Genie+ Stacking: What’s Possible at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

As we continue to keep an eye on Disney Genie+, we’re trying to give the app some time to settle into its own to forecast how the service might work for your next Walt Disney World vacation. Following an influx of guests for Thanksgiving Week, we’re taking a look at Disney Genie+ and what we’ve termed “basic stacking” for a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Perhaps more than any other theme park at Walt Disney World, Disney’s Hollywood Studios kind of forces your hand early as it relates to Disney Genie+ selections. Two attractions really vie for your attention at 7am sharp – Slinky Dog Dash and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. In reality, these are two different offerings, Slinky Dog Dash is offered with the Disney Genie+ service, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance falls under the a la carte Individual Lightning Lane offering. That said, they both sell out so quickly in the morning that we suggest prioritizing one over the other and then looking at the second option as a bonus if you can get it.

Ok, with that in mind, we’re going to take a look at what is possible when you use Disney Genie+ “stacking”. As a quick reminder, Disney recently made changes to the Disney Genie+ service to remove a loophole that we called “Advanced Stacking”. If you haven’t read it already, we recommend reading our Genie+ Stacking and Hacking article for a background on terms and recent changes with the system.

Here’s a quick refresher on (basic) Disney Genie+ stacking:

What is Disney Genie+ “Stacking”

A term that gained traction back when Disney Genie+ debuted was “stacking”. So what is Disney Genie+ stacking? Stacking is the accumulation of Lightning Lane return windows throughout the day to load up on return windows towards the end of your day. In short, stacking was possible because of the 120-Minute Rule described above. Let’s take a look at an example at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which is the park where stacking is likely to be found the most.

  • At 7:02am, you make a Slinky Dog Dash Lightning Lane reservation for 4:25pm to 5:25pm. We’ll call this Lightning Lane 1 (LL1)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios opens at 9am, starting the clock for the 120-Minute Rule on LL1

  • At 11am, the LL1 120-Minute Rule expires and counts as a redemption event. You make a Tower of Terror Lightning Lane reservation for 5:30pm to 6:30pm (LL2). The clock immediately begins for the 120-Minute Rule on LL2
  • At 1pm, the LL2 120-Minute Rule expires and counts as a redemption event. You make a Toy Story Midway Mania Lightning Lane reservation for 7:30pm to 8:30pm (LL3). The clock immediately begins for the 120-Minute Rule on LL3
  • At 3pm, the LL3 120-Minute Rule expires and counts as a redemption event. You make an Alien Swirling Saucers Lightning Lane reservation for 5:45pm to 6:45pm (LL4). The clock immediately begins for the 120-Minute Rule on LL4
  • At 5pm, the LL4 120-Minute Rule expires and counts as a redemption event. You make a Frozen-Sing Along Lightning Lane reservation for the 6:30pm show (LL5). The clock immediately begins for the 120-Minute Rule on LL5

This is an example of basic Genie+ stacking, and really a good technique if you either want to wait in standby lines at the beginning of the day or even if you want to spend most of the day relaxing at the resort and making new selections from the pool bar as redemption events occur and you qualify for new selections.

Why Should You Genie+ Stack?

There are a couple different reasons to use stacking for Genie+. Admittedly, the allure of stacking has dwindled ever since Disney fixed a loophole that would allow you to multiply the amount of late-day Disney Genie+ return times you could stack. Again, we have an article covering the hacking and stacking of yesteryear and how it has changed in the past week.

Stacking and Hacking: Disney Just Changed How Genie+ Lightning Lane Selections Operate, Closes Loopholes
In this article, we’ll discuss Disney Genie+ stacking and loopholes that were present in the system. We’ll also cover fixes for the loopholes
blogmickey.com

One of the goals of this article is to provide a realistic example of what is possible with Genie+ (basic) stacking to help you determine if it makes sense for your vacation. We wouldn’t recommend stacking on every day of your visit, but it might make sense if you park hop from a park with manageable standby wait times, or if you plan to only spend a half-day at the parks and spend some time at your resort in the morning. You can even use stacking for the afternoon while experiencing some of the low-wait offerings such as shows and meet and greets during the morning.

Whatever your reason to consider Disney Genie+ stacking, hopefully this article provides a good view of what you can expect to accomplish with Disney Genie+ stacking at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Hollywood Studios Genie+ Lightning Lane Attraction and Show List

  • 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 – Returning December 19, 2021
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
  • Toy Story Mania!

Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane Priorities

Here’s how we would prioritize your Lightning Lane selections:

1. Slinky Dog Dash

We’re going to put Slinky Dog Dash right at the top of the list. The attraction runs out of Lightning Lane return windows quickly, sometimes in seconds and even before Rise of the Resistance a la carte purchases.

2. Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Next up is Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. This ride has a single rider option, which might work for some families, but the second-newest attraction in Hollywood Studios can still demand hour-plus waits. It is often the attraction that runs out of Lightning Lane windows second behind Slinky Dog Dash.

3. Tower of Terror

The next three in our list can probably be swapped out based on personal preference or, for the more savvy fans, based on operational issues throughout the day. Tower of Terror was unreliable at the start of November, so it would’ve almost been a no-brainer to at least grab a return window and either skip a massive standby queue or get a redemption at another attraction.

4. Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster

We’ll stay on Sunset Blvd for our next recommendation – Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster. Again, we can probably shuffle our #3-6 selections a bit based on what works for you. If Tower of Terror is operating smoothly and running all four dispatch locations and two elevator shafts, it’s possible that Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster gets bumped up to #3 on our list.

5. Toy Story Mania

We’ll head back over to Toy Story Land for Toy Story Mania. Toy Story Mania availability not only generally lasts longer into the day, but the ride itself has a high capacity to churn through guests.

6. Alien Swirling Saucers

Staying in Toy Story Land, we’ll head over to Alien Swirling Saucers. This is a lower priority for us given how low the wait times get at the end of the evening.

7. Star Tours

The bottom two attractions are not even really necessary to grab a Lightning Lane return time for. We’ll put Star Tours above MuppetVision 3D simply because the line has the potential to get much longer than MuppetVision 3D.

8. MuppetVision 3D

Last in our list, but not in our hearts – MuppetVision 3D.

Our Genie+ Stacking Day at Hollywood Studios

With the holiday crowds normalizing following the Thanksgiving Week surge, we wanted to see what was possible using Disney Genie+ basic stacking at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The idea was that we’d prioritize Slinky Dog Dash, and then take the best afternoon return times after that to backload our day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Our recommendation is to set an alarm for roughly 20-30 minutes before 7am to ensure that you’re able to purchase Disney Genie+ for everyone in your party. You’ll want to give yourself some time to make sure that everyone is linked together and that you don’t run into any issues come 7am. If you have pre-purchased Disney Genie+ as part of your vacation package, there’s no reason to get up more than 10 minutes before 7am…unless you need a cup of coffee first.

7am

At 7am, the first priority for us was to grab a return time for Slinky Dog Dash. While we probably could have grabbed an early morning return time, we wanted to show just how fast the return windows fill up. Here’s a quick video of how quick you’ll have to be. As we noted in the tweet, we got Slinky Dog Dash as our first Lightning Lane of the day for a return window of 4:25pm to 5:25pm.

From there, it’s back to sleep until you either rope drop the parks or want to grab some breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Either way, you’ll want to carve out some free time at 11am (or 2 hours after posted park opening) to grab your next Lightning Lane.

11am

Our next selection window opened up at 11am, and our earlier priority list calls for a Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run Lightning Lane. Of course, unlike FastPass+, you can’t select a return window for Genie+ Lightning Lane selections – you have to take the next available. With a return window already in place from 4:25pm to 5:25pm, we were hoping for something close to that, but with the popularity of Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run as a second option, we were presented with a return window of 7:20pm that magically transformed into 7:55pm to 8:55pm by the time we went through the process of securing the Lightning Lane.

To recap, here’s what we’ve done up to this point:

  • At 7am, grabbed Slinky Dog Dash for 4:25pm to 5:25pm return
  • At 11am, grabbed Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run for 7:55pm to 8:55pm

1pm

Our next window opened up at 1pm, and we had a decision to make. Essentially, we had to decide between Sunset Blvd attractions or Toy Story Land attractions. Depending on what you prefer, your next selection should either be Tower of Terror/Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster OR Toy Story Mania. In our case, we selected Tower of Terror for a return window of 5:35pm to 6:35pm.

To recap, here’s what we’ve done up to this point:

  • At 7am, grabbed Slinky Dog Dash for 4:25pm to 5:25pm return
  • At 11am, grabbed Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run for 7:55pm to 8:55pm return
  • At 1pm, grabbed Tower of Terror for 5:35pm to 6:35pm return

3pm

Next up was the 3pm window. It’s possible that at this point you’re inside the park either after a park hop or a relaxing morning at the resort. We suggest setting alarms for your upcoming Genie+ next selection times to ensure that you don’t miss an opportunity to get a Lightning Lane. Of course, you can make selections any time after the 120-minute mark, but you’ll want to be as close to on the dot as possible to ensure you get the soonest return time. You can either have no labels, generic labels, or even specific labels to remind you of the priorities.

Ok, our alarm calls for a Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster. Genie+ offered a return window of 8:25pm to 9pm.

To recap, here’s what we’ve done up to this point:

  • At 7am, grabbed Slinky Dog Dash for 4:25pm to 5:25pm return
  • At 11am, grabbed Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run for 7:55pm to 8:55pm return
  • At 1pm, grabbed Tower of Terror for 5:35pm to 6:35pm return
  • At 3pm, grabbed Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster for 8:25pm to 9pm return

5pm

Our last window before we entered Disney’s Hollywood Studios was the 5pm window. Going back to our priority list, that meant trying for Toy Story Mania. At this point, Toy Story Mania was sold out as of 4pm, but a few refreshes at the top of the hour provided a 7:15pm to 8:15pm return window.

To recap, here’s what we’ve done up to this point:

  • At 7am, grabbed Slinky Dog Dash for 4:25pm to 5:25pm return
  • At 11am, grabbed Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run for 7:55pm to 8:55pm return
  • At 1pm, grabbed Tower of Terror for 5:35pm to 6:35pm return
  • At 3pm, grabbed Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster for 8:25pm to 9pm return
  • At 5pm, grabbed Toy Story Mania for 7:15pm to 8:15pm

Here’s a look at our afternoon lineup before we started to redeem our Lightning Lane selections.

7pm

We had one more stacking opportunity at 7pm. Our priority list would call for Alien Swirling Saucers next, but that sold out by 3pm, so we simply grabbed Star Tours for an almost instantaneous return window of 7:05pm to 8:05pm.

To recap, here’s what we were able to accomplish simply using 120-Minute Rule basic stacking:

  • At 7am, grabbed Slinky Dog Dash for 4:25pm to 5:25pm return
  • At 11am, grabbed Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run for 7:55pm to 8:55pm return
  • At 1pm, grabbed Tower of Terror for 5:35pm to 6:35pm return
  • At 3pm, grabbed Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster for 8:25pm to 9pm return
  • At 5pm, grabbed Toy Story Mania for 7:15pm to 8:15pm
  • At 7pm, grabbed Star Tours for 7:05pm to 8:05pm

The only attractions that we didn’t get a Lightning Lane for were Alien Swirling Saucers and MuppetVision 3D. Both attractions averaged a 10-minute wait between 7pm and park close at 9pm.

At this point, we’re going to try and quantify “time saved” by using the posted wait times at each attraction during the Lightning Lane return window that we had. Of course, it’s worth noting that the posted standby wait times aren’t always accurate, and are often inflated. That said, it’s the best data point that we have in terms of measuring “time saved”. Graph and data courtesy of thrill-data.com.

  • Slinky Dog Dash average wait from 4:25pm to 5:25pm was 78 minutes
  • Tower of Terror average wait from 5:35pm to 6:35pm was 45 minutes
  • Star Tours average wait from 7:05pm to 8:05pm was 15 minutes
  • Toy Story Mania average wait from 7:15pm to 8:15pm was 35 minutes
  • Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run average wait from 7:55pm to 8:55pm was 22 minutes
  • Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster average wait from 8:25pm to 9pm was 22 minutes

A grand total of 217 minutes worth of average standby wait times was skipped using Lightning Lane during our evening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Of course, a Lightning Lane doesn’t mean instant access to the attraction. In our experience, we would get onto a ride anywhere from 10-15 minutes after tapping into the Lightning Lane entrance. That means that even with Lightning Lane, we waited anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes for 6 attractions. If we take the high end of that estimation and back that off of the 217 minutes worth of posted wait times, we still “save” about 2 hours worth of waiting.

Again, posted wait times are inflated, generally speaking. If we say that the actual wait is only 70% of the posted wait, the 217 minutes of posted waits drops down to 152 minutes, bringing the “time saved” with Lightning Lane down to just about an hour using evening stacking.

We don’t think that evening stacking is for everyone, and with the “advanced stacking” loophole now closed, the value has diminished greatly. Ultimately, this article was not designed to tell you whether or not you should use stacking, but hopefully provide a better look at what is realistically possible right now at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

For more on Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Individual Lightning Lane attraction selections, check out our articles below!

How to Enroll in the Disney Genie Service
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
blogmickey.com
Disney Genie Guide: How to Purchase Disney Genie+
In this Disney Genie guide article, we’re going to cover how to purchase Disney Genie+ with step-by-step photos for Walt Disney World
blogmickey.com
Genie FAQ: When Can You Make Disney Genie+ Attraction Selections?
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
blogmickey.com
How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Attractions with Disney Genie
In this how-to guide for Disney Genie, we cover purchase Individual Lightning Lane selections for some of the most popular attractions
blogmickey.com
Disney: Don’t Purchase Genie+ Based On Our Posted Wait Times
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
blogmickey.com
Understanding Disney Lightning Lane: A Place, Not A Product
We explain what a Lightning Lane is at Walt Disney World, and how you can pay to skip the line at your favorite attractions
blogmickey.com
No Re-Rides Allowed with Disney Genie+
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
blogmickey.com
Differences Between Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane Individual Attraction Selections
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
blogmickey.com
How to Get a Refund for Disney Genie Individual Lightning Purchases
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
blogmickey.com
Major Differences Between Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane at Disneyland, Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World news, photos, and reviews! We provide you with daily news from the Walt Disney World theme parks and beyond
blogmickey.com

As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news and photos from around the Disney Parks!

Mike
Mike is the owner and writer for BlogMickey.com. Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks. You can reach him at [email protected]

Follow Us!

52,948FansLike
10,511FollowersFollow
54,726FollowersFollow
46,000SubscribersSubscribe

Most Popular