If you've visited the parks or read any of our posts, you know how invaluable Fastpasses are. We're fans. Lucky for us, Disneyland has just rolled out a new Fastpass system in conjunction with their current system called Maxpass. And lucky for YOU we tried it out, and we're serving up a side by side comparison just for you.
Fastpass is a system Disneyland has had in place since the late 90s. It’s a way for guests to skip the standby line on some of the more popular rides (often called the E Ticket rides, which calls back to the time when Disneyland had ticket books, and required tickets for each ride).
To get a Fastpass, go to any ride that has Fastpass machines, insert your park ticket into the machine, and a reminder will pop out giving you an hour time slot to return. Return during your allotted time, scan your park ticket at the Fastpass line, and skip the long standby. The machines used to give you the actual Fastpass to flash at the Fastpass line, but now everything is on the park ticket itself, so make sure to have that out before you get in line.
It’s worth noting that your return time can vary depending on how busy the park is and how popular that particular ride is. We’ve gotten return times on Fastpasses that were less than an hour, but we’ve also gotten them for a good five or six hours away. No matter when your return time is for your ride, you can always Fastpass again in a couple hours. Just be sure to check the bottom of your Fastpass reminder to see when you can grab another one.
The Fastpass system is awesome because it’s free, and you essentially get to “wait in line” by shopping, snacking, or riding other rides.
I was really very prepared to be underwhelmed by Maxpass but I think I’m a convert, y’all. I was hesistant because Maxpass is $10 a day, or an additional $70 to add to an Annual Pass, but I’m all in.
It’s worth it because you can do everything with your phone from anywhere as long as you’re scanned into the park. So if you’re in Disneyland you can grab fastpasses in DCA, or if you’re boozing at Trader Sam’s, you can grab fastpasses for either park.
To start with Maxpass, download the Disneyland app on your phone and set up an account. Then you’ll need to determine who’s in your “maxpass party”- essentially who you’re in the park with. You’ll link everyone’s park ticket, including yours, to your maxpass party on the app. There’s a camera so you can scan the barcode of everyone’s ticket super easy. Each person costs $10. So if you’re doing it on your phone, everyone owes you two churros.
Then, once everyone scans into the park, you’re ready to start grabbing fastpasses. It’s a bit tricky to get set-up, but once you do, it’s magic.
To get Fastpasses, tap on your avatar at the bottom of the app. Then tap on “Get Fastpass”. Choose your park, and scroll through the list of available fastpasses. Tap on the time listed, not the actual ride picture. Then review and confirm the selection for your entire party. When you return to hop in line, you can either open the app, tap your avatar, then tap “My Tickets” and scan everyone’s ticket, or you can use your park ticket.
Where you would normally have to go to each ride to grab the fastpass, you can grab fastpasses for everyone no matter where you are. Which means if you’ve just hopped in fastpass line for Haunted Mansion, once your passes are scanned, you can grab another Fastpass while in line for anywhere in either park. WHICH IS SO COOL. It’s a game changer. It also means you don’t have to get to Radiator Springs Racers at a certain time to grab a Fastpass, you can do it from the comfort of breakfast.
On top of that, MaxPass also gives you PhotoPass. Which means you can walk up to any Disneyland Photographer and have them snap a picture on their fancy camera for you. All of the photos you have taken from a cast member are then linked to your pass, and you can save and download professional Disneyland pictures.
So which one do you get?
I’d say if you’re in the parks for just one day, go for the MaxPass. It’ll help you do more of what you want to do with less stress and less running around. Your feet will thank you, and you’ll get more out of your trip. Plus, you can take advantage of that PhotoPass.
If you’re in the parks for a few days, suss out the busiest day and get MaxPass for that one day. You can survive just fine with Fastpasses on the other days, especially if you have reservations or want to see shows. I’d just say to save your eticket rides for your MaxPass day.
I’ll definitely be upgrading my AP to include MaxPass.