Disneyland’s MaxPass Popularity: An Upward Trend?

Disneyland - MaxPass or Traditional FastPass?
With the MaxPass system in full swing, how many guests are still using the traditional FastPass machines?

You may remember in a previous post that we examined¬†¬†Disneyland’s MaxPass system, using the plans created by RideMax customers to help us estimate how popular MaxPass might be among Disneyland guests. It’s been a month since that last post, so I thought it might be time to look at this again, to see if anything has changed recently.

As you’ll recall from my last post on this topic, up through April 7th, 48% of RideMax plans (which were still in the database and hadn’t been deleted) had been created with the MaxPass setting turned ON. There also seemed to be some seasonality to the data, with the low coming in October at 40% MaxPass use, and the high during the Christmas holiday period, at 60%.

It’s interesting to me that for plans created from April 8th until May 8th (again, of those which are still in the RideMax database),¬†57% were created with the MaxPass setting turned ON.

I’m a bit surprised by this number, since it’s a snapshot taken after the busy spring break period, when MaxPass use in RidMax plans was running at 55%. Even if you allow for some margin of error in the numbers, that the number has gone UP during a relatively quieter period at the park says something about the staying power of MaxPass.

One question for me is whether this upward move is a real trend. There may be an explanation for the numbers which I haven’t captured by taking such a high-level snapshot of the RideMax data. If you have any theories to explain the upward tick in usage, please share in the comments below.

In the meantime, at the very least it looks like MaxPass is a popular addition to Disneyland — and it may be getting even more popular as time goes on.

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Animal Kingdom RideMax Plans? It’s Time to Recalculate!

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Tree of Life at Night

Disney has updated the Animal Kingdom’s park hours to include early morning Extra Magic Hours (EMH) for most dates from April 28th through June 30th, and we’ve just updated RideMax (and our park recommendations calendar) to reflect this change.

Unfortunately, this also calls for a re-run of any Animal Kingdom RideMax plans for the affected dates, so if this includes you, hopefully this gives you ample notice to get that done before your visit.

Just attempting some brief armchair analysis here, this is an interesting move on Disney’s part. With the huge crowds in Pandora since its opening, I can see how Disney might think this will help to reduce the overall wait there, and they’re probably right. Think about it: There will now be one hour almost every day of the week where guests can get in the standby line and not be slowed down by FastPass+ guests — provided they’re staying at a Disney hotel, of course.

If a lot of Disney hotel guests take advantage of this, it should also help reduce pressure on the ride during normal operating hours as well, so hopefully non-hotel guests will benefit too, even if not to the same degree as will those who are eligible for EMH.

We may also make some tweaks to the RideMax standby estimates for the Pandora attractions once we see the daily EMH in operation, so stay tuned for that as well.

Happy planning!

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Crunching the Numbers: How Popular is Disneyland’s MaxPass System?

Disneyland's MaxPass system in use

It’s no secret that if I had to choose between the FastPass+ system at Walt Disney World and the MaxPass system at Disneyland, I’d pick the Disneyland system as the hands-down winner. In fact, as I discussed in these pages recently, I consider Disneyland’s MaxPass system superior to Walt Disney World’s FastPass+ system in almost every possible way.

You might be wondering, though, just how popular is the MaxPass system among Disneyland guests? After all, MaxPass isn’t free — Disney charges $10 per-visitor, per-day to use the system, or $75 as an add-on to an annual pass.

Continue reading “Crunching the Numbers: How Popular is Disneyland’s MaxPass System?”

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DCA RideMax Plans Include Toy Story Midway Mania? Time For a Recalc…

Toy Story Midway Mania at California Adventure

This is just a quick update for Disneyland RideMax subscribers .

California Adventure has recently started opening Toy Story Midway Mania later than park opening time. This has typically been between 9:30-10:00am, depending on the date.

This delayed opening has been consistent enough lately, probably due to all of the construction in the area, that we’ve updated RideMax to assume this from now on. After Disney reverts back to the normal opening time for this ride, we’ll make the corresponding change in RideMax as well.

In the meantime, if prior to today you created RideMax plans for DCA which include Toy Story, I strongly encourage you to re-run those plans before your trip.

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10 Reasons You Should Be Using RideMax to Plan Your Disney Vacation

Magic Kingdom Monorail

If this is your first time visiting the RideMax website, you should know that RideMax is planning software designed to save you time in line at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. You enter the date you’ll be visiting the park, as well as the attractions you want to visit, along with your preferred touring options. RideMax takes these into account, crunches on our estimated wait times for the date of your visit (possibly comparing *millions* of potential itineraries), to create a custom, optimized game plan which you can then take to the park.

RideMax was initially released in the pre-smartphone days, when folks actually printed their RideMax plans on paper and took them to the park.

Although you could still follow this procedure today, a lot of technology has been introduced since those early days which can assist the visitor to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Some of these innovations include smartphones in general, FastPass+ at Walt Disney World, MaxPass at Disneyland, and the parks’ own apps, which give users insight into current wait times in the park. Third-party apps also abound.

Given all of the tools available to theme park visitors these days, I thought it would be helpful to outline ten reasons why I STILL think you should be using RideMax to help plan your next Disney park visit.

Reason 1: It saves you time in line (and time is money!)

This may seem obvious, but the whole point of RideMax is to save you time standing in line, while also reducing the amount of walking you need to do to make this happen. (It’s optimization algorithm is specifically designed to minimize your estimated waiting AND walking time.)

Disney's Magic Kingdom - Crowds at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Crowds build early at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom. A little strategy here can go a long way.

So, how much is that time savings worth to you? Let’s assume for a moment that you are a family of four is planning a three-day visit to Disneyland, where you expect to spend an average of eight hours each day in the park, at a total cost of $2,000 for everything, including park tickets, hotel stay, and travel.

If you divide that $2,000 by the 24 total hours you expect to spend in the park, you’ll see that the cost per hour of park time is just north of $83. At that rate, RideMax will only need to save you eleven minutes(!) in line before you break even on your $14.95 RideMax investment. And that’s not eleven minutes per day, but eleven minutes TOTAL for your entire vacation.

We’ve had customers report saving HOURS of time in line thanks to RideMax, so this advantage seems pretty clear.

Continue reading “10 Reasons You Should Be Using RideMax to Plan Your Disney Vacation”

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