FastPasses are long and it looks like Genie+ is here to stay for the long run. But if you’re like me and refuse to pay $15 to $35 per per person per day to use this service, then I got you covered.
Thanks to a few strategies I’ve learned over the past couple years, I can confidently say that it’s possible to ride and see everything without having to buy Genie Plus.
Believe it or not, it’s quite possible to have a fun and magical day at Disney World without having to pay for an additional add-ons like Genie+ or Individual Lighting Lanes. Best of all, it only takes a little bit of pre-planning in order to do so!
So if you’re looking for an easy way to shorten wait times without paying for Genie+ every single time you go to a park, then this guide can help you out immensely.
- How to visit all four parks without Genie+
- Disney World Without Genie+
- 1. Get to the parks early
- 2. Get to the parks in the afternoon/evening
- 3. Stay in the parks late
- 4. Use Single Rider Lines
- 5. Go on rides during parades and fireworks
- 6. Visit on typically less crowded days of the week
- 7. Save the busiest attraction for last
- Final Thoughts
How to visit all four parks without Genie+
To help make your visit a little bit more stress-free and affordable, I went ahead and put together a guide for each park that will help you navigate the day without having to buy Genie+:
- Magic Kingdom One-Day Itinerary without Genie+
- Epcot One-Day Itinerary without Genie+
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Itinerary without Genie+
- Hollywood Studios One-Day Itinerary without Genie+
Disney World Without Genie+
Here are some of my most effective strategies and tips to save time and maximize your day at all four Disney World parks without Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes:
1. Get to the parks early
For the best possible chance of knocking out the most popular ride(s) in your park with the shortest wait time possible, you should get to the parks early around rope drop. I would aim for around 30 minutes before the park officially opens.
Generally, regardless of what park you’re in, you have the best chance of walking straight onto a ride if you get there at park opening.
That said, it’s important to make a list ahead of time of the rides and attractions you absolutely need to do.
And if you have Early Entry thanks to your stay at a Disney World hotel, then you have an even better chance to knock out multiple rides before the park even opens to the general public.
2. Get to the parks in the afternoon/evening
Generally speaking, some of the shortest wait times at Disney World can be found in the evening.
So if you don’t mind heading to the parks a little bit later in the day, then you’ll notice that attraction wait times are actually quite reasonable.
I’ve found this strategy to work extremely well for Animal Kingdom. While Animal Kingdom is widely considered a half-day park, most guests tend to visit in the morning. Personally, I suggest that you visit in the late afternoon for the best possible experience.
During the evening, you’ll notice that there are significantly more people leaving the park as opposed to scanning in. What that means for you is short wait times and lighter crowds. You can literally knock out almost every major ride at Animal Kingdom in 3 hours, even if you arrive at 5 pm.
3. Stay in the parks late
Have you ever noticed that once the fireworks end, there’s a mad rush to the park exits? Instead of getting stuck in the massive lines to leave the park or catch the monorail, I recommend that you use that time to go on some more rides before the park closes.
And if you move quickly, you might even be able to walk on to some of the most popular rides in the park. This strategy is extremely effective at Magic Kingdom.
So if you don’t mind staying out a little bit later, hanging around the parks past closing is a great way to rides some rides with lower wait times.
And, if you happen to be staying at a Disney World Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort (or other select hotel), then you will be able to take advantage of Extended Evening Hours. This is a fantastic time to go on rides with some of the shortest waits of the entire day.
4. Use Single Rider Lines
There are currently four attractions at Disney World that offer a Single Rider Line:
- Expedition Everest
- Test Track
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
If the wait times are long and you don’t mind getting split up from your group, then jumping in to a Single Rider Line is great way to go on a ride with a sometimes significantly shorter wait time.
The only risk is that there’s always that slight possibility that the Single Rider Line could be the same or even longer than the normal queue. But that’s usually pretty rare.
From personal experience, Test Track and Expedition Everest’s Single Rider Lines move the fastest.
5. Go on rides during parades and fireworks
If you ever check the wait times at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm, you’ll notice that they are shorter than they were during the entire day.
That’s because during this time, there are fireworks and nighttime shows (like Fantasmic) going on.
Disney parades, fireworks, and nighttime shows draw a huge crowd meaning that the more people who are watching these shows, the less people there are waiting in line for rides.
So, if you don’t mind skipping out on fireworks and parades, then this is a great time to experience some rides with shorter wait times than normal.
6. Visit on typically less crowded days of the week
As you probably already know, certain days of the week are guaranteed to be busier than others (i.e. Saturday).
If your schedule permits, I recommend that you plan to visit each park on the least crowded day of the week possible. That way you can have shorter wait times than normal, thus allowing you to knock out more rides quicker.
Here are the best days of the week to visit each park:
- Magic Kingdom = Wednesday and Sunday
- Epcot = Wednesday
- Hollywood Studios = Wednesday
- Animal Kingdom = Wednesday
Wednesday statistically has the lowest wait times of the week, according to Thrill Data, followed by Sunday and Thursday.
Believe it or not, some of the worst days are Monday and Tuesday. My guess is that some people prefer to start their park days on Monday. Also, some Annual Passholders are blocked out on the weekends, meaning that Monday is the first day of the week that they can go back to the parks.
7. Save the busiest attraction for last
Some popular rides like Avatar Flight of Passage, Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure have very high waits during the entire day. From park opening to closing, their long wait times remain constant.
And as opposed to wasting 90 minutes or more during your day, I recommend that you do those attractions last. Unless, you plan on rope dropping a very popular ride, your best bet is to do it last that way it feels as though you aren’t wasting any precious hours during the middle of the day.
And if possible, I would even try to do those rides right before park closing to truly maximize your time.
While there is no guaranteed method to drastically reduce your wait times at Disney World, these helpful tips might just come in handy!