Home » Is Maxpass Really Worth It? A Review of Disneyland’s Pay to Play Fastpass System

    Is Maxpass Really Worth It? A Review of Disneyland’s Pay to Play Fastpass System

    In the 1990s, Disney introduced a revolutionary new system to make guests’ theme park visits even more magical: Fastpass. The Fastpass system let guess reserve a spot in line and enjoy other park offerings until an assigned time when they could return to their original attraction and skip a large portion of the line. The Fastpass system was revolutionary; it spawned many similar systems in parks around the world. Even Disney’s original system has evolved in the past 20 years. Walt Disney World’s Fastpass+ moved Fastpass into the digital era, taking the entire system onto the smartphone. Disneyland has created a similar all digital system called Maxpass; however, it came with some caveats. Read on to discover if Maxpass is right for you.

    The Pros

    Soarin FastpassPaper Fastpass
    Image: Steph, Flickr (license)

    Maxpass is an excellent system for the suave Disneyland fan. If you are tech AND Disney savvy, Maxpass makes any trip in the park smoother. Maxpass allows user to reserve Fastpasses directly from the Disneyland app for any Fastpass ride in the park. This means that (as long as you are in the Disneyland resort) you can make a Fastpass reservation without walking all the way too the ride! This can save massive amounts of time, especially during peak foot traffic hours like parades and fireworks.

    However, its important to note some differences between Maxpass and Walt Disney World’s Fastpass+ system. While both systems are completely digital, Maxpass does not allow users to plan Fastpass reservations for days in advance. All reservations must be made and used on the same day. Additionally, Maxpass does not allow the booking of more than one Fastpass at a time. Maxpass Fastpass reservations all have at least an hour cooldown between making reservations. Finally, Disneyland does have in-park kiosks for booking Maxpass Fastpass selections. These kiosks are primarily for guests without smartphones.

    Now for the real pro: Disney Photopass downloads. Each purchase of Maxpass doesn’t just include the convenience of digital Fastpass reservations, it also includes unlimited one day Photopass downloads! Photopass encompasses all of the photographs taken by Disney services in the Disneyland resort. Whether those are ride photos, roaming photographers, characters, or magic shots, you can enjoy unlimited digital downloads of your photos.

    The Cons

    Space Mountain FastpassImage: Joe Penninston, Flickr (license)

    All magic comes with a price and Maxpass is no exception. Each purchase of Maxpass is assigned to a specific ticket and costs $10 per day. Each guest may purchase Maxpass for any number of days. Most importantly, the purchase price is per guest. This means for a party of 6, the total cost for Maxpass per day is $60. Party members who do not pay the $10 fee cannot use the service and will not be able to book Fastpass reservations for the same time as others. This greatly impacts the feasibility of Maxpass for most Disneyland visitors. For a party of 4 visiting for 4 days, the total Maxpass cost is $160. This is often difficult to swallow especially considering a more advanced system is free in Disneyworld.

    Further, Maxpass is still new. New technology has its faults and even Disney Magic can’t fix an uncooperative computer. Maxpass has experienced problems on many different occasions that have shut the entire system down. Maxpass goes down entirely, guests are unable to purchase Maxpass, or guests who have purchased Maxpass cannot book Fastpass reservations or download Photopass photos. These technical glitches are often complex and difficult to resolve, necessitating a trip to town hall. This can be very frustrating, particularly after paying for a service that is supposed to make your trip less work!

    Finally, the regular Fastpass system is still fully functional in the Disneyland Resort. If a ride offers Maxpass reservations, it also offers traditional Fastpass reservations. The sole difference between these two offering is the need to walk to the attraction with your park admission tickets to secure a traditional Fastpass reservation.

    The Recommendation

    Disneyland App

    Image: Disney

    Maxpass isn’t for everyone. Maxpass fulfills a niche for those who want a system paralleling Walt Disney World’s Fastpass+ on the West Coast. Further, it requires every member of your party to buy into the system, which makes it difficult for casual visitors to enjoy. Maxpass is best for Disneyland visitors who are coming in small parties for only a couple days.

    However, if your party is large, there is another option. One purchase of Maxpass allows unlimited Photopass downloads regardless of who is in the photos. This means that a party can purchase one instance of Maxpass and download their entire party’s photos for the entire day! Most importantly, make sure that you are aware of the costs and benefits of Maxpass before your next visit. Each party and visit is unique, so make sure to have a discussion about whether Maxpass is the best fit for your entire party.