Courtesy of Disney/Kent Phillips
Carlye Wisel
January 12, 2017

Retrieving a Disney FASTPASS for rides like Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Soarin’ will never be the same—unless you’re willing to pony up a few bucks for it.

Disneyland Resort announced that the complimentary skip-the-line FASTPASS can soon be reserved digitally through the Disneyland phone app. Bundled with unlimited downloads of PhotoPass images, this brand new “Disney MaxPass” option will cost $10 per day per person. Guests who opt out of paying the optional fee will still be able to retrieve a paper FASTPASS the old way, without any interference.

The big announcement also included that two new attractions—Toy Story Mania at Disney California Adventure and the historic Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland—will offer Fastpass services, bringing the total to 16 across both parks. Typically, guests zig-zag across the resort to pick up a paper FASTPASS, but digital booking could make a visit effortless, ensuring you’ll cut the epic lines at Radiator Springs Racers while boarding Haunted Mansion on the other end of the parks.

This new add-on option can be perceived as somewhat of a value, particularly when it comes to making Instagram-worthy memories. PhotoPass images include both on-ride photos as well as shots taken by Disney’s staff photographers in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, at character meet-and-greets and elsewhere around the park. One day of PhotoPass+ at the Disneyland Resort, which offers unlimited downloads of the same images, costs $39, making MaxPass a 75 percent discount off the current price.

Yet, Disney MaxPass charges for something that maybe shouldn’t incur a fee at all. Walt Disney World Resort’s FASTPASS+ system handles all reservations digitally, thus charging patrons at one park for something that’s complimentary at another. Disneyland’s PhotoPass service is a debatable necessity as well; attraction photos are only available on four rides total between both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks, and the number of PhotoPass photographers on-site is limited.

There are still many questions to be answered, like if Disneyland Resort Wi-Fi can support the increase in app usage, or if one guest can pay $10 to digitally book an entire group’s FASTPASS for the day. Pricing for annual passholders has not been unveiled yet either, but should be noted. Since two of Disneyland’s three annual pass options include unlimited Photopass downloads, MaxPass essentially bundles two things that were previously free in a new fee-based format.

The launch date of Disney MaxPass has not yet been announced, but if it means more rides and less waiting during your next Disneyland trip, it can’t come soon enough.

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