We were in Tampa for a family event (DW’s Nephew grad party) and had the opportunity to slip away for a quick visit to WDW for Saturday night and Sunday. We have APs so it was virtually free, how could we resist? We did use Genie+ and ILL on Sunday for the first time to stack afternoon to PH to HS.
We got to the TTC around 6. I had booked dinner at Liberty Tree for 7 on the way so we did Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor to kill time prior to Dinner. Always fun, although I think I liked the old 2 headed monster set prior to the switch to Randall/Sully/Mike that they’re doing now. Nice meal served family style. Would do again, but won’t prioritize it. Glad we got back after 10+ years though especially since we had only done lunch before. After dinner we hit Splash and then Big Thunder during the fireworks which was very nice timing with reasonable waits. Pirates was a 2 minute wait and that was with them only running 1 side. We thought about Jungle Cruise but it was still posted at 60 so we skipped it and did Buzz and called it a night as at least I was exhausted after waking up at 3:15 and then going all day.
All-Star Sports was fine for what we were using it for – a bed to sleep in and a way to get into the parks 30 minutes early the next day. Liked the room decorations etc. – beds were fairly small and not the most comfortable though. I woke up before 7 and purchased Genie+ while DW showered – took me 8-10 minutes to figure out how to buy it in the app. Fairly annoying it is not more intuitive to give them $, but I got it done prior to 7. We were doing Epcot first and then hopping to HS so I decided to attempt to stack the afternoon at HS which worked out relatively well.
At 7, I picked up Slinky Dog Dash knowing it goes fast and got like a 2:30. Then I decided to buy Rise of the Resistance, think first pass was like 2:10 and with being that close to Slinky, I passed and tried again and got 4:10 which I thought worked better. Really wish you could pick your times like with the old FP system. We drove to Epcot and parked there and hoofed it all the way to the back of World Showcase for Remy. We had discussed parking at HS and then taking the Skyliner to Epcot, but decided we didn’t leave early enough to be certain that would work. We probably timed entry just wrong as I think we were at the back of the early pack and waiting 48 minutes for Remy. Less than ideal, but frankly since this was the only ride that was a must do at Epcot, I don’t regret it. And I don’t think I’d have rather paid the $33 for an ILL for the 3 of us either. After that we went to the Land, grabbed a quick snack/breakfast and then jumped on Soarin’ with a pretty short wait. We got max distortion at the far end of A2. Not sure if we’d never ridden in the far end of A before or if looking for distortion it jumps out at you more, but I swear I noticed more bends in more scenes than ever before. For us it is a running joke so perhaps that’s not a terrible thing. We were debating Living with the Land which was posted around 20 for some reason – we debated – I suggested we go up the stairs – DS said to check Test Track waits and I thought he meant queue up and check but he really meant check as we went up the stairs. Since we got in line, we stayed and rode despite the longer than expected wait.
Around this time I grabbed a 2:10 or so FP for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad – it was around 10:45 which was 2 hours from the early open at HS – but not 2 hours from general opening. We did Figment, despite the line being outside the building – something I’d never seen before. We decided to do Nemo next over a 25 minute wait for Spaceship Earth and then elected to hit Mexico and then Canada for some shopping prior to our 1PM ADR at Le Cellier – figured we’d check in at 12:40 on the app and hope we got called early. In Mexico the boat ride was closed so no hopping on there but we did each snag one of the painted miniature figures that are hand painted by craftsmen in the pavilion which is pretty cool. They are a touch pricey, but unique – was surprised to learn my AP discount did not apply unfortunately. Snagged a Rock N’ Roller Coaster Lightning Lane around 12:50 for 4:30. Oddly they advertised 5PM to me and then it bumped to 4:30 due to park hopping. No idea how it moved forward in time due to park hopping, but that’s what the message told me. Had a nice meal at Le Cellier and then hopped over to HS.
We used our first Lightning Lane Genie+ on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad which got us in pretty quick. Enjoyed the ride – think it is growing on the rest of the family as they let some of the bitterness over Great Movie Ride’s demise go with each ride of the new one. From there we walked directly to Slinky – the Lightning Lane line was outside the gates, but we still got on in around 12 minutes IIRC. Around here I grabbed another LL for Midway Mania for 5:45 or so. We grabbed a snack and killed a little time browsing in Black Spire Outpost prior to our paid ILL for Rise. We were on the shuttle in no time and had a good ride. The guns were not going to and fro but other than that it was great. Had one Imperial Officer who was really enjoying his role as he put people into the interrogation lines that makes everything a touch better. We then hit our LL at RnR to finish out our day. We ended up deciding we would rather get to the hotel in Tampa in time for the Pens game than killing time for TSMM and our final LL – plus we were tired after another long day.
Overall Genie+ worked pretty well for us. I think using it on a day you know you definitely want to Park Hop and can stack rides after 2, it is fairly ideal. We scored 4 headliners at HS plus paid for a 5th and my guess is around 5 I could have scored something else (Falcon or Alien Swirling Saucers were still showing availability at 4-something but I was still on 2 hour lock) had we elected to stay longer. I’m less certain how usable it is at your starting park, especially if you want to park hop later. Especially given the random time changes it gives – here’s a 1:30 – oh just kidding – it’s 3:30 now – well if you want to be at another park at 3:30 that’s not exactly useful. Not sure if you can make a free change out of that or not. My guess is we’ll pick our spots to use Genie+ some days, but won’t be using it a ton for our longer trip in July. But for a short trip, being able to hit a bunch of headliners consecutively at HS was very nice…
I was annoyed often while using the App as often it would default to our first park of the day so I would have to switch. And often it wasn’t popping up LL options when I did get it to switch. I always figured it out within a few clicks, but…I do really wish they let you pick a time to show me LL options around 5PM rather than it being the next one in the queue. I would like to accommodate my schedule, not Disney’s or to allow the Disney programming team to make things simpler.