Fastpass Drops?

Babe the Blue Ox

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
One of the worst kept secrets at WDW is that additional day-of Fast Passes are released at set times throughout the day for even the most popular rides.

Is anything similar done at Disneyland? 3 of us recently visited on 12/29 and 12/31, and I was able to snag an almost endless supply of FPs both days using MaxPass, well after the traditional distributions were done for the day.

Rides like Radiator Springs, Space Mtn, Guardians, Big Thunder, etc. kept popping up with just a little effort. I know that these could be cancellations from other guests but I was surprised that there were so many.

It just made me wonder if occasional drops take place at Disneyland too. Maybe just a small way to take care of the paying customers that purchase MaxPass.
 

VandVsmama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
We've used Max Pass a few times at non-Christmas times of year and usually have that same experience as you described. It's pretty darn great!
 

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  • dina444444

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2013
    One of the worst kept secrets at WDW is that additional day-of Fast Passes are released at set times throughout the day for even the most popular rides.

    Is anything similar done at Disneyland? 3 of us recently visited on 12/29 and 12/31, and I was able to snag an almost endless supply of FPs both days using MaxPass, well after the traditional distributions were done for the day.

    Rides like Radiator Springs, Space Mtn, Guardians, Big Thunder, etc. kept popping up with just a little effort. I know that these could be cancellations from other guests but I was surprised that there were so many.

    It just made me wonder if occasional drops take place at Disneyland too. Maybe just a small way to take care of the paying customers that purchase MaxPass.
    There’s no schedule. It’s usually someone’s canceled fastpass that you are picking up.
     

    ironband74

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 26, 2018
    I don't think there is a schedule, but I have my suspicions that there is an algorithm that keeps track of unused and expired fastpasses and puts some fraction of those back into the system at a later time frame. For each time frame, for each attraction, there is a certain percentage of FP that don't get used. I'm sure Disney has analyzed these numbers and I would be willing to bet that the percentage of unused FP increases after mid afternoon and goes up as the day wears on. Cancellations get dropped in to the app for sure, but I think they are augmented by these no-show replacements.

    I just don't see most users caring enough to cancel unused passes and it doesn't seem to square up with how "easy" it is to pick up passes for "sold out" attractions. And you get paper users who don't use a pass for some reason and have no way to cancel. It used to be that if you had extra passes, you could give them to someone else, but since they linked them to the tickets, that isn't an option.

    However it works, though, it definitely makes maxpass more of a value. While it is fun to think about, when I'm at the park I just chalk it up to "magic" and refresh...refresh...refresh...snag!
     

    Babe the Blue Ox

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2007
    I don't think there is a schedule, but I have my suspicions that there is an algorithm that keeps track of unused and expired fastpasses and puts some fraction of those back into the system at a later time frame. For each time frame, for each attraction, there is a certain percentage of FP that don't get used. I'm sure Disney has analyzed these numbers and I would be willing to bet that the percentage of unused FP increases after mid afternoon and goes up as the day wears on. Cancellations get dropped in to the app for sure, but I think they are augmented by these no-show replacements.

    I just don't see most users caring enough to cancel unused passes and it doesn't seem to square up with how "easy" it is to pick up passes for "sold out" attractions. And you get paper users who don't use a pass for some reason and have no way to cancel. It used to be that if you had extra passes, you could give them to someone else, but since they linked them to the tickets, that isn't an option.

    However it works, though, it definitely makes maxpass more of a value. While it is fun to think about, when I'm at the park I just chalk it up to "magic" and refresh...refresh...refresh...snag!
    I agree. Several of the FPs that I was able to add later in the day were for a return window opening within 5-10 minutes, even for the most sought after attractions.

    I just don’t think many guests are cancelling their Fast Passes within minutes of being able to use them.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    You are getting cancellations. On several occasions, late in the afternoon/early evening, I have tried to get fastpasses in DCA and gotten a screen that says "there are no more fastpasses available at this park today." They do definitely have a set number they release. By refreshing numerous times, you may get lucky and get a cancelled set if FP.
     
  • Skyegirl1999

    1st pickle of the day!
    Joined
    Apr 11, 2016
    While I won’t rule out the idea that Disney kicks out extra FPs, I really don’t think so, or they certainly don’t do it in great numbers. The primary way you can tell is that apparent cancellations don’t show up in batches or with any regularity.

    I’m going to speak with some authority here because I am (probably overly) interested in tracking FPs/Maxpass. I routinely refresh the FP returns with no intention of booking a FP, so I just see what’s happening over a period of time. (For instance, we were waiting for the final ACF on January 6, and the parade was delayed 50 minutes - I spent much of that time just refreshing FPs and watching what was happening, noting cancellation patterns over about an hour. I caught over a dozen, but each was random and fleeting, with the exception of a 7:35 Buzz that stuck around for several refreshes - either a big group cancelled or nobody wanted it, I suppose.) One interesting thing that does occur is that a specific FP will pop up, disappear, and then pop up again a few minutes later - I attribute that to someone grabbing a cancellation, discussing with the group, and then releasing it back again - something I do often myself. I also usually watch what happens when I myself cancel a FP, which will linger for a few refreshes frequently enough to get a sense of small scale


    I just don’t think many guests are cancelling their Fast Passes within minutes of being able to use them.
    We do. I actually would guess that’s a prime time to release FPs - “Well, it’s 4:00 and we have GOTG in 10 minutes, but we’re still over at Disneyland and don’t feel like heading to DCA. Let’s cancel them.”
     

    Babe the Blue Ox

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2007
    While I won’t rule out the idea that Disney kicks out extra FPs, I really don’t think so, or they certainly don’t do it in great numbers. The primary way you can tell is that apparent cancellations don’t show up in batches or with any regularity.

    I’m going to speak with some authority here because I am (probably overly) interested in tracking FPs/Maxpass. I routinely refresh the FP returns with no intention of booking a FP, so I just see what’s happening over a period of time. (For instance, we were waiting for the final ACF on January 6, and the parade was delayed 50 minutes - I spent much of that time just refreshing FPs and watching what was happening, noting cancellation patterns over about an hour. I caught over a dozen, but each was random and fleeting, with the exception of a 7:35 Buzz that stuck around for several refreshes - either a big group cancelled or nobody wanted it, I suppose.) One interesting thing that does occur is that a specific FP will pop up, disappear, and then pop up again a few minutes later - I attribute that to someone grabbing a cancellation, discussing with the group, and then releasing it back again - something I do often myself. I also usually watch what happens when I myself cancel a FP, which will linger for a few refreshes frequently enough to get a sense of small scale



    We do. I actually would guess that’s a prime time to release FPs - “Well, it’s 4:00 and we have GOTG in 10 minutes, but we’re still over at Disneyland and don’t feel like heading to DCA. Let’s cancel them.”
    Thanks for sharing your research.

    Whether planned or not, we were very please at the volume of FPs that we were able to gather, even during a very busy period. I had read through your super thread and knew what to expect, but the results far exceeded the expectations.

    We’re just not morning people, and had worried that showing up at 10 am or later would hinder the experience, but that wasn’t the case at all.
     

    Kellina

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2015
    This is good to hear!! I'm a DW pro, but DL newbie planning a last minute trip for 2 days only Feb 29- Mar1!! Definitely going to Shell out for maxpass...
     

    Skyegirl1999

    1st pickle of the day!
    Joined
    Apr 11, 2016
    Thanks for sharing your research.

    Whether planned or not, we were very please at the volume of FPs that we were able to gather, even during a very busy period. I had read through your super thread and knew what to expect, but the results far exceeded the expectations.

    We’re just not morning people, and had worried that showing up at 10 am or later would hinder the experience, but that wasn’t the case at all.
    The cancellations are definitely more plentiful some days than others, but in general, you can definitely grab a lot later in the day if you know what you’re doing! I’m glad you had a good experience. I really think Maxpass is one of the best things Disney has done in years in terms of improving the park experience (even though it costs $, which is, of course, part of why it works - not everyone has it.)
     
  • PHXscuba

    Mouseketeer since birth!
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2008
    OP, I think your days in particular may have seen more FastPass cancellations than usual. I think high crowds cause some people to decide to leave earlier than originally planned, and if they're nice they return the MPs to the system. I could see a family thinking, "no way are we waiting another 4 hours to use than FastPass for Big Thunder if every line in the park is over an hour and we can barely move around."

    But I have never heard of DLR adding in additional FastPasses. You were knowledgable and persistent, which is always a good combo to hack the usual systems.

    PHXscuba
     

    Evita_W

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Honestly, it comes down to people cancelling their FPs, only those with MaxPass have access to canceled FPs. We were with family who didn't have MaxPass this past weekend and we almost ended up with a different return time than they did for Star Tours because someone canceled and it was available for immediate use, but what they could get was over an hour and a half away.

    So, yes it is indeed quite possible for Maxpass to get access to other FPs, but only if people cancel.
     

    mad hatter fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2006
    So those of you who have picked up the cancelled FPs on your trip haven’t said how many people were in your party. We will have 6 of us on our June trip. I’m guess our chances to pick up cancelled FPs will be slim.
     

    Niebz

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 13, 2011
    So those of you who have picked up the cancelled FPs on your trip haven’t said how many people were in your party. We will have 6 of us on our June trip. I’m guess our chances to pick up cancelled FPs will be slim.
    We are a group of 6 as well and it’s still very possible to get cancelled fast passes even with a large party. When it’s time for us to get a new fast pass I just refresh until a good one pops up.
     

    ZCarroll

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 5, 2011
    So those of you who have picked up the cancelled FPs on your trip haven’t said how many people were in your party. We will have 6 of us on our June trip. I’m guess our chances to pick up cancelled FPs will be slim.
    We are usually six and often 7 and I don't feel like it was any more difficult than what I hear others describe... I was actually starting to suspect that if there is a new opening the app just allows for the whole group to go...??
     

    Katiebird

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2017
    I think most are cancelled fast passes, but I also think they sometimes release more as well. Several times I’ve seen a ride that was 4-5 hours out suddenly be at half an hour, then 40 minutes, then 50... etc for some time. That’s too many to be just cancelled FP, but it’s not proof it’s happens with any regularity, either.

    as to why people would bother to cancel - because they want to get something else instead.
     

    Babe the Blue Ox

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2007
    as to why people would bother to cancel - because they want to get something else instead.
    I just can’t imagine someone cancelling Radiator Springs less than 10 minutes before the return time. But we found that in MaxPass twice on New Year’s Eve.

    I still think there is some “taking care of the paying customers” going on.
     

    tsumgirl

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2019
    I just can’t imagine someone cancelling Radiator Springs less than 10 minutes before the return time. But we found that in MaxPass twice on New Year’s Eve.

    I still think there is some “taking care of the paying customers” going on.
    I've cancelled Radiator Springs many times, just because it's my go to FP to grab if I'm watching a show and I don't plan on hitting the rides right after. Sometimes, it just doesn't fit in with the flow of my day when the time comes, so I gladly throw it back in the pool. I can always do the single rider lines if I change my mind and there's no FP availability later on.
     

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