Disneyland rolled out their new and improved FastPass system in the parks last summer; Maxpass. Maxpass is the next best thing to Disney Worlds’ advanced reservation system FastPass+. Although in some ways it’s even better.
Where did MaxPass Come From
Way back in the days of yore, Disney introduced FastPass and it was revolutionary. Rather than waiting in a long line for an attraction, you could visit a kiosk at the attraction to pull a Fastpass ticket. The ticket would give you a 1 hour window in which you could return and go straight to the front of the line. The catch was that you had to walk to the attraction twice and you could, generally, only hold 1 fastpass at a time. (There are exceptions to that last part, but few and far between)
What is MaxPass
After the success of Disney World’s FastPass+ system, which allows you to reserve up to 3 Fastpass windows per day up to 60 days in advance of you trip, Disneyland needed a makeover as well. The MaxPass costs $10 per person per day, so for a party of 4 it would be $40 per day. You don’t have to use the MaxPass every day of your trip, you can buy it for just the days you’d like.
With MaxPass you receive all of your park pictures for the day, from rides and photographers, and are able to book fastpasses from your phone.
Why You Should Use MaxPass
It’s a game changer. I was a naysayer when the concept was first announced, and I’m still wary, but I have definitely changed my tune. After a poor start to a rope drop day I caved and spent the $20 for my boyfriend and I. Here’s what I loved.
Access to Accurate Wait Times and FastPass Windows
Yes, you can see wait times in the Disneyland app without Maxpass, but you can’t see FastPass windows. There are 3rd party apps that allow users to update the wait times and Fastpass windows, but that means people can artificially inflate waits to reduce the line. In my case, someone had reported that Space Mountain had no more FastPasses.
Booking FastPasses is a Breeze
With MaxPass you can see the true Disney reported wait times and Fastpass windows, without having to run across the park. Due to the false report about Space Mountain that I relied on, I ran to Thunder Mountain to get FastPasses and then went to Space Mountain to wait in line. (Space still had FastPasses) I ended up waiting in line for over an hour – I have never waited that long for a ride. But, I was able to book our next Fastpass while standing in the queue, right from my phone.
You Can Hold Multiple FastPasses
The rule for Fastpasses has always been that you can pull another at the start of your window or 2 hours after you pulled your last. This is helpful for rides like Radiator Racers, where 15 minutes after open you get a FastPass for 6:00pm. MaxPass lets you take full advantage of this. With the traditional FastPass being such a hassle to grab, many people (myself included) used these exclusively for the E ticket attractions and generally just in the first part of the day. So holding multiple FastPasses was rare. With MaxPass being so simple you can just grab your phone as soon as your wait is up, or after entering your window, and check all the times. At 5pm on a Saturday I had 3 Fastpasses, that’s never happened to me.
There are More Rides Available
Maxpass is 100% mobile. You book the FastPass on your phone and the cast members can scan your phone or park ticket with a handheld device. There is no expense to set up kiosks to pull FastPasses, or scan them. Which means there’s no reason to not have a MaxPass for every ride in the park. Yes. Every. Ride. I had a FastPass for It’s a Small World and Haunted Mansion. You can’t get those without MaxPass!
You Can Use More FastPasses
Before MaxPass my record for Fastpasses was 3 in a day (not including shows). With MaxPass we used 9 –NINE—Fastpasses, rode everything we wanted, and left 5 hours before the park closed. We did use 2 single rider lines, Radiator Racers and Indiana Jones, but we also rode Mission Breakout twice. Honestly it was the absolute best purchase I have made at Disney, aside from my AP anyway.
How to Take Full Advantage of MaxPass
The truth is, any system or tool is only going to work as well as you make it. If you don’t do a little preparation it’s still possible to have a bad experience with MaxPass. Here’s my best tips to taking full advantage of MaxPass
• Buy it as soon as you arrive at Disney, you can do so even before rope drop.
• Use ONE phone for your whole group, to book for everyone at once.
• Bring a portable battery pack for your phone, or two.
• Late times for popular Attractions are okay! (Radiator Racers, Mission Breakout, Space Mountain)
o These rides will run out, so take what you can get. You’ll be able to book more FastPasses in an hour.
• Use MaxPass even for the small rides, 30 minutes is 30 minutes.
• Book as soon as you can!! Set an alarm for the next time you can book at.
• Check out some underrated attractions at Disneyland or California adventure between FastPasses
• Take a picture of your ride photos, you can link them to your account for up to 24 hours
• Be flexible.
o I am the queen of structure. I am constantly preaching about the power of a park itinerary. BUT – that all goes out the window with MaxPass.
• But have a game plan
o You still need to have an idea of what you want to ride, and I recommend having some structure in your morning. But once the park fills up, MaxPass gives you the power to be flexible.
Have you used MaxPass at Disneyland Resort? What did you think?
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