Wondering if Disneyland's MaxPass is right for you… or even what MaxPass is?
It’s Kimberly with Get Away Today, here to keep you updated with all things Disneyland. If you love Disneyland rides and want to ride as many of them as possible, MaxPass may be perfect for you.
Here is everything you need to know to decide if MaxPass is a good choice for your family, and how to use it.
What is MaxPass?
Disney MaxPass is an add-on option to your Disneyland ticket that allows you to
- Reserve and redeem digital FASTPASS tickets through the official Disneyland app
- Download, save and share all of your PhotoPass images from that day
How much does MaxPass cost?
MaxPass currently costs $15 per person (ages 3+), per day.
You can buy MaxPass for every day of your trip, or just one day. I recommend waiting until you walk into the park to purchase MaxPass via the official Disneyland mobile app. Be sure to download the app and set up your account in advance.
You can purchase your tickets and MaxPass together in advance – which is convenient – but you may end up paying more than you need to. MaxPass will be added to each day of your ticket if you buy in advance. You can't pick and choose based on your previous day's experience or the crowd calendar.
MaxPass vs FASTPASS
FASTPASS is a free (yes, FREE) way to save time in line at Disneyland. Instead of waiting in a long standby line at a popular ride, you scan your park ticket at a kiosk near the ride and get a FASTPASS ticket. It will give you a time to return to the ride. When you return at that time and scan your park ticket again, you can wait in a shorter FASTPASS line – usually 15 minutes or less.
Whether you buy MaxPass or not, be sure to use FASTPASS at Disneyland! You can only get one FASTPASS at a time unless your return time is more than 2 hours away. FASTPASSes do run out, so get them for your top priority rides early in the day.
In our experience, we ride more with MaxPass than with FASTPASS alone. MaxPass saves you from having to run across the park to physical kiosks to get FASTPASSes. You can reserve them through the Disneyland mobile app.
The MaxPass system is more responsive than FASTPASS. When FASTPASS times are gone, they're gone. MaxPass availability may close, then re-open as space becomes available. Just keep checking the app, and reserve new passes as early as you can.
With MaxPass, you can reserve a FASTPASS for a California Adventure ride while standing in Disneyland. You can also reserve a FASTPASS from outside the parks, if you've already entered one of them that day.
Is MaxPass Worth It?
Fifteen dollars per person can add up fast for a family, but here are some reasons that it might be worth every penny.
- You're visiting on an extra-crowded day. Think school breaks and holidays.
- You want to spend your time on popular rides – the more the better!
- You want the PhotoPass benefits – especially the ride photos.
MaxPass may not be worth it if
- You don't want to ride much
- You're visiting on a less-crowded day when wait times aren't too long anyway.
- Your children are too young/short. A few MaxPass rides have no height requirement, but most require kids to be 40+ inches tall.
- Your phone doesn't have unlimited data. Guest WiFi is still iffy at Disneyland.
- You don't want to spend a lot of time on the app.
- You don't want to learn the FASTPASS/MaxPass system, even if it saves you time in line.
- You're on a tight budget – Disneyland is still magical, I promise!
I think that MaxPass is a good way to maximize your time at Disneyland. It's not a necessity every day, but it’s definitely useful for the most crowded days. It can quickly pay for itself if you want all the PhotoPass pictures.
How to Set Up MaxPass
Download the Disneyland Resort App on your phone before you leave home. Open the application and follow the instructions to create or sign in to your account.
After you successfully sign in to your Disney account, enter your ticket information by clicking on the My Tickets option in the main menu. This will link your tickets directly to the Disneyland app. If you bought your tickets directly from Disneyland, they may link automatically.
If you did not buy tickets with MaxPass, open the app after you enter the park. Click the “plus” icon at the bottom. Click “Get FASTPASS” option. Follow the prompts to purchase and activate MaxPass.
When you purchase discount Disneyland tickets from Get Away Today, wait until you enter Disneyland to link the tickets to your account. Disneyland will exchange our e-voucher for a physical ticket, and it will have a different bar code.
What Rides are Eligible for MaxPass?
There are a number of rides and attractions that are eligible for Disney MaxPass. Here's a list for both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion (and Holiday)
- Indiana Jones™ Adventure
- “it’s a small world” (and Holiday)
- 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! (and Monsters After Dark)
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- World of Color
Our MaxPass Strategy
In Disneyland, the most popular rides are Space Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure and Matterhorn Bobsleds. FASTPASSes frequently run out by afternoon. Reserve these rides early in the day to make sure you get on them.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and Radiator Springs Racers are the most sought-after rides in California Adventure. If these rides are high on your list, reserve them first.
For now, the rides in Star Wars: Galaxys' Edge do not have a FASTPASS or MaxPass option.
Reserving the top rides early in the morning will save you loads of time that you can later spend meeting favorite characters, watching parades, sampling Disney delicacies or shopping.
PhotoPass with MaxPass
Disneyland places photographers all over the park to help you get photos of your whole group in the most scenic spots and with your favorite characters. Some rides take photos at especially-thrilling moments too. These photos can be loaded onto a PhotoPass card and you can pay for the photos you want to keep.
Another huge perk of MaxPass is that PhotoPass is included for each day that you purchase MaxPass. You get unlimited downloads, so you can share your memories with family and friends. Only one person has to purchase MaxPass to access the PhotoPass photos of your group.
PhotoPass photos do expire, so be sure to download them during or soon after your trip. You can access the pictures through the Disneyland app with your 8-character attraction ID, located on the preview wall on your Disney account.
Photographers are willing to take photos with your own camera too. PhotoPass is a nice bonus, it's not the main reason most families get MaxPass.
MaxPass is a great option for families who love the big rides, and want to make the most of their time on a crowded day in Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure.
I hope these tips help you decide if MaxPass is right for you, and if so, help you use it like a pro the first time.
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