Are Lightning Lanes helpful for shows?

Hi all - I’m new to TP forums but your posts have been so helpful as we get ready for our trip next week.

One thing I can’t seem to wrap my head around are LL’s and shows like Indiana Jones, Lion King etc.

We’ve never experienced any live shows before so I’m coming into this kind of clueless. What advantage does the LL give you? With each show having a specific start time, I would imagine that an hourlong return window wouldn’t make sense—unless you enjoy hanging out in the empty theater for a while before the show begins?

The advantage is that you are guaranteed a spot for that show but most shows don’t fill to capacity. Except maybe Lion King was when it re-opened and Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular is now.

Also there is a reserved section for LL seating but I don’t think it necessarily offers the best view or has a big advantage (Someone can correct me if I am wrong on this). Plus usually there are not really any bad seats in Disney theaters.

When you reserve a LL, it is for a specific show time. You are then given a block of time for arrival. I think it may be something like a half hour before the show starts?

Ah, got it! Thanks, this is really helpful!

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The only time we used on a show is because the LL was in the next 5 minutes. So another could be grabbed right after tap.


The return times for shows are different. For Lion King, the return time would be, e.g., 10:15-10:45am for the 11:00am show. Note that the grace period afterwards does not always work. We showed up at 10:52am (when they were letting in the standby line but past our official LL return time), and the CMs would not let us in through LL (but said we could go to the end of the standby line, which we declined). But we could still cancel within the grace period, so we canceled and rebooked for the 12:00 show and saw kite tails in between. Made sure to show up during the window so tapped in at 11:30 for the 12:00 show (and then was delayed start 25 mins so… has been hard to hit our stride at AK these past trips…).

You have to look at the “My Day” tab to see the return time for the show. I think it is different return time lengths for different length shows, we used for Indiana Jones and Disney Jr. show as well. Thought I would mention because I assumed wrongly that we would be able to get in closer to showtime than was the case.


We had a very similar experience, pre-Covid, with Lion King. Same times, same “Sorry, but now it’s just standby only.” Moral of the story: it’s NOT a guarantee for last minute arrivals. We did get in with the standby line, and were able to have fairly decent seating, just not as good as if we’d been there earlier.