Disney’s Memory Maker: How does it work and is it worth my money?

How Does Disney's Memory Maker Work and is it worth the money?

If you’re planning a Disney World vacation, sooner or later you’ll see information about Memory Maker – Disney’s photography package. Disney touts it as “the most incredible way to capture and relive your vacation memories”.I was a bit skeptical of the entire situation as first. I didn’t think it would be worth my $149. I was absolutely wrong! The first time I tried it was November last year during a conference with a group of 7 adults. We enjoyed the experience going around the parks, meeting characters, and taking advantage of the opportunity to have us all in every photo without someone being stuck behind the camera. My 2nd experience was with my immediate family and thats where the magic truly happened! It was my daughter’s first Disney World visit and capturing the smile on her face as she got to meet her favorite characters was PRICELESS! I wasn’t required to be behind the camera to preserve those moments – Disney did it for me. We ended up with at least 70 photos I was truly happy with and saved from our collection of about 300. Our most recent trip in April afforded us another opportunity to use Memory Maker. Over 7 days of park time, we ended up with nearly 800 photos at our disposal and I had hundreds of favorites to choose from (two of which are on my wall above my desk!)

Our more recent experience with the product was in January. We didn’t see as many characters this time around as my daughter took a liking to more of the attractions so about 300 photos that time around but still a great overall experience!

How does it work?

Once you purchase Memory Maker whether it’s through a package or as an individual purchase, the allotment is linked in your My Disney Experience account and all MagicBands linked to your account. If you have additional family and friends traveling with you, linking their accounts to yours will also allow them to use Memory Maker. Once on site, locate any PhotoPass photographer in one of Disney’s theme parks and ask to have your photo taken (if it’s a character experience, they will do it automatically). Scan one MagicBand from the group and voila! Your photos are uploaded to your My Disney Experience account. NEW Disney has added a preview of photos on the My Disney Experience app so you can view photos in the park in real time (allow a few minutes for upload, but it’s typically very quick) – something fun to do while you wait in line for another attraction.

How do a find a PhotoPass photographer?Fox family

Photographers are roaming around the parks and ready for your close up. You’ll see them at all of the major milestone locations and any location with a unique backdrop. Some photographers are only out at night while other locations are better during the day time. The My Disney Experience app now has a list of available locations for photographers. I think Disney heard the questions and feedback of all of you 2014 and 2015 travelers wishing to have more info on photo opportunities. You’ll find additional opportunities during special events and during the holiday season where photographers can also be found in the Disney deluxe resorts near the giant Christmas tree displays.

What are Magic Shots?

Magic Shots are fantastic little photos that Disney superimposes a character or little something special to Ellie MagicShotyour photo. The Disney photographer will pose you to make the shot work, set up their cameras and give you a few instructions for a face to make to truly make the moment memorable. You may ask for a Magic Shot from any photographer. Te general rule of thumb is that if a photographer has a camera on a tripod, they don’t have Magic Shots. If it’s a hand held camera, they may have something to help.

How long are my photos available?

You have 45 days from when the photo was taken to download them to keep them forever. You may purchase an extension if you need more time, but it’s best to just download them – throw them on your desktop and do the hard work of looking through the photos later.

I have a large group/multiple rooms. Do I need to purchase more than one allotment of Memory Maker?

Absolutely not! Guests will need to be appropriately linked through My Disney Experience under friends and family. As long as all guests are linked to the guest who purchased Memory Maker, the lead person will be able to download all of the photos. It’s best to have each party member linked to every other party member so everyone can see every photo taken online – it will have no affect on being able to download them.

I’m trying to view photos I’ve taken online but I only see a location to purchase or add it, what gives?

This is a common complaint from guests. You can view them from one of 2 places. The easiest way is by

One of my favorite photos from our April trip!

One of my favorite photos from our April trip!

visiting MyDisneyPhotoPass.com and logging in with the same credentials as My Disney Experience.You can also visit the My Disney Experience web site and go to the reservations and tickets page. The link to view photos from Memory Maker is all the way at the bottom of that page.

What do I do with my photos when I get home?

The lead guest (the person who has Memory Maker assigned to them) will have a DOWNLOAD button available (use either option in the question above to view them). Memory Maker is a digital entitlement so once your photos are downloaded, you may do whatever you’d like to with them whether its post them on Facebook or Instagram for family and friends, make a photo book through Shutterfly, or just keep them for yourself. You may take those photos to any local retailer to have them printed as well. Disney provides you with a letter of “ownership” to take with you if the retailer has any questions.

Is it worth the money?

This little girl of mine tried to beep every character's nose she encountered!

This little girl of mine tried to beep every character’s nose she encountered!

In a completely unbiased capacity, Y-E-S! I love it. Any trip traveling with a child or children, I will most definitely add it on to my package. For anyone interested in meeting characters, it’s worth it! For anyone who wants to to capture memories from their trip – YES! For anyone who is always stuck being the photographer – absolutely yes!

I heard Disney photographers will take a photo with my camera as well, is that true?

Yes, if you stop by any PhotoPass photographer and ask them to take a photo with your camera after they are done with the official photos, they will. In my previous experiences, those photos are not as good of quality as the official shots and since most of them only snap one photo, you’ll lower your chances that the entire family is both looking at the camera and smiling!

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

If you would like help planning your next Disney World vacation, I’d love to be a part of the process. Please feel free to contact me anytime for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Disney’s Memory Maker: Must Take Photo Locations to make it worth your money!

 

Disney’s Memory Maker. It’s the updated, digital version of PhotoPass which allows you to download all of your photos and share with friends and family after you return. While it comes with a $150 price tag if purchased prior to arrival and $199 if purchased after your arrival. Another difference with Memory Maker is that you can add photos from popular Disney attractions like Splash Mountain and Test Track as well as character meet and greets including Anna & Elsa, Cinderella, and more to your account. So is it worth the add on cost of an already expensive vacation? I would say YES, yes, and YES!!!! Looking at my account, a cost to download one photo is $14.95, or to get 2 5×7 photos (of the same photo) is also $14.95. We didn’t take a ton of pictures this vacation, but I found at least 14 photos that I really liked so if I wanted to purchase them individually it would cost me over $200. Without even trying, I recouped the cost. The even more beautiful thing about Memory Maker is that you are allowed an UNLIMITED number of photos to your Disney account.

So you decided that Memory Maker is for you, GREAT! So now where should I take my photos?

Magic Kingdom Photos2014WDW

  • Main Street USA in front of Cinderella’s Castle (try multiple stops along the way to get different perspective and views – there are up to 8 photographers available all with different vantage points)
  • Town Square – Meet Mickey and hear him talk in this one of a kind attraction
  • Outside the train station (photographers not always here, but a great place for a family shot nonetheless!)
  • Meet Ariel in her Grotto
  • Meet Cinderella & Rapunzel in Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Meet Anna & Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall
  • Splash Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Magic Shots: The photographers nearest to Cinderella’s Castle can help you meet Tinkerbell in the Magic of Disney photos!
  • Magic Shots: Near Princess Tiana’s meet and greet, ask the photographers about kissing a frog
  • Magic Shots: Haunted Mansion – photographers can explain 2 different haunted shots here
  • Magic Shots: Pirates of the Caribbean – if you see a photographer with a sword, you may be able to fight Captain Hook
  • Magic Shots: Little Mermaid – hold Sebastian in your hand!
  • Magic Shots: Enchanted Tales with Belle – hold Chip in your hand!

Epcot Photos

  • Main Entrance (use the same school of thought to get multiple angles from multiple photographers – don’t forget about the photographers around the other side of Spaceship Earth).
  • Epcot Character Spot – enjoy Mickey and all his pals at this great indoor meet and greet
  • World Showcase – Check your daily schedule for an easy way to meet Disney Princesses in less time!
  • The bridge near International Gateway (overlooking France)
  • Outside Mission: Space – this is seasonal, but worth the walk to check it out!
  • Test Track

Hollywood Studios Photos

  • Hollywood Boulevard (use the same idea as Cinderella’s Castle – some cast members hold props!)
  • Overlooking the Hollywood Hotel
  • Overlooking Rock n Roller Coaster
  • The Hollywood Studios sign near Mickey’s Sorcerers Hat (photographers are typically here in the evenings)
  • Find Characters near the Magic of Disney Animation
  • The Avenue of Americas
  • Rock n Roller Coaster
  • Tower of Terror
  • Magic Shots: Some opportunities to pose with Mickey, Minnie, and sometimes Stitch

Animal Kingdom Photos

  • Main Entrance (in front of the Animal Kingdom sign overhead)
  • Around the tree of life (there are several vantage points)
  • Outside Expedition Everest (with mountain in the background)
  • Camp Minnie-Mickey
  • Character Meetings near Dinoland USA
  • Expedition Everest
  • Magic Shots: Ask photographers about holding Baby Simba in your arms

Additional meet & greets of some of your favorite Disney characters around each of the parks. Check your daily schedule or the My Disney Experience app for times and locations!

Always remember that if you see a photopass photographer in a location that seems random, a character meet may pop up right before your eyes! And don’t forget to take photos of your own as your child is first walking up to a character or the excitement on their face as they get near the front of a line to see Mickey for the very first time. You’ll also need your camera for some character dining as they are not all covered by photopass photographers.

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Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

What’s Disney’s Memory Maker all about?

Disney World is really pushing Memory Maker, their new online photo system. This system is similar to PhotoPass and PhotoPass+ with a few tweaks. Is this something for my family? Do I need it? Here’s the basics:

Purchasing Memory Maker prior to your arrival will save you $50. Prior to arrival: $149, after arrival $199. How does that stack up vs. purchasing photos yourself? Well, let’s do the math. Using the existing PhotoPass system you have the option to purchase some of your favorite photos. Packages begin at $14.95 which includes 2 4×6 and 1 5×7 of the same photo, you could also choose 1 8×10 for the same price. So that’s 10 different poses of your choice for the cost of Memory Maker. I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on taking more than 10 photos on my vacation!

This allows you an UNLIMITED number of photos. Yes, unlimited. As many photos as you can take with Disney’s PhotoPass photographers, attraction photos, and selected dining location photos will be included in your package. This typically includes character meet and greets and some character dining experiences.

With a wave of your MagicBand, your photos will be linked to your account and you can allow access to others to view and save photos as well as limit access if you want to only share specific photos. Family at home can see what a great time you’re having before you even return.

After you return home, you have a limited amount of time to download and save any photos you’d like to keep to your computer. The purchase of Memory Maker allows you the rights to the photos to print, save, email, and share as you like! If you want to print photos, my favorite web site is Shutterfly.com. You can easily upload your photos with your secure login and order, print, and ship photos to you or family and friends. You can also make cards for holidays, birthdays, and more! They often have deals for free photos!

Ready to get started planning your 2015 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!