Let the debating in the comments commence! Up until now, there hasn’t been much pushback or arguing on our Genie+ priority lists for Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, or Hollywood Studios. But then again, the results there have all been pretty straight-forward. Magic Kingdom is a totally different beast. (Which, by the way, is part of the reason why it’s the only park where I pretty much universally recommend you use Genie+.) There are 21 different Genie+ attractions to choose from – I’m excluding the parade here since its time savings are difficult to quantify.
That leaves much more room for shuffling within the priority list. And it’s the only park where the clear time savings winners don’t have really great satisfaction. Is their lower satisfaction due to their high waits? Would you enjoy them more if you did prioritize those reservations and waited less for them? Hard to say objectively, but some analyses I did in the fall seem to refute that hypothesis. So I’m standing behind these results. Because time savings shouldn’t be the only thing that matter – you need to enjoy what you experience throughout the day too!
This post was last updated on July 10th to account for 2023 trends.
Explain the Math
We can rank the Genie+ attractions in each park in different ways. In this post, I am going to aggregate three of those different measures by averaging them. Easy peasy.
- Rank by average availability, ascending – the attraction in each park that usually sells out first will get rank 1, and the attraction in each park that has book now/ride now availability the most through the day will get the lowest rank.
- Rank by average time savings, descending – the attraction in each park where Genie+ usually saves the most time compared to standby will get rank 1, and the attraction in each park where Genie+ usually saves the least time compared to standby will get 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 get rank 1, and the attraction in each park with the lowest overall average satisfaction from the past two years will get the lowest rank.
The rank by satisfaction is now updated to be a normal rank just like the other two calculations. No more linear regression trickiness. Everything is fair and square.
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!
Prioritized List of Genie+ Attractions at Magic Kingdom
1. Space Mountain
Availability Score = 7 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 1 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 6 out of 21
Space Mountain exhibits decently-high scores on all three fronts. And its time savings have been trending up – enough to get it the top spot with an average savings of 34 minutes in 2023. Satisfaction is really good, and while it rarely sells out for the day, it does book up more in advance than a lot of other attractions (14 of them, in fact), so all of that combines to get Space Mountain into the top spot!
One thing to keep in mind here, though, is that Space Mountain is very easily rope-droppable if you want to build a strategy for your day around that. Even if you don’t have early entry, Tomorrowland won’t be slammed with people by the time you get into the park, unlike Fantasyland. So you could rope-drop Tomorrowland and use your Genie+ reservations for attractions lower on the list.
2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Availability Score = 9 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 5 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 1 out of 21
We continue our prioritized tour of the Magic Kingdom mountain range with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad working all of the way back up to spot number two on the list! This thematic coaster has the top satisfaction score of any Genie+ attraction in the park (or any attraction/entertainment, besides the thankfully-returned Happily Ever After). It won’t sell out as quickly as some of the attractions lower in the list, but its time savings have been rebounding (average of 21 minutes). The standby queue can be cramped and hot when long lines form, so a Genie+ reservation is a good idea.
3. Meet Cinderella at Fairytale Hall
Availability Score = 2 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 4 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 9 out of 21
Cinderella is back to selling out the second-fastest of any character meet in Magic Kingdom – including the main mouse himself, who falls lower on the list. Her average time savings of 23 minutes, plus early evening sell-out and decent satisfaction zoom her up all of the way to spot number three. A fair spot if you’re interested in character meets. Otherwise, you can skip ahead. Several spots.
4. Meet Ariel
Availability Score = 1 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 9 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 7 out of 21
Time savings haven’t budged much here. An average of 15 minutes isn’t anything to blink at. But there are 8 other options that will save you more time. The real limiting factor here is sell-out time, which is still earlier than any other attraction at the Magic Kingdom. It still won’t sell out until around 4 pm, so if Ariel is a priority, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to book a reservation. Not into characters? Move along … again …
5. Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
Availability Score = 3 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 13 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 2 out of 21
Mickey Mouse is always in charge, and is always popular. He almost commands the second-highest satisfaction of any attraction on this list. That combined with a sell-out relatively early in the evening override the somewhat paltry average time savings of 13 minutes. If you’d rather not use Genie for meeting Mickey, we can also offer a good alternate option in EPCOT.
6. Jungle Cruise
Availability Score = 5 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 2 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 12 out of 21
Jungle Cruise used to sell out the fastest of any Magic Kingdom attraction – often in the early afternoon, but it now is beat out by many character greets and Peter Pan’s Flight. It still has decent time savings though – almost 28, on average – good enough for second in the park. And Jungle Cruise has not below-average satisfaction, but not spectacularly high. This attraction is a classic for a reason, and lines are always long. So save yourself a hot wait and book it before it sells out for the day.
7. Haunted Mansion
Availability Score = 10 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 7 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 3 out of 21
Coming in right behind the real heavy hitters and a lot of characters is Haunted Mansion. This fan favorite tends to book up in the middle of the pack each day, usually right around closing time. And a Genie+ reservation can save you over 16 minutes compared to standby. That’s a dropoff from the attractions (not characters) higher on the list, but it’s still good for a single reservation, especially compared to options at parks like Animal Kingdom and EPCOT. Satisfaction here is also significantly higher than Peter Pan’s Flight or Jungle Cruise … just beware of taking little kids on this one.
8. Meet Tiana at Fairytale Hall
Availability Score = 6 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 6 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 8 out of 21
For some reason, visiting with Tiana and Rapunzel has always required less waiting than Cinderella. Here’s your secret clue for the day: Tiana and Rapunzel are awesome. Go bond over beignets and frying pans. It even shows in the satisfaction scores, which are higher for this pair of princesses! Still, Tiana will have more availability and less wait than her next-door neighbor. If you want to use Genie+ for meeting a character, make it Cinderella or Mickey or Ariel instead of Tiana.
9. Peter Pan’s Flight
Availability Score = 4 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 3 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 13 out of 21
This always-favorite had previously moved up from 4th to 2nd place in our rankings, and now it absolutely plummets down to 9th place. If we didn’t factor in satisfaction, Peter Pan’s Flight would be close to the winner on the prioritized list for Magic Kingdom. In fact, it would probably be one of the highest recommendations if we did WDW-wide rankings. But its mediocre satisfaction score drags it way, way down.
If you’re travelling with young kids and using Genie+, it’s a good bet if you all want to stick together for the day. And while you can pretty easily rope drop Space Mountain or Jungle Cruise if you don’t have early entry (especially Jungle Cruise since it isn’t even open during early entry), Peter Pan’s Flight will already have a lengthy standby queue by the time “regular rope drop” happens. If you’re staying onsite with young kids, it’s an excellent first-attraction option. But otherwise you’ll have to find another time to wait for it, or use Genie+ instead.
10. Pirates of the Caribbean
Availability Score = 14 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 8 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 3 out of 21
Pirates of the Caribbean still has totally fine availability, typically not selling out until just before park close. And it can save you something like 16 minutes compared to standby, although this varies pretty widely based on time of day and crowd level. Satisfaction is high, but it’s an attraction that you could rope drop (regular rope drop only – not early entry) or save for later at night when it’s eerier anyway, freeing you up to make other Genie+ reservations.
11. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Availability Score = 8 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 10 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 18 out of 21
Our satisfaction scores are starting to taper off a bit, with our first well-below-average score for Magic Kingdom. Winnie the Pooh is a fun ride, but it’s short in duration and perhaps only really appealing via some form of nostalgia. I qualify for that nostalgia, so I enjoy it. It rarely sells out before the end of the day, but can save you around 15 minutes. So I’ll definitely still count it as a worthwhile option, especially for any Pooh fans in your party.
12. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Availability Score = 15 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 12 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 10 out of 21
Since it’s a omnimover type of attraction, Buzz Lightyear tends to have high capacity and therefore higher availability for Genie+ reservations – it generally doesn’t sell out before the end of the day. But it also generates longer waits, presumably because families keep re-riding, attempting to best one another’s scores. (Or because of reliability issues. One of those things.) Buzz also maintains decent satisfaction. I assume those that score it poorly aren’t Galactic Heroes. A reservation here can save you about 15 minutes, which is still a good chunk of time.
13. Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Availability Score = 12 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 20 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 5 out of 21
If you get really really lucky, a Genie+ reservation might get you into a showing of PhilharMagic about one full show ahead of where you would’ve been with standby. I’ve heard of one good use case for this (use case: uh-oh, my consultant speak is peeking out). And that was when a big afternoon downpour caused everyone to line up for PhilharMagic to get out of the rain. A savvy reader booked a Genie+ reservation with immediate availability and skipped right around the sudden crowd of drenched onlookers. So … if a sudden downpour creates unexpected demand and you also want to get out of the rain, then go for that Genie+ reservation. Otherwise … don’t. The only reason it achieved this high on the list is because its satisfaction is so high – and that satisfaction score keeps increasing, so PhilharMagic has moved up surprisingly high the list.
14. Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
Availability Score = 18 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 10 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 14 out of 21
At Under the Sea, you’ve got almost all-day availability, below-average satisfaction (What?! Who ARE you red-headed princess haters? Make yourselves known), but potentially decent time savings – an average of 15 minutes. Realistically, chances are that you won’t really need a Genie+ reservation here.
15. Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Availability Score = 11 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 21 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 11 out of 21
Thankfully over the past few updates, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor has been moving down the list, due to increasing availability. It’s available for most of the day, and does not save any time (okay – 2 minutes compared to standby). But once again, high satisfaction helps it not be the lowest on the list.
16. Tomorrowland Speedway
Availability Score = 13 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 15 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 21 out of 21
Tomorrowland Speedway has the dubious distinction of having the lowest satisfaction of any attraction in Magic Kingdom. Yayyyyyy. And you can get reservations for it basically all day. A Genie+ reservation here will only save you about 10 minutes compared to standby, on average. I highly suggest organizing your park day so that you never even walk past this attraction. Otherwise, the gas fumes somehow call to small children like the sirens of the sea. And you’ll be sucked in and waiting in the hot, mostly un-shaded line. Walking the long way around is totally worth it.
17. Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Availability Score = 17 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 14 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 19 out of 21
Magic Carpets always hovers (it’s a magic carpet joke!) around the bottom of the list at the Magic Kingdom. Unless you go on a crazy-crowded day, wait time savings here aren’t going to be huge. Satisfaction scores aren’t great. And you can usually get immediate return times for it all day. Here’s the expert-level Carpets hack. Stick your kids in the regular standby line with one adult. Then the rest of you go and enjoy some dole whips while those crazies wait out their carpet time.
18. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Availability Score = 20 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 16 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 16 out of 21
Even on the highest crowd level days, you can get a Genie+ reservation for Dumbo almost until the park closes. Satisfaction with the flying elephants also isn’t spectacular. But unlike the last update, though, time savings at Dumbo have gone remarkably up – from negative savings last summer to average savings of 8 minutes this year.
19. Mad Tea Party
Availability Score = 21 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 17 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 15 out of 21
The good news here is that Mad Tea Party has the availability pretty much all day. You can basically pick up reservations at any point throughout the day and have a return time that isn’t very far away (often immediate). But you won’t save much time. And you’ll get really dizzy. My anecdotal experiences say that time savings will happen only if there needs to be a … tea cup cleanup and the standby line grows while that important work happens.
20. it’s a small world
Availability Score = 19 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 18 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 17 out of 21
It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears … no? Did I make it far enough to get it stuck in your head? I hope so. It’s a classic. Sherman brothers at their best. Coming in at second-to-last place is it’s a small world, with good all-day availability and time savings around 8 minutes, plus a well-below-average satisfaction score. Small world is typically a pretty easy ride to experience without a long wait if you time it right. Otherwise go ahead and book a Genie+ reservation if you have big fans that want to sail around the world.
21. The Barnstormer
Availability Score = 16 out of 21
Time Savings Score = 19 out of 21
Satisfaction Score = 20 out of 21
There is a very, very short period of life where young kids can ride Barnstormer but not really any other “big kid” rides at Magic Kingdom. In this short window of time, the Barnstormer can potentially be a good choice. A bite-sized introduction to the world of roller coasters. It offers good views of TRON too. Other than that … I have no good things to say about it. It’s a hot, sunny line with a really short attraction at the end of it. A Genie+ reservation likely won’t save you much time either.
What Does This Mean For You?
- Keep in mind that any Genie+ prioritization should also be paired with a savvy park touring strategy. A lot of the attractions at the top of this list are also good rope drop (or late-night) candidates, which allows you to not use reservations for them unless you want to ride them more than once.
- Magic Kingdom is the easiest park for using and learning Genie+. There are plenty of options that will save you a decent amount of time, so you don’t have to go in with a crazy strategy. And you won’t get frustrated by everything booking up before noon. If you’re on the fence about whether your party would benefit from it or not, try it at Magic Kingdom first.
- I correctly predicted increased demand for character meet-and-greets in the original list. The better time savings and worse availability mean that you should consider whether those attractions are important to your group.
Have you used Genie+ at Magic Kingdom? Do you agree with these rankings or would yours be different? Let me know in the comments!