Individual Lightning Lane
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Individual Lightning Lane: How $20 Cost Me 2 Hours

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Disneyland’s Individual Lightning Lane provides a lot of timesaving at a cost. Unfortunately, the Nerd’s experience was quite different.

Picture it! Disneyland. Monday. 2022. The park is busier than expected and the Nerd was excited to try out the latest in time-saving technology…paying large amounts of money to skip the line of a single ride using the Individual Lightning Lane.

READ MORE: What Happens when Genie + Lightning Lane Rides Go Down

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was vacillating between a 90- and 120-minute wait and we only had plans to be at the park for a few hours. We arrived much later than usual, around 11am, and the Individual Lightning Lane reservations for Rise of the Resistance were already nearing the 2 o’clock hour. After refreshing the screen several times while enjoying a Mickey Pretzel and Diet Coke, a time slot opened up at 12:05pm – PERFECT!

individual lightning lane

After a spin through outer space aboard Space Mountain (using the $20 per person Genie+, of course….what? It was for science!), we confirmed via the Disneyland app that our Rise of the Resistance Individual Lightning Lane time was ready and made our way across the park to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Just prior to our arrival, Rise of the Resistance broke down. No big deal – we had already booked our Indiana Jones Adventure time slot via Genie+ (Genie+ reservations and Individual Lightning Lane reservations can overlap), so we visited the Temple of the Forbidden Eye and after conquering that ride…we were disappointed to find Rise of the Resistance was still out of commission, as was our ability to use our $40 worth of Individual Lightning Lane passes.

It appeared a trip to Guest Services was in my future as we had to leave Disneyland for a lunch reservation at Disney California Adventure’s Lamplight Lounge. While at lunch, we purchased Individual Lightning Lane passes for Radiator Springs Racers ($12 each) and WEB Slingers (also $12 each) as both reservations would coincide with our meal.

So now…let’s get to the meat.

Stop 1: Guest Services at the Parks
As we prepared to leave Disney California Adventure, we made a quick pit stop at Guest Services to request a refund. There was no line and we spoke with a terrific Cast Member who delivered some welcomed news – since we did not redeem the Individual Lightning Lane reservations, our credit card would be refunded after the park closed.

Awesome! Right? Well…..let’s just say that the American Express was NOT refunded.

Stop 2: Chat via Disneyland App
The Nerd hopped on the Disneyland App and chatted with a very nice Cast Member who, unfortunately, could not help. Their best suggestion for refunding the Individual Lightening Lane was to call Guest Information and Ticket Sales at (714) 781-4636.

Sigh.

Stop 3: Guest Information and Ticket Sales via Phone
After quite some time on hold and an hour on the phone in total (with another very nice Cast Member), a supervisor had to get involved, but we did get a refund of $40.

The irony of this situation was not lost on the Nerd or the Cast Member. We spent $40 to save 2 hours, spent 30 minutes of wasted time walking aimlessly around Disneyland for Rise of the Resistance to ultimately not experience the attraction and spend a couple additional hours securing a refund.

The Nerd asked what they would do to help make it up to us. Perhaps an Individual Lightning Lane? Something to give us our time back. The Guest Information and Ticket Sales team maintained they could not do these things and to either stop by Guest Services or email guest.services@disneyland.com.

Fortunately, there was another Disneyland Reservation for the Nerd that same week, so….

Stop 4: Guest Services at the Parks – Part Deux
This is a story that ends well – ands quickly. The Nerd stopped by Guest Services a few days later and politely explained the situation, including how the Guest Information and Ticket Sales team was limited in their ability to help. The nice gentleman at Guest Services agreed that they had limited ability, understood what I was after and made quick work in fixing it. All in all, it took less than five minutes.

He assigned a multi-use Lightning Lane pass for everyone in my party at the park that day – and there were six of us. He asked which park we would be spending time (the answer was Disney California Adventure) and the pass was immediately added to the Disneyland app. Essentially, this pass allowed us to go to the front of just about any attraction at DCA. Rise of the Resistance

And the best part? Radiator Springs Racers was included. All six of us scanned in and enjoyed racing around Cars Land with a nearly non-existent wait despite the posted 65-minute wait. It gave us back 6 hours and $42 (Radiator Scorings Racers’ Individual Lightning Lane was only $7 on the Thursday we visited) and we were appreciative Disneyland Customer Service made the situation right.

Despite the frustration of the experience, it was a good lesson in the kinks Disneyland is working through with their new system. We’re hopeful that any such issues will be automatic in the future to make it easier on everyone.

In the meantime, the Nerd is going to go grab a Mickey pretzel.

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