Disney’s MemoryMaker is one of the best “splurges”, in my opinion, that you can add to your Walt Disney World vacation. Whether it is your first trip, or your tenth, Memory Maker is a “must have”!
I always tell my kids that the photos are my souvenirs. I don’t want anything from the shops, I just want nice photos to share the memories of my family having a great vacation. For our Disney trips, MemoryMaker is a “MUST”, and I want to share some of my best tips with you today!
What is MemoryMaker?
To put it simply, MemoryMaker is basically the My Magic + term for Photopass. Through Disney’s Photopass service, you can choose specifically which photos you want to buy, and create photo gifts right on the PhotoPass website. With MemoryMaker, you get a one time download right to ALL your photos taken in the parks. And from there, you can upload them to the photo site of your choice and print, create gifts, books, etc with them. It works through your My Disney Experience account. The photographer scans your MagicBand or Key to the World Card after they take your photos. When you log into your account, your photos are there!
What is the Cost of Disney’s Memory Maker?
Disney’s Memorymaker costs $169 if you purchase it in 3-days or more in advance. You can purchase it as a stand alone product through My Disney Experience. However, my preferred way to purchase it is to add it directly to my Walt Disney World vacation package. That way, it starts on my arrival date, it gets worked into my grand total, and I don’t have to worry about it.
If you add Disney’s MemoryMaker less than 3-days from arrival, the price is $199. So there is an advantage, and a savings, to adding it well in advance! If you return home and decide you want your photos, you can still buy them through the My Disney Experience website, it is just going to cost you more than if you had purchased it ahead of time. There is also a 1-day option, where you can pay $69/day if you only want one or two days. Once you get to 3 days, it’s best to purchase it for $169.
What is Included with Disney’s MemoryMaker?
MemoryMaker gives you access to all your photos taken in the parks by Disney Photopass photographers. This includes various areas in the park, in front of all the park icons, all around World Showcase in EPCOT, Disney VISA meet and greets, general character meet and greets, and attraction photos and videos. As soon as the Photopass photographer scans your MagicBand, your photos are on your account and ready to download or share to social media.
Is Disney’s MemoryMaker Worth It?
There is always the “is it worth it” question when it comes to anything Disney, right? Looking at it from a financial perspective, I think it makes sense to utilize Disney’s MemoryMaker. Individual photos through Photopass are $17-$20 each. Just in terms of that, it’s a huge savings. If you are anything like me, you are going to order more than 5 or so photos. You would only get 8 photos for $169! Why when you can download them ALL and print them for next to nothing at your local store, or photo sharing site? When you come home with literally hundreds of photos, it makes total sense.
In terms of being worth it, is it worth it to have your whole family in the photo in front of Spaceship Earth? Or what about capturing your family on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin? Even better, as you stand by enjoying the moment while your little one meets her favorite princess for the first time? The Photopass photographers capture all of those!
I do think there are times when it is not worth it. First, on a super short stay. If you only have one or two days in the parks, I would say it’s not worth it. At that point, it is wise to find someone who is traveling at the same time as you, and share it. Yes, this can be done if you are linked in My Disney Experience. So then, the cost is only $85. So that can be a savings. Also, if you are not going to make the effort to stop at the PhotoPass photographers, it isn’t going to be worth it.
If you return home and decide you want your photos, you can still buy them through the My Disney Experience website it is just going to cost you more than if you had purchased it ahead of time.
How Can I Get the Most Out of Disney’s MemoryMaker?
So what are the best uses of MemoryMaker, and how can you get the most out of it? I have lots of advice and tips on using it!
- Stop at various points along the main entrances to the parks. There are Photopass photographers at multiple locations between the park entrance and the park icon. This gives you a different vantage point and possibly a different angle in the background for each photo. You might even find one in your resort lobby. We saw a Photopass photographer multiple times at the Polynesian, and currently there is one at the Grand Floridian with Cinderella’s Glass Slipper.
- Ask for Magic Shots. Magic Shots will come out with Tinkerbell sitting in your child’s cupped hand. Or, they offer seasonal Magic Shots as well! As part of the World’s Most Magical Celebration, they are offering a magic shot that looks as if you are blowing confetti. So cool! Sometimes, you’ll pull up your photos and find you have balloons in your hand. So much fun!
- Ask your photographer to pose your family, take photos of just the kids, or just of you! They are great, and very willing to create the perfect shot for you and your family!
- Have a plan to seek out the more exclusive locations or Magic Shots during your time frame. Traveling during Halloween or Christmas? There is a magic shot for that! Looking for a beautiful, memorable photo spot? Go to the Tangled Bathroom area at Magic Kingdom at dark for a gorgeous photo with Rapunzel’s lanterns.
- Have only one person in your family scan his/her MagicBand or card after the photos are taken. This way, you know they are on your account, and you don’t miss any. This is especially important when traveling with a larger group.
- Don’t forget the importance of candid shots. It is good to take some of your own photos. MemoryMaker isn’t going to capture that selfie on Dumbo, or your son and daughter walking hand in hand down Main Street. I would not rely on ALL my Disney photos to come from MemoryMaker.
- There is an exclusive MemoryMaker spot for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique guests. After your makeover, you can visit the photo area inside Sir Mickey’s for a fun photo shoot, after your princess makeover!
Overall, Disney’s MemoryMaker is one of my favorite, and most highly recommended, “extras” for Walt Disney World. Have you used it? What tips do you have to share?