• Disney Genie+ Guide for Animal Kingdom

Disney Genie+ Guide for Animal Kingdom

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Jan 24, 2024

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

Disney Genie+ Guide for Animal Kingdom

Welcome to Famvia’s guide that explains everything you need to know about Disney Genie+ in Animal Kingdom. If you are here, it means you are interested in knowing more about this service, and if it’s worth it to buy for this theme park that celebrates everything related to nature.

So, should you buy Disney Genie+ for Animal Kingdom?

It depends, honestly. We would definitely say yes, if this is your first time here. Disney Genie+ is amazing for saving time and optimizing your time, and this might come in handy if you want to spend less time in queues and more time walking around the World of Pandora and taking pictures of cute gorillas and giraffes.

You also get the chance to use this service on some popular rides, like Expedition Everest and Na’vi River Journey. Want even more perks? Disney Genie+ is almost always the cheapest Genie+ in all Disney Parks, costing around $15 per person on most days. That’s a pretty good deal when you want to experience rides as fast as possible.

Other than that, one small problem with Disney Genie+ in Animal Kingdom is that there isn't much to see. Sure, you can enter Expedition Everest faster than usual and try to save a spot early for Kilimanjaro Safaris, but that’s about it. Na’vi River Journey might be another good option, but the problem is that… Na’vi River Journey just isn’t that good.

With that said, buy one if you are coming to Animal Kingdom for the first time ever. It might also be a good choice if you have children that are big fans of live shows, since there are three shows in Animal Kingdom and Genie+ can get you closer to the main stage.

Animal Kingdom entrance 2.webp

Advice for Disney Genie+ on Animal Kingdom

Here is some extra info and general advices you should follow if you plan on buying Disney Genie+ in Animal Kingdom:

  • Disney Genie+ is available to purchase starting at midnight on the day of your visit. Make sure to buy it through the My Disney Experience app on your phone.
  • Although you can buy this service at midnight, you can only make your first Disney Genie+ selection starting at 7am. Make sure to wake up early and get ready to select your first attraction at this exact time.
  • Remember what we told you in our previous guide when we talked about Virtual Queues, Lightning Lanes and Disney Genie+: you can only hold one Lightning Lane reservation through Disney Genie+ at a time. You can book another Lightning Lane through Disney Genie+ after you use your reservation, or after waiting two hours since the time of your reservation. If you made your first reservation at 7am, though, the time starts counting once the park opens.
  • There are no Virtual Queues available in Animal Kingdom. Depending on how busy a park is, Avatar Flight of Passage might use this system, but that’s not the rule.
  • If you are staying in a Disney World hotel, you can also buy an individual Lightning Lane starting at 7am. We do suggest that you buy an individual Lightning Lane for Avatar Flight of Passage, one of the best motion simulators in the world. If you are staying offsite, you need to wait until the park officially opens so you can buy individual Lightning Lanes.
  • Disney Genie+ in Animal Kingdom is almost always the cheapest Genie+ in all Disney World. Expect to pay anything from $15 all the way to $30, depending on the time of year you are visiting.
  • Avatar Flight of Passage is not included in Disney Genie+. You have to either buy an individual Lightning Lane for it or enter the regular queue.

Great, we know a little more about Disney Genie+ in Animal Kingdom. Now, let’s check out which attractions are available for you once you buy this service.

Disney Genie+ Rides in Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Dinosaur entrance.webp

This is the list of attractions available for Disney Genie+ in Animal Kingdom:

  • Expedition Everest
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Animation Experience at Conservation Station
  • Feathered Friends in Flight
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals

That’s not a lot of rides, especially when compared to Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. That’s also one of the reasons that Disney Genie+ is cheaper in Animal Kingdom. With that said, you can definitely save time on Expedition Everest and get an early spot aboard the well known Kilimanjaro Safaris if you wish. Na’vi River Journey is also a very popular ride with 40-50 minute waiting times and you can cut that down by a lot with Genie+.

Kids will probably enjoy this service more than anyone else, since a lot of shows and kid friendly rides are included in Disney Genie+. We are talking about Festival of the Lion King, Feathered Friends in Flight and the Finding Nemo musical. Other than that, kids will probably enjoy It’s Tough to be a Bug and DINOSAUR as well. Just keep in mind that DINOSAUR can be rather scary for young children. 

Animal Kingdom Navi River Standby lane.webp

Disney Genie+ in Animal Kingdom

Time to talk a little bit more about how you are going to use Disney Genie+ in Animal Kingdom. This is, after all, why this guide was made, but it was important to give you a heads up first of what to expect when buying this service.

We are going to create two different groups for Disney Genie+ on Animal Kingdom. The first group is for guests that want to experience every attraction that the park has to offer. The second group focuses mostly on what toddlers and kids want to see.

Just keep in mind one thing: creating a Disney Genie+ guide is really, really hard. If you opt to go to the best, most popular rides, there is a chance that you will use Disney Genie+ on fewer rides throughout the day, but you will at least enjoy the best attractions. If you choose to use it on less popular rides, you will use Disney Genie+ a lot, but then you will need to wait in the regular queue for the most popular attractions.

Animal Kingdom Its Tough to be a Bug queue.webp

That’s not all, by the way. Let’s not forget that it’s impossible to predict the exact time slot of your Genie+ reservations, how long you are going to spend in lane for Lightning Lanes and regular queues, if you want to re-ride an attraction you really loved, and even if a ride decides to break down while you are waiting in line. Yeah, it’s not easy, but we are going to try our best.

That’s why we are focusing mostly on ride priority based on Disney Genie+, instead of writing down a guide that you should always follow. Trust us, it’s impossible to create a step by step guide for Disney Genie+ since time slots can be so unpredictable.

We are also dividing the Disney Genie+ priority in two groups, as we told you already. Later on, we are going to talk a little bit about each ride and why they should be included in your Disney Genie+ strategy or not.

Ride Priority A - You want to see Everything

Your ride priority should be:

  1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  2. Na’vi River Journey
  3. Expedition Everest
  4. Kali River Rapids

Ride Priority B - You want to focus on what the little ones want to see

Your ride priority should be:

  1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  2. Na’vi River Journey
  3. Meet Favorite Disney Pals
  4. Kali River Rapids
  5. DINOSAUR (might be scary for children, though)

Only get Disney Genie+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris if you can grab a timeslot before 12pm. It’s during the morning that most animals are active and walking around, giving you the opportunity to take amazing pictures. You can also opt to go to Na’vi River Journey or Expedition Everest first and then head to the regular queue for Kilimanjaro Safaris, as long as it's before noon.  

Note: If you are staying at a Disney Hotel, there are days when you can enter the park half an hour before everyone else. We recommend waking up early and getting there as soon as possible for the so-called “Rope Drop”. If that’s the case, head straight to the World of Pandora and ride Avatar Flight of Passage. You can also buy an individual Lightning Lane to ride it again later and never deal with mid-afternoon regular queue times that take 100 minutes or more.

Ride Strategy Example

Animal Kingdom Kali River Rapids 2.webp

We told you that creating a ride strategy using Disney Genie+ is hard, remember that? And indeed it is! We were definitely not lying. Still, we decided to create an itinerary so it can serve as an example of what you could do.

Your experience certainly won’t be like this one here, but it gives you an idea of what to expect when visiting Animal Kingdom and making use of Disney Genie+. This itinerary brings you to the most popular rides and tries to make it so you are not walking around the whole park like crazy, as it mostly visits attractions that are close to each other.

One good thing about this example is that there are plenty of times for you to do anything you want, since there is a lot of free time between rides. Maybe you won’t be going to every single ride, but the main ones are surely there.

Let’s check it out.

From Midnight to 6:30am: Buy your Disney Genie+ for Animal Kingdom.

7am: Book Disney Genie+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris, as long as you can get a time slot before noon. Otherwise, you can get Disney Genie+ for Na’vi River Journey or Expedition Everest.

7am: If you are staying in a Disney World hotel, you can also buy an individual Lightning Lane at this time. We recommend buying it for Avatar Flight of Passage.

Park Opening: You can now buy an individual Lightning Lane if you are staying off-site. Again, we recommend Avatar Flight of Passage.

Your itinerary now depends on two factors: the time slot for you to go to Kilimanjaro Safaris and your Lightning Lane for Avatar Flight of Passage. To make this guide easier to understand, let’s say we have Kilimanjaro Safaris for a timeslot that starts around 10am or 11am.

9:30am: Avatar Flight of Passage (regular queue. If you bought an individual Lightning Lane, you will ride it twice!).

11:00am: Kilimanjaro Safaris (Disney Genie+, use Disney Genie+ for Na’vi River Journey).

12pm: Festival of the Lion King (regular queue).

12:40pm: Lunch break.

1pm: Book Disney Genie+ for Expedition Everest

2pm: Kali River Rapids (regular queue)

3pm: Na’vi River Journey (Disney Genie+, book Disney Genie+ for DINOSAUR).

3:30pm: It’s Tough to be a Bug (regular queue).

4:15pm: Meet Favorite Disney Pals (regular queue).

5pm: DINOSAUR (Disney Genie+, book Disney Genie+ for whatever else is available).

We made sure to give you plenty of downtime to do what you want. You can take pictures around Pandora or explore some of the self guided tracks to snap pictures of incredible animals like giraffes and gorillas.

As we said above, your experience won’t be like this one, but this strategy shows that you can check the most popular Animal Kingdom attractions in a single day. If you are a fan of live shows, though, you might save some spots in the morning and add Feathered Friends in Flight and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond! to your itinerary. 

Disney Animal Kingdom Feathered friends.webp

Explaining Disney Genie+ Priorities

Now it’s time to talk a little bit about some of our choices when it comes to priorities for your Disney Genie+.

Kilimanjaro Safaris: We said this before and we will say it again: try to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris before noon. You can always get to Animal Kingdom and make this ride your top priority before Flight of Passage, which saves you a Genie+. Since there aren’t many rides for Genie+ on Animal Kingdom, it’s also worth it to grab one early for Kilimanjaro Safaris, as long as you get a good time slot. It will also save you precious time in the queue.

Na’vi River Journey: A recent addition to Animal Kingdom and a very popular one. Regular queues are almost always around 40 minutes, so Genie+ saves a lot of time. This ride doesn’t have any height requirements and is good for the entire family, which also explains why it gets easily crowded.

Expedition Everest: One of the best rides in Animal Kingdom, and one of the few steel roller coasters in Disney World. You should get Disney Genie+ for this one to both save time and enjoy one of the best rides in the entire park. Queue times aren’t even that bad in the afternoon (30 minutes), which makes it easier to ride it again and again.

Kali River Rapids: This ride usually doesn’t get too packed, since a lot of guests don’t want to get soaked. It’s also almost always closed down during winter. It can experience increased waiting times during the Summer or very warm days, which can then be a good choice for a Genie+. With that said, regular queues are rarely that long and you shouldn’t wait more than 20-30 minutes.

DINOSAUR: This one can have increased waiting times during the mornings (40 min), but gets less and less crowded after 2pm (with waiting times around 20 min). A good option for Disney Genie+, especially since Dinoland USA will probably shut down sometime in 2024. There is a good chance that queues for DINOSAUR will get longer and longer when Disney announces an official date for this attraction to go extinct.

Shows: There are three main live shows in Animal Kingdom: Feathered Friends in Flight, Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond! Yeah, that’s a lot! Disney Genie+ is hardly useful for those shows, though. It gives you preferred seating near the main stage, but you can also get great seats if you arrive early. I can see Genie+ being valuable for Feathered Friends in Flight if you have small children and they want to see the animals up close.

Kilimanjaro Safaris Animal Kingdom 2.webp

Closing thoughts

We hope you enjoyed your time learning about how to optimize your time. If a ride wasn’t listed there, it’s because Genie+ rarely runs out or there are better options for you.

This guide is very useful, but don’t get too attached to it. Visit the rides you want to visit and spend Disney Genie+ with whatever you want. Not a fan of roller coasters at all? Skip Expedition Everest and grab Genie+ for one of the live shows. You kids (or you) love meet & greets? Get Disney Genie+ to meet Mickey & Minnie in Safari gear. It all depends on what you want and your personal preferences.

Don’t stress out too much if Genie+ runs out for some of your favorite rides. You can always enter the regular queue, like you will do for Avatar Flight of Passage, even if you already bought a Lightning Lane. Also don’t stress out about the perfect strategy to min-max your Disney Genie+. Use it on your favorite, most popular rides and enjoy the moment.

Seriously, it doesn’t matter if you only used Disney Genie+ on two or three attractions or even if you forgot to set up a new ride. You are in Disney World! Take in the atmosphere, relax and, above all, have fun.

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