway Railway. 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 availability and not-as-great time savings. 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.
7. Star Tours
Availability Score = 11 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 8 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 5.2 out of 11
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.
8. Alien Swirling Saucers
Availability Score = 8 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 7 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 11 out of 11
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.
9. See Minnie in Red Carpet Dreams
Availability Score = 7 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 9 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 10.2 out of 11
All the way down at number 9 is where I’m going to say that impact of specific rankings doesn’t really matter anymore. 9, 10 and 11 could be ties if I wasn’t so obsessed with the details of the math. Meeting Minnie is the first of two character greets on the Genie+ list, and it rarely has much of a wait. Two things could change related to this: addition of more character greets, which would lower demand (like, hey, the addition of Sulley soon), and the removal of the distancing restrictions, which will likely increase demand and duration of the experience.
10. See Olaf at Hollywood Studios
Availability Score = 9 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 10 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 7.4 out of 11
Olaf is less popular than Minnie (but gets higher satisfaction scores …), so that means less time savings and higher availability. So if you have to choose between the two, technically Minnie is the statistically better option for using a Genie+ reservation. But really you don’t need it for either in their current state.
11. Muppet*Vision 3D
Availability Score = 10 out of 11
Time Savings Score = 11 out of 11
Satisfaction Score = 7.3 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?
- When will we need to revisit this math? When the Tower of Terror refurb ends, and/or when character meet and greets have their social distancing restrictions removed. So, keep an eye out for those announcements any day now 😉
- 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.
- 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.