Is Genie+ actually going to save me any time? Which rides should I focus on in order to make the most of Genie+? These, and other similar questions continue to be very popular here at TouringPlans and throughout the Disney planning community. We last took a look at initial time saving data back in mid-December and updated it here in June. But a lot has changed since then – a lot of attractions have been added to Genie+, people have learned more about how the system works, and demand has started to decrease with the inability to pre-purchase and increasing cost.
In this update, I’ve included only the past three months of data. Thankfully, we generally have enough people timing waits that we can get by with this short timeframe. The one exception is character meets – we don’t have good enough data to include all of them in this analysis. That means if you have a WDW trip coming up and you plan on using Genie+, you’ll be my hero if you time some character LL waits. For now, we know enough to know that they have pretty big time savings. This post was last updated on October 19th, 2022.
Explain the Math!
In order for me to be able to tell you how much time you might save by using the Lightning Lane at any attraction, I need to know two pieces of data:
- How long you will wait in the Lightning Lane for the attraction
- How long you would have waited in the standby queue if you entered at the same time.
In an ideal world, you’d all tour the parks in pairs. And one of you would get in the Lightning Lane while the other got in Standby, and you’d start your timers in the Lines app at the exact same time. Turns out, families and other touring parties don’t actually split up like that in the real world. Shame on you for not giving us clean data!
But in reality, the data for how long the Lightning Lane waits are is easy enough to pull. I can get those directly from timed waits in Lines. It’s when I try to correlate that Lightning Lane wait with a corresponding Standby wait that things get tricky. Since we don’t actually have any nicely paired waits, we have to make some sort of calculation and/or assumption. What I chose to do was:
- If an actual standby time was entered within a short period of time (before or after) the Lightning Lane user started their timer, I used that standby time for comparison. The qualification window for “short” varied by time of day. If it was morning and wait times were rapidly changing, it had to be within 10 minutes. When things were steadier in the middle of the day, 30 minutes was fine.
- If there is no nearby actual standby time, I used the Touring Plans estimated wait at the time the user entered line as the best estimate of what the standby time would have been.
Once I’m confident in those two numbers, the all-important “Time Savings of DESTINY” will just be a simple subtraction: Time Savings = Standby Wait – Lightning Lane Wait
How Much Time Can I Save at Each Genie+ Attraction?
Just like the last time I presented this data, I’ve got some caveats. These are averages. That means that some savings are higher and some savings are lower, and these numbers can’t guarantee anything. Your experience might change based on time of day or crowd level (which we’ll explore a bit later). And this doesn’t include every Genie+ attraction – some just varied too wildly or we didn’t have enough data to be confident (cough – character meets – cough).
Back again for this article are the fancy-schmancy confidence intervals along with each average. You don’t have to know all of the details behind the calculations there, but just know that they mean that we can be 95% confident that the real average time savings falls somewhere along that little line for each attraction.
- I won’t post the original graphs here, but there are a few noteworthy changes. We don’t have a clear “top three” anymore. We have a clear top one. Slinky reigns supreme. Remy and Tower of Terror used to be up there … but not anymore.
- There is also no longer any obvious breakpoint at over/under 30 minutes of standby wait saved. Instead, we’ve got a pretty steady curve of attractions with all sorts of wait time savings. But only 10 attractions save more than 30 minutes on average compared to standby. That number used to be 15 in the summer.
- EPCOT, which used to be the obvious loser, is suddenly making a strong case for itself. Two out of the top three time savings. That’s more than Animal Kingdom can claim. If you can actually reserve EPCOT’s top three (a hard thing to do given availability on medium and high crowd days), Genie+ at EPCOT may actually be “worth” the purchase. It will likely require more walking though.
- Hollywood Studios is a big winner, if you can catch it on a day where you can actually book and use multiple reservations before they all sell out for the day. Four different attractions average over 30 minutes of wait time savings. Not shabby. And Slinky Dog Dash leads the all other attractions with almost an hour of time savings just by itself!
- Magic Kingdom is a good choice, just because of the sheer number of options. Several of them will save you significant time, but your real win will come from getting and using as many reservations as possible in order to boost your overall time saving.
How Do Genie+ Time Savings Change with Crowds?
For this analysis, we’re going to use the following crowd level definitions:
- Low = Crowd levels 1 through 3
- Med = Crowd levels 4 through 7
- High = Crowd levels 8 through 10
We’re also going to zoom in on just the 12 attractions with the highest average time savings. Why twelve? Because I felt like it.
Thankfully, all of this data makes a lot of sense. Increasing crowd levels equal increasing time savings at all of these attractions. But some increase more quickly than others. For example, on low crowd level days, Slinky saves 45 minutes and is the top time saver, while Millennium Falcon on could only save you 7 minutes and is WAY down on the list of time savings. But on high crowd level days, both attractions will save you 66 minutes compared to standby, which puts them in a tie for 1st place.
Unlike in the summer, when Tower of Terror was competing with Slinky Dog Dash for top time savings, now it barely cracks that top 12, and doesn’t even average over 30 minutes overall.
How Do Genie+ Time Savings Change with Time of Day?
A little more data definition for this part of the post! I split each day into three time “buckets”. The time associated with each wait is when the person entered the queue (and started their timer).
- Morning = before 11 am
- Peak = between 11 am and 5 pm
- Evening = after 5 pm
This time I’m not going to give you any insight. Make inferences on your own!
Just kidding. I can’t help myself.
We almost always have time savings peaking during peak hours. Imagine that! But several attractions buck the trend, including Remy and Frozen Ever After. At EPCOT, the biggest time savings happen in the evening, when some Genie+ users have given up on the park, and wait times are still surging. On the other hand, the biggest time savings at Kilimanjaro Safaris happen in the morning (before 11 am), and get lower throughout the day.
Now have some fun and put on your Disney data detective deerstalkers (that’s right, I looked up the name for a detective hat, and it was alliterative, so you’re welcome) and let me know what other things pop out at you from these results!
What Does This Mean For You?
- The top attractions for saving time with Genie+ easily beats the rest of the options. Slinky Dog Dash is the obvious winners. They it also books up really quickly (like, almost instantly on high crowd level days), so keep that in mind when prioritizing.
- Genie+ at EPCOT is starting to make more sense. I still wouldn’t purchase it for my family (and in fact, did not purchase it when we visited in July), because Early Entry rope drop can save you even more time than Genie+ can, with the right touring strategy.
- We don’t have much data yet on character meet and greets, so we don’t have a good way to say whether those are “worth it” or not at this point. Help us out by recording those waits!
Now it’s your turn to participate! Want to earn your very own Disney data detective deerstalker? Let me know what jumped out at you from the results today. I can even send you a picture of one – I’m pretty sure that’s how NFTs work.