We recently went on a week long Disney trip for our 10 year anniversary and we chose to purchase Disney’s Memory Maker. This turned out to be the best decision and I’ll tell you why.
What is Memory Maker?
It’s Disney’s paid access to all digital downloads of PhotoPass photos taken by Disney photographers at Disney Word in addition to attraction photos and character meet and greets and meals.
How much does it cost?
Advance purchase is $149 and if you wait to purchase when you arrive to use instantly it is $169. If you choose not to purchase Memory Maker, but want to download individual PhotoPass pictures from the website, they will cost you $14.95 a piece.
So, why was it worth the cost to us?
Space, time and peace of mind saved
I know I have read in many, many blogs that the cost isn’t worth it because you can get the photo pass photographers to take pictures with your own camera or phone. And, yes this is true, but I’ll tell you why I wouldn’t prefer this option.
First, the whole idea of the magic bands is that you don’t have to worry about carrying as much around the parks. I know my husband didn’t want to have to worry about carrying around his digital camera. If you do want to carry yours around it will add extra precious minutes to having your picture taken. And besides, if you are the type of person who takes picture taking seriously and has a fancy camera for that purpose, you won’t be the type of person using the photo pass photographers anyway as you’ll be taking the professional photos yourself. But, for those of us who aren’t serious photographers, we just have regular digital cameras or our phones.
From personal experience on other trips, taking pictures with your phone is problematic as you not only run out of space quickly, but also if you want a pretty Christmas card or framed over the mantel quality photo, you won’t get it with your phone.
We wanted good quality photos to document our anniversary and using photo pass photographers worked for this purpose. I felt like we got excellent quality pictures that were taken well.
Quantity of Shots
Any time we saw someone with a camera with a short or no line at all, we would stop. We ended up with 263 photos! So, if you count just the ones we printed out for framing, we would have downloaded at least 8 pictures. At $14.95 a download, that would have totaled $120! If you consider the many pictures I’ve used in my blogs or uploaded to social media, the cost would have been astronomical! So, the $149 ended up being worth it for us.
Creativity of Shots
In addition to all of the iconic Disney World shots you can often find photographers in unique places around the parks. If we saw someone with a camera standing around, we’d ask what they were taking a pictures of. Sometimes there will be roamers who don’t have a specific spot designated. We found one of these our first morning at Magic Kingdom. She said she had an idea if were game and of course we were. She pulled us to the side garden and grabbed a chair and magic was made. We ended up with pictures that were incredibly unique and special. Even the regular photo pass photographers would often take the time to make our shot unique by having us hold hands, kiss or hold our celebration buttons out in front.
Depending on the time of year, you can count on specific shots to that Holiday Season. I especially like the shots we get at Christmas time.
These are when they add Disney “Magic” or special animation to your photos. You feel kind of silly sometimes when they ask you to pose a certain way, but I liked how some of them came out. They add Disney characters and moving borders. I especially liked the Snow White Mine Train video. Check out my 13 Frame Worthy Magic Shots @ Walt Disney World!
My Disney Experience App, access speed and social media
After your photos are taken, the photographer will scan your magic band. You will have access to all photos taken within 30 minutes or so (sometimes much sooner) of when they are taken. You can access these easily through the My Disney Experience app. You can easily save them to your phone and upload to social media almost as quickly as you would if you were taking them with your own phone. It’s also fun to sit down on your lap top or Ipad at night and look through all of your photos taken that day and see the magic shots that were added.
The app is also helpful to locate where photo pass photographers are in your area.
Access length and organization
You have access to your Memory Maker photos through My Disney Experience for 30 days. So, basically you have that long to download them. My husband just did a mass download from the website. They are organized by park and venue on the website and my husband, who archives all our photos, liked that the downloaded files are also sorted/labeled by park and venue.
This bonus may be a take it or leave it item, but it is still worth noting. Disney adds on stock photos of the parks as well seasonal related photos. And, since we were there during the Food and Wine festival at Epcot they also added recipe cards. Although I won’t be framing and putting the stock photos on my wall, as someone who scrapbooks, I think these photos are great fillers and added decoration for scrapbook pages.
So, for us we felt like Disney’s Memory Maker was a valuable purchase. Have you used Memory Maker before? Did you think it was worth it or not? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!