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Is Lightning Lane Multi-Pass Worth It or Not? Walt Disney World 2024-2025

Lightning Lane sign outside of Frozen Ever After at EPCOT

Whether you’re planning a trip to Disney or have visited the parks since the newer Lightning Lane Multi-Pass first rolled out in July 2024, just about everyone has felt the need to eye-roll at some point when discussing yet another cost introduced to our Disney vacations. 

And with the Lightning Lane Multi-Pass (and Single Passes), that could be the difference of hundreds of dollars over a standard Disney trip. 

You don’t want to waste your money, but you also don’t want to waste your time – especially when it comes to time in the parks at Disney World.

If you know us here at Best of the Magic, you know we especially love to analyze that kind of data to help you make solid decisions about your vacation and give you peace of mind when planning.  

We’ve written about whether other add-ons like Park Hopper are worth it or whether extras like Dessert Parties and other popular seasonal events are worth it. 

We constantly test plans at the parks both ways: with and without the Lightning Lane Multi-Pass. 

As with anything costing you money, there are factors to consider when asking whether the Lightning Lane add-on is worth the cost. 

What is the Lightning Lane Multi-Pass?

Entrance to Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios

The Lightning Lane Multi-Pass is a paid feature you can add to your park day that allows you to “skip” the standby line via Lightning Lanes. The daily cost per person varies between the park and overall demand.

Note: This is not to be confused with Genie (without the plus sign), the complimentary in-app service Disney offers to personalize your itinerary, which is pretty lame and we recommend avoiding.

Users who opt to purchase the LLMP be able to prebook up to 3 Lightning Lane selections per day, up to 7 days before your trip, and then continue to book new selections as you scan into and use your LL selections in the park.

Knowing the ins & outs of the system and having a solid strategy is crucial and the first step in making the LL Multi-Pass “worth it” (aka: knowing how to maximize it and become an advanced user before your vacation – which is easily done).

So…is the Lightning Lane Pass worth it?

Before you can determine if the extra cost of the Lightning Lane pass is worth it, we first have to ask: will it be busy in the parks? Busy season largely includes:

  • Presidents’ Day Weekend
  • Spring Break/Easter
  • Fourth of July weekend
  • Columbus Day/Fall break
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas and New Year

Crowd levels during the busy season can average 7 to 8, with major holidays bringing in levels of 9 and 10. Ouch. 

If you’re traveling during the busy season, we always recommend the LL Pass at all four parks if you’re trying to do it all (or even just do “most”) and avoid long lines.

However, if you’re traveling at an off-peak time, there’s room to discuss saving time and money when it comes to the LL Pass. Moderate to slow season typically includes:

  • Weeks in January & February that don’t include federal holidays (avoid Presidents’ Day and MLK Weekend)
  • Early March before Spring Break starts
  • Mid-April through mid-May
  • Summer (exempting major holidays)
  • The second half of August and most of September
  • Weeks in November and December BEFORE and AFTER Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks

Purchasing the pass is always more convenient, and you’ll always wait in shorter lines with it, but in slower seasons, you can keep that extra money in your pocket if you have a good plan.

“Do I really need to spend hundreds on Lightning Lanes for every day of vacation?”

People happy and riding Slinky Dog Dash at Diney's Hollywood Studios

There is much to be said for the peace of mind of having Lightning Lanes on deck to ensure you’re hitting all the rides you prioritized and skipping the longer standby lines. But the quick answer is no, you don’t ALWAYS need (at least not for some parks and some days) it if you visit during slower seasons.

The answer to whether it’s “worth it” varies for each scenario, so let’s run through them.

Remember, all of these examples assume it’s SLOWER to moderate season. If it’s a busy holiday, these examples don’t apply—we recommend the LL Pass for every park in that case.

Magic Kingdom 

You can usually go WITHOUT the Lightning Lane pass if:

  • You’re not trying to do almost every attraction. If you are doing this, the LLMP makes things much more manageable and can still save a lot of time when added up.
  • You plan on being at the park in the morning and evening (this works even if you’re taking a break). Rope dropping and staying late and having a solid standby strategy can keep you out of longer lines.
  • You’re visiting on days when the park closes at 6 pm for the seasonal Halloween & Christmas parties (wait times are often 30-50% lower these days).

  • You have young kids and don’t plan on doing coasters like Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Proof: We’ve done a standby-only plan at Magic Kingdom on a 3/10 crowd-level day and completed TEN attractions before noon (!), with all waits being LESS than 10 minutes with only one exception (Enchanted Tales with Belle, a 25-minute wait at 11:30 am).

EPCOT

You can usually go WITHOUT the Lightning Lane pass if:

  • You’re using Early Entry.

    You can hit the Big 3 (Test Track*, Frozen, and Remy’s) in the morning, and then most other standby lines should be <20 minutes if you get them done before noon or after 5 pm (when people move to the World Showcase).

    If you don’t have Early Entry, you can still knock out 1 or 2 of these attractions if you’re there at opening.

    *Test Track is closed for a longer refurbishment that is predicted to last until at least mid-2025. Bummer, but makes your park strategy a bit easier!
  • You don’t mind skipping Remy’s and/or Frozen.

    These rides are the biggest puzzle as far as standby strategy goes, and if you’re not riding them or don’t care, you’re good without the Lightning Lane Multi-Pass.

Hollywood Studios

To be perfectly honest, we would not go to Hollywood Studios without a Lightning Lane Multi-Pass (even if it’s a slower time of year)…

  • At a park where so many rides are headliners with waits that grow quickly in the morning and stay high through the end of the night, you almost always need Lightning Lane access.

  • We have thoroughly tested standby-only plans at all four parks and were successful with <15 min average waits all day EXCEPT for Hollywood Studios. 

It’s tough there without Lightning Lane access, and you will inevitably be waiting in some long @#$ lines if you don’t use it. 😒

Animal Kingdom

You can usually go WITHOUT the Lightning Lane Pass if:

  • You use Early Entry at Animal Kingdom.

With a proper strategy, you can typically visit all the attractions with minimal waits before the clock even strikes 11 a.m.

BUT.

This park opens early, making Early Entry…ouch. If getting up at 6 am on vacation isn’t your speed (we’re right there with you!), you can still get through MOST attractions with a 15-20 minute wait on lower-crowd days by arriving in the morning. 

​Note: These stats don’t include the two headliners in Pandora: Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage. These attractions are trickier, as they typically hold the longest lines.

Here are a few ways to get around this:

  • Purchase a Single Lightning Lane for Flight of Passage or ride it at the very end of the night (standby line should typically be less than 35 minutes during slower seasons).

  • Na’vi can be trickier. We love this ride but don’t consider it a “must-do,” like Flight of Passage. Either skip it or hit it first thing in the morning or at the end of the night* before you ride Flight of Passage (Note: riding both of these headliners at the end of the night can be tricky time-wise…you do not want to miss FoP!). 

*You can apply this to whichever major headliner tickles your fancy. We dive more into this strategy and others here!

When to consider using the Lightning Lane Multi-Pass

Giant Buzz Lightyear statue outside of a ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Toy Story Land

The Lightning Lane Multi-Pass is usually worth purchasing for most people, especially if you have the patience for can learn to be an advanced user of the Lightning Lanes MP.

But if you’re on the fence or are trying to stick to a tighter budget, here are a few guidelines we like to follow for when to spring for the pass:

  • Visiting on Saturdays
  • Any major holiday season (including Spring Break and other holiday breaks)
  • Visiting Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom
  • If you’d rather sleep in/eat a big breakfast and arrive later to the parks
  • You like to get a lot done in a day (One of our favorite strategies is to arrive early and ride as much as we can standby, then stack our Lightning Lanes for smooth riding later in the day when it’s busier!)

Pro Tip: Remember that the Lightning Lane Multi-Pass is flexible. You can choose which days of your trip you’d like to use it and who in your party will use it! Another plus for ballin’ on a budget.

We hope this helps you decide whether to use the pass when you’re heading to the parks when lower crowds are expected. With a solid strategy in place, going without LLs is totally possible, depending on the scenario.

Buying a Lightning Lane Multi-Pass is the easy part; now you have to know how to use it! Refresh for new return times, “stack” return times for later, and nail getting that LL Pass for Slinky Dog Dash. For a deeper dive into the how-to, check out our partner site’s Lightning Lane Masterclass. Combined with a solid park plan, we successfully use these strategies even on the busiest park days!

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