Disney Memory Maker
What the heck is Disney Memory maker you ask? Well, imagine going on vacation and leaving your camera home on purpose. Imagine never having to ask a stranger to take a picture of your family and never regretting missing a special photo opportunity. If you are like my family, most vacation pictures are selfies where someone’s head is inevitably cut off or the picture taker (usually me) is missing from every picture. Plus, you’ll never get a crummy pic. That picture of your daughter all dressed up as Aurora posing with the Disney Princesses won’t be blurry and dad’s big thumb will never again get in the way of your son with Tigger.
What does it cost and How does it work?
For $199 ($149 if purchased in advance) you can get unlimited pictures taken by any of the PhotoPass™ photographers at several locations in all 4 theme parks as well as both water parks. It even includes ride pictures such as Test Track, Splash Mountain and more. That means you can capture the excitement of your child’s first pose with their favorite character, get a memorable family photo in front of the castle or laugh for years to come at the hysterical expressions on your faces as you plunge down a hill into the plume of water below.
The Memory Maker feature becomes part of your Magic Band so every time you get your picture taken, the photographer scans your magic band. If you’re staying at a non-Disney hotel you’ll get an RFID enabled card. Every evening we were able to view the day’s images on our smartphones by logging into our Memory Maker account. It was fun to recap the day in pictures. You have access to unlimited digital downloads for 45 days and a back up CD for $29.95 but who needs it when you can just dowload your memories onto a flash drive.
Many of the photographers also have the ability to do Magic Shots. This is when they add characters to your picture like Tinkerbell in the palm of your hand, Mike from Monster’s Inc. posing with you or baby Simba cradled in your arms. If the picture taker does not automatically do a Magic Shot you can ask.
If you don’t want all of your shots to be cliché park images you can simply ask the picture taker to photograph you on a (very) nearby bench or with trees in the background instead of the attraction. Many of the pictures of us from Animal Kingdom look like they were taken in a tropical jungle paradise. Each cameraman takes 2-3 shots so you have many opportunities to get the perfect images.
PhotoPass™ locations in each park:
Don’t think you’ll have enough photo ops; think again. Just look for the signs or the people in the PhotoPass™ vests holding big cameras. You can also view the official Disney PhotoPass™ location map.
- Magic Kindgom – 33 locations
- Animal Kingdom – 10
- Epcot 15
- Hollywood Studios 15
- Blizzard Beach 15
- Typhoon Lagoon 13
- Downtown Disney 2 (photo studio and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique)
But is it worth it?
Do you think that’s a lot of money? It depends. We tried it out on our April trip. Photographers were everywhere and even during the peak spring break week we never had to wait more than five minutes for a scenery image such as in front of Cinderella’s Castle or Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life. Naturally, character photos had a longer wait but we used your My Disney Experience app to find the shortest character lines. At the end of our trip we had 96 digital photos of which we have the rights to do with as we please.
If you were to get a PhotoPass™ card and go online after your vacation to purchase pictures individually you would spend about $15 for one 5×7 picture. I printed 10 different 5x7s at Walgreens and paid half the price of one from Disney.
Disney Expert Opinion
My final opinion is that you can’t put a price tag on great memories. For $149 I have a beautiful photo album of one of the best Disney vacations we have had in our 12 times there and didn’t have to do a thing but smile and flash my Magic Band.