Maxpass/Fastpass Superthread: an overview and some strategy

Skyegirl1999

1st pickle of the day!
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Updated July 2019: I wanted to share some information about Maxpass in one location. I've been collecting a ton of FP-related data since May of 2018, and hopefully this helps some people out.

First, an overview that assumes you are familiar with the overall FP concept:
  • Fastpasses obtained from machines or via Maxpass work in fundamentally the same way. What's different? Maxpass will cost you $15 per ticket, per day (price increased on 1/6/19). Machine-based Fastpass is free. Maxpass means you can book with the app. No Maxpass means you need to physically go to the machine and insert your ticket/AP to load the FP. Either way, you can view and cancel your FPs using the app.
  • You don't book any FPs until you are in the park at Disneyland (unlike WDW). Once your ticket is scanned into either park, you are eligible to pull your first FP (from either park). As soon as you're eligible, you'll book your next one. Rinse and repeat all day. (Note that you can only book FPs for tickets that have been used to enter a park.)
  • When are you eligible to book that next FP? In general, it's as soon as a FP window opens (note: NOT when you use the FP! If the window opens at 9:20, you can book at 9:20 whether you've used it or not). There's also a 90 minute "maximum" wait for Maxpass (2 hours without Maxpass) and a 30 minute "minimum" wait (unless you use the FP first). For more detailed information, see this thread: https://www.disboards.com/threads/the-answer-to-when-can-i-pull-my-next-fp.3634984/
  • There is no rule about how many FPs you can have at once, or how many you can have in a day. A lot of people think you have to use one to get another one, or that you always have to wait 90 minutes/2 hours... these things are not true.
  • When selecting a FP, you cannot pick a preferred time. The FP return times start in the morning (at or just after park opening: see below), and then they march forward. What you see is what you get.
Some random information about FP/Maxpass:
  • At this time, you can book FPs during EMH/MM (at least on the app with Maxpass - I am not sure if the machines are open). The return times start at park opening for any ride that was open for EMH/MM, or 30 minutes after park opening for rides that weren't open. (So, if DL opens at 8 with a 7 EMH/MM, you'll see 8:00 return times for the Fantasyland/Tomorrowland rides, and 8:30 ones for the rest of the park).
  • You can scan in approximately 5 minutes earlier and 15 minutes later than the times listed on your FP (so, a 9:20-10:20 FP is actually good from 9:15-10:35).
  • People booking with Maxpass can book other people's cancelled FPs. You have to snap these up quickly! If you've been checking and Toy Story's been 8:00-9:00, 8:05-9:05, 8:10-9:10 and suddenly it's 2:00-3:00 - that's a cancellation! Grab it!
  • If you’re using Maxpass, once you’ve scanned in for the day, you can book FPs from anywhere - your hotel, your home, people have even booked them in different states after a plane flight! This means you can easily take a mid-day break while still acquiring FPs, stacking them up for the time when you plan to return to the parks.
  • As of summer 2019, you can book Fantasmic! and/or World of Color FPs via Maxpass. These are disconnected from ride FPs and do not affect the time when you can pull your next ride FP. (Also note that these show FPs run out MUCH sooner than they did previously; grab them early.)
Ride popularity: Here is where my data comes in. As mentioned above, all FP return times start at or just after park opening and march forward. They march forward at VERY different (but rather predictable) rates. Here are my groups of FP popularity, culled from literally hundreds of return time screenshots this year.

Group One: Radiator Springs Racers
Radiator Springs Racers is unequivocally the most popular FP at the Disneyland Resort. It runs out far before any other FP (this doesn't necessarily mean you should book it first: see below for thoughts on that). In 2019 (other than during low-crowd June), it's common for RSR to run out by noon, frequently even earlier. One thing to note about RSR is that due to its popularity "in the dark," you'll often notice it stall a bit, then disappear quickly once "after dark" times hit.

Group Two: Space Mountain, Toy Story: Midway Mania
These will run out. On crowded days, they'll run out by early afternoon.

Group Three: Guardians of the Galaxy, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn, Soarin', **Splash during daytime hours when hot, Haunted Mansion Holiday (but only Holiday)
These will likely run out, or at least will have really late return times by mid-afternoon.

Group Four: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, **Grizzly River Rapids for afternoon times when HOT, Incredicoaster, *It's a Small World Holiday, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Star Tours (Star Tours is more of a Group 3.5.)
These are not as popular as the rides above, but if it's crowded, these will be gone (or really late) at some point.

Group Five: Buzz Lightyear, Goofy's Sky School, **Grizzly River Rapids when not hot or for nighttime, Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, **Splash Mountain when it's not hot or for nighttime
These are often available "immediately" or fairly soon, even into the evening (of course, not if it's a highly crowded day, but more often than you might expect).

*It's a Small World Holiday becomes a Group 2 as soon as it hits nighttime hours because everyone wants to ride when it's dark.
**Grizzly and Splash behave VERY differently in hot weather than cold weather. Also, even in heat, they don't get snapped up for the morning or evening; it's the afternoon times that fly.

Keep in mind: This is generalized data, so if a ride has a breakdown during the day, has recently come back from a refurb or is scheduled to go down for one, is running at partial capacity, etc., things can change a lot. For instance, in 2018, they ran Star Tours at half capacity for much of the year, and it behaved like the rides in Group 2 for that entire time.

Strategy:
For maximum FP efficiency, you want to minimize the time you wait between pulling FPs. Ideally, you want as few "90 minutes holds" as possible.

Overall strategy obviously varies a lot depending what your priorities are, whether your group is single-rider eligible, etc. Also, if you're taking a hotel break or something and you want to come back to a bunch of "stacked" evening FPs, your planning will look different.
Here's what I do on an average day with Maxpass:
**Note: If you are in the parks early enough to grab a RSR FP that will not cause you to wait 60+ minutes to grab your next FP, I would absolutely book that first. I am usually not in that early, even if I rope drop, so that's why you see me grab it later.

1. First thing, I book a lot of Group 2 and 3 stuff. This is stuff that will cause 90 minute gaps if I book them later in the day, but in the morning, the return times will be much closer. So, if I enter the park at 8:05 and I see an 8:45 Space Mountain FP, I'm grabbing that. I'm also NOT wasting time on Group 4/5 stuff (unless it's so close and I'm nearby enough that I can book it, scan in, and book a new one immediately - I do this all the time for Buzz).
2. By mid-morning, I'm keeping an eye on RSR to make sure it's not disappearing. Once I see it getting too late for comfort, I make RSR my first "90 minute wait" FP of the day.
3. After my 90-minute RSR wait is up, I go back to any Group 2 and 3 stuff that I want. I fill in 4 and 5 stuff later when other stuff has run out or gotten too late for us.

"Stacking" FPs:
When people reference "stacking" FPs, they're talking about booking FPs so that you have a bunch ready to use at one time. This is especially nice if you're taking an afternoon break and want to have a bunch of FPs ready when you come back (just keep booking a new one every 90 minutes). Some examples of how this can work:
Example A - stacking for the evening:
Mid-morning, you book RSR for a 7:00-8:00pm return time. Throughout the day, you keep an eye on other DCA rides and book them when they get to evening returns - say, grab GOTG with a 6:30-7:30 return time, and later grab Incredicoaster with 7:15-8:15. Now, when you come back to DCA, all three of those are waiting for you.
Example B - stacking by location:
First thing in the morning, you book Space Mountain with an 8:45-9:45am return time. At 8:45, you book Star Tours with a 9:15-10:15 return time. At 9:15, you book Buzz Lightyear with a 9:20-10:20 return time. Now, head to Tomorrowland and ride all three. (Note: In this case, I'd actually ride Buzz first so you can grab your next FP immediately - keep in mind that your Space FP will scan until 10am, giving you plenty of time to hit Buzz on your way there.)

Managing FPs on your phone(s) with Maxpass:
  • As far as purchasing Maxpass goes, you can buy it with your ticket purchase for your entire trip, or if it's not purchased then, you can purchase after you scan in day-by-day (this will go fastest if you have all tickets and a credit card linked to your account before park entry, and make sure you know your CVV). Adding daily gives you flexibility in case you decide you don't need/want to pay for it every single day.
  • Each time you book a FP, you select a "FP party" from the tickets loaded into your app. You can book different things for different people (for instance, say you're a family of four: you can pick two people and book GOTG for them, and then pick the other two and book Toy Story for them).
  • You can scan tickets into multiple phones and manage FPs from multiple phones. Your ticket does not care how many phones/accounts it is linked to.
  • I do not recommend trying to coordinate FPs by having each person book his/her own - because of cancellations, you can end up with different times. Load them all together and book a whole group at once.
How to "redeem" FPs (whether you used Maxpass to book them or not):
You scan your park ticket/AP, either your physical one or the version that shows up under "my tickets" in the app (the app will also pop up a FP code for each person during the FP return window). I always scan our physical APs instead of the app version; I find it much faster. You can have one person scan for your whole group, or you can have each person scan for him/herself.

Other Maxpass FAQs:
  • Can I check for cancelled FPs without being eligible to book a new one yet? Technically yes (as of summer 2019), but it won't do you much good. You can't "modify" current FPs, so if you spot a cancellation and click it, it will just "Not so fast!" message you because you are still blocked out... you could theoretically cancel the existing FP that's blocking you, but chances are very good that the cancellation will be long gone by then.
  • How do I "refresh" to check for cancellations? You have to keep going back and selecting the park over and over again.
  • Can I pull FPs from machines if I bought Maxpass? Yes, so if you bought Maxpass for one person for the photopass benefits, that person can ignore that they have it otherwise and just pull from the machines with the rest of your group. Just be careful not to check their FP for the time your next FP is available, since theirs will list 90 minutes away instead of two hours.
I'm sure things will change or I missed something obvious and I'll have to edit this, but there's some information for now! I'll try to post a few useful pictures and link some other helpful threads in the comments.
 
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Skyegirl1999

1st pickle of the day!
Joined
Apr 11, 2016

This is what it looks like when you’re selecting a FP with Maxpass.


Note that it shows you when you’re eligible to book your next one, which is helpful - BUT, in this case, you can see that I booked this at 3:02 and the window for it opens at 3:15, so it gave me the “30 minute minimum” time of 3:32. I could actually scan in earlier (as early as 3:10), and then I could book another FP immediately!

**I almost always screenshot that “Congratulations!” screen so I can check times without actually going into the app, which takes way longer than clicking my phone photos.
 
  • HydroGuy

    A Pirate's Life For Me
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2005
    @Skyegirl1999 - thanks so much for this thread! And great job! It has been needed so long and I have been wanting to write it myself but have not found time. I have some suggestions and, if you like them, please incorporate them into your OP as you see fit. :)


    1. It seems a lot of people, including me, tend to think of MaxPass (MP) as a paid way to get FastPasses (FPs). In other words, one does not "use a MaxPass". Instead they "use a FP" and that FP can be obtained by MP or physically through the FP kiosks. Your post #2 with screen shots shows this when it says "This party can make a new FASTPASS selection at 3:32PM". They do not make a new "MAXPASS" selection. They make a new FASTPASS selection and they do that using MP.

    So I would recommend you talk about "FP from MP" vs. "paper FP from kiosks". I think it will confuse folks to talk about MP vs. FP as in your very fist bullet:
    Both FP and Maxpass work in fundamentally the same way.
    To carry through my suggestion as an example, your first bullet would read "Both paper FPs and Maxpass obtained FPs work in fundamentally the same way."

    IMO, several other places in the OP could use similar clarificatios.


    2. I would suggest you use a different word than "Tiers" for FP popularity. That is a word used at Walt Disney World for their so-called FastPass+ (FP+) part of My Disney Experience (booking FPs 30-60 days before you arrive at the parks). So anyone who goes to WDW more frequently will be immediately confused.

    I think it will be less confusing for some if you use the word "Group" or "Most Popular Group".
     

    HydroGuy

    A Pirate's Life For Me
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2005
    Adding to the excellent OP, here is a consolidated list of advantages of MaxPass over legacy paper FP:

    1. Saves you time and physical energy from having to walk to FP kiosks located at the rides to get your FPs.

    2. Allows you to get FPs at the opposite park without having to be there (assuming you have Park Hopper tickets or an AP).

    3. Allows you to get your next FP faster (in 90 minutes maximum vs. 120 minutes with paper FP).

    4. Allows you to be able to get cancelled FPs. This means after all FPs have been distributed for the day for a ride, and the paper FP kiosks are closed for that ride, you can still get last minute FPs when someone else cancels.

    5. Allows you to continue to collect FPs if you are having a meal, in line for another ride, seeing a show, or even if you leave the parks for a break to your hotel. Once you have bought your MP for the day, you do not have to be inside the parks any longer to use MP.

    6. Since Disney does not enforce a matching of FP to each person in your party, if one or more people in your party leave the parks early (maybe they are tired and decide to call it quits at 5PM), you can get extra FPs using their park tickets. Yes, this is technically possible with the legacy kiosk FP system, but you have to hold your parties park tickets/APs when they leave. That can be a problem if they think they may want to return to the parks (and will need their park tickets/APs) or may need their APs for discounts (e.g., shopping at World of Disney or dining in DTD or at a Disney hotel)

    7. MP includes photos from rides and from Disney photographers around the parks.
     
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  • Skyegirl1999

    1st pickle of the day!
    Joined
    Apr 11, 2016
    @Skyegirl1999 - thanks so much for this thread! And great job! It has been needed so long and I have been wanting to write it myself but have not found time. I have some suggestions and, if you like them, please incorporate them into your OP as you see fit. :)


    1. It seems a lot of people, including me, tend to think of MaxPass (MP) as a paid way to get FastPasses (FPs). In other words, one does not "use a MaxPass". Instead they "use a FP" and that FP can be obtained by MP or physically through the FP kiosks. Your post #2 with screen shots shows this when it says "This party can make a new FASTPASS selection at 3:32PM". They do not make a new "MAXPASS" selection. They make a new FASTPASS selection and they do that using MP.

    So I would recommend you talk about "FP from MP" vs. "paper FP from kiosks". I think it will confuse folks to talk about MP vs. FP as in your very fist bullet:


    To carry through my suggestion as an example, your first bullet would read "Both paper FPs and Maxpass obtained FPs work in fundamentally the same way."

    IMO, several other places in the OP could use similar clarificatios.


    2. I would suggest you use a different word than "Tiers" for FP popularity. That is a word used at Walt Disney World for their so-called FastPass+ (FP+) part of My Disney Experience (booking FPs 30-60 days before you arrive at the parks). So anyone who goes to WDW more frequently will be immediately confused.

    I think it will be less confusing for some if you use the word "Group" or "Most Popular Group".
    Great points, I’ll update those terms in a bit.
     

    katejc

    Disneyland Lover
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2009
    As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to share some information about Maxpass in one location. I've been collecting a ton of MP-related data since May, and hopefully this helps some people out.

    First, an overview that assumes you are familiar with the overall FP concept:
    • Both FP and Maxpass work in fundamentally the same way. What's different? Maxpass will cost you $10 per ticket, per day. Fastpass is free. Maxpass means you can book with the app. FP means you need to physically go to the machine and insert your ticket/AP to load the FP. Either way, you can view and cancel your FPs using the app.
    • You don't book any FPs until you are in the park at Disneyland (unlike WDW). Once your ticket is scanned into either park, you are eligible to pull your first FP (from either park). As soon as you're eligible, you'll book your next one. Rinse and repeat all day.
    • When are you eligible to book that next FP? In general, it's as soon as a FP window opens (note: NOT when you use the FP! If the window opens at 9:20, you can book at 9:20 whether you've used it or not). There's also a 90 minute "maximum" wait for Maxpass (2 hours with FP) and a 30 minute "minimum" wait (unless you use the FP first). For more detailed information, see this thread: https://www.disboards.com/threads/the-answer-to-when-can-i-pull-my-next-fp.3634984/
    • There is no rule about how many FPs you can have at once, or how many you can have in a day. A lot of people think you have to use one to get another one, or that you always have to wait 90 minutes/2 hours... these things are not true.
    • When selecting a FP, you cannot pick a preferred time. The FP return times start in the morning (at or just after park opening: see below), and then they march forward. What you see is what you get.
    Some random information about FP/Maxpass:
    • At this time (December 2018), you can book FPs during EMH/MM (at least on the app with Maxpass - I am not sure if the machines are open). The return times start at park opening for any ride that was open for EMH/MM, or 30 minutes after park opening for rides that weren't open. (So, if DL opens at 8 with a 7 EMH/MM, you'll see 8:00 return times for the Fantasyland/Tomorrowland rides, and 8:30 ones for the rest of the park).
    • You can scan in approximately 5 minutes earlier and 15 minutes later than the times listed on your FP (so, a 9:20-10:20 FP is actually good from 9:15-10:35). (Note: Others have reported scanning in earlier than 5 minutes and getting a green acceptance scan. I have tried scanning in earlier than five minutes many times because of these reports and it has very rarely worked. YMMV.)
    • People booking with Maxpass can book other people's cancelled FPs. You have to snap these up quickly! If you've been checking and Toy Story's been 8:00-9:00, 8:05-9:05, 8:10-9:10 and suddenly it's 2:00-3:00 - that's a cancellation! Grab it!
    Ride popularity: Here is where my data comes in. As mentioned above, all FP return times start at or just after park opening and march forward. They march forward at VERY different (but rather predictable) rates. Here are my tiers of FP popularity, culled from literally hundreds of return time screenshots this year.

    Tier One: Radiator Springs Racers
    Radiator Springs Racers is unequivocally the most popular FP at the Disneyland Resort. It runs out far before any other FP (this doesn't necessarily mean you should book it first: see below for thoughts on that). I have seen it run out as early as 11am (that was today, December 28) or be available as late at 6pm (on a very, very low-crowd day), but it most frequently runs out somewhere between 1-4pm). One thing to note about RSR is that due to its popularity "in the dark," you'll often notice it stall a bit, then disappear quickly once "after dark" times hit.

    Tier Two: Space Mountain, Toy Story: Midway Mania
    These will run out. On crowded days, they'll run out by early afternoon.

    Tier Three: Guardians of the Galaxy, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn, Soarin', **Splash during daytime hours when hot, Haunted Mansion Holiday (but only Holiday)
    These will likely run out, or at least will have really late return times by mid-afternoon.

    Tier Four: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, **Grizzly River Rapids for afternoon times when HOT, Incredicoaster, *It's a Small World Holiday, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Star Tours (Star Tours is more of a Tier 3.5)
    These are not as popular as the rides above, but if it's crowded, these will be gone (or really late) at some point.

    Tier Five: Buzz Lightyear, Goofy's Sky School, **Grizzly River Rapids when not hot or for nighttime, It's a Small World, **Splash Mountain when it's not hot or for nighttime

    *It's a Small World Holiday becomes a Tier 2 as soon as it hits nighttime hours because everyone wants to ride when it's dark.
    **Grizzly and Splash behave VERY differently in hot weather than cold weather. Also, they don't get snapped up for the morning or evening; it's the afternoon times that fly.

    Keep in mind: This is generalized data, so if a ride has a breakdown during the day, has recently come back from a refurb or is scheduled to go down for one, is running at partial capacity, etc., things can change a lot. For instance, this past year, they ran Star Tours at half capacity for much of the year, and it was a Tier 2 for that entire time.

    Strategy:
    For maximum FP efficiency, you want to minimize the time you wait between pulling FPs. Ideally, you want as few "90 minutes holds" as possible.

    Overall strategy obviously varies a lot depending what your priorities are, whether your group is single-rider eligible, etc. Also, if you're taking a hotel break or something and you want to come back to a bunch of "stacked" evening FPs, your planning will look different.
    Here's what I do on an average day:
    **Note: If you are in the parks early enough to grab a RSR FP that will not cause you to wait 60+ minutes to grab your next FP, I would absolutely book that first. I am usually not in that early, even if I rope drop, so that's why you see me grab it later.

    1. First thing, I book a lot of Tier 2 and 3 stuff. This is stuff that will cause 90 minute gaps if I book them later in the day, but in the morning, the return times will be much closer. So, if I enter the park at 8:05 and I see an 8:55 Space Mountain FP, I'm grabbing that. I'm also NOT wasting time on Tier 4/5 stuff (unless it's so close and I'm nearby enough that I can book it, scan in, and book a new one immediately - I do this all the time for Buzz).
    2. By mid-morning, I'm keeping an eye on RSR to make sure it's not disappearing. Once I see it getting too late for comfort, I make RSR my first "90 minute wait" FP of the day.
    3. After my 90-minute RSR wait is up, I go back to any Tier 2 and 3 stuff that I want. I fill in 4 and 5 stuff later when other stuff has run out or gotten too late for us.

    Managing FPs on your phone(s):
    • Each time you book a FP, you select a "FP party" from the tickets loaded into your app. You can book different things for different people (for instance, say you're a family of four: you can pick two people and book GOTG for them, and then pick the other two and book Toy Story for them).
    • You can scan tickets into multiple phones and manage FPs from multiple phones.
    • I do not recommend trying to coordinate FPs by having each person book his/her own - because of cancellations, you can end up with different times. Load them all together and book a whole group at once.
    How to "redeem" FPs:
    You scan your park ticket/AP, either your physical one or the version that shows up under "my tickets" in the app (the app will also pop up a FP code for each person during the FP return window). I always scan our physical APs instead of the app version; I find it much faster. You can have one person scan for your whole group, or you can have each person scan for him/herself.

    Other FAQs:
    • Can I check for cancelled FPs without cancelling my current FP? No, unfortunately not.
    • How do I "refresh" to check for cancellations? You have to keep going back and selecting the park over and over again.
    • Can I pull FPs from machines if I bought Maxpass? Yes, so if you bought Maxpass for one person for the photopass benefits, that person can ignore that they have it otherwise and just pull from the machines with the rest of your group. Just be careful not to check their FP for the time your next FP is available, since theirs will list 90 minutes away instead of two hours.
    I'm sure things will change or I missed something obvious and I'll have to edit this, but there's some information for now! I'll try to post a few useful pictures and link some other helpful threads in the comments.
    This is awesome’ thanks for taking the time to share all this!
    Great points, I’ll update those terms in a bit.
     

    katyringo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 21, 2017
    Awesome! This would have been information I would have soaked up before our first trip a year ago. You really nailed it.

    Our strategy the past couple trips is use our magic morning is Disneyland in fantasy and tomorrow land, but use maxpass to start booking for DCA. We’ve done this twice and we always pull RSR first with a return time of half hour after DCA opens and thus we can pull another fastpass quickly and start stacking our morning in DCA.

    Of course this only works if you have hopper tickets.
     

    mixmastertoy

    "Disney Christmas Decorating Master"
    Joined
    May 27, 2011
    My best bet is to refresh refresh refresh... I was able to get a ton of max passes by refreshing the app and things would come up... its what I do in Disney World as well and it really works wonders... best bet is to find a ride that you want to go on and if you can get that fast pass grab it for anytime and then click modify and try changing the times over and over again. It might take a few minutes but there is always something!
     
  • ArchOwl

    The Highly Educated Owl
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2011
    Thank you so much for this! I haven’t used Maxpass yet and this is super helpful to think about strategy.
     

    Skyegirl1999

    1st pickle of the day!
    Joined
    Apr 11, 2016
    @Skyegirl1999 - thanks so much for this thread! And great job! It has been needed so long and I have been wanting to write it myself but have not found time. I have some suggestions and, if you like them, please incorporate them into your OP as you see fit. :)


    1. It seems a lot of people, including me, tend to think of MaxPass (MP) as a paid way to get FastPasses (FPs). In other words, one does not "use a MaxPass". Instead they "use a FP" and that FP can be obtained by MP or physically through the FP kiosks. Your post #2 with screen shots shows this when it says "This party can make a new FASTPASS selection at 3:32PM". They do not make a new "MAXPASS" selection. They make a new FASTPASS selection and they do that using MP.

    So I would recommend you talk about "FP from MP" vs. "paper FP from kiosks". I think it will confuse folks to talk about MP vs. FP as in your very fist bullet:


    To carry through my suggestion as an example, your first bullet would read "Both paper FPs and Maxpass obtained FPs work in fundamentally the same way."

    IMO, several other places in the OP could use similar clarificatios.


    2. I would suggest you use a different word than "Tiers" for FP popularity. That is a word used at Walt Disney World for their so-called FastPass+ (FP+) part of My Disney Experience (booking FPs 30-60 days before you arrive at the parks). So anyone who goes to WDW more frequently will be immediately confused.

    I think it will be less confusing for some if you use the word "Group" or "Most Popular Group".
    Ok, I think I fixed all this. Since I talk to a lot of guests who get confused by the term "paper FP" since you don't actually use paper anymore, I tried to change the terminology to specify FPs obtained from machines vs. with Maxpass (on the app). Let me know if you think that's clearer! I also changed to "groups" since I definitely don't want to cause confusion with those dreaded WDW tiers. :thumbsup2 Thanks for the suggestions!
     

    Skyegirl1999

    1st pickle of the day!
    Joined
    Apr 11, 2016
    Awesome! This would have been information I would have soaked up before our first trip a year ago. You really nailed it.

    Our strategy the past couple trips is use our magic morning is Disneyland in fantasy and tomorrow land, but use maxpass to start booking for DCA. We’ve done this twice and we always pull RSR first with a return time of half hour after DCA opens and thus we can pull another fastpass quickly and start stacking our morning in DCA.

    Of course this only works if you have hopper tickets.
    That seems like an excellent strategy! Although I do full-day "commando-style" touring a few times a year (usually when we have friends visiting), I rarely stay on-site and don't have much experience with EMH... which is why RSR is usually already pretty far out when I enter the park (even if that's only 30 minutes into EMH - it's clear that most guests with Maxpass book RSR first). If you're there for EMH/MM and can grab RSR early, this seems like the way to go for sure!

    (This is also a case where knowing about that 15 minute grace period can help ease the stress of getting over and into DCA in time to use that precious FP by 9:30!)
     

    HydroGuy

    A Pirate's Life For Me
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2005
    Ok, I think I fixed all this. Since I talk to a lot of guests who get confused by the term "paper FP" since you don't actually use paper anymore, I tried to change the terminology to specify FPs obtained from machines vs. with Maxpass (on the app). Let me know if you think that's clearer! I also changed to "groups" since I definitely don't want to cause confusion with those dreaded WDW tiers. :thumbsup2 Thanks for the suggestions!
    Great job. Not sure if you are a WDW person. If not you can read about FP tiers here FYI: https://www.disboards.com/threads/fastpass-frequently-asked-questions.3491680/#post-55337506
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    not sure if this is relevant, but from an international visitor point of view. I know that there are not that many of us % wise but we are still in the parks :)

    International visitors like myself rely on free Wifi when in USA as data roaming charges are just astronomical. I worked it out by asking here on DIS about how much data is used by a USA visitor and it would cost me approx $150 A DAY for data roaming to use Maxpass.

    First time international visitors might feel like they HAVE to get Maxpass as its a really big topic when planning a trip now. It should be stressed that buying Maxpass is not the only way to get Fastpasses. The Fastpass kiosks are still operational and the Fastpasses is loaded onto your paper ticket. You can still use your paper park ticket to scan at the Fastpass return scanners.

    I know us regulars take for granted that the Fastpass kiosk are still operational but for those on a budget or for international visitors like myself, I just feel that people should be aware.

    Its really noticeable now in all the threads, where first timers look for advice, that everyone says, OMG Maxpass is amazing you HAVE to get it. No you dont HAVE to get BUT it is a great system for those who have the ability to access it. And if you dont have the ability to access it, you can still access Fastpass free, through the kiosks :)
     

    HydroGuy

    A Pirate's Life For Me
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2005
    not sure if this is relevant, but from an international visitor point of view. I know that there are not that many of us % wise but we are still in the parks :)

    International visitors like myself rely on free Wifi when in USA as data roaming charges are just astronomical. I worked it out by asking here on DIS about how much data is used by a USA visitor and it would cost me approx $150 A DAY for data roaming to use Maxpass.

    First time international visitors might feel like they HAVE to get Maxpass as its a really big topic when planning a trip now. It should be stressed that buying Maxpass is not the only way to get Fastpasses. The Fastpass kiosks are still operational and the Fastpasses is loaded onto your paper ticket. You can still use your paper park ticket to scan at the Fastpass return scanners.

    I know us regulars take for granted that the Fastpass kiosk are still operational but for those on a budget or for international visitors like myself, I just feel that people should be aware.

    Its really noticeable now in all the threads, where first timers look for advice, that everyone says, OMG Maxpass is amazing you HAVE to get it. No you dont HAVE to get BUT it is a great system for those who have the ability to access it. And if you dont have the ability to access it, you can still access Fastpass free, through the kiosks :)
    Great points, and for those who do not visit WDW the same issues would apply. EXCEPT Disney invested hugely in their IT infrastructure at WDW including really good free WiFi - even outside the parks but within the Disney World Resort property.

    That is easier to do at WDW and not have freeloaders because Disney controls so much property there. At DLR that would be more of a challenge because the parks and hotels are so close to the outside world. Which is probably one of the main reasons they have done it. I doubt the reason is because they are cheap.

    Which does not really help international visitors like @BadPinkTink. :cool:

    :wizard:
     

    GusIsaFoxhound

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2016
    Like BadPinkTink, my concern is the data cost. I've only had data on my phone overseas once- last September in Singapore, with a local sim card. Usually my hubby has his so I just go along with his (he needs his for work contact still when away) but we didn't end up separating in Singapore, so I didn't use it after all.
    Anyone know what I should do when in Anaheim next November? I can see the advantage of MaxPass on some days we're there, but really need to know what to do with my phone first.
     

    mickey+minnie91

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 29, 2007
    As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to share some information about Maxpass in one location. I've been collecting a ton of FP-related data since May, and hopefully this helps some people out.

    First, an overview that assumes you are familiar with the overall FP concept:
    • Fastpasses obtained from machines or via Maxpass work in fundamentally the same way. What's different? Maxpass will cost you $10 per ticket, per day. Machine-based Fastpass is free. Maxpass means you can book with the app. No Maxpass means you need to physically go to the machine and insert your ticket/AP to load the FP. Either way, you can view and cancel your FPs using the app.
    • You don't book any FPs until you are in the park at Disneyland (unlike WDW). Once your ticket is scanned into either park, you are eligible to pull your first FP (from either park). As soon as you're eligible, you'll book your next one. Rinse and repeat all day.
    • When are you eligible to book that next FP? In general, it's as soon as a FP window opens (note: NOT when you use the FP! If the window opens at 9:20, you can book at 9:20 whether you've used it or not). There's also a 90 minute "maximum" wait for Maxpass (2 hours without Maxpass) and a 30 minute "minimum" wait (unless you use the FP first). For more detailed information, see this thread: https://www.disboards.com/threads/the-answer-to-when-can-i-pull-my-next-fp.3634984/
    • There is no rule about how many FPs you can have at once, or how many you can have in a day. A lot of people think you have to use one to get another one, or that you always have to wait 90 minutes/2 hours... these things are not true.
    • When selecting a FP, you cannot pick a preferred time. The FP return times start in the morning (at or just after park opening: see below), and then they march forward. What you see is what you get.
    Some random information about FP/Maxpass:
    • At this time (December 2018), you can book FPs during EMH/MM (at least on the app with Maxpass - I am not sure if the machines are open). The return times start at park opening for any ride that was open for EMH/MM, or 30 minutes after park opening for rides that weren't open. (So, if DL opens at 8 with a 7 EMH/MM, you'll see 8:00 return times for the Fantasyland/Tomorrowland rides, and 8:30 ones for the rest of the park).
    • You can scan in approximately 5 minutes earlier and 15 minutes later than the times listed on your FP (so, a 9:20-10:20 FP is actually good from 9:15-10:35). (Note: Others have reported scanning in earlier than 5 minutes and getting a green acceptance scan. I have tried scanning in earlier than five minutes many times because of these reports and it has very rarely worked. YMMV.)
    • People booking with Maxpass can book other people's cancelled FPs. You have to snap these up quickly! If you've been checking and Toy Story's been 8:00-9:00, 8:05-9:05, 8:10-9:10 and suddenly it's 2:00-3:00 - that's a cancellation! Grab it!
    Ride popularity: Here is where my data comes in. As mentioned above, all FP return times start at or just after park opening and march forward. They march forward at VERY different (but rather predictable) rates. Here are my groups of FP popularity, culled from literally hundreds of return time screenshots this year.

    Group One: Radiator Springs Racers
    Radiator Springs Racers is unequivocally the most popular FP at the Disneyland Resort. It runs out far before any other FP (this doesn't necessarily mean you should book it first: see below for thoughts on that). I have seen it run out as early as 11am (that was today, December 28) or be available as late at 6pm (on a very, very low-crowd day), but it most frequently runs out somewhere between 1-4pm). One thing to note about RSR is that due to its popularity "in the dark," you'll often notice it stall a bit, then disappear quickly once "after dark" times hit.

    Group Two: Space Mountain, Toy Story: Midway Mania
    These will run out. On crowded days, they'll run out by early afternoon.

    Group Three: Guardians of the Galaxy, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn, Soarin', **Splash during daytime hours when hot, Haunted Mansion Holiday (but only Holiday)
    These will likely run out, or at least will have really late return times by mid-afternoon.

    Group Four: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, **Grizzly River Rapids for afternoon times when HOT, Incredicoaster, *It's a Small World Holiday, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Star Tours (Star Tours is more of a Tier 3.5.)
    These are not as popular as the rides above, but if it's crowded, these will be gone (or really late) at some point.

    Group Five: Buzz Lightyear, Goofy's Sky School, **Grizzly River Rapids when not hot or for nighttime, Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, **Splash Mountain when it's not hot or for nighttime
    These are often available "immediately" or fairly soon, even into the evening (of course, not if it's a highly crowded day, but more often than you might expect).

    *It's a Small World Holiday becomes a Group 2 as soon as it hits nighttime hours because everyone wants to ride when it's dark.
    **Grizzly and Splash behave VERY differently in hot weather than cold weather. Also, they don't get snapped up for the morning or evening; it's the afternoon times that fly.

    Keep in mind: This is generalized data, so if a ride has a breakdown during the day, has recently come back from a refurb or is scheduled to go down for one, is running at partial capacity, etc., things can change a lot. For instance, this past year, they ran Star Tours at half capacity for much of the year, and it behaved like the rides in Group 2 for that entire time.

    Strategy:
    For maximum FP efficiency, you want to minimize the time you wait between pulling FPs. Ideally, you want as few "90 minutes holds" as possible.

    Overall strategy obviously varies a lot depending what your priorities are, whether your group is single-rider eligible, etc. Also, if you're taking a hotel break or something and you want to come back to a bunch of "stacked" evening FPs, your planning will look different.
    Here's what I do on an average day with Maxpass:
    **Note: If you are in the parks early enough to grab a RSR FP that will not cause you to wait 60+ minutes to grab your next FP, I would absolutely book that first. I am usually not in that early, even if I rope drop, so that's why you see me grab it later.

    1. First thing, I book a lot of Tier 2 and 3 stuff. This is stuff that will cause 90 minute gaps if I book them later in the day, but in the morning, the return times will be much closer. So, if I enter the park at 8:05 and I see an 8:55 Space Mountain FP, I'm grabbing that. I'm also NOT wasting time on Tier 4/5 stuff (unless it's so close and I'm nearby enough that I can book it, scan in, and book a new one immediately - I do this all the time for Buzz).
    2. By mid-morning, I'm keeping an eye on RSR to make sure it's not disappearing. Once I see it getting too late for comfort, I make RSR my first "90 minute wait" FP of the day.
    3. After my 90-minute RSR wait is up, I go back to any Tier 2 and 3 stuff that I want. I fill in 4 and 5 stuff later when other stuff has run out or gotten too late for us.

    Managing FPs on your phone(s) with Maxpass:
    • Each time you book a FP, you select a "FP party" from the tickets loaded into your app. You can book different things for different people (for instance, say you're a family of four: you can pick two people and book GOTG for them, and then pick the other two and book Toy Story for them).
    • You can scan tickets into multiple phones and manage FPs from multiple phones.
    • I do not recommend trying to coordinate FPs by having each person book his/her own - because of cancellations, you can end up with different times. Load them all together and book a whole group at once.
    How to "redeem" FPs (whether you used Maxpass to book them or not):
    You scan your park ticket/AP, either your physical one or the version that shows up under "my tickets" in the app (the app will also pop up a FP code for each person during the FP return window). I always scan our physical APs instead of the app version; I find it much faster. You can have one person scan for your whole group, or you can have each person scan for him/herself.

    Other Maxpass FAQs:
    • Can I check for cancelled FPs without cancelling my current FP? No, unfortunately not.
    • How do I "refresh" to check for cancellations? You have to keep going back and selecting the park over and over again.
    • Can I pull FPs from machines if I bought Maxpass? Yes, so if you bought Maxpass for one person for the photopass benefits, that person can ignore that they have it otherwise and just pull from the machines with the rest of your group. Just be careful not to check their FP for the time your next FP is available, since theirs will list 90 minutes away instead of two hours.
    I'm sure things will change or I missed something obvious and I'll have to edit this, but there's some information for now! I'll try to post a few useful pictures and link some other helpful threads in the comments.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write all this out. The morning you posted it , it was our last day in the park. I was so thankful to be able to see all this information in one place. I had a frustrating day the day before and this helped me with the day and give me a fresh perspective. Using your suggestions, I was able to stack FP for the evening for my family and still take advantage of the morning.
     

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