by Audra Owens
Last summer Disneyland introduced a game changer: MaxPass. The traditional paper FASTPASS system, which is included with park admission, is still in place. Guests can now choose to use Disney MaxPass, an optional paid service, to maximize park time.
What is Disney MaxPass?
MaxPass is an optional paid service that allows guests to reserve FASTPASS selections from the Disneyland Resort Mobile App on a smartphone, instead of running around the theme park with a stack of tickets to feed each FASTPASS machine. It also gives unlimited access to Disney PhotoPass downloads for each day that MaxPass is purchased. The introductory price is $10 per person, per day. When your tickets have been purchased as part of a Disneyland Resort package via a travel agent, you can purchase MaxPass as an add-on in the Disneyland App upon entering either theme park.
Step One: Link your Disneyland tickets.
When you log into the Disneyland Resort Mobile App, the first screen that opens will show your avatar and name at the top, along with some options. Start by tapping where it says “My Tickets,” inside the red circle. On the next screen, choose “Link Tickets & Passes.” A bar code scanner will open up, and all you need to do is scan the ticket media you would like to link with the app. Next, you will assign the ticket to a member of your party. Naming the ticket is optional, but if your group will split up at all, it is helpful to label them as a way to tell everybody’s ticket apart. Now, you are ready to make a FASTPASS selection.
Step Two: Get FASTPASS with Disney MaxPass.
Now that your tickets are linked, head back to that opening screen where you first began. You can get to it by tapping the avatar photo that is in a circle at the bottom center of the app.
This time, you will choose “Get FASTPASS with Disney MaxPass,” as indicated in the red circle above. Choose which members of your party need FASTPASS, then choose the park you are touring. When you’ve chosen the park, a list of attractions with FASTPASS available will load on the screen. Pick your FASTPASS, confirm, and you are ready to go!
If you would like to know when you can reserve your next FASTPASS, read the fine print at the bottom of your selection. On my Big Thunder Mountain Railroad FASTPASS, it indicates that my next selection can be made at 10:55am. That timing happened to line up with the time I could begin using the FASTPASS, but it doesn’t always.
A note for those who know the Walt Disney World Resort’s FastPass+ system well: FASTPASS at Disneyland automatically chooses your assigned time window. You must take what is available. If you would like to choose a time later in the day, you will need to continue checking the App to find the time specific time window you are searching for.
Step Three: Use your FASTPASS
This is the fun (and easy) part! At any time during your one-hour FASTPASS window, go to the FASTPASS line at the chosen attraction. Open the App, click “Redeem FASTPASS,” and scan the bar code for entry into the FASTPASS line. Enjoy the ride!
What else is Disney MaxPass good for?
As an added bonus, your Disney MaxPass purchase also includes all the photos of your family taken by Disney photographers on that day, as well as your ride photos. Go back to that main screen on the App again. If you scroll down toward the bottom, you will see a section labeled “My Photos.” Tap “Show PhotoPass Code.” This QR Code is what the Disney photographers will scan each time they take your family’s photo, in order to link the pics with your account. Take a screenshot of your PhotoPass code, so you don’t have to hunt it down in the app every time.
You will need to manually link each ride photo. Take a photo of your family’s pic as you exit the ride. When you have time later (and are connected to WiFi!), go back to My Photos on the home screen of the Disneyland App. This time, you will choose “Link Photos” and enter the code from your ride photo. Voila! Ride photo! Bonus if they’ve caught you wiping your streaming eyes. 😉 (Yes, that’s me.)
At $10 per person, per day, Disney MaxPass is an excellent investment. It saves time, because you can reserve your FASTPASSes without having to crisscross the park to collect them. Unless you are in a FitBit contest, I don’t generally recommend this.
If you are traveling with young children or aren’t interested in the attractions offered with FASTPASS at Disneyland, just purchase MaxPass for one adult in your party. An individual PhotoPass download costs about $15, so for photos alone, Disney MaxPass is a great value.