Updated for 2017!
Pictures are priceless. They capture once in a lifetime moments. Pictures freeze our children at every age, and they hold our memories. Pictures are often the very best part of a vacation. And the photo opportunities at Disney World are completely above the everyday norm!
The pictures you take during your Disney vacation are the greatest souvenir you can possibly bring home.
The current PhotoPass Option from Walt Disney World is Memory Maker. As a travel agent, I get asked about Memory Maker just about every day. Is it worth it? What all does it include? Does the price ever change? How is the picture quality?
As a travel agent AND an avid scrapbooker, mom and lover of all things Disney, I like to think of myself as a Memory Maker expert. This detailed Cheapskate Princess guide can help you determine if adding Memory Maker to your vacation package is the right way to go for your family.
What is included?
- UNLIMITED digital downloads of all of your Disney PhotoPass photos
- Copyright release to order prints from any photo processing store
- Select attraction/ride photos
- Select character dining photos
- “Magic Shots” – photos featuring Disney characters and more added to your photos
- Digital borders and stickers added to your photos
- Discounts on prints through the Disney website
What is the price?
- Memory Maker is $149.00 if you purchase it ANYTIME prior to three days before your check-in date. This is the advance purchase price, and it is also the best price. Unless Disney changes prices in the future, this is the current most economical price. I am asked often if it goes on sale for less than $149, and the answer is no, this is the lowest it will go.
- The price goes up to $169.00 if you wait to make the purchase after you arrive at your resort or within those three days before you check-in.
- You have 30 days to download all of your photos and images. No matter how many photos, you get them all.
- Memory Maker is linked to your My Disney Experience account, so anytime your photo is taken by a Disney Photographer, they scan your magic band and your photo is loaded onto your account.
Top Ten Reasons You Should Get Memory Maker
- You get all the photos! I cannot say this enough. Of course you are going to take your own pictures with your phone or camera. (Or your Ipad or tablet, but that is a discussion for another blog post. Trust me when I tell you, no great photo was ever taken with a tablet.) But, with Memory Maker, EVERY picture taken by a Disney photographer is yours forever.
- Everyone is in the photos. Mom, Dad, Grandma, absolutely everyone is in the picture! Usually on vacations, there is one person in every family who is the usual photographer and works hard to capture great memories. We rarely get to see that photographer IN the family photos. With Memory Maker, everyone gets to be in all the great Disney pictures.
- You can separate and STILL get all the photos! If your party splits up to do different rides or attractions, any pictures taken while you are separated are all included. (Just make sure after every picture, someone’s Magic Band is scanned.)
- You get attraction photos! Some of the greatest pictures at Disney World are the attraction photos. And with Memory Maker, you get the iconic shots from Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and more! (If Memory Maker is linked to a Magic Band these photos are automatically loaded onto the account. If Memory Maker is not linked to a Magic Band, you will need to stop by the photo desk at the end of of each ride to make sure your photo is added to your account.)
- You get dining photos! Certain restaurants will have photo opportunities that will be added to Memory Maker. The photos might be of your whole family as you enter the restaurant, or they might be of the characters during the dining experience.
- You get candid photos! Special activities like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo and Pirates League have Disney Photographers that take phenomenally magical pictures. These are extra special, because the photographers know the best moments to capture, and that way Mom and Dad can enjoy watching the experience and feel some stress relief knowing someone else is snapping great pictures.
- You get ride videos! Disney has started offering ride videos on select attractions. Just like the attraction photos, if your Memory Maker is linked to a Magic Band, your ride video is automatically loaded on your account.
- You can share the cost between families! Memory Maker can be shared by multiple families traveling together. If you are all linked in My Disney Experience, everyone in the traveling party can share Memory Maker…which means you can split the cost!
- You get extra pixie dust! Disney photographers have the ability to add lots of magic to your photos. Sometimes they will use their creative experience to pose you and your kids, and you find out once you view your photos which Disney characters they added into your picture. If they know you are celebrating a special moment, like a honeymoon or engagement, they love to add the magic into your photo ops. But, you can also ask for that special touch of magic. Interacting with a Disney photographer is just like interacting with any cast member. Sometimes when you have a little extra time they love to the chance to sprinkle some pixie dust on your moments.
- You own the pictures forever! You get the copyright release from Disney which allows you to download all the pictures (again, ALL the pictures) and you can forever print them whenever you want to. You have the freedom to print them at home, at your favorite photo processing spot, turn them into a canvas, make photo books, etc. You OWN these priceless photos and you do not have to pay for each one individually. Professional photographers might tell you that this copyright release by itself is worth the price of Memory Maker.
Purchasing Memory Maker Before Your Vacation
The simplest way to purchase Memory Maker is to ask your travel agent to add it to your vacation package.
You can also go to your My Disney Experience account and purchase it directly from there. And it will automatically be added to your account. You just select Memory Maker from the menu or you can go directly here: Memory Maker
If you do not purchase Memory Maker through one of the two above ways, you want to make sure you link it to your My Disney Experience account. (This is another one of those moments when having a Princess Travel Expert comes in handy. We can walk you through this, or better yet, just take care of it all for you!)
As I said before, everyone in your party can use the same Memory Maker package. You want to make sure everyone has permission to add photos to Memory Maker. This means, you are linked as family and friends in your My Disney Experience and have given permission to everyone to view and purchase photos.
Purchasing Memory Maker At Disney World:
You can add Memory Maker at any of the parks, at one of the camera centers or at the front desk of your resort. Just remember, if you wait until you get there, the price is higher than if you purchase it in advance.
Final Thoughts & Tips:
You can view your pictures usually within 24 hours of the photo being taken. Videos can take a bit longer. If you are not seeing your photos after a day or so, you can seek help from guest services either in the parks or at the resorts.
You can view and download your photos from MyDisneyPhotopass.com. Through this link, you can add any PhotoPass cards you collected during your trip. (For example, you will get a PhotoPass card at Enchanted Tales with Belle)
Make sure you download your photos as soon as you get home. Once the time expires, your pictures are gone forever. You do not want to wait until the last minute to download! Technology is great, but can be unpredictable and if your computer is not working correctly, and it is 11:59 p.m. the night before your photos expire,when they clock strikes midnight, the pictures disappear as quickly Cinderella’s ride to the ball.
When you are trying to decide if you should purchase Memory Maker, the best question to ask yourself is “How many days are we spending in the parks?” The length of your trip is the number one reason I sometimes advise against the photo package. If you are only spending one or two days at Disney World, the cost of Memory Maker might not be worth it for you. There just simply is not enough time to get the volume of pictures to make the cost of Memory Maker worth it.
Don’t worry, though! You can still get your iconic photos taken by a Disney photographer with your camera for free.
Are you ready for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation? Erin is your Princess Vacation Expert! Erin is a Disney College of Knowledge Graduate and Universal Orlando Specialist. Erin’s passion is helping families have a once-in-a-lifetime moments! She provides excellent customer service, attention to detail, magical milestones, and bringing families together.
Erin is ready to help you plan your next magical family vacation. Contact Erin Johnson at email@example.com or by phone at (214)697-7732 to get started! You can fill out a quote request form here. Let the magic begin!