Get professional photos with the whole family in the shot.
What is the best way to get high-resolution images, from professionals, in a picturesque location, and the whole family can be included? Don’t worry, this isn’t a trick question. And you won’t have to ask a stranger to take your photo either. Answer; Disney’s Memory Maker and Photopass service.
To which I earn a small commission, at zero cost to you!
How does the Photopass service work?
Link your Memory Maker purchase to the My Experience app, and you are all set. If you want to share your Memory Maker with other families, they also need to be linked to the same My Experience account. There can be a single account administrator and they can control how much access each person has over their own reservations or even the group reservations – if you need a co-admin or want to prevent Granny from accidentally deleting everyone’s FastPass selections.
To use the service, simply have your photo taken, scan them to your Magic Band or Photopass card and walk away.
1 – Find a photo pass location and have your photo taken
2- Have amazing images uploaded to your Magic Band or Photopass card
3- Photo pass cards do not require you to pay for anything. Just store the images for 30 days and think about it for a while.
[thrive_text_block color=”teal” headline=””]Photo Tip: take a photo of the 16 code on the back of the Photo pass card, just in case it gets lost. Place it in a lanyard or waterproof pouch[/thrive_text_block]
There is no limit to the number of photos that can be added to either service. Guests can even collect multiple cards and apply them all to the account if your card is forgotten at the hotel or the group splits up. There is a 30-day clock on all purchases and viewing your first photo starts your clock in terms of adding new images. In other words, you have 30 days from first viewing to add more images to your account. There is a second clock to consider when making purchases; guests have 45 days to download and review all images from the Memory Maker. This is when you can edit, filter and add your own images to the program for sharing with the group.
While this service is amazing, we would never suggest leaving your camera at the hotel. Bring your best travel camera in case the photographers aren’t in the spot you wanted, or it is a rainy day. Characters and photographers run a little scarce when it starts to rain.
Furthermore, the “professional” PhotoPass photographers are not skilled professional photographers. We have had our fair share of iffy photos that they have taken with our camera. They are proficient on their own camera, rightly so. But hand them something and all bets are off. Be sure to have the settings perfected beforehand. That said, as a service, PhotoPass is wonderful. The images that do come out are incredible and there is a chance that your Disney photos are the only family photos you will ever get with both Mum and Dad.
What is the difference between Disney Photopass and Disney Memory Maker?
There are a few distinctions between Disney’s Photopass and Memory Maker. What confuses most people is that Photopass is both a service, being photographed, and a product, buying the photos individually. The service Photopass is free to everyone. The Photopass product is for those that aren’t sure if they want to purchase a photo package, and want to collect the cards until they have made a choice. Guests are able to view the images online and purchase photos one at a time, as needed.
Memory Maker, on the other hand, is a prepurchased photo package. Guests using Memory Maker have already decided that they want to purchase many Disney photos and have taken advantage of the discounts available for purchasing before arriving at Walt Disney World. Attraction, dining, magic shots as well as character, meet and greet photos are included in the Memory Maker package, and the number of photos included in the package is unlimited. But the main thing to remember is PhotoPass=service, Memory Maker=product.
The big draw, though, is that Memory Maker also includes select on-ride photos and character dining. These ride photos included in the new package at Walt Disney World are: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, and Dinosaur. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train offers both on-ride photos and on-ride video.
Character dining locations included in Memory Maker at Walt Disney World are 1900 Park Fare, Ohana (breakfast), Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Tusker House Restaurant (breakfast), Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, and Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.
Magic Shots are also included in the Memory Maker package. Is that Tinker Bell in the palm of your hand? Magic Shots add Disney Characters and other fun surprises to your photos after they’re taken. Seeing is believing!
Lastly, the Disney Photopass Service Studio. Simply stop by the studio and a photographer will be on hand to help you select the perfect portrait backdrop. These photos can easily link to your My Disney Experience account and there are no reservations required. This is not to be confused with the Family Portrait Sessions offered by Disney Fine Art Photography; those are not included in the Memory Maker packages. We can all wish.
Don’t forget about the waterparks
If you’re going to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon water parks at Walt Disney World, Memory Maker also has more value because these photographers are positioned in a lot of fun locations where you probably couldn’t get your own photo.
Photographers will give you a photo pass card on an elastic band to scan and then you can link it to your Memory Maker.
Is Memory Maker worth it?
Whether Memory Maker is worth the cost depends on a number of factors, namely, how many photos you’ll take with it
Given the fact that PhotoPass Photographers will take photos of you with your own camera, it is hard recommending Memory Maker to anyone on a tight budget, but Memory Maker does have a few options that can not be replicated with your own camera. These are the options that will truly make or break your choice to purchase Memory Maker or Photopass single photos.
Many have said that guests would better off with a great point and shoot, and have the photographer take the pictures with that camera. Since we have already discussed the “professional” aspect of these professional photographers, I personally prefer to let them take pictures with my camera and the camera they are most accustomed to. Just in case.
On the Memory Maker website, you are able to add borders, stickers, autographs and other media to the images through the Photopass and Memory Maker packages.
The Memory Maker product becomes a better value if you have a larger party or are taking a longer trip, as there are more chances to have your picture taken and are able to split the cost amongst more Disney-goers. Perhaps the single biggest benefit is the on-ride photos. This alone cannot be achieved any other way.
Having PhotoPass Cast Members around at night is also nice.
All is not lost though. You can take your cards and upgrade to the Memory Maker after you have arrived to Walt Disney World. This does cost a few extra dollars than if you had bought them in advance but it is miles better than buying the photos one at a time.
Annual Passholder Disney PhotoPass Downloads
All your Disney PhotoPass photos are now included with your Disney Premier Passport, Disney Platinum Plus Pass, Disney Platinum Pass or Disney Gold Annual Pass.
How much does all of this cost?
Photopass photos are sold on an individual basis, and they start at $14,99 each. Same goes for on-ride photos and dining photos.
Memory maker, on the other hand, has 3 options.
1- One Day Memory Maker. This is for those only visiting Disney for the day and wants to make the most of their time. It sells for $59 and valid for one day only, as the same implies.
2- Prepurchased Memory Maker. If you buy your Memory Maker package before your vacation, it will cost $169.99
3- Onsite purchases will set you back $199.
[thrive_text_block color=”teal” headline=””]Photo Tip: When taking your own photos at the theme parks, look for the Picture Spot signs that mark great backdrops for your photos. Look for the camera icon on your guide map to locate them.[/thrive_text_block]
Thus, the longer your trip and the more people in your travelling party, the better of a value Memory Maker is. According to math, your 14th picture is the deal breaker. If you plan on purchasing more than 14 pictures within your party or think there is a chance that you will purchase at least 14 pictures, buying the Memory Maker package is a better deal. If you are really on the ball and have your list of photos you plan on purchasing, the magic number for your is 11! You will break even after the 11th image with a prepurchased Memory Maker package. Don’t you just love math!
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