I don’t want to sound dramatic here but it’s imperative that you take pictures on your Disney vacation. Im-per-a-tive. Too dramatic?
Nope! Here’s why…
Getting awesome pictures at Disney is one of the ways our family has been able to re-live the memories again and again. And let’s face it, those Disney memories are memories we just can’t get enough of.
Our kids adore being able to look through the photos over and over again. It sparks their memories and allows them to remember little moments they might have otherwise forgotten.
I understand not everyone is a professional photographer. I get it. However, EVERYONE can get decent pictures. I have some simple and easy tips to implement that will change your photos from blah to stunning. Check those out here.
Another way to get those cherished Disney photos is to just let Disney take the pictures for you! (yes, that’s an actual thing.) But before you decide to shell out the moolah to Disney it’s wise to know all the details.
Let’s dive in…
Disney PhotoPass vs. Memory Maker
First of all, let’s define the difference between Disney PhotoPass and Memory Maker. There is a difference.
Disney PhotoPass is basically the system that is used to take your pictures all over Disney… So that includes the Disney Photographers all over the parks, at character meetings, and at certain attractions.
Memory Maker allows you to download all of those photos (and videos!) for one price. Once you have bought Memory Maker you can then use your photos however you want! That means you can send them in to be printed to any print shop of your choice.
You also get access to any on-ride videos and animated Magic shots. Which is only available if you purchase Memory Maker.
Do you HAVE to purchase Memory Maker to have access to your PhotoPass Photos? Nope. You can purchase photos individually from Disney PhotoPass as well. Just log into your My Disney Experience app and view your photos there.
You can share Memory Maker with your entire group! So that means only one person needs to purchase memory maker and anyone who is linked to the purchasers “my Disney Experience App” OR linked as friends within the app can have pictures added to that account. (The purchaser doesn’t need to be present for a picture to be added.)
This makes it handy for the times your group splits up and goes in separate directions. When you’re all using the same Memory Maker everyone will have access to see what everyone else was doing!
How Much Does it Cost?
It’s $199 to Purchase Memory Maker at the Parks or $169 to buy it in advance. So there’s an advantage to deciding early if you want to buy it or not.
If you have a shorter trip planned or just want to capture memories from one day you can purchase The Memory Maker One Day. It costs $69.
If you don’t want to buy Memory Maker you can still purchase individual photos at $16.95/per photo. Again, the ride videos and animated Magic Shots are not available for individual purchase.
Your PhotoPass photos and videos expire 45 days from the date they are taken, so be sure to download them as soon as possible so you don’t lose them.
It doesn’t cost anything to have a Disney photographer take your photo. So don’t be afraid to have their photographers take photos for you!
I always let them take a picture with their camera (even if I have no intention of ever buying it.) and then I ask them to use my camera to take another picture.
LOTS of people do this so when you had them your camera, they will know exactly what to do. 🙂
They are happy to do it! Seriously. You are never “putting them out” or “beating the system”. They know not everyone buys their photos yet are still happy to take more using your own camera.
Once they take your picture (with their camera) they will either scan your magic band to link the photo to your My Disney Experience App or give you a Disney PhotoPass card with the image linked to the card. (Again, you aren’t obligated to buy that photo but it’s there…just in case.)
There are several things to consider when it comes to making the decision to buy Memory Maker or not…take this Quiz to find out!
QUIZ: Is Memory Maker is right for you?
Answer Yes or No to the following questions: (Write answers on a separate piece of paper or download Quiz here.)
A few more things to consider:
-One of the biggest advantages from a mom’s perspective is that when you purchase memory maker you will finally be IN the pictures. As the photographer of the family, I am rarely in a lot of our family shots. It’s not because I choose not to, I simply forget to hand my camera off to my husband or someone else.
So allowing someone else to take pictures for us guarantees that I will be the shots! (Be remember, should you decide not to get Memory Maker you can still hand your camera off to the Disney photographers so that you will still get in plenty of pictures.
-If $199 feel too steep, remember…you can TOTALLY take your own Disney pictures and capture some amazing memories. In fact, even if you DO decide on Memory Maker I still recommend taking pictures with your own camera as well.
You will be able to capture those precious little moments that no Disney photographer would be able to get…unposed, unprompted, and as real as it gets.
-The photos you get from Disney Photographers will be good, not great. The photographers definitely know how to use their cameras but typically it’s just a point and shoot type of a look. Just don’t expect “professional photographer” type of photos and you will be just fine.
Now don’t get me wrong, every once in a while you get a really exceptional photographer who goes out of their way to capture unique/emotion packed imaged. But chances are you will mainly be getting posed, point and shoot type of pictures.
That’s why I always suggest bringing your own camera! Not totally confident in taking your own pictures? No worries…I’ve got you covered. Check these posts out:
Not sure if you should bring your big DSLR camera or not? Check out these posts:
So what did you decide? Are you planning on purchasing Memory Maker or will you be taking the pictures yourself? Or both?!
Welcome to Being Katie Brave! I’m so happy to have you here. If you’re looking to take better pictures (stress-free!), get the inside scoop on all things Disney World, or be inspired to live YOUR best life (even if especially if it scares you to death) …you’re in the right place. I ’ve written 3 photography books, our family lived at Disney World for 2 years, and wear my heart on my sleeve…all of which would never have come to pass if I didn’t push past my fears and step in the darkness. Join me as I share my adventure of life, one post at a time.