Disney Photopass…you either like it or love it! It’s a wonderfully designed tool that allows Disney parks guests maximum fun and keep-sake as they immortalize their vacation through pictures. Sure…snapping photos on your phone, or personal camera is great, but it doesn’t get any better than Photopass. We think you should always, ALWAYS, purchase memory maker and take advantage of your Disney park photo opportunities!
For starters…let’s discuss Photopass a bit. “Oh…it’s nothing more than a professional photography program run by Disney,” said no one ever! Photopass is an awesome, worthwhile tool that not only captures some of the most memorable parts of your Disney vacation but also makes accessing your photos simple through the My Disney Experience App and Memory Maker.
How It Works
Stationed all over Walt Disney World Resort are photographers, picture locations, and even some photo kiosks. Normally they are located around character meet and greet areas, high volume landmarks such as Cinderella’s Castle, but they also can be found randomly throughout the park as well. They are at your disposal to take as many pictures as you’d like. There is no limit to how many photos you can take.
You know that little Magic Band you’ve been rocking? It’s about to come into play! Every time you take a photo, you’ll scan your magic band which is linked to your MDE account. Your pictures become almost immediately available via the app. The same goes for ride photos! Funny faces on Splash Mountain are captured and sent to your My Disney Experience account automatically as long as you are wearing your magic band…it’s that simple.
What is the Difference
As we’ve said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with snapping your own photos…we strongly encourage it. However, you aren’t going to get the kinda shots that Photopass photographers will. They know the tricks to get that perfect castle pic of your family. They know how to get your cranky toddler to smile! They’ll even sling a little magic your way sometimes!
Disney Photopass photographers really make all the difference! If you’ve ever tried to snap a pic of your kids after standing in line to meet Mickey, you know what I’m talking about. The quality and amazing shots that Disney photographers seem to get are not only unmatched…they can be magical! Plus you get to be in the photo too instead of snapping it!
So, what’s the big deal with getting a picture in front of Cinderella’s castle yourself? Well, you can’t make Tinkerbell appear in your family photo, can you? Well, maybe you can with a dash of Photoshop and a lot of work, but trust us…magic shots add a solid amount of pixie dust to every Disney vacation.
If you don’t know what we are talking about…Magic shots are pictures taken by Disney photographers in the parks that essentially include virtually placed characters from some of your favorite films. Depending on your location the shots offered differ, and they often change so it’s never the same experience twice. You can hold Tinkerbell in the palm of your hand, or get spooked by a ghost outside of the Haunted Mansion! With many more opportunities, they’re great memories and keepsakes!
Popular Magic Shot Locations
Seasonal: Of course with Halloween and Christmas come special magic shot opportunities. These are often located all over the parks. However, some of the more popular are based at the Haunted Mansion (Halloween) or the Christmas Tree on Main Street U.S.A (Christmas). These shots are widely available during respective holiday parties.
Hitchhiking Ghosts: Another popular magic shot that includes the Haunted Mansion features the Hitchhiking Ghosts.
Pascal: Often located in Liberty Square or Fantasyland: this fun shot featuring Pascal from “Tangled” is too cute.
Castle Photos: Of course photo’s in front of Cinderella’s castle beg to include a magic shot!
While Disney Photopass is 100% complimentary to guests (sort of…the photos are free to have taken but you pay $15 per photo if you want to download it) , Memory Maker…not so much. Memory Maker serves as the editing station for digital copies of your photos, and you can access it from your phone or computer anywhere via MDE. Memory Maker is great for those who (like me) will end up with tons of photos from one trip! You can download your photos that have been taken and access them for later. You can even edit them prior by adding virtual stickers and all sorts of fun things.
Memory Maker also allows you to purchase (for an additional fee) a disc that archives all of your photos. This is a handy option as downloading hundreds of photos can get a bit monotonous. But you probably just wanna know how much it all costs, huh?
Well, $200.00 bucks usually! But there are often discounts and deals regarding your Memory Maker. Currently, if you purchase three days prior to your trip, you can add it onto your booking at $169.00. That’s a thirty dollars savings! The archive disc is extra however at around $30.00.
- You don’t have to go searching for individuals to take your photo
- Your photos are neatly organized and ready for downloading
- Photopass photographers will actually take photos with your camera as well
- Unique photo opportunities (magic shots)
- Making and sustaining of memorable moments
- You can contact Disney Photopass directly for quick help with problems or issues
- Some Memory Maker options include unique videos (Tower of Terror)
Jedi Training and other interactive guests experiences in Disney parks are optimal picture opportunities for parents. However, if you’ve ever done any of these you know that it is very difficult to photograph them yourselves without stepping all over other guests. Disney Photopass, however, comes to the proverbial rescue! These type of events and attractions have several photographers readily available who will take shot after shot of all participants. They’ll present you with a card that will contain ALL photos taken during your show time. I’ll be the first to admit…some of my favorite Photopass shots of my children come for Jedi Training at Walt Disney World, and if it weren’t for Photopass photographers…I wouldn’t have physical copies of just how fun it was!
Important Things to Consider
As with anything, there are some things to consider and understand prior to utilizing the service.
- Sometimes (rarely) photos get lost
- Your photos are only available for 45 days from the date the photos were taken
- Not all character dining includes Photopass
- Not all photo qualities are equal
If you’re planning to keep lots and lots of your photos from your Disney vacation, Photopass and Memory Maker are a must. Really for me, Photopass is a relief and well worth the extra bit of cash. Sure, downloading the photos can be a bit of a pain, but we fervently enjoy going through them once our vacation is over and editing them. Plus, we are talking memories that will last a lifetime…magical ones at that! Why not spend the extra to take the stress and guesswork out of your photos for vacations? We’re certain that you won’t be disappointed!
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