Important Facts About MaxPass
Are you vacationing at the Happiest Place on Earth sometime soon? I hope so. You deserve it! When you go to Disneyland, however, you need to know that a new FastPass system is in operation. It’s not quite the old FastPass style that Disney has used since the 1990s, and it’s not the same one that you know from Walt Disney World, either. No, this line queue management system is entirely its own thing. Here are five facts you need to know about MaxPass when you visit Disneyland.
MaxPass Is Like FastPass at its Core
Disney doesn’t do a great job of detailing FastPass these days, because they assume everyone knows the deal by now. Presuming you don’t, I need to hit on a couple of key points that apply to FastPass AND MaxPass.
The concept here is simple. A while ago, Disney tried to improve wait-times for park guests. They invented a second line for many of their most popular attractions, which sounds crazy…but it works. The main line queue is the regular one. When you don’t have a FastPass, you have to get in this line. The second line is the FastPass line. It is a much shorter line since guests need the special permission of the FastPass to enter it.
When you have that glorious FastPass, you skip the longer line in favor of the shorter line. Proper FastPass usage is the difference between riding a handful of attractions during a park day as opposed to riding 10 or more of them. It’s something that Disneyland experts can manipulate into things like riding Radiator Springs Racers 10,000 times.
Unlike at Walt Disney World, FastPass at Disneyland is still a paper-based system. You request a FastPass for your desired attraction from the kiosk. It spits out a return time for you such as 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. You can do other things at the park such as eat, catch a show, or ride something else. Then, you return to the attraction during the hour window of your FastPass. At that point, you enter the shorter line. MaxPass is largely the same thing, only better. But…
MaxPass Isn’t Free
I’m spelling this out in case you don’t know. FastPass, the system that long-time Disneyland guests know well, was always and still is free. You don’t HAVE to pay for access to the shorter lines. You can use FastPass and do all the same things. Disney ran FastPass for free for all these years because it saved them money. When Mickey Travelers have more free time that they’re not wasting in lines, they spend more on meals, merchandise, and the like.
After Disney introduced FastPass+ at Walt Disney World, Anaheim fans started to anticipate changes at their park. It took three years, but Disney finally added something similar at the Happiest Place on Earth. That system is MaxPass, but it isn’t free. MaxPass is $10 per day per person. Annual passport owners can buy the service for a year for $75, which is what most Los Angeles Disney fans choose to do.
MaxPass Is Worth the Money
Why do these Disney experts choose to pay for something that’s free? MaxPass is much more convenient than the standard FastPass system. For the free version, you have to walk over to the kiosk for the applicable attraction to receive a FastPass. In other words, you need physical access to get your FastPass. It was a state of the art system in 1999. Today, we can do better.
What no one could have anticipated during the 1990s was that cellphones would become portable computers capable of high-end calculations. In fact, an iPhone today is ten times more powerful than the average desktop computer in 1999, and it has high-speed internet to boot. That’s why Disney sorely needed to update the FastPass process. Nobody wants 1990s technology…except maybe the SNES Classic.
MaxPass Is Easy to Use!
With MaxPass, you’re booking the equivalent of FastPasses from your smartphone. Since there’s no physical copy of the FastPass, the system is a bit different. You log into your Disney account on the Disneyland Resort app. Then, you click the “Get FastPass” button on the lower left-hand side of your display.
At this point, you may need to link your park tickets or annual pass to your account. You must prove that you have active tickets before you can book a MaxPass reservation. When traveling with a party, you should create a MaxPass group. That way, you will book multiple FastPasses at once rather than having to do each one individually, thereby risking sellouts.
Once you have the appropriate information in your account, you can book FastPasses via MaxPass. The “Get FastPass” button will show the earliest available FastPass for any attraction you desire. You can book that reservation, which will provide you with a barcode rather than a physical printout. When your FastPass window opens, you simply display this barcode in front of the scanner. The kiosk will light up, indicating that your FastPass is valid. Now, you get to enter the shorter line!
But I haven’t even gotten to the best part of MaxPass! The instant that the kiosk lights up, your MaxPass booking window opens again. While you walk through the shorter FastPass line queue, you can go through the process of booking another FastPass via MaxPass! It’s the fastest way possible to book a FastPass right now, and I include Magic Band technology in that. MaxPass is elegant in its simplicity since most people can whip their phones out like a gunfighter in a western movie. With phone in hand and MaxPass active, you can grab a near-constant supply of FastPasses, maximizing your time at Disneyland.
You Get Amazing Photographs, Too
I’m devout in my belief that the most important aspect of any Disney vacation is the picture-taking. When I post at a Disney park, I’m making memories that will last a lifetime. The photographs that I take are how I will remember those moments as I grow older and the details get fuzzier. Alas, I’m a terrible photographer. I never took classes, and I’m only vaguely aware of the cellphone tricks that can hide my glaring weakness.
Thankfully, Disney has me covered. They have professional PhotoPass photographers roaming the best backdrops at Disneyland. At these designated locations, I can have someone with tremendous photography training capture a picture of my wife and me that will look wonderful framed on our wall. I know this, because we have like three walls covered with Disney pictures.
Thanks to MaxPass, your walls can have the same décor. Disney’s spectacular PhotoPass service is included. You can stand in line for any character meeting with photo op or you can ask any Disney photographer to take your picture. The pictures that these professionals take will magically appear on your cellphone in a PhotoPass folder. You can download them and print them, keeping this priceless imagery forever.
Personally, I think the PhotoPass service alone is worth $10 a day. I used to happily pay $179 for PhotoPass during 10-day Disney trips before it became an annual pass feature. So, this extra feature has tremendous value.
MaxPass is now available at Disneyland and works at Disney California Adventure, too. With this remarkable technology available for such a cheap price, you should be planning a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth…like. Right. NOW! Get in touch with a MickeyTravels agent to book that vacation you so richly deserve.