This article is your complete guide to the 2023 Disney World Lightning Lanes! Because there have been some major changes to Walt Disney World over the past few years but none have been more important then the lightning lanes at Disney along with the new introduction of the Disney Genie+. So if you are in the process of planning a Disney World vacation you’ll be sure to want to stick around until the end of this article as we are about to go over everything you need to know about the Disney World Lightning Lanes including, how does the Disney Lightning Lane work, when does the Lightning Lane start, and of course how to purchase the Disney Lightning Lane.
And before we even dive into this guide it’s important to understand that the Disney World Lightning Lane is the entrance that is located outside of each ride that is including with the Disney Genie+ service. These Lightning Lane entrances will allow guests to save time waiting on line if they upgrade to the Disney Genie+ or purchase one of the individual premium Lightning Lanes. Be sure to check out one of our other guides on the Disney World Genie+ or individual lightning lanes if you feel those would be most helpful.
But if you’re ready to learn all about the 2023 Walt Disney World Lightning Lanes read on!
Let’s start with the most popular question we receive on this topic which is, what is the Disney World Lightning Lane? The Disney World Lightning Lane entrance is a line queue which is available at select rides and attractions which are included if guests upgrade to the Disney Genie+ or premium Lightning Lane rides. It’s important to note that guests do not actually purchase the Lightning Lane but the purchase of the Disney Genie+ or a premium ride selection will grant guests access to use the Disney Lightning Lane in the parks. It is essentially Disney’s way to rebrand and market the old free Fast Pass queues.
Guests will be happy to know that there are currently over forty rides which have the Lightning Lane at Disney World. However as you’ll see below there are some restrictions regarding exactly how many rides you can access through the Lightning Lane at a time. Disney has also adjusted it’s marketing to include that guests who upgrade to the Disney Genie+ can expect to access 2-3 Lightning Lanes on an average day. We do find it important to note that we have absolutely been able to use the Genie+ for more then this and it really all depends on which rides are the most important to you when trying to figure out if the Disney World Genie+ is worth it or not.
The Disney Lightning Lane can only be accessed when guests upgrade their Disney World ticket to include the Disney Genie+ or individual Lightning Lanes which are both pay to skip the line services. The cost of Lightning Lane access will cost between $15-$27 per person per day for the Disney Genie+ or between $9-$27 for the individual Lightning Lane premium selections.
Related Page: What is the Difference Between Lightning Lane and Genie+
Okay next let’s look at the second most popular question that we receive on this topic which is, how do you get access to the Disney World Lightning Lanes? As quickly discussed above there are a few ways to gain access to the Disney World Lightning Lane which include upgraded to the Disney Genie+, purchasing an individual Lightning Lane, using the Disney World DAS pass, or receiving a guest service pass to use one of the Lightning Lanes due to a ride breaking down. As discussed the first two options are the most popular and are the most important to understand the different moving parts to make sure that you can select the Lightning Lane for your favorite Disney Genie + rides the morning of your trip.
Related Page: Complete Guide to How to Use the Disney Genie+
Now that you understand what the Disney Lightning Lane is you might be wondering, how does the Lightning Lane work at Disney World? The first step to using the Lightning Lane is always to make sure that you have upgraded to the Disney Genie+ or individual premium Lightning Lane selection. Once upgraded you can select the Disney World attraction or show you would like to use the Lightning Lane for to skip the regular line and use the shorter Lightning Lane queue. Each guests will receive a one hour window to show up to that ride to use the Lightning Lane. Once you arrive each guests will be asked to scan their Disney World App, park ticket, or Magic Band to gain entrance to the Lightning Lane. And that’s it! It’s important to note that once you scan into your Lightning Lane you can start to pick out your next Disney World Genie+ ride selection.
Another very important question we must look at is, how many Lightning Lane passes per day are you allowed to make? It’s important to keep in mind that this will be different for guests who upgrade to the Disney Genie+ vs the individual Lightning Lane attractions. For guests using the Lightning Lane with their Genie+ they can make and hold up to one Lightning Lane reservation at a time, unless their reservation time is longer then 120 minutes away in which case they can make and hold two Lightning Lane reservations after that 120 minute mark. For this scenario, guests can make as many Lightning Lane reservations they can fit into one day as they can continue to make new Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations as they go on each ride. This is of course based on ride availability as only a certain amount of Lightning Lanes are released for each ride each day and Disney has even confirmed that the Genie+ is expected to help guests get onto 2-3 attractions. Guests who are looking to take advantage of the Disney World individual Lightning Lane premium selections can make up to two selections per day. It’s important to note that guests can also stack one Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane with a Premium Lightning Lane selection at the same time.
Related Page: Complete Guide to Disney World Characters
This might be the most important question on the list which is, when can you buy Lightning Lanes for Disney World? As a general rule of thumb Disney World Lightning Lanes for both the regular park guests using the Genie+ and Disney hotel guests using the individual Lightning Lane premium selections start at 7:00 AM. The other important thing to keep in mind is these selections cannot be made in advance which means that you will have to log onto the My Disney Experience App every morning at 7:00 AM during your vacation to grab your Lightning Lane for that specific day. Guests staying at non-Disney hotels can purchase individual Lightning Lanes at park opening.
For this reason we do feel like on-site Disney World hotel guests have an advantage when it comes to getting Lightning Lanes and something that should be considered when trying to find the best place to stay for your next Disney World vacation. We also feel like having access to the first group of Lightning Lanes should play a roll when trying to consider if you should rope drop Rise of the Resistance or not.
Related Page: What is the Best Disney World Park
As a general rule of thumb Disney Lightning Lane passes for the most popular rides at each of the Disney World theme parks can sell out within minutes after the 7:00 AM release time. This is especially true when travelling to Walt Disney World during one of the busier times of year such as the summer or the Holidays. For this reason, it’s very important to figure out exactly which Disney Genie+ attractions you would like to use your the Disney Lightning Lane for before your trip.
The Disney World Lightning Lane is not free and it is included in the cost of the Disney Genie+ which will range from $15 – $27 per person per day for up to 40 attractions throughout the park. It’s important to note that the Disney Lightning Lane did replace the free Disney Fastpass system in the parks.
Can you arrive early for Lightning Lanes at Disney?
As a general rule of thumb, guests using the Disney World Lightning Lane system can arrive a few minutes early before their return window. It’s important to note that every cast member is different and some might allow guests into the Lightning Lane earlier then others.
It’s important to note that guests will not be able to use their Lightning Lane if they return after their expiration window. Of course, Disney will provide a few minutes on the front and back end however it’s important to arrive on time when using the Disney World Lightning Lane system. Guests also will not be allowed to book another Lightning Lane for the same attraction if they do miss their window as you are only allowed to use your Lightning Lane on each ride one time per day.
The 120 rule is connected to the Disney Genie+ and using the Lightning Lane at attractions. Essentially you can book a second Lightning Lane 120 minutes after reserving your last attraction if your return window for the original Lightning Lane is more then 120 minutes away.
Our Disney World Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We break down park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices, and average temperature. We also break down the best time to visit Disney World based on specific times of the year and special events.
Are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be sure to speak with a Disney World Travel Agent for the most recent deals and promotions. The Park Prodigy will provide a Free Quote for all Disney World Vacation Packages. The Park Prodigy can also help you save up to $20 per ticket when purchasing your Walt Disney World Tickets, and we offer promotional discounts for special events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Tickets and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets.
Don’t forget to check out our wonderful friends over at Theme Park Today, as well