Animal Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane Rides and Strategy

When planning your Disney vacation getting your top picks for the best Animal Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane rides can make your day the best it can be. I’ve been going to Walt Disney World since the age of 2, way back in 1988. So when I say I know the best Disney rides you know I have plenty of experience.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom there are 12 attractions, rides and shows, that have Genie+ Lightning Lanes. Keep scrolling to see a full list of the Animal Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane rides along with my Genie+ strategy, and a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years!

Animal Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane Rides

Hold up, what about FastPass+ at Animal Kingdom?

In August of 2021 Disney announced that Fastpass+ at Animal Kingdom and across Walt Disney World Parks would be retired. Replacing it would be Genie+ and the Lightning Lane.

If you ended up here looking to learn about an Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ strategy or how much they cost, you’ve come to the right place, so keep reading!

Tell me more about Genie+

Genie+ gets Disney guests skip-the-line access to select attractions at all 4 parks at Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom in Florida. A lot goes into fully explaining Genie+ so head over to my blog post giving a full Disney World Genie+ Guide.

 Animal Kingdom Fast Passes

How much is Genie+ at Animal Kingdom?

Genie+ at Animal Kingdom is not included in the cost of your entry ticket, unfortunately. The Genie+ Service, which gives you access to 11 of the Animal Kingdom Lightning Lanes will cost you, usually between $15 and $40 per person, per day. Those numbers are approximate but can vary depending on the time of year and what events are going on in the parks.

In addition to Animal Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane rides, there is also an option to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane.

Individual Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom

There are rides at each of the parks where the Lightning Lane isn’t included with Genie+. Yes, this totally sucks, and I don’t like it either.

In order to get access to those Lightning Lanes you’ll need to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane. As of this publish date, Avatar Flight of Passage is the only ride with an Individual Lightning Lane at Animal Kingdom. It has a regular standby line (no virtual queue) if you don’t want to pay. Additionally, it is one of the rides open for Early Entry.

If you purchase individual Lightning Lane access at Animal Kingdom make your purchases at 7am if you’re staying at a Disney Resort or atpark open if you’re staying off property.

When can I purchase Genie+ for Animal Kingdom?

Genie+ for Animal Kingdom and all other WDW parks can only be purchased the day you’ll be using it. Purchase can be made starting at 12am on the day of your visit using the My Disney Expereince app.

When can I make my first Lightning Lane Selection?

First Lightning Lane Selections are made a different times depending on if you are staying at a Disney Resort or not.

For those staying at a Walt Disney World Resort their first Lightning Lane Selections can be made at 7am. For everyone else, selections can be made when the park opens. Park open changes by season, park, and special/private events. Make sure to check the park calendar when preparing to purchase Genie+ and make Lightning Lane Selections.

How often can I make a Lightning Lane selection?

The true Genie+ champions know how to work those Lightning Lane selections! Obviously, the more you book, the more rides you’ll get on, and the more bang for your buck you’ll get.

You can make a Lightning Lane selection:

  • Every 120 minutes (2 hours) OR
  • As soon as you use your previous selection.

Keep this in mind when choosing time slots! And if you have to wait 2 hours set a timer on your phone to remind you to go and make another selection. If you make your first Lightning Lane selection before the park opens, your two-hours starts when the park opens.

However, you can’t select a time you want, the My Disney Experience app gives you time slots. Yes, this makes planning a bit harder, but I’ve found that the app usually gives you the next available time slot for the ride you’re looking at.

What attractions at Animal Kingdom have Lightning Lanes?

Below is a list of the 11 Animal Kingdom Lightning Lanes included with Genie+. These are the ones that

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

There is 1 Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane that isn’t included with Genie+, and that’s Avatar Flight of Passage. You do not need to have Genie+ to get an individual or a la carte Lightning Lane selection for Avatar Flight of Passage.

Kilimanjaro Safari

Disney Statement about Genie+ & Lightning Lane

In March of 2022 Disney released the following statement below about Genie+ and Lightning Lane selections.

It’s important to note the part of the statement that says, “On average, guests can enter 2 to 3 attractions or experiences per day using the Lightning Lane entrance if the first selection is made early in the day.”

This is something to keep in mind when creating your own Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane strategy.

Animal Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane Strategy

Below you’ll find my Animal Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane strategy. It is split up into 4 priority levels based on how popular the ride is and when the Lightning Lane selections run out each day.

My strategy might not work for you if you have a kid that’s obsessed with Finding Nemo or you’re a roller coaster lover and NEED to ride Expedition Everest. You can move things around to suit your needs. Either way, I hope this helps you with your planning!

Before reading further, keep in mind that Disney only releases a certain number of Lightning Lane selections for per hour. Once they’re gone for the day they do not release more. Make sure you get your top pick in the morning, so you don’t miss out.

Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane Priority Level 1

Level 1 Lighning Lane choices are the ones I recommend you pick first thing in the morning when Genie+ Lightning Lane selections open at 7:00AM.

My Priority Level 1 Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane picks are:

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Na’vi River Journey

Of all the rides at Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris is the top attraction on people’s must do list. The list is always pretty long, so be prepared right at 7:00AM to try your best to get a Lightning Lane Selection for the perfect time.

If you can’t get an early morning or early evening Lightning Lane reservation for Kilimanjaro Safaris I recommend showing u for rope drop and heading straight there. The animals are the most active when the temperatures aren’t high, so the morning and evening are the best time to see them.

You should make these selections first thing in the morning because they tend to sell out. Kilimanjaro Safaris tends to fill up first, unusually by mid-morning, and the same goes for Na’vi River Journey.

Na’vi River Journey is still a pretty new attraction and it doesn’t have any height requirements, which makes it even more popular.

Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane Priority Level 2

After you’ve been on Kilimanjaro Safaris and Na’vi River Journey check out my level 2 priority Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane rides.

My Priority Level 2 Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane picks are:

  • Expedition Everest

DINOSAUR and Expedition Everest are both thrill rides. These lines are usually pretty long and their Lightning Lane selections usually run out by mid to late-afternoon, so snag them while you can!

Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane Priority Level 3

Next move in to these level 3 priority Lightning Lane picks for your day at Animal Kingdom.

For both levels 3 and 4 you’ll probably be able to breeze through all of these Lightning Lanes as they usually don’t run out. I say usually, because during the really bust times they do, so just know when you’re going and how busy it’s going to be.

My Priority Level 3 Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane picks are:

  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost

Festival of the Lion King is one of the best stage shows at Walt Disney World. The costumes are gorgeous and the music gets the whole theater singing! While I’m a big fan of the show, I put this in as priority level 3 because the theater is pretty big, but shouldn’t be missed!

If the weather is hot you need to get over to Kali River Rapids to cool off. This line usually moves pretty quick, but when it’s not hot out there usually is only a short wait in the standy-by line, so keep that in mind.

For your little ones (or Disney Adults like me!) that want to meet characters this is a great stop! Both Mickey and Minnie will be there to greet you in their world traveler/safari outfits. If you don’t want to wait forever to meet Mickey, go here!

Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane Priority Level 4

Last, but not least, look for Lightning Lane selections for these priority level 4 attractions.

My Priority Level 4 Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane picks are:

  • The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
  • Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug

All 3 of these attractions (except The Animation Experience at Conservation Station) are held in large indoor or outdoor theater which hold at least 100 people, so it’s not too hard to get a spot.

The Animation Experience at Conservation Station, Feathered Friends in Flight!, and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond! have a limited number of showtimes so when you pick the time you’ll go see the shows make sure you get there at a minimum 20 minutes early to get a seat without a Lightning Lane selection.

For It’s Tough to Be a Bug, it runs all day long, so just show up when you’re free and get in the stand-by line.

For these 3 attractions rarely run out of time slots via Genie+. I’d save these selections for last as they’ll probably still be there in the My Disney Experience app.

Is Genie+ at Animal Kingdom worth it?

Whether Genie+ at Animal Kingdom is worth it really depends on the time of year you go and what your priorities are for your visit.

If you are going to the Animal Kingdom when most crowd calendars are predicting low or average crowds I would not recommend purchasing Genie+. However, if the crowd calendar is predicting high crowds I recommend getting Genie+ for the day you visit Animal Kingdom.

As I mentioned in my Hollywood Studios Genie+ Lightning Lane Strategy post, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has several live shows. The theaters the shows are in fit a lot of people, so they’re pretty easy to get into without Lightning Lane.

For budget purposes, if you can do rope drop at the Animal Kingdom and get the attractions done that you make a priority, I personally don’t think you need Genie+ unless it is extremely busy (Summer, school vacation and holidays). However, only you can decide if Genie+ at Animal Kingdom is worth it for you and your family.

Animal Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane Rides

I hope I answered your questions about Genie+ and Lightning Lanes at Animal Kingdom. If you’re looking for Genie+ information about the other parks check out the following posts:

What is your must get Animal Kingdom Genie+ Lightning Lane ride selection? Let me know in the comments!

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