This article is your complete guide to the 2023 individual lightning lanes! Because there are so many new pieces to planning a great Walt Disney World vacation including the brand new Disney Genie+ and individual Disney lightning lanes. We wanted to take the time to break down exactly how the new individual lightning lane works, as well as how much the individual lightning lane costs and how you can join each morning.
You’ll also see that the individual lightning lane rides at Disney World tend to be some of the most popular attractions in all of Orlando. With that being said, you do have to make the decision if spending the additional money will be worth saving time on lines later in the day. We hope you find this post helpful, and if you are planning a trip to Disney World be sure to check out our other FREE vacation planning tools. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time on your next vacation and find the cheapest Walt Disney World tickets!
So if you’re ready to learn about the Disney World Individual lightning lanes read on!
Let’s start with the most common question on this topic which is, what are the individual lightning lanes at Disney World? The individual lightning lanes at Disney World are pay-per-ride selections at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. In short guests can buy the rights to skip the lines some of the most popular attractions in all of Walt Disney World. These premium lightning lane selections have changed based on the time of year and have a price tag which ranges between $7-$17 per person per attraction. It’s also important to note that individual lightning lane selections at Disney can sell out which is why it’s so important to understand how the LL system at Disney World works for your next trip!
One tip and trick we have learned right off of the bat regarding how to buy individual lightning lane selections if you’re worried about them selling out is to pay attention to ticket pricing. And the reason is, just like at Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World theme park tickets now fluctuate based on the time of year you visit. So one way to give yourself the best chance to grab one of the very popular individual lightning lane selections is to compare the cheapest Walt Disney World tickets. The cheaper the tickets the more likely it is that the parks won’t be as crowded during that time of year which will result in less people buying individual lightning lanes.
Very simply Disney Genie Plus will allow guests to skip the lines for over forty different rides and attractions, while Disney individual lightning lanes are only reserved for the most popular rides in the theme parks. These individual lightning lanes will also come with an additional cost to skip the line which is separate from Disney Genie Plus cost. So as you can see there is a huge difference between the Genie Plus and lightning lane!
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Next let’s look at the second most popular question which is, what are the individual lightning lane rides? And on average Disney has four individual lightning lane rides but the system can fluctuate with up to eight rides at the four Disney theme parks. The main current lightning lane rides are Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, and Avatar Flight of Passage. Each individual lightning lane ride on this list can be found at one of the main theme parks including EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
As you can see above we have Star Wars Rise of the Resistance ranked as a higher priority than the newest ride at Disney World Guardian’s of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind. With the main reason being that Guardians of the Galaxy’s free line is still being managed through the Disney World virtual queue system. This has resulted in an overall shorter wait times for guests who are able to grab a virtual queue and many guests have not moved over to the individual lightning lane for Guardians of the Galaxy just yet.
We would also say that the ride system for Guardians of the Galaxy seems to run much more efficiently than Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. As a result we will most likely continue to rank the individual lightning lane rides in this order even after Guardians of the Galaxy is no longer part of the Disney World virtual queue, and continue to recommend that guests rope drop Star Wars Rise of the Resistance if the individual LL at Disney World are not a great fit.
It’s important to note that guests can only make individual lightning lane selections at Disney World for Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, Avatar Flight of Passage, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Guests are also not allowed to purchase an individual lightning lane for one attraction and change the time or show up to a different attraction. The only exception to this rule would be if one of the individual lightning lane rides breaks down, Disney might allow guests to show up to use their lightning lane at a later time. To be as prepared as possible, we would say to make sure you understand which individual lightning lanes you have your hear t set on and if the ILL will be worth it for your next Disney World trip!
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Now that we have covered the individual lightning lane attractions let’s take a look at another popular question which is, what are the individual lightning lane prices? Individual Disney lightning lane prices range from $7.00 plus tax up to $17.00 plus tax based on the lightning lane ride selected. It’s also important to note that the costs for individual lightning lane rides varies based on the day and ride you select.
Related Page: What is the Virtual Queue at Disney World?
Now let’s take a look at the next question regarding the individual LL at Disney and that is, how to buy individual lightning lanes? And as a general rule of thumb there are two ways to buy individual lightning lane rides at Disney World. The first being to navigate to the tip board via the three dashes on the bottom right of your screen, and once there you will see the verbiage “LL Individual Lightning Lane” above the four main attractions. Simply click purchase and you will be prompted to continue checking out. Guests can also search for the individual lightning lane attraction of their choice and continue to check out as well. It’s also important to note that different from the regular Disney Genie+ rides and other virtual queue attractions you do get to select your return time based on availability for individual lightning lanes.
Another popular question we receive is, can you buy two individual lightning lanes at once? Guests can only buy one individual lightning lane for each ride per day, and can only buy two individual lightning lanes per day. It’s important to note that guests can only buy the second individual lightning lane reservation after the first one has been used for the day.
Related Page: Guide to the Average Cost of a Disney World Vacation
The next thing you’ll want to be prepared for when using the Disney World lightning lane system is, what time do individual lightning lane attractions go on sale? The paid lightning lane rides go on sale at 7:00 AM every morning for on-site Disney World guests , and then park opening for all other Disney World park guests. As you can imagine this gives a huge advantage to guests staying at a Disney World hotel. This is especially true for the Star Wars Rise of the Resistance and Avatar Flight of Passage as they tend to fill up and sell out the fastest during the busier times of year.
Another question we receive is, when should you buy an individual lightning lane? And as a general rule of thumb guests should buy an individual lightning lane as early as the Disney App allows them to which is 7:00 AM for on-site guests and park opening for off-site guests. The main reason being is individual lightning lanes can sell out so there is no benefit to waiting if you know you absolutely would like to take advantage of the individual LL line.
From our experience using the new Disney Genie+ system, we have found that almost all four of the individual lightning lanes will sell out at some point throughout the day. We would also say that there is a very good chance Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, Avatar Flight of Passage, and Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic rewind will sell out fairly early in the morning sometimes within minutes during the busier times of year. So if you do have your heart set on using any of these individual lightning lane rides we suggest making your individual lightning lane reservations as early as possible!
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To avoid any reasonable doubt let’s now take a look at the question, which rides at Magic Kingdom are individual lightning lanes? And the one individual lightning lane ride at Magic Kingdom right now is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Guests will also find that the lightning lane costs for Magic Kingdom will fluctuate between $10.00 – $12.00 based on the time of day. This is a recent change as Disney first started each Disney park with two individual lightning lane rides with Magic Kingdom also including Space Mountain as another selection.
Related Page: Magic Kingdom One Day Park Plan
Our next question will be, what is the EPCOT individual lightning lane? The EPCOT individual lightning lane is currently Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind which will costs guests between $14.00-$17.00 depending on the day and tends to be the most experience individual LL on average. This was also a big deal as it replaced one of the most popular individual lightning lane rides in Frozen Everafter, however we do believe it to be the right choice.
Related Page: Best EPCOT Rides Ranked
Next let’s take a look at what the individual lightning lane at Hollywood Studios is? The individual lightning lane at Hollywood Studios is Star Wars Rise of the Resistance and it is still the most popular individual lightning lane selection in Walt Disney World. The Star Wars Rise of the Resistance lightning lane costs ranges from $15.00 – $17.00 based on the day you visit Walt Disney World. We would also say that this lightning lane is also the quickest to sell out so it’s very important that guests make these selections first thing in the morning.
Related Page: Hollywood Studios One Day Park Plan
Next let’s take a look at what the individual lightning lane at Animal Kingdom is? The individual lightning lane at Animal Kingdom is Avatar Flight of Passage and it is another one of the most popular individual lightning lane selections in Walt Disney World. The Avatar Flight of Passage lightning lane at Animal Kingdom costs ranges from $11.00 – $17.00 based on the day you visit Walt Disney World. We would also say that although this lightning lane might not sell out faster then Star Wars Rise of the Resistance the regular stand by line for this ride does tend to be as long so it’s important to decide if you will upgrade to the Animal Kingdom LL in advance.
Related Page: Animal Kingdom One Day Park Plan
Another popular question is, can you book individual lightning lane and Genie Plus at the same time? Yes, guests can hold a reservation for an individual lightning lane and a Genie Plus reservation at the same time. As a general rule of thumb, we always recommend making both your first individual LL and Genie Plus reservation as soon as your booking window opens up the morning of your visit to Disney World.
Guests can only book two individual lightning lane purchases per day. and cannot make two individual lightning lane reservations for the same ride within the same day.
On occasion we have seen Disney World refill more individual lightning lane openings to the My Disney Experience App around 7:15-7:20 AM. However we would say that this is the exception and we wouldn’t rely on this happening during your Disney World vacation. We always feel like the best thing to do is to try to grab your LL attraction as early in the morning as possible.
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.
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