At Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Aulani, you can purchase a product called Memory Maker. Let me let Disney describe it for you:
Memory Maker is an incredible new way to enjoy unlimited digital Disney PhotoPass photos captured at hundreds of locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort—including select attraction and dining locations. The photos are conveniently connected to your online Disney account with a touch of your MagicBand or card.
You can conveniently view, download and share your Disney PhotoPass memories on MyDisneyPhotoPass.com 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.
Disney has another product called PhotoPass, which you will notice mentioned in the text above. PhotosPass is technically the photos that Disney captures, you still have access to them all, same as with the Memory Maker. However, if you do not have the Memory Maker, you must pay to download any of the photos, and they are expensive, $10+ per photo. With the Memory Maker, you have access to every single photo and video, and you can download them all for free. The cost for the Memory Maker is $169 unless you add it to your Disney package or purchase it at least three days in advance, which then lowers the cost to $149. That sounds expensive, but is it worth it?
Memory Maker Pros
- Fantastic picture quality – Most photos are taken by experienced Disney photographers with top notch camera equipment, and the results are usually out of this world. Usually you have to ask a stranger to take a photo of your family using a phone they have never even seen before, and the results can be disappointing. The Disney photographers do this all day long, and know how to get the best shot available.
- Disney Magic Shot – Just tell your photographer you want to do a Magic Shot, and he will pose you perfectly to fit in with the animated Disney characters that will be added to your photo. Imagine you with your hand out, holding Tinker Bell. Or maybe a photo with Ariel or Olaf. Anyone can have a boring theme park photo, but who can say they got a photos with Stitch, and survived!
- Ride Photos and Videos – Since the introduction of the Magic Bands, Disney has been adding new and interesting uses. Currently, for many rides that take your photo (or a video) of you on the ride, these photos are automatically linked to your account, by using your Magic Band and a little location awareness science (or black magic, totally up to you). No need to wait in line, find your photo and buy it at the ride, you can just download it once you get home.
- Sharing – While the Memory Maker works, imagine if you are traveling with 20+ people. Well, Disney has made it so that only one party has to purchase the Memory Maker, and can then link all of their family and friends to the one account. Once you are home, just download everyone’s photos.
- Everyone is included – No longer will you get home and realize that Mom or Dad is missing from every single photo, as they were the ones behind the camera.
- They are your photos – Once downloaded at home, you can then print any of the photos you want wherever you want, you don’t have to pay the crazy prices Disney charges.
- Customization – Once home, you can add borders, character signatures and stickers to the photos before downloading. You can have several different version of each photo, so adding a border does not permanently change the photo.
- More photo – I have found that usually, I get home and have about 10 photos of my family/kids on my phone from a week long trip. But, when I do the Memory Maker, we take the 30 seconds it takes to stop and get your photo done by a Disney photographer. When I get home, I often have 100+ photos from my vacation.
Memory Maker Cons
- Cost – Yes, $149 is a lot of money, so you need to make sure it will work for you in advance. Plus, the price is the same regardless of the length of your stay, so shorter trips may run you $50 a day or more.
- Time – If you don’t take the time to stop and get photos done, you just wasted your money.
- 30 Days – All of the photos in your account are deleted after 30 days, so when you get home, don’t forget to download and customize everything you want ASAP.
- Character Meals – Typically, there are Disney photographers with all characters at character meals, however, that isn’t a hard and fast rule. I have been to a few character meals lately where no photographers were present, so I had to take my own photos.
- Lines – Sometimes, especially at popular places or times, there can be a wait to get with a photographer. Want to stop and get a photo of your family first thing in the morning on Main Street? Disney usually places a bunch of photographers there, but you still may have to wait, which is especially tough with little kids are are ready to hit the rides.
Who should purchase the Memory Maker?
- Large Groups – Anyone traveling in a larger group should purchase the Memory Maker and split the cost, makes total sense.
- Longer Trips – If you are staying 7+ nights, then the cost of the Memory Maker is $20 per day or less.
- Picky Moms – Do you insist on perfect photos of your kids? Don’t leave your memories up to another vacationer, leave it up to Disney
I have found that when I buy the Memory Maker I end up with quite a few more and much better quality of photos once I get home. They are easy to download and customize and for my family, it is totally worth the cost.
Have you ever purchased the Memory Maker?