What’s a trip to Disney without taking a photo with Mickey or in front of Cinderella’s Castle? While anyone can snap a few smartphone pics, most of us are definitely not professional photographers.
Thankfully, Disney has lots of professional photographers. Some are located in dedicated areas in the park, while others roam around looking for fun photo opportunities. Even though PhotoPass pictures are not included in the basic ticket price of going to Disney World, it is easy to add the service as part of a package; there is also a helpful photo management system available called Memory Maker.
PhotoPass Is Free, but Getting the Pictures Isn’t
Much like a child’s school pictures, it’s free to have your photo taken at Disney World — and to preview those pictures digitally — but you’ll have to pay if you want to download or print your images.
So don’t hesitate to pose with Mickey or Darth Vader, or to get your photo taken by any one of the hundreds of photographers and cameras positioned around rides and landmarks. In fact, for the best possible family photos, it’s recommended that you have several shots taken at different areas throughout the park.
After all, even though PhotoPass photographers do this for a living, sometimes eyes are closed, mouths are wide open with a goofy smile, and food stains on clothes are commonplace. By having your photo taken several times, you’ll have tons of memories to look at so you can choose the best ones for your photo album or social media.
Memory Maker and PhotoPass are connected to the My Disney Experience app; all photos taken with PhotoPass can be viewed within the app. So now that you’ve decided which pictures you want to keep, how much will it cost to keep them?
Make Memories for Less
Individual photos are priced at around $19 each. While that certainly isn’t cheap, memories can be a whole lot more affordable if you purchase the Memory Maker package of unlimited downloads.
Memory Maker has three pricing tiers:
For $69, you get a one-day Memory Maker pass that includes twenty-four hours of coverage starting at 6:00 AM for those shots of your children and Mickey enjoying some French toast at breakfast. The pass lasts until 5:59 AM the following morning, so don’t worry about missing out on any late-night shots taken by PhotoPass staff.
For those who are visiting Disney World for more than one day, it makes sense to move up to the next pricing tier, which is the Memory Maker Advance Purchase, priced at $169. This includes all photos during your entire Disney vacation; however, it’s important to note that this is called an ‘advance purchase’ for a reason. Any images taken prior to purchasing the package or within three days after your purchase are not included, so it’s important that you purchase this package well in advance of your stay. Think of it as Memory Maker with a Three-Day waiting period.
The final pricing tier is the full-price $199 Memory Maker package. This package eliminates the three-day waiting period and is available to purchase at any time; it will cover all of your PhotoPass photos taken throughout your entire stay.
It should also be noted that you do not need to purchase a Memory Maker package for each of your family members. One Memory Maker package includes up to 25 family and friends who are linked to your My Disney Experience app, so there’s no need to worry about shelling out more money for each and every member of your party. When viewed like this, Memory Maker is an absolute bargain considering the hundreds of potential photos you might want to keep.
Tips and Tricks
A PhotoPass photographer can usually be found at the entrances to the different areas of the park, but these stations often have the longest lines. If you keep walking, you’re sure to run into another PhotoPass station or PhotoPass photographer who isn’t as busy and is ready to make a magical vacation memory with little to no wait at all.
In addition to photos, you may be surprised to find some on-ride videos (as in, video of you while riding a roller coaster) have also appeared. These can sometimes be a bit iffy, but they’re a great bonus if you get them.
Don’t wait to download your photos from the My Disney Experience app. All PhotoPass photos and videos will disappear from the app within 45 days — even if you’ve purchased Memory Maker — so be sure to permanently save them by downloading to your phone or laptop as soon as possible.
Certain PhotoPass photographers and stations also offer Magic Shots — a little Disney magic in which characters may appear in your photos after they’ve been taken! You might review your pictures later and find Grogu (colloquially known as Baby Yoda) floating by, or perhaps spot Tinker Bell sitting on your shoulder. So don’t be shy about playing along should you get some funny instructions from the photographer, such as “point to the ground and pretend to be surprised” or “reach out with your left hand like you’re grabbing for something.”
Planning a trip? Have questions about Photopass, Memory Maker, or literally anything else? Contact The Vacationeer!
They provide free help planning your Disney vacation, will make all your reservations for you, and can even set up a Disney World payment plan so you don’t have to pay for everything upfront.
Get a free, no-obligation quote today — their planning services are completely free to use!