A FASTPASS Guide for Disneyland and California Adventure, Digital FASTPASS & MaxPass

***Updated July 22, 2017

***MaxPass launched 7.19.2017. Disney invited me to spend 7.18.2017 in the parks learning hands on with the new system. You can watch a video from that day of what MaxPass will look like here

***Digital FASTPASSES (or Classic FASTPASSES) went live 6.21.2017. Read below for so much to know and this link has a video walk through of what you can expect. 

The most common complaint I hear about Disneyland is about wait times. No one likes standing in line. And, while we can’t control the crowds at the parks, we can control how we navigate through them.

Utilizing FASTPASSES at Disneyland and California Adventure can make all the difference in your visit. Take a few moments to learn how this works and you’ll be glad you did while you’re at the parks.

FAQ

  • What is a FASTPASS?  This is a pass given to you at FASTPASS distribution points at each park’s busiest attractions.
  • How does it work?  Machines are set up at many popular attractions in each park to distribute FASTPASSES to guests, allowing guests to wait a shorter amount of time in line. Insert your ticket or annual pass into the machine if the time slated to return works for you. Go enjoy another part of the park until the time frame printed on your ticket arrives. Then, return to the ride and skip ahead to the ‘FASTPASS’ line to cut out a considerable wait time for this attraction.
  • When can I pull my second FASTPASS? Once the time is up from your first FASTPASS, you may pull your next. Meaning, if you pull your first FASTPASS at 8:01am and you have a return time frame of 8:40am-9:40am, you may pull your next FASTPASS at 8:40am.
  • How long does a FASTPASS line take? Most often, it will only take around 10 minutes to board the attraction.
  • Can I save my FASTPASS for the next day if I didn’t use it? No. FASTPASSES are only good for the day of issue.
  • How much do FASTPASSES cost?  Nothing! They are included in the cost of your ticket.
  • Where do I find these FASTPASS distribution machines?  Most distribution points are located near the entrance of the attraction. There are a few exceptions, listed below.
  • Are FASTPASS distributed during Extra Magic Hour/Magic Morning? Only select attractions distribute FASTPASSES during EMH/MM. And none of these are guaranteed. But, most often, at Disneyland, you can get a FASTPASS for Space Mountain during EMH. At DCA, you can grab them for Guardians, RSR, and Toy Story Midway Mania.
  • Can I schedule FASTPASSES for the entire day at once?  No. Most often, you cannot hold more than one FASTPASS at a time.
  • Are there exceptions?  Yes. If you have plans to see World of Color at California Adventure, absolutely grab this FASTPASS upon entering. The World of Color FASTPASS gives you priority seating for the show that arrives much later in the day. (This FASTPASS is distributed to the right of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.) Holding this pass will not stop you from retrieving other FASTPASSES. The Fantasmic! FASTPASS is another priority seating pass that will not stop you from retrieving other FASTPASSES.  (This FASTPASS is distributed along Big Thunder Trail in Frontierland.) ***Fantasmic! is on hiatus until 7.17.2017.
  • Are there any other exceptions? Kind of. If the FASTPASS you pull is for a much later time in the day, a message at the bottom of your FASTPASS will include the time you may pull another FASTPASS. See this example:

FASTPASSextra

(More often than not, you will not see this added message on your FASTPASS. In this case, the guest arrived at 8:30am and the soonest she was able to ride this attraction was over four hours later. Disneyland does not want you waiting for four hours. So, they open up this next FASTPASS window. Grab your next FASTPASS at the time stated and be happy you have two scheduled attractions!)

Disneyland FASTPASS Attractions

  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Matterhorn
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain – with the Hyperspace Overlay
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours (distributed next to Buzz Light Year’s distribution point)

****Beginning 3.2.2017, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters is not “disconnected”.

California Adventure FASTPASS Attractions

  • World of Color (distributed to the right of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure) – disconnected – grab this whenever you want!
  • California Screamin’
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Radiator Springs Racers (distributed near It’s Tough to Be a Bug)
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Toy Story Midway Mania (New! As of 4.6.2017)

***What does ‘disconnected’ mean? If a FASTPASS is disconnected, you are permitted to grab another FASTPASS while holding the one that is disconnected. Otherwise, you may only hold one pass at a time.

Standby-Fastpass

 

More Details

  • Everyone in your group must have a FASTPASS to ride. I recommend nominating one person in your group to hold all tickets or annual passes for the day. At the distribution point, have one person collect all the FASTPASSES. My kids like to pull their own FASTPASSES, but they all return their annual passes and FASTPASSES to me before we leave the distribution point.
  • Little ones (ages 2 and under) do not need a FASTPASS for attractions since they were not granted a ticket upon entry to the parks. (They wouldn’t have a ticket to insert for a FASTPASS.)
  • FASTPASSES are available on a first-come, first-served basis and they do run out. Start your day early and utilize these passes as often as possible.
  • The most common attractions from both parks that run out of FASTPASSES are Space Mountain, Star Tours, Splash Mountain, Soarin’, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and Radiator Springs’ Racers.
  • FASTPASSES are not accepted AFTER the time frame on your ticket. Disney used to be flexible on this, but they have grown strict with the rules.

*Helpful tip: To avoid missing the time frame on your FASTPASS, set an alarm on your phone for your start time.

Digital FASTPASS (or “Classic FASTPASS)

Digital FASTPASS started June 21, 2017 and I was there at opening to figure it out. Check out this video on Facebook that walks you through the process.

Here’s the basic info to know:

+To pull a FASTPASS, enter your theme park ticket or annual pass. A “reminder” pass will be issued to you.

+When it’s time to ride your attraction, scan your theme park ticket or annual pass. The paper “reminder” pass is just that – a reminder. Your FASTPASS now lives on your theme park ticket or annual pass.

+You’ll scan your ticket two times. Once, as your entering the line. Then, again, as you near boarding the attraction.

Some notes:

  • MaxPass should work like this, but your Disneyland app will hold the information and you’ll be able to grab the FASTPASS digitally, from across the park. MaxPass is not available in the parks yet. This post will be updated when it is.
  • Magic Bands are not used at Disneyland. They may arrive one day in the future, but for now, they do not work at Disneyland.
  • Rider Switch will be issued via the usual routine for now. When you return with your paper Rider Swap pass, have your theme park ticket with you.
  • You will still walk to retrieve all FASTPASSES. You cannot grab them from your app at this point. (I was told it could happen next month. It will be called MaxPass when it happens.)
  • Scanners will scan your theme park ticket or annual pass up to 5 minutes prior to your FASTPASS rerun time.
  • If you are wanting to use the FASTPASS system, this is your only option. Every guest will now use Digital FASTPASS. This is free to every park guest.
  • Standby lines are available and still work like normal.
  • You do not need to use a mobile device at this point. All you need is your theme park ticket or annual pass.
  • You are be able to use the Disneyland app to scan at each machine – if your annual pass or theme park ticket – is connected to it. Utilize this option instead of pulling out your annual pass or theme park ticket at each scanner.
  • If you are using the app, turn your brightness up for quicker scanning.
  • You will scan your theme park ticket or annual pass twice just as you did with paper FASTPASSES. You showed it once upon entering the line and then again shortly before boarding the attraction. Same goes for Digitial FASTPASSES. There is a cast member stationed at each scanner. Scanning twice keeps guests from 1) Entering and going through the wrong line and 2) Hopping from the standby line to the FASTPASS line after that first scan at the front of the line.
  • Some attractions will only include one scanner. Some will have two.
  • Regardless of where you purchase park tickets from, every guest is issued a Disneyland park ticket before entering the park. You will use this ticket to pull FASTPASSES as described in this post. Discounted tickets can be found here:

https://disneylanddaily.com/discounted-disneyland-tickets-…/

  • Every Disneyland ticket has a barcode to scan at FASTPASS distribution machines. Whether paper or plastic, you will have a barcode to scan. The SoCal City Pass will work just like a park ticket.
  • If you are concerned with kids losing their annual passes or park tickets, I recommend purchasing a lanyard and using them all the time. Less fumbling through bags and room for error. Lanyards can be purchased on site if they’re not bought before you arrive. Save money by purchasing at this link. (They’re $10+ in the parks.) Your theme park ticket or annual pass will scan through the plastic sleeve at the end of your lanyard.
  • Guests using the DAS system will continue using it as before. Visit a guest relations kiosk to schedule a return time for your next attraction using your annual pass or theme park ticket. The DAS system will work separately from the Digital FASTPASS option on your ticket or pass, allowing you to use both options.
  • Keep your FASTPASS Reminder until it’s time to return to the attraction. If machines go down, you have a backup proof of FASTPASS. You will have the option to recycle your Reminder after you scan your ticket the first time at some attractions. There are containers to take your Reminders right after the first scanner machine.
  • The same rules that you know now for FASTPASSES should apply to this new system. You still must use your FASTPASS during the block of time given. You will be able to pull your next FASTPASS as soon as the time for your current one arrives (and as the FASTPASS Reminder ticket states). There is no reason you should have to use/scan the first FASTPASS to pull the next. You will be able to pull subsequent FASTPASSES if your timing is 2+ hours out after that 2 hour mark.
  • World of Color and (eventually) Fantasmic! will continue with paper FASTPASSES. They will be pulled as they were before – using your theme park ticket or annual pass – but will not be scanned to enter your viewing section. So, hold onto those!
  • Technically, your FASTPASS Reminder will scan for you in place of your theme park ticket or annual pass. However, the FASTPASS Reminders won’t be around forever. And there is no way to predict when this won’t work. Get used to using your theme park ticket or annual pass for FASTPASSES.
  • I’ll be testing morning strategies asap to work on pulling multiple FASTPASSES at the same time. Take a look at this post for some initial findings on 6.27.2017. Good things ahead!

Here are some images, too:

Arrive at the FASTPASS distribution machines just like before. They’re all in the same places.

Put your theme park ticket or annual pass into the machine and receive a FASTPASS Reminder for when to return to the attraction to use your FASTPASS. This Reminder will only be used to remind you of your return time. You will scan your theme park ticket or annual pass to confirm your FASTPASS.

It looks like this:

Keep your FASTPASS Reminder until it’s time to redeem your FASTPASS. If machines go down, you’ll want that back up.

When it’s time to use your FASTPASS, enter the FASTPASS line and instead of handing your FASTPASS Reminder to a cast member, scan your theme park ticket or annual pass at a machine like this:


Easy!

After that first scan, you can recycle your FASTPASS Reminder. There’s a container to collect them right after that first scanner machine at most attractions. It looks like this:

Continue on through the line.

And, just like before, there will be a second place to stop. Scan your theme park ticket or annual pass – at a machine just like the first – but much closer to actually boarding the attraction.


Again – easy!

And, now you’re done. Enjoy the attraction.

Single Rider Lines

FASTPASSES work well for groups, but if you’re OK with riding separately, consider the Single Rider option. This works well if you have one person in your group who wants to ride and you don’t want to wait the standard time for the attraction. Single riders must meet attraction height requirements and be at least 7 years of age.

 

*Matterhorn Single Rider line is incorporated into the FASTPASS line for the attraction. Enter there to ride as a Single Rider. 

*Soarin Around the World was rumored to have the Single Rider line open as Soarin’ Over California did. It hasn’t happened. Cast members will often fill seats, though, with Single Riders. So, listen for them to ask while you are in line.

Rider Switch

Rider Switch (or Rider Swap or Child Swap) might work for you. Here’s how it works: As you approach the line, let a cast member know you’d like to do a Rider Switch. Everyone (adults and children) will then stand in line together. When it’s your turn, one adult will ride (with or without an eligible child) and the other adult will stay with the remaining child or children. Then, the other adult will receive a pass to return to ride without having to wait in line all over again. This means the eligible child can ride twice!

Rider Switch is available at these attractions in Disneyland:

Autopia (Tomorrowland)

Big Thunder Mountain (Frontierland)

Gadget’s Go Coaster (Toontown)

Indiana Jones (Adventureland)

Matterhorn (Fantasyland)

Space Mountain (Tomorrowland)

Splash Mountain (Critter Country)

Star Tours (Tomorrowland)

Rider Switch is available at these attractions in California Adventure:

California Screamin (Paradise Pier)

Goofy’s Sky Skool (Paradise Pier)

Grizzly River Run (Grizzly Peak)

Radiator Springs Racers (Cars Land)

Silly Symphony Swings – tandem or single (Paradise Pier)

Soarin’ Around the World (Grizzly Peak)

Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies (a bug’s land)

***To maximize your day with young children, use FASTPASSES along with Rider Switch. Have each adult grab a FASTPASS and then use Rider Switch on each. You’ll be holding two FASTPASSES at once, essentially, doubling your ability to enjoy attractions.

MaxPass

Beginning, 7.19.2017, MaxPass will be an optional purchase for all park guests.

The MaxPass works within the Disneyland app and allows you to grab a FASTPASS electronically for an attraction, rather than walking across the park to do it. The cost will be $10 per guest, per day. You will be able to add more than one guest onto the app to manage, however, each guest will be required to pay the $10 to use it. With the $10 per day purchase, each guest will receive unlimited PhotoPass privileges, too, including attraction photos.

Watch this video for what MaxPass will look like.

Some notes:

  • MaxPass will pop up on your Disneyland app as an optional purchase when you open it, if you bought your ticket prior to MaxPass launching. This will happen after you enter the main gate.
  • You may purchase MaxPass prior to arriving, as long as you purchase it as an add-on during the initial purchase of your ticket online at Disneyland.com, at the box office, Guest Services Desks at Resort Hotels, Disney Desks at Good Neighbor Hotels.
  • You may not select a FASTPASS prior to entering the park. 
  • You may select a FASTPASS from DCA if you’re standing in Disneyland or vice versa. You only have to have entered one park to become eligible to do so. 
  • To select FASTPASSES for others in your party (meaning, people you add to your app for MaxPass), each of those guests has to have entered the park. 
  • FASTPASSES on the MaxPass portion of the Disneyland app are available during Extra Magic Hour and Magic Morning, just as Classic FASTPASSES were. And just like they were prior to MaxPass launching, not every attraction will be available during EMH/MM. 
  • You may hold more that one FASTPASS at a time using MaxPass, just as you were able to with the regular system. Look for when your device tells you that you’re eligible to pull your next FASTPASS. 
  • If you scan your device as entered into the attraction you selected a FASTPASS for within MaxPass, you will then be eligible to select your next FASTPASS. 
  • You may cancel a FASTPASS within the MaxPass portion of your app. This can happen for one person in your party or all. 
  • If you have 4 people in your party, you can all select your own FASTPASSES. You don’t have to all choose the same attractions. 
  • If you do break up to ride separate attractions, and have only one device managaing MaxPass, a guest within your party may use his or her own app to scan entry into the attraction once the return time arrives. Or, a paper theme park ticket will suffice, too. All of this to say – the barcode that lives on your app and theme park ticket or annual pass is connected. It’s all the same code and holds all of the same information. 
  • Your app will automatically adjust its brightness when you go to scan your code when it’s time to board an attraction. No need to drain your battery by keeping it at the highest level at all times. 
  • If an attraction breaks down and you are granted a “freebie FASTPASS” or “readmission”, your app will automatically store that info as you depart the attraction. A cast member will not have to add that to your app. 
  • Fantasmic! and World of Color FASTPASSES will remain on paper. 
  • If you pull a FASTPASS with your ticket or annual pass at the machine, it will show up on your device under MaxPass. The two systems work together. 
  • All FASTPASSES – pulled at the machine or selected with the MaxPass portion of your app, will come from the same inventory. There isn’t a set number held for one option or the other. 
  • PhotoPass is part of your $10 MaxPass purchase. It entitles you to all images from around the park, including attractions and character meals. (No prints, however.)
  • MaxPass can be added onto Annual Passes for $75 for the duration of your pass. It is free for Signature Plus pass holders. To add the $75 upgrade, guests will need to visit the ticket booths between the two parks. The $75 is NOT prorated for the remainder of your annual pass duration, so those guests with just a month or two before renewing might consider waiting to add it on. 
  • Rider Switch will continue to work as is – ok paper. 
  • DAS will continue to work as is. 
  • Children age 2 and under do not need MaxPass, as they won’t have a theme park ticket to attach to the app for FASTPASSES. 

Some photos:

When you open your Disneyland app, this screen will appear first:

If you choose to “get started”, you’ll enter the MaxPass world and the following will apply to your day……

The Disneyland app will now show you this “Get FASTPASS” option if you purchase MaxPass. This is how you will pull your FASTPASSES.


Add friends, family, etc to your “party” from the front page or at the “link a ticket or pass” noted on this screen.


Select a FASTPASS from either park when it’s time to choose. Click on the park you want at this page.


Browse from available options. Then, choose an attraction.

I choose Haunted Mansion.

Click on the attraction you want secure a FASTPASS for.

Confirm it.

And then when it’s time to redeem, click on “Redeem”.


Look how pretty it looks.

You’ll use the barcode at the top of this image to scan at the machined to redeem your FASTPASS.

As soon as it’s redeemed, select your next FASTPASS from the app.

I’ll be in the parks weekly to show you what a day WITH MaxPass looks like compared to a day WITHOUT it. Then, you can determine whether or not the cost is justified. Paper FASTPASSES will still be available to all park guests. So, using the MaxPass will be voluntary.

Final Thoughts

I can’t think of many reasons why you shouldn’t pull a FASTPASS if it’s available. If there’s a short wait time or you’re leaving the park early and can’t wait for the next available time, go to the Standby Entrance. Otherwise, grab the FASTPASS and plan around it.

And, as with any crowded day at Disneyland, follow these three rules for the best results:

1. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the park opens and have a strategy in place for your day. Take a look at my post on how to start your day.

2. Use FASTPASSES.

3. Take a break mid-day and return after a few hours.

No need to mingle during the meltdown hours with kids (and parents) falling apart. Go back to your hotel for a swim or a shower and return refreshed for the evening.

Take a look at how Get Away Today can help with your vacation

224 COMMENTS

    • The parks are now connected, so it’s not like it was 6 months or so ago where they didn’t “speak” to each other.

      However, you can technically pull one FASTPASS from either park as soon as you qualify for it. So, if you’re holding a FASTPASS for Soarin’ and your time arrives, you can then pull one for Splash Mountain, essentially holding one from each park. But, the old days of where they were disconnected are gone. Buzz is connected now, too. Everything’s equal and all fair game except for Fantasmic! and World of Color, which are still on paper and won’t interrupt your FASTPASS pulling.

  1. Thanks Casey for all of your work!
    I do want to point out one thing. The article states,

    “FASTPASSES on the MaxPass portion of the Disneyland app are available during Extra Magic Hour and Magic Morning, just as Classic FASTPASSES were. And just like they were prior to MaxPass launching, not every attraction will be available during EMH/MM. ”

    I spoke with a Cast Member and she told me that FastPasses are not available during MM or EMH. I don’t remember them being available until the park opens to the general public.

    Thank you for this amazingly detailed article about the new system!

    • Thanks, Ernesto! I appreciate that so much.

      It’s my experience that the “big” rides like Space Mountain, TSMM, Guardians of the Galaxy and RSR have newly allowed FASTPASSES during EMH/MM. I’ve seen it happen and have had many readers share the same info. However, I’ll be watching this and will change that wording if I find that it has changed. Disney invited me to learn the system with a cast member from the MaxPass Launch team the day before the product went live and I asked specifically if this would continue and she said it would. I’ll keep you updated!

  2. Thank you for posting all the details on the new Max Pass system. We are heading to the parks for the first time in October and trying to determine if this is worth the money for us. We will have 5 days in the parks and there are 4 of us traveling. That’s $200 for the new system if I am understanding correctly. I believe Photopass is $99. Is it really worth the extra $100 to be able to book a Fastpass once you get through the gates versus walking to the distribution site? Being this is our first trip to Disneyland we do want to be able to see as much as possible.
    Another possible wrinkle in our case is that we have a special needs daughter that we cold utilize the GAC system for to do the rides she can handle.
    My first thought is to stick with the traditional Fastpass system, but being a newbie I didn’t know if I was overlooking something.
    Thank you! Your site has been SO helpful!

    • Hi, Kris.

      For every guest, this question could be answered differently. Since you were factoring in the PhotoPass cost, you would have to look at the $100 and see if that is worth the investment. If it saves your sanity and creates a better experience by not having to walk all over the park to grab FASTPASSES, for me, that’s worth it.

      However, DAS (GAC) could negate all of this if you qualify for it. You can use DAS with Digital FASTPASS (Classic FASTPASS) and do quite well and save some money.

      I’ll continue to visit the parks weekly updating everyone on how MaxPass is playing out so that you can make your decision.

      Also, as a first timer, don’t miss this post:

      https://disneylanddaily.com/a-first-timers-guide-to-disneyland/

      I hope you love your first visit!

  3. Hi Casey,
    We are a family of five visiting Disneyland for the first time soon. We are planning to use Maxpass. We have three daughter ages 11, 7, and 3. Should we get Maxpass for the three year old? She can’t ride many of the Fastpass rides.

    • I would so that you can all be consistent with FASTPASSES in general. Even though she won’t qualify for all the rides, you won’t want to not have her have the ability to pull a FASTPASS for a ride the whole family can enjoy together. That gets messy.

  4. I’m wondering if you don’t have maxpass, will the app still track your fastpass return times from the ones you get from the kiosks, or do you need Max pass to see your fastpasses on the app?

  5. Thanks Casey for this great info!

    Can you please remind me…are FASTPASSES disconnected between parks, meaning you can hold one from each park? Also, any idea if MAXPASSES will be disconnected between parks? I could see the $10 being a better value if you can get a FASTPASS from each park through the app.

    Thanks!

    • I’m not Casey, but I’ll answer in case Casey is swamped. The fastpass systems between the 2 parks are now connected so you can not for example get a FP for Space Mountain and then get one immediately after for Radiator Springs Racers in DCA- you’d have to wait till you use the SM fastpass or 2 hours, which ever comes first to get another fastpass whether in DL or DCA. This change happened a few months ago. Maxpass will work the same way.

  6. For the part where you say to take a picture and use your pass as a screen saver to save time is against Disneyland policy and could get you in major trouble. Disney’s policy says only actual passes or the official Disneyland app can be used to scan and anything else is a violation of the policies. This has been verified by the Fresh Baked crew.

  7. Digital FASTPASS question.
    Going to Disneyland soon, and expecting baby #4. This is my second time scheduling it this way, but the benefit from last time was that my family always had extra FASTPASS tickets. For those whom it was their favorite ride could go twice, using my FASTPASS. How does the digital FAST PASS affect that, can others ride the rides I can’t with my park ticket/FAST PASS? Thank you so much for your help. Big fan recommend you website to everyone.

  8. Hello Casey not sure if this been asked before, but is there any way to link my tickets (mine + 7 family members) to the App? They were purchased thru Disney website but im trying to do so and the app only gives me the option to link anual passes not regular tickets. Thanks for your help!

    • Hi, Said.

      I have heard this will be possible. I haven’t tried it due to my only having annual passes, but I know it will be something you can do very soon if not already.

      I hope to have a full post on how to use the app in the next month or so after many other projects on my list. I’ll do my best to update this post as soon as I know more. I appreciate your patience so much.

  9. Hi Casey,
    I used my app the whole time from the first loaded fastpass. It scans just fine, but it has to go onto the “ledge” at the bottom of the scanner device, whereas a ticket or pass can be up higher. And just like for scanning for parking passes, brightness must be all the way up. Try it that way next time!

  10. Great info! In the past DCA and DL fastpass times were separate from each other. So if you could not get another fastpass in DL until 10 am you could go to DCA and get a fast pass because they were separate. Is this still the case with digital fastpass.

  11. Can’t wait for the Fast passes to be available on the apps. My first thought of the $10 charge was ok but then it looks like they will be offering the photo pass with it. That is a deal maker. You can imagine the savings after you come off of one of the photo rides and not having to pay that price to get your photo online at home. I hope it’s up and running by the time I go in late July. Thanks.

  12. So with the FASTPASS we have 2 adults, 1 child and a baby. If im correct only 1 adult needs a FASTPASS for example for Radiator Springs Racers and we can do the parent switch…and the child doesn’t need a fastpass also or he does? I don’t want to pull one Fastpass and then get told no we both can’t go. Thank you!

    • Hi, Brandy.

      You only need one FASTPASS for each person per ride. The child swap return pass will cover the adult and child. Your child will need that first FASTPASS to ride, though. The return pass will cover the child, too.

  13. Ive read all the tips but we are still confused about the FASTPASSES combined with rider swap. So we have 3 kids, two big ones (17 and 12) and one little guy 42″. Can we use rider swap with 3 FASTPASSES? So is it one rider stays on and the other gets out? Does it matter the age? I was thinking just send my older through on his FASTPASS and get two others and swap with the remaining two. Is this correct? Thank you for help

    • Hi, Angela.

      You can use one FASTPASS for 2 adults to ride the attraction with Rider Swap. Your whole group will go to the attraction together (so cast members can see the child who won’t be riding) and then one adult will board the attraction while the other stays behind with the child. At the time of boarding, the cast member will give the adult not riding the return pass to use later. Because of that, there’s no need for the 2nd adult riding to have a FASTPASS.

      Does that make sense?

  14. Thanks for the article.

    Regarding Maxx Pass: If our tickets are scanned into DLR, will we be able to get a Maxx Pass for a ride in DCA, or will we only be able to get Maxx Pass for rides in the park that we are scanned in for?

  15. If we buy our tickets for the park through the app, how do we get tickets to enter into the fastpass machine? Thank you!

  16. I know that it was once possible to obtain another fast pass after 2 hours had passed from getting a fast pass. For example, let’s say I get a pass at 8am for Space Mountain and my return window is 12pm – 1 pm, I would still be able to get a fast pass for Indiana Jones beginning at 10am because 2 hours had passed since I had gotten my first fast pass. Is this still correct or did this rule change in April?

    Thank you for the clarification!

  17. Mrs. Starnes,

    Just wanted to say thank you so much for all the work you’ve put into this site. Your joy and enthusiasm for Disneyland and California Adventure is infectious. What a lovely thing you’re doing to allow all of us newbies a chance to give our kids, and ourselves, a magical experience. I went to Disneyland as a child every year (in the 70’s and 80’s), and loved it. My wife has never been, nor have my kids (6, 12, 13), and this will be my first trip back in about 20 years. So excited to share it with them. We have a 3 day SoCal pass so we’ll do DLR on Sat. with early entry, DCA on Sunday and DLR on Monday. I think I have a good idea about our plan, and feel confident we will have a great time. I just hope I’m prepared for the inevitable unexpected things that will pop up. I have so many questions (are you going this weekend?) lol
    The one quick question that I can’t find an answer to here is about fastpass. I am printing out the tickets that I purchased online. When I watched the video of the fastpass machines it looked like an old fashioned ticket needed to be inserted to get the fastpass. Do the paper online printed tickets work? Or do I exchange those for others at the park?

    • Hi, Scott.

      Thank you so much for your kindness! You made my day.

      The ticket print out that you have now will be exchanged at the turn stiles for actual Disneyland tickets. Everyone uses the same ticket, issued by Disney, in the FASTPASS machines. Disney will help you with this upon arrival.

      I’ll be there Sunday. Hope to see y’all!

  18. Shanghai Disneyland is now MaxPass available,but named it Premiere Access and sell it at RMB 150 per site or RMB 600 per set(all 7 FASTPASS sites).

  19. I have a question about how MaxPass could impact our trip. Well be at DLR for 3 days in early June. I’m thinking MaxPass may be in effect by then possibly. My friend, who is a local, will be joining us at CA one of those days. If we choose to do MaxPass: Will it be possible to add her ticket to my app so that she can get fastpasses with us for that one day?

  20. Hi,
    Thanks for the great site! I have a question. If my husband and I were to go in a ride with a fast pass, could we use the rider swap option to go one by one so someone can hang back with our baby?

    Thanks!

  21. Hi,

    If we have 4 adults and a baby, can we use 2 tickets to get a Fastpass for one ride and then use the other 2 tickets to grab a Fastpass for another ride and use riderswitch for both rides? Or does all 4 adults need to grab a fast pass on order to get av rider switch? We went last year and got fast passes for all 4 of us for one ride, but the cast member only collected the 2 fast passes.

    Another question, i read in anther comment that all ticket holders need to check in at the park to get a fastpass. Is this new? Last year, I stayed at Disneyland and sent my husband to grab 4 fastpasses to radiator springs…

    • Hi, Kelly.

      No reason for you all to grab FASTPASSES. Split them up as you’re suggesting and get twice the attractions out of your time.

      All guests have to have entered the park (meaning, their tickets have to be scanned as they go through the turn stiles) in order to pull FASTPASSES. You can send someone from one park to the other, as the parks to “speak” to each other in regards to FASTPASSES. But, guests have to have entered one of the parks in order for those tickets to pull FASTPASSES. So, you can’t leave part of your crew at the hotel to sleep while one person goes in. All guests have to be present.

      Hope this helps!

  22. Can I be in Disneyland Park and send my husband to California Adventure to obtain fastpasses?? Or do we all have to be in California Adventure to get the fastpasses? Also do you recommend we go to Disney California adventure on a day that does not have EMH if we do not have that feature?

    • Hi, Stacey. As long as your tickets are scanned as entered into one of the parks, you should be able to have someone leave one park and grab FASTPASSES in the other, as the systems within each park don’t “talk” to each other.

      I recommend visiting the opposite park of whomever is hosting EMH if possible if you don’t have EMH.

  23. Do you have a touring plan that includes getting the Frozen fast passes? I didn’t see it on any of them, and don’t know where I need to work that in. Please advise, thanks!

  24. Two questions.. I read your Frozen link for fastpasses too. I’m reading everything you are writing!!
    1. CA–We don’t care about frozen (don’t have early entry but will get there early), but we want to ride RSR 2 or 3 times in 1 day. You mentioned getting FP for Soarin then FP for WOC then Ride Toy Story then get FP for RSR. Should I get in line for RSR FP’s FIRST instead of Soarin? I don’t think I understood why 🙂
    2. DL–I have magic morning. No princesses. Should we register for Jedi training first during MM OR ride Hyperspace on standby as you suggested? Then should we get FP for Hyper or Star Tours? Are FP’s avail during magic mornings?
    Thank you!!

    • 1. Most people go right for RSR and it’s a zoo. I recommend Soarin’ instead because you will get a 2 hour wait time for RSR. With Soarin’, it will only be 45 minutes. So, get a few more things done after you pull Soarin’ passes……then return for it……THEN grab RSR. Use the single rider line for additional rides during your day. Also, I recommend Toy Story Mania super early because the line builds fast and is less than pleasant.

      2. I would go for Hyperspace and then register. 1/2 the day’s participants will be signed up during Magic Morning. You should be fine getting in line after Hyperspace. Then, get a FASTPASS for Star Tours…..or send someone over to grab those while you’re registering at Jedi Training. You don’t need park tickets to register. Just be sure to have kiddo(s) there with you at registration. Many FASTPASSES are available during Magic Morning, but those for Hyperspace are not. The more popular rides do not distribute FASTPASSES during early entry so that all park guests have a fair shot at them during the regular park hours.

  25. Hi, i have a question, im going on december 2 days with a 2 year old and a 5 year old.
    Do i do first day only disneyland, and second day california adv?, or both each day?, (i bought 2 hopper tickets)
    thank you in advance!!!

    also, your big kids tour is for a 5 years old?, or should i only do your little kids tour? (hes 6 on february)
    thanks!!!!!

  26. So am i totally incorrect on how cold swap works then? I thought you get a pass, those riding first wait in line, then hand the pass over and the next group (limit two this time) can go through the fastpass line. Am i incorrect?? This is how I’ve always done it, but if there’s a much better way, I’d love to know!

  27. Thank you, thank you for all the info! It made perfect research for our DL trip last month. I was the runner for Fast passes and here is what we did thanks to all your advice! After hitting up the Mad Hatter and all the Main Street characters, we made our way to Peter Pan’s Flight. I ran to get our Hyperspace Mountain FPs. After Peter Pan, we did Dumbo, Tea Cups, Mr. Toad, the carrousel and made our way to Tomorrow land. I grabbed Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear FPs. After Hyperspace Mountain, we went into Star Wars Launch Bay and met Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, and Boba Fett. We separated our group and half went to Finding Nemo Sub and half to the Matterhorn. After, I ran to grab Indiana Jones FPs. After Buzz and Star Tours, we went to our Aladdin Oasis reservations and I tried to grab Splash Mountain FPs but the ride got shut down for the day 🙁 but grabbed Big Thunder FPs instead. So after a long great lunch break, we rode Indiana Jones, Big Thunder, Haunted House, Winnie the Pooh, and Pirates of the Carribean. Thank GOD for the frozen lemonade! We were exhausted!! We made our way to It’s a Small World and the kids and some adults went to ToonTown to ride Roger Rabbit and others. By that time it was Parade time and fireworks. We made the most of our day thanks to you, we did it!! GOD bless you! 🙂

  28. Awesome site! 2 nieces, 2 nephews and their moms visiting first week of August from Alabama and can’t wait to use your strategy. One day for both parks! A question about sending a runner to get FASTPASSES while others what in line for another ride. Will they allow the runner to catch up to the party in line? Or does the runner just miss out on that ride?

    • Hi, Scott.

      That’s tricky. Disney etiquette suggests no line jumping, but it doesn’t bother me for one person to catch up to his or her group. We’re all there to have fun and make the best use of our time, so I’m OK with it. I would try it out and see what your comfort level is and decide how to move forward with it after a few attempts. If you’re in my line, I’ll allow it. 🙂

  29. Hi Casey! Thank you for all the tips. Your blog has been very helpful for us who are planning our first time in Disney. Just wondering if i understand it correctly, i can get a fastpass for WOC and Frozen at the same time and get another fastpass for another attraction? Since WOC and Frozen are both disconnected?

  30. Hello Casey, I loved your website, I have a lot of experience in Orlando but haven’t been too many times to DL so I have a question for you.
    I will be with a group of 52 teenagers and we plan to arrive at 7:45 at California Adventure on June 23 (park opens at 8am). Should I get a FP for Radiator Springs while the group heads to Soarin or should them do Radiator Springs first thing in the morning on stand by line while I get FP for the new Soarin?

  31. I want to thank you for this and every other post. I used DLR Prep School as a guidebook before our trip last year, and it made the park experience so much smoother and enjoyable. I’m looking forward to using your advice again this summer when we return. My colleague and I both turn to your site first for any questions when we plan our visits.

  32. Hi there, We are headed to Disneyland this coming week, and we have been before and used fastpasses, but cant seem to figure out if the new Frozen at the Hyperion is a disconnected Fastpass, or if its the only one I can hold at the time.. Do you happen to know the answer to this, I know its a brand spankin new show… buuuut all the more reason why I DONT want to miss out on it! 🙂 TIA

  33. I am a member of touring plans, and it is telling me NOT to get fast passes for RSR first…which I think is a mistake and according to you it is as well. However, I have never been to CA, so any suggestions?

    • We all have our different methods. RSR runs out so quickly and if you miss it because you’re pulling another FASTPASS that would interfere with the timing, you’ll regret it. I recommend taking care of that first.

  34. I’ve read that all members of the party need to be in the park to get a fastpass; so you can’t send one person early in the morning to start getting all the passes for everyone.

    I am wondering if this same issue happens between the parks. So if everyone enters Disneyworld we could start getting fastpasses there no problem… Would it then be possible to have just one person go to California adventure to get those fastpasses, or would everyone have to at least enter the California park (they wouldn’t be able to stay in the Disneyworld park)?

    • Good question. I have heard that you all have to physically enter the park in order for those FASTPASSES to be pulled. But since you are entering one Disney park, perhaps the other park would work. I’ll try to do this the next time I have my family here. Wish I knew exactly how to advise you now. I would definitely try this if I were you.

      • Thanks Casey, we will not be there until July so if you happen to get an answer before then would still appreciate any updates. If not I will let you know what happens after the trip!

      • Hi guys. We have tried to take passes and crossover without the holders to get FPs and it does not work. Of a groups is all in DLR and one runner crosses over to get FPs for a ride such as Soarin’, it only works for the runners ticket. The others are still not ‘checked in’ to DCA.

  35. So, if I go early and get a Fastpass (ex to Radiator Springs Racers) I cannot head to another ride and grab a fastpass for that ride, correct?

  36. Hi Casey.
    We go to Disneyland in 8 days. Your blogs are saving my mind! We were there three years ago but only my husband and two youngest daughters are going this time. I have a few questions… I have read on other sites that you can get a free cup of ice water from any restaurant so that we could fill our water bottles throughout the day. Is that correct? What would be the first Fast pass to get in DLR? I can’t wait to read more of your awesome tips in the morning. I have been reading your blogs until 1am now!

  37. My parents and son and I are going to disneyland in June and definetely want to see World of a Color. I read your posts about getting the dining package with priority seating. My question for you is, Is the priority seating you get with the dining package the same seating you get grabbing a fast pass for Woc? Thanks! 🙂

  38. Hey I’m currently planning a trip for me and my boyfriend at the beginning of November. I’m searching around for ideas and tips for our first time at disneyland. We are going to get the California City Pass so we can visit other places as well. I want to utilize the fast pass option. Do you know anything about how to get a fast pass at disneyland with a city pass? I believe from my research it’s a plastic card. I’m unsure if that would allow us access to gaining fast passes like a normal disneyland ticket would. Thanks!!

  39. Hey there! I’m new at all of this, and am thankful for your tips! I’m a bit confused on 2 things in particular: 1) if we want to do rider swap, so both parents can ride RSR and my older son can ride 2 times, but my younger son is too short to stand in the line, how does the parent not waiting in line know when it’s their turn to ride? And 2) can you get a fastpass but also stand in line and ride it right then, then come back and ride it again during your fast pass time? One last thing I’d just like your opinion on-if we are staying at the hotel and can go in for the extra magic hour, that is the right choice, correct, instead of going to the opposite park, as it might be less crowded that day? Thanks so much!

    • You should be able to transfer the rider swap pass you will receive from one parent to the next after riding it for the first time. And FASTPASSES should work with this system. Definitely use the extra magic hour. If anything, go for that hour and then leave to go to the opposite park if it gets too crowded. But you will get so much done during that hour. Take advantage!

  40. Hi Casey –

    Thanks for such a great site! I saw the thread from March 2015 and it is a matter dear to my trip this April. Will my 2.5 year old qualify for fastpass considering he won’t have a ticket?

  41. Hi! Great site. Is there any talk about Disneyland using the magic bands that Walt Disney World uses? They are so convenient and easy. Thanks!

  42. Hi. Thank you for all the great info. We are going to visit both parks next week. I’m so excited, it is our first family trip. My question is, will whichever park has the magic morning be the busier park for the day? I’m assuming the busier the park the faster they run out of fastpasses. Also, it may rain one of the days we are there. Which park is best for the rainy day, if it does indeed rain(it may just sprinkle though)?

  43. Hi! We are a family of 5 with three kids aged 12,14 and 16 visiting for the first time. We only have one day to visit but which park is best? We like thrill rides but does DCA have the same charm as DL. Disney characters, fireworks etc? Can’t decide… Can you do both parks in one day? Help!!

  44. Hey. Thanks for this site! I love the disconnected Buzz Lightyear fastpasses, and it really bugs me they don’t advertise it! We do fastpass and parent swap on every ride we can, it’s a shame more families don’t know about it. I rarely get hassled by cast members, and the friendlier you are the better. Talk to them, many are eager to share tips, advice, stickers whatever!

  45. I thought I posted this comment yesterday but it doesn’t look like it took. Hopefully I’m not double posting.

    Is BLAB still disconnected? My wife and I are visiting tomorrow through Wednesday and I’d hate to grab a fastpass to it only to find out that it’s not disconnected any more. My fear is that’d ‘waste’ a FP for me if that were the case as there are other rides that are a higher priority to get at DL.

    Thanks

  46. Are the above disconnected rides still accurate? My wife and I are visiting for the first time in ages this coming weekend into next week and it’d be helpful to know before going and pulling a ride that we think is disconnected (such as BLAB) and finding that it really wasn’t.

    Thank!

  47. Hello I was wondering if anyone has used the link above to buy discounted passes. I’m trying to be causious about ticket sites not owned by Disney such as the parksaver.com listed in this article? Thoughts/concerns! Thanks.

    • Anyone else is welcome to chime in. I have used them and only promote legitimate businesses. They are safe! Use code DLRPS by the end of February at that link for an extra $2 off each ticket. Those tickets will be good trough 2016. Enjoy!

      • One big tip to save. Buy Disney gift cards at Sam’s to save 5%. We just used this method to get annual passes for 5 and saved $225. We also get cards for all of our in-park spending to save an extra 5%.

  48. This explains why my husband and I went on Astro Blasters more than any other ride. We did zero planning before our honeymoon in 2006. Still had a great time.

  49. Hi – I heard that the official Disney hotels in Disneyworld Florida have a 60 day pre-booking window for fast passes. We are going to Disneyland CA and haven’t booked our hotel yet. Is this the same for Disneyland?

  50. FYI We just used rider swap on Radiator Springs Racers yesterday. When my husband and daughter went in, they gave him a lanyard to wear in line. Once he got up to the front, they traded the lanyard for a rider swap ticket good for up to 3 people to return.

  51. Do you have any information on the new DAS? We’re going for the first time since the switch and I don’t want to be completely blind sighted.

  52. on the first day of our Disney trip my son and I are going to go to early in the morning and my husband will meet us later in the afternoon/evening. Does anyone know if I could use his ticket to get a fast pass to WOC then meet him at the entrance with his ticket to get in?

  53. We were just at DCA on New Year’s Day. RSR was allowing rider switch. They – and every FP ride we went on – allowed us to combine FP and Switch options, and only the people in the first group had to have FPs.

  54. Hello!

    My boyfriend and I have 2 days at Disney in the 3rd week of Jan – 1 day at each park, however we will have one shorter day as we’re flying in and then heading straight to a park from LAX (possibly around noon-1pm) – which park would you suggest we should spend the shorter day at? I want to try and use as many fast passes as possible for shows & rides, but am worried about the day we arrive late.

    Thanks so much!

  55. Hello. Quic question.
    My girlfriend and I both have APs. If she doesn’t come with me to Disnelyand, can I still use her AP to obtain a fastpass?
    Since it isn’t a regular ticket but an AP, I was just wondering if I can use her AP with my AP to receive fastapasses. Thank you!

  56. Hi Casey! I really love your website!
    We, the family of 7, are heading to DSL for NYE. I have a 4 years old who is probably still too short to ride the most of height restricted ones. The last time we visited WDW (last year), I was able to break up into 2 groups and book different FastPass+ for rides that a little one couldn’t go on. For example, 1 group had splash mountain, dumbo, and big thunder mountain, and the other group had 7DMT, dumbo, and space mountain. We used FastPass+ for one group while the other group waited with a little one then used swap pass to go ride later that day.
    I heard you can still do this at DSL. But I also heard the cast member was asking all group to have FastPass when you go to ask for a ride switch pass even though half of group won’t go in there right away.
    Could you confirm if this technique is still available at DSL next time you visit there?
    Thank you!
    Kassidy

  57. Taking my daughter to California Adventure in a few days. We are doing a character lunch but I am concerned about getting Anna and Elsa return ticket as well as FASTPASS for the sing a long. The concern being what do I do if the time conflicts with the character lunch time? Is there any way to avoid that?

    • If your character dining meal conflicts with the return time to see Anna and Elsa, simply bring your receipt to the meet-n-greet and they will work you in. They don’t offer FASTPASSES for the singalong anymore and they’re not needed, actually. You should be able to get into it at any time. Enjoy!

      • Thanks so much. Been using your website for a lot of planning 🙂 Good to know about the sing-a-long and also that I should just ask a cast member at the meet and greet if we get a conflict. They seem very accommodating from everything I’ve been reading.

  58. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your tips! We’ve been to Disneyworld and had the Fast Pass Bands because we stayed on the resort and it was super easy. I was concerned when I didn’t see this option at Disneyland, but am so glad you can get ticket Fast Passes! Are we limited to only 3 Fast Passes a day like at Disneyworld?

    We are coming next week for two days (October 8-9) but heard the park is closing early on one of those days? Do you know anything about this? Also, do you suggest we start at California Adventure or Disneyland? Should we do 1 park/day passes or park hoppers? Our boys are 4 and 6, so just trying to make the most of our short visit. We will definitely be using your suggestions, so thank you so much!!

    • Hi, Monica. Thanks! You are not limited to three FASTPASSES and we don’t have the bands here at Disneyland. Be sure to review this post to know how to handle the FASTPASS system here since it’s quite different from WDW.

      The park will close a few days a week right now for the Halloween Party. I would start at California Adventure on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and Disneyland on all the other days. That way you are avoiding the early entry crowd.

      One day tickets or park hoppers work. Check out this link for discounts: http://www.parksavers.com/tickets-home-dlr-prep

  59. We are going to DL for the first time at the end of October. Rather than getting a day ticket we have opted for the Halloween Party tickets. My question is as we will have a wrist band rather than a park ticket I’m guessing that means we can’t use fast pass in the park?

  60. Just wanted to add that single rider never guarantees a shorter wait time. There’s a strong possibility that the guest will be waiting as long or long than the posted wait time. Sometimes an attraction doesn’t have empty seats. I’ve had guests test this while one waited in the stand by queue and the other waited in the single rider line. The single rider waited an additional 20 minutes vs the stand by. Just a heads up. 🙂

    • I had an experience at WDW where the cast member in charge of the single rider line had NO IDEA how it was supposed to work. She did not add single riders in to fill up cars; instead she waited forever and then sent a whole group of single riders through. Needless to say, it took a long time to get through the line!

  61. Hi Casey,

    Kudos on a VERY helpful website.We (three adults) are planning a trip to DLR and DCA for early October 2015, and I have some quick questions. A. What days do you think we should go that you believe would be less crowded? B. Is it better to get a 3-Day Park Hopper, or a 4-Day Single Park ticket? C. Is it better to get a FASTPASS for Fantasmic or a Dinner w/a FASPASS for Fanstasmic, we saw that they offer a 59.99 dinner that guarantees a great spot for Fantasmic, is it worth it? D. Lastly, do you have any itineraries for adults only?

    Thank you for all your help and dedication.

    – Sal

  62. I have a question about the rider swap pass…I have a 5, 7, and 9-year-old…Are we allowed to get swap passes if the whole family isn’t waiting in line? My daughter will not be tall enough to wait in line for the ride, but me and my husband will want to ride with the older two…So if my oldest rides with my husband, can he get a swap pass for me and my other son if we are waiting outside? Thanks!

    • We used to use (and abuse) the Switch pass system. Sometimes CMs only give you a switch pass if you can show them the little one who can’t ride. In other words, getting a switch pass for RSR for your wife and kids who are currently on another ride will not work if CMs are following guidelines.

      Also, you can get a switch pass if there is any child not going at any age or size if the parent deems they need supervision.

  63. Hi, such great tips! I have a question about the rider switch – my family will be going to Disneyland on Friday, and we’re all adults but we just found out my sister is pregnant so she won’t be able to ride some of the bumpier rides. Will a rider switch only be available with children, or can you also request them with expectant mothers so someone can sit out with her but still get to ride? Thanks!

    • Excellent question. I’d ask a cast member, as I’ve never encountered such. Disneyland is very accommodating, but I’m not sure how they handle child swap without a child. Let me know what you find out!

  64. Hi, Casey! Love your site, thanks for all your hard work!

    Two questions. Does storytelling at Royal Theatre have a fastpass and how does it work?
    Also, now that Olaf isn’t on a fastpass, what’s your recommendation on seeing him and balancing fp pickup for racers?

  65. I heard that with the FastPass return of Buzz Lighter, it is no longer connected to the network. Which means I can get another FastPass after Buzz without having to wait. Is this true? Are their other rides that are not in the network, ie: Roger Rabbit, Grizzly River Run?

    • Buzz is not connected. Mostly, it’s just shows and meet-n-greets that are not connected. Not Roger Rabbit or Grizzly River Run. Those are connected. Anna and Elsa, World of Color, Fantasmic!, the Frozen Show in Disneyland, etc…….all disconnected.

  66. We are headed to California Adventure next Saturday and plan to be there well before the rope drop. Is it still recommended to get Anna & Elsa fastpasses first, followed immediately by Radiator Springs? If so, how fast does the Anna & Elsa line move? We are worried about getting fastpasses for both.

  67. Thank you for the wonderful website and tips. I read older articles stating that certain rides (buzz light year astro blaster and radiator springs fast pass systems are independent from the overall fast past system) similar to the firework show fastpass. Is this still true?

    • Totally welcome!

      RSR is connected to other rides. I heard recently that Buzz is not, but I’ll be checking this week. Stay tuned to facebook.com/dlrprepschool for info on this.

  68. Question about Fastpasses for Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome. My 6 year old daughter is getting the Anna makeover at Anna & Elsa’s Boutique at 10:30am (the earliest we could get it) and then we wanted to meet Anna and Elsa later in the day. The park is scheduled to open at 10am that day. What would be your recommended strategy for getting the “return ticket” for the character greeting? Go in at park opening and get the FASTPASS first, then go to the Boutique, and hope the return ticket is scheduled for later enough in the day so we will be able to make it there? Or (while I’m at the boutique with my daughter) send my husband to get the “return ticket” using his park ticket, along with my two sons’ tickets? That way we would have three return tickets that we could use (my mom, myself, and my daughter want to go meet Anna & Elsa). Can the return tickets be transferred to a different person or are they linked to the specific park ticket?

    • Good question. I often recommend doing the makeover the night before so that you don’t run into this issue with timing, but if your appt is set, I think your plan to send your husband over with the boys tickets is a good idea. Make sue everyone’s tickets are scanned for entry that day, of course. FASTPASSES “or return tickets” are transferable.

  69. Hi Casey, Your website is such a wonderfully thorough collection of advice and plans to help us all have a wonderful trip! It’s been a few years since we’ve been to Disneyland and we usually just enjoy the rides as we go, but sounds like having a plan, including which/when to get Fast Passes is really important these days. I do have one suggestion for you: when adding links to your site, you might want to have them open in a new tab. Once I started clicking from one page to the next to the next, it took me a bit to get back to your home page, which I didn’t want to lose! You know how it is once you get clicking! Thank you so much for sharing this greatly appreciated information!

  70. Thank you so much for this info! It has been a bit overwhelming planning for our first family vacation to Disney for my daughter’s 9th birthday. We are planning on going to both parks but bought single day tickets. Do you have any tips or itinerary ideas? Our game plan so far was doing 1 park first day, 1 park second day, and then deciding what to do with the next. I am a bit nervous about the whole fast pass system, and was also wondering if you would recommend purchasing the dining/fast pass combos for World of Color and Fantasmic. They seem pricy, but we don’t want to miss either one. Do you think just getting a fast pass will work? Thank you again and sorry for so any questions from this newbie!

  71. Thank you so much for providing useful info re: Disney Resort! I read your Fasspass guide and I’d like to get your insight. We (two adults) are going to do park hopping and will get there before the rope drop (or whatever it’s called). We want to do both RSR and WOC fastpasses. I know WOC is independent from other fastpasses but which line should we line up first? I could go to WOC with two passes and have my husband line up for RSR but not sure which line would be shorter in general. Any insight will be appreciated!

  72. I’m planning on going to either disneyland or California adventure but I’m having trouble deciding due to my son probably not being any requirements for the rides at CAL ADV, he’s 3 yrs old… are there many rides at all he’d be able to get on??

  73. Hello,

    If we buy etickets and print them at home will they work for the fastpass or will we have to exchange them when we get to the park?

    Thanks for all the helpful info. I’m having a blast just reading and prepping for our trip to DL in August!

  74. Hi, Casey! I just discovered your site, and as a Disney fan, I’m loving it! I just was wondering if your list of fastpass attractions is current or not. I was just in Disneyland a couple weeks ago and know both Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean offer fastpasses. I want to say It’s A Small World does too, but that might only be at WDW, not at DLR. Anyways, thank you for running such an awesome site!

    • Hi, Abigail.

      Haunted Mansion is doing passes temporarily – I believe due to the Hatbox Ghost excitement. I had not noticed Pirates. Will look the next time I’m there – in just a few days. I’ll look for Small World, too. Thanks for the tips!

      • Any update on those fast passes for Pirates and It’s a Small World? My family and I are headed there this week and I am just trying to do my research! Thank you for all of this great information!!!

        • Hi, Amy.

          They recently added Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Haunted Mansion has a semi-permanent FASTPASS now. But, nothing yet for Pirates or it’s a small world. I’ll update this post as I see such. Thanks!

          • My family has annual passes and though we have always avoided the summer months in past years we did go last week to the parks for my son’s birthday. When getting fast passes for Indiana Jones I received a great surprise of a bonus fast pass to Buzz Lightyears Astro Blasters good for up to 6 people. The day before we were asked as a party of 3 if we wanted to join another family of 3 on their 6 person bonus fast pass. It was such a pleasure to have that to offer someone else ourselves. We invited a mom and 2 kids from Chile who were waiting at the end of a 50 minute line. The kids just didn’t believe it. Not only is this a great idea meant to celebrate the 60th Anniversary it really generates sharing and kindness for people to reach out to others with smaller parties. Another great reason to love Disneyland!

  75. Thank you for all the wonderful information on your website. We are going to Disneyland in less than week and getting really excited! We will be able to enter Disneyland park early one day during Magic Morning hours. I’m curious as to when Fast Passes can be pulled. Are Fast Passes for all rides available during the early opening hour or only after the park opens?

    • You’re welcome! Most passes are available during early entry, however, I have heard lately that they’re not as available…..perhaps because of the summer crowds. If that is the case, ride as much as you can and then get in line closer to official opening for the passes you want. Enjoy!

  76. We are going to disneyland next month. We have 3 kids, 2 of which are top little to ride some attractions. There are some sites that say that we can use Fastpass in conjuntion to Rider Swap. Saying that we could pull enough fastpasses for the first set of riders then ask for a rider swap for the others (up to 3 I think) to go through that way after the first set rides. Then the group that isn’t pullong fastpassed for that ride could pull fastpasses for another ride and then use ride swap on that ride as well. Can you say whether this would work or not.

    • Hi, Jodi!

      I’ve heard that this both works and does not. Rider Swap was created to keep people from standing in line twice…..FASTPASS was created to cut down on line time, too. Some cast members will let them work together. Some won’t. If I find out anymore information on this, I’ll get back to you asap!

  77. Hi! Is it absolutely necessary to get the fast passes for the nighttime shows? It will be my first time at Disneyland and I want to be able to see everything during fantastic and world of color, but I also do not want to run to a fast pass machine at rope drop, I want to enjoy seeing the park for the first time. How much time would we have to make our way to get the fast pass?

  78. I discovered your website today, and I love it! I’ve been to Disneyland many times, but I still enjoy reading tips/tricks and ideas. I did want to say that they will not allow children not tall enough to ride in the lines. You mention on rider swapping that everyone stands in the line, but that is not true at Disneyland. You have to get a swap pass instead. This is actually nice as some times the lines can be scary (like Indiana Jones), and also it allows the non-riders to go do something else like have a snack or experience an age appropriate attraction.

    Also, I wish your site had a list of articles. I have clicked on several links within articles, but it would be easier if there was a way to see all the information available on the site.

  79. Thank you so much for the detailed information on your website, it was by far the most helpful in my pre-travel research. My family and I just arrived back in Europe from a California vacation that included a highly anticipated visit to Disneyland Anaheim. My son (3) is a huge Cars fan and my daughter (6) loves the Frozen movie, so we decided to go to the California Adventure park. Thanks to you, I knew exactly what to do upon arrival: Get the return tickets for the Anna&Elsa Meet&Greet and the Fastpast tickets for the radiator springs racers. It worked out beautifully and the kids had a blast. My husband and I enjoyed the surprisingly stress-free visit and the short waiting times! Without your wonderful Disneyland preparation page we would have wandered aimlessly about, spent long times in line and probably missed out on both of these highlights that were once-in-a-lifetime for our kids. Grateful greetings from Germany, Anne

  80. Just wanted to thank you for the outstanding information you have provided on this blog. This was my first time at Disneyland and got to enjoy this with my wife and two kiddos. Your fastpass guide and info on child swap was amazing and allowed us to pretty much ride everything our hearts desired and got to watch both Funtastic! and World of Color with an amazing view! Thank you so much and can’t wait to come back to experience the Magic that is Disney once again!!!

  81. Hello. I have a question regarding parkhopping for fastpasses. Can my family stay in Disneyland while I take all of our parkhopper tickets to California Adventure to get fastpasses for RSR? Hope that makes sense.

    • Good question, Micah. The theme park tickets must be scanned for entry in order to use them at the beginning of the day. Let me check this Friday at my visit for re-visting the parks without your actual family and with tickets only. I’ll reply back to this comment after I find out. Want to make sure I’m correct in my answer.

        • Micah! I’m so sorry. I thought for sure I had replied to you on this again.

          The answer is no. The park tickets must be scanned for entry (even on subsequent visits) in order to pull FASTPASSES, therefore, the family would have to be in the park in order to get tickets. Does that make sense?

          • Ok that’s what I figured. Oh well, guess they’ll just have to hop with me. Thanks for finding out, though!

      • I just did this with 14 passes – my group was in DL and I took everyone’s tickets and ran over to CA Adv to get RSR fast passes – no problem. My ticket was the only one scanned for admission, but I got a FP for everyone.

          • I was wondering this same thing. Casey, have you tried this again since Coralyn posted her comment? We’re using our Magic Morning at DL on our first day in the parks (Tues.), and plan to start the rest of our days in whichever park does not offer early entry to resort guests. That means we won’t start the day in DCA until Thurs. I have a feeling if we don’t park hop by 10 am on Tues. or Wed., then RSR fast passes will be gone by the time we cross over. What do you think? (BTW, there are 8 of us. We’ve got 5 day hoppers and will be in the parks Tues.-Thurs., Sat. & Sun. taking Fri. off to rest and catch our breath.) Also, so much has changed since our last visit in 2013, especially with Fantasmic! offering FP. We used to stake out a spot and sit for an hour waiting for the show. Are all the spots by the water reserved for FP seating now? Thanks for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions. I really appreciate getting the insider view as it’s often hard to get these answers via Disney.

          • Hi, Elizabeth!

            Absolutely grab FASTPASSES for reserved seating for Fantasmic! In fact, take a look at this post from my Facebook page for 2 strategies – one which includes one for seeing Fantasmic!, the fireworks and the parade all in one night with a small amount of wait time.

            https://www.facebook.com/DLRPrepSchool/photos/a.477640795666902.1073741828.475776189186696/784489851648660/?type=1&permPage=1

            Regarding, RSR FASTPASSES and hopping, you might want to send someone over with everyone’s tickets to see if he or she can pull RSR FASTPASSES without everyone being present in the park. Disney insists that you have to be in that park to pull passes, but I’ve had several readers that have made it work without that recently. If that’s not an option, you might make it by 10am. Otherwise, Single Rider might be your best bet to avoid a huge wait.

  82. I just had one of the worst and most expensive days of my life at California Adventure. No where in the park are clear instructions about the fast passes given. Disney’s own website makes it sound as if those purchasing regular admission for the day are not eligible. After spending $300 just to be there, my daughter and I only managed to ride 4 rides in an entire day there, and walked out after discovering the “24” minute (listed) wait for Radiator Springs Racers was actually going to be 4 hours!!! We found this out from the cast member who refused to allow the “standby” line to increment at all as Fast Pass holders from all over the park swarmed the ride. We paid hundreds of dollars to stand in the hot sun for hours, only to be considered “standby” by your “cast members”? Very interesting terminology here showing who Disneyland values (their employees who are now put on a pedestal as “actors”), and who they don’t (Joe Q Public who pays a normal fare to stand in the hot sun for hours-only to be corralled and ignored for hours as “Standby” while other more elite people who have not waited at all march right onto the ride)? Pardon my run on here but Walt would be spinning in his grave if he found out how twisted his vision of the happiest place on earth had become! The whole fastpass elitist discrimination needs to be shut down!!!

    • TangoAvenger,

      I’m so sorry you had a bad experience. I hope my guide will help should you decide to try again with Disneyland or California Adventure. Can you let me know how I could be clearer in my post? Or can you recommend what information could have made your day run smoother? Happy to help in any way I can.

  83. FYI children under 3 will need a pass to see Elsa and Anna. We were not told this when my husband got passes for the rest of our group and when the 8 of us walked up at our designated time they refused to let all of us in bc we only had 6 passes. How they expected us to get passes for our two little ones (under 2 years old) when they didn’t have park tickets to begin with is beyond me. It was mainly just one woman on a power trip refusing to let us all in.

    • Thanks, Jennifer. For a long time, children under 3 were given passes, however, with them moving to DCA, that was changed. I’ll check into it today. I appreciate you letting us know.

    • Jennifer, I spoke to several cast members last night about your situation and they were surprised. You should have absolutely been allowed to bring children in without FASTPASSES. I’m so sorry this happened.

  84. is there a way of getting fast pass online instead of in person at the park, we will be going to Disneyland and California Adventure

  85. I have a question about using the rider swap versus the single rider line. I have a 5 year old and there are some rides she will not want to ride, but her father and I will both want to ride. Would we be better off utilizing the rider swap or the single rider line? Or is it possible to implement both?

    • Hi, Whitney!

      You can’t utilize both in the single rider line, unfortunately. I do recommend it over FASTPASSES and other options on most attractions. However, Rider Swap will work best where the single rider option is not available.

  86. My husband and I are headed up to Disneyland for a date on Thursday. We’ve never seen World of Color and are so glad it’s finally open! When should we get fast passes for he show? We’ll be there most of the day.

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