Using Fastpasses at the Disneyland Resort

Fastpasses Offered How the Fastpass Machines Work Determining Availability & Return Windows Strategy

This page does not specifically cover Maxpass, but the information presented here will be generally applicable to this new system.
 Paper Fastpasses are no longer distributed - instead the machines print "reminders" (see photos below). 
At ride entrances, the guest's Fastpass is scanned from the ticket, annual pass, or either attached to the user's account on the Disneyland app.

UPDATES:  The minimum wait time until another ride Fastpass may be obtained - as printed on the reminder - is 30 minutes.
However, if you use your existing Fastpass before that 30 minutes is up, you will able to get another Fastpass immediately afterwards.
The maximum wait time to get another Fastpass is now 1.5 hours / 90 minutes.
 At park opening, the return windows for most Fastpass rides will open in 30 minutes.

Changes are continually happening - this page is being updated as new information is verified.

For those who are familiar with the FP+ system used at Walt Disney World: [Temporarily] forget what you know.
Although there are similarities, trying to use knowledge of the WDW system can impede your ability to make the best use of Fastpasses at the Disneyland Resort.

There is no charge for Fastpasses beyond the cost of admission to either park. Do not be confused by some travel agencies and ticket resellers that imply that Fastpasses are included with their tickets or travel packages as some sort of "bonus".  Every guest, whether using a ticket or Annual Pass, can get Fastpasses after their admissions media have been initialized at Disneyland Park or Disneyland California Adventure Park on a particular day. Children under the age of 3 do not need a ticket to enter either park, so can't get Fastpasses, but that is not a problem, as these children can enter any attraction (for which they meet the height requirement) that accepts Fastpasses with their families.

Your ticket or annual pass is initialized each day (apparently for only one park) as you first use it to gain admission through the turnstiles of either park.  
One person cannot take the whole family's tickets, enter a park for the first time, and get Fastpasses in that park for the other members of the family.
It also appears to be not possible (most recent visitor reports state "no") for the whole group to enter either park, and then one person take everyone's park hoppers or APs, go over to the other park, and get Fastpasses for everyone in the other park.

Attractions that offer Fastpasses

Disneyland Park

[40] Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
[I, E] Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
[F, N] Fantasmic!
[I] Haunted Mansion [+ "Holiday" version]
[S, 46] Indiana Jones Adventure
[E, F, S, 42] Matterhorn Bobsleds
[I] Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
[E, F, 40] Space Mountain  [+ "Ghost Galaxy" version]
[S, 40] Splash Mountain
[E, 40] Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Disney California Adventure Park

[E, I, S, 48] California Screamin'
[E, F, 40] Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! 
[I, S, 42] Goofy's Sky School
[S, 42] Grizzly River Run
[E, F, S, 40] Radiator Springs Racers
[E, 40] Soarin' Around the World
[E, F] Toy Story Midway Mania!
[F, N] World of Color

E: ride operates during Magic Mornings / Extra Magic Hours
F: Fastpasses may be distributed during Magic Mornings / Extra Magic Hours (first ride return times begin at regular park opening)
    Apparently, this is most likely to occur when the early admission hour of one park coincides with the first regular operating hour of the other park
I: immediately opening Fastpass return windows are more likely to be seen (probably before noon)
N: not "connected" to the wider Fastpass network, so Fastpasses may be obtained independently of any others; won't be able to obtain Fastpasses using Maxpass
S: single rider queue available
##: required minimum height of riders in inches - all of these rides offer Rider Switch

How the Fastpass Machines Work

When a guest attempts to get a Fastpass by inserting their ticket or annual pass into the barcode reader, the machine verifiies that it has been initialized at one of the park's turnstiles that day.  Next, it checks to see if you already obtained a Fastpass for the same attraction - the machine will "give" you a Fastpass and print a reminder only if you have used the older one or its return window has closed.  If you don't have a Fastpass for this attraction, the machine then checks to see if you have an "exclusionary" Fastpass for another ride - that is, if it now before the time stated on the reminder as "Another FASTPASS selection will be available after ##:##"
exception: When the "another Fastpass" time is one half hour from the time a ride Fastpass was issued, you may get a second one as soon as you use the first one.

The maximum wait time to get another Fastpass is about ninety minutes.

The return window for any ride Fastpass is generally one hour in length and starts with the minutes at a five-minute increment (##:#0 or ##:#5).
Although not publicly announced by Disney, many visitors' reports indicate that there are grace periods of five and fifteen minutes at the start and end of the window, respectively.

This reminder was obtained at 9:32 AM - the time is printed at
the bottom right in 24-hour format.  In this case, since the return window began more than 30 minutes, but less than
 [now 1.5] hours from the time the Fastpass was issued,
another one could be obtained when the return window
opened at 10:35 AM
Since this reminder was printed at 11:40 AM and its return window wouldn't open for more than 2* hours,
 another Fastpass could be obtained at 1:40 PM^,
which was 2* hours later.

*would be 1.5 hours now due to new 90 minutes rule
^1:10 PM now

Fastpasses for Matterhorn Bobsleds, "Toy Story Midway Mania!and "Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT!" may be obtained across from the rides' entrances.   Radiator Springs Racers Fastpasses are distributed next to It's Tough to Be a Bug.  The Star Tours Fastpass machines are located across the pathway next to Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters - the machines for both attractions are in the same area, but there are two distinct queues set up.  World of Color Fastpasses can be obtained from portable machines located by The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Determining Fastpass Availability and Return Windows

Signs at each Fastpass ride - usually located by the machines - show the return windows of the Fastpasses currently being issued.  No times will be displayed if the ride is not operating or the day's Fastpasses have all been distributed. 

You can also use the Disneyland app.  Search for fastpass on the Attractions list view^, as seen below. Tap on the name of an individual ride - not "Disney FASTPASS Service" - to see availability and return times.  Add California to the search term to see only Disney California Adventure Park Fastpass attractions.  Search for fastpass "Disneyland Park" - including the double quotes - to see only Disneyland Park Fastpass attractions.
^Click here for an explanation and illustration of the app's list view.

If you search for "fastpass" on the Attractions list view, this is the result. 
Tap on "California Screamin'" to see the current Fastpass return window.
The standby wait time is again displayed, with the return window of Fastpasses currently being issued under the words
"Now Distributing".
Searching for fastpass california
(the "c" does not have to be capitalized) brings up this list.
Search for fastpass "disneyland park" (include double quotes - capitalization does not matter) to bring up only  Disneyland Park Fastpass attractions.


Fastpass Strategy

You can obtain and hold a World of Color Fastpass and a "Fantasmic!" Fastpass without any effect on your ability to get ride Fastpasses.
Once you get a ride Fastpass, you may not get another ride Fastpass within either park until the "Another FASTPASS selection will be available ..." time.
There is one exception:  If you are able to - and do - make use of the Fastpass you now hold before that time, you can get another Fastpass immediately afterwards.

* examples of effectively obtaining and using Fastpasses:
* You get a Space Mountain Fastpass at 9:13 AM which is valid from 9:50 AM to 10:50 AM. 
   In this case, you could get your next ride Fastpass at 9:50 AM, and that would be the time printed toward the bottom of the reminder.
* Suppose it's 11:02 AM when you get a Radiator Springs Racers Fastpass, and it is good between 1:40 PM and 2:40 PM. 
   In this case, the next ride Fastpass would be available to you at 1:00 PM, about two hours after the Fastpass was issued.
   You would be able to get another Radiator Springs Racers Fastpass when you've used the old Fastpass or after 2:40 PM.
* [based on real data from Sunday, 6/25]  You've just entered Disney California Park, and at 8:36 AM check Fastpass return times on the app.
   You see that the return window of Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: BREAKOUT! opens at 11:00 AM.  You want to ride, but if you get a Fastpass immediately,
   you'd have to wait until 10:05 AM to get another one.  Instead, you determine when the return windows open for other rides:
   Radiator Springs Racers - 9:45 AM; California Screamin', Goofy's Sky School, Soarin' Around the World, Toy Story Midway Mania! - 8:40 AM
   The best strategy would be to first get and use Fastpasses (one at a time) for some of the rides with the 8:40 - 9:40 return windows.
   Then, since GotG-M:B! Fastpasses run out quickly, get that Fastpass immediately afterwards, and (if you desire) get one for RSR when possible.
* You have an Indiana Jones Adventure Fastpass that will become good at 12:35 PM, which is also when another Fastpass may be obtained.
   You could get a Space Mountain Fastpass at that time (assume it's valid from 3:10 PM to 4:10 PM) and then go back to ride Indiana Jones Adventure.
   Then at 2:05 PM (don't forget the ninety minutes rule), you might pick up a Matterhorn Bobsleds Fastpass before riding Space Mountain

If you are unable to use a Fastpass during its return window because the ride is temporarily out of operation, you should be able to use it later in the day after the ride re-opens.
It's possible that the Fastpass will become a wildcard in that it may be used on any one of several Fastpass rides - but (apparently) only in the same park.

Another way to maximize the number of rides you enjoy in one day is to use the Single Rider queues - see the rides marked "S" aboveSingle Rider lines generally move faster than Fastpass lines#.   If you are willing to use SR queues or can take advantage of early admission (see rides marked "E" above), there will be fewer attractions for which you will want to obtain Fastpasses.
#Visitors have reported that being a single rider on Matterhorn Boblsleds or on Radiator Springs Racers may not save time over using a Fastpass. 

In Disneyland Park, the distribution of Space Mountain Fastpasses generally ends before that of any other ride. 
As there is also no Single Rider queue available, these Fastpasses may be considered the most "valuable" and (if you desire to get one) should be obtained relatively early in the day.
The Fastpasses that will "run out" next are usually for Splash Mountain , Indiana Jones Adventure, Matterhorn Bobsledsor Star Tours - The Adventures Continue.

In Disney California Adventure Park, Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! Fastpasses usually  "run out" first - and again, with no SR queue - are especially important to get sooner rather than later.  The distribution of  Radiator Springs Racers Fastpasses will probably end next, followed by those for Soarin' Around the World or "Toy Story Midway Mania!"

Fastpasses Offered How the Fastpass Machines Work Determining Availability & Return Windows Strategy