Explain the math!
To determine how much time you save using Lightning Lane for any particular attraction, we need to know two things:
- How long did you wait on Lightning Lane before experiencing the attraction
- How long have you been would have waiting in the queue if you entered at the same time
In our case, the data on how long the Lightning Lane was waiting is easy enough to find: we can get it directly from the waiting hours in Lines 2.0. But determining the corresponding wait period is where things get complicated. Unless we have another Lines user entering the queue at exactly the same time, there must be some calculation or assumption. The calculations and assumptions I chose to use were:
- If a real timeout in 30 minutes (before or after) that the Lightning Lane user entered the queue has been entered, I will use that timeout for comparison.
- If there is no real timeout nearby, we will use the estimated travel plan wait at the time the user entered the line as a better estimate of what the wait time would have been.
Once we have these two numbers, the “Time Saving” will only be the wait wait minus the Lightning Lane wait.
How long will ILL save me at each attraction?
- Obviously, the time savings will change depending on the time of day when the ILL return time occurs and the daily congestion. But this graph represents the overall average time savings when we compare the Lightning Lane wait to what would have been the wait wait at the same time.
- Rise of the Resistance is easily carried away with an average time saving of an hour and a half.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure takes second place because even with the virtual queue, the queue other than Lightning Lane has become a remarkably regular backup.
- Flight of Passage and Frozen Ever After ILL will save you more than an hour compared to standby. Definitely not a bad deal. And the seven-dwarf mine train is right behind with almost an hour of time savings.
- Things start to go down after this point, with the ILLs for Runaway Railway and Space Mountain only saving an average of about half an hour. And, unsurprisingly, Everest Expedition has the worst time savings of any ILL attraction.
How does time savings relate to the price paid by the ILL?
For ILLs, we can actually make a pretty fun and useful calculation, because depending on the day the ILL was used, we know exactly how much someone paid and how much time they saved. So we can calculate how much you’re spending to jump every minute (or hour) in a row.
- This graph shows the every hour cost of skipping the wait line at each ILL attraction. It is divided into weekdays and weekends because, so far, these are the only price fluctuations we have seen for ILL purchases. And we only had one data point for the weekend Everest Expedition ILLs, so we don’t provide that calculation as it’s definitely not statistically representative.
- An interesting fact to keep in mind is that depending on the average ticket prices and park hours, an hour in the park could cost you, on average, about $ 15. This calculation is different for each match of each trip, but if we use it as a general cut, we could find out when an ILL purchase is “worth” its cost. If the hourly cost of the ILL is less than the hourly cost of your day at the park, you technically go out in front.
- It turns out that considering the cost and time savings, the best benefit is an ILL for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, regardless of the day you use it.
- The next three best ILLs to buy are all over the weekend: Frozen Ever After, Rise of the Resistance, and Flight of Passage. Frozen Ever After on weekdays is the only other ILL that costs less than $ 10 per hour of saved waiting time.
- If your $ 15 an hour cut is where the ILLs are “worth it,” the only attractions that generally don’t meet the requirements (or at least come very close to not qualifying) are Runaway Railway, Space Mountain, and Expedition. Everest. I’ll be honest: Runaway Railway surprised me by appearing on this list.
- The above data are exactly the same as the graph above, with the same conclusions, but presented in a slightly different way. This is the average number of minutes you save for every dollar you spend on an ILL reservation. Higher numbers are better because saving 10 minutes for your dollar is better than saving 2 minutes for your dollar.
How much time can I save on each Genie + attraction?
Some things to remember about the data in this section. These are average and therefore do not represent everyone’s experience. Saving time will vary depending on the time of day and the level of people. And they don’t represent all the attractions that are eligible for Genie +. Attractions were only included in this list if we had at least five Lightning Lane waits recorded.
What does this tell us about Genie + in each park?
- At Magic Kingdom, if you want to maximize time savings using Genie +, you’ll want to book the Peter Pan flight and the jungle cruise, the two attractions we know you book the fastest. Beyond that, almost all attractions have comparable time savings. So make your decisions based on what attracts you to your touring party and what is available at a reasonable time. If Space Mountain were a Genie + attraction (as it is during the busy holiday season), it has comparable time savings to Splash Mountain.
- At Hollywood Studios, Slinky Dog Dash is the obvious winner of the time-saving group. But you can also get decent time savings by booking for Millennium Falcon, Rock’n’Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania and Tower of Terror. If Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway were a Genie + attraction (as it is during the holiday season), it would fit perfectly with this second level.
- At EPCOT, the attraction with the greatest time savings only saves about 25.8 minutes, which pales in comparison to the greatest time savings in all other parks. This makes Frozen Ever After, if it is suitable for Genie + as during the holiday season, a very obvious first choice. All other attractions have a time saving of less than 20 minutes. EPCOT is easily the park with the lowest time saving for attraction in general.
- At Animal Kingdom, there aren’t enough people who have scheduled their Lightning Lane wait on anything other than Na’vi River Journey or Kilimanjaro Safaris so we can calculate the time savings. Both attractions, though, appear at the highest level of time savings. So if you can get and use both in one day, you’re likely to save more than 80 minutes on these two attractions alone.
What does this mean for you?
- These data are not representative of all everyday situations. But here’s a general guide to where you can save more time if you choose to buy ILL or Genie +.
- If you want to prioritize the purchase of ILL based on your price, sign up for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen Ever After, Rise of the Resistance, and Flight of Passage.
- Genie + ‘s time savings are the worst overall at EPCOT and the best at Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom has only a few Genie + attractions worth choosing. Magic Kingdom has a lot, so if you can use a lot of it, you can save a lot of time.
Are you surprised by any of the Genie + or ILL time-saving results? Does time-saving data affect your decision to buy or not? Let us know in the comments! And we’ll be back next week as we combine availability and time-saving data to calculate potential global time-saving per park, in different crowd conditions.