Disney's PhotoPass in Walt Disney World is a fantastic service, whereby photographers are located around all the theme parks and will take photos of your entire party. These are then available to purchase individually. Disney's Memory Maker, is the package that then allows you to download the entirety of these photos, without individual purchase. This costs $199, or $169 if purchased in advance - but is also included in Disney's Ultimate tickets.
PhotoPass in Walt Disney World
If you have experienced PhotoPass at Disneyland Paris, you may have been underwhelmed. The version at Walt Disney World really is so much better. PhotoPass photographers are everywhere in the parks. As you walk down Mainstreet, there is a photographer every few metres, so you can get that iconic picture, of your family as a whole, with the castle in the background. Almost every perfect photo spot comes with a photographer nearby - in Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom - and even at the water parks. , And almost every character interaction comes with a Photopass photographer, including at some character meals. This means over the course of your holiday you can get literally hundreds of photos of the whole family - you don't get many family holidays where you get this many photos where you're all in the picture! And Memory Maker means you do not have to choose which you want - you get them all!
Is Disney's Memory Maker worth buying?
If you are not purchasing the Ultimate tickets, you can purchase Memory Maker separately. If you choose not to, you can still take advantage of the PhotoPass photographers - they will be more than happy to take your camera or phone and take a picture for you, so do not hesitate to ask.
If that's the case, then why is Memory Maker so great, I hear you ask? 3 reasons. Firstly, it includes the photos taken on some of the rides and attractions - I've got some amazing ones of my 3 year old daughter on Seven Dwarves Mine Train! I couldn't have taken them myself and I love that it is digital - one is the background picture on my phone.
Secondly, you'll find a few surprises in your Memory Maker photos when you get them. Disney call these Magic Shots. Occasionally you'll be asked to pose in a certain way - hands cupped out, for example. And then when you get your photos back, you'll find Tinkerbell was in your hands the whole time, and you hadn't realised! Or maybe she was floating above your head:
And thirdly, during character interactions, the photographers will very often take photos, before that posed shot. We've got some great ones of our daughter running up to hug Minnie Mouse, or her looking up adoringly at Princess Anna, who is chatting away to her as she led her to the spot to pose for the main photo with us. Yes, we could have asked for the photographer to take the main photo, but we'd have missed out on capturing some of the special moments around it.
How do PhotoPass and Memory Maker work?
So how does it work? If you have a Magic Band, the PhotoPass photographer scans this after the photos have been taken and it gets saved to your My Disney Experience account. If you don't have a MagicBand, the first photographer you use will give you a card - and all subsequent photographers scan this card to keep on adding the photos together, or give you a new one. You then sync these to your My Disney Experience account to access the photos. You can see them the same day, right on the app in the parks. When you return back to the UK, access your account on a computer and download them - it really is easy!