The FastPass and MaxPass systems at Disneyland Resort can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you've never utilized either.
But if you want to ensure you ride all of the attractions and see the best shows you'll definitely want to make use of them.
To help you out, we're here to explain how to use FastPass and MaxPass at both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.
Ready to learn more?
Keep reading to see exactly how the systems work and allow us to answer some frequently asked questions along the way!
3 different ways to ride
Much like Walt Disney World, many of Disneyland's attractions offer riders 2 (and sometimes 3!) different ways to ride:
The Standby Line is exactly the same as what you find at Disney World. This is the line with the longest waits and the one that you use if you don't have a FastPass.
The FastPass Line at Disneyland also operates the same as what you find at Disney World. If you hold a FastPass for an attraction, that is the line you'd use. This line is typically way shorter than Standby (especially for the most popular attractions).
Some attractions offer a 3rd option for riding: Single Rider. The Single Rider line can also be a huge timer saver BUT isn't for everybody. Just like the name insinuates, guests that use this line will be separated from their party and used to fill in available spaces in ride vehicles.
The goal when touring Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is to avoid standing in long Standby Lines. That's where FastPass (and MaxPass) come in.
FastPass & MaxPass
Simply put, FastPass is a free system that anybody in the parks with a valid ticket can use. It allows guests to reserve return windows for popular attractions.
MaxPass is a special add-on (that costs extra) that allows you to use FastPass with your phone. This may not sound like much BUT it can be a huge time (and step!) saver.
FastPass without MaxPass
If you choose to use FastPass without MaxPass you'll be limited to making your selections in-park only and not via the Disneyland App.
In-Park distribution simply means you must physically go to a kiosk to make a FastPass reservation and to make it handy, there are a variety of FastPass distribution points that are located throughout the park.
But, each time you are eligible for another FastPass, you have to physically walk to a kiosk near the desired attraction to snag one. And, even though the parks aren't huge, it can be hassle to stop what you're doing and make the trek there.
With MaxPass you avoid the running around because you can do everything from your phone.
Does FastPass Cost Anything?
As previously stated, in-park FastPass distribution is free for all guests with valid theme park admission.
MaxPass via the Disneyland App
Now, as we mentioned, MaxPass isn't free - you can purchase MaxPass for $20 per day, per ticket - BUT it can make your day at the park a lot less stressful.
Unlike in-park distribution, MaxPass allows guests to make FastPass selections via the Disneyland app right on their smartphones.
There's no walking around to kiosks to make reservations; you can do everything right on your phone saving yourself time (and lots of steps!).
Does MaxPass Cost Anything?
MaxPass does cost extra in addition to theme park admission.
You can purchase MaxPass for $20 per day, per ticket.
Disney Southern California Select Passport, Disney Flex Passport, Disney Deluxe Passport, or Disney Signature Passport holders can purchase MaxPass as an annual add-on for $100 at any Disneyland ticket booth or as a daily add-on for $15 through the Disneyland app. MaxPass is included with the Disney Signature Plus Passport and the Disney Premier Passport.
Walt Disney World Comparison
Disney World vets know that there is only one system for FastPasses called FastPass+. With the Disney World system, FastPasses can be made either on the Walt Disney World website, via the My Disney Experience app on your phone, or at kiosks located throughout the parks.
And, at Disney World, FastPasses can be made ahead of time (either 30 or 60 days, depending on where you stay). Not so at Disneyland; everything is same day there.
For most, FastPass+ at Disney World doesn't cost anything extra, but you must have park tickets to make reservations.
That said, guests who stay in Club Level rooms and have 3+ park day tickets (or an Annual Pass) can purchase FastPasses+ ahead of time. This option costs $50, per person, per day.
There are no options to purchase additional FastPasses at Disneyland.
How To Use FastPass (without MaxPass) At Disneyland
There are different FastPass distribution points throughout each park. Most are located near select attractions and entertainment, unless otherwise noted below.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters — distributed in front of the Tomorrowland Theater
- Fantasmic! (nighttime show) — distributed along the Rivers of America, adjacent to Frontier Landing
- Haunted Mansion (and the seasonal Haunted Mansion Holiday)
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- “it’s a small world” (and the seasonal “it’s a small world” Holiday) — distributed near the entrance to Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain — distributed in front of the Tomorrowland Theater
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue — distributed in front of the Tomorrowland Theater
Disney California Adventure
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! (and the seasonal Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark)
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- World of Color (nighttime show) — distributed near The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure
You must be inside the park to book these FastPasses and you cannot make them in advance.
Once you're at a desired kiosk, make sure the return time displayed works for you. Then, you'll need to insert either your park ticket or Annual Pass into the machine, which will then distribute a paper reminder with your return time.
It's also important to note that you do not get to select your return window. Whatever return time is displayed is the time currently available for that FastPass. You can always return for a different time, but, remember, FastPasses are limited and sometimes go fast.
NOTE: the piece of paper distributed is not your FastPass, but only serves as a reminder. You will need to either scan your park ticket or Annual Pass at the FastPass entrance when it's time (you have an hour window to use your FastPass).
If you download the Disneyland app prior to your park visit and link your tickets in the app, you'll be able to see all of your FastPass selections under the "My Plans" section. You'll even be able to scan either your park ticket or the FastPass from the app when boarding a ride.
The paper reminder will also list when you can make another selection, so make note of the time!
TIP: Set an alarm on your phone so you don't miss the chance to grab another FastPass.
It's important to also note that Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Space Mountain, and Star Tours FastPasses are made via digital kiosks in front of the Tomorrowland Theater. You'll scan your park ticket or Annual Pass as normal, but a paper reminder will not be distributed.
Be sure to take a photo of the return time that appears on the screen so you don't forget your arrival window.
How To Link Your Tickets
Here's how to link your park ticket:
- Open the Disneyland app
- Make sure you're signed in
- Scroll until you see "My Tickets" and click
- Tap "Link Tickets & Passes"
- You can either enter the ID number or take photo of the barcode to link
Can I Cancel A FastPass?
Yes, you can cancel a FastPass, but only through the app and that's why it's important to make sure your ticket is linked. To cancel, go to the My Plans screen and cancel.
FYI: A MaxPass can also be canceled via the app.
Walt Disney World Comparison
Walt Disney World no longer has classic FastPass in-park distribution. FastPass+ allows guests to make selections directly from the My Disney Experience App or on the official Walt Disney World Website and then have their reservations linked to either their RFID-enabled park ticket or Magic Band. Cancellations can also be made via the app.
How To Use MaxPass At Disneyland
As previously stated, you must purchase MaxPass in order to use it. You can either buy it online or via the Disneyland app.
After that is completed, you'll want to access MaxPass in the app. Here's how to do that:
- Click on the Disneyland App
- Make sure you're logged in
- Tap the Blue Mickey symbol at the bottom
- Tap "Get FASTPASS"
IMPORTANT: If you didn't purchase MaxPass through the app, make sure your ticket is linked in the Disneyland app (follow the same process as previously mentioned).
Also! If you want to make reservations for your entire party, all of your tickets must be linked under the same Disney account.
After this is complete, you'll be able to create a FastPass party by simply tapping everyone's name in your group.
TIP: link tickets before entering the park, so you don't waste time.
Everyone in your party must be scanned into the park in order to make FastPass selections. Reservations cannot be made in advance.
How To Create A MaxPass Party
- Open the Disneyland app
- Make sure you're signed in
- Under "My Plans," select "Get FastPass with Disney MaxPass"
- You'll then be able to create a party by simply clicking the "+" next to each person's name (it's important to link tickets before you enter the park in order to save time and then you can grab FastPasses faster)
- Delegate one person in your party to make FastPass selections
When it comes to making actual FastPass selections, select the correct park and simply scroll through to find what you want to make the reservation and make sure everyone in your party is selected.
Like with in-park distributions, you can hold more than one FastPass at the same time. After you grab a FastPass via MaxPass, your return window for that attraction will be listed, along with another time denoting when you can make another reservation.
If you decide you want to change or cancel a FastPass, you can do that too.
Tip: set an alarm so you don't miss the next window to make a selection.
When it's time to use your FastPass, you'll open up MaxPass in the app and scan the barcode on each FastPass, just like you would for in-park distribution, but this time it will be on your phone.
If that's too complicated, you can also use your park ticket.
Can I Use MaxPass For Both Parks On The Same Day?
*drumroll* YES YOU CAN — but only if you have Park Hopper tickets or an Annual Pass. As soon as you are scanned inside a park, whether it be Disneyland or DCA, you can make FastPass selections at the other park too.
Example: if you're in Disneyland and want to make a FastPass for Radiator Springs Racers in DCA, you can!
Is MaxPass Worth It?
It really is, especially if you want to try to ride as many attractions as possible and make sure you have seats for nighttime entertainment.
Of course, if your main focus isn't rides and you have a different goal while at the parks, then you probably want to skip MaxPass.
And, remember, you don't have to purchase MaxPass for every single day of your trip. You can buy it for however many days you want. If you're worried about finances, then only do it for one or two days and use in-park FastPass distribution for the remainder (depending on the length of your trip, of course).
Is MaxPass Unlimited?
Yes, but keep in mind that there is only a select amount available each day and you're not guaranteed a FastPass for each attraction.
Can I Use MaxPass Without The App?
You have to use the app in order to book FastPasses, but if you don't want to scan your FastPasses on your phone, you can use your park tickets.
Can I Pick My Return Time With MaxPass?
Unlike Walt Disney World's FastPass+, you don't get to select your return window for MaxPass. Whatever return time is listed on the app is the time currently available for that FastPass. You can always wait and select a different time, but, remember, FastPasses are limited.
Can I Use MaxPass For Fantasmic Or World Of Color?
You sure can! FastPasses for Fantasmic and World of Color go fast. Make sure you grab these as soon as possible.
Unlimited Photo Downloads
MaxPass is also great because you get unlimited downloads of PhotoPass photos, dining photos, and attraction photos.
The photos will eventually expire 45 days from the date the photo was taken. You can extend the expiration date (only once) to 60 days by purchasing an Expiration Extension for an additional $19.95.
TIP: download the photos as soon they appear in the app so you don't forget!
Walt Disney World Comparison
MaxPass is similar to Walt Disney World's FastPass+ system in the sense that selections are made on your phone. Of course, FastPass+ reservations will be made via the My Disney Experience app.
The big difference is that at Disney World you can make up to 3 FastPass+ selections for only one park in advance (if you're staying onsite, 60 days prior, and offsite, only 30 days in advance, both starting at 7 a.m. EST) and you get to select the return time.
Not so with FastPass and MaxPass at Disneyland. There are no advanced FastPass reservations there and return times are assigned.
How Many FastPasses Do I Get Per Day?
There isn't a limit for FastPasses, but keep in mind that there is only a select amount available each day and you're not guaranteed a FastPass for each attraction.
Which FastPasses Should I Book?
Use FastPass & MaxPass For Attractions That Need It
What If You Don't Get The Ones You Want?
Depending on the crowds, time of day/year, you should be able to get most FastPass selections. It's important to plan ahead of time so you know which attractions you want to ride and make sure you grab FastPasses for the most popular attractions first.
Does Everybody In Your Group Need A FastPass, Even If They Aren't Going To Ride?
No, not everyone in your group needs a FastPass. When making selections via MaxPass or at a kiosk, simply don't grab that individual a FastPass if they don't want to ride a particular attraction.
However, if there's a young individual who isn't old enough to stand alone in line or you feel more comfortable waiting with them until they board the attraction, you'll need a FastPass in order to get in the FastPass line with them even if you don't plan to ride.
Can I Use Somebody Else's FastPass?
As long as you're with the person who has either the FastPasses on their phone or as long as you have that individual's ticket to scan in the FastPass line, you can use somebody else's FastPass.
Can I Have More Than 1 FastPass At A Time?
FastPasses are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and you can hold more than one at a time.
Do FastPasses Ever "Expire"?
Yes. If you don't use them during the designated time, they will expire. However, if an attraction goes down during your FastPass arrival window, it will not expire.
What Happens If A Ride Breaks Down Before You Get The Chance To Use Your FastPass?
If a ride breaks down during your arrival window, you will be given a "Replacement FastPass" via the Disneyland app. This applies to both those using in-park distribution and MaxPass (those using the classic FastPass, link your ticket in the app to be able to view the Replacement FastPass).
The Replacement FastPass will be automatically loaded into the app and can only be used for attractions inside the park in which the Replacement FastPass was issued. It's also good for any time of the day before park closing.
Can I Use It During Extra Magic Hours or Magic Morning?
If you have MaxPass, Both Extra Magic Hour and Magic Morning guests can make FastPass reservations, but the arrival windows will only be issued for times when that experience is open to the general public.
Those who don't have MaxPass will have to wait until official park opening to utilize in-park distribution.
Walt Disney World Comparison
FastPass+ is not available during Extra Magic Hours (become available once the parks officially opens) and if a ride breaks down at Walt Disney World, guests will be issued a "Multiple Experience" FastPass+.
How Does FastPass & MaxPass Work With DAS?
What Is DAS?
Disability Access Service (DAS) accommodates guests who aren't able to wait in a conventional line due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). Depending on the attraction, those who need a wheelchair or scooter will either wait in the standard line or they will receive a return time that's comparable to the current wait time.
DAS is issued at Guest Relations located at the main entrance of each park. This is where you'll receive your first return time. Here are the locations:
- City Hall at Disneyland
- Chamber of Commerce at Disney California Adventure
How Do Return Times Work?
Guests are offered a return time (they can only have one active return time at a time) for attractions based on the current wait time and is typically comparable to the current standby queue wait for that attraction.
In between return times, guests can explore the park.
Return times are valid until redeemed, but they must be redeemed before park closing. As soon as the guest finishes one attraction, they can receive a return time for the same or another attraction by visiting any regional Guest Relations kiosk through both Disneyland and DCA.
The locations of all Guest Relations and kiosks are as follows:
- City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A.
- Central Plaza Information Board near Plaza Inn
- Fantasyland kiosk next to Dumbo
- Tomorrowland kiosk next to Star Trader
- New Orleans Square kiosk next to the Haunted Mansion exit
- Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street
- Information Station on Buena Vista Street
- Cars Land kiosk at entrance of Cars Land
- Pixar Pier kiosk near FastPass Distribution area for Incredicoaster and Toy Story Midway Mania!
Every member of your party must have a valid theme park ticket in order to receive a return time.
The return time is electronically associated with each party member's valid theme park ticket. Another member of the party may request the return time, but the DAS Cardholder must board the attraction with their party.
To board, you will use the FastPass Return entrance, the ride exit, or an alternate line, depending on the attraction.
Can I Use FastPass & MaxPass With DAS?
You can use DAS in addition to FastPass, but MaxPass continues to be an additional cost. FastPass and MaxPass will operate the same way in conjunction with DAS. You can also view both FastPass and DAS reservations in the Disneyland app.
If a standby line is long, you may want to grab a FastPasss instead, since for DAS, the current wait time is usually comparable to the current queue wait for that attraction.
Can I Arrange DAS Before My Visit?
No, you cannot arrange DAS prior to your visit. You must register in person and have your photo taken, so be sure to budget time for this process.
DAS is good for up to 60 days, based on ticket entitlement. When the service expires, you must return to Guest Relations with your ticket to have the service re-issued.
If you have questions or concerns, the best place to go is Guest Relations in either park and they can assist you.
Walt Disney World Comparison
DAS at Walt Disney World operates the same way as Disneyland, except after getting you first return time at Guest Relations at the park entrance, guests must request return times at the attractions versus going to Guest Relations or a kiosk. FastPass+ can also be used in addition to DAS.