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Do You Have To Pay for Rides at Disney World?

As the ‘Happiest Place on Earth,’ Disney World offers numerous rides and attractions for its guests to enjoy. 

But, it’s worth asking whether the $100+ ticket grants access to every ride and attraction at the park of your choosing (remember, at the biggest theme park on Earth, there are four land-based parks and two water parks to experience!)

You’ll be happy to know that the price of admission includes all the rides and attractions at the theme park you’ve selected. Once you’ve bought your ticket, you can enjoy everything that park has to offer.

You can also choose a Park Hopper Pass to experience multiple parks in a single day. The closest thing to paying for a ride is the Disney Genie+ system.

For $15 extra (per ticket per person), Disney Genie+ allows you to bypass the lines at select rides and attractions across the park(s).

If you want to skip the lines at rides that don’t offer Genie+, you can use the Individual Lightning Lane option and pay an additional fee instead.  

(Note: with the Individual Lightning Lane option, you’re not paying for the ride itself as you can still hop on regardless – you’re paying to bypass the line instead of waiting in the queue).

Do I Need Disney Genie+?

You don’t need Disney Genie+ unless you want to get on your favorite rides quicker.

It comes in handy during busier periods as the lines can get incredibly long.

It’s important to know that there are limited Genie+ passes available each day, so I recommend purchasing your pass before getting to the park.

You can also use a Genie+ pass with a Park Hopper ticket, as the perk extends across all parks.

If you don’t want to buy a Genie+ pass, you can always use the Individual Lightning Lane option for up to two rides during your visit. 

How Much Do Individual Lightning Lanes Cost?

The price varies at every attraction.

Prices aren’t set in stone either – they fluctuate based on the day.

In general, an individual Lightning Lane purchase costs between $7 and $15, while the most high-demand ride at the time can run from $16 to $18.

Which Rides Have Individual Lightning Lanes?

The following rides don’t use the Genie+ system but have an individual Lightning Lane.

Magic Kingdom

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain

Animal Kingdom

  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Expedition Everest

Hollywood Studios

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

EPCOT

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

This list can change at any time, so you’ll have to double-check with Disney for current availability.

Which Rides Use Disney Genie+?

The following is a list of rides that use the Disney Genie+ pass system.

Magic Kingdom

  • The Barnstormer
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid

Animal Kingdom

  • The Animation Experience at Conservation Station
  • Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King
  • DINOSAUR Feathered Friends in Flight!
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Naʻvi River Journey

Hollywood Studios

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  • Disney Junior Play & Dance!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along
  • Celebration Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Rock’ n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Toy Story Mania!
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

EPCOT

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE – Green
  • Mission: SPACE – Orange
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Can I Modify a Disney Genie+ Selection?

To use your Disney Genie+ pass, you must pre-book your timeslot for the ride or attraction using the My Disney Experience mobile app. 

Once booked, you can’t modify it.

If you change your mind, you must cancel your selection first, then book a different ride or timeslot.

If you cancel the ride but feel like you’ve made a mistake, you won’t get your reservation back and will have to wait for hours or until the following day.

Note that canceling a Genie+ reservation doesn’t mean you lose access to the ride.

The system allows you to use that reservation at a different ride or for the same ride at a different time.

Unfortunately, if you miss your window and forget to cancel your selection, you will have to buy another pass for use at that attraction.

Is There Anything Else To Do At Disney World?

Several activities at Disney World are included with your ticket and don’t involve a rollercoaster or 3D simulator.

Starting with Disney Springs, the kids can spend time building things at the Lego Imagination Center at no additional cost.

You can enjoy live music in the evening with multiple musicians and bands performing from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

The live music spots around the area include the stage near Ghirardelli Chocolate and the courtyard next to the Boathouse.

Fort Wilderness also has a campfire program every day from 7:00 pm in fall and winter and 8:00 pm in spring and summer, where guests sing songs and roast marshmallows around a fire.

A Disney movie is then shown on an outdoor screen at no additional cost and without needing a reservation.

It’s a great way to wind up the day, especially if you spent it on wild activities and need a breather before heading back to your hotel.

Parking is also free at Fort Wilderness.

Other fun (and free!) activities include:

  • The safaris at Animal Kingdom
  • Free rides on the Disney Skyliner
  • Picnics at the many designated areas around the park.

Can I Get Into Disney World For Free?

Generally speaking, you can’t get into Disney World for free.

Winning a contest is the only way to get into Disney World without paying a single cent.

These can range from a small event in your local town to a nationwide campaign by a major company.

If you want to reduce the costs at Disney World, check out discounted tickets and bring your own food, water, and necessities like strollers, rain ponchos, and baby essentials.

Only kids under three years of age (not three and under) gain free admission to the park.

Children aged 3-9 need a youth ticket, while individuals aged 10 and above must pay for a standard park ticket.

Conclusion

Once you’ve bought your general park admission, there are no additional fees to ride the rides at Disney World.

If you want to skip the lines or visit more than one park in a day, there are additional costs to those perks. 

Bypassing the queue using a Genie+ pass or the Individual Lightning Lane option may require some planning so you don’t miss out on your favorite ride.

Download the My Disney Experience app to have up-to-date information on all available timeslots and experiences.

If you’re not into rides, several other activities are included with your park admission for you (and your family) to have a magical time.

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