Ride Stacking: What It Is and How to Do It with Genie+
Ride stacking is more or less what it sounds like. If you can picture your Lightning Lane reservation as a tangible object, you have a good idea what ride stacking is.
I remember when Fastpass+ started. It took over the then traditional Fastpass system and at the time guests hated the idea. They thought it would take all spontaneity away from their vacations having to make reservations for certain rides. It’s so funny how history repeats itself. Now Fastpass+ is the gold standard that guests compare everything to.
The moment Disney Genie and its upgrades came on the scene there was so much commotion about how it changes everything. Now, paying for a service that previously came free as is the case with Lightning Lanes (formerly Fastpass) is not my favorite thing. But the transition went as smoothly as execs must have anticipated and people have once again begrudgingly embraced the change.
In no time this will just be the way you vacation at Disney, with little thought paid toward previous versions of the service. All of that is to say this: The system has its advantages. Once we fully understand how we can use the system, our vacation style will meld with the new Disney experience fairly easily. One such advantage to how Genie+ works is ride stacking.
What is Ride Stacking?
Ride stacking is more or less what it sounds like. If you can picture your Lightning Lane reservation as a tangible object, ride stacking would be stacking these reservations one on top of the other. That is, you can hold multiple Lightning Lane selections at one time. Two attractions can even have an overlap in redemption time. What Disney has led guests to believe is that you must experience an attraction– or at least enter the Lightning Lane queue to board that attraction– before you are able to select another ride to skip the standby lane for. That isn’t entirely accurate.
While that may be the intended use for Genie+, savvy guests quickly found out that they could stack their Lightning Lane reservations in advance with minor restrictions. The main thing you have to adhere to is the two-hour rule. That means that no two Lightning Lane reservations can be made within two hours of the other. What that doesn’t mean is that you can’t schedule Lightning Lane returns times within the same window!
How You Can Ride Stack with Genie+
The first thing you should know about scheduling Lightning Lane return times is that these reservations are finite. So you can miss out on Lightning Lane if an attraction is so popular all of the return times are taken. The popularity of attractions does impact the availability of return windows for Lightning Lane. That’s something to keep in mind as you schedule returns for some of the better attractions.
You can make your first reservation at 7:00 on your park day for whichever theme park you’ve reserved. That pick can be scheduled for any time in the day depending on the availability of the attraction you want to secure your Lightning Lane reservation for. Here is where ride stacking becomes possible. Two hours after park opening you can book another Lightning Lane reservation even if it takes place at roughly the same time as the first. As long as the windows are not identical, the system will allow you to do it.
Once you complete your ride stacking maneuver, Genie+ will try to warn you that you have a conflicting reservation. This is only to alert you of the overlap in your schedule and it does not need to be fixed. You can continue on with your plans and redeem both Lightning Lane reservations provided you are able to access both ride queues within the specified return windows.
You can continue booking Lightning Lane return windows every two hours for more ride stacking throughout your day. The only limitation is that you have to select the next window for the attraction you want. You can’t just pick and choose which return window you prefer.
Get More with Ride Stacking
Ride Stacking is not for everybody. It can be too much hassle for those guests who prefer to take things easy. However, if you are one of those guests who is always looking for that edge or that way to get more bang for your buck, then ride stacking is definitely a way to add more value to the premium Genie+ service.
The standard Lightning Lane return method also worked. When stacking Lightning Lane selections, you must wait for two hours before adding another ride. However, when you enter an attraction’s Lightning Lane, you reset your selection time and are able to make your next Lightning Lane reservation without waiting a full two hours.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster — Redeem between 5:30 and 6:30
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror — Redeem between 5:50 and 6:50
In the above example, the windows overlap. You can make one reservation in the morning and the other two hours later. If you want to make other Lightning Lane selections without waiting two hours you need to have a redemption time within two hours that you can either cancel or use. The below example shows a return time for Slinky Dog Dash that requires action if you want to make a new selection within the required two-hour time frame.
Slinky Dog Dash — Redeem between 1:35 and 2:35
If the current time is 1:35 exactly, and your last Lightning Lane selection was made less than two hours ago, you have two options. Either redeem the Lightning Lane selection by entering the queue or cancel the selection in Genie+. Either option will allow you to make a new Lightning Lane selection without waiting a full two hours first. You can cancel any Lightning Lane reservation you have made through Genie+. This is not true for Individual Lightning Lane purchases. That means that an ILL redemption window can not be altered to make other Lightning Lane selections possible within two hours of scheduling another ride.
Using the ride stacking method is an aggressive way to get more ride experiences out of your day by monitoring and maneuvering your way through the Genie+ system. If you are paying for the additional service of Lightning Lane access through Genie+ I highly recommend taking this edge and taking a more strategic approach to your day as long as it doesn’t become a distraction or make you too anxious. The most important thing is to have fun, after all.