How has Genie+ Availability Changed?
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 now it even costs a different amount each day … 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 added language a while ago to lower your expectations.
All of this constant changing means that you need updated information to make decisions with. We last updated this information back in October 2022, when pre-purchasing of Genie+ was phased out, and Genie+ demand dropped dramatically. Since then, there have been several additions of Genie+ options, as well as the really busy season over the holidays giving us lots more data! So it’s time for a refresh (Last updated February 22nd, 2023)
Explain the Math
If you’ve read earlier versions of this article, 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 1:15 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.
- On low crowd days, availability is significantly “worse” than it was in our most recent update. But that is partially because the sun is setting earlier in the winter, which decreases the capacity of Kilimanjaro Safaris. Adventurers Outpost used to be the only attraction that sold out before 5 pm, and now it’s selling out by 2, with the Safaris and Na’vi River Journey also selling out before5.
- On medium and high crowd days, availability still looks slightly worse than our last update. Especially on those high crowd days, when the Safaris, Na’vi River Journey, and Adventurers Outpost all sell out by noon-ish, your options get limited quickly. Even still, if the park opens at 8 am, you should be able to get and use every Genie+ reservation here. Genie+ demand is still down at Animal Kingdom, but capacity is also lower in the winter.
- First and foremost, according to the data, Remy still sells out pretty quickly. It’s not booking up instantaneously, especially not on low or medium crowd days. You’ll likely only have trouble with it on high crowd days, when it does sell out incredibly quickly. It’s selling out slightly faster than it did in the summer and fall of last year. Demand is up.
- The real difference here is in return times and availability for Frozen Ever After and Test Track at all crowd levels. In October, on low crowd days, both attractions were selling out around 2 pm. Now that’s noon. Medium crowd sell-outs have gone from noon to 11 am, and high crowd sell-outs have mostly stayed the same. It will be increasingly difficult to book all three of these headliners on medium and high-crowd days.
- That being said, there’s one caveat. For the first time, we see reservation “refreshes” that are available even at this aggregated hour-long level. On most days, you’ll see some additional availability at the “big 3” around 4 pm and 6 pm. Not always, and even still, you have about a 5% chance of getting a return time within those hours. But 5% is better than 0% if you’re willing to watch your phone and grab one.
- After those top 3 … demand for Genie+ at all other attractions isn’t high. At all. In fact, return times on high crowd days aren’t even that different than the ones on low crowd days for all of the other attractions. This is the only park where we see this weird behavior. It goes to show how difficult it is to make good use of Genie+ at EPCOT beyond the top three.
- Well, Hollywood Studios is back to its old, frustrating self. In our last update, on low crowd days, Slinky and Tower of Terror were selling out around 5 pm. Now they’re both selling out before 1 pm.
- Thankfully, on low crowd days you can still get reservations for most “B-Tier” attractions like Runaway Railway, Toy Story Mania, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster almost until the park closes, and with decent availability throughout the day. Only Meet Olaf and Rock’n’Roller Coaster sell out earlier than park close on those low crowd days. But keep in mind that our sample size here is very low. Low crowd days at Hollywood Studios are like unicorns. Rarely seen in the wild, but totally do exist.
- Things are even worse on medium-crowd days, when Tower of Terror and Slinky Dog Dash sell out between 11 am and noon, that “next tier” of Olaf and Rock’n’Roller Coaster sell out between 3 and 4, and Runaway Railway joins them by selling out between 5 and 6.
- On high crowd days, Slinky and Tower of Terror are now selling out before 11 am, four different attractions sell out around 2 pm, two more sell out around 3 or 4 pm, and only Muppet*Vision and Star Tours have decent availability into the evening. Zero fun to try to coordinate a day with Genie+ at Hollywood Studios with high crowds.
- Keep in mind, eventually Rock’n’Roller Coaster is going down for a length refurbishment. That’s a lot of Genie+ “capacity” that is evaporating, with no obvious plans for replacing it. Things will get even worse.
- Back in our October 2022 update, all of the low-crowd days were party days, so the hours in our heat chart were very limited. Now we have a better sample because we’ve seen low-crowd days with full operating hours. Hooray!
- Character. Meet. And. Greets. They sell out incredibly early. This was true in October, and this is true now. Capacity here is severely limited, and these reservations can save you a large amount of time. So don’t sleep on these reservations. They’ve moved way up on our Genie+ priority list for Magic Kingdom! The one bit of good news is that Mickey used to sell out first, and now he’s seeing slightly more availability.
- That’s where the good news stops. Back in October on medium crowd days, no attractions (other than Mickey and the afternoon parade) sold out before 8 pm. You had all day to get and use whatever reservations you wanted. Now, all character meet and greets and Peter Pan’s Flight are gone by 6, with Jungle Cruise following at 7. Still not terrible, but not as great as it was.
- High crowd days see even more sell-outs. Character greets, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight and Space Mountain all sell out by 5 pm. That’s a lot of options to try to get and use before 5. Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion then sell out slightly after 6, followed by Winnie the Pooh and Speedway at 8 pm. You’re going to have to do slightly more planning on efficient use of Genie+ at Magic Kingdom on those high crowd days.
What Does This Mean For You?
- Advance planning is not shockingly still required if you want to get more than your “2 or 3” reservations in a day with Genie+, and any “easing” of that problem due to the lack of advance purchase has now evaporated.
- In the last three months, we’ve seen the cost of Genie+, on average, go WAY up thanks to variable pricing. And yet, demand is also up. I’m no psychologist, but it’s possible that the purchase of Genie+ is seen as necessary on high crowd days, and then also somehow seen as a “bargain” on low-crowd days thanks to variable pricing, and still purchased. It’s weird.
- 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 only slightly worse than it used to be. But the high crowd level days at MK are seeing continuing worse availability.
Did you use Genie+ during the winter 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!
84 thoughts on “How has Genie+ Availability Changed?”
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.
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.
Thanks! About how often do they get updated? Whenever things change or is there a certain day each month or every couple of months.
How often are the lighting lane return times updated? And is there a page on touring plans that have this information
This is the page where they are stored, and you can see when they are updated at the top of the article.
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?
The two hour timer always starts with official park opening, not with early entry.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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!
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).
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.
I es there last week and hit Slinky at 7:00 AM, and I got zilch. It sold out. It’s a tough one. We did get Test Tracker though!
Does using touring plan eliminate the need for Genie+ or do you really need to utilize both now?
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.
When we went (me, my daughter and two granddaughters 18 and 21) we used Genie+ strategically. Two were on at 7:00 am, one to reserve a lightning lane and the other to purchase a lightning lane. We then followed the stacking that you presented in your videos. We were in a deluxe resort, but never used early entry, nor did we do extra hours. It was more relaxing that way for us since I was in a mobility scooter. We were able to arrange for rides every two hours and after we got off a ride and usually did 5-6 rides per day with this method and utilized the touring plans in between times. We also used the Disney app to order our meals at non typical times. Best experience ever! Thanks to everyone at Touring Plans!
Is there a different between the two sets of color-coded charts? They look the same to me.
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.
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.
LOL! Touringplans mixes two of my favorite topics: Disney and math. So I am definitely checking out the site multiple times a day!
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?
It’s mentioned quickly up above that the second set is designed for colourblind individuals.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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+?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
This seems to be based on the assumption that all users are given equal access to all LL times. Has this assumption been tested? I could certainly see Disney giving priority access to LL passes to deluxe resort guests, or bloggers.
Times are evenly distributed to everyone. I’ve purchased and searched from home and have gotten the same times as folks onsite staying in resorts. And Disney has no way of knowing that I’m a blogger from my MDE account 😉
Based on those available times, it seems like none of these scenarios would work well if you are planning to park hop. Looks like you are essentially bound to one park and will be out of luck if you choose to use G+.
I’m still a fan of using the good old touring plan and just can’t justify paying even more money on top of the park ticket. All this seems to be doing is worsening the park experience and increasing stress.
For now, the best way to combine park hopping and Genie+ is to always just stack up reservations for the second park and only do standby attractions at the first park.
Thanks for the update.
In the text, you refer to blue/orange charts as alternatives to the green/yellow/red charts. However, I do not see any blue/orange charts. I seem to remember that in April they immediately followed the green/yellow/red charts. (The April post seems to no longer be available to view for comparison purposes.) Did you forget to include them this time or was that a deliberate deletion?
Neither 😉 You just caught me while I’m still working on them. They’ll be up in a bit.
Awesome love to see how things are now 🙂
Thank you for the information – I think it’s all a bit mind boggling and will have to remind myself of the rules a couple of days before we go back to WDW. My favourite subject at school was maths and I also passed statistics at ‘O’ level. So far I’ve only paid for one ILL and not used Genie+ – I am guessing when I actually use Genie+ it will all fall into place and it won’t be as bad as I’m expecting it to be 😉
Becky, thanks so much for this! I’m planning to stack for HS on an upcoming trip I have, and I have a question. Do you all expect Tower of Terror to become more available, now that the stealth refurb has completed? It sounds like it would, but thought I’d ask an expert. 🙂 Thanks!
Only half of the refurb is completed 🙂 So it seems like they’re doing a slight pause between halves … so it’ll be a while before everything is permanently back up.
I’ve noticed that the wait times are roughly half of what they were earlier in the summer. Hopefully they hold off on doing the other shaft until after Labor Day when crowds lessen.
Ah geez. I had heard it was all done. Okay, thanks!
We had great success with G+ for our late June trip, getting 6 (AK) to 11 (MK) LL’s per day. At MK this included both sets of princesses. I wasn’t paying attention to standby waits, but our wait with LL’s was 5-10 min in the afternoon and evening.
Ok Beck, this stuff is GOLD. Can i get your thoughts on a real life scenario and see if I’m doing it “right?”
We are headed to HW Sept 14, a low crowd day. So, using your chart I should be able…
At 7am -reserve Tower of terror with a return window starting at 11:15
At 9am – reserve Runaway Rail with a return window starting at 11:30
At 11am – reserve Millenium Falcon wiht a return window starting at 4:30
At 1pm – reserve Toy Story Mania with a return window starting at – 3:30
At 3pm – reserve Rockn Roller with a return window starting at 6:30
Is this right?
My reading of the rules is that you can’t book your second one until 2 hours after park opening, even if you booked your first one at 7am. So your 9am booking won’t work.
Craig is right – you won’t be able to make a reservation at 9 am, because the 2 hour timer starts when the park opens. That means your second reservation would likely happen at 11 am, not 9 am. Otherwise you’ve got the idea 🙂
In December 2021 I ran a Touring Plans schedule in the morning while stacking for the rest of the day. That’s how I’m planning to utilize these charts next trip too. I was using Thrill-Data to build these charts myself but now that you have them here, you’ve saved me a lot of time! Thanks!
Thanks for keeping this updated. I’ll keep an eye on it as my Dec-Jan trip gets closer. Honestly, this is now the most critical data out there for me, even more so than projected wait times. Really important to strategize/prioritize those G+ reservations.
Will Remy, Space Mountain, Runaway Railway and Expedition Everest really revert to ILLs on August 8? What about Frozen? I can’t imagine there would be three ILLs in Epcot of all parks. What are you hearing?
Will we see an update for September and October?
Becky – I love these graphs!! Do you have something similar for the Individual Lightning Lane distribution?? Thanks!!
Nevermind! I found them!!! These are great!!
Becky, do you have any data that shows that these average return times are similar now? I’m planning a trip in mid-October and wonder if these have shifted at all since July.
Thanks so much for all of this data – it is a godsend!
Thanks for the update. I’m glad to see the new Data Dump series isn’t going to keep you from updating your other work from time to time. I don’t know how you do it all. I seem to remember your writing that Touring Plans is only your hobby, that you have a full-time paying job too, as well as a family to manage. Anyway, thanks again for keeping us informed.
Your memories are true 😉 If I could drop a gif in the comments, it would be the speed-typing cat. It appropriately reflects my life. Ha!
We came back home after a couple of weeks at WDW – had loads of things booked and planned – got something from WDW I hadn’t had before – Covid! We were still wearing masks in indoor queues as well! So much for the safe Disney bubble (only joking – I know Covid is everywhere). In a way I’m glad they changed the Genie+ so you can only buy it on a daily basis – otherwise I would have wasted so much money – as it happens I “only” lost the price of 2 tickets to MNSSHP – and managed to cancel all the dining reservations I took so long to secure. My husband has now had enough and I’m not sure we will be going back – I’m gutted! Sorry – not really on point but just wanted to remind you that Covid is still about.
I used this column and your ‘Touring Plan Teaches’ to plan my recent (6th-13th) trip. So invaluable!!! On 9/12 I golfed in morning, and thanks to stacking and G+ priorities based on this column, had LL reservations for EVERY ride attraction (save Star Tours and Muppets). I had an 8:20 ADR for 50s PT and was done so early I had to find stuff to do to kill time lol. Thank yo so much for making my trip that much more enjoyable!!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Ben! This made my day 🙂
This is awesome Becky, thanks for keeping it updated! If we contrast the two predominant genie+ strategies (stacking and rapidly getting the earliest possible lightning lanes), it seems stacking becomes more favorable as crowd levels increase, since the rapid-lane strategy is variable, and stacking is fixed to 120 mins per pass. The article bundles crowd levels 8-10 together, but based on what you’ve seen for crowd level “10” days, is there an upper limit to stacking benefit? Specifically thinking about New Year’s Eve MK, can we expect to “only” get 1-2 total lightning lanes, even with stacking?
I don’t think last year’s Genie+ data is even good for predicting what behavior is going to look like this holiday period. Too much has changed. And we don’t have good example highest-crowd days from the summer. If I had to guess, you’d be at that 2 or 3 mark at Hollywood Studios, with a few more at Animal Kingdom or EPCOT, and hopefully plenty more at Magic Kingdom.
But where is the basic information about: 1) do we buy genie and 2) how to use it? These charts are greek to me. I don’t want a Ph.D. in planning I just want to have fun and know whether it is worth it to pay even MORE than we’re already paying. My takeaway is it is such a pain to use the darn thing we’ll probably just wait in line. Sigh.
These charts are specifically meant for the folks that do want to plan in advance for what return times they’ll be getting. We have other blogs on this site by me that talk about how much time you can expect to save overall (for is it worth it) and for how to use it.
Wow! Six posts today. The speed-typing cat was busy last night, wasn’t she?
Thankfully I had a few days to prepare 😉
Thanks Becky. When looking at predicted crowd levels and expected Genie+ performance, is the most recent dataset the most applicable to the upcoming timeframe? I wonder if it sets unreasonable expectations to compare Genie+ performance during back to school and hurricane season to the pre-Holidays time. Are we better off looking at last year’s data from this time of year (although that’s probably not the most reliable given the system being new) to predict through the end of year?
The most recent dataset is the most applicable, otherwise I would be sharing it 😉 We’re in a new “era” of Genie+ where the lack of pre-purchase is seeing greatly decreased demand. It’s in no way like the data from last year. Even in the past 3 months of data, we had a significant number of high-crowd and medium-crowd days that allows me to be confident in the results. If anything, variable pricing is likely to push away even more demand than what already existed.
So hoping that’s true! I’d like to see Genie+ become a failure!
I’m really looking forward to your next update once enough data from variable pricing is collected to see if demand will drop when compared to similar crowd sizes.
How often are these tables with return times updated? And is there a web page dedicated to this data?
When will the next updates to these charts be posted? Thanks!
Hi Becky, I found these charts to be so useful last spring when I was preparing my personalized touring plans. I am getting ready for a 3/4/23 – 3/10/23 trip and I am wondering if you have any more current charts than the ones included above? Thanks so much!
Hi Beth! I haven’t updated these charts in a while, now that Genie+ is integrated into Touring Plans and the Lines App. But I’ll see if I can get them updated for this week 🙂
Thank you so much for this update!
Not sure if this was intentional, but I think you left your Summer/Fall chart in there for MK.
> Only Meet Olaf and Rock’n’Roller Coaster sell out earlier than park close on those low crowd days.
Olaf usually heads back to Arendelle a couple of hours before park closing. For example, today he stops meeting guests at 7pm.
Becky, with RnRC going down for several months and the sneaky reburb of ToT apparently completed, how much time will you need to get enough data to update the HS charts?
Thank you for the color blind charts. (I’m the one who asked a few months ago). That was awfully kind of you, much appreciated