A Walt Disney World vacation can be made close to perfect with the right planning. And a good Disney World ride strategy can go far to make sure you’re not spending your vacation waiting in lines. But which Lightning Lane Passes are really worth it? Here are our best suggestions across all four parks at Walt Disney World.
Do you Need a Lightning Lane Pass for Rides at Disney?
Is a Disney Lightning Lane Pass Worth It? While we wouldn’t say you “need” a Lightning Lane Pass for anything, it really all depends on WHEN you visit, and how strategic you want to be. Are you planning to wake up at the crack of dawn to rope drop your favorite rides? Or are you OK standing in line for an hour to ride something that lasts 3 minutes? Are you on a Shorter Disney Vacation and really need to maximize your time at Disney World? Answering these questions will determine how much money you want to invest in riding rides at Walt Disney World.
Do You Have to Pay for Rides at Walt Disney World?
No. You absolutely do not have to pay for rides, if you’re willing to just wait in line. And frankly, if you visit When Disney Crowds are Lowest. or plan to ride rides during meal times or parade times, or have a ride priority plan in place, you should be fine! During Disney World’s Busiest Times, however, you could yourself waiting in lines all day long. So, it’s really just about planning smarter to make the most of your Disney Budget.
How to Get a Lightning Lane Pass at Disney?
If you’re staying on property as a Disney Resort, you get Early Theme Park Entry access for an additional 30 minutes every morning of your stay. Maximize this time by figuring out a Disney Ride Strategy for the rides you want to experience most. Get started by accessing the My Disney Experience App and exploring the Disney Genie section of the app. From here you can choose two paths.
- Individual Lightning Lane selections require a payment per ride, and select rides are included. Prices vary throughout the day.
- Disney Genie Plus service includes 2 Lightning Lane selections, with a required 120-minute break between rides.
Which Rides at Walt Disney World Need a Lighting Lane Pass?
While you can easily get away without purchasing a Lightning Lane Pass or Disney Genie+ for anything if you’re trying to prioritize rides in each park, here are the best Lightning Lane Passes at Disney to consider.
- Snow White’s Mine Ride
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Space Mountain
But, really, there are so many rides in Magic Kingdom that you may just want to stick with your favorites. Other Lightning Lane Pass-worthy attractions are Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Haunted Mansion, and Jungle Cruise.
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Rise fo the Resistance
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Milennium Falcon Smugglers Run
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Frozen Ever After
- Test Track
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Na’vi River Journey
- Expedition Everest
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
Lightning Lane Pass Strategy at Walt Disney World
Always remember to check the My Disney Experience App the day you’re in the parks for your favorite rides and their wait times. If you find you do have to wait in a line, aim for riding popular rides during meal times. While everyone else is eating lunch or dinner you can often get through the lines faster. While Disney isn’t supposed to feel chaotic, without the right planning, it can often feel overwhelming. Your best bet is to plan ahead, book your rides and just show up to enjoy your vacation! Check out our Disney World Ride Strategy So you Don’t Have to Wait in Line post to weigh options.
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.