Over the last month we’ve seen Disneyland itself and all it’s fan bloggers write and Vlog all about the roll out of Disneyland’s MaxPass feature. If, for some reason, you don’t know what MaxPass is I’ll explain more below; for those familiar with Walt Disney World’s Magic Band option it’s similar. After hearing and reading about MaxPass, I was intrigued enough to try it out myself with a couple of friends.
Going into this, I was super skeptical that MaxPass was even worth it. I kinda love the rush of running around, grabbing FastPasses, feeling the whimsy of the day. I felt that this MaxPass option takes the flexibility out of your day. The idea of paying for a more convenient way of grabbing FastPasses makes me cringe, especially when this option is FREE for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders and Resort Guests. Also, Disney doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to implementing new technology; the initial roll out of Magicbands was an absolute disaster. But, I needed to give MaxPass its fair shake, and I did.
Just in case you’re unfamiliar with how MaxPass works and its perks, for the price of $10 you get access to any photos taken on rides or from Photopass Photographers from Disneyland Resort (Disneyland & DCA) to download, share, and keep. You also get the option to get a FastPass for yourself and your entire party without the hassle of walking all over the parks to nab them. (Note – You must have the Disneyland App downloaded to your phone in order take advantage of this perk).
So, here we go. My adventure with Disneyland’s MaxPass.
How it works: If you don’t already have it, download the Disneyland App to your phone. I already love this app. Being able to see wait times and FastPass Return Times is fantastic, as well as being able to make food reservations at Disneyland/Disney California Adventure’s delicious restaurants.
You must be INSIDE the park in order for the MaxPass option to work; no trying to sneak in your first FastPass while traveling over to your park of choice.
Fee: You must pay $10 PER PERSON – not total. That was a bit of confusion I had when watching videos and reading other articles before getting into this.
How to use options: You can create a MaxPass FastPass Party by scanning all tickets to one or multiple devices. If you’re like me and like to take charge, you can put one person in charge of getting FastPasses or take turns. If you don’t like the Party idea, you can take care of your own FastPass getting. Note: if someone has already made a FastPass reservation for you, you can’t make another one on your own device until it’s your time; there’s no going around the system.
Canceling Fastpasses: One thing with the old school FastPasses, you can’t cancel them; once you have a FastPass you’re stuck with it. A great MaxPass perk, you CAN CANCEL reservations. If you’re running around and see a pass you’d prefer, a show you’d rather see, food you would rather eat, you can cancel your FastPass tickets and get a new one. Don’t worry, you can still get FPs for that canceled ride at a later time; it doesn’t hold any grudges 😉
What happens if the ride is broken down and you have a FP for it: If your ride breaks down, your FastPasses for that ride get switched into a pass that works for any ride of your choosing; with the exception of a couple rides in each park.
After using a FastPass for Indiana Jones, the ride broke down when we were almost to the front. (Seriously though, when doesn’t this ride break down?) As we were walking out, Cast Members were standing around scanning people’s tickets to give them a chance to come back and ride once it reopened later in the day.
When at a ride: Scan your device for all tickets OR everyone can scan their own tickets. Simple and kinda fun.
Getting new FPs: Open the app, choose which park you want a FastPass for, and take a peek at your options. It’ll also tell you when you’re able to get your next FastPass. Typically, you’re eligible for a new FastPass within a couple hours or less depending on the time of your FastPass. For example, say you get into the park right when they open at 8am and your first pass is for 8:30am, you can get a new pass AT 8:30am! If you stroll in at 8am and your first pass is for 2pm you’ll be able to get a new FastPasses typically after 1 hour-ish.
Photos: You’re able to see all your images, download them to your phone, and share them with ease. No more paying $20 a photo just to have it printed out and never able to share a copy with friends!
After using the MaxPass option all day with friends we came up with our own Pros and Cons list.
For everything MaxPass offers, $10 is incredibly affordable and worth every penny.
It makes everything incredibly convenient; you don’t have to run around both parks grabbing up FPs the moment they’re available hoping you get a good time. You really can plan your day very easily and flexibly.
No more showing up at a broken down ride after hiking across the part to make sure you got there on time.
The Disneyland App and MaxPass option is very user friendly; even my parents could do this and they’re not the most tech savvy.
The Party Option is pretty great. Being able to scan all of your tickets into the app, they’re sorted by name, and you can grab FPs for everyone. No standing there making sure you’re all getting the same time and it’s done for you.
As much as I love the Party Option, it does come with a con. You have to create your party EVERY SINGLE TIME you want to get a FP. This becomes very tedious and annoying. If there was an option to change your party that would be nice so you wouldn’t have to pick your party people every single time.
Wifi Hotspots basically don’t exist. I tried to find a few and use it, but it never worked for any of our phones.
No Wifi means your phone battery is going to be drained like a succubus has a hold of it. If your phone dies you’re SOL on making FP reservations via the app, but you can still do it in person but what’s the point in that? You paid $10 for convenience. Make sure you bring one of those portable phone chargers and/or make sure everyone has the app and can take turns.
Unfortunately, you cannot reserve tickets for Fantasmic or World of Color – those still have to be done in person.
There is NO ALERT letting you know your FP is ready. I don’t know about you, but for me stepping into Disney is like a time warp; 1 hour feels like 5 minutes, 6 hours feels like 1. Without an alert, there’s definitely a pretty good chance I’m going to miss at least one of my fastpass times.
Over all, after using MaxPass with 3 people, I have to take back every bad thing I ever said! Seriously, MaxPass is the tits. It’s incredibly convenient and made the day so much easier. As I said before, I’m already a huge fan of the app and this adds to it: planning rides, food, shopping, even sitting was very simple. Being able to grab a FastPass for a ride in the opposite park I’m not actually standing in is AWESOME. We had zero glitches’ all day. Your ticket keeps a record of every single pass you’ve ever nabbed and I mean EVER.
Being able to have ALL your photos for free and easy sharing is pretty great. It’s a feature I already have with my AP, BUT for my two friends who don’t have that feature it was great for them.
I still hate the idea of paying for this feature, but the older I get the more I’m willing to pay for convenience; $10 really is a nominal fee. I probably would even pay $15 for this option, but any higher and that’s pushing it.
Overall, embrace it. Love it. Do it. Thank me later!