Are you looking to capture all of your magical Walt Disney World memories? With the help of Disney Memory Maker, you can do just that. And, best of all, you don’t need to dig your phone or camera out of your bag or leave someone out of the picture to make it happen. When used in partnership with the Disney PhotoPass service, Memory Maker allows guests to access their photos and videos taken throughout their visit and enjoy unlimited downloads, making for the perfect souvenir for your next Disney World vacation.
From family photos in front of Cinderella Castle and Spaceship Earth to character meet-and-greet snapshots to on-ride pictures and videos, every magical moment is captured with this convenient tool. But, is Disney’s Memory Maker worth it for your upcoming trip to the Walt Disney World Resort? Put your cell phone back in your pocket and stash your camera in your bag for safe keeping as we explore everything there is to know about the Disney Memory Maker package—including its cost, features, pros & cons, and more—so you can decide if it’s right for you and your crew.
Disney Memory Maker Basics
If you’re anything like us when on vacation at the Disney Parks, then chances are you annoy the rest of your family with seemingly unending requests to take “just one more” group photo. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand words, but the memories are priceless.” Or, as the kids say these days, “pics or it didn’t happen.”
Unfortunately, constantly stopping for yet another impromptu photography session can be inconvenient at best and time-consuming at worst. Plus, if you don’t like asking some stranger passing by to take the shot (speaking from personal experience, Gen Zers make the best photographers), your designated picture-taker may often be missing from the photo. And, not to mention, all those pictures can take up a lot of precious space on your device.
Luckily, thanks to one service offered at the theme parks, Disney’s Memory Maker, not only can you capture all of the treasured memories made during your trip without sucking up a lot of time or leaving out a member of your party, but you can also download your photos to preserve those memories for later and even share with your loved ones. It’s like having your own personal photographer!
But, exactly what is Memory Maker? How is it different from the Disney PhotoPass service? What’s all included with it? And, not to mention, how much does it cost? (Why do Disney vacations have to be so expensive?) Read on for a snapshot of all the need-to-know details.
Disney PhotoPass vs. Disney’s Memory Maker: What’s the Difference?
Confused? That’s ok, we’re here to help.
Disney PhotoPass is a complimentary photography service offered by Disney Parks and Resorts, including the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. As you walk around the theme parks, you’ll notice Disney PhotoPass photographers posted up around popular spots, like in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom or the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, as well as with certain Disney characters during meet-and-greets, at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and at character dining locations. Depending on the season, you may even see PhotoPass photographers at the Disney World water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.
These photographers are there to take your photo for free. (You don’t hear that word too often at Disney World.) That’s right, you are under no obligation to purchase any picture taken by a Disney PhotoPass photographer. In fact, now that the pandemic is over, you can even ask them to snap a pic with your personal camera or cell phone.
However, while the photography service itself is complimentary, you will need to purchase the pictures from one of the Disney PhotoPass viewing stations or through the My Disney Experience app if you want a non-watermarked copy to frame or share on social media. Although you do have the option to purchase each photo individually, depending on how many pictures you want copies of, that can get pricey quickly. That’s where Disney’s Memory Maker product comes in.
Unlike picking just a few photos to buy, Memory Maker offers unlimited digital downloads for a set price. This means you don’t have to worry about sifting through dozens of pictures only to choose a handful of the very best—and racking up a hefty fee in the process. Instead, with Memory Maker, you’ll have access to every single photo taken by a PhotoPass photographer during your trip, as well as ride photos and videos, all for one convenient cost.
How Much Does Memory Maker Cost at Walt Disney World?
So, just how much does Disney Memory Maker cost? In general, pricing for Memory Maker ranges from as little as $69 to as much as $199, depending on which product you want and when you’re making your purchase.
The most affordable option is the Memory Maker One Day, which costs $69 and covers all of the images and videos captured on a chosen day from your Disney vacation. This is a great option for those who are only going to Disney World for a couple of days, thrifty travelers looking for a lot of bang for their buck without spending an arm and a leg, and guests with an especially jam-packed one or two days during a longer vacation.
However, if you’re going to be at Walt Disney World for three or more days and want access to all of the photos and videos from your trip, then you’re better off with the standard Memory Maker package, which includes everything captured by a Disney PhotoPass photographer, as well as attraction photos and videos, within 30 days following activation. When purchased at least three days prior to your visit, Disney Memory Maker costs $169, while buying the package during or after your vacation costs $199.
But wait, there’s more! Memory Maker used to be a complimentary annual pass benefit. While this is no longer the case, there is still a steep discount provided for annual passholders—only $99 for the entire year!
With Memory Maker packages offered at a range of price points and time frames, there’s something for everyone. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about frantically deleting old photos to free up more space or leaving someone out of the picture while they play photographer. It’s a win-win.
Now, let’s take a peek at everything that’s included.
What’s Included in Disney Memory Maker?
As we already mentioned, Memory Maker is a great way to preserve all of your memorable moments from your trip to Disney World and covers unlimited downloads of all your photos and videos taken at the parks by PhotoPass photographers and at select attractions. But, exactly what kind of images and video content can you expect? Let’s dig into the details.
Photos Taken by Disney PhotoPass Photographers
As we said earlier, you’ll find Disney PhotoPass photographers stationed throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, including each of the four theme parks and beyond. With Memory Maker, you’ll have access to every photo taken by these photographers, including those near park icons and other quintessential attractions, at character meet-and-greets and possibly even during Disney character dining. This also covers extra-special images like Magic Shots, which may place Tinker Bell in the palm of your hand or put fairy wings on your back, as well as animated images.
Each of these photos can be downloaded individually, shared with friends and family or on social media, or used to create photo gift products like mugs or Christmas ornaments. Plus, they come without any watermarks, so you’re free to use them as is without trying to work any Photoshop magic of your own.
On-Ride Attraction Photos & Videos:
Some of the most fun (and hilarious) photos you can take at Disney World are those from rides like Space Mountain or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Some attractions even offer on-ride videos you can download and giggle at for years to come. (Is anyone else incredibly unphotogenic on rides? Just me?)
Fortunately, each of these ride videos and photos is available for download with your purchase of Memory Maker, making for unique keepsakes that will keep your memories fresh long after the ride is over. Attractions with on-ride photos and videos include:
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Magic Kingdom Park Ride Videos
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Ride Photos
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Disney PhotoPass Photos of Those on Your Family & Friends List
Your photos aren’t the only ones you can download with Memory Maker. As long as you’re connected through your My Disney Experience account, you’ll also have access to your family’s and friends’ digital content, too. In other words, if other people you know are heading to the theme parks around the same time as you, simply split the cost yourselves to make your Disney Memory Maker photo package even more affordable.
Disney Memory Maker Pros & Cons
For those heading to Walt Disney World, Memory Maker offers an undeniably convenient way to preserve your magical vacation memories. That said, there are some potential benefits and drawbacks to weigh before committing. Let’s take a look at what you should consider before purchasing this service.
Benefits of Memory Maker
Still not sold on whether you should buy a Memory Maker card? As someone who has purchased Memory Maker in the past, here are some reasons why we love Memory Maker and think it’s a great idea for your next Walt Disney World vacation:
No one is missing from your group photos – Memory Maker lets everyone in your party pose for photos rather than having someone stuck behind the camera.
Frees up space on your cell phone and camera’s memory card – Photos and videos can take up a lot of room on your device. With this Disney service, however, all digital content is stored on the My Disney Experience mobile app or your Memory Maker account instead, leaving room for other important moments.
It’s quick and convenient – Disney’s PhotoPass Photographers are found in many places around the parks. They’re also pros at making sure your photos look amazing. So, all you need to do is hop in line (if there even is one) and leave the hard work to them, then head on to your next adventure.
Download as many photos and videos as you want for one flat fee – Purchasing individual Disney PhotoPass pictures adds up fast, especially if there are a lot of images that you want to keep. With one Memory Maker purchase, you’ll have access to them all, which helps to keep costs reasonable.
Save money by buying ahead of time or choosing the One Day Memory Maker – Advance-purchase and single-day discounts are available for budget-minded travelers. Just keep in mind that taking advantage of these discounts does take some planning.
Downsides of Memory Maker
Having said all of that, Disney’s Memory Maker isn’t right for everyone. Here are some possible downsides to keep in mind before you bite the bullet and purchase Memory Maker for your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation.
It isn’t cheap – Just like everything else at Disney World, the price tag for Memory Maker can make some people hesitate. And while there is the more affordable Memory Maker One Day option, it isn’t exactly ideal for those with a longer vacation.
Your PhotoPass pictures won’t be there forever – All Disney PhotoPass images expire 45 days after they were taken. So, you’ll need to act relatively fast to download them before the Memory Maker window closes.
There may not be a Disney PhotoPass photographer when you need one – Although there are plenty of Disney PhotoPass locations around Disney World, finding an available photographer isn’t always guaranteed. You’ll want to have a backup plan ready, just in case.
Is Memory Maker Worth It?
Ultimately, whether or not Memory Maker is worth it depends entirely on how much time you plan to spend taking pictures during your Disney vacation and the number of photos you’re going to download. If you think capturing every moment is important, then yes, you should absolutely go ahead with this service. But if candid snaps here and there are enough for you and your family, then you might be better off skipping it altogether and saving your money for somewhere instead.
Overall, we believe Disney’s Memory Maker package offers tremendous value for money, especially considering how expensive individual prints can be nowadays. So, if budget is not an issue, then we say treat yourself and ensure those magical memories last forever. After all, you’re on vacation!
How to Use Disney Memory Maker
So, how does Memory Maker work? Once you’ve signed up, here’s how to use this handy Disney PhotoPass package.
Link Your Disney PhotoPass Photos
After signing up, you’ll next need to link all your Disney PhotoPass card and MagicBand (or other admission tickets) in your My Disney Experience account so that they are connected. This allows any photos taken by a PhotoPass photographer using these items to be linked automatically when viewed online or on the app. To do this, simply tap the menu icon in the lower right-hand corner of the My Disney Experience app, scroll down and select Photos from the menu, then choose Link Photos to use the linking method that works best for you.
As you’re walking around the Walt Disney World parks, be on the lookout for Disney PhotoPass photographers. Fortunately, they’re pretty easy to spot, as they now sport spiffy bright green shirts and navy blue bottoms. Alternatively, if you’d rather not just wander around aimlessly, you can also find them using the My Disney Experience app.
Simply select the location icon at the bottom of the screen, then tap PhotoPass from the drop-down menu at the top. From there, you’ll see everywhere a Disney PhotoPass photographer is located, as well as attractions with on-ride photos and videos. You can even get step-by-step directions there from your current location, just in case you’re afraid you’ll get lost.
View & Download Your Captured Memories
Finally, all that’s left to do is download your Memory Maker photos and share them with your favorite people. To do that, you’ll need to log into your Disney account either online or through the mobile app to take a peek at all the images taken by a PhotoPass photographer or one of the attractions you experienced. Take your time browsing, as you can view them as often as needed (as long as you’re within the 30-day Memory Maker window and the 45-day Disney PhotoPass expiration date) before downloading them onto your device, sharing them to social media or plastering them on some sort of gift.
Tips & Tricks for Making the Most of Disney Memory Maker
To make the most of your investment, here are some suggestions to help you utilize Disney Memory Maker to your full advantage.
Take as Many PhotoPass Photos as Possible
After purchasing Memory Maker, you’re free to download as many of your photos as you like, so we say load it up. While the quality of Disney PhotoPass photos tends to be pretty good, it’s still a numbers game at the end of the day. Even if it takes a bit more time, you’re more likely to come away with a bunch of pictures you love, giving you a great return on your investment.
Ask for Magic Shots
Take advantage of Magic Shots, which are exclusive photos that add fun elements like Disney characters or some other whimsical overlay to your pictures. You can ask any PhotoPass photographer if there is a Magic Shot they can do. However, since some of these enchanting images are location specific, not all Magic Shots are available everywhere.
Don’t Miss Out on Character Meet-and-Greets
You can’t go to Disney World and not spend some time hobnobbing with popular Disney characters. Not only do these interactions (and the incredible photos) make for some awesome memories, but they’re also a ton of fun. Disney PhotoPass photographers will even snap some adorable candids, so you can have a sweet pic of your little one hugging Mickey Mouse or staring up in awe at their favorite Disney Princess.
Be Sure to Link Your Attraction Photos & Videos
Don’t forget to grab those attraction photos and videos, too! While ride photos will typically link to your My Disney Experience account app automatically, especially if you’re wearing a MagicBand or have Bluetooth enabled on your mobile device, you may need to link this content manually. To do this, simply look for a QR code to scan in the queue or tap your MagicBand or mobile device to the PhotoPass touchpoint near the photo viewing area once you get off the ride.
Get Creative With Your Poses & Props
Feel free to be creative when taking pictures by adding props or striking different poses with friends and family members. It’ll help make each shot unique and give it an extra dose of personality. Plus, it makes for great conversation starters later on down the line when looking back through old albums. Don’t worry if you can’t think of what to do—PhotoPass photographers tend to be filled with plenty of ideas.
Go to Disney Springs for a Photo Shoot
The theme parks aren’t the only places you can take PhotoPass photos. Disney Springs has its very own PhotoPass studio with photographers who are ready to take your picture—no reservation necessary. There is even an array of backdrops you can choose from.
Alright, folks, that brings our guide to Disney’s Memory Maker package to an end. Have you purchased Memory Maker before? Let us know in the comments! Then, learn how you can save some cash and make this Disney PhotoPass feature more affordable with our discount Disney World tickets.