Disneyland's Pass de Deuxby Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
Almost two decades after Disney debuted the Fastpass program, the service is about to undergo a two-phase transformation at the Disneyland Resort. The first phase is the welcome addition of two additional rides to the Fastpass system: Toy Story Mania in Disney California Adventure and the Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland.
With this change, the list of Fastpass attractions at each park is as follows, though some are only offered seasonally:
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion [Holiday]
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
- [Hyper] Space Mountain [Ghost Galaxy]
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Disney California Adventure
- California Screamin'
- Goofy's Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Soarin' Around the World
- Toy Story Mania
The second phase launches later this year, and has the potential to change the way you use the Fastpass system. The new program is called Disney's MaxPass, and it bundles the existing PhotoPass product with a still-in-development digital Fastpass tool in the Disneyland mobile application.
The Matterhorn Bobsleds is the latest Disneyland attraction to offer Fastpass; visitors will soon be able to claim Fastpass tickets using the new MaxPass service on the Disneyland mobile application. MousePlanet file photo.
MaxPass includes unlimited downloads of PhotoPass photos taken for each day that the entitlement is valid. It also allows visitors to collect and redeem Fastpass tickets using the app, instead of collecting paper Fastpass tickets.
Visitors can add Disney's MaxPass to their theme park tickets for $10 per ticket, per day. Users can choose to purchase the MaxPass for their entire length of stay, or for one or more days. Annual passholders will also be able to purchase MaxPass by the day, or add it to their pass for the year, though pricing has not yet been finalized.
The standard Fastpass system will still be available at no charge to visitors who do not purchase the MaxPass product.
While this is a change for Disneyland's Fastpass system, this is not the West Coast implementation of Fastpass Plus as some rumors have suggested, nor should you expect to be outfitted with a MagicBand wristband anytime soon. Fastpass may be getting a shiny new digital interface, but the nuts and bolts of the program remain the same.
Unlike the Fastpass Plus system at Walt Disney World (whichs allow users to select Fastpass reservations months, weeks or even days in advance), MaxPass does not allow advanced or off-property planning. It is still a same-day program, with users activating the entitlement for the day that they visit the park. They must physically be inside a theme park to collect a digital Fastpass to use the same day, although MaxPass users need not walk to their selected attraction to claim a Fastpass ticket. A MaxPass user can walk onto Main Street, U.S.A. and claim a Fastpass for Splash Mountain if they want, without ever stepping foot in Critter Country. The MaxPass app also allows users to claim a Fastpass for a ride in the other theme park, so a user in Disneyland could claim a Fastpass for Radiator Springs Racers before park-hopping.
Regardless of how users obtain their Fastpass, they are still subject to the same policies. Tickets are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. In general, users cannot obtain another Fastpass until two hours after they obtain the first Fastpass, or at the end of the return window of the first Fastpass, whichever comes first.
When it comes time to ride, MaxPass users will likely scan a barcode displayed from the screen of their mobile app at a new portal installed at the Fastpass return gate. Paper Fastpass ticket holders will scan the barcode on their ticket to access the return queue. Disney has been testing these portals at various times for well over a year, and recent building permits issued indicate that installation is ready to proceed.
There are still so many details we don't know about MaxPass, and Disney acknowledges that the product is still under development. We don't know whether an entertainment Fastpass like World of Color or Fantasmic can be collected using the app, or whether parents can claim and redeem Fastpass tickets for their children using one mobile device, or if one member of a party can manage Fastpass tickets for the entire party. We don't know if the app will allow you to cancel a previously collected Fastpass if you change your mind, possibly freeing you up to collect another Fastpass more quickly.
The $10 per ticket, per day price point for day guests is intriguing, if only because that is $29 less than the cost of the Disney PhotoPass+ One Day product currently offered. Setting aside for the moment any discussion of the Fastpass element, it's cheaper to add MaxPass onto one member of the party just to receive the PhotoPass benefit.
As for the Fastpass benefit, it's really hard to say right now if that alone is worth the added cost. Signature and Premier passholders who already receive PhotoPass downloads as part of the price of their annual pass will especially want to look at the final pricing for passholders, and decide of the Fastpass benefit alone is worth the add-on cost.
We will continue to follow any developments about MaxPass as Disney provides more details.