I'll Pay for Disney Genie+ but Not Individual Lightning Lanes. Here's Why

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  • When I go to Disney, I am willing to pay for Genie+ if it is crowded.
  • I will not pay for individual Lightning Lanes, because the costs add up quickly.
  • The cost of Genie+ is worth it to me because the system works better for my family's visits.

As Florida residents, my family and I have season passes to Disney and we visit the parks often. When we go, there are times when I will be willing to pay for Disney's Genie+ service. What I will not do, however, is pay for individual Lightning Lanes.

If you're trying to figure out whether you should tap into your bank account to buy these different services, it may be helpful to understand what each of them do and why one may be more worth it than another. Here's why I'm willing to put Genie+ on my credit card but Lightning Lanes aren't an option in our household.

Here's why I'll pay for Genie+

Paying for Genie+ makes sense for my family because it opens up the door to get on the vast majority of rides we want to go on within minutes.

With Genie+, you can make your first reservation to access a Lightning Lane two hours prior to park opening and then every two hours once the park opens. A reservation for a Lightning Lane enables you to get into a special shorter line for rides. As you use each reservation, you get to make another one. So, you can have several reservations at once toward the end of the day and end up not having to wait for the majority of rides.

Disney has been very crowded for months, with even basic rides like the Mad Tea Party (aka the famous spinning teacups) having waits of 20 minutes or more. Standing in line for hours just to go on a few rides makes going to the parks not worthwhile at all, so I'm willing to pay the extra money per person when we visit in order to enjoy the trips we take.

Here's why I won't pay for individual Lightning Lanes

Individual Lightning Lanes are very different from Genie+. There are certain rides at each park that you cannot make Lightning Lane reservations for with Genie+. You can only reserve access to the shorter Lightning Lane line if you pay per ride. This pay-per-ride system provides access to attractions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Avatar Flight of Passage.

The prices for these individual Lightning Lanes typically cost between $7 and $25 depending on the ride and how crowded the park is. That means you are paying this just to have fast access to a single ride. And that's per person, so for a family of four, it could be an extra $100 just to go on a single ride more quickly.

While paying to skip lines all day long makes sense to me since I can get on dozens of rides and be busy all day with my kids, paying what is essentially the cost of an entire day's ticket to a cheaper theme park just to go on a single ride that's over in minutes just does not seem to provide enough value.

If you're headed to Disney, be sure to understand the difference between what Genie+ and individual Lightning Lanes get you so you can make the right choice about which one -- if any -- to purchase.

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