Tag: disneyland

Is Disneyland’s MaxPass Worth It?

While at Disneyland this August, my and family and I took advantage of Disney’s MaxPass. Disneyland’s MaxPass works like Disney World’s FastPass Plus system by virtually booking fast passes from the mobile app. So, is Disneyland’s MaxPass worth it?

How Disneyland’s MaxPass works, and how it differs from Disney World’s FastPass Plus

For Starters, you cannot even begin to use Max Pass until all members of your party (which are tied to the max pass system in your phone) pay $15.00 per person per day. This cost is well worth the expense per person. Also, you cannot use the Max Pass until each member of your party scans their ticket to get through the front gate of either Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure.

Once you are in the Parks

Once you scan your park ticket to get into one of the parks, you can literally start looking for your first fast pass for the day. Not every single attraction has a fast pass option here, but all the major attractions that have long lines have one.

MaxPass also includes Disney’s PhotoPass system which is only available to guests who purchase MaxPass for the day.  According to Disneyland’s website:

You can capture all of your memories with unlimited Disney PhotoPass photo downloads** from the day. Download and share photos from select dining locations, attractions, Character Greetings, Disney PhotoPass Photographers and Magic Shots.

Galaxy's Edge MagicShot
Galaxy’s Edge MagicShot
MagicShots with SpiderMan
MagicShots with SpiderMan

How to use Disneyland’s MaxPass

  • Start off with making sure that you’re Disneyland app is pulled up on your phone and hit the plus (+) sign in the middle of the toolbar.
  • You’ll select “Get FastPass”
  • From there, you’ll select the number of people in your party that you are searching for FastPasses for
  • If you want everyone, select all.
  • The attractions that are available will show, and the time that the attraction is available.
  • For whichever attraction you are looking for, select it and confirm it.
  • The app will tell you that you are booked for the attraction and give the time that you can book your next FastPass attraction.

How to Use MaxPass for Photo Pass

When you log in to the app on your phone, you will need to click on the plus at the bottom of the screen to bring up this screen:

Link Photos to PhotoPass

Once here, you can either input the code at the bottom of the screen when you exit a ride to link your photo to your app, you can link a PhotoPass card (we never did this as we already had it added by purchasing MaxPass), and you can bring up your code to show Disneyland Photographers so that the pictures that they take will show up in your app. When we first arrived, we took a screenshot (see below) of our PhotoPass QR Code and saved it as our home screen so that anytime we came upon a Disneyland Photographer, we just had to open our phone for them to scan the code and save our awesome pictures!

MaxPass - PhotoPass
PhotoPass QR Code to present to the Disneyland Photographers.

Tips for using Disneyland’s MaxPass

We would always arrive at the park as close to opening (or earlier) as possible, and for the most part, the park has very light crowds for the first few hours. This is your time to get on a lot of attractions without FastPass option, or just without having to use one.

Try and book your first fast pass reservation within the first hour of opening, however, as you can take advantage of a major attraction with a shorter line, as well as make your next fast pass reservation faster than if you waited until later in the day to book one.

Major Attractions can and most likely will run out of FastPasses!

Radiator Springs Racers
Radiator Springs Racers ran out of Fast Passes each day we were there, and it was not a busy week.

For example, at Disney’s California Adventure, “Radiator Springs Racers” is one attraction that will run out of fast passes. We could always get one early, but by early afternoon (1-2ish), the attraction was giving return times of 7-9pm, or possibly already running out. “The Return time”, is the time that you can return to the queue and get into the fast pass line.

What are Return Times?

One thing to take note of, if “return times” are within an hour or so of the moment you are logging in and looking for the fast pass, then there are plenty left, and the park is that that busy.

If the return times are several hours later or well into the evening, fast passes are going very fast and they will run out.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission Breakout
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout – Overall Family Favorite that we rode 4 or 5 times.

So, is Disneyland’s MaxPass worth it?

We were unsure if this would be a good investment since it costs a family of 4 $60 extra per day to use this feature, however, we are so glad that we did. Our tickets were purchased with MaxPass, so with that, we rode all of the major attractions several times over because of it, plus we had park hopper. Being able to go back and forth between the two parks if we wanted to makes it really easy to ride Radiator Springs, Incredicoaster, Guardians of the Galaxy, Indiana Jones, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad repeatedly (to name a few)!

If you are thinking about planning a trip to Disneyland and are debating getting Disneyland’s MaxPass, we recommend getting it and have a blast!

If you are just interested in Walt Disney World, check out our post on Avoiding the Lines at Walt Disney World.

After Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland, What Should we Expect at Disney World?

Watching many Disney vloggers over the past few weeks, one thing is for sure – I should have booked a reservation in Anaheim and got a reservation for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! I watched so many videos of bloggers during their 4-hour reservation time that was allotted (if you were staying at a Disneyland hotel) and there was hardly any wait for Millennium Falcon. Now, I cannot say that was the case for Olga’s Cantina, which always showed a very long line, but everything else seemed very reasonable in terms of traffic flow. Disneyland was smart about this – from their opening day, which was May 31st and until June 24, 2019, you must have a reservation, and your reservation time is only for 4 hours. This is a way to control the crowds and slowly introduce people to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Disneyland = Successful Opening!

From every video that I’ve seen, it looks amazing. They also started out with opening only one attraction – The Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, to slowly introduce the public to the land. Eventually, the second attraction called Rise of the Resistance will open as well. This will obviously add even more people to the land since there will be two major attractions, but for now, it looks very manageable. We will find out on June 24, 2019, what the regular crowd will look like.

So, this seems like an awesome idea, right? A reservation system to get into the land and only have a 4-hour window? Seems like a smart way to control the crowd for at least a few weeks.

How will Disney World be Different?

However, Disney World is not doing this. On August 29, 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios to anyone and everyone who wants to attend. The actual park is scheduled to open at like 6:00 am that morning I believe and I’m sure that there will be people getting to the parking lot way before then.  They are only going to let so many people into the land, however, so they will be controlling the capacity, but on a first come and first serve basis. I guess this is also fair but will provoke a somewhat Hunger Games feeling to arrive in the morning.

How is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge going to differ from Toy Story Land or Avatar?

Any time that there is a new attraction- and a very popular and fun attraction, Disney World Rope Droppers come out in full force. My family and I rope dropped Hollywood Studios in November 2018 because we could not get a fast pass for Slinky Dog (that had only opened in June 2018) to ensure that we were able to ride it. The park opened at 9:00 am this morning and we made it to the park at 7:45 am in hopes of being some of the first few people in line. We did make it to the turnstile line with about 5 families in front of us, but by the time that all turnstiles let people in and we made it down the main stretch of Hollywood studios, we were behind a group of people that were probably close to 50 people. From here, it was crazy. Cast members slowly walked the group to Toy Story Land behind a large sign that one of them held, which said “This way to Toy Story Land.” So, when I mentioned Hunger Games, it really was an approach to out speed-walk the person next to you. People were getting nudged & jostled in the thick of the crowd, so my husband had to take my 3-year-old and maneuver her through the crowd like he was a racecar driver with a stroller. We clipped some ankles, but we also were clipped by strollers behind us. No one was doing anything on purpose, it was just the name of the game.

Rope Drop on Opening Day?

Knowing this, what will this rope drop look like at Hollywood Studios for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?   Will there be a huge line waiting in the wee hours every morning, the night before?  What will this do the rest of Hollywood Studios? Will there be no crowds anywhere else? Or, will so many people hope to get into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge that when they can’t, they go to every other Disney Park and there will be lines everywhere?

We are heading out that way in August of this year, but it will be around two weeks before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. We have some favorite YouTube vloggers that will more than likely be there, so we hope to report our findings and observations in the next few months!