Disneyland's MaxPass System
Last week, we tested out the relatively new MaxPass system at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California. And today, we’re sharing the details with you!
You’ve got two options for making a FastPass at the Disneyland Resort. The first option is the same as it’s always been: run to a kiosk outside the attraction that you’re interested in and retrieve a paper FastPass. The second option is to download the new MaxPass app and make your FastPasses from your mobile device. Regardless of which option you choose, you have to wait until you’re in the park to make your first FastPass. AND you have to wait to make another one until the designated time listed on your mobile device or printed on your paper FastPass.
While paper FastPasses are free with admission, the MaxPass costs $10 per person per day. You can purchase MaxPass in advance when you buy your tickets, or you can purchase it from your mobile device once you’re in the park.
The biggest benefit of the MaxPass is that it saves a TON of time. You can make your first FastPass on the app as SOON as you walk through the park turnstiles, giving you a huge advantage over guests who have to waste time speed-walking to a FastPass kiosk. And you can continue making them from anywhere in the park throughout the day, as long as you have access to your mobile device.
Another benefit is that the designated time to get another FastPass is sooner on the MaxPass app than at the paper FastPass kiosks. This means you end up getting to make more overall FastPasses per day.
Third, when using the paper FastPass kiosk, you have no choice but to take whatever return time is printed on your paper FastPass. In contrast, if you're not satisfied with the FastPass return time offered on your MaxPass app, you can refresh the screen a couple of times and (usually) get a more desirable time.
Finally, the cost of the MaxPass includes downloading privileges of any photos taken of your family by PhotoPass photographers throughout the day. This alone is a GREAT value.
The obvious drawback to the MaxPass system is that it’s not free: we paid $80 for two-day
MaxPass access for all of us. But we saved time, got to experience tons of attractions (many multiple times), lessened our stress, didn’t have to run around the park like crazy people…AND got about 30 PhotoPass photos (including the one here).
One other less obvious drawback is that the app drains your mobile device battery very quickly. But that can be easily rectified by bringing a portable charger with you (you can get inexpensive ones on Amazon).
HOW IT WORKED FOR US
To give you have a better idea of JUST how well MaxPass works, here’s a breakdown of everything we were able to accomplish on our day at Disney’s California Adventure theme park.
We made our first FastPass on the MaxPass app the minute we walked through the turnstiles. We were able to make another one about 30 minutes after that. Once we used one of those initial two FastPasses, we made another. And then another as soon as we could after that. At one point, we were holding three FastPasses at the same time. With careful use of our FastPasses AND a good touring plan, we were able to experience the following in a 10-hour day:
Radiator Springs Racers two times (once standby and once with a FastPass)
Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters two times (both standby)
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree two times (both standby)
Guardians of the Galaxy two times (both with FastPasses)
Toy Story Mania FOUR times (all with FastPasses)
Soarin’ (with FastPass)
Under the Sea (standby)
All three of the Bug’s Land attractions (standby)
Golden Zephyr (standby)
Silly Symphony Swings (standby)
Jumpin Jellyfish (standby)
Goofy’s Sky School FIVE times (all with FastPasses)
Animation Academy (standby)
Monsters Inc: Mike & Sulley to the Rescue (standby)
A CarsLand Dance Party
The Trolley Show
Disney VISA character meet-and-greet
The World of Color Nighttime Show
Plus lunch, dinner, shopping, Cars Land exploring, and a visit to the wine tasting terrace
In my opinion, the benefits of Disneyland's MaxPass system are easily worth the nominal fee. I'd get it every time, and I'd confidently recommend it to my clients.
Have questions about Disneyland's MaxPass system? Need help getting started on your own Disney trip (Disneyland, Disney World, Disney Cruise, Disney Beach Resorts, or Adventures by Disney)? Call or e-mail us ~ we'd be happy to assist!
Meredith McCutcheon: Owner and Disney Specialist