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  • Writer's pictureCollin Brazan

How does the FASTPASS system work in Disneyland?

Updated: May 16

Disneyland® Resort’s FASTPASS system is unlike its counterpart in Walt Disney World® Resort, as it is tailored for its parks’ closeness and intimacy. There are multiple tiers to the system, including a premium one that offers benefits that sometimes feel too good to be true, the MaxPass system.

Guests who long for the old-fashioned days of grabbing a paper FASTPASS near an attraction’s queue can still do so at Disneyland Resort. It is free, and every guest can participate by scanning their park ticket at a kiosk and returning at the indicated time. Guests who want to speed up the process and like booking the passes on their smartphone get an additional opportunity on top of this system.

After swiping their park tickets and stepping into the park, guests can log onto their Disneyland Resort app, which is separate from the My Disney Experience app used by Walt Disney World,  and buy MaxPass for the duration of the day for $15 per person. Unlike Walt Disney World Resort’s system, MaxPass cannot be activated until guests enter the park, though you don’t have to be in the park to book one after entering. With a lighter guest-count in the park, it makes it possible to get access to the most coveted attractions, even while you cannot schedule them in advance.  The same attractions that offer FASTPASS also offer MaxPass, so you aren’t missing out on any attractions if you choose the other.

The timing of MaxPass makes it equally as wonderful, as those who purchase can make a MaxPass reservation every 90 minutes at maximum. Based on the time the MaxPass was selected, though, that wait time can often be shorter, and is sometimes almost instantaneous. Fortunately, you don’t have to keep track of all the rules yourself, as when booking a FastPass, the app simply tells you when you will be able to book the next one. That makes it entirely possible for you to step into the park at opening, grab a MaxPass for an attraction like Radiator Springs Racers® for the early afternoon, grab breakfast, and see a show all before grabbing another MaxPass and hitting several attractions back-to-back without waiting in the standard line.

That example is just one simple configuration made possible by the system, as it allows for some the greatest customizability of any part of the Disney vacation experience. Those with Park Hopper options on their tickets can book in the opposite park that they are currently in, thereby rewarding experimentation and saving time all at once. When plans change, you can cancel and rebook any MaxPass in the app.

As an added bonus, MaxPass also comes with Photopass at no additional charge. It is not uncommon for some parties to use MaxPass just for the Photopass, as it comes for such an affordable price.

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