You've seen it in the park, and you've seen the picture in Al's most recent update: the line at the Bank of Main Street for processing Annual Passports seems like it's always eternally long. That's because... well, it is. Here are the questions I get the most about the AP line, and some of the answers.
Q: Is there another location for getting my pass processed?
A: Yes and no. Guest Relations at DCA can handle replacement passports, renewals, and upgrades from lower-level passports. However, the only location that has cameras is the Bank of Main Street, so that's the only place you can go if you need a picture taken. If your photo is already in the system, it is highly recommended that you use the other location. If you haven't come to the park yet and are planning on renewing/upgrading, it is even more highly recommended that you renew by mail or go to http://disneyland.com/ap to get your new passport. (This process can take up to six weeks, but usually happens in under two.)
Q: How long does the line take?
A: It depends. Some guests will take longer to process for various reasons, while others will be able to pop in and out. Assume an average of about five minutes per each guest in line. That does mean every single guest, including children, who have to be processed as well. (It will actually be shorter than this, depending on how many windows are open, but you'll be a happier person if it takes less time than you expect rather than more.) If the entire extended queue is being used, it can be anywhere from 1-3 hours. If there are more people than that.... You get the idea.
Q: Is there a time when the line is going to be shorter?
A: Not really. (Don't you love how decisive my answers are?) Expect it to be relatively reasonable right when the park opens, but within the first couple of hours, it will get to the length where it will stay all day. Yes, it does stay that long ALL DAY. It does not get shorter during parades (a popular notion), though your wait in line will be more amusing if you go during that time. The only time it does tend to drop off a little is during the fireworks on weekends. Also, it's always much longer on weekends than weekdays. Generally, we recommend that if you are at the Bank, you get in line and take care of it while you're in the area, because if you put it off, you'll be in trouble.
Q: How late is the Bank open?
A: This one I'm going to have to double-check, but I'm pretty sure it stays open as late as the rest of Main Street, which is to say, one hour after the park closes. Try not to put it off until the very end of the day, since you'll be in trouble if you run out of time due to poor planning, because...
Q: Do I have to do it today?
A: Passports must be processed on the first day they are used for park entry. The CMs at the Bank will very occasionally allow someone to use the pass for a second day's admission, but only under extenuating circumstances, such as having to leave the park for an emergency or having a flight to catch. "I don't want to wait in the long line" is not an extenuating circumstance. Our advice to everyone is to do it right away.
Q: Is that the line for the Opera House?
A: Not at all! Come right on in, our next show starts in about five minutes.