How Memory Maker and PhotoPass Work at Disney World

in Disney, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Travel, Walt Disney World

memory maker header

credit: Disney Parks Blog

Before you visit Walt Disney World, you’ll want to know a bit about the Memory Maker Package and the PhotoPass services that come with it. When visiting the Parks on a Disney vacation, you’ll see lots of official-looking Disney photographers with large cameras, snapping smiles in front of Disney Park Icons. But what are these two services and how can you make the most of them? We break down the differences, operations, costs, and benefits of Memory Maker and Photos Pass in this article. Know before you go!

How Memory Maker Works

Everywhere you see a PhotoPass sign or Disney PhotoPass Photographer, you can have them snap a shot. Scan your magic band with them (some photogs will ask for your Magicband before or after) or snag that PhotoPass card and link it up to your Disney experience account.

Want to view your ride photos AND magical VIDEO as you coast through the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train? No problem here… it’s all included at 13 select attractions! Your Magicband will automatically sync with ride attractions like Frozen Ever After, Slinky Dog Dash, or Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Simply wear your Magicband during the ride and the rest is taken care of!

dwarf-minetrain-memory-maker
Credit: Lindsey Paris at Redheadbabymama.com

How about a formal portrait or green screen magic in a group shot? Visit the official PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs for more fun that’s included with your Memory Maker package. Simply pose for 5-10 minutes with a Disney photographer for extra fun. Bring all the friends you like, ask for props, or simply smile for the mouse.

memory maker studio
Credit: Redheadbabymama.com and Disney Parks

In most places you’ll find a Disney character meet and greet, you’ll also find a Photo Pass photographer. Step up when it’s your turn. The professional photographer will capture your hugs, meetings, poses, and interactions. It’s one of the best parts of purchasing Memory Maker photos with PhotoPass services. All these memories are recorded forever! For instance, our whole family has this fabulous memory of meeting both Baymax AND Hiro in 2015, all because of PhotoPass! What you won’t find are PhotoPass photographers at a character meal (the exception being Pluto after dining at Ohana).

meet-greet-baymax-memory-maker with hiro epcot 2015
Credit: Lindsey Paris Redheadbabymama.com

Disney photographers even offer magic shots throughout the park. Simply ask your Photographer if they have a Magic Shot and wait for the magic to unfold on your account; no extra charge! During holiday seasons or special days like Dapper Day, PhotoPass opportunities may include special frames, short videos, or other surprises related to your outing. Don’t forget to say CHEESE!

Are you running a race with runDisney? A few years ago, all the official race photographers were made into PhotoPass photographers and you could link your race bib to your Memory Maker. Merging two photo services gave Disney runners a chance to collect the amazing race photos that come with running a race on Disney property. It’s now so easy to combine your running costumes with Park hopping!

Now, once your vacation is over, you’ll have a certain Memory Maker window to download all your vacation photos. You can select your favorite photos from My Disney Experience and add them to your download cart. Revisit the photos and have unlimited digital downloads with the package. The photos will expire and disappear 45 days after they were taken. So, you can download your Memory Maker photos right away on vacation through the My Disney Experience app or you can wait until you get home and download them all at once.

Memory Maker versus Disney PhotoPass

Memory maker vs. photopass

There can be lots of confusion surrounding these two terms that The Walt Disney Company has coined, but once you understand each of them, it’s easy! The biggest hint I have for you is that the terms are often interchangeable. Disney’s PhotoPass is the service of taking photos. It can also refer to the PhotoPass Cast Members themselves, or even the location at which your photos are taken (think Disney Princess Fairytale Hall). The physical PhotoPass card with either QR code or linkable alphanumeric code you might receive (if you don’t have a MagicBand) from a photographer helps to remember the difference.

This Girl Travels Photopass card
Credit: This Girl Travels

Memory Maker refers to the purchasable item or package which contains the photos. The Memory Maker Photo Package can be purchase for a day or your entire vacation. For those with Annual Passes, you can look back on nearly an entire year of photos for downloading or browsing. Is the Memory Maker Package worth the purchase for you? We break down the costs and share what’s right for your vacation below in the “Cost of Memory Maker Package” section.

Benefits of Memory Maker and PhotoPass

Making a Disneys Parks trip solo? You won’t have to worry about giving your camera or expensive smartphone to a stranger (that might drop it!). Simply step up to a Walt Disney World Resort PhotoPass Photographer and smile.

Dads don’t get stuck taking pictures. Moms can join the kids in the shot. Besties are grouped together! Your tallest friend with the longest arms doesn’t become jaded taking all the group selfies. Relax, pose, and smile as the perfect shots are taken and uploaded for you! Family reunion or girl’s weekend to a Disney theme park? Make sure you take advantage of the Memory Maker and split the cost… you can all access and share the PhotoPass pictures without any upcharge. If you’re traveling with a group of three gals, and only take five perfect photos (guaranteed you’ll end up with LOTS more!) that’s only $10 for each picture. Professionally lit, focused, and full of magic. This is why I love Memory Maker so much:

Cost of Memory Maker Package

The Memory Maker package costs $169 or $199, depending on when you purchase it and allows you to take home all of your PhotoPass photos taken during your vacation. Numbers-wise, Memory Maker is a good option if you’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort for three or more days. If you’ll be visiting for one or two days (or only attending a special event such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party), purchasing the $69 Memory Maker One Day for each day of your visit is the better option for you.

If you didn’t know about the military discounts at Walt Disney World Resort, there are a bunch of them! From Resort hotel room discounts to ticket packages, active and retired (not discharged) military members have lots of benefits. These servicemen and women can also apply for a discounted Memory Maker package at Walt Disney World Guest Relations desks and ticket windows all over the Resort. For example, with proper military ID, military families can purchase Memory Maker in 2020 for the price of $98.00.

Disney photo pass photographer magic kingdom
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

When Annual Passholders visit Walt Disney World Resort, all PhotoPass photo opportunities and the Disney Memory Maker package are included, so they can pose for all the photos they want all year long. The cost of unlimited Disney PhotoPass photos are built into each annual pass’ cost, so APs can increase their photo collection with each visit. A year’s worth of photos (not just 30 days) will accumulate in the Annual Passholder’s My Disney Experience account app under the PHOTOS section. Be sure to download them before they expire.

If you’re looking just for a ONE DAY Memory Maker pass, I can’t blame you. The over-a-hundred-dollars package makes me want to pass if I’m only visiting for one day, and thankfully Disney Parks heard us! Disney’s Memory Maker One Day provides you with many of the same benefits as the full Memory Maker, but it’s just for one day of PhotoPass photos taken at Walt Disney World Resort. That means for one day of your choice, you’ll get digital downloads of all your Disney PhotoPass photos linked to your account that were taken on that day. You’ll have 45 days to link and download all of your photos from the single day of your choice. Memory Maker One Day is available for $69 (this was a 2018 price point) in the My Disney Experience mobile app once you’ve linked at least one Disney PhotoPass photo to your account from the day to which you plan to apply the entitlement. (Otherwise, you’ll only see the option to purchase on a computer here.) You’ll also find Memory Maker One Day at Walt Disney World Resort theme park ticket windows and at physical Disney PhotoPass Centers.

photopass with Dumbo
Credit: Disney

On your next Walt Disney World vacation, we highly recommend checking out Memory Maker, whether it’s for just one day of your Disney vacation or for your length of stay. The number of photos you can collect and the memories you will treasure are endless. For a free no-obligation quote, contact an Academy Travel travel agent at 609-978-0740 and book your next trip. They can also help you choose the Memory Maker package that’s right for you.

Leave us a comment about what you love about Disney’s Memory Maker or PhotoPass services.

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