Disneyland MaxPass

If you’re a Disney World fan and have never been to Disneyland, one nuance that may throw you for a loop is the difference in their FastPass system.

You know that if you’re a guest staying on Walt Disney World property that you can begin scheduling your FastPasses up to 60 days in advance! I mean, this is some serious planning involved! You need to know what park you’re going to, on what day, and be ready to book those FastPasses, especially if you plan on riding some of the most popular attractions, like the new Flight of Passage in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you’re a guest not staying on Disney property, you are able to book your fast passes 30 days in advance, which still takes planning, and you go in knowing that some of the most popular experiences may already be completely booked. Disney World has had the “My Disney Experience” and the Magic Band system in place since 2013, this is not the case at the original – Disneyland.

Despite the success of the “My Disney Experience” and magic bands at Walt Disney World, Disneyland has stuck by the original paper FastPass system, where you have to go to a kiosk, insert your park ticket, and then it spits out a ticket with a return time. Disneyland has stuck to this more traditional experience because of their traffic. While Disneyland is a very busy attraction in Southern California, guests don’t plan for a trip to Disneyland in the same way that they do for a trip to Walt Disney World. Disneyland is a trip that many make in a day, and there are many annual pass holders. These day trippers, and annual pass holders may visit the park on a whim, or decide a week to a month in advance to travel, so booking FastPasses a month, or 2 months in advance just doesn’t make sense.

With that being said, let’s talk about the Disneyland MaxPass that was introduced in June of 2017. MaxPass is different than the WDW “My Disney Experience” in a few ways.

1) There is a cost associated with it. At WDW the MDE is included in your ticket price, Disneyland’s MaxPass is $10 per day per guest.

2) You cannot purchase the MaxPass until you’re in the park with your ticket scanned, where as with MDE as stated earlier you can begin scheduling your FastPasses 30 days in advance for off property guests, and 60 days for on property guests.

3) You are able to schedule one fast pass at a time. MDE allows you to schedule up to 3 FastPasses per day when you initially book.

4) MaxPass includes your PhotoPass photos, as well as the booking the FastPasses on the app. At WDW you’re able to purchase individual shots that are loaded onto your magic band, or you can purchase the Memory Maker plan for an additional $169.00 that includes all of your PhotoPass shots.

5) With MaxPass you can schedule FastPasses between the different parks if you have a park hopper ticket. If you’re at WDW you have to schedule your original 3 FastPasses all in the same park.

Those are some of the biggest differences, here is where it is similar

1) You use an app on your phone while in the park to schedule FastPasses. The app for both parks is very user friendly

2) After you’ve used your first FastPass on the app, you can immediately go in and schedule the next one, much in the same way as scheduling your next FastPass at WDW after using your original 3.

3) The app is very user friendly 😃

Would I recommend MaxPass?

DEFINITELY! To me it was absolutely worth the money. With that being said, there were only two of us, and we were there for one day, so it was only a $20 purchase. For a larger family planning a multi day stay, it would be more expensive, but I would absolutely plan on building it into your budget. It will save you time, and a lot of footsteps from traveling from paper FastPass kiosk to kiosk.

Have you used MaxPass? What do you think?

Planning a trip to WDW or DL? Be sure to contact Ashley at Charming Travels by texting the number above or emailing ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com

She is a Disney expert, and her booking and planning services are free of charge to her clients!

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What Would I Fast Pass- Magic Kingdom

One of the questions that I am asked often is what 3 fast passes to select.  The Magic Kingdom has the widest selection of fast passes to choose from.  There are rides, attractions, and parades and the combinations are seemingly endless.

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So if my husband and I only have 1 day to spend at the Magic Kingdom our 3 fast passes are

  1. Space Mountain
  2. Splash Mountain
  3. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

These selections are made based on rides that are not only our favorites, but ones that consistently have longer lines.  I also choose these as my 3 because we don’t have children, all three of these have height restrictions that we don’t have to worry about as adults. (Next week I will follow up with suggestions if you do have littles!)

If we have a second day at the Magic Kingdom my fast pass combinations would be slightly different.

Day 1

  1. Space Mountain
  2. 7 Dwarf Mine Train
  3. Splash Mountain

Day 2

  1. Space Mountain
  2. Flight of Peter Pan
  3. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Now I realize that Space Mountain is on there twice, but I REALLY love that ride 🙂

With you “My Disney Experience” page you can begin to book your fast passes up to 60 days in advance when you’re staying on Disney Property or up to 30 days in advance when you’re staying off Disney property.  All of your fast pass selections will be stored on your magic band, or your ticket.

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Did you know that when you book your trip with Ashley@charmingtravelsllc.com that she can help you plan your trip from beginning to end, including booking your fast passes and dining reservations?  Not only can she help you plan your magical vacation, her services are free of charge!  Contact her today for your free quote!

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Day 7 in review

We are to the point in our trip where we’ve pretty much done most things at the park that we enjoy doing at least once.  We headed back to Epcot this morning and it was our first morning time at Epcot.  We had fast passes for Soarin, Spaceship Earth, and The Seas with Nemo and Friends.  We’ve really enjoyed taking this years trip at a more relaxed pace.  We are not rushing around because our trip is spread out, and that gives us a lot more time to take it all in and enjoy!


After we got of The Seas with Nemo and Friends, we headed to the world showcase starting with the Canada side.  We decided to watch the 360 degree circle vision movie “Oh Canada.”  I haven’t seen that since I was in 6th grade, and my husband had never seen it!  Sometimes the circle vision movies make me a little motion sick, but I was okay this time!  After Canada we headed to the UK for Craig to get his Boddingtons at the Rose and Crown Pub, and then to France for a Grand Marnier slush for me!  We had lunch at the pastry shop in France, and then decided it was time to head back to the hotel for napping and packing (we are transferring to the Pop Century resort for two more nights after tonight).

After napping (more napping and less packing) we headed to the magic kingdom! Our first stop was a fast pass kiosk. Here we were able to secure a fast pass time for haunted mansion after dinner. Before dinner we had just enough time to watch Mickeys Philharmagic… My favorite 3D movie at the parks!


We enjoyed dinner at the Crystal Palace. This was was our first time eating dinner there and I was not disappointed! We met pooh and tigger the other morning at park fare and we lucked out that Eeyore and Piglet were the two we met during dinner rather than duplicating!

After dinner we headed to our haunted mansion fast pass where the coolest part of our day happened! I noticed a cast member looking at the mansion when we got off and I went to look at his pins (I ended up trading for a really cool flounder pin). And we started chatting! He actually told me a secret about something that’s coming which I hope to share when it’s gone public). We chatted for about 10 minutes and he made our day Sooooo magical!!! He gave a special fast pass to ride anything because he had “kept talking so long.”


We had certainly enjoyed talking to him and it was a pleasure, but it was a nice magical touch that made our day just a little more special!

So after that we went to the fast pass kiosk (saving our magic fast pass for later) and got a fast pass for dumbo! I highly recommend riding this one at night or dusk because it’s beautiful!


Afterwards we headed to space mountain with our magic fast pass and it was down!!!! No worries though we were able to walk onto the people mover! And the cool thing was when we went through space mountain on the ride, the lights were on! You could see the inside of space mountain with lights on!!!!


Space mountain was still down, so we rode small world. As we were getting off Small World, we saw the that Space Mountain was still down but that Enchanted Tales with Belle was only a 10 minute wait, so off we went.  All I can say is WOW!!!! Well done Disney!  I highly recommend this experience for all ages! (I will do a full blog post on it at a later time)

  
By the time we got out of Enchanted Tales, Space Mountain was back up and running.  We headed there with our magic fast pass in hand!  So awesome!  It was the perfect ride to end our evening!  We headed back to the resort and got a cocktail at the Scat Cats Lounge.

What a great day 🙂  Today’s Step Count-

  

Magic Bands

Magic Band Colors

Magic Band Colors

Okay, let’s start with the Magic Band basics…

What is a magic band??

A magic band is essentially an adjustable bracelet to be worn while you’re at Disney.  It is available in children and adult sizes and in 7 colors.

What does a magic band do?

While you’re at Disney the magic band is your life source.  At it’s most basic level, it serves as your room key and your park tickets.  If you’re using the dining plan your dining plan information is also stored in the chip in the band.  You can also set up your magic band to have charging privileges.  In addition to these services the Magic Band chip also stores your fast pass reservations while in the parks.  You simply tap and go!  No longer do you need to rush around getting fast passes and carry them around all day.  Reservations for fast passes can be made up to 60 days in advance (for guests staying on Disney property).

How can I customize my magic band?

You can select a color for your magic band on the Disney website when booking your vacation!  Each member of your party can select different colors, or even get matching bands!  You can also have your names put on the inside of your magic band to keep them straight!

Magic bands with names

Magic bands with names

 

You can also customize your magic bands further with decals from DVC coverbands.  Check out the blog on Wednesday for my product review and give away of coverbands!!

http://dvccentral.com/cover-bands.html

My Personal Opinion of the Magic Band

Hubby and I had our first opportunity to use magic bands this summer on our vacation and we LOVED them!  They really made things so much easier!  I loved that everything was stored in one little chip on my wrist.  It’s also water proof so no worries there!  You can go swimming at the resort and not worry about it being damaged or losing it!  I loved my magic band, and I loved customizing it with coverband!

First Day in the Parks- Animal Kingdom Day

Today is our first day park day and we are going to the Animal Kingdom!

The Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom Park

The Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom Park

 

ANIMAL KINGDOM DAY!

6:00am- Wake up call

6:30- Split quick service (QS) breakfast and snack at resort food court

7:15- Depart for the Animal Kingdom

8:00-9:00- Extra Magic Hour at AK

9:40- Fastpass for Kilamanjaro Safari

11:00- Finding Nemo the Musical

11:55-Fast Pass for Everest

12:30- Split a QS Lunch at Flame Tree BBQ

12:55-Fast Pass for Kali River Rapids

1:30- Return to Resort for pool time or a nap

4:00- Head back to Animal Kingdom

5:00- Festival of the Lion King

6:00- Head to Animal Kingdom Lodge

6:25- Dinner at Boma (Table Service)

7:30- Go to Downtown Disney and ride Characters in Flight

10:00- Return to Resort and Bedtime!

During our Extra Magic Hour we plan to head straight for “Expedition Everest”.  This is our favorite ride, so we plan to make use of this time and get a chance to ride it without a fast pass before the lines get long 🙂  After that ride we plan on walking through the Maharajah Jungle trek.

Things that we’ll be doing for the first time- We’ve never walked through the Maharahjah Jungle Trek, we have never seen Finding Nemo the Musical, and we have never rode Kali River Rapids.  On Kali River Rapids you will get wet, not just a little wet, a lot wet.  When planning my fast passes, I made sure that I planned to do this ride during a hot part of the day, and I made sure I planned to do this ride right before we return to the hotel.  This way I won’t be walking around the rest of the afternoon soaking wet.  We’ve also never eaten at the Flame Tree BBQ or Boma (actually have never been to the Animal Kingdom Lodge before either).  We’re looking forward to an exciting day of firsts 🙂

Tomorrow we are heading to the Magic Kingdom!

**When we booked we also booked the Disney Dining Plan.  For each night of our stay we each get 1 Quick Service meal per person, 1 Table Service Meal, and 1 Snack.  Each meal, whether it’s QS or TS includes an entree, dessert, and beverage.