Disneyland FastPass Vs MaxPass Is It Worth The Money?

Many Disney bloggers explained the MaxPass and recommend using it. Unless you want that convenience it is a waste of your hard-earned money. Many people may not agree with me because they think MaxPass is a great service.

Understand not everyone can afford this and it is not a necessary add-on. Anyone can go on rides without waiting in long lines. Or can get free pictures. If you want to spend the money, then do it. This post helps guests on a budget. I go to Disneyland once or twice a week. I know what I am talking about.

A Disneyland Annual Passholder, can have MaxPass added to a pass for $100. If you do not care about getting your pictures from the rides or take many photos with the PhotoPass, it’s not worth it. If you pay for parking that is an added fee you don’t need when you have to spend money for parking on each visit.

It's $15 per ticket. Once again per ticket! Per Day. Once again Per Day! You need a FastPass for every ticket. MaxPass is a FastPass. The difference is MaxPass lets you book the FastPass on your Phone. If you are a family of four going to Disneyland and California Adventure for three days that’s $60 a day! For three days it is $180 for that you can go to an excellent character breakfast and get snacks.

I always recommend a character breakfast over spending $180 on something you do not need.

Disneyland is not that big. Getting a FastPass is not an inconvenience. If you plan you won't have to walk out of your way to get a FastPass.

The one exception is Radiator Springs Racers their FastPasses run out fast.You don't have to pay to get a FastPass. You need to know what the Annual Pass holders do.

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Arrive when California Adventure opens. Get a FastPass for Radiator Springs Racers over at It's Tough to be a Bug. Then ride Radiator Springs Racers while there is no line. With this method you can ride twice.

Your FastPass time could be at 9 am or later. You cannot get another FastPass until that one expires or redeemed. If you get there early enough there is the Single Rider option. Later in the day, everyone is using that option. 

The second ride you must get to is Guardians. Once you have been on both rides, you rode the most popular attractions in the park. 

Why spend $15 per person when you can plan and get on those rides before the parks get busy. Do Radiator Springs Racers then Guardians. By planning you saved $15 per person for that day.

Use a FastPass but pair it with a single rider attraction nearby. This will save you a lot of time in line and on your feet.

FastPass Attractions:

Disneyland FastPass Attractions:

  • Big Thunder Mountain

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

  • Haunted Mansion

  • Indiana Jones Adventure

  • It's a Small World

  • Matterhorn

  • Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin

  • Space Mountain

  • Splash Mountain

  • Star Tours

California Adventure FastPass Attractions:

  • Goofy’s Sky School

  • Grizzly River Run

  • Radiator Springs Racers

  • Soarin' Around the World

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout

  • Toy Story Midway Mania

  • Incredicoaster

Many of these rides offer a Single Rider Option. The smart thing to do is get a FastPass for one ride and ride a Single Rider Attraction to kill that time.

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Single Rider attractions are:

  • Indiana Jones

  • Goofy's Sky School

  • Matterhorn

  • Radiator Springs Racers

  • Splash Mountain

  • Grizzly River Run

  • Space Mountain


Pair a Star Tours FastPass with the Single Rider line at Space Mountain. The FastPass return times for Space Mountain are long. This can prevent you from getting another FastPass for hours.

I like get a FastPass for Big Thunder Mountain then head on over to Indiana Jones and use the Single Rider line. I can ride both in 30 minutes.

Unless you have small children in your party, the MaxPass is useless. You can use the free FastPass and the Single Rider lines. When using Single Rider, you may not sit with your party.

Visit Disneyland on weeknights when they close early. Fantasmic starts 15 minutes before the park closes. Many people that want to watch Fantasmic are there 45 minutes to an hour before the show to claim their spot. That means the wait times for rides are short.

An hour before the park closes is the best time in Fantasyland. Peter Pan does not offer a FastPass, and the average wait is 40-60 minutes. Peter Pan will be about 30 minutes if you are lucky there’s a 20-minute wait.  Fantasyland is a real-time waster during the day. At night before closing on most days you can ride the Mad Tea Party two to three times in a row. I will ride Pinocchio and Snow White twice. Mr. Toad is a short wait. It's a Small World has no line.

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Wait an hour before closing or for a late showing of Fantasmic in Tomorrowland. The wait for Buzz Lightyear during Fantasmic is 5 minutes and Star Tours about 15. I will get a FastPass for Star Tours and ride Buzz a few times.  New Orleans Square before Fantasmic is hard to get through due to the crowd. The Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh have no line. Take the train to New Orleans Square. Ride Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain during Fantasmic. You can walk on the rides. 

Now a good reason to pay $15 for a MaxPass is to save money on PhotoPass Pictures. Disney charges $12.99 for one download so that $15 dollar MaxPass is a deal. You could purchase one MaxPass. Then use that to get free pictures and forget about booking FastPass online. PhotoPass for most is a waste. You can take a picture of the attractions pictures and crop it. Four rides take your picture and charge you for it. Those rides are:

  • Splash Mountain

  • Space Mountain

  • Radiator Springs Racers

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

I seldom have a ride photo come out well. Many people pose and can block you. So you may get one good picture and three duds. PhotoPass Photographers can take pictures with your phone or camera. People are always walking by. You can ask someone to take a picture for you. That option is free. MaxPass means only getting free downloads. It’s not worth it to pay that money when I can get someone to do it for free.

Here is the catch breakfast at Plaza Inn is about $100-120 for most families. I rather spend my money there. The food was fantastic, and it is all you can eat. You get a unique photo with Minnie and will meet many characters. 

Sure MaxPass is easier for many people. Especially because you can book another ride while waiting for the other. You cannot get one FastPass while waiting for another. Personally I feel this the only real advantage. However, no one points out you could get a FastPass and go on Single Rider rides nearby though. This method is much faster and free. 

Save that money for some souvenirs. Or buy one MaxPass for the pictures. 

I don't hate MaxPass it's a waste of money for most people. 

Please comment below if you have questions. 

Here are some helpful posts to help prepare for your visit to Disneyland. 

If you are traveling with a baby or toddler here is a guide to Disneyland with babies.

Bringing preschool-aged children to Disneyland

How to avoid losing your kids at Disneyland

Mickeys Halloween Party Tips

2017 Mickeys Halloween Party

Line Tips 

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