Disney MaxPass can be purchased through the Disneyland app. // © 2017 Samantha Davis-Friedman
Feature image (above): Disney MaxPass offers user-friendly access to FastPass selections and unlimited downloads of PhotoPass photos. // © 2017 Disneyland Resort
The Disney FastPass is a great way to make the most of a day in any Disney park across the globe. Introduced in 1999, the system allows Disney park guests to expedite their entry into attractions by reserving a specific time window to access shorter queues reserved for FastPass holders. With the recent addition of two new Disneyland FastPass locations at Toy Story Midway Mania in Disney California Adventure Park and Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland, there are now 16 FastPass attractions between the two parks.
On July 19, Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., introduced Disney MaxPass to help guests maximize their experience even further. The new service allows parkgoers to use the free Disneyland app to access mobile Disney FastPass booking while inside the parks, as well as to download unlimited Disney PhotoPass photos taken on select attractions, photos from select character dining experiences and photos taken by Disneyland photographers.
“The introduction of Disney MaxPass is part of our ongoing commitment to providing guests with opportunities to customize their experiences and make it even easier than ever to create unforgettable memories,” said Erin Glover, editorial content director for Disneyland.
To take advantage of the FastPass reservation system and access and share PhotoPass photos, guests just need to register for a Disney account and download the app. After that, it’s as easy as making FastPass selections through the app (subject to availability), then scanning the code on their smartphones at the entrance when it’s time to experience the attraction. Guests can also scan their park tickets at ride entrances after FastPass selections have been confirmed.
In May, additional Wi-Fi access was added to both California parks, but guests should be aware that service can be spotty, so message, data and roaming rates may apply when using the app. Disneyland also advises that all park guests check the day’s FastPass ticket availability before purchasing Disney MaxPass, since FastPass availability for popular attractions is not guaranteed, and MaxPass is nonrefundable.
Disney MaxPass will be offered for an introductory price of $10 per ticket per day, which can be purchased with park tickets or added through the Disneyland app after entering either park; however, parkgoers should note that Disney MaxPass expires at the end of its activation day and will not be prorated for guests entering the parks late in the day.
Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can purchase Disney MaxPass for $75, which expires when their passport expires and cannot be prorated for passes expiring in less than a year. Signature Plus Passport holders will receive Disney MaxPass at no additional cost.
Since the MaxPass feature is associated with the specific bar code on each individual park admission ticket, every member of a party (including children) will need MaxPass associated with their admission ticket for that day to make FastPass selections and download the day’s PhotoPass photos. Park guests visiting together can create a “FastPass Party” by scanning all group members’ tickets into one account. Then, one person can manage FastPass reservations and PhotoPass images for the entire group on one device. In the same way, a parent can (and probably should) manage tickets for their kids.
All park guests will continue to have the option to obtain Disney FastPass return times at no cost with their park admission ticket or annual passport through any of the 16 Disney FastPass attraction kiosks. However, FastPass availability is never guaranteed by either method, since all FastPasses are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis regardless of how guests choose to access them.
On a personal note: As a longtime Disneyland parkgoer, I was skeptical about Disney MaxPass and was concerned that it might complicate my otherwise fun and relaxing theme park experience. But after using Disney MaxPass myself, I was pleasantly surprised that the system is not only extremely user-friendly, but also that it really did allow me to maximize my time in the parks — most noticeably, eliminating the need to repeatedly traverse the parks between FastPass kiosks and attractions.