It is no secret that the FastPass is an essential time-saving tool when visiting a Disney theme park. Walt Disney World® in Florida has transformed their FastPass+ service with the My Disney Experience system that links FastPasses to wearable Magic Bands and allows guests to make and modify FastPasses through their phone or computer long before they enter the park.
Disneyland, until recently, has had only the paper FASTPASS ticket system where you insert your park ticket into a machine outside the attraction for which you want to secure a FASTPASS. That changed in July of this year when the MaxPass system launched in Disneyland® and Disney California Adventure® Parks. This new system has modernized the selection of FASTPASSes, but is different from the My Disney Experience system, so I was excited to check out the new offering when I visited Disneyland® Resort with two of my kids in August.
MaxPass is an optional, fee-based add on to your Disneyland® park ticket. The use of MaxPass is an additional $10 per person per day, so if you have a large family, this is a cost that can add up quickly. For three of us, we paid a total of $90 to use MaxPass on our three park days. It is very easy to purchase MaxPass right when you buy your ticket, which can be done from your smartphone via the Disneyland® app, from the Disneyland® website or from a Disneyland® ticket kiosk. When you purchase a ticket that includes MaxPass, the service is automatically available for you to use as soon as you enter the parks.
MaxPass offers a couple of great features – the ability to make FASTPASS selections from your phone while in the parks and free PhotoPass downloads for each day that you have MaxPass. We got a lot of use out of the MaxPass FASTPASS selection process – we were able to make our selections while waiting line, frequently we were able to secure a return time within just minutes, so we could walk off an attraction and right on to another with no wait. We had been warned that the FASTPASSES for Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! and Radiator Springs Racers could sell out quickly, but we made it a point to secure those early in the day and had no issues.
Making MaxPass reservations couldn’t be much easier! Open up the Disneyland app and select My Plans. From there, you will be asked to Create FASTPASS party – you can select your entire group or just those who are interested in that particular attraction. This came in handy on my trip as I have one child who loves crazy rides, and one who prefers nothing wilder than a carousel! Once you have your party selected, you will select the theme park (very handy when park hopping!), and then Choose an Experience. Once you have selected your preferred experience, you will be able to select the return time that works for you and select Confirm. We frequently found return times that were almost immediately available.
When you use MaxPass, you have the option to redeem your FASTPASSES from your phone or they are also linked directly to the barcode of your paper ticket. We preferred to use our paper ticket when entering the attractions so that we could save phone battery life for when it was time to make our FASTPASS selections.
As primarily a Walt Disney World® veteran, I was surprised at how few Disneyland® attractions are equipped with the FASTPASS option. I really did enjoy the ability to make our selections as we went along, as opposed to the My Disney Experience system where FastPasses are best secured 60 or 30 days prior to your park visit. Disneyland® and Disney California Adventure® Parks have a total of 16 FASTPASS attractions
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana JonesTM Adventure ©Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd.
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin ROGER RABBIT Character ©Disney/Amblin Entertainment, Inc
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue© Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd
- “it’s a small world” (with holiday overlay only)
Disney California Adventure®
- California Screamin’
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Toy Story Midway Mania inspired by Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story films
- Goofy’s Sky School
The big question for most Disneyland® guests will be whether the MaxPass worth the additional cost. For us, it absolutely was. This was our first Disneyland® vacation in ten years, and we wanted to see and do everything. MaxPass allowed us to spend more time enjoying the attractions, restaurants and beautiful park areas and less time standing in line.
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