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The Best Strategy to Avoid Genie+ at Animal Kingdom

The Best Strategy to Avoid Genie+ at Animal Kingdom

Genie+ is more useful in some parks, while others see less of a benefit. Let me show how you can avoid buying Genie+ (and the crowds!) at Animal Kingdom by following this strategy.

Genie+ at Animal Kingdom

Credit: KtP

You can almost always avoid purchasing Genie+ at Animal Kingdom. Why? Because there are a lot of attractions that do not need it to begin with. Animal Kingdom only has a couple headliners. And, Flight of Passage is not included in the Genie+ attractions. It is an Individual Lightning Lane Selection, which is a separate purchase.

If you plan strategically you can avoid paying for Genie+ at this park. A popular strategy is to rope drop. Many people arrive an hour before the park opens for Early Entry and join the masses headed to Pandora.

If you are not an early riser or do not intend to stay at Animal Kingdom for a full day, I (Monica) would like to suggest another strategy. You will avoid the morning rush to Pandora! Plus, you can sleep in or visit another park in the morning.

My Best Strategy

Credit: Susan

I must give full transparency that there were a lot of unique scenarios that happened during my afternoon at Animal Kingdom that worked in my favor. However, Animal Kingdom is almost always “empty” by 2:00 or 3:00 during slower seasons because most Guests see it as a half-day park. Rope drop is an excellent strategy, but it isn’t the only strategy.

Choosing the right time of year to visit is crucial for a Disney trip with low wait times, and the first half of December is, historically, an excellent time to visit. While your mileage may vary a little bit, overall Animal Kingdom is slower in the late afternoon.

As I sit at home a week after I visited, Flight of Passage has a 15 minute wait at 5:00 pm. FIFTEEN MINUTES. Na’vi River Journey is 35 minutes, and Mickey and Minnie is 50. Everything else is a walk on.

What I Accomplished: Dinoland

Credit: Monica/Disney PhotoPass

I arrived at Animal Kingdom shortly after 3:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon during the first week of December. When I entered the park I immediately wondered if I made the right choice. I received a pop-up notification that Kilimanjaro Safaris was closing early that day. Plus, two popular rides, Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR, were both temporarily closed. Was I going to be able to do anything at Animal Kingdom that day?!

I decided to change my plans a little and went to Dinoland to see Chip ‘n’ Dale. They look so festive in their Christmas gear! Their set began at 3:30 and I lined up right then.

Pirate Tip: If possible, line up about 10-15 minutes before a character’s set to minimize your wait.

It took a full 25 minutes to get through the line, but this turned out to work in my favor. That’s because right as I was finishing up, DINOSAUR reopened! I was able to get in line quickly with no wait. I was off DINOSAUR by 4:10 pm.

What I Accomplished: Asia and Africa

Credit: Monica

While I was on DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest reopened! A Christmas miracle! I only had until 4:45 pm to get to the Kilimanjaro Safari, but I figured single-rider would get me on Expedition Everest pretty quickly.

I was wrong about that because single rider line was not open. This will happen occasionally when the ride has low wait times. It had a posted wait time of 15 minutes, but I waited just short of 10 minutes. I was off Expedition Everest by 4:25 pm.

Then, I walked (quickly) through Asia and Africa to get to Kilimanjaro Safaris. I made it in at 4:30 pm! This was also a walk-on, and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the savanna. Plus, I heard the lion roar! I was feeling good about my afternoon at this point.

What I Accomplished: Pandora

Credit: KtP

Finally, I had an Individual Lightning Lane for Flight of Passage during 4:40 pm to 5:40 pm. I booked this around 11:00 am when I decided to hop. There was still availability but not much.

The wait time posted at 2 hours, so I was very glad to have had this Individual Lightning Lane! I arrived just around 5:00 pm and was off by 5:30 pm.

I mobile ordered a quick bite to eat at Satu’li Canteen before making my way out of the park at 6:00 pm. I had a flight to catch home! All in all, I had a fantastic afternoon. It was quiet, and so many things worked in my favor to accomplish everything I wanted with no backtracking and no Genie+!

Credit: Monica

Here are my timestamps. Notice I did not complete every ride in the park or see any shows. If you want to do everything at Animal Kingdom, I suggest using one of Kenny’s strategies, which you can find on Character Locator.

  • 3:15 Arrive
  • 3:30 to 3:55 Chip ‘n’ Dale
  • 4:00 to 4:10 DINOSAUR
  • 4:15 to 4:25 Expedition Everest
  • 4:30 to 4:50 Safari
  • 5:00 to 5:30 Flight of Passage
  • 5:30 to 6:00 Dinner
  • 6:00 Watch Tree of Life Holiday Awakenings as I leave the park

Have you ever had a day like this where everything was a walk-on and you didn’t need Genie+? Share your experience with us in the comments below, and pass this post along to someone visiting Animal Kingdom soon!


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