I am a big fan of Memory Maker and recommend it to all of my travel clients as an add-on to their packages. I think the PhotoPass photographers do a great job capturing the memories of your Walt Disney World vacation, and having the ability to download those as part of Memory Maker makes it a really good value. Purchasing before your trip will save you some money, so look into it before you travel. For clarification: PhotoPass is the service that takes your photos and the account they go into on your My Disney Experience Account; Memory Maker is a package that you purchase that allows you to download all of the images taken on your vacation. Here are 10 Mind Blowing things about Memory Maker & PhotoPass in general:
10. Annual Pass Benefit
Did you know that Memory Maker is included as a benefit with many levels of Walt Disney World Annual Passes? That means if you have an Annual Pass you are able to download your photos and those of your friends and family (who are properly linked to your My Disney Experience account) for a year! An Annual Pass doesn’t make financial sense for everyone, but you may want to include this perk in your analysis to see if it might make sense for your travel party to upgrade to passes (or at least one person) for the discounts and perks.
9. Character Moments
I love having Memory Maker and knowing that the PhotoPass photographer is capturing moments of my children interacting with the characters. Usually they start as the child approaches the character, catch several candid shots, and then at the end posed shots. And they are very patient with all of the combinations of people you want in the photos. With Memory Maker I know that I’m going to be able to download those photos (& view them on my phone to share immediately), so I don’t have to worry about taking the photos myself and I can enjoy the moment with my child. This is priceless. One of my very favorite photos of my son with a character (Woody) was captured by a PhotoPass photographer.
8. Videos & Animation
When you purchase Memory Maker you will find in your account a few special photos. Some of these are ride videos that you can only get with Memory Maker. Currently available on limited attractions the videos piece together still photos, ride footage and video of you on the attraction to put together a little “commercial” type teaser video. These are very fun to have! You’ll also notice other photos with a play button over them. They are still photos of you but have an animation added to them with one of your favorite characters—these are a nice surprise!
7. Instant Access
With Memory Maker you have nearly instant access to your PhotoPass pictures. You’ll find them in your My Disney Experience account in the app on your phone. You can view them just minutes after they are taken, though sometimes the system can take a while to update—and you need to pull down & refresh the page. From here you can tap to download them to your camera roll and then you can immediately share your fun on social media or text them to the poor souls you left at home.
6. Special Occasions
PhotoPass Photographers love to work with you to capture any special moments you are celebrating. We’ve had them document our son’s birthday with some special poses and extra attention, and on a recent “reunion” trip with my best friends family we had a photographer in the “hub grass” at the Magic Kingdom take all kinds of photos of our families (your mileage may vary based on how busy they are at the time). And many times I’ve seen a PhotoPass photographer with prior notice capture the moment of an engagement. So always ask if they have time and the ability to do something special to commemorate your special celebration.
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5. Gifts and Souvenirs
Although not part of the Memory Maker purchase, PhotoPass offers some great gift and souvenir items you can create using your photos. I love to order the ornaments at Christmas time with a favorite photo from our trip. I’ve also gotten the magnets and I’ve been happy with the quality. If you are looking for a gift to thank a grandparent for taking your family on a trip this would be a great option to remember the vacation.
4. Magic Shots!
Many of the photographers are set up to capture “magic shots” of your group. Sometimes you won’t even know they are doing it, but they will ask you to pose in some crazy way and then when you see the photo something or someone has magically appeared. Of course, you can always ask if they are able to take a magic shot for you (not all locations have them, and not every photographer can take them). My personal favorites are the ones where someone ends up holding a character.
3. Unlimited Downloads
With the Memory Maker product you can download your photos as many times as you want (within the time limit they give you to access them). This is a great function because you can purchase one Memory Maker and share it with the group you are traveling with to save money. Just be sure that each person logs in to make any edits to the photos and downloads them before the expiration dates.
2. Ride Photos
Several attractions in each park capture an on-ride photo of your group mid attraction. These can be fun in a lot of ways from that natural expression of fear on your face when Tower of Terror begins to drop, to the funny poses for the camera coming down Splash Mountain, to capturing that first experience on Space Mountain. One of the things that I think makes Memory Maker such a good value is that you can download all of those ride photos. So if your family of 4 loves the Buzz Lightyear photos you don’t have to purchase 2 separate printed photos which can add up quickly. Or you can ride multiple times to come up with the best pose.
The very best thing about Memory Maker are the memories it preserves. It is always my favorite souvenir because I can go back and look through the pictures and relive my trip when the Disney Blues are hitting particularly hard. Plus, with PhotoPass & Memory Maker everyone from your group can get in the photo without worrying about handing your camera or phone to a stranger (although the photographers are happy to take a shot or two with yours also). To be able to capture all of the memories from the characters, to the magic photos, the ride photos, and the family shots in front of the castle is priceless.
Do you love Memory Maker and PhotoPass as much as I do?