Walt Disney World is a place where lifetime memories can be made. Disney’s Memory Maker & PhotoPass can help get everyone in photos so you don’t have to rely upon selfies or one family member being absent from every photo. Memory Maker is a $150 add on (or $170 if purchased while you’re at Disney World) that give you unlimited photos in the park, attraction photos, character dining and of course downloads of these photos. Is that steep price worth it? I purchased Memory Maker to test out the service and see if it’s something that you should get for your next Walt Disney World Trip.
I’m the family member who’s never in photos. I have a nice DSLR and have done professional photography in the past. This means I’m always recruited to take photos rather than be in them! When I took my siblings on their first Walt Disney World trip I wanted to make sure that I was part of these photos. In my opinion Memory Maker is a bit on the expensive side. I wasn’t sure if I would get my money’s worth out of the service. I decided that I would make a conscious effort to take at least one or two group photos every day. In addition to the photographers in the park Memory Maker includes attraction photos! If you don’t want to pay for Memory Maker Disney PhotoPass photographers will take photos using your own camera for free. If you do this just ask nicely and they’ll take your photo with Disney’s camera & your’s. They won’t change any settings so if you’re handing the photographer a complicated DSLR make sure you have everything setup how you’d like it!
Now onto the actual PhotoPass service. There are a ton of Disney PhotoPass photographers sprinkled throughout all the parks. You’ll definitely see them in front of the park icons like Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. These are the cast members who are wearing the tan vests. I’ve been lucky and usually didn’t have to wait for a photo or their was only one or two groups in front of me. The character meet and greet in the Town Square of Main Street USA (The first area when you enter the park) can get quite the line so be prepared to wait if you really want a photo with that character!
When you walk up the cast member will take a few different photos for you. They might even do a “magic” shot like the one below! After taking the photos they’ll scan your MagicBand or park ticket and you can either stop by one of the photo shops in the park to purchase prints of your photos or you can access digital copies via the My Disney Experience app or website. In my experience Disney has been very quick with getting the photos out to the guests. I’ve seen them pop up in my account less than an hour after taking them!
The attraction photos are my favorite aspect of Memory Maker & PhotoPass. If you have a MagicBand your photos will automatically be synced to your account. There’s no need to tap your band on the way out of the ride. If you have just a park ticket you will need to tap it for your photo to be synced to your account.
Memory Maker also includes a download of a bunch of stock Disney photos. These are really nice photos but I wouldn’t really use them unless I was making a scrapbook as they don’t really fit with the look of the photos you’ll be taking in the parks. Don’t forget that any character meet and greet photos will also be included with Memory Maker!
So, is Memory Maker & PhotoPass worth it? Well, Annual Passholders now have digital PhotoPass downloads as part of their pass so in that regard definitely! If you’re purchasing it I would say your milage may vary. If you’re there for a whole week and you plan to take a ton of photos then go for it. If you’re interested in having multiple attractions photos, then this will be your best bet. Those single attraction photos are extremely overpriced if you purchase them in the park. Just make sure to actually take photos if you purchase Memory Maker! Don’t buy it, use it the first day and then forget about it or decide not to wait in the lines. The photographers are usually really quick and a long line can only take a few minutes!