MaxPass at the Disneyland Resort

Good Morning!

This week our blog returns to the Happiest Place on Earth!

In May, we visited DISNEYLAND right before the opening of Galaxy's Edge! We were hoping to enjoy the last little bit of off-season crowd levels before the expected heavy crowds hit, but when we got there we found that everyone else was thinking the same thing! The parks were a bit more crowded than we had expected for late-April/early-May, and once Galaxy's Edge opened up, the crowds were reportedly non-existent! The crowd levels prior to Galaxy's Edge actually surprised me given the fact that the weather was quite chilly. This was also the first time we had been to the parks since MaxPass was released, so we took this opportunity to give it a try! Without further ado, here are our thoughts on using MaxPass at the Disneyland Resort, and hopefully this will help you determine if MaxPass is right for you!

When MaxPass was first rolled out, it cost $10 per person, per day. This year, they upped the price to $15 a person. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're buying for a family of 5 for three days, it really adds up.  For Brycen and I, it cost $90 for the three days in the park. That is the first thing to consider when determining whether or not to invest in MaxPass!

The second thing to consider is what you are getting out of it. In addition to acting as a digital FASTPASS system, MaxPass comes with unlimited PhotoPass downloads, which includes ride photos! If you utilize PhotoPass, this pass pays for itself pretty quickly. We didn't use this feature as much as I would have liked, but we did get some really cute pictures from it. If you do MaxPass, I would totally recommend stopping at every single PhotoPass stop that you can. And ask for Magic Shots!! You won't be disappointed!

So other than unlimited PhotoPass, what is the difference between MaxPass and a regular FASTPASS? Several things actually! Here are the 5 main differences:

1. It's Digital.
Everything for MaxPass works straight through your mobile device! Your phone becomes your FASTPASSES, Park Tickets, and PhotoPass card. This makes it super convenient - no accidentally dropping FASTPASSES on the ground in your rush to get to the next ride, no having to rummage through a purse or pocket to find them when you get in line. It's just right there on your app. It also reduces paper waste, which is cool!

2. Immediate Access to all FASTPASS options.
Second, since it works through the Disneyland App on your phone, you don't actually have to go to the kiosks like you do for the paper FASTPASSES. This means that while standing in line for Pirates of the Caribbean, you can be downloading FASTPASSES for Space Mountain - without having to hike all the way across the park to do so! Before, there were times when we would skip FASTPASSES out of convenience, because standing in line was easier than running back and forth all day. With MaxPass, if you have a Park Hopper ticket linked to your account, you also have the ability to get FASTPASSES in both parks right away. We all used to have to line up for either Radiator Springs Racers or Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! really early in the morning to snag FASTPASSES, and depending on how far back we were in line, we were sometimes getting a ride time of 7:00 that night. That required a lot of park hopping throughout the day. With MaxPass + Park Hopper tickets, my parents were able to look at times for Radiator Springs Racers during breakfast over at Disneyland, and then they only had to Park Hop once. Brycen and I didn't do Park Hoppers this time, but we liked that we didn't have to go stand in line to get FASTPASSES. We just walked into California Adventure and pulled up the passes for Radiator Springs Racers on my phone immediately. Do be warned though, FASTPASSES for the Racers and Mission Breakout run out faster than ever before, so you need to make sure you are in the park bright and early to download them!

It was so nice to have all our options right there in front of us. This is what the FASTPASS looks like on your phone once it is time to redeem them. Just get close to a ride and open the app and the FASTPASS will pop right up! You scan the bar code on your way in instead of handing in your passes to a Cast Member. Super easy!

3. Replacement FASTPASS in exchange for ride break-downs!
If you show up for your FASTPASS time with your traditional paper FASTPASSES, and the ride is temporarily down for the count, you are told that your FASTPASSES will be honored all day long, once the ride is back up and running. Which is great! Even better: when a ride goes down for the MaxPass users, your FASTPASS is auto-magically transformed into a multi-use Replacement FASTPASS! You can use this FASTPASS for the original attraction later on in the day, or you can just go ahead and use it on another FASTPASS ride in the park, at any time that day! Note: As of July, we have heard that the Multi-Use FASTPASS is now tiered. (You can read more about that from the Undercover Tourist blog here.) If you have a FASTPASS for one of the bigger E-Ticket attractions, then you can use the Replacement ticket at any ride in the park that accepts FASTPASS . If you have one for a non-E-Ticket attraction (those in "Tier 2"), then you can only use the FASTPASS  at another "Tier 2" FASTPASS location. All available FASTPASS options that can be used for your Replacement FASTPASS will show in the app.

This is the Replacement FASTPASS we received when one of our planned FASTPASSED rides broke down. These can be used on other FASTPASS-able rides throughout the park at any time throughout the day!

4. Faster access to your next FASTPASS!
When you get a regular paper FASTPASS, you can either get a new FASTPASS either after you have redeemed your previous FASTPASS, or two hours later - whichever occurs first. With the new MaxPass system, it is either after the last one is redeemed or 1.5 hours later. That 30 minutes makes a HUGE difference, as does the ability to snag the next pass while standing in the FASTPASS line of the current ride, seconds after scanning them in. Being able to utilize this feature, along with not having to run around the park to get the FASTPASSES we wanted, meant that instead of enjoying 4-5 FASTPASSES a day, we were actually able to use closer to 8-10 a day - one day capping at 13! This was definitely worth the money for that alone!

5. Flexibility
Finally, with the traditional paper FASTPASSES, if you choose to not use them, you just miss out on the FASTPASS, and still can't get a different one until the designated time. With MaxPass, however, if you decide not to ride Haunted Mansion in three hours, but instead decide you want to head over to California Adventure, you can actually put back the FASTPASSES and your pass then becomes available to other guests, and you can go ahead and make a different selection immediately! (This also means that if another guest decides last minute to put back that last FASTPASS of the day for a popular ride like Guardians of the Galaxy, you could get lucky and snag it!) 

Have you tried MaxPass? Do you think it is worth what you pay? Leave us a comment below!

As always, if you have any tips, tricks or questions you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at!

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-Lindsay Prout


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