After months of waiting, the MaxPass is finally here! The big question for guests has been whether or not the MaxPass is worth the additional money - and that's a totally valid question. We finally got the chance to try out the parks both with and without the MaxPass and have come to a conclusion. While trying it out, we also found some not-so-advertised perks (and setbacks) that are important to be aware of so hopefully now you can make a decision. UPDATED - 3 Aug 2019
- SAVE TIME (& WALKING) - It's definitely faster and easier to get FastPasses with the MaxPass. Being able to make your selections on your phone allows you to get your next FastPass while in line across the park (or even in the other park altogether) and keeps you from having to book it all over the place.
- CHANGE YOUR PLANS - Unlike traditional FastPasses, the MaxPass allows you to cancel or change your plans. If you get a FastPass for a time that later becomes a burden or gets in the way, you can cancel the selection and choose another. It doesn't come in handy often, but it's extremely useful when needed.
- EARLIER RETURN TIMES - Guests with MaxPass have access to a different supply of FastPasses then other guests. This means that even when an attraction is distributing FastPasses for a given time, those with MaxPass could still get a FastPass for an earlier time. Plus you could snatch an even earlier time if other guests cancel their plans - you can grab their discarded time slot!
- SHORTER MAX WAIT TIME - When you get a FastPass there is a maximum wait time until you can get another one, usually no more than two hours. Even if your return window is hours away, you don't have to wait more than the maximum time before making another selection. With MaxPass, that maximum time is only 1 1/2 hours allowing you to make more FastPass selections per day than you would otherwise be able to.
- APP LINKS TO TICKETS - Although Disney advertises that you have to use the app to enter the FastPass line, that's actually not the case. You can use it if you want (and it actually works rather well) but you can also just use your park admission tickets/passes themselves, depending on your preference.
- WORKS WITH SELECT ENTERTAINMENT - Now you can also use the MaxPass to get FastPasses for World of Color and Fantasmic! This does not limit the total number of FastPasses you can have at any one time, but it makes it much simpler to reserve your spot for these great shows.
- TRAVELING WITH & WITHOUT APs - Signature Plus and Premier APs automatically have the MaxPass included with their passes, but if you're traveling with some mixture of those APs and others without, getting FastPasses can be tricky unless everyone chooses to buy MaxPass. If they choose to not get MaxPass then their FastPass return times will likely not match those in the rest of their party so you have to try and figure out how the return windows overlap.
- PRICE - The biggest problem with MaxPass is the price. Right now it's $15 per person per day which may not sound like much but it can add up quickly. If you have a family of five then that's $75 extra per day of your trip in order to use the MaxPass. You can add it into the price of your tickets so it's already included in your purchase, but it doesn't give you a discount at all. This is by far the biggest determining factor, but I'm not entirely sure that it's worth it. We traveled with two of our nieces for 6 days to Disneyland and only decided to get them MaxPass for 3 days because the remaining days didn't feel like it was worth the extra money. In the end the decision is yours, but make sure you've determined whether this is all something you're willing to pay for.
Additional Perks (Not Just for MaxPass)
- NO TICKETS NECESSARY - Guests now need their park admission ready when returning to a FastPass entrance to scan and gain entry, but you now can use the Disneyland mobile app instead for your entire party. This is great for parents who worry their children may lose their tickets.
- MORE ACCURATE APP - The Disneyland mobile app is now more accurate than ever when displaying FastPass distribution times, an extra handy feature when you decide you want to head across the park and want it to be worth your time.
- SHORTER DISTRIBUTION LINES - Lines at the FastPass distribution kiosks are now considerably shorter (often non-existent) than they ever have been before. Popular attractions, like Radiator Springs Racers or Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT, now have a minimal wait for guests to grab traditional FastPasses which means less time waiting in any sort of line.
At the end of the day, the decision whether or not to get MaxPass is totally up to you, and time will only tell where the price will go in the future. For now, we can definitely say that MaxPass is handy and can be super useful for your vacation.