Simple Guide to Disneyland MaxPass 2019

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This is the Simple Guide to Disneyland MaxPass. Learn how MaxPass digital FASTPASS has changed how and what you ride at Disneyland Resort. Simple explanations so you can know before you go to Disneyland in 2019.  This is the Simple Guide to Disneyland MaxPass. Learn how MaxPass digital FASTPASS has changed how and what you ride at Disneyland Resort. Simple explanations so you can know before you go to Disneyland in 2019.  

All the details on the new Disneyland FASTPASS, updated for 2019 Disneyland vacations. Learn the simple steps to buying Disneyland MaxPass, using it for the first time and getting the most out of this paid upgrade.

What is Disneyland MaxPass?

Disney MaxPass is a paid, digital FASTPASS system at Disneyland Resort which also allows unlimited PhotoPass downloads. Essentially, Disneyland MaxPass lets you skip longer waits for select attractions and enter a line set aside for MaxPass and FASTPASS users. This line is given priority access and you often wait in a much shorter line, with expedited boarding.What is MaxPass

I use Disney MaxPass every time I go to Disneyland Resort. I purchased an Annual Pass that includes Disney MaxPass and have even been known to buy MaxPass for my friends and family when they’re with me so they can get hooked on this amazing tool too!

How is this different from the old FASTPASS system?Disneyland MaxPass

Disney MaxPass is very similar to the paper FASTPASS we’ve been using for years. MaxPass still allows you to return to select attractions at the Disneyland Resort for your appointed ride time, just like the old FASTPASS. But with Disney MaxPass, you select attractions through the Disneyland mobile app. This is a huge convenience factor. You no longer need to walk from place to place to secure a FASTPASS, making your plans totally streamlined. But there’s so much more to it than saving your tired feet—keep reading for all the details.

How much is Disneyland MaxPass?Mr Potato Head MaxPass

Disneyland MaxPass is $15 per person (ticket) per day. This is an increase from the introductory price of $10. Compare this to other “front of the line” passes, like those offered at Universal Studios, which cost nearly 4xs the amount.

Should I Pre-Purchase Disney MaxPass with my ticket?

You should certainly purchase Disney MaxPass, but I suggest doing your research first. While you can now add MaxPass to your discount tickets,  selection and availability can vary. Check to see if your kids will want to ride (or are tall enough to ride) all the attractions that offer MaxPass…more on that below. 

Get your Disneyland discount tickets from our partner, before heading over to Disneyland Resort. Plus, enjoy an extra $10 off when booking a hotel stay of two nights or more along with your discount Disneyland tickets! Use promo code Happiest10 at checkout.

Who needs Disney MaxPass?

Anyone ages 3+ in your group who wishes to ride the attractions associated with MaxPass. Those attractions are listed below, along with height requirements. If you have riders who aren’t interested in these rides or tall enough, you can definitely get MaxPass for just some members of your group. I’ve talked in detail about how to combine the popular Rider Switch program with Disney MaxPass here. There are also a few occasions when you might not need Disney MaxPass, more details below. 

When can I buy Disneyland MaxPass?

I suggest purchasing discount tickets here, now with Disney MaxPass. Otherwise you can buy it as you enter the parks on the morning of your first visit. 

Step by Step Guide to Buying Disney MaxPass

First, get discount tickets along with additional savings (use promo code Happiest10) and purchase the ticket option with MaxPass. No extra steps required! As soon as you walk in the parks each day, you can select your first MaxPass attraction via the Disneyland App. 

If you opt to buy on the day of your visit:

  1. Download the official Disneyland app. The icon looks like the image below, with blue surrounding a white castle. Create an account and enter credit card information for easier purchasing on the day of your arrival. Note you will need this credit card with you or the security code from the back to complete your purchase. At this time, Disney gift cards cannot be used for purchasing Disneyland MaxPass.
  2. Scan your park tickets into the Disneyland app. If you have e-tickets, simply scan the barcode from your e-ticket into the app. Assign each ticket a name for easier MaxPass selection during your trip.
  3. Enter Disneyland or Disney California Adventure park each morning and tap “Get FASTPASS with Disney MaxPass” and continue until you have purchased for everyone in your group. Children under 3 will not need to purchase Disney MaxPass and can simply enter the line with parents (as long as they meet the height requirements).Step by step guide Disneyland MaxPass

Simple Guide to Using Disneyland MaxPass

If you’ve followed the steps above, you now have the Disneyland app installed on your mobile device, loaded tickets into the app and have walked through the gates and purchased Disney MaxPass. Once your entire party enters the gates, you can select a Disney MaxPass to enjoy lower wait times and more attractions.

  1. Select “get FASTPASS with Disney MaxPass.”
  2. Choose Disneyland or California Adventure.Disney MaxPass
  3. Choose which attraction you’d like to experience and note the appointed time. You’ll also see here when you can secure another FASTPASS. Return to this screen by tapping on “my plans” at any time. Disney MaxPass Indiana Jones Adventure
  4. Visit the attraction during your FASTPASS window and enter the FASTPASS line.
  5. Scan your park ticket or mobile app for entry and repeat the process.

Bonus MaxPass Tip What happens if I see this “Multiple Experiences” where my MaxPass selection was?

Note: this is expected to change slightly very soon! You will have a specific selection of rides you can use it on instead of All FASTPASS rides.

The multiple experience means that the attraction you selected went down temporarily during your redemption period. You can now use this to enter any FASTPASS line (including your original ride, if it’s back up and running) in the designated park. I suggest saving it to redeem later in the day when FASTPASSES are harder to come by. Plus, if your original ride is now up and running, you might be able to grab a new reservation window and still keep this multiple experiences one. 

MaxPass Multi Experience

Does this mean I can ride my original ride and other attraction? No, multiple experiences is misleading. It’s only for one attraction. 

Must Read Simple Tips for Disney MaxPass

  • Use multiple mobile devices. Your tickets can be scanned into more than one Disney account. For example, if a couple is taking their children to Disneyland, both Mom and Dad can have the Disneyland app, sign into their (separate or shared) Disney account, scan tickets into their respective accounts and still access all the same information. This means if Mom takes the toddler back to the hotel for a nap, Dad can stay with the older kids and utilize MaxPass too. This also works well for larger, extended family groups or friends.
  • Update your data plan before arrival. Disneyland wifi hotspots are listed here, but it’s even better if you have unlimited data and don’t need to rely on Disney’s wifi at all.
  • Keep your phone charged. Yes, this will drain your battery. Disneyland Fuel Rods are the perfect solution. You can also purchase an external power pack to bring with you on your vacation.
  • It’s ok if your plans change. Inside the MaxPass section of the app you can cancel a FASTPASS if your plans change.
  • Want to take a break? You can secure MaxPass reservations from either park, and even from your hotel room, as long as you have previously entered one park that day. Making MaxPass reservations while your kids nap or swim is such a huge bonus! PS See all my Disneyland Hotel reviews here
  • See Mickey Balloons in your app? This “multiple experience” means that the attraction you selected went down temporarily during your redemption period. You can now use this to enter any FASTPASS line (including your original ride, if it’s back up and running) in the designated park listed. I suggest saving it to redeem later in the day when FASTPASSES are harder to come by. Plus, if your original ride is now up and running, you might be able to grab a new reservation window and still keep this multiple experiences one. 
  • Read even more tips on my Facebook page discussion about this very topic! 

What rides have Disneyland MaxPass?

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad after dark.

A variety of attractions allow you to “skip the line” while using Disney MaxPass. At Disneyland Park, Disney MaxPass includes:

Curious about the seating arrangements and who can sit by who at Disneyland? See seat photos and seating details here.

At California Adventure Park, Disney MaxPass includes:

More Disney MaxPass AnswersIncredicoaster

How many tickets can I have stored in my Disneyland App? You may manage your entire group’s tickets. I have personally linked 11 tickets in my Disneyland account and have not heard of a limit. If you’re going with a large group for a family reunion or cheer competition, I suggest having each chaperone/parent manage a few tickets to keep the app running quick and smooth.

Can I still use the free FASTPASS option? Yes, you can still use the old, free FASTPASS option but instead of a paper FASTPASS being printed, the FASTPASS will be tied to your ticket.

Can I make MaxPass reservations in advance? Unlike FastPass+ at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort guests may NOT make advance reservations. Disney MaxPass reservations at Disneyland are only made on the day-of. You must walk in the park and have all tickets scanned at the gate to use and/or purchase MaxPass.

How many MaxPass reservations can I have at one time? Reservations work almost identically to the old paper FASTPASS. You get one reservation at a time and can reserve another at the appointed time. Yes, this does mean you can hold multiple FASTPASS return times, depending on the return time. Detailed in-use strategies here.

Are MaxPass options at each park linked? Yes! FASTPASSES at both parks are linked for traditional and MaxPass.

Can I get a MaxPass for a ride in California Adventure when I’m at Disneyland? Yes, you can secure reservations from either park, and even from your hotel room, as long as you have previously entered one park that day. 

Is Disney MaxPass included in Disneyland Resort Hotel stay? No, MaxPass is not included for guests of Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian Hotel & Spa or Paradise Pier Hotel. Certain level Annual Passholders have it included, but that’s it.

Can I get a FASTPASS via the MaxPass app for World of Color and Fantasmic? Yes, as of this update April 2019, you can get a FASTPASS ticket for World of Color and Fantasmic via MaxPass. They are still free and will not count against your rides. 

Is there a limited allotment of FASTPASSES specifically for MaxPass users? The number of FASTPASSES for say, Radiator Springs Racers, is the same as it always has been. There is not a set amount reserved for MaxPass users or kiosk users. They are still first come, first serve. When they’re gone, they’re gone for everyone.

What People Say About Disney MaxPass

I love MaxPass!! It saves so much time! It got busier later on, especially once we went over to Disneyland, but we still did so much and the lines weren’t as horrible as I expected. I will say we’ve never seen it that busy, but we’ve always gone during slow times. MaxPass made it so we could still do everything we wanted.-Whitney E.

Want even more MaxPass resources? These are some of the best from trusted Disneyland focused travel writers:

Will you be using Disney MaxPass when you go to Disneyland? Continue the conversation below and on my Facebook page. 

34 thoughts on “Simple Guide to Disneyland MaxPass 2019

  • Valery

    Hi! I am from Argentina, it is my first time at Disney California, I love you blog and I am taking note of a lot of tips for my stay. I just wanted to confirm if I understood cororectly, If I book for Fantasmic or World of colours as soon as I enter into the park, I will be able to use other fastpasses during the day? Thanks in advance!

  • MandiAnn

    I was able to visit the parks twice this year and we used MP both times. We absolutely loved it. My husband (bless his soul) does not do crowds, or lines. So the MP was a life saver to cut our eating time and not have all the back and forth. Being able to schedule our next fastpass on our phones immediately after scanning the current FP was a miracle. Also, most of the time we could activate a 2nd pass an hour after we activated a FP. Say at noon we grabbed passes for cars that weren’t until 4pm, we were able to activate another pass at 1pm for splash mountain.
    Also within the app you can see the available FP times so we were able to decide which FP to select by soonest availability. We alleviated the run around by not going across the park to get a ticket and then finding out the return time was 4 hours later. The app puts all the information in front of me. It made the trip so much better for me (being a Disney fanatic) and my (taking one for the team) hubs. He may actually go back with me sometime because of MP

  • Elizabeth

    Hi Jessica!

    I plan on purchasing the city pass for our visit in early May so we can do Legoland, Sea World, and the 3 day park hopper at Disneyland. Can I purchase a max pass by itself separately?

    • Hi Elizabeth, thanks for asking. You purchase MaxPass once you walk in the park via the Disneyland app. Be sure to have an account set up in advance with a linked credit card. You’ll also need that security code on the back to make the purchase. Have a fabulous trip and let me know if I can help further.

      • Elizabeth

        Thank you for the info! I will definitely be using your for the custom itinerary. If we have a May1-5 trip, we can we begin planning?

        • Absolutely! What I do when it’s a bit farther out is take your first day’s payment to hold your spot. It goes toward your final payment so you’re not paying anything extra. Just head over to our VIP custom plan page and fill out all the fun details there and we’ll get started. So much fun!

  • Albert Trotter

    The only redeeming quality is they won’t do advance fast pass selection. it really takes the spontaneity out of your day. I plan out every day of my work schedule the last thing I want to do on vacation is plan out what rides I want to ride and when I need to be there. Hopefully they will work out all the bugs faster than they did at World!

    • Thanks for your comment, Albert. I agree and hope they keep it a day-of type of reservation. Disneyland has always been a unique place and I hope the executives and decision makers see that although it is a Disney Resort, it’s personality is a lot different that Walt Disney World’s and we need to honor that even in little things like MaxPass.

  • There was a recent change in Fastpass policy. The two parks are now “linked”, meaning that getting a Fastpass in one affects when you can get a Fastpass in the other park. Admittedly, many did not know they were “unlinked” previously, and given the back-and-forth required, relatively few took advantage of this quirk.

    I suppose Disney thought, that with Maxpass coming, FPs would run out “too soon” if the policy wasn’t changed. However, for some visitors, this linking makes parkhoppers a little less valuable.

    • This makes a lot of sense for the MaxPass roll out. I agree, it’s kinda a pain to do the back and forth. Many guests buy hoppers because it seems to add value, but they don’t use them the way they imagined. Many people just hop over to Disneyland when California Adventure closes for the night. Don’t you agree?

  • Kayla

    Good luck getting a fastpass for Rafiator Spring Racers. With the ability to book fastpasses from either park, those will be gone within hours of opening. I will not be very happy if they eventually phase out paper fastpasses and charge you to use digital.

    • What’s crazy is how quickly they run out even with paper FASTPASSES. Last week it was a pretty low crowd day and the passes ran out by noon (if not before, that’s just when I walked by). But opening it up to people in both parks will certainly have those things flying! I am hoping the charge is temporary as a way to beta-test without the masses being involved. But with Disney, we know if they can make a few bucks they’ll continue to do so. Time will tell! I am also concerned about bottle neck crowds at the entrance, because as soon as they enter the parks they can stop right there and get FPs. Thanks for the insight Kayla, keep the comments coming, would love to hear more of your opinion.

  • Brandy

    Nooooooo!! I frequent Disney World and Disneyland and I prefer the paper system with out a question. The only redeeming quality is they won’t do advance fast pass selection. it really takes the spontaneity out of your day. I plan out every day of my work schedule the last thing I want to do on vacation is plan out what rides I want to ride and when I need to be there. Hopefully they will work out all the bugs faster than they did at World!

    • Brandy, I hope my predictions are correct with not allowing advanced FP reservations but I certainly could see them offering it as an incentive to stay on site. We will see! It’s all about pleasing/working with the locals here. So many APs that drop by last minute or on their way home from work and school. It doesn’t make sense to schedule them and that’s something I love about Disneyland too. I plan out my days but always allow for flexibility so I prefer not to plan FP in advance too. I hope they take their time to make this right and it improves the overall experience.

  • Cetain sites (which shall remain unnamed) have been pushing the “FP+ is coming to Disneyland” idea for at least two years. There have been some rather small-scale tests (like the scanners at Space Mountain) that indicate that changes are coming at some point. Construction permit applications also point to upcoming work related to FPs – specifically “touch points”.

    I just can’t see how any kind of FP would work at Peter Pan’s Flight. It has the cramped indoor switchback queue, which is invariably packed within ten minutes of park opening. It has the “temporary” chains set up outside. It has a tight exit space, currently used as an entrance for DAS guests. Tinker Bell really deserves great credit if she can create a Fastpass entrance that somehow doesn’t interfere with people entering and exiting as they do now.

    • I like your thinking! Yes, rumors about this very thing have been circulating for years! We will see if they actually come to life this time. As for Peter Pan, it’s just one on the rumor list- maybe just wishful thinking? Thanks for your insights, I can’t wait to hear more official word from Disney and will certainly update when they do make any announcement.

        • I know right? I definitely think something is up at Peter Pan’s Flight. Very anxious to see how this all unfolds. Thanks for your comments, I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Have a magical day!

          • As of now, there is no sign that the space is being converted to become a Fastpass queue. For whatever reason, the door was open on April 12, and I had to look inside. There were a few remants of the old shop (like a crown), but more candles and similar things.

            BTW, I’ve seen the “touch points” installed on several rides now – BLAB and Haunted Mansion on Wednesday.

          • I love that you took a peek in there for me! I certainly hope Peter Pan gets a FP regardless if they use that space or not but thanks for being some eyes for me since I can’t be in the park as much as I’d like. You’re awesome!

          • A different rumor seems to have been on target.

            Another visitor has stated that it has become – as of today, April 20 – a store. It might be called “Castle Holiday Shop”.
            I can’t confirm this, as no new store is listed on disneyland.com

            I still have no idea what Disney thinks it is going to do with dozens of flameless candles.

  • Jennifer

    We’ll be at Disneyland for a week late January through early February. (1/29-2/3) What are the chances the new system will be up and running then?

    • Hey Jennifer, that’s such a fun time to go. I was there those dates earlier this year. My insider source says spring at the earliest. It will be interesting to see because I’m guessing there will be testing here and there before it is launched in its entirety. I’ll keep updating this article with new information and our 2017 planning guide will be out next month so stayed tuned!

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