Is Genie+ WORTH IT at Hollywood Studios? We tested it out!
A couple members of our team recently tested touring at Hollywood Studios with and without Genie+. Here is how it went. Good morning. Felicia and Heather here. We're at Hollywood Studios this morning. We're gonna be testing out touring plans.
Today, Heather's touring with Genie+. I'll be touring without. It is May the Fourth. So extra Star Wars stuff going on.
I'm not sure how that will affect us. This morning we got up very early. We were out of our room at 6:15.
We got to the Skyliner station around 6:20. There were already about 20 or 25 people ahead of us. Skyliner started running around 6:55. We're just now getting to the park and it's 7:06. There are quite a few people here already. The park officially opens at 8:30.
Early Entry is at eight o'clock. We purchased Rise of the Resistance Lightning Lanes at 2:30 to be able to ride. And then Heather also booked a Genie+ selection for Tower of Terror. We're gonna rope drop Slinky Dog. Yep.
That's what we're doing. Over here to the right on Sunset Boulevard is where you head if you are rope dropping Tower of Terror or Rock n Roller Coaster. We're not. We're going to Slinky, so we're going straight ahead.
So this morning, we gotta go all the way up to the front of the attraction. Sometimes they hold you back further, but today we were walked all the way up here and there's Felicia, so that's how close we are. We're starting at the same point today, but the line goes all the way back over here and back that way. So we're in a really good spot.
So we're off. Just finished riding Slinky Dog Dash. We were on the first train of the day. I'm sure you're hearing this or you will hear it all from Felicia as well. I'm tour with Genie+ today.
I really liked how they did the opening procedure here this morning. I haven't done Toy Story Land during Early Entry in a while. I've been going to Tower of Terror or Rock n Roller Coaster, but since Rock n Roller Coaster is down right now for refurbishment, we thought we would do Slinky Dog for rope drop during Early Entry. And I really liked how they just took everybody into Toy Story Land and we lined up right at the attraction.
Much less stressful, very orderly. Really, really liked it. We were 9th and 10th in line, so we were on that first train car, which... huge benefit because now it is only 8:03.
We have 27 minutes of Early Entry left, and I don't think we're gonna have any problem, hopefully, knock on wood, knocking out Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway too. So that's where we're heading to next. Okay, so it's 8:19 and I just finished a ride on Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway super quick. It had a posted 10 minute wait, but it actually just walked right into the pre-show and had just a very, very brief wait to board a train car.
At this time, both Tower of Terror and Rise of the Resistance are down, so that is kind of unfortunate. I didn't talk this morning about why I decided to do Slinky Dog Dash, instead of maybe doing Rise of the Resistance, Or Tower of Terror this morning. In the past we have done a lot of rope dropping Tower of Terror and Rock and Roller Roller Coaster for Early Theme Park Entry, and doing those two back to back because they're right next to each other and it's really convenient and it's pretty easy to do if you're at the front of the pack to get them both knocked out in a relatively short period of a time first thing in the morning. But with Rock n Roller Coaster down, I thought it might be a little bit better use of my Genie+ to snag a return time for a Tower of Terror. And then I would guarantee that was going to be at a decent time of day because it's not as popular of a Genie+ choice.
So I knew it wasn't gonna be pushed back later in the day, which would make it a little bit easier for me to tour. And then I would rope drop Slinky Dog just because it's super popular. And I knew that I wasn't going to be able to get a Genie+ for it later in the day. So it would have to be rope dropped, so it made sense to go ahead and do it that way.
And then we just lucked out that we were so close to the front of the line on Slinky Dog Dash, that it was relatively easy to get both that and Mickey and Minnie's knocked out first thing this morning. So now I'm gonna go ahead and head back to Toy Story Land. And do Toy Story Mania and get that one done.
It's got a posted wait time now of 30 minutes, and that might be accurate because Tower of Terror and Rise of the Resistance are down. So we will see. My next Genie+ after I do ride Tower of Terror is going to be Smugglers Run.
So that's kind of my thought and we'll see how it goes. Just finished up my ride on Toy Story Mania. The posted wait was 40 minutes, but my actual wait was 20, so not bad at all. I'm going to go ahead and jump in line for Alien Swirling Saucers, even though this is a very easy Genie+ to get later, but I wanna go ahead and knock out all of Toy Story Land. And there's not many other things that I want to ride right now because I do have my first Genie+ coming up in about an hour, so, well, less than an hour. It opens up at 9:05 I think.
And now it is just now nine o'clock. So I'm gonna go ahead and knock this one out and then head over to Tower of Terror. That's where I have my first Genie+. It has come back up and then it went back down. So I thought I'd do this one right now and then go see if Tower of Terror is back up.
Okay. All done with Alien Swirling Saucers. So effectively I have everything in Toy Story Land done now, and it is 9:30 on the dot. So Tower of Terror is still down. So what happens when that happens is since I had a Genie+ reservation for it, it gets turned into kind of like an anytime Genie+.
And I can use it at multiple different attractions, including, in this instance, I can also use it at Tower of Terror at any time. So I'm just gonna keep my eye on the tip board in the My Disney Experience app to see if it comes back up again. And if it does, then I'm gonna go ahead and save that Genie+ reservation, that any time one, for Tower of Terror, I think.
I also was able to snag my next Genie+ reservation, and I got that for Smugglers Run for a little bit later this morning. And so now what I think I'm going to do is head over... I'm right here next to Galaxy's Edge, so I think I'm going to dip over into Galaxy's Edge for a little bit and maybe see if I can find any characters or get a snack, cuz I'm kind of getting hungry. I had a snack in Galaxy's Edge and it is very intense right now.
The crowds over there are, wow, they are a little bit intense because it's May the Fourth Star Wars day. So did not hang around too long, but popped over here into Muppet Vision 3D because I wanted to kill just a little bit of time before I head over to watch the Frozen Singalong. So spent some time with my favorite Muppet friends. There was a posted wait of ten minutes, but it's almost always basically a walk on. You can ride it pretty much any time of the day.
It's great in the afternoons or when the lines start to get really long, or you want just to sit in one spot for a while, highly recommend it for that, but it's not something that you have to rush to- definitely in the mornings. But who doesn't love the Muppets? So now I think I'm gonna go catch the next show for the Frozen Singalong. Just got done with Frozen Singalong. I absolutely love that show. It's cute. The kids really get into it, the adults get into it.
You can't help but sing along. I love watching the little ones do their arm motions with Elsa and get 'em in the air and it's just, it's great. I showed up at 10:15 for the 10:30 show and there were plenty of seats, there was lots of availability. You can show up relatively close to the start of the shows, especially those early morning shows, the first couple of the day. Later in the day, crowds do tend to get a little bit heavier and more people should go there because they've done other things in the park or most everything else in the park, so they are looking for something to do.
Keep that in mind. You don't wanna cut it too close later in the day, especially you have a big group. So now my next attraction is going to be Tower of Terror. I'm sitting over here in Sunset Boulevard.
I'm gonna go ahead and go ride that. I still have my anytime Genie+ attraction that I can redeem, and I'm gonna use it on Tower of Terror since that was what I originally had gotten it for. And then after that, I will head back to Galaxy's Edge, to redeem my Genie+ for Smugglers Run. Crowds over here are so much better than what they are over in Galaxy's Edge, understandably.
All done with Tower of Terror. The total wait for me was about 13 minutes from the time I entered the line until when I boarded, so it seems kind of appropriate for it to be a 13 minute wait. Absolutely love this one. It's probably one of my top three attractions at Walt Disney World and definitely one of my favorites here at Hollywood Studios. So now next, I am going to head over to Smugglers Run.
May stop at Star Tours. I have a Genie+ that I snagged for there, but I may also modify it and do that after lunch just because Star Tours does tend to make me a little queasy, and Smugglers Run can sometimes make me a little queasy, so I don't know that I wanna do both before I eat and we have lunch reservations at Hollywood and Vine at 12:50. So I wanna make sure that I'm feeling okay for those. It's now 11:46. Let's go over to Galaxy's Edge. Okay.
I had to get out of Galaxy's Edge to record this cuz it's so crowded and so busy. Finished up with Smugglers Run. It was a total wait of 12 minutes cuz I used my Genie+ on it. Great as always. Even more fun this time because there are so many people here that are in total cosplay for the Star Wars that there are a couple people on the attraction with me who were very into it.
So that made it fun for a couple of first timers who we were also on there. So now it is time for lunch. We are going to dine at Hollywood and Vine.
I'm gonna take a look at the things I haven't done yet and put together a list of things that I would do if I were hanging around this afternoon. Okay. So we wrapped up lunch over at Hollywood and Vine. It was delicious. It's Minnie's Springtime Dine right now, so the characters are in really adorable spring outfits. Minnie's got this dress that I really would love my own version of.
But lunch was delicious. And then after that our plan was to go over to Rise of the Resistance because we had an Individual Lightning Lane. Well, I had an Individual Lightning Lane to ride Rise of the Resistance. Unfortunately, Rise of the Resistance was down again as it has been for much of the day, so that's very sad, I'm sure, for everybody who is here celebrating May the Fourth.
Now we are back in Galaxy's Edge and we are getting ready to go into an Oga's reservation, again, to celebrate May the Fourth. But I wanted to talk a little bit about what I would do if I was touring the parks for the rest of the afternoon. First of all, because it is May the Fourth, getting Genie+ reservations today has been extremely easy. If you remember, I did rope drop Slinky Dog, and then I rode Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. I rode those first thing this morning and I've already been able to secure- I rode those standby- secured Genie+ reservations for this afternoon to get myself on a second ride without having to wait in long lines using Genie+.
So that's great. Other things I would do this afternoon are a couple shows. I haven't done Indiana Jones yet.
I haven't done Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage yet. I would do both of those. Oh, I've got a Star Tours Genie+ reservation that I would use this afternoon. So I have that. And if there were any other things that I wanted to reride again that had Genie+ reservations, I would grab those. Characters and then of course Fantasmic tonight.
I would also take some time in the evening to watch Fantasmic. There are two shows tonight. First show is I think at nine. The second one is at 10:30.
The park actually closes at 10, so if you really wanted to maximize your day here and use every possible moment that you could for park touring, that second show, that's actually after the park officially closes, is a great option. Altogether, though, I know that touring here today was extra easy because of May the Fourth and having so many people here that are visiting primarily to take in all of the Star Wars stuff. I know that had a really big impact on touring and made it so much easier for me. I still think that Genie+ would've made my day probably just as easy had it not been May the Fourth. So highly recommend purchasing Genie+ at Hollywood Studios. There are several headliners here that get lines really quickly, and especially on days like today when so many things are down, having those Genie+ reservations are kind of like a guaranteed ride so that you can jump in and knock them out at some point during the day without having to wait too awfully long.
So that's it from Hollywood Studios. Just finished the first attraction, which was Slinky Dog Dash. Early Entry started at eight o'clock. They started letting people in at the tapstiles at 7:30 and then instead of holding everyone on the main street, whenever you enter kind of by Trolley Car Cafe, they let everyone go to the attraction that they were going to. So we walked straight to Slinky Dog Dash and we were at 9th and 10th in line.
And they held us there till about 7:52, walked us through the queue, and we were on at 7:57. Off by eight o'clock. So we were on the very first Slinky Dog car of the day. So now we are headed over to Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. Heather and I- she has Genie+. I do not.
But our touring plans, the way that we wanna approach it, is the same for the first two attractions of the day which is just to drop Slinky Dog and then head over to Mickey and Minnie's so that's what we're doing together, and then we'll split up after that. We just got off Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. The posted wait time was 10 minutes. Waited 7 minutes. That's with going through the pre-show and getting onto the train. So very quick.
It's now 8:20. The park officially opens in 10 minutes. I had two options here. One was to go to Tower of Terror, the other was to go to Rise of the Resistance. They're both down right now, and also Rock and Roller Coaster is closed for refurbishment, so that's a lot of attractions down.
I've decided to go to Rise and kind of just wait it out and see if it comes back up. The reason I'm headed there is because the park's not actually open yet to regular guests, so I'm hoping that I can get ahead of those people and even though it's down right now, maybe I'll be able to hop in line or like hover over there and hope it comes up before 8:30. I don't know that it will. Had I started my day a little bit later or been further back in the Slinky Dog queue this morning, and then got to Mickey and Minnie's later, and therefore got off Mickey and Minnie's after the park was open, I definitely would've headed to Tower of Terror and not Rise of the Resistance. Also, the reason that I didn't rope drop Rise this morning is for this reason.
It is known to go down a lot. It's often down, so I didn't wanna risk spending my rope drop Early Entry time at an attraction that might not even be up. So that's why I would recommend rope dropping Slinky or something else, not Rise, and either purchasing a Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance or getting in line right before park close. If you wait to get in line at park close though, also possibility of being down and you don't have the opportunity to ride it. So lots of different things to consider. This is what I'm gonna do today.
We'll see how it goes. After a very successful start in the morning with getting on Slinky Dog first and then making it to Micky and Minnie's, being off that 10 minutes before Early Entry ended, my day has not been good since then. As I said before, I went over to Rise of the Resistance. It was down. Was hoping it would come back up. It didn't.
It's now 9:15 and still not up. But while I was over there, around 8:35, Tower of Terror did come up. So I walked all the way from Galaxy's Edge, clear across the park to Tower of Terror, got in line, waited, was about to enter the library, and it went down again. So they said we could wait or we could leave.
I decided to wait because I was about to enter the pre-show and also that queue is outside and the wait is often long and I didn't wanna stand in the sun later, so to me it was worth it to kind of wait it out. But waited for 30 minutes and didn't come back up. They told us we had to leave the queue and there was no recovery or like a Genie+ selection or something for it later.
Nothing offered. People were asking about it and they directed them to guest services umbrellas around the park. I may or may not do that.
I'm not sure. At this point, wait times are pretty high a lot of places. I think I'm gonna head back toward Toy Story Land and check the attractions out there. Had I known the day would've gone this way, which obviously I did not, I would've been better off going from Slinky Dog over to Mickey and Minnie's, and then heading back to Toy Story Mania before the main park guests got there. The wait at that time I think was 30 or 35 minutes, which probably was because two of the main attractions were down, but it would've been a fine use of time knowing what I know now.
I didn't know that at the time. But I will head over and see what I can get done now. I know I said in my last video, I was gonna head to Toy Story Land, but the waits there are just so ridiculous. Everything is over an hour. Rise and Tower of Terror still down.
So I ended up coming to meet Olaf. It said in the app, it was a 10 minute wait. Whenever I got over here, it said 25 minutes, but it took less than 10 minutes for me to meet him. So that was a nice win.
I felt like hopefully he wouldn't break down like the other attractions did. Right now, Star Tours says it's a 25 minute wait. It's longer than I would like to wait for that. It's usually an attraction that you can walk onto very easily, but it's my best option.
It's right next to where Olaf meets and the wait's not too bad. So I'm going to head there. Hope that it doesn't take the full 25 minutes, and hopefully during that time too Rise and/or Tower of Terror will come up, so we will see.
Just got off Star Tours. It was the listed 25 minute wait. I got in line and was through the queue and onto the ride vehicle in 10 minutes. So it was a shorter wait than I expected.
I felt great about waiting that long for it. Right now, Rise is still down. Tower of Terror is still down.
It's 10 o'clock. Park has officially been open for an hour and a half. It's been open for two hours with Early Entry, and during that time Rise has not been up at all. And Tower of Terror's only been out for maybe 10 minutes, so not great, especially because it's May the Fourth.
It's very, very busy. All the wait times in Toy Story Land are still over an hour, even meeting Mickey and Minnie. 50 minutes.
So I think right now what I'm gonna do is head into Galaxy's Edge and ride Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run in the single rider line. That wait is 95 minutes if you're waiting in just a regular standby line. I will not do that. If you're here as a group and you wanna ride together, that's gonna be your best bet is to just wait it out.
But if you're fine splitting up, you should be able to save a lot of time by doing the single rider line. So that's what I'll do and I'll let you know how long it takes me. I just finish riding Smugglers Run in the single rider line.
The posted wait time if you're in standby line was 110 minutes, for single rider, it took me four minutes to get through the queue, get assigned a position, and then board the ride vehicle. Something to note about single rider line is that you don't get to choose like what position you're in. You'll almost always be an engineer, which is the third person, like the third row back in the ride vehicle. So you're mostly just pushing buttons.
It's fine. To me, it's worth it to not wait two hours. So I did that. Also something else to note, when you're going through the single rider line, you'll get to a point where there's some stairs ahead of you and the sign says something like Hanger Bay. There are arrows pointing left and right. It's intuitive to just keep walking straight, like toward what would be the right to go up the stairs.
You can actually go up the right stairs or the left stairs- either are different single rider lines. It's my experience that if you go up the right side, the wait is longer, because people will just naturally go that way cuz it's already the way that they're walking. So if you turn left, you most likely will have a shorter wait. People were all like halfway down the stairs waiting on the right side, and there was only one person ahead of me on the left side. So I would recommend doing that. While I was on the attraction too, Rise of the Resistance came back up and so did Tower of Terror.
So Tower of Terror has an hour and a half wait right now. Rise of the Resistance is over two hours. I won't be waiting for those right now, but that did mean that some of the attractions in Toy Story Land, the waits have gone down, so Alien Swirling Saucers, 45 minutes, as is Toy Story Mania.
I'd rather wait that long for Toy Story Mania. So I'm gonna head over there, do that now. I just finished riding Toy Story Mania.
The posted wait time when I got in line was 40 or 45 minutes. I only waited 18 minutes, so great use of time. It's now 11:15, lots of long waits everywhere still. It's still an hour and a half for Tower of Terror. Still almost two hours for Rise of the Resistance.
So at this point there's an 11:30 Frozen Singalong show that I think I'm going to try to make. So I will head there and see if I make it. I just finished doing the Frozen Singalong.
The showtime started at 11:30. I got in line around 11:18. I very easily was able to get into the theater. They continued to let people in right up until the start of the show at 11:30. Think it was probably 85 or 90% full.
The show is 30 minutes long, so it's kind of a lengthy one. It's a little after 12 now. We have dining reservations at 12:40 at Hollywood and Vine, so I probably have time for one more show or attraction. Indiana Jones started at noon, so I'll be missing that one. But nearby, there's the Mickey Vacation Fun and then also Muppet Vision 3D. So I think I'm going to head over to Muppet Vision 3D and do that.
The wait time right now is 10 or 15 minutes. So I think that that will align well with our lunch reservation and then I'll head to lunch. Okay, it's 12:30 now. I just finished watching Muppet Vision 3D. The posted wait time was 10 minutes, which is how long it said it was till the next show. That was accurate.
Started going into theater at 12:14. The show started at 12:15. It's now 12:30.
So we have a lunch reservation at Hollywood and Vine at 12:40. So I'm about to head over there and then we'll see what the afternoon brings. So we finish our lunch at Hollywood and Vine.
It's a character meal. There's Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy that come around and meet you at the table. We've done several character meals on this particular trip and that was definitely the best character interactions we've had all trip. They're fantastic. Their outfits are super cute. Great time.
Food was good. So for the rest of the day, I'm not going to continue touring, but... we have other stuff we have going on. If I was going to, though, the things that I would have left are Tower of Terror, Rise of the Resistance, and Alien Swirling Saucers.
So I had an hour this morning that I wasn't able to tour at all based on stuff being down, and I easily could have knocked out, on a normal day, Tower of Terror in that time so we can pretend like I did that. And so that really leaves Rise of the Resistance and Alien Swirling Saucers. The wait for Alien Swirling Saucers right now is 35 or 40 minutes. Not the best, but I could go hop in line for that and knock that out. Rise of the Resistance is down again.
So it has been most of the day. Even if it wasn't down, what I would do in this situation is there are two showings of Fantasmic tonight. There's one at nine o'clock and one at 10:30.
So the park closes at 10, which means the rides- you can't get in line for them anymore after 10 o'clock. So I'd probably do the 9 o'clock showing of Fantasmic, and then when that gets out, head over to Rise and hop in line right before park closing. It's usually...
sometimes the wait will say it's very high. It's usually shorter than what it says it is. So that's what I would do there. And then there are also several shows and kind of other filler attractions that I could do in the meantime. Things like Indiana Jones, Beauty and the Beast, the Mickey Shorts Theater, like for Vacation Fun, things like that.
You could also try to reride some stuff. So that's how I'd spend the rest of the day if I was going to continue touring. Again, I'm not going to. I think ultimately something to take away from my day here is that there are some parks here that... it's really worth it to buy Genie+.
Animal Kingdom isn't one. Epcot really isn't one either. So if you're only going to buy it at some parks, Hollywood Studios would be it and Magic Kingdom. Also, if you don't wanna do Genie+, but maybe you're gonna do a Lightning Lane, it's definitely worth it, I think, to get a Lightning Lane for Rise of the Resistance, particularly because it does go down multiple times through the days.
This isn't uncommon for this to happen, but if you buy a Lightning Lane for it, even if it's down during the time of your Lightning Lane, you can use it at a different time in the day. And so for that reason, I do think it's worth it to purchase. So overall, decently successful day for the issues I encountered, but definitely would've been better if I had Genie+ and/or if I had a Lighting Lane for Rise of the Resistance. So see you later.
I hope this information has been helpful and given you some ideas about touring Hollywood Studios and whether or not you wanna get Genie+ for your trip. Feel free to leave any comments or questions down below. Thanks for watching.