Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Walt Disney World Tips: Memory Maker - Worth the Money?

Have you ever dreamed of having a photographer follow you around on your Walt Disney World vacation to take photos of you and your family so that everyone can be a part of your magical memories? Well, the Disney Memory Maker package isn't quite that -- but it's pretty close.

What is Disney Memory Maker?
If you've been to Walt Disney World, you have probably seen the photographers for Disney PhotoPass around the parks. Disney PhotoPass is a free service where photographers are there to take pictures for you (using both their camera and yours) at the most popular locations throughout the parks and resorts. Once you are done posing and getting the perfect shot, they simply scan your pictures to a Disney PhotoPass card that you can then use to view and purchase the photos via the My Disney Experience website

How did the good fairy get in this magic photo?
The Disney PhotoPass team uses high quality equipment, knows all the best angles, and can even take "magic photos" (photos that magically add Tinkerbell, Stitch, and other characters to your photos as shown to the right) to enhance your visit. Plus, it saves you from lugging a camera around all day and can even be tied to your Disney MagicBand. Disney PhotoPass is a great service, but anyone that's used it in the past knows that it can be a bit pricey (about $15 per photo).
Therefore, Disney has introduced a new offering, the Memory Maker package. The Memory Maker package allows you to get digital copies of any Disney PhotoPass photo as well as all photos taken on the various attractions that sell ride photos, for one price. And if you buy in advance, there's a pretty good discount (sometimes it's even included in your vacation package), but you can also buy it while at the parks too.

Does Disney Memory Maker Make Sense?
To me, it was a no brainer. When we go to Walt Disney World, I want to capture all of our magical memories, but when either my wife or I are not in almost every photo, it takes away a little bit of the magic. Plus, while we have a decent camera, it's far from top-of-the-line, so knowing that a professional photographer using professional equipment is taking the picture, adds a lot of value.

It also makes sense if you're the kind of Walt Disney World visitor that likes to buy a lot of the ride photos on Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and the other big attractions. Because those are included in the Disney Memory Maker product, we ended up coming home with copies of multiple pictures from each of the rides. And because it was was the first time on some of the bigger rides for our youngest, knowing that we could print out those photos for her without paying $25 - $50 each was well worth it.

But for me, I've saved the best part for last. Nothing makes your magical memories better than enhancing your photos with Disney graphics, borders, and more. It really does make your magical memories, even more magical!

It doesn't get much more magical than this.
After each of our Walt Disney World visits, I like to make each child their own photo book so that they can remember all of the magical memories from their visit. And it's worked -- because of the photo books, my children remember things they did there when they were two or three years old. But my point is that being able to add some extra magic to the photos is certain to make this year's edition the best yet.

If you're not the kind of person that's going to take a bunch of pictures, Disney Memory Maker probably isn't for you. But for our visit, we had about 175 pictures taken, which works out to less than $1 per photo, so I'm pretty good with that. And because we bought it in advance, we found ourselves wanting to take more pictures, which can't be a bad thing.

I think Disney got this one right and I'm confident you won't regret buying the Memory Maker package on your next visit to the Walt Disney World resort.

I hope that this has been helpful. If you have a Disney question, I’m happy to help. Feel free to shoot me your question on Twitter (I’m @jonmkee) or via email (jonmkee at gmail dot com). Have a magical day!

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  1. This was very helpful! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks, appreciate the honest evaluation.