Disneyland’s PhotoPass vs. MaxPass

Apparently the start of the year brings many hopes and dreams for upcoming Family Vacations for many. Over the last few weeks I’ve been asked so many questions about our Disneyland Vacations over the years I thought I would put a few of the questions into a post. WHY? Because PhotoPass vs. MaxPass is a great questions, that and because Disneyland is INCREDIBLE and they’re worthy of breaking down for those who are asking. Disneyland for us, is not a trip that is booked in a whim. Planning months in advance is ideal to make the most of your families vacation. It’s why I like to share so many of my Disney Hacks with you, for should I be able to help even but one family make the most of their trip, and maybe even save a little money, then my job here is done!

So let’s go ahead and break down the whole Disney’s PhotoPass and the newest addition Disney’s MaxPass.

So many of you have been questioning if the MaxPass is worth it. Is the PhotoPass more than good enough or is the extra money spent upgrading to a MaxPass something you will regret? Wonder no more, I’m here to break it down for you, 1 MaxPass perk at a time. 

I am a huge fan of Disney’s PhotoPass every since the first vacation we took with one. They’re beyond worthy of the money spent not only coming from a family who loves their photos but also from a mom who loves to ALSO be in the photos. You catch what I am dropping moms?! 

I reached out to my good friend, and fellow Disney-lover Naomi to be filled in on all things MaxPass as she JUST got back from her Disney Vacation this past weekend. She educated me on exactly how the MaxPass worked and how it compared to the PhotoPass. So here we are, let’s go ahead and break it down:


What you get with a Disney Photopass ($78 U$):
Get all your Disney PhotoPass photos, attraction photos and videos, dining photos and Magic Shots captured in a week

So here is what this all means. Purchase the Disney PhotoPass before you leave on vacation and when you get to the park you can have your picture taken in either Disneyland and California Adventure by the Professional Photographers situated throughout the park. They can take your photo anywhere, in front of a favorite ride, with a character, by yourself or within your group. Disney’s PhotoPass is a genius way to ensure that everyone gets in your vacation photos and I don’t mean at an arm’s length (although Selfies are fun!). PhotoPass Photographers are located throughout both parks ready to take your photo, however with the PhotoPass you can also get your Attraction Photos. You know what I mean, the shots of horror on your face while you go on Splash Mountain for the first time. Those images too are included in this cost. Also, should you also find yourself dining at any of the Disney dining locations, like Ariel’s Grotto, Disney’s PCH Grill, Goofy’s Kitchen or Plaza Inn a Disney’s PhotoPass Photographer will be there too, taking groups shots and even photographs with the Characters. These too are included. I’m telling you, the Photopass is worth every penny! Purchase your Disneyland PhotoPass here

:: based on a family of 4 visiting Disneyland a photopass would cost $78 U$ for 5-days in the park ::


:: Disneyland’s PhotoPass vs. MaxPass ::


What you get with a Disney Maxpass ($10 per person/day U$):
Get all of your Disney PhotoPass photos & make and redeem Disney FASTPASS selections right from your mobile device. 

So here is what this all means. Purchase the Disneyland MaxPass before or during your visit and when you get to the park enjoy all of the perks of the PhotoPass, plus book FastPasses from you phone in the park. For those of you who know the whole FastPass system you will know how insanely amazing this is. Not having to go to the actual FastPass booth to get your tickets, now you can do it from anywhere in the park at anytime and book however many you need. Through the Disney app you can now find PhotoPass Photographers throughout the park as they move around, you can check in on wait-times for all your favorite rides (making the most of your time in the park), book dining reservations and now book your FastPass Tickets. Also another neat upgrade from the PhotoPass and the MaxPass is any photos taken in the park will show up on your account within 24 hours, however with the MaxPass Photos taken from any photographers in the parks take 20 minutes to be uploaded. You will have access to all photographs of you and your family almost instantly to share socially or relish and relive the moment. 

:: based on a family of 4 visiting Disneyland a Maxpass would cost $200 U$ for a 5-days in the park ::


What do I think about Disney’s new Maxpass and will I be buying it on our next Disneyland Family Vacation?

Clearly it’s the way to go should your family want to make the most of their visit in either Disneyland or California Adventure Park. Will the MaxPass be mandatory for every family? No! Will the Maxpass be for our family? Yes and No! Let me explain…

With Stella being only 16 months and not being able to ride any of the FastPass rides, is it worth us buying a MaxPass for her? Clearly not, but theoretically it makes the MaxPass even that much more beneficial to families like us who travel with a toddler. We can FastPass without dragging the littles all through the park, and we can do it from anywhere really. From a change table, a snack pit-stop, or even a swift moving stroller that can make no stops in fear of waking a baby. Another neat perk I was thinking about was being able to enjoy the images instantly on my phone. For a parent who has to sit on the sidelines with a younger child, having access to viewing photo’s taken at a time you were not there, like their first time on Splash Mountain or making another lap on Radiator Springs. It’s almost as if you didn’t miss a beat.

Likely this will be our plan the next visit to Disneyland with the girls. We will get the MaxPass for myself, Sammy and Sofia ($30 U$ a day) skipping out on one for Stella. We will FastPass on the go for all the rides Sofia wants to take advantage of and when our time comes, she will get to go twice.  One time with Sammy and back-to-back another time with me, all on one FastPass. HERE ME OUT! We will make our way to the ride when our FastPass tells us, Sammy will head on the ride with Sofia first while I stay back with Stella. Once they’re off, they will snag a Rider-Switch Pass from a Disney employee on their way off the ride and head out to meet back up with Stella and I. Then Sofia and I will take my FastPass ticket and her Rider-Switch Pass and head on again. How’s that for making the most of your Disneyland Vacation. 

Bottom line, do I feel the MaxPass is a benefit to families? Absolutely! Take a look at your group and see if it works best for you, should you be traveling with a small infant or a toddler only, then maybe not. But in this case I still highly recommend the Disney PhotoPass. Like I said, make sure that it works for your family, but in my eyes no families should be without either the Photopass or the MaxPass when they go on a vacation to Disneyland. One or the other is a necessity! 


EDIT: Someone shared with me an awesome video on how the MaxPass works and it really beats any written explanation ESPECIALLY is you’re a visual person like myself. Check it out here


Check out some of our other Disney posts:

Disneyland; it’s more magical for kids
Custom Autograph Books & Passport Wallets for Disneyland
Surprise! Were going to Disneyland
The Best of Disneyland; Dining and Attractions
The Best of California Adventure; Dining and Attractions
Disneyland Vehicle and Baby Gear Rentals
How to write a Letter to Mickey Mouse
The Best places to buy Disney clothing
Is the PhotoPass worthy of all the HYPE?
The BEST of our 2016 Disneyland Family Vacation



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