OPTIMIZED ITINERARY FOR GENIE+ AND INDIVIDUAL LIGHTNING LANES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Below is my Genie+ based Disney World itinerary for first time visitors who may never return, updated late August 2022.
It uses all the tools available to guests to shorten waits, and thus will only work for those staying in a Disney-owned or other hotel eligible for both Early Entry and for 7a booking of Individual Lightning Lane attractions. That narrows the list to all of the Disney-owned value, moderate, deluxe, and DVC properties, and in addition Shades of Green, the Swan, Swan Reserve, and Dolphin. (For more on these hotels, see this.)
As Disney dining—in particular character dining—has not yet fully returned to its pre-COVID roster and style, my Disney World itinerary does not yet include suggested table service dining.
- Once the key roster is open, I’ll add dining back fully in.
- However, currently, your Thursday is entirely open. A late breakfast at Chef Mickey’s and/or dinner at Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue on Thursday are highly recommended! Neither of these is in a park, so no tickets or park reservations are needed–although dining reservations (available at the links) are more or less required, and can sell out very quickly.
The basic parameters of the itinerary follow previous itineraries—guests see Epcot first and Magic Kingdom last among the four parks, and specific days are chosen for specific parks to avoid typically higher-crowd days.
Since Early Entry happens every day now, we won’t see the ebb and flow of specific park crowds on specific days that we used to see with the once or twice a week Extra Magic Hours. During the party season from August to late December, the ebb and flow from it will likely return, especially at Magic Kingdom. The itinerary takes advantage of typical party-season patterns.
Given all that, the general approach (after Epcot first and Magic Kingdom last) is to put Hollywood Studios on weekends, as it is horrible pretty much every day, and weekends are busy at all the parks. (If there’s no better day at HS than a weekend, why not go there on a weekend, so that you can see another park on a possibly less busy weekday?) In addition, guests are at Epcot and Magic Kingdom on the days these parks most commonly have Extended Evening Hours (which don’t make crowds higher those days, as the old EMH might have), so that guests eligible for Extended Evening Hours can enjoy them if they wish without paying for a park hopper.
Overall there’s a mix of later evening and early morning days. Late evenings are mostly followed by low-key mornings. Scheduled times in the parks will grow once I add back recommended table service dining.
The general approach to the parks is to see the most popular ride via ILL, and the most popular Genie+ ride via Early Entry. This puts you several steps ahead of everyone else in the parks. In general I don’t use some advanced techniques available (such as stacking Genie+ in afternoons or evenings) unless they work naturally in the flow of a day, and for cost reasons avoid park hopper tickets–which also limits some advanced Genie+ techniques available. Future itineraries may use such tools.
For a larger version of the itinerary image, click here.
This itinerary won’t work all weeks, and some weeks that it mostly works it may need some little adjustments. Check your week here.
TO-DO LIST FOR THE DISNEY WORLD GENIE+ ITINERARY
The To-Do List for this itinerary is here.
DAILY AGENDAS FOR THE DISNEY WORLD GENIE+ ITINERARY
Daily agendas are in the links:
This itinerary is dedicated to my friend and co-author Josh Humphrey, who died at the age of 36 on March 10th, 2022. I’ll be writing more about Josh one of these days, but every time I begin to draft this appreciation, I start to cry…
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