Adding Disney MaxPass to your Disneyland tickets enables you to make FASTPASS selections on the Disneyland app. We used it during a recent visit, and it saved significant time on a peak summer day.
Here’s what you need to know about Disney MaxPass, including how it works, its cost, and why we love it.
Note: When Disneyland reopens on April 30, MaxPass will not be available.
What Is a FASTPASS? And What Is Disney MaxPass?
Disney MaxPass includes Disney FASTPASS. First, let’s clarify what a Disney FASTPASS is so that you understand better why MaxPass can be such a huge benefit.
The FASTPASS system works a little bit differently at every Disney Resort. At Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, both parks have FASTPASS distribution stations at ride entrances in front of select attractions. A digital screen above the stations indicates the return time frame that machines are issuing a FASTPASS for.
If the time frame shown on the screen works for you, insert your park ticket into the FASTPASS machine. It will dispense a receipt indicating that the FASTPASS is tied to your ticket.
Return to the attraction during your designated time frame and enter the FASTPASS queue where you’ll scan your park ticket or Disneyland app for entry.
At this point, you can be eligible to pull another FASTPASS (this is where MaxPass comes in handy… keep reading).
In summary, FASTPASS holders bypass a substantial portion of the Standby line. MaxPass or not, you’ll want to incorporate FASTPASS strategy into your park visit.
Disneyland theme park tickets are expensive, so why wait in long lines if you don’t have to?
FASTPASS Rules and Limitations
Everyone in your group must hold a FASTPASS if they’d like to enter the FASTPASS line together. No exceptions.
Only one FASTPASS can be held at a time. This means if you hold a FASTPASS for a Disneyland ride, you can’t run over to Disney California Adventure to grab a FASTPASS for a ride in that park.
The limit is one FASTPASS across both Disneyland Resort parks at a time.
How to Use Disney MaxPass
MaxPass helps Disneyland Resort guests secure FASTPASSES with less effort and time by allowing them to make a FASTPASS reservation on a smartphone.
First, designate the person in your group who will manage the FASTPASS selections.
Sync your group’s Disneyland tickets to his or her Disney account via the Disneyland app. (MaxPass doesn’t work without the Disneyland app installed on a smartphone.) Add MaxPass to the tickets if they were not purchased with it.
One MaxPass is enabled, select your park to see the first available FASTPASS times for eligible attractions at the Disneyland Resort parks.
Tap to select the attraction with the time slot that works for you.
Once your FASTPASS time window arrives, go to the attraction’s FASTPASS queue. The person managing the group’s FASTPASS selections will scan each person’s FASTPASS bar code before entering the (usually much) shorter line.
While in the queue, select a FASTPASS for your next ride. (The strategy is to always have a FASTPASS selected.)
How to Buy Disneyland MaxPass
Yes, MaxPass is available on Disneyland discount tickets that you can purchase in advance of your visit. You can use it on a Park Hopper ticket or One Park Per Day ticket.
If you know you’re going to use it, buying it in advance eliminates one more thing you have to do when in the park.
And, every extra minute is valuable when you’re up against crowds trying to select the same FASTPASSES that you are.
If you didn’t purchase Disney MaxPass in advance, it can also be added to existing Disneyland tickets via the Disneyland app only AFTER entering a park.
Connect your tickets to your Disney account, click the “+” button to add on and pay for MaxPass immediately after passing through the entrance gates.
Annual Passport holders can add MaxPass as a yearly benefit or buy it for the day.
How Much Does MaxPass Cost?
The current price for Disney MaxPass is $20 per user per day. Annual Pass holders can add MaxPass for $125 annually or add it by the day.
Which Rides Can I Use MaxPass For?
These are the eligible Disneyland Resort rides where you can make FASTPASS selections through MaxPass.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana Jones™ Adventure
- “it’s a small world”
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Disney California Adventure Park
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- World of Color
What Are the Main Disneyland MaxPass Benefits?
In my opinion, Disney MaxPass benefits outweigh the negatives.
A Disney park visit involves a lot of walking, taxing on young kids and even adults. One of the key Disneyland MaxPass benefits is that you can make FASTPASS reservations on your phone from anywhere in the park.
This eliminates the need to go to the FASTPASS distribution point physically.
You’ll Save Tons of Time
On the app, you can instantly see what FASTPASS returns are for every ride, which saves the trouble of searching around the park for FASTPASS times that work for you.
Without MaxPass, it’s not uncommon to arrive at a FASTPASS distribution point for a popular ride only to see that FASTPASS return times are hours away or won’t work for you.
You can usually select your next FASTPASS immediately after using your current one. So, the minute you scan your current FASTPASS and enter that ride’s FASTPASS queue, hop onto your phone and select a FASTPASS for another ride.
Without MaxPass, you’d have to wait in the FASTPASS queue, enjoy that ride, and walk over to another FASTPASS distribution station to make your next selection. That alone could take 30 minutes or more.
We visited Disney California Adventure on a peak summer day and made sure to always hold a FASTPASS without a break for longer than a minute or two. We barely waited in line for the entire day.
It Includes PhotoPass
One of the significant Disneyland FASTPASS benefits is that it includes PhotoPass as part of the package. That means you get unlimited Disney PhotoPass photo downloads for the day, a terrific value.
Any ride photo and photo taken by a PhotoPass cast member are yours to download and keep on your phone. This includes Magic Shots, which are photos with added Disney Magic.
Don’t worry about losing your FASTPASS tickets. They entire system is digital and I can’t emphasize how much easier it is to use.
Are There Any Disney MaxPass Negatives?
If you have a large group, the cost of the Disney MaxPass can add up. A large group could instead send people to FASTPASS kiosks in the park while the rest of the group visits a different attraction, stops for a snack, or hunts for Hidden Mickeys to minimize time loss.
One person manages a group’s FASTPASS selections. To make FASTPASS selections for a group, the entire group’s Disneyland tickets with MaxPasses need to be added to one person’s Disney account.
When all tickets are linked to one account, the downside is that the group can’t easily split up if say half want FASTPASS selections for thrill rides and the other half don’t. The risk of dividing the group between two Disney accounts is that you may not receive the same FASTPASS times for the same rides.
MaxPass is nonrefundable, so if you add it and decide you don’t want it, you’re stuck.
FASTPASSES are not available for any STAR WARS rides, which means that MaxPass won’t save you time there.
Can I Use MaxPass Before I Arrive at the Parks?
No. You can begin using MaxPass the second you step inside either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure for the day.
Unlike FastPASS+ at Walt Disney World Resort, you can’t make selections days in advance of your visit.
Can I Use MaxPass During Extra Magic Hour?
Yes! The second you walk into the park during Extra Magic Hour you can begin making FASTPASS selections for later in the day using MaxPass.
I say later in the day, because the lines are typically short during Extra Magic Hour with the exception of Radiator Springs Racers. If your kids are Cars fans, that might be the first ride I’d pick.
Can I Leave the Parks and Use MaxPass?
No. In the event you wanted to go back to your Disneyland hotel, you can’t book FASTPASS from outside of the park gates.
The best thing to do is to make your selection for later in the day, taking a break from the parks.
Can I Still Use Paper FASTPASSES?
Yes. If you are more comfortable skipping MaxPass, you can find distribution kiosks and use the traditional paper FASTPASSES.
However, you will be unable to pull a paper FASTPASS if you are holding a reservation on MaxPass at the same time. Paper FASTPASSES are also linked to your active park admission ticket.
Do you use MaxPass when you visit Disneyland Resort?
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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