Back in February, Chris and I headed to Disneyland. This is was his first time visiting and I wanted to make sure it was as magical as possible! Back in 2017, I tried out Disneyland’s MaxPass system when it first rolled out, despite the fact that the rest of my family didn’t. I didn’t utilize the FastPass aspect of the service. Instead, I bought it and used it primarily like Memory Maker. I just wanted our pictures from our trip!
This time around I was determined to use MaxPass to the fullest. I purchased it for both Chris and myself, and we headed out to the parks!
So, is Disneyland MaxPass worth it? How does it compare to FastPass+ at Disney World? Don’t worry! All your questions about MaxPass are answered, so you can decide if you want to purchase it yourself.
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Cost and Purchasing
I purchased MaxPass at the same time that I purchased my Disneyland tickets. Compared to the cost of Memory Maker at Walt Disney World, Disneyland’s MaxPass is practically a steal. It costs just $15 per person per day. So for Chris and I on our two day trip, it cost a grand total of only $60. If you’re JUST looking to use it for the PhotoPass capabilities, you don’t even need to have everyone in your party purchase! This is what I did when I went with my family in 2017. I paid just for myself (and I believe it was $20 per day at the time) and saved all our pictures on my account. I used paper FastPasses with the rest of my family so our parties wouldn’t get split up, so it might be argued that I wasn’t getting my FULL money’s worth out of it. However, since FastPass is free for anyone, I honestly didn’t mind.
How Do I Access MaxPass?
MaxPass is linked to your tickets, which in turn are linked through the Disneyland app. Once you make an account and register with Disneyland.com you’ll have access to your dining reservations, tickets, MaxPass and more. Once you’ve purchased and entered the park, you will be able to make FastPass reservations and access your PhotoPass photos. If you do not purchase your MaxPass ahead of time, you can do this through the app (see the photo below).
How Does FastPass Work?
Unlike the traditional FastPass, where you insert your park ticket in to the kiosk and receive a date and time voucher of when to return, MaxPass allows you to book FastPasses directly from your phone. This is extremely convenient if you’re trying to book passes for the other side of the park. You don’t have to run back and forth across the park to get your FastPasses! Just like regular FastPasses, when you book it tells you what time to return and what time you will be able to get a new FastPass. This time is dependent on when your window is. So yes, just like the paper FastPass system, you CAN in theory get multiple FastPasses at a time if your FastPass reservation is not until much later in the day. However most of the time the FastPass window and the time you can get another FastPass overlap, just like with the paper FastPasses.
You will NOT be able to book new FastPass times through the app until that time has lapsed. Additionally, you cannot try and cheat the system by using your physical ticket to get paper FastPasses. Everyone in your party is linked via their tickets. This allows you to book all FastPasses for everyone in your party if they are all registered to your account!
Once you reach the FastPass line, simply scan your phone FastPass at the entrance. Once Mickey turns green, you’re good to go!
How Does PhotoPass Work?
Just like with FastPasses, PhotoPass linking with the MaxPass system is very easy! Whenever you encounter a Disney PhotoPass photographer, simply show them the code on your phone. They will scan it, which magically links the photos from your encounter to your MaxPass account! From there you can download them and share them to social media.
For ride photos, take note of the code underneath each photo when you exit the ride. Simply enter that code in to your Disneyland app. In a few moments, you’ll have that pic saved to your account! It usually takes a couple minutes, up to an hour or so, for the photos to appear, so don’t panic if it’s not instantly. This is also how you get dining photos linked to your account. We entered the code given to us by the cast members at the Plaza Inn for our Minnie pictures and were able to get all our stunning photographs!
Is It Worth It?
The biggest, and most important, question of all – is Disneyland MaxPass worth it? My answer? YES! Absolutely! For me, it’s really a no-brainer. $15 a day gets you digital FastPasses and access to all of the photos you take throughout the day. Given that you can’t even buy ONE ride photo for that price, you’re more than getting your money’s worth out of it. True, the FastPass system is free, so you’re really paying just for the convenience of it. However, my feet were extremely excited that we could walk off Toy Story Mania and get FastPasses for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission BREAKOUT! without having to walk all the way over there! By using this method, you can theoretically get FastPass right after FastPass and cut out the walking time, so you almost always have a FastPass lined up.
Additionally, the Disneyland app gives you a lot of nice features (please note, you DON’T have to purchase MaxPass to have access to the app!) You can access your dining reservations and even change them if there are tables available at other times or at other restaurants. It allows you to search for different food to find exactly the right stand to head to. You can view wait times and get park maps. Your ticket can be digitally linked to your phone – which is great if you’re an idiot like me who wore ripped jeans with a giant hole in the back pocket, and lost your paper ticket this way! Going to ANY Disney park WITHOUT downloading the corresponding app is a rookie mistake.
When to NOT Purchase MaxPass
I would NOT recommend MaxPass if you’re not interested in PhotoPass services, because at that point you’re just paying for an already free service with the FastPass. If it’s worth the $15 to you to NOT walk across the park for your next FastPass, though, then have at it! If you’re looking for an easy way to get a beautiful collection of professional vacation photos, you’ve gotta go with MaxPass!
Looking for more information on MaxPass, along with information on the resort itself? Check out my FAVORITE guide to Disney parks – The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. They update this book every year, highlighting all new attractions and features of the parks. They go in depth about every aspect of the parks you can imagine! Going to Disney World? There’s a guide for that too!
Have you tried MaxPass yet? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter! You’ll receive Disney updates and notifications when I post new content!