New FastPass System Started at Disneyland Resort [UPDATED]

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure have started using a new FastPass system for guests.

FastPass of the Past

For almost 20 years, Disney has had a paper FastPass system where guests insert their ticket or Annual Passport into a kiosk.  The kiosk scans a barcode and prints a paper ticket for a return.  Over the years this has changed, but remained roughly the same.  Kiosks have varied a bit in how they scan.  Walt Disney World began FastPass+ where its tied to an online app system and almost no paper FastPasses are given out.

New fastpassWhat’s Changed?

Today, Disneyland has started a new way of handling FastPass.  Guests still walk up to kiosks, scan their ticket or pass and get a piece of paper printed.  But, how they return is a different way of doing things.

Cast Members have been pointing out to many approaching FastPass entrances that they only need their ticket or pass, not the paper return time.  The paper only serves as a reminder and notification of the time to return.  Guests have their ticket or Annual Pass scanned at a pole kiosk before going through the FastPass line.

The Future

The first day it was implemented was bumpy in the way of people not sure what to do to return during their time.  The lines went fairly fast, but there were short lines at the return points of the various FastPass entrances that I saw.

The kiosks remind me of the Walt Disney World system. When they scan the barcodes they give a similar chime and light up in the same way as the Florida ones.  Walt Disney World’s system implements Magic Bands for scanning, which is a rather faster way of doing things.

Even though some line snags hit today with the switch over, this should make things go smoother for guests to go through FastPass.  Cast Members don’t have to look at the return times to have people go through, they scan and it either lights up green to go or red to not.

Though it has not been said yet, it seems like the paper FastPasses are on their way out.  With tickets and Annual Passes tied to the Disneyland app, it’s a matter of time before phones will serve as reminders of time.  As sad as that may be to say goodbye to a long system, it will save on time and money in printing.

As small of a thing as it is, the chime and lights for FastPass return are added magic to Disney days.  It may not mean much, but it helps with the guest experience.

Of course, all of this is giving way to the MaxPass as well, which was not implemented today but will be soon.


The paper FastPasses’ barcode does read in the scanners.  Whether this will change or not is yet to be seen.  Also found out the hard way that after scanning FastPasses and a ride breaks down, there is no way to get a compensation FastPass.  So stay in line when that happens.

Currently, without MaxPass interfering, it’s possible to get FastPasses that are good a minute after receiving them.  BUT, it doesn’t mean you can get another one immediately for the same ride.  A reminder ticket will be printed saying you already have a FastPass for the attraction.  The system requires you to scan the FastPass within the time before getting another.  Also when the time window has expired you can get another one for the same attraction.

What do you think of the new system?  Let us know in the comments!

9 thoughts on “New FastPass System Started at Disneyland Resort [UPDATED]”

  1. Now you won’t be able to share fastpasses with other members of your party or by giving some unexpected magic to strangers if you are leaving the park before your fastpass time. Kinda a bummer. One of the greatest joys in life is being handed 4 fastpasses by random strangers headed out of the park.

    1. Murray the Bellhop

      Right now, the paper FastPasses can be scanned by the return poles. I don’t know if they’ll require a ticket or Annual Pass in the future with it, but right now you can pass the paper ones on.

    2. I agree with this. I hope they don’t get rid of the paper fastpasses for this exact reason. I’d love to pay forward the kindness another family had for mine when they gave us their fastpasses for the Haunted Mansion someday. If they take the paper fastpasses away, it’ll be impossible to do so.

    3. Agreed! I was going to make a shirt for my next trip that said “Now accepting your unwanted fastpasses”


    I agree with everyone else. It was fun to give someone our fp. If we decided to leave the park or not ride at the moment. It was part of the magic of Disney Land!
    One of my favorite memories was my husband and I were walking back to the park to meet up with our teens and were holding hands. Now we are in our very late 40’s and s young couple was leaving and walked up to us with two star tour passes and said they hoped in laters years they would still be holding hands too. Lol!
    It was a fun thing to be given the passes!
    We’ve been to wdw two times with the magic bands and I really hate those things!
    They are hot to wear, annoying as heck, have to app everything, or pre plan. You almost can never get fast pass with your friends for a Meetup.
    If they just had a system more like DL we’re you just walk up and scan them it would be better.
    Wdw with the bands and set up is not enjoyable.

  3. I’m more of a planner so I like WDW and Magic Bands. I also liked the paper system at DL. However, with the new updates, I’d rather magic bands and booking passes once you’re in the park. In WDW I am always on my app refreshing to get our next ride when the window opens. Sounds like Max Pass will give those who pay the option to do that. Adding Magic Bands would allow all guests to be on the same playing field whether they move quick or not.

  4. Michelle Thompson

    I have spent the past 4 days at DL/CA using both the old system and the new system. Personally, I do not like the new system as it still requires a cast member to stand there checking if it lights up (we’ve had glitches as some of our party got green, while others got red all with fast passes with the same return time) and you have to have your ticket out to be scanned and on some rides more than once! When traveling with kids, the less opportunities they have for pulling out their ticket the better it is!! Will it keep me from using the Fast Pass system -definitely not as it allows you the chance to ride on more rides on days that the park is overflowing however, I too loved giving and receiving fast passes. Not sure how I feel about the Max Pass, will wait for judging that until it is rolled out.

  5. Yesterday we had fast passes for Splash Mountain and when we came back during our window the ride was down. The cast member told us that the fastpass would be valid for that ride for the rest of the day if the ride came back up. Unfortunately didn’t make it back there to test that out

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