If you’ve created RideMax plans recently for an upcoming visit, this is a very important post, so please read at least the first paragraph below!
Disney has made some major changes to the FastPass sytem at Disneyland over the last few weeks. If you don’t have time to read this entire post and you’ve recently created Disneyland or DCA RideMax plans for an upcoming visit, let me cut right to the chase: I strongly encourage you to create new RideMax plans instead, as a “recalculation” will pick up on the most recent change to Disney’s FastPass system, and allow RideMax to take this change into account as it’s creating your new plans. (More on this specific change below.)
If you weren’t aware of the larger picture here, for several attractions, and especially early in the day, you’ll find that the “return time” for your FastPass ticket will begin as soon as you pull your FastPass reservation from the machine. This is a change Disney made a few weeks ago in mid-to-late June, and this change is still persisting now well into July.
You can see this in the image above, which was sent to us just this past Friday by long-time RideMax customer Carrie. In Carrie’s case, she pulled the FastPass at 9:11am (per the timestamp in the lower-right corner), and was able to use it just four minutes later, at 9:15am. Under the old system, she would have been required to wait a minimum of 40 minutes before using the FastPass, and this is now cut down to four minutes.
This change makes it possible to get more from the FastPass system, as waiting just four minutes (or even zero minutes!) to use your FastPass is a much better deal.
One new tweak Disney made to the system was just introduced late last week. If you look closely at Carrie’s ticket above, you’ll see that even though the one-hour “ride window” on her FastPass ticket begins in just four minutes, she has to wait a minimum of 30 minutes, until 9:41am, before she can get her next FastPass. (Under the rules in place as recently as the middle of last week, she could have retrieved her next FastPass at 9:15am, at the same time her ride window for the first FastPass began.)
I stress all of this because we’ve just updated RideMax today (at around 2:00pm Disneyland time) to assume this 30-minute minimum wait between pulling FastPasses. So again, if you created Disneyland or DCA RideMax plans prior to this, I’d really suggest creating new plans instead.
Coming later this week (on Wednesday, the 19th, to be exact), Disneyland is expected to roll out the new MaxPass sytem. This is a $10-per-day add-on to your ticket which will allow you to get FastPass reservations from the comfort of your smartphone, rather than requiring you to walk across the park to an actual FastPass machine. It could be a time-saver for sure, but I’m still not convinced of the value at that price. Time will tell, I suppose.
And yes, once MaxPass has been rolled out you can expect to see a new “MaxPass” checkbox in RideMax coming sometime afterwards. In the meantime, you should be able to “simulate” it fairly well by using the FastPass Options tab in RideMax to specify that you’ll be using a FastPass Runner for your RideMax plan, and that your runner is willing to skip ANY attraction while off gathering FastPass tickets. (Even though you won’t really be using a runner. Or tickets. )
Keep an eye here on the blog for possible future changes to Disneyland’s FastPass system, as well as for accompanying changes to RideMax as we move forward with these new FastPass rules.
If you have any thoughts on these recent changes or about the new MaxPass system — good, bad, or indifferent — please be sure to leave a comment below!