How has Genie+ Availability Changed?

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Effective use of Genie+ at Walt Disney World is a total moving target. Availability keeps changing, attractions get added or removed, people tend to use it differently … and all of this makes it really hard to plan. Bonus: if you don’t plan, you’re probably only going to get to make and use 2 or 3 Genie+ reservations in a day. And Disney knows it, which is why they recently added language to lower your expectations.

Lower your expectations. Life is easier that way.

All of this constant changing means that you need updated information to make decisions with. And I last posted Genie+ availability charts back in early February. Since then there have been some new additions to available attractions, and we saw spring crowds descend on the parks, potentially stressing the availability load. That means it’s time for new availability and return time charts. Hooray!

Explain the Math

If you read the original articles from February, you already know all of this stuff. You can “test out” of reading this section if you can interpret the color chart below!

Each park below will have a set of three tables. Each table shows you data from a certain range of crowd levels:

  • LOW = Crowd Levels 1 through 3
  • MED = Crowd Levels 4 through 7
  • HIGH = Crowd Levels 8 through 10

You can look at any attraction (which are shown in the rows) and a booking time (which are shown in columns, and represent the time you’ll be able to make a reservation). The color of the box where you land will show you the chance that you’ll be able to get a return time. A green box means the attraction is never sold out at that time. A red box means it’s always sold out by that time – you’ll be out of luck. And if the box is yellow, you’ve got a 50% chance of it being sold out already. Brand new for this series – I’ve also got accessible versions of the charts in each section for those with color blindness. For those charts, blue = 100% availability and orange = 0% availability.

In addition to the color, you’ll see a time in each box. That is the average return time you can expect for that attraction at that booking time, given a certain crowd level. So, for example, if you look at Millennium Falcon on a low crowd day, and you think you’ll book it at 11 am, you can expect a return time of 5:30 pm. The times in each box are rounded to the nearest 15 minutes so that your brain interprets them more easily. Don’t want to tire out those brains in the middle of important Disney planning.

One important note is that the time in the box is an average return time for that entire hour. So if a 2 pm booking time box shows an average return time of 2:30 pm, that means that attraction has immediate availability. That’s because the 2 pm return time you’d get at 2 pm averages out with the 2:55 pm return time you’d get at 2:55 pm, etc.

If an attraction doesn’t appear on a list, it means that we have no return time data for that attraction at that crowd level. If it does appear but is blank/colorless, that means that we did have some return time data at that crowd level, but not enough to make statistically significant inferences.

Animal Kingdom

Summarized availability and average return times for Genie+ attractions at Animal Kingdom, as of April 3rd, 2022. Click to expand to full-size.
Summarized availability and average return times for Genie+ attractions at Animal Kingdom, as of April 3rd, 2022. Click to expand to full-size.
  • On low crowd days, availability mostly looks similar to what we have seen in the past, but return times aren’t quite a far out as they were previously. This likely indicates that there is slightly lower demand for Genie+ reservations at Animal Kingdom, because supply certainly hasn’t increased. Maybe everyone’s listening to my advice and using AK mornings for stacking at another park? Or they’ve just done the smart thing and realized that Genie+ isn’t really worth it at Animal Kingdom.
  • On medium and high crowd days, availability again looks remarkably similar. This should make sense – no major attractions have been added, no incredible shifts have happened. But unlike on low crowd days, return times are edging out slightly further into the day than they were in the past, especially for the headliners. Thankfully, Kilimanjaro Safaris can absorb some of this new demand thanks to the sun setting later. Maybe that whole “spring forward” thing is good for something …

EPCOT

Summarized availability and average return times for Genie+ attractions at EPCOT, as of April 3rd, 2022. Click to expand to full-size.
Summarized availability and average return times for Genie+ attractions at EPCOT, as of April 3rd, 2022. Click to expand to full-size.
  • Behavior on low crowd days at EPCOT is relatively unchanged. It would be hard for availability to be any better than it was before. Unfortunately, you still won’t save much time even with all of that availability either.
  • On medium crowd days, we start to see the impact of Frozen Ever After on availability. Instead of Test Track having a 7:45 pm return time by 11 am, it has a …. 6:45 pm return time by 11 am. And so does Frozen Ever After. And part of that return time niceness is that EPCOT has been opening really early recently. That means return times are available for earlier times and it takes longer to book out to further-out times. So really, it could be that that all washes out and all adding Frozen Ever After to the Genie+ mix at EPCOT has done is increase demand for Genie+ at EPCOT proportional to the increased supply. Bummer.
  • On high crowd level days, that behavior is even more pronounced. Both Test Track and Frozen Ever After are booking up and ahead more quickly than they did even during the holiday period that was included in the last analysis. And it’s not relieving stress from the “second tier” attractions either. In February, at noon on the high crowd level chart for EPCOT, return times were 5:30 pm for Soarin’ and 3:00 pm for Mission: SPACE. Now we’re predicting 6:30 pm and 3:45 pm.

Hollywood Studios

Summarized availability and average return times for Genie+ attractions at Hollywood Studios, as of April 3rd, 2022. Click to expand to full-size.
Summarized availability and average return times for Genie+ attractions at Hollywood Studios, as of April 3rd, 2022. Click to expand to full-size.
  • We’ve seen a few low crowd levels days at Hollywood Studios since February, and there have been some shifts in behavior. Mostly … surprise! … Slinky Dog Dash is booking out even faster than it was before. So apparently the people that didn’t know about that strategy have figured it out. Stop telling all of your friends all of these tips and tricks! But actually, beyond that, other attractions have return times slightly earlier than they were in the past. So things might not be as dire as they seem.
  • Just kidding. Everything is dire. On medium (and especially high) crowd level days, availability and return times are just not great. One special call-out, Tower of Terror is seeing return times much further into the future on high crowd level days than it was in February. Back then, it was middle-of-the-pack, and now it’s a clear third priority at the park. That’s most likely because one elevator shaft has been down for a while now, which makes standby times obnoxious, and may also be impacting Genie+ allocations. If Tower of Terror is important to you and you’re visiting in the near future, you’ll want to prioritize it over Millennium Falcon.

Magic Kingdom

Summarized availability and average return times for Genie+ attractions at Magic Kingdom, as of April 3rd, 2022. Click to expand to full-size.
Summarized availability and average return times for Genie+ attractions at Magic Kingdom, as of April 3rd, 2022. Click to expand to full-size.
  • On low crowd level days at Magic Kingdom, availability is actually redistributing in interesting ways. Return times for Jungle Cruise and Peter Pan’s Flight are getting better, while return times for some “lower tier” attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean or even … Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor are getting worse. But overall availability remains just peachy thanks to a wealth of options. As character “sightings” revert back to character meet and greets, expect some more demand to shift over that way.
  • Medium crowd level days exhibit a lot of the same behavior, with headliners having better availability than before (ever-so-slightly), and some lower-tier attractions having slightly worse availability than before. Overall, though, you can still book many attractions with within-an-hour return times for the vast majority of the day.
  • On high crowd level days, we see a brand new entry for Festival of Fantasy Parade! It looks like return times for the noon parade stay available stay available until something like 11:15, and then they start switching over to return times for the 3 pm parade. Those often book up before 2 pm, so plan accordingly if those reservations are important to you.
  • Other than the parade being new, availability at Magic Kingdom is noticeably worse on high crowd level days than it was in February. The word is obviously out that Magic Kingdom is the easiest (and arguably best) place to use Genie+ at WDW, and folks are flocking to it on those packed days. Demand is outpacing the additional supply they’ve tried to add in.

What Does This Mean For You?

  1. Advance planning is not shockingly still required if you want to get more than your “2 or 3” reservations in a day with Genie+.
  2. Hollywood Studios remains the most frustrating park with big potential time savings at each attraction, but availability that will slip through your fingers as you’re attempting to book.
  3. Magic Kingdom on low and medium crowd level days is still a sweet spot – there’s good availability everywhere, and availability at the big headliners is slightly better than it used to be. But the high crowd level days at MK are seeing worse availability.

Did you use Genie+ during Spring Break at WDW? Have your opinions changed about whether you’d use it on a future trip? What are your successes or frustrations? 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

32 thoughts on “How has Genie+ Availability Changed?

  • April 6, 2022 at 12:01 pm
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    Touring plans – have you run a scenario of stacking up lightning lane reservations vs trying to get one and use it immediately? I am wondering if there is merit in just loading up on as many lightning lanes one by one and using the right away versus stacking. Is there a noticeable difference- I.e stacking secures more top attractions whereas using as many as you can right away means you get more overall but less top attractions??? Thoughts on this.

    Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 1:00 pm
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      On high level crowd days especially, it’s hard to get/use efficiently and save a lot of time. Because even non-headliners book out by at least an hour, so you’re waiting around. Might as well book a headliner and save more time with that one reservation, then wait your two hours and book another. On lower crowd days the difference may be more negligible if mostly everything is book now/ride now and you can fly through reservations.

      Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 12:31 pm
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    If I do not book a time within the first two hours of park opening, does the two hour clock start with regular park opening or, if I have early access for staying on site, would it start 2 hours from when resort guests get early access?

    Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 1:01 pm
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      The two hour timer always starts with official park opening, not with early entry.

      Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 12:55 pm
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    Becky – your info is super valuable! We went to MK March 23 armed with just a TP app and printout of Becky’s Genie+ chart from Feb. I started making G+ reservations at 7am (using Becky’s chart as I boarded a plane to MCO) and kept reverse stacking reservations every 2 hours. By the time we entered the park around 3p, it was very crowded and we could hit only rides with short lines like PeopleMover, though kept stacking even more G+ reservations. Once the first stacked reservation opened, it was pure MAGIC. We hit Space, Haunted, Big Thunder, Pirates and many others back to back. (We even had time for Crystal Palace dinner, watching fireworks at Gasparilla’s patio, and chilling at the GF hot tub.) We returned to use more G+ reservations at 9:30pm thru 11pm, when the park cleared but we stayed for extended evening hours (another great Becky recommendation!). We rode Space twice more, 7D, Peter Pan, Speedway and many others with NO wait. Best Disney Day Ever thanks to TP and Becky!

    Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 1:02 pm
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      This totally made my day, Angela! Thank you for sharing your real-life experience, and I’m glad I was such a great day! Those evening extra hours are really the best line-avoiding tactic that exists right now.

      Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 2:08 pm
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      Angela, what do you mean by “reverse stacking”? Did you make your first reservation for late in the day (like 9 PM), and then make each subsequent reservation for an earlier time?

      Reply
      • April 6, 2022 at 2:29 pm
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        Yes, sorry my wording is clumsy. I used Becky’s chart to book attractions in the order that they would run out (following the gradation from green to yellow; e.g., at 7am Jungle Cruise returns at 3p, then at 11am Space return at 5:15p, etc) which were often later in the day. After I got the hard-to-get attractions, then the return times offered in G+ were earlier and earlier (or more precisely closer to the current time), so they filled in reverse time order from the first ones booked.

        I should mention that this method didn’t work so well the next day when we were at MK only until 2pm. I could only get maybe 3 non-coveted G+ reservations even arriving for on-site guest rope drop.

  • April 6, 2022 at 1:28 pm
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    On the graph for Epcot it shows an average return time for TT at the 7:00 am slot to be around 5:00. Does Disney release LL spots earlier than that? Just not sure why the return time is so late. Thanks!

    Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 2:19 pm
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      They do, but for that ride they get snatched up immediately by thousands of Genie+ users trying to get the same ride. So if you get lucky, you can get a LL for earlier in the day, but on average, 5:00 is what you can expect to get (again, if you try right at 7:00:00).

      Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 3:22 pm
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      Georgina, TwoBits is right. Everyone is logging on at 7 and trying to get those return times, so they get really late really quick. Slinky Dog Dash is the biggest example of this, but Test Track/Frozen Ever After are becoming close seconds.

      Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 1:28 pm
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    Does using touring plan eliminate the need for Genie+ or do you really need to utilize both now?

    Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 3:24 pm
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      I would love to say that it completely eliminates any need. But then I could also say that no one ever really NEEDs Genie+. If you go in with a savvy strategy, it’s absolutely still doable to enjoy your day without Genie+. But there are enough attractions with lengthy waits that it can get difficult to avoid waits at _all_ of them, and that’s where Genie+ could be a strategic addition to your plan, if you choose to go that route.

      Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 2:20 pm
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    Is there a different between the two sets of color-coded charts? They look the same to me.

    Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 2:36 pm
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      Becky may correct me, but I seem to recall a few months ago a suggestion to offer a different set of colors for those who have red/green colorblindness.

      Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 3:25 pm
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      TwoBits is right again! And checks this site more often than I do 😉 The blue/orange versions have all of the same information, just in a color-blind-accessible scheme.

      Reply
      • April 6, 2022 at 4:01 pm
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        LOL! Touringplans mixes two of my favorite topics: Disney and math. So I am definitely checking out the site multiple times a day!

  • April 6, 2022 at 2:22 pm
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    There are two tables for each park, but the labels are the same, what is the difference? I must be looking right past the explanation. Is the first set (red/green) as of February and the second set (blue/peach) as of April?

    Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 2:42 pm
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      It’s mentioned quickly up above that the second set is designed for colourblind individuals.

      Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 3:26 pm
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      Jillian has the right answer 🙂 In Explain the Math I mention that I’m just provide an accessible version for color-blind folks as requested on a previous post. Otherwise they contain the exact same info!

      Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 2:30 pm
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    Is the distribution time of Laugh Floor really getting worse? It looks to me that, if for some silly reason you want Laugh Floor as your first LL selection, Genie+ is reserving that for the first scheduled showing of the day. After the first showing, you can get a LL for what appears to be the next showing until all shows for the day have ended, at which time Genie+ stops offering it.

    The shows like this, including the 4D shows, appear to have the same pattern.

    Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 4:12 pm
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    I was there March 29-Apr 4, and used G+ on every park day. Here’s a quick rundown of my experience:

    -Mar 29: Arrival day and MK that evening. My plan was to stack for an arrival starting at 6pm. Booked Jungle Cruise at 5am my time, and arrival timing worked out perfectly. After that, I think I got two more, but found that stacking for an evening is challenging. Lots of checking back on the app, and it was unfortunate to learn that the “2-hour” clock starts based on when I book…so if I check at 2, and nothing is there for the time I want, but I check back again and book something at 2:20, I’m not able to book again until 4:20. Just that little delay really messes with availability after a few of the “2-hour” intervals.

    -Mar 30: Went back to MK, and did some more stacking. While availability was a bit better, what really irked me about G+ was the inability to book another G+ for a ride I already did. When you have higher-availability attractions, like a People Mover or Buzz Lightyear, it’s frustrating those can’t be given the option for more than one booking.

    -Mar 31: AK day. Was able to book FoP with a return time of 11am, and Navi for a return of 10am when the window opened at 7am, but FoP availability was gone for the day probably within 10 min. Also did one for KS for later in the day. I did notice KS was among the slower loading attractions for LL, where we waited probably 10-15 min, whereas everything else was like 5 min or less. They desperately need another LL-worthy attraction for AK because I’m pretty sure Dinosaur availability was gone as early as about 4pm that day.

    -Apr 1: This one was an early start at HS. I was asleep at the wheel and didn’t book until 7:02. By that point, both Rise and SDD were gone for the day. What I noticed about this day, besides the importance of booking right at 7, is that G+ really favors all-day park-goers and especially those staying later. We were planning for an early night because I was running the Race for the Taste 10k the next morning, so I put a hard stop on our day at 7pm. It’s a real shame they start the booking windows so late in the day, with the first window after 7am being two hours after the park opens.

    -Apr 3: Epcot. So what was funny about this day was having to stop in the middle of mile 9 of the Tower of Terror 10-miler to book Remy’s. I had a lot of company in fellow runners doing LL bookings. At first it gave me a return window around 2pm, but when I tapped to book that one, it said that time was gone and I had to start over. I also had to restart the app because it crashed on me (I was in the middle of Epcot). The whole process took less than a minute, but my new return time was 7:30. Only thing we missed out on doing was Frozen Ever After, as availability was gone around I want to say 5pm.

    -Apr 4: Back at HS, and this time I was on top of booking at 7am. Got Slinky Dog this time, and Rise was gone as of like 7:01. We had to leave the park for the airport at 1pm, so this was another day where the fact they don’t open bookings until 2 hours after opening (after the 7am booking) is a real bummer. By the time I could book again, there was no availability before 1pm for anything other than Star Tours and Muppet Vision.

    Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 4:56 pm
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    Becky, was wondering about the data date range for return times. I get that it’s an average as of Apr 3, but is it cumulative going back to earliest days of G+ or just most recent X days?

    Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 5:32 pm
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    We visited this past weekend for a quick weekend trip with my wife. It also served as a “test run” before our lengthy trip with 12 people this summer. It quickly became clear that these charts are as indispensable as a touring plan. I had a separate tab on my phone browser pulled up with the corresponding park ready to go. What I found useful was not only to have the chart up, but to check about 5 minutes before your reservation window opened up to see how the current G+ reservation windows were tracking toward the chart. You definitely want to have a plan of attack for your 2nd/3rd G+ reservation to avoid “vapor lock” when the reservation window opens. My advice is to be familiar with the list, the times, and how fast they are selling out rather than try to look it up cold in real time and lose value minutes that can cost you hours in G+ time.

    This is such great work! Thank you for creating. Is there similar work on ILLs coming? And, will touring plans eventually be programmed to suggest which attractions to get G+ the way it recommended Fastpass+?

    Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 5:58 pm
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    Some of these responses boggle my mind. This is all way, way too much complexity and effort for a vacation. Not to mention the ever-spiralling cost for a chance to be crushed by hordes. We’ve pretty much written off WDW as an option now. Sad, but we had our fun during the pre-FP and FP+ days. This year we’re driving to Chicago and then taking the Zephyr to Salt Lake City, where we’ll drive to Yellowstone. No more money for you, Chapek!

    Reply
    • April 6, 2022 at 6:48 pm
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      I think your remarks should be directed to Disney, not here. Please don’t take out your frustrations on those who are trying to demystify G+ and make the best of it.

      Reply
  • April 6, 2022 at 9:04 pm
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    Thanks for misinterpreting the point of my remarks. Many people take out their frustrations with Disney on this blog, including its contributors. Which is what I’ve done here. If these complex efforts are what it takes people to do Disney, have at it – we did it last year with G+/ILL and it was a military campaign, not a pleasant vacation as we were accustomed to at WDW.

    Reply
    • April 7, 2022 at 3:15 pm
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      You’re not wrong, Mike. Every Disney trip that I have taken has been more difficult to plan for than the one previous. In the 90s, I just showed up and went where I wanted. In the 2000s I discovered “The Unofficial Guide” and its touring plans and discovered how they can maximize my day. In the 2010s, Fastpass+ and ADRs became a thing, and now I have to think about what I wanted to eat 180 days in advance and what to ride 30 days in advance. Now, in the 2020s, I have to know what park I want to visit each day, be alert to when my G+ window opens to make my next reservation, know the best G+ reservation to make, etc, etc, etc.

      However, as I have already stated, I love math and Disney, and all of this is just another problem to solve, and I love all the planning! I tell people that I will spend more time planning each trip than I will actually in Florida for each upcoming trip, and that is no exaggeration. Perhaps there will come a day that I will also get tired of the planning. But that day hasn’t happened in the past 25 years as of yet.

      So we hope you enjoy your trip to Yellowstone this year, Mike. It is a place that I hope to see someday.

      Reply
  • April 11, 2022 at 11:07 am
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    We just got back from a Spring Break trip (first week of April), and the parks were SLAMMED. (Like 2 or 3 OVer the predicted crowd calendar). But we did quite well overall using pretty much ALL of strategies (early entry/rope drop, fast Genie+ snagging, individual lightning lanes). We only had 3 days for 4 parks (we also did Universal for 2 days), so we bought FoP, Remy and Rise (skipped Seven Dwarves b/c we’ve done it before, hoped for getting on late, but didn’t work out). We did an Animal Kingdom morning, snagged Safari, and then starting stacking for Epcot. Managed somehow to still get Test Track (maybe at 9:30am, maybe 10am… I think it let me get a 2nd LL 2 hours after AK opening, which was 7:30am). This worked out really well for us overall. I’ve definitely become a big fan of the mid-day break as well.
    We got an unintentional lucky break at Hollywood studios – on our Epcot evening the day before, Test Track broke down during our late genie+ window (like 8:30pm) and we were issued an anytime multiple attraction pass for the NEXT DAY, at Any park! (my 7 year old was in tears though, as he loves Test Track, so there was that downside as well). But we were able to use it for Smugglers, which we did Right before our Rise reservation, giving us a pretty awesome Galaxy’s Edge afternoon. (our first time on both rides). Without that, we wouldn’t have gotten every headliner at Studios… but with it, and using early entry for Mickey and Minnie and RnRC, we actually hit every other headliner somehow. (and only long wait was Tower of Terror – about 45 minutes, or so).
    It’s definitely a somewhat frustrating system, but when you get what you want in the moment, it’s quite satisfying….. (like you Won Genie+….I may have used that expression to my husband once or twice).

    Reply
  • April 13, 2022 at 5:46 pm
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    The WDW wording is funny, “On average, guests can enter 2 to 3 LL attractions or experiences…” If some people are above average doing 4 to 6, then what are the below average folks doing? .5 to 1.25 rides?
    Thank you TP crew for keeping up with the data! Even though it’s an ever changing system, still a big help to our plans. At least we have an idea what to expect. My strategy will be to knock out the hardest rides during early entry and deluxe nights, then use genie+ for mid-range. We usually don’t do all the rides anyway so this may work out OK next trip.

    Reply
  • May 14, 2022 at 5:56 pm
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    So Becky – I love data hence me loving touring plans. Is there an article containing the data above but also with consideration to time saved.

    Prioritizing by time savings is helpful but I don’t want to pick something for my first genie that will be available until late in the day either.

    Reply
  • June 20, 2022 at 7:11 pm
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    Hi, Becky,

    Just wondering if you will be updating these charts; going to WDW the first 2 weeks of August and would love more current data in these charts to guide our selections.

    Reply

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