Every Disney resort has some form of the FastPass system. Disneyland’s is the oldest, Walt Disney World’s is unique and the most well known. Disneyland started it all over 20 years ago with a ride reservation system inspired by ones found in World’s Fairs. Although the changes Disneyland has made to their system are almost imperceptible, there is one change that puts the resort in similar standing with its East Coast counterpart. That development is Disney MaxPass.
One of the benefits of Disney MaxPass is that it is incredibly uncomplicated. You don’t need to use it, but it has the ability to enhance your park experience drastically. If you aren’t familiar with how FastPass in Disneyland actually works, it’s basically a ticket that tells you when to return to an attraction so you skip most of the line. FastPass returns are subject to back up. Nevertheless, the system is a fantastic way to save time in the park by spending less of it standing in a queue. The one caveat is that you have to go to a specific location aka near the entrance to each specific attraction to claim each Fastpass, and you can only claim a new one, once you have used your existing one. There are two exception to this: 1) if you get a FastPass more than 2 hours later, you can get another one after two hours; 2) typically evening show viewing areas such as World of Color and Fantasmic! do not count as your current FastPass. (Don’t get confused as in Walt Disney World they do)
MaxPass doesn’t change everything, but it does make using the FastPass system a lot easier. Here is everything you need to know about Disney MaxPass so that you can decide whether it is right for you on your next Disneyland vacation. Disneyland is always rolling out new systems, promotions, events, etc. The best way to be in the know is to talk to your EZ Dis travel concierge.
Disney MaxPass is a Time Saver
Disney MaxPass is a simple app that lets you use FastPass on your mobile device. It’s similar to how you would use the My Disney Experience App at Walt Disney World. You look up the attraction you want a FastPass for and select from the available times. What is so great about this is that you can pick your next attraction as soon as you’ve used your last one, while you are still in the queue. Even better is that if you have a Park Hopper pass, you can select FastPass for attractions in both parks.
Disney MaxPass is Affordable
MaxPass is not a free service, but it isn’t over-the-top expensive either. The cost is just $20 per day per person ($15 if you buy it as part of a Disney vacation package). It’s a small upcharge for the opportunity to essentially skip lines all day no matter how busy the parks are. If $20 seems a bit steep, there is another benefit that comes along with using Disney MaxPass. PhotoPass is included. You can use MaxPass to claim ride photos, Magic Shots, and other PhotoPass pictures that are taken while you are in the park. That’s like having the Memory Maker package at Walt Disney World for free. If you aren’t familiar with Memory Maker, check out this podcast episode. If you are an annual pass, Disney MaxPass may be an included benefit for just $125 for the whole year.
How to check it out
Like so much in life you can’t do anything here with out the app. Be sure you have the Disneyland (not the Walt Disney World) App on your phone. It should look like the one in the top left corner below – blue with the Castle. Then, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3….ride!
1.Click the plus sign on the bottom of your screen (these are IPhone screens)
2.Select Get FASTPASS from the Popup Menu
3.Click see FASTPASS availability
We love being able to check this out and see standby vs FastPass available time or sometimes, unfortunately you will see unavailable. Generally unavailable means all of the passes have been distributed for the day (and availability is the same at the actual machines) or possibly the ride is currently closed.
It’s time…now just scan your phone with your MaxPass at the attraction entrance during the one hour return window! While you wait check out the app for short lines to ride until then, grab a snack or even visit with a character. Most importantly, remember once you have scanned onto the ride, you can go ahead and reserve your next ride.