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Understanding Disney MaxPass at Disneyland

I’ve lived in Orlando for almost 10 years, and I am extremely familiar with Walt Disney World. I’ve learned many of the secrets for using FastPass+. Recently I headed to California, and ┬áit was only my second time going to Disneyland. I had heard about Disney MaxPass, but knew nothing about it, since it wasn’t yet available the last time that I was there. I was a bit skeptical, since you have to pay $15 a day to use it. I bought it, though, and in my two theme park days I learned exactly why Disney MaxPass is worth the money.

For those who don’t know, at Disneyland they still use the old FASTPASS system. You can’t make your reservations in advance, only the day of. You will scan your ticket at a kiosk, and will be given a return time. This is still a free option if you don’t want to pay for Disney MaxPass. One of the perks of Disney MaxPass is that you don’t have to walk up to the machine outside of the ride to get a return time. All you need is the Disneyland App, and you are ready to go. You can see what the Wait Times are and the current FASTPASS return time right on your phone, and you can book it without heading to the ride. This saves a lot of time and steps.

With Disney MaxPass you can plan your day out much easier, especially if you have Park Hopper, since you can also select a FASTPASS for something in the other park. You don’t even have to be in a park. At one point I went back to the hotel to take a nap, and when I woke up I booked another FASTPASS from my hotel room.

I had my whole day planned out without having to keep checking each ride. You’re able to select another FASTPASS either when your ride time has arrived, or two hours after you book your time slot, whichever comes first. The app tells you what time you can book another, so you don’t have to do the math.

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Once your FASTPASS return time has arrived, you have a couple different options. You can either use the app on your phone and scan the bar code, or you can scan your theme park ticket. Either way, you’re all ready to ride.

Something that you can’t do with regular FASTPASS (if you don’t have Disney MaxPass) is to cancel your wait time if you decide not to use it. If you change your mind you still have to wait for that time to get there or two hours, whichever comes first, before you can make another selection. If you change your mind with MaxPass, you can cancel your selection and pick something else immediately. Also, if someone lets a FASTPASS go and you’re quick enough, you may be able to grab it. You can’t do that with the regular FASTPASSES.

I was in the parks for two days and I didn’t wait in a line for more than twenty minutes for a ride. I got more than one FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers, Hyperspace Mountain, and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! All of those rides had long wait times, and I would not have been able to ride as many times as I did without Disney MaxPass.

Another benefit of Disney MaxPass is that all of your PhotoPass pictures are included in the price. I did not use this extra all that much because I do a lot of character pictures at Walt Disney World. If you plan to purchase a lot of PhotoPass pictures, this will pay for Disney MaxPass quickly. MagicShots are included, and you can get your ride photos by typing the photo ID number into the app. Disneyland doesn’t use MagicBands like Walt Disney World does, so the pictures won’t automatically appear in your account.

If you’re with a big group Disney MaxPass can get a bit pricey, but if you want to do as much as possible in one day I highly recommend it. It really took away a lot of the guessing and stress, and I was able to enjoy many more rides and attractions. There was a time when I had three reservations waiting for me. It was nice to not have to go from one end of the park to another just to grab a FASTPASS. I spent more time riding, and less time hurrying from place to place.

About Tricia Kennedy