Genie+ Priorities at Hollywood Studios
Over this series of articles, 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!
This post was last updated on February 27th to account for recent trends, including the closure of Rock’n’Roller Coaster.
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 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
1. Tower of Terror
Availability Score = 1 out of 9
Time Savings Score = 1 out of 9
Satisfaction Score = 1.4 out of 9
Well hello there new winner! These rankings are based on the past 3 months of data, and for most of that time, Tower of Terror was undergoing a not-so-stealthy refurbishment that halved its capacity. This resulted in very low availability of Genie+ reservations, and HUGE time savings – the biggest time savings of any Genie+ attraction in any park.
And its satisfaction is higher than everything other than Toy Story Mania, so it gets to claim the top spot! Now, in the past couple of weeks, that refurbishment has ended. And that may lead to some changes here, but with its next-door neighbor being down for the foreseeable future, Tower of Terror will still have high demand and high waits.
2. Slinky Dog Dash
Availability Score = 1.3 out of 9
Time Savings Score = 1.7 out of 9
Satisfaction Score = 1.9 out of 9
Is there any more shocking fall from the top spot of any priority list? Slinky is the attraction that everyone points to as being the best use of Genie+. It used to always sell out before any other option. Now it loses that title to Remy, Tower of Terror, Frozen Ever After and Test Track on a lot of days. It also saves you more time than approximately any other attraction (other than Tower of Terror). And on top of all of that, it has the third-highest satisfaction of any attraction in the park. It’s a triple threat, and should be a top priority. Especially if you’re not a fan of Tower of Terror. Expect Slinky to make a roaring comeback in the next few months.
3. Toy Story Mania
Availability Score = 7.7 out of 9
Time Savings Score = 3.8 out of 9
Satisfaction Score = 1 out of 9
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, Droid Depot, or Savi’s Workshop.
That amazing satisfaction score can’t quite help it past its good availability. But thanks to greatly improved time savings (48 minutes, on average – compared to 35 minutes in the last update), and the temporary retirement of Rock’n’Roller Coaster, it moved up two spots on these rankings compared to our last list. That all 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.
4. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Availability Score = 6.8 out of 9
Time Savings Score = 4.5 out of 9
Satisfaction Score = 2.2 out of 9
I’m honestly quite pleasantly unsurprised that Runaway Railway also climbed two spots compared to our last list. Its wait time savings are on the upswing – up over 40 minutes in the past 3 months. And it sells out quicker than any of the other attractions lower on the list, other than meeting Olaf. All of that, combined with a satisfaction score of 2.2 means it gets 4th place. 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.
5. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
Availability Score = 7.1 out of 9
Time Savings Score = 3.3 out of 9
Satisfaction Score = 3.3 out of 9
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 first time we updated this list, Millennium Falcon was booking up second out of all attractions in Hollywood Studios. And … my, how times have changed. In our last update, it was the fourth attraction to sell out, and now it’s averaging 5th. But, it can still save you a large amount of time compared to standby, and in fact, that number is increasing. A Genie+ reservation for Millennium Falcon will now save you over 50 minutes, on average. Its satisfaction score is a little lower, though. “Only” 4.33 on a scale of 5, and therefore lower than any other attraction that shows up higher on this list. So 5th place it is, for now.
6. See Olaf at Hollywood Studios
Availability Score = 4.8 out of 9
Time Savings Score = 6.6 out of 9
Satisfaction Score = 4.4 out of 9
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, and availability can sometimes be iffy depending on Olaf’s travel schedule for heading back to Arendelle. It all sort of evens out and makes this one a big “meh” for Genie+.
7. Star Tours
Availability Score = 9 out of 9
Time Savings Score = 7.4 out of 9
Satisfaction Score = 4.5 out of 9
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. Muppet*Vision 3D
Availability Score = 8.4 out of 9
Time Savings Score = 9 out of 9
Satisfaction Score = 5.8 out of 9
Muppet*Vision 3D used to close out our Hollywood Studios list, with a disappointing satisfaction score (who are you, you monsters? Muppet*Vision is a national treasure), literally zero time savings, and plenty of availability compared to most 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. Still, it moves up one slot thanks to slightly improved satisfaction ratings – maybe you aren’t monsters after all.
9. Alien Swirling Saucers
Availability Score = 7.6 out of 9
Time Savings Score = 7.3 out of 9
Satisfaction Score = 9 out of 9
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.
What Does This Mean to You?
- When will we need to revisit this math? Sooner than at the other parks. Rock’n’Roller Coaster closing for a while, and Tower of Terror being back up to full capacity will both have significant impacts on Genie+ behaviors. We’ll keep an eye on how that shifts availability and time savings.
- 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 on some days, 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.
14 thoughts on “Genie+ Priorities at Hollywood Studios”
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.
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!
Fun! I wonder how Fantasmic (still waiting, Disney!) might change things when it finally returns.
Honestly when it returns, I would assume Disney would bring back the Fantasmic dining packages with it.
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…
If that happens, they better invite me to test it!
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?
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?
At Disney World, you don’t have to check in to start making reservations (that’s only the rule at Disneyland).
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?
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.
So how does this work with the touring plans app? None of these match the suggestions that the app is telling me to make so which is better to follow?
Hi, I’m not understanding the individual availability and time saved scores – if they are ranks, why do they have decimals? Can you explain further how they are calculated?
Of course, Joe. The calculations are all laid out in the “Explain the Math” section above. After some reader feedback on previous iterations, we moved from straight ranking to a linear regression between the top and bottom ranking. It wasn’t fair if, for example, three attractions all sold out around 11 am and everything else sold out at 8 pm (like at EPCOT) for the third 11 am attraction to be 3 and the fourth attraction that sold out at 8 pm to be 4. This linear regression better captures that complexity.