Disneyland MaxPass Guide: Tips and Strategy For Digital FastPass

Disneyland MaxPass, is a variation on their now classic Disneyland FastPass system. The MaxPass system allows you to book “reservations” for Disneyland's most popular attractions directly from your smart phone.

Disneyland MaxPass is a paid alternative to the existing Disneyland FastPass system which currently requires you to walk to each attraction in order to get a reservation time for riding. Now your two options are to either use the free Disneyland FastPass system or the new Disneyland MaxPass service.

This new digital MaxPass also includes unlimited Disneyland PhotoPass through the app. You will have access to all of the photos taken on rides and by PhotoPass photographers throughout Disneyland.

With these Disneyland MaxPass tips shared below you will be best able to utilize this new digital reservation system to enjoy more top Disneyland attractions in a shorter amount of time.

Below you will find an overview of our Disneyland MaxPass tips, all of the different Disneyland MaxPass prices, how to use the Disneyland MaxPass app, and what the MaxPass really is.

Before we get started in the guide…

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What is Disneyland MaxPass?

The new Disneyland MaxPass system seems complicated, but by using these easy MaxPass tips and tricks you will soon be able to conquer the Disneyland MaxPass system and create your perfect day.

What is Disneyland MaxPass?

Disneyland MaxPass is a service created in addition to the already popular Disneyland FastPass system. This system allows you to skip the main “standby line” for different attractions and experiences and go into an express “FastPass” line to cut down on your wait.

Rather than requiring that you get a paper FastPass ticket for attractions throughout the park, you can now create these reservations for attractions directly from your smartphone using the new digital MaxPass service.

disneyland maxpass guide tips

What does the Disneyland MaxPass service cost?

The Disneyland MaxPass service can be added to any type of ticket and has varying prices for each of those different ticket types.

  1. The service can be added on a daily basis to your Disneyland visit for $20 per person per day.
  2. Disneyland Annual Passholders (expect for the Premiere) can add the Disneyland MaxPass service on an annual basis for $100 per pass.
  3. The Disneyland Signature Plus and Premiere pass now include this new Disneyland MaxPass with the purchase of the Annual Passport.

When is Disneyland MaxPass worth the additional price?

Well let's start off with the fact that this new Disneyland MaxPass service costs less than the old price for unlimited PhotoPass–which is also included with all MaxPass packages. Thus, if you plan on purchasing PhotoPass, Disneyland MaxPass is only an added bonus.

In my opinion Disneyland MaxPass is a worthwhile upgrade for visitors who are coming into the parks for vacations and want to completely experience as much as possible. The only consideration I would make would be based on the crowds at the park. You probably only need to add MaxPass to your tickets during one day of your vacation. I would pick one of the traditionally busier days of the week as outlined in our when to visit Disneyland guide to use the service. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are typically the more crowded days of the week in the park.

You have already put so much into your vacation, paying $20 would be worth it even if you were just able to experience one additional attraction and with MaxPass I have heard people say they were able to ride upwards of 5 additional attractions they didn't believe they would have been able to get on without the service.

How do I add the Disneyland MaxPass Digital FastPass service to my ticket?

The Disneyland MaxPass service can be added in two different ways. I recommend the first option.

How to Add Disneyland MaxPass to Your Ticket (Option 1)

Add MaxPass to your tickets in the morning right after entering the park. This option allows you to purchase the Disneyland MaxPass system on a day-by-day basis unlike option two which requires you to buy for your entire stay.

  1. Download and open the Disneyland Mobile App.
  2. Go to the home screen of the Disneyland app and navigate to the “My Plans” section.
  3. Click on the “Get FastPass” link. This will bring up an introductory section about MaxPass.
  4. Click on “Get Started.”
  5. Now you will see the option to create a “FastPass Party.” This will allow you to link your entire group together on one phone.
  6. Scan the barcodes from your Disneyland tickets and Disneyland Annual Passports to add all of your members that you are traveling with into the group. Do this step in advance so that you are ready to use MaxPass when you arrive at Disneyland.
  7. Select the members who you want to purchase MaxPass for. You can add your entire party to this page even if they are not purchasing MaxPass on this day.
  8. Make sure that you are scanned into the park. You may have to close the app and reopen it for the app to recognize that you are inside the park.
  9. Now, select “Continue to Purchase” to move on. The app will confirm who is buying the service and who is not. Click “Continue to Purchase” once again to confirm.
  10. Sign into your Disney account (you should make this account at home).
  11. Now, confirm the purchase one last time and select purchase.
  12. You will then get a confirmation and you have successfully purchased the Disneyland MaxPass digital FastPass service.

See Disneyland's official video for how to use Disneyland MaxPass.

Add Disneyland MaxPass to Your Ticket Before You Arrive (Option 2)

Above I shared the easy way to add MaxPass to your tickets right when you get to Disneyland for the day. Now, let me walk you through the second way to add Disneyland MaxPass to your tickets and the pros and cons of adding the service to your tickets in advance.

You can also add MaxPass onto discount Disneyland tickets that you purchase. In the past this was one of my main reasons not to recommend adding the service in advance. There are still a couple other things to consider before adding the service to your tickets right out of the gate, but this was my biggest point previously.

The biggest reason to add the Disneyland MaxPass service to the tickets in advance is the convenience and ease of not have to whip our your credit card and make a purchase each time that you walk into the theme parks in the morning.

  1. When you add the Disneyland MaxPass service in advance you must add it to all of your tickets for each day of your vacation. That means that if you have four people going for three days to Disneyland you will end up paying an additional $180.
  2. Disneyland is crowded on most days, but some days have lighter crowds than others. On these days, I don't think that the Disneyland MaxPass service is as necessary.
  3. Sometimes the Disneyland MaxPass service is down or having technical issues. While this has been a rare occurrence, you don't want to pay for your entire stay and then not get to use for half of a day because the servers are down. By purchasing the day of you can choose not to purchase when they are having technical problems.

How do I get reservations for attractions with Disneyland MaxPass?

The Disneyland app will show your FastPasses under ‘My Plans' with their return times.

Once you have successfully purchased the Disneyland MaxPass service, all that you have to do is select reservations for attractions.

Follow these easy steps to book your first Disneyland MaxPass reservation:

  1. Choose the park–either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure–that you want to get a reservation for. You can book a reservation for either park regardless of which one you entered.
  2. Look through the list of attractions for that park that are available.
  3. Find the attraction that you want to make a MaxPass reservation for and select that attraction.
  4. This screen will show the available times for the MaxPass reservations. Confirm if you want to have that time and book it.
  5. To redeem your Disneyland MaxPass upon arriving at the attraction at the set time, click “Redeem FastPass” and scan the barcode. In some attraction queues you may need to scan your MaxPass barcode twice.
  6. After getting all of your Disneyland MaxPass reservations, you will be given a time that you can get another MaxPass. Be ready at these times to get your next Disneyland MaxPass…and enjoy!

Can you manage everyone in the Disneyland MaxPass group from one smartphone Disneyland app?

Yes, you can connect everyone's tickets inside one member of your party's Disneyland App in order to make sure your entire group has Disneyland MaxPass return times together.

How can you select Disneyland MaxPass reservations?

Your Disneyland ticket or Annual Passport must be selected and you must be registered for the Disneyland MaxPass service before you are able to select any reservations for attractions.

After your ticket has been scanned for one park, you will be able to select reservations for attractions in both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

Can you get Disneyland MaxPass during Extra Magic Hour and Magic Morning?

In the same way that only select attractions are available for getting Disneyland FastPass during these early hours in the parks, there are only select attractions that offer Disneyland MaxPass during this time.

Most likely you will see Space Mountain in Disneyland available and Radiator Springs Racers, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: Breakout in Disney California Adventure.

Or you can select a reservation for a ride with an arrival time that begins when the park opens. The return times will start at park opening for any ride that is open during Early Magic Hour/Magic Morning and 30 minutes after park opening for rides not open during that time. For example: if Disneyland opens at 7AM with Magic Morning, you'll see 8AM return times for the Fantasyland/Tomorrowland attractions and 8:30AM return times for the rest of the park.

Can I use both the Disneyland FastPass and Disneyland MaxPass systems?

You are unable to combine the paper Disneyland FastPass system and new Disneyland MaxPass system. When you pull a Disneyland FastPass ticket and are using the Disneyland MaxPass service the reservation time from the paper FastPass ticket will be automatically added into your app.

How much does the Disneyland MaxPass system and Disneyland app drain your phone battery?

The Disneyland app and MaxPass service are pretty draining on phone battery. You will be constantly opening the app and trying to find a signal.

Here are some tricks to preserve your battery while using the Disneyland app and throughout your day. Follow these Disneyland tips to avoid a dead phone.

  1. Put your phone on airplane mode when you are on rides and in lines that don't have signal. Your battery can get killed when it is searching for a signal that isn't there.
  2. When you are using your phone on a cellular network, turn off WiFi and Bluetooth and put your phone in low power mode.
  3. Carry a portable battery with you in Disneyland. (There are some wall plugs, but they are few and far between).
  4. Scan your Disneyland ticket or Disneyland Annual Passport when you are entering the FastPass line rather than getting the barcode from the app. Prevent extra time on your phone.

Disneyland MaxPass Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

Image result for maxpass disneyland

  • After you build your “party” within the app, you can make choices for the entire group or select separate attractions for each person.
  • If you choose to separate your party but have been managing MaxPass from one app, you can use your Disneyland ticket or Disneyland Annual Passport to scan into the attraction. The barcode on your ticket is the same on the app.
  • You must scan the barcodes from the Disneyland app or your Disneyland ticket/Annual Passport for each member of your group when you enter into the queue for the attractions.
  • One of my favorite Disneyland MaxPass tips is that reservations sometimes show up for earlier than you saw previously because there were suddenly more slots available because people hadn't shown up or the FastPass line capacity was not being fully used.
  • Another benefit with using MaxPass is that guests can book FastPasses that other guests have canceled. This happened to us during the holiday season- I was checking the app for current times and Big Thunder Mountain had a reservation that began immediately and I grabbed it! Prior to that (this was a very busy day!) all of the FastPasses for that attraction was sold out. Make sure to keep checking the app! But you have to be fast- grab it quick.
  • Only certain popular attractions at the Disneyland Resort offer the Disneyland MaxPass service (see these listed below).

When you book a FastPass, it will tell you when you can book another. You don't have to use your previous FastPass to book a new one as long as it's after this time slot.

  • Always keep an eye on your Disneyland app MaxPass section so that you know the next time you are eligible to get a new MaxPass reservation. Sometimes the time will be earlier than the two hours usually allotted.
  • You can cancel a Disneyland MaxPass for an attraction at any time for any one person in your party or the entire group. There are a couple of confirmation buttons, so don't worry about accidentally cancelling a MaxPass reservation you actually want.
  • The Disneyland app will automatically increase the brightness on the phone when it is time for you to scan into the Disneyland MaxPass queue. No need to worry about manually changing it.
  • You can actually book your first MaxPass reservation the instant your ticket is scanned- so if you're present for Rope Drop and they let you in to the park early- be ready to start grabbing those MaxPass reservations!

This is what you will get in place of your FastPass if the attraction breaks down.

  • If an attraction breaks down and you have been riding, a readmission ticket called a “Multiple Experiences” eligible for any attraction and at any time in the park will be automatically added into your app.
  • Both regular Disneyland FastPass and Disneyland MaxPass pull from the same count of reservations for attractions so once one if out, they are both out of reservations for that time block.

This is where you will see your photos on the app. Pro tip: screenshot your PhotoPass Code and make it your locked screen wallpaper to save battery life.

  • When you purchase Disneyland MaxPass you also receive unlimited access to the Disneyland PhotoPass service. You can digitally download all of the photos taken throughout the parks on attractions and from the Disneyland PhotoPass photographers.
  • Even if you are told by the app you are allowed to get another MaxPass reservation before you use one you are already holding, that new reservation may not be for the attraction you already hold a MaxPass for.
  • While the official ruling is that you must be within one of the two theme parks to reserve a Disneyland MaxPass, the only parameter they check is that you have scanned into one of the parks that day. So, once you have scanned in you can book MaxPass reservations from anywhere–like your hotel near Disneyland where you go back for an afternoon nap.
  • You can typically scan 5 minutes earlier than your FastPass return time- it's easy to tell when it's ready to scan because when you open your app the screen will automatically brighten and bring up your FastPass to scan. Rumor has it that you can scan it up to 15 minutes after the ending time but I wouldn't want to risk it! It can't hurt to try though if it happens you spaced out on a FastPass return time. (Put an alarm on your phone so you don't forget!)

Where can you get Disneyland MaxPass?

Radiator Springs Racers fastpass sign

Disneyland offers MaxPass for the same attractions that they offer FastPass in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks. Remember that the MaxPass app can be used while in Disney California Adventure to get a MaxPass for an attraction in Disneyland and vice versa.

For Disneyland Park you can get MaxPass for: 

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • “it's a Small World Holiday”
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Splash Mountain
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Star Tours
  • Haunted Mansion/Haunted Mansion Holiday
  • Matterhorn
  • Autopia
  • Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run (coming soon!)

In Disney California Adventure Park you can get MaxPass for:

  • Incredicoaster
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Soarin’
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Monsters INC

NEW: Guests can now use MaxPass to grab their FastPass reservations for both Fantasmic! and World of Color. Paper FastPass reservations will still be available but guests will definitely enjoy the convenience of being able to get their reservations the instant the park opens rather than waiting to get to the distribution machines.

Disneyland MaxPass Tips and Strategy

For the full Disneyland MaxPass strategy I highly recommend that you follow along with our already posted guide to Disneyland FastPass tips, tricks, and strategy. In that section you will see our full thoughts on what the best order to get FastPass is.

Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have Disneyland MaxPass that run out at a much faster rate than the other attractions. The more popular attractions are:

In Disneyland 

  • Space Mountain
  • Indiana Jones
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Splash Mountain (on hot days)
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday (during the holiday season)

In Disney California Adventure

  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Guardians of the Galaxy–Mission: Breakout!
  • Soarin'

Of course, on very busy days it's possible for all attractions to run low on FastPasses which is why we recommend getting an early start to the parks so you don't miss out on your must-do attractions.

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Other Ways to Cut the Line at Disneyland

In this article you heard all my tips on Disneyland MaxPass strategy and implementation and you had plenty of opportunities to click over to our guide to Disneyland FastPass strategy.

Now, I invite you to look into the other ways to cut the line and experience more during your Disneyland vacations. Take a look at our guide to Single Rider, Rider Swap, and the Disneyland VIP tour guides.

More Disneyland MaxPass Tips and Info

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Plan more of your Disneyland vacation using our other guides to planning your vacation.

  1. Discount Disneyland Tickets: How to Get Your Tickets Cheap
  2. Top Hotels Near Disneyland Reviewed
  3. Best Disneyland Restaurants
  4. Disneyland Packing List: What to Wear to Disneyland
  5. Disneyland Halloween Guide: Rides, Decorations, Food, and More

For full information on Disneyland MaxPass and current information, visit the official site.

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