A note from Leap: I have hoppin' news! Disneyland has added FASTPASS to Autopia and Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is said to be available on Disneyland FASTPASS and MaxPass soon. Be aware that along with those changes comes a price increase in Disneyland MaxPass price.
Take everything you know about theme park lines and throw it away. Just kidding ... well, kind of. Perhaps you are familiar with the Disneyland FASTPASS system, which allows you to skip the main queue by making a FASTPASS reservation and returning to the ride within a one-hour window to skip most of the line. That free system is still in place, but Disneyland has another option, a paid service called Disney MaxPass. MaxPass allows you to make FASTPASS reservations for rides and some shows from your smartphone. Since its debut, our frog squad has spent our days hopping from one ride to the next without standing in line or running all over the park to collect FASTPASSes. While our daily step count is down, our ride numbers are way up. Ribbit!
What is Disneyland MaxPass? While Disney MaxPass is hard to explain, it’s actually pretty easy to use. This post outlines the basics of what you need to know, followed by more advanced tips. Our MaxPass tips help maximize your investment in this service. We've tried to answer common questions and have played around with Disney MaxPass to see what works, what doesn’t and — most importantly — how to conserve cell phone battery in the park!
Disneyland MaxPass Price
The Disneyland MaxPass price is $20 per person, per ticket, per day. (Be sure to get a hop on your discount Disneyland tickets by purchasing through Undercover Tourist! As a bonus, you can now purchase discount Disneyland Base and Park Hopper tickets with Disney MaxPass from your favorite frogs too!) Guests can purchase Disney MaxPass as an add-on through the Disneyland mobile app once they enter either theme park. Annual passholders may purchase just a day through the app after entering the park, or purchase an annual plan for $125 that expires when their current pass expires (there is no prorating if you buy mid-year, so it’s best to buy MaxPass when you renew). All guests still have the option to scan their park tickets at individual FASTPASS attractions at no additional charge.
Tips for Purchasing Disney Maxpass
The app will walk you through the steps of linking park tickets and purchasing MaxPass after you have entered the park. Just be sure to name each ticket with the appropriate guest’s name when you add them, because you can’t change it. Trust us, it makes your life much easier if you can see the names (as opposed to ticket number) when choosing who wants to ride. You may link tickets ahead of time if you have a barcode or ticket number, but MaxPass won't be active until the day you visit. Also, be aware that a multi-day MaxPass ticket will charge you for the cost of MaxPass for every day of the ticket. A 3-day MaxPass ticket will add $60 per person. If you aren’t sure you want all three days of MaxPass, wait to purchase MaxPass each individual day when you get to the park.
You’ll make life easier if you arrive prepared for Disney MaxPass. Before your trip, download the free Disneyland mobile app to your smartphone. Play with it so you can get familiar with how it works and to research the wait times, see where to find characters, make dining reservations, find Wi-Fi hotspots or see the types of parades and shows in the park. Load your credit card into the app. Share the login and password with family members who also want to log in and use Disney MaxPass on their device. They may also choose to set up their own accounts.
We recommend that people from other households set up their own accounts. Just link all of the tickets to at least one manager and you will be good to go. If you are purchasing Disney MaxPass in the app once you have entered the park, this will make for a smoother and faster process, allowing you to reserve FASTPASSes right away. If you have a barcode on your tickets, you can scan tickets in advance. Just open the app, click My Tickets and click the + at the top. Click Link Tickets & Passes and center the barcode on the screen.
Using Disney MaxPass in the Parks
How to Use MaxPass to Reserve Rides
Open the app and click + at the bottom of the home screen. Select Get FASTPASS with Disney MaxPass. Under Create a FASTPASS Party, it will automatically select all tickets linked to the account. Deselect any guests who do not wish to get a FASTPASS for that ride. Continue and select the park (if park hopping). Scroll through the selection of attractions and choose a ride and return time that works for you. Follow the prompts and confirm.
You can make a new selection even if you have not used the other FASTPASSes yet, as long as you are not in a waiting period. Scanning in at a ride erases any waiting period for that FASTPASS, so you can immediately book the next ride after scanning in. Each ride may have different FASTPASS party members. You may bring your park ticket to scan in at the FASTPASS return line during the one-hour window you selected, or you can scan in from your phone.
Keep in mind that you can arrive up to five minutes early and up to 15 minutes late. After that, the FASTPASS will disappear. If you are on the edge of your return window, and encounter a longer than usual FASTPASS return line, screen shot your FASTPASS as proof that you had one. The cast member might sprinkle some pixie dust and let you in anyway.
There are several strategies for maximizing your MaxPass. Our best tips are to start using MaxPass early in the day. Select a few rides that are available within a short timeframe before choosing a return time that is several hours away. See more advanced tips below!
Now You Can Use MaxPass to Reserve Shows
We are hoppy to announce that Disneyland recently added World of Color and Fantasmic! to MaxPass. You can find the shows the same way you book rides — at the bottom of the list of rides under Nighttime Extravaganzas in their respective parks. The shows are disconnected from the ride FASTPASS system and are not subject to waiting periods. You can reserve shows for both World of Color and Fantasmic!, but you can hold only one FASTPASS per show, per day. You can get a 9 p.m. OR a 10:30 p.m. Fantasmic!, but not both, so choose wisely. If you change your mind and won’t see the show after all, be sure to cancel your FASTPASS so another guest can use it.
Pointers for FastPass+ Users Familiar with the Walt Disney World System
If you have not used Disney World's FastPass+ system, you can skip ahead to the next section. If FastPass+ is all you know and Disneyland FASTPASS is new to you, here are a few key differences that will toadally help you maximize MaxPass (or the free FASTPASS system):
- You have no need to make advance FASTPASS reservations at Disneyland because you cannot start reserving until you enter a park for a day.
- Disneyland has no MagicBands (instead, you'll scan your park ticket or a code from the Disneyland app at the FASTPASS return point).
- You do not have to use a FASTPASS before making a new selection at Disneyland, so you can hold multiple FASTPASSes at once.
- With MaxPass, the system will offer you the first available window for each ride. You cannot view multiple return windows for a ride. If a ride's return window does not work for you, choose a different ride and try again later.
- There is a variable waiting period before making your next selection (covered below under "Tips for Maximizing MaxPass").
- With Disneyland MaxPass and FASTPASS, you CAN choose return times that overlap (see the photo where we have two rides for almost the same window).
- Free PhotoPass downloads are included with MaxPass, so you do not need to purchase a photo package.
Using PhotoPass with Disney MaxPass
Right now, you're familiar with PhotoPass and the friendly cast members who take your picture in front of iconic locations such as Sleeping Beauty Castle. With Disney MaxPass, you're allowed unlimited downloads of the pictures taken that day. You can also download your on-ride photos by typing the ID number into the app. For those of you who cherish those pics, Disney MaxPass may be a great purchase, especially since MaxPass for one person costs a little more than one photo download without MaxPass. If you have three days of MaxPass, then you can enjoy three days of downloads. However, any PhotoPass photos taken the day before or after your MaxPass will not be free to download. On the day you purchase MaxPass, you will get any photo taken that day from 6:00 a.m. until 5:59 a.m. the next day.
If the PhotoPass benefit is your motivation for getting MaxPass, you can save money by having just one person in your party purchase MaxPass. Make sure that that the MaxPass holder presents his or her phone (or scans any PhotoPass cards into the account) so all of the photos are in that account. The MaxPass holder can share photos via social media, text or email right from the app. Download the images within 45 days before they disappear. You can choose to print the photos for free at home or at a discount location. The photo stores inside the parks can print photos (for a premium fee). You can print through the app if you want to take advantage of some customized souvenir features and photo gifts.
If you have character dining reservations, your PhotoPass photos from that event will be included in your Disney MaxPass benefits. But, you must have paid for MaxPass and entered a park with your ticket the same day as the dining event — benefits only kick in once you have activated that park ticket!
How to Use Disney MaxPass for PhotoPass
To use PhotoPass with MaxPass, tap + at the bottom of the home screen. Tap Link PhotoPass Photos and you can choose to link attraction photos, link a PhotoPass card or Show PhotoPass Code to show to a photographer. Annual passholders can link their pass so that the photographer can scan the pass each time. Photos should appear under My Photos in about 60 minutes, although it can take much longer. Magic Shots may take a few days to load. For an extra speedy experience, take a screenshot of your code to show to the cast member rather than waiting on the app to load each time.
You should confirm while you are in the park that the photos have appeared without watermarks. If you have any trouble, hop into the photo shops in either park for assistance. They have helped us track down missing photos and assisted in linking our passes to the account!
What Are the Advantages of Disney MaxPass? Is It Worth It?
For most people, the biggest advantages are convenience and time. While we stick to our park plans, MaxPass allows us to see all of the available return times without walking anywhere. We're big on hopping between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on our visits. We like to make FASTPASS reservations in the other park and use the wait time to walk over. We are hoppin' excited that guests can now obtain FASTPASSes for shows such as Fantasmic! and World of Color through Disney MaxPass instead of having to pick up a paper ticket. Time-saver! That also means if people cancel their plans, other guests who missed the distribution window may be able to hop in and grab the reservation even after tickets are gone for the day. Score!
There are several advantages to Disney MaxPass over traditional FASTPASS:
- Some days, many return windows are just a short time away ... as in zero to a few minutes away. Reserve and ride — instant gratification!
- You can see all available rides and return windows in one park at once — no walking involved.
- You can reserve another ride in a much shorter time window. As soon as you scan your ticket at a ride, you can immediately reserve the next ride while you wait for your current ride — traditional FASTPASS users have to wait, ride the ride and then walk to a distribution machine.
- The return windows offered through MaxPass are often sooner than the traditional FASTPASS windows that are being distributed at the same time.
- The length of maximum waiting period is shorter with MaxPass (90 minutes versus 120 minutes with traditional paper FASTPASS).
- It saves paper. The traditional, free FASTPASS issues a paper reminder. People use their pass or park ticket to use FASTPASS. The paper is not needed except to remind you of your return window.
- MaxPass users have free PhotoPass photos available for download and sharing.
- Replacement FASTPASS notifications in case of ride closures will keep you hopping from ride to ride without interruption.
- You can make FASTPASS reservations from anywhere! In line, at a restaurant, on the Monorail, in a hotel room ... and park hoppers can make FASTPASS reservations from the other park, as long as you have entered a park for the day.
- It makes reserving as a group much easier.
- You can start making FASTPASS reservations before rope drop during early entry for Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour.
- MaxPass users are able to pick up ride and show cancelations, gaining access to rides or shows that otherwise stopped distribution for the day.
- The Monorail entrance at Downtown Disney counts as a park entrance. You can start booking as soon as you enter that turnstile.
- If a ride or show is done distributing FASTPASSes for the day, you can keep refreshing the app to search for any cancelations that may pop up.
Is Disney MaxPass Worth It?
For most people, we think the Disneyland MaxPass price is worth it. It is worth it for our family on both crowded and uncrowded days. Guests who are making shorter visits — one- or two-day visits, especially during busier times — will benefit from the time-savings and ability to do more in a short time. MaxPass definitely saves time and allows users to ride more attractions than other guests. Many annual passholders, who make a big chunk of the Disneyland-going population, use the service, as well.
After using Disney MaxPass for more than a year, we can say the investment (especially since it comes with PhotoPass downloads) makes for a more fun experience with almost zero lines and less walking even on a busy peak day. Yes, a theme park ticket is already pretty pricey, but time is money. For $20, you can trade hours of wait time for riding more rides or getting to enjoy more aspects of the parks. Save the $20 somewhere else. Perhaps bring some snacks and only drink free water in the park instead of buying expensive soda or food in the park that day to break even. If you would be downloading PhotoPass photos without MaxPass anyway, MaxPass will end up saving you a lot of money (plus, you get the convenience of using it for FASTPASS!).
Disney MaxPass is the best investment for someone who plans to arrive early in the day (especially if visiting Disney California Adventure) and stay most of the day. MaxPass is a useful tool for people who like to park hop. If you are arriving late in the day, you might want to take a moment to look up some FASTPASS attractions and their distribution times to see if MaxPass is worth it to you. Click on the ride and the wait time to see the "Now Distributing" time. On less-crowded days, there are more options than very crowded days, when there may be none.
If you are not interested in riding the FASTPASS attractions (you can find a list of FASTPASS rides here), then Disney MaxPass will not be a great value. You can get it for some family members and not others. If someone in your party does not enjoy most of the attractions that offer FASTPASS or is too short to ride, you might avoid buying them a MaxPass and just use the Rider Switch service. There are just a few rides on FASTPASS without a height requirement. Tadpoles under 3 do not need a park admission ticket or MaxPass to join their family on an attraction.
You can save money by purchasing MaxPass on just one day of a multi-day journey, and then using traditional FASTPASS on the other days. You could also just focus on other rides and attractions in the parks the other days you do not have MaxPass.
What Are Disneyland MaxPass Disadvantages?
The only Disneyland MaxPass cons we can think of is paying extra for this service (but we think the benefits outweigh the cost) and that there are not as many options for people restricted by height requirements. (Hop over to our Guide to Disneyland Height Requirements.) It's also challenging to have some people in a group use MaxPass if others are trying to use traditional free FASTPASS. The Disneyland app can be glitchy at times, and in-park Wi-Fi is not perfect. Other than that, we are MaxPass fans!
What Doesn’t Work in Disney MaxPass?
We played around with Disney MaxPass, trying to think of every scenario that might come up. There are a few things you cannot do with MaxPass:
- You cannot book the same ride twice in a row until you have used the first FASTPASS for the ride. So no going on Big Thunder Mountain or Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters 10 times in a row, Tad! At least not without using the previous FASTPASSes first. Once you scan your ticket at a ride, you can book a new reservation for that ride if you'd like.
- You cannot cheat the system by using your park ticket to get a traditional FASTPASS while you are in a waiting period for your next selection window. All FASTPASS reservations are linked to your park ticket.
- FASTPASSes cannot be booked for future visits — they are same-day only.
- You have to enter the park to start reserving.
- You cannot add a Disney gift card into the app for payment. It must be a credit card.
- You cannot get a refund if you aren’t happy with MaxPass.
- You cannot book rides that are not on the FASTPASS system. Although you might get a Replacement FASTPASS that works for many rides if there is a ride breakdown.
Disneyland MaxPass Tips for Managing a Large Group
If you have a large group, it’s easiest if all riders have MaxPass because MaxPass may offer different return times than the distribution machines. MaxPass users might reserve a ride that is across the park while standing in line for a different ride. The traditional FASTPASS users in the group cannot easily get to the distribution machines, so they become out of sync with the MaxPass users.
Decide whether members of your group will each manage themselves or if one person will manage everyone. Even a little of both can occur! Keep in mind that individuals looking for FASTPASSes at the same moment may acquire slightly different return times. On the other hand, one person making a reservation for a group of 10 will definitely get one return time for all party members. The system looks for the earliest time that has space to accommodate your party size.
If you have several families traveling together, have each family set up their own family account in the app and load their own credit card for food and MaxPass purchases. Then, choose one or two people to manage the whole group so it is easier to get the same reservation windows.
People who are managed by others can use their own accounts and manage just themselves if they want to split up. For example, when we visit Disneyland with Flora's sister's family, Flora adds everyone to our family MaxPass so she can make FASTPASS reservations for the group. The other family also creates their own family account on their devices in case they want to purchase food through Mobile Order service, make their own restaurant reservations or split up and make their own FASTPASS reservations.
If you are managing a group, each time you reserve an attraction, you can specifically select which party members will go on each ride. You might all want to ride Soarin’. Then, a smaller group might feel like braving Incredicoaster, while others would rather go on Goofy's Sky School. Some park-hopping party members might want to break off and visit attractions in the other park. Disney MaxPass allows for that flexibility, but anyone who uses their device to log in to a managed account can reserve rides, view upcoming FASTPASS reservations and use PhotoPass. Having the information on multiple devices makes it easy to adjust if group members decide to split off for a while, or one of the devices runs out of battery and someone needs to take over.
You might even have party members linked to your app who do not have MaxPass benefits that day. If some members of the group are using the free FASTPASS paper ticket service, you can still link their ticket to your phone. You'll see their FASTPASS plans show up in the app. (Parents like keeping tabs on older children this way.) Just be sure to deselect the people without MaxPass benefits from the ride party or you will be asked to purchase MaxPass for them.
Tips for Maximizing Disney MaxPass
You are investing a lot on your trip to Disneyland and paying extra for your MaxPass to help maximize your day. Here are some extra Disneyland MaxPass tips and tools to help you take your MaxPass experience to the max!
Reserve FASTPASS Through MaxPass During Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour
If you’re eligible for Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour, you can get a hop on your FASTPASS reservations once you have entered the park (even if it’s before regular park hours). This is true even if you do not have Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour privileges. Both Disneyland and California Adventure allow guests to enter the parks about a half an hour early. Guests have access up to the hub and Carthay Circle in preparation for rope drop. All guests in the parks can make FASTPASS reservations before rope drop. Once you’re past the turnstiles, you’re able to start reserving! While you can access the MaxPass system early, note that all of the return windows begin once each respective park is officially open to the public. If you have a Park Hopper ticket, you can make FASTPASS reservations for the other park, as well.
Understand the Waiting Periods
When you make a FASTPASS reservation for a ride (not a show), there is a waiting period before you are eligible to make the next reservation. That period can vary depending on how far off your return window is from when you booked it. That is why having a strategy can help you make the most of this system.
If a ride’s return window is less than 30 minutes away, then the waiting period is 30 minutes. That is, unless you activate the FASTPASS within that 30 minutes. Once you scan it at a ride, it erases the waiting period and you are then free to make another reservation. Let's say at 9 a.m. you book a FASTPASS that is from 9:05 a.m. to 10:05 a.m. and you scan in at FASTPASS Return Immediately; then, you can book a new ride right away, because that waiting period is lifted. But if you plan to ride at 9:40 a.m., then you would have to wait until 9:30 a.m. (when the 30-minute waiting period is over) to select the next FASTPASS.
If the return window begins between 30 to 90 minutes from when you booked it, then the waiting period ends as soon as the return window begins. So if at 2 p.m. you reserve a ride that has a return window of 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., you can make your next reservation as early as 3:15 p.m. when the return window opens.
When you choose a ride that has a return time that begins more than 90 minutes from booking, then your waiting period is 90 minutes. Being able to see all of the available rides and return window choices can help you plan and make decisions to best manage your day. You can have multiple FASTPASS reservations at a time. You just have to book the next one after the waiting period ends. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to book the next ride as soon as you are eligible.
Know the Return Window Limits
Here's another one of our favorite Disneyland MaxPass tips. You can arrive up to five minutes early and up to 15 minutes late for a ride. That means your return window is really an hour and 20 minutes.
Use the Cancel Feature
With Disney MaxPass, you can exercise your prerogative to change your mind by simply canceling the FASTPASS. Under My Plans, tap the name of the ride or show. On the bottom left, you can click the x that says Cancel under it. We love the flexibility of this feature because you can cancel for some party members but not all. This cancelation feature is another good reason to link the park tickets of people who might be using the paper FASTPASS system. If they are using the app, they can also cancel a reservation.
Canceling a reservation for a ride or a show makes another guest’s day. Canceled FASTPASSes are released back into the system for others to claim. That’s why you’ll sometimes see a crazy early return window that seems too good to be true, or a show FASTPASS pops up after distribution has ended for the day. Jump on those ASAP before another frog gets that fly!
Maximize Replacement FASTPASSes
When you have a FASTPASS reservation for a ride and it breaks down, you will receive a Replacement FASTPASS. This is among our favorite parts of using Disney MaxPass! If the ride breaks down in your return window or has a long FASTPASS return line, you might get a notice that Disneyland has made changes to your FASTPASS reservation. It is like a fairy godmother waving her wand over your smartphone! The new replacement pass automatically pops up on your phone or app. It allows you to take this FASTPASS to a different ride in that same park. You will receive a list of rides that you may use the FASTPASS for (including the original ride you held the FASTPASS for in case it reopens). You can even use it for rides that have run out of FASTPASSes for the day.
This Replacement FASTPASS expires when the park closes. That means you do not have to use it right away if you do not want to. If your FASTPASS return window is at the end of the night (usually within an hour before park close) and you get a breakdown, your FASTPASS may be good for a ride until park close the next day!
If you've been using MaxPass for a while, the Replacement FASTPASS is more limited than the former Multiple Experiences pass. With Replacement FASTPASS, you may have fewer ride choices. Keep in mind that the choices may vary based on the ride for which you originally held the FASTPASS.
The rides are now tiered, and that tiering affects which rides you can access. Consider Tier 1 rides the most popular rides. Most of the FASTPASS attractions fall in Tier 2.
Tier 1 rides at Disneyland Park include:
- Space Mountain
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Indiana Jones Adventure
Tier 1 rides at Disney California Adventure Park include:
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
So how does the new tiering affect replacement rides when your ride breaks down? If you have a FASTPASS for a ride that breaks down, a notice will come up that tells you the ride that broke down and FASTPASS Update. You can then click to See Replacement FASTPASS Options for the rides you can use the pass on instead.
If your FASTPASS was for a Tier 1 ride, then your list of available rides will include all Tier 1 and Tier 2 FASTPASS rides in that park. But if you have a FASTPASS for a Tier 2 ride, such as Splash Mountain, your ride choices will be the Tier 2 FASTPASS rides in that park. If Splash Mountain reopens later, you can use the FASTPASS to ride it if you haven’t already used it elsewhere, or simply choose a different Tier 2 ride. At the bottom of the list, it will list any rides not included. When you get the Replacement FASTPASS, it seems to erase any current waiting periods associated with that FASTPASS ride. So go ahead and book another FASTPASS ASAP! Ribbit!
If you acquire multiple Replacement FASTPASSes throughout the day, you can keep track of them in the Replacement FASTPASS Plan. You can find it among your other FASTPASSes. At the bottom of the plan, you'll see "Experiences Remaining." That way, you can't miss any!
If you get stuck on a ride breakdown, depending on the situation and how long you are stuck, you might get a special pass (or two!) added to your plan. It allows you to skip the lines for many of the rides in the park, including rides without FASTPASS. They are rare but especially frogtastic! There may be exceptions with the new system in place. Be sure to check to find out which rides are included if you are granted this most-coveted FASTPASS. (It looks like Peter Pan's Flight has been removed as a ride option.)
Use Rider Switch with MaxPass
If you have small tadpoles who do not measure up for many of the rides, ask a cast member about Rider Switch. Rider Switch has also changed to a new digital system. Take your whole party to the ride entrance. A cast member will scan the ticket of the parent who will supervise the child who is not riding (and usually up to two other guests). This adds an extra FASTPASS return window to their tickets. The other guests can ride with the first group and ride again when the supervising parent takes a turn. If you have older kids, they will love getting that bonus ride!
Learn to Troubleshoot MaxPass
There are a few quirks still being worked out with MaxPass. Disneyland Resort Wi-Fi is spottier than a speckled frog. You can find Wi-Fi locations by tapping the map with the app. On the pull-down menu at the top of the screen, click on Guest Services and Show List. Scroll down to Wireless Internet Access (Wi-Fi). Click Find on Map. The app does not connect well inside buildings, so choose your selections when you are outside. You do not need to open the app to use the FASTPASS. Instead, use your park ticket or a screenshot of the FASTPASS.
If you have technical difficulties, check to make sure you have the latest update. You can usually get help at an information kiosk, as well. The answer always seems to be to delete the Disneyland mobile app, restart the phone and reinstall the app. Your information will be saved. If you cannot get a signal, sometimes it is easier to turn off Wi-Fi and use your data plan.
Keep Your Phone Powered
The biggest downside to Disney MaxPass is the drain on your phone battery! Do not use MaxPass without a portable charger. If you forget yours, Disney sells them in the park for $30. Cartridge exchanges are $3 each. That is unless you've already purchased before Oct. 26, 2019, and have filled out the questionnaire on the Fuel Rod site to prove "Founders status" to get free swaps. You can also buy higher-quality chargers elsewhere for less money. Phone charging cases are convenient too. There are a few electrical outlets in the parks, most often near restrooms. But sitting outside a restroom to charge your phone for an hour is not an efficient way to maximize time! Here are some tips to conserve your battery:
- Put your phone on low-power mode and turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you're not using them.
- Use a portable battery charger or battery phone charging case.
- Take a screenshot of the FASTPASS and use the photo, which saves you from opening the app.
- Better yet, scan your park admission ticket or annual pass at FASTPASS return instead of the app.
- Avoid using your phone for other things while in the park. Check to see that photos have made it to PhotoPass, but don’t edit them. Snap a photo of the photo number and add it to the app later.
- Put your phone in airplane mode when you go underground in Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Soarin’ or deep in a building like Guardians of the Galaxy. This way, your phone is not burning battery trying to find a signal.
- Lower your screen brightness. Be sure to brighten it if using it to scan in at a FASTPASS return entrance. The scanners can only read a bright screen (or use your ticket to scan in).
Maximize Your FASTPASS Reservations
There isn't a max number of reservations you can have in a day or at one time. The less crowded the park is, the more FASTPASSes you are likely to get! You will have a waiting period after reserving each ride. Book your next ride as soon as that period ends (even if you have not ridden the first ride yet). That means you can have several reservations in the lineup. You should note the return times and choose rides that are realistic so you can arrive inside your return window.
Choosing a return window several hours off works well if you have a meal, show or ride that does not offer FASTPASS to occupy you in the meantime. You cannot think linearly with MaxPass. On a recent trip, we booked our first few FASTPASS reservations that could be used within a half hour. Once we had a few reservations lined up, we chose Space Mountain, which was distributing six hours out. In the meantime, we used up our other FASTPASSes and had lunch. We set alarms to remind us to book the next FASTPASSes as soon as we were eligible. After 90 minutes, we booked and rode several more before we got to that long-awaited Space Mountain. Sometimes you can book rides that will be available before existing rides in your reservations. Just fit them in where you can.
Use MaxPass While Park Hopping
Disney MaxPass is an especially helpful tool when park hopping. If you have a Park Hopper ticket and MaxPass, you can reserve rides and shows in either park, starting during early entry. First, select the park you would like to make a reservation in. Then, choose a ride and return window that works for you. We recommend starting out in Disney California Adventure and then hopping over to Disneyland Park. There are plenty of FASTPASS reservations in Disney California Adventure early in the day, but the choices are much slimmer to non-existent by afternoon and early evening. Disneyland usually has a lot more FASTPASS choices later in the day. The rides that run through their distribution the fastest are Radiator Springs Racers, Toy Story Midway Mania, Guardians of the Galaxy and Space Mountain.
Use Mobile Order to Skip the Food Lines Too
MaxPass can help you skip the lines for rides, but you can also skip the lines at select quick-service restaurants with Mobile Order service in the app. Click Order Now and you are on your way to selecting a return window and restaurant where you can pick up your food without having to wait in any lines. The app is turning out to be a handy tool to help you maximize your time at Disneyland! This new feature is why we recommend that different families each set up their own accounts since the food is charged to the credit card on the account. Anyone with your login information can order food and charge your credit card. You don't want to get stuck with everyone else's hefty food bill after the trip!
Use MaxPass if You Have Disabilities or Mobility Issues
MaxPass is much easier on people who can't walk long distances or want to avoid unnecessary walking or traveling. MaxPass saves walking since they do not have to go to a FASTPASS distribution machine to collect a physical FASTPASS. People who use DAS services (Disney Parks Disability Access Service) may also enjoy combining it with MaxPass. We think of MaxPass as another tool to help everyone maximize the day. This is especially true for families with special needs. You can view FASTPASS reservations and DAS reservations in the app, helping to keep your plans straight.
We're always staying on top of more details about Disney MaxPass and leaving no stone (or lily pad) unturned. Drop us a line in comments and let us know if you have questions we haven't answered!