While we are very excited to have the option to skip the standby line at Disney World, we have found that Genie+ can definitely have a little bit of a learning curve.
There’s a lot of confusion about when attractions can be booked.
Disney officially states that “You can select the next available arrival window for select Lightning Lane entrances at attractions and entertainment all day long.” They also mention that, “Once you’ve redeemed your initial selection (or the arrival window has passed), you can use the app to check your My Day itinerary or Tip Board to see when you’re eligible to make another selection. You can make selections all day up to regular park closing.”
What they don’t mention is that the next available arrival window for some rides might actually be late in the day.
You see, anyone who has purchased Genie+ and has a park reservation at any given park, can make their first selection for that park at 7am. The most popular rides will be chosen at that time. As guests grab these selections, the available arrival window moves further and further back. If you are slow to grab yours, it might even be at the end of the night. Oh no! My return time isn’t until 8pm! Does that mean that I can’t make any more selections until I use it at 8pm?
Good news! This is where the 120 MINUTE RULE will save you! Even though you are only supposed to be able to book one reservation at a time, you can actually hold a second reservation if your first reservation is more than 120 minutes away. Now, it’s important to realize that the 120 MINUTE RULE starts when the park opens, not at 7am.
So, you can actually book a second attraction after any of the following:
- As soon as you tap into your first selection. (If the attraction has two tap points, you will need to tap both.)
- 120 minutes after you made your first selection (Remember if you made your first selection before park opening, the 120 minute clock doesn’t start ticking until after the park has opened.)
- After your reservation window has passed. (Don’t let this happen, because that means that you miss your window, and you can’t re-book the attraction. It’s best to cancel it if you can’t make it.)
Now, let’s look at a real scenario. It’s your Hollywood Studios day. The park opens at 9am, and your “must have” ride is Slinky Dog Dash. You set your alarm and reserve a Slinky Dog Dash selection as fast as you can. Alas, your return time is 3pm. When can you book a second?
You can book a second reservation 120 minutes after the park has opened. (i.e. If the park opens at 9am, you can book your second at 11am.) If you try to book too soon, you will get a message like this, alerting you that you aren’t eligible and letting you know when you will be eligible. So, if in doubt… Genie will tell you.
If you plan on going to the park at opening… you will need to use the stand-by line for attractions until 11am.
Now, here’s something really cool about the 120 minute rule. Once the 120 minutes has passed, that 3pm reservation you have will no longer impact any of your future selections for other attractions. It’s like it’s not even there. You can even utilize the 120 minute rule again when you book your 11am selection, giving you another return time late in the day. We call this “stacking reservations”. You can even overlap reservation times when utilizing the 120 Minute Rule. Whether or not this is a smart thing to do, would depend on the way you want to tour the parks.
Let’s look at another scenario.
Maybe you were able to get your first Genie+ selection of the day for a return time that is close to the park opening time. That’s GREAT! Now you can just go into the park and speed through reservations, booking the next available selection time immediately after you tap into each. Imagine this is going great, but at some point in the day you realize that one of the attractions you want to do is returning times that are late in the day. Well then, you may end up needing to utilize the 120 minute rule after all.
We don’t want you to “lose” 120 minutes of your day though, so you will need to be strategic about it. A great time to book would be over a lunch break, or lunch and a show, or maybe during your mid-day resort nap, or even utilize an Individual Attraction Selection during this time.
I hope this has helped you understand the 120 MINUTE RULE and when to use it. There are a lot of scenarios that can come into play. Basically, if you can’t wrap your head around it, just try to make a reservation every time you scan into a ride and every time two hours has passed from the last time you were able to book an attraction. Genie will let you know if you are eligible.
Lastly, in response to the Genie+ confusion, Disney has set up guest service locations throughout the parks. Just look for the blue umbrellas. There will be a friendly cast member there, ready to help!
CLICK HERE for more Genie+ tips!
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Dannielle has been a lover of travel her whole life. From family ski trips in Canada and the US, to adventurous deep sea fishing and lobstering in the Florida Keys, her love for travel never stops. Since having children of her own, she has fallen in love with the magic and wonder that Walt Disney World Resort vacations bring her family. She is always planning trips for herself, family, and friends and now is excited to help YOU plan your next Disney or Universal Vacation.
Attention to detail is her specialty, and she loves finding magical moments everywhere in her trips.
Dannielle is a blessed wife and mother to four amazing children.