I need some advice on tickets…should we purchase the park hopper with fast pass option when using a touring plan? We are visiting the day after Christmas (the crowds, I know…)
So everyone can use FastPass for no additional cost. What you can add on to your ticket is MaxPass which allows you to grab FastPasses from the Disney app using your mobile device instead of walking to the FastPass kiosks. If you’re familiar with WDW’s FastPass Plust system, it’s similar but without the pre-booking 3 FastPasses ahead of time as in Disneyland, all Fastpasses are still same day.
MaxPass availability does seem to be about 15 min sooner than what is available by walking directly to the kiosks. Also, it’s super convenient & saves you a lot of extra walking especially if you will be hopping & enjoying both parks. Because it can add up very quickly in cost & we go so often we don’t have MaxPass attached to our passes, but it is a great feature if you don’t have a lot of time or don’t go very often. For the time of year you are going it may be worth it since the Holiday crowds will mean FPs run out faster & less walking means less trying to navigate through heavy crowds.
In the end, it would depend on your budget especially considering how many MaxPasses you would need to get for everyone in your group ($10/day per person adds up!) and how much the convenience of being able to grab FPs from your phone translates to your overall enjoyment of your trip. My hubby & I for now are happy to hoof it & take turns being the FP runner so we can save those dollars to spend in other ways at Disneyland like on churros.
MaxPass also includes photos you get taken with Disney PhotoPass photographers. If wanting just the photos, you’ll just need one person to purchase the MaxPass and always use that person’s phone for the Photographer to scan in. Or, if you want them to scan on a PhotoPass card you can link that later to your app to still get the photos.
EDITED TO ADD: Right now MaxPass can only be purchased directly from Disney. If you buy your tickets directly from Disney you can add MaxPass on in advance but only for all days, not just some of your days. If you purchase your tickets from another vendor or don’t want it for all your days then you can purchase it daily from the app as soon as your ticket has been scanned into either park for the day. If you didn’t purchase in advance you would have to do this each day you wanted MaxPass. Also, once you are scanned in and have MaxPass added, you can get your first FastPass immediately which is another advantage that isn’t available to those using the free FastPass system.
I would highly recommend adding MaxPass onto a Park Hopper ticket. We used it in August, and it was great. I would expect at Xmas it would be even more valuable given the crowds. For us, it was a once in a decade type trip to DisneyLand so it was a no-brainer to add. If we add annual passes and visited the parks a lot, it would be a tougher choice, but even for an annual trip, I would definitely pull the trigger.
The ability to enter the FP line and immediately book your next FP just saves a ton of time. We were often walking from one fast pass ride to another throughout the day. Using the paper FP system you would need to ride your ride and then run over to the next one to grab a FP and if not in the right window, figure out what to do next while you kill time waiting for the paper FP window to open.
We were huge fans of MaxPass despite the cost adder…