Disney MaxPass is the new kid on the block. They were introduced to Disneyland Parks about June 2017 and have quickly caught on. You operate your Disneyland MaxPass through the Disneyland App and it’s very efficient, we used it on our recent visit to Disneyland Los Angeles.
This post will help explain what the new Disney MaxPass is and how best to use it and what it includes. We found the new system operated through the Disneyland App to be a very efficient way of navigating the park and would be great for the peak visiting days during June and July. Disneyland is definitely the Happiest place on Earth, Disneyland for adults can be just as much fun.
What is a Disney MaxPass?
Around June 2017 Disneyland introduced a new way to activate your Disney FASTPASS, from the Disneyland App on your smartphone. What this means is that you can now select a FASTPASS time using the app from anywhere in the park instead of going to the FASTPASS kiosk at the entrance to each ride. Once you have scanned in at the ride you can then select a time for you next ride while standing in the line. It also gives you realtime wait times for each ride that you may be interested in riding.
The other feature of the Disney MaxPass is unlimited Disney PhotoPass photo downloads. It doesn’t include photo prints though. The photos appear in the Disneyland App making it super easy to upload your photos straight to social media or to send to family and friends. Photos generally arrive 5-10mins after being taken although they can take up to 30mins. This means you can have your photo with every Disney character in the park for the one price. This alone was enough for me as I love photos but prefer to have digital over print.
How much is the Disney MaxPass?
The Disney MaxPass is currently available for the introductory price of $10USD per day per person. I am not sure when or if this price will increase but if you hear or go to pay and the price has increased, please let me know and I will update this post.
How do you purchase the Disney MaxPass
We purchased our Disneyland tickets at the Disneyland website. If you search online there are a number of discount offers available but I was strongly advised not to purchase these as there are a number scams and you can be easily ripped off. There is one site that is reported to be safe but does have some issues around it. Getaway Today have discounted tickets and accomodation packages but we didn’t go with them because they mail the tickets to you and we didn’t want to risk not receiving them. We had left booking our Disneyland tickets until the last minute so this wasn’t an option for us living internationally.
So for us we went with the safe option and purchased our tickets on the Disney website. We created an account when we purchased our tickets and paid via credit card. When you log into the Disneyland App using the same account details the ticket purchase with Disney MaxPass will be visible on the Disneyland App. If you didn’t purchase the Disney MaxPass when you purchased your tickets online, don’t stress you haven’t missed out! Open the app and hit the character icon at the bottom of the screen and tap the ‘Get FastPass with Disney MaxPass’, select people you wish to purchase it for and proceed to pay and then you are done.
The other option is to download the Disneyland App, create an account and purchase your tickets within the app. The ticket options are set out for you and you can purchase with or without a Disney MaxPass. I think we probably should have done it this way and it appears to be a lot easier but as the tickets are so expensive, I was a bit skeptical purchasing through the Disneyland App.
Disney Park Hopper option
This is really a personal choice. The Disney Park Hopper option enables you to move between Disneyland and California Adventure Park as you please throughout your visit. Note the Disney MaxPass operates in both parks. The entrances of each park is approximately a 2 min walk between them.
Now, you will have to pay extra to have a Disney Park Hopper ticket, after we crunched the numbers, it was going to cost us another $300 to have this option. That to us was not good value just to move between parks. We were at the parks for 3 days and decided to spend the first 2 days at Disneyland and the last day at California Adventure Park. I can honestly say, even if we had the Disney Park Hopper, I don’t think we would have used it. Our first day was spent getting our bearings and ticking off the main rides. Our second day was our Magic Morning at Disneyland, we spent the rest of the day ticking off the rest of the rides the kids wanted to do. We spent the last day in California Adventure Park which worked out perfect for us.
Magic Morning Pass
If you purchase a 3 or more day pass, this will entitle you to a Magic Morning early entrance to the Disneyland Park. With your Magic Morning pass you need to be strategic and use this morning to do the rides that generally have the longest wait time. We visited in early December and were so lucky as we had very minimal crowds for all 3 days. We never really waited more than 30mins for a ride and most rides with the Disney MaxPass we walked straight on.
On our Magic Morning, we went straight to the Jedi Training and booked the kids in for a suitable time. We then went and did Space Mountain and all the rides the kids loved the previous day for another ride. The Magic Mornings are only available on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. One of these mornings will suit you because of them only being available for 3 or more day passes. There didn’t appear to be a system for the Magic Morning, turn up on your chosen day, scan your ticket and go in. I assume it was monitored through scanning your ticket but we didn’t have to register a specific day to use our Magic Morning.
So what’s new at Disneyland California?
I’m not going to write a use post on our Disney experience as there are already a number of them out there that are very comprehensive. We have previously visited Disneyland Hong Kong and DisneySea in Tokyo so the kids had a fair idea of what to expect. We specifically left Disneyland California for when the kids were a little older. Reason being that if I was going to spend that much money, I wanted them to experience everything and be tall enough to go on every ride. This has been an ongoing issue for us, as all 3 of our kids have generally been well below the average height for their ages. They are often old enough to handle the ride but not tall enough to go on, particularly Keira.
Star Wars Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
Do you have a Star Wars fanatic who would like to fling a light sabre around with Darth Vader? Well now’s their chance to become a Jedi Padawan. Jedi Training is a recent addition to Tomorrowland. You need to get in early and book a time as there are a limited amount of positions over the day. Head to the Star Wars Launch Bay near Autopia to register for your time and this is also where you will drop the kids approximately 30mins prior to the start time. You’ll be provided with a receipt which you must bring back with you when you return for your Jedi Training.
Kids aged between 4-12 are able to participate. Alannah had only just turned 13 so we said she was 12 so she could have a go seeing it would be her only chance. As it turns out she was a bit old for it and mostly stood there rolling her eyes at us with that ‘you did this to me look’ on her face, as teenagers do.
Jedi Training involves the kids going to a 30 min training session to become a Jedi. They get dressed in their Jedi Padawan outfit and have a photo with the light saber. Then Luke Skywalker takes them through their Jedi Training with the group of about 30 other kids.
After completing their training the kids are taken out to the Trials of the Temple stage, located out the front of the Galactic Grill. Parents are directed to this area at child drop off to view what the kids have mastered while in Jedi Training. When the Star Wars music starts the Jedi Padawans march out to put on a show so have you cameras ready to film your Padawan in action with their new light saber skills against Darth Vader and Kylo Ren to defeat the Dark Side.
We even had a photo with Darth Vader and Chewbacca in the Star Wars Launch Pad after the show.
Star Wars Land – Galaxy’s Edge
Coming in the summer of 2019 the new Star Wars Land- Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland California and Disney World. This will be the largest ever, single themed Land expansion for Disneyland and Disney World in Florida.
Check out this footage of Galaxy’s Edge under construction right now.
The new Star Wars Land will have 2 new major attractions, putting you in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. It will also house a new Star Wars themed Disney Hotel.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout
Guardians of the Galaxy is a new introduction to California Adventure Park located in Hollywood Land. The ride pulses up and down until it reaches its top height. Once at the maximum height, a window opens where you can see right across the park, almost a birds eye view! The chair soon dramatically drops and continues to pulse drop until you reach the bottom.
World of Colour – Season of Light Show
While this isn’t a new attraction the theme changes to suit the season. We visit during the Christmas season and I have to admit the show was pretty impressive.
It really is difficult to not sing along to Christmas carols with the amazing back drop across Paradise Bay to the California Screamin’ roller closer and the famous Mickey’s Fun Wheel. You do need to be in the area a bit earlier to get a decent spot but there are plenty of different places to view it from.
So what did we think of Disneyland California and California Adventure Park?
We loved it! What’s not to love. Having the 2 parks there next to each other is great and they are both very different parks. I went on only one ride, the Radiator Springs Racers and I’m glad I did. It’s a very impressive ride. It was nice for me to be able to experience one ride with the kids (for any new readers, I suffer from terrible motion sickness on rides and seasickness on boats and when snorkelling. I attend these theme parks and hold everyone’s bags).
I’m also glad I made the decision to wait until the kids were older. I feel that we all enjoyed the visit as much as humanly possible. The kids didn’t have the ‘wow factor’ that we got on our first visit to Disneyland Hong Kong but they were very excited. We had 3 days straight at Disneyland and a total of 7 days straight because we also visited SeaWorld in San Diego, Universal Studios Hollywood, Warner Brothers Studios and Knott’s Berry Farm.
Its hard to not get swept away in all things Disney, I was determined to get into the theme of it and purchased Mickey ears for all of us which we proudly wore every single day of our visit. We ate a Mickey ice cream and purchased pins for our Disney lanyards.
We really did have an experience to remember. It was just perfect and even though it cost a fortune, I’m happy as a pig in mud to have been able to provide my kids with such a great experience, one they were able to enjoy as kids.
Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth.
Sal, Craig & our3kids.