Disney World Hikes Prices as Quality Declines

in Walt Disney World

A PhotoPass Disney Cast Member takes a photo facing the camera in front of Cinderella Castle.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Disney PhotoPass photographers ensure everyone gets in the picture at Walt Disney World Resort. But after a surprise Memory Maker price hike, some Disney Parks guests are giving up on vacation photos.

What is Memory Maker?

Instead of purchasing the rights to individual vacation photos, Memory Maker gives guests access to all PhotoPass photos and videos taken throughout Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The service includes attraction photos, Disney Character meet & greets, Magic Shot offerings, and more.

Minnie Mouse at Red Carpet Dreams, Disney's Hollywood Studios in a Memory Maker exclusive photo.
Credit: Disney

“Memory Maker is an incredible way to download all the Disney PhotoPass photos and videos you capture throughout Walt Disney World Resort during your vacation—including at select attraction and dining locations,” Walt Disney World Resort writes. “The photos and videos are conveniently connected to your online Disney account with a touch of your MagicBand+, MagicBand or card, or mobile device with a Disney MagicMobile pass.

“You can conveniently view, download and share your Disney PhotoPass memories on Disney PhotoPass and on the My Disney Experience Mobile App. There’s no need to purchase each photo individually. You can simply enjoy your vacation knowing that your memories are being captured for you.”

How Much Did Walt Disney World Increase Memory Maker Prices?

A man and a woman stand in lime green costumes holding cameras in front of Spaceship Earth.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

On Wednesday, Walt Disney World Resort announced that pre-purchasing Memory Maker would cost $185 (formerly $169). Buying the package during or after your Disney Parks vacation now costs $210 (previously $199). A one-day PhotoPass photo package is now $75 (formerly $69).

It’s important to note that photos taken within three days of an advanced Memory Maker purchase will not qualify for free download.

Is This the Last Straw for Guests?

A photopass photographer points her camera.
Credit: Disney

Related: Cinderella Castle Blocked, Magic Kingdom Becomes Ghost Town

Less than a year ago, Disney Parks guests lamented a previous price increase to Memory Maker. Now that the cost has gone up again, many fans believe Walt Disney World Resort needs to improve the service quality.

“Price increase for something like this would be a lot easier to stomach if they were investing in the product itself,” Reddit user u/ugahairydawgs wrote. “Past few trips the pictures we get through Memory Maker have been noticeably inferior to the ones we take on our iPhones and that really shouldn’t be the case to someone like me with an untrained eye for this stuff.”

“I generally think the photos are not great quality as well,” u/EdmundCastle agreed. “The flash on for everything makes everything picture look cheap and low budget. Like a photo taken by an older family member who has never mastered using their camera. I’m a photography snob so that’s just my preference on photo style.”

A woman in a lime green PhotoPass costume poses with her camera in front of the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Some guests said poor-quality Disney PhotoPass Service photos negatively impacted their Walt Disney World Resort vacations.

“We bought memory maker on our honeymoon, and I was heartbroken that they did not retake several of my favorite photo opportunities that were completely ruined by our eyes being closed,” said u/ladyriven. “I actually had to photoshop my husband’s eyes out of one picture and onto another to salvage it.”

The declining quality is especially noticeable in Disney Character meet & greets that use an automatic photo “box” instead of a Disney Photopass photographer, like Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theatre in Magic Kingdom and Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Olaf at Disney's Hollywood Studios, where photo boxes have replaced Disney PhotoPass photographers for guests who purchase Memory Maker
Credit: How to Disney

“The pics from the photographers are so much better than the timed box ones,” u/Snuffy1717 wrote.

Walt Disney World Resort didn’t notify guests of the upcoming price increases, so even those planning or currently on vacation must pay the updated price if they didn’t purchase Memory Maker before Wednesday.

Is Disney Memory Maker worth the increased cost? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

Please note that the story outlined in this article is based on personal Disney Parks Guest experiences. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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