TOP Lightning Lane Selections

Lightning Lane system at Walt Disney World

If you’re planning your next Walt Disney World vacation and are feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to making your Lightning Lane selections, don’t worry…you’re not alone! Not only is this system more in-depth than ever before, it’s also a tad confusing to try to figure out when you can’t even access them, or practice making any selections prior to your first day in the parks.

A few things I like to consistently remind my clients:

  • Lightning Lane selections are not life or death. They are to help you maximize your time, but are not worth losing sleep over. Trust me!
  • Don’t overthink it. If your kiddos want to ride something, but it’s not on the list below, but you also don’t want to wait in line for it…MAKE THE LIGHTNING LANE!
  • Once you’ve made your first few selections, they will be come easier and easier to make and by the afternoon on day one, you’ll be a pro!
  • While it may feel like it takes a rocket scientist to understand, know that the Lightning Lane system will all make so much more sense once you arrive to your first park and use the system for the first few times.

I promise – Lightning Lanes are beneficial to your vacation as they can save you hours (yes, plural) in each park when used properly.

Genie+ Tips:

  • Genie+ should be purchased at 6:55am each morning you are visiting a park. Yes, it can be added any time after midnight EST but there is absolutely no reason to stay up that late or wake up in the middle of the night to purchase it when you can purchase it right before you make your first selection(s) for the day. Set your alarm for 6:55am and thank me later.
  • Your first TWO selections can be made as early as 7am: this consists of 1 regular Lightning Lane + 1 paid for Individual Lightning Lane.
  • Your next selection can be made two hours after the park opening time. Be mindful of this time and set an alarm on your phone to remind you. For example, if the park opens at 9am, your next Lightning Lane can be made at 11am.
  • The app will tell you when you can make your 4th selection, and ongoing throughout the day. Be sure to pay attention to these times so you can schedule the most Lightning Lanes throughout the day.

Below are the first Lightning Lane selections you should make for each park, based on popularity and typically high wait times:

Magic Kingdom:

  • For littles or non-thrill seekers: Peter Pan’s Flight or Jungle Cruise
  • For thrill seekers: Big Thunder Mountain
  • Paid-for Lightning Lanes (also for thrill seekers): TRON or Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train 

Animal Kingdom:

  • For littles or non-thrill seekers: Kilimanjaro Safaris or Na’vi River Journey
  • For thrill seekers: Expedition Everest
  • Paid-for Lightning Lane (also for thrill seekers): Flight of Passage

Hollywood Studios:

  • For littles or non-thrill seekers: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway or Toy Story Mania
  • For thrill seekers: Slinky Dog Dash
  • Paid-for Lightning Lane (also for thrill seekers): Rise of The Resistance


  • For littles or non-thrill seekers: Frozen Ever After or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • For thrill seekers: Test Track or Soarin’
  • Paid-for Lightning Lane (also for thrill seekers): Guardians of the Galaxy

All Traveling Ears Vacations’ clients receive a daily detailed itinerary prior to their vacation. Within this itinerary is a specific plan for each park day, listing out the exact order we recommend making your Lightning Lane selections. If you are one of our clients, rest easy and know this is coming!

If your vacation is not booked with us, we’d love to work with you in the future to help you feel comfortable and confident in your plans, and naturally, help you maximize your time and investment in your Walt Disney World vacation.

Be sure to follow our adventures on Instagram here, or request your next vacation quote here.

Have you utilized the new Lightning Lane system at Walt Disney World? If so, what is your TOP Lightning Lane selection!?

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