When Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort reopened after their respective closures due to the pandemic, they were both missing one major theme park perk — FastPasses. Disney World had suspended their FastPass+ service and Disneyland Resort suspended their entire FASTPASS system. Neither theme park has reinstated them at this time.
With the FastPass system currently suspended, this would be the perfect time for Disney to rethink how just they do FastPasses. Disneyland and Disney World have such different FastPass reservation systems, and in my opinion, they don’t need to. It would be much simpler if the system was the same across the board, and it should be.
In simple terms, Disney World should get rid of their FastPass+ system and adopt the Disneyland MaxPass system.
There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not Disney will get rid of its free FastPass system, and honestly, I think Disney should. Disney Parks should adopt the new system that is already in place at the Disneyland Resort — the MaxPass system. While the MaxPass system will cost money, the benefits that it provides definitely outweigh the costs.
At this time, Disney hasn’t announced when FastPass+ is returning to Disney World or when FASTPASS/MaxPass are returning to Disneyland. But for now, let’s take a look at why the MaxPass is the direction that this reporter thinks Disney Parks should head in.
Keep the Spontaneity
One big downside to Disney World’s FastPass+ system is that Guests can book their FastPasses up to two months in advance. That means that every day and every theme park must be planned out. Even Annual Passholders can make reservations up to 30 days in advance, and if they wait too long, they may not have many options available to them when they do try to book.
With Disneyland’s MaxPass, everyone is on an even playing field. FASTPASS reservations cannot be made in advance — just on the day you visit the theme park of your choice. MaxPass will show Guests all the rides that have FASTPASS availability, and Guests can choose which one they want. This will allow for much more spontaneity, whether you are visiting Disneyland or Disney World.
PhotoPass Is Included
One major perk of purchasing the MaxPass is that it includes PhotoPass pictures! Whether you uploaded the code for your ride photos or you found Disney’s PhotoPass photographers throughout the theme park, you were able to take as many pictures as you wanted and download them onto your phone.
PhotoPass currently costs about $20 per day at Disneyland and at Walt Disney World, the Memory Maker is $70 per day! The Memory Maker is ride photos and Magic Shots and PhotoPass pictures, all of which are included with your MaxPass purchase. Disney World can get rid of their expensive Memory Maker package if they use the MaxPass system.
You Can Ride Whatever You Want
One of the biggest annoyances with FastPass+ at Disney World is the tier system. If a Guest wants to ride two popular attractions that are considered a “top tier”, they can’t book those two rides at the same time. While popular rides may run out of FastPasses quickly, you at least have the option to try to book them. Also, since FastPasses are booked weeks or months in advance, there is always a chance that you can get a FastPass for a ride you want if someone decides to cancel the FastPass they have booked.
It’s Cheaper Than Universal Express
Disney is not the first theme park to adopt a paid-for FastPass system. Universal Studios has been allowing Guests to purchase a Universal Express ticket for years. However, the ticket is not cheap — typically about $70 per day. Before the theme park shut down, Disneyland’s MaxPass only cost $20 per day, per Guest.
Another downside of Universal Express is that it only gives Guests front-of-the-line ride access once per ride, per day. However, with MaxPass you are not limited to the number of times that you can book a FASTPASS for a certain attraction. It is also A LOT cheaper than the current Universal Express Pass.
MaxPass Helps Maximize Park Time
Yes, it costs extra money, but the extra cost is definitely worth it if it means that Guests will be able to maximize their theme park experience. Whether or not you have an Annual Pass, most Guests want to get the most out of the Disney experience that they paid for. If you can cut down your time waiting in line, then you will be able to experience more attractions. The MaxPass — paired with mobile ordering that is found throughout the Disney Parks — will help all visitors have the ultimate magical experience.
With Disneyland not currently giving Guests an Annual Pass option, and with crowds increasing at nearly all Disney Parks, the reintroduction (or general introduction) at Disneyland and other Disney Parks are even more important. It is not cheap to spend the day at Disney, so when you do, you want to be able to fit in as much as possible.
MaxPass Fits Seamlessly With Disney’s New Touchless Experiences
The COVID-19 pandemic made Disney take a serious look at just how Guests experience the theme parks across the globe. While Disney was already telling Guests to use things like the My Disney Experience and Disneyland mobile apps on their phone, they are now making it so not using them is almost impossible.
With Guests now accessing their theme park tickets and reservations through the theme parks apps, the MaxPass is a natural addition to both. Accessing the MaxPass through the Disneyland app was incredibly easy, as the option was on the app’s main page. Guests’ most recent FASTPASS reservation was also on the main app page, so no searching was necessary!
Disneyland Resort’s MaxPass has been incredibly popular and successful since it was introduced to Disneyland Park Guests in 2017. It has allowed Guests to maximize their park experience without having to run around the park hoping that the attraction they want still had times available.
Disney’s MaxPass is the direction that Disney should go in. Yes, it is a paid-for service, but one that is worth every Disney dollar.
Have you used Disney’s MaxPass, and what did you think? Should all Disney Parks adopt the MaxPass? Let us know in the comments!
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Editor’s Note: The opinions reflected in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.