One of the blessings of living just over the Florida-Georgia line, is the close proximity in which we live to Orlando, and all the amazing fun that is home to that city. So when our daughter turned five this year, it was all too easy to grant one of her wishes to go to Disney World.
When you think “theme park,” one of the first things that pops into your head is all the costs that come with the admission price. You have travel, lodging, food, souvenirs, and, if you’re anything like me, you usually end up walking away paying for a few photos that were snapped from that day’s adventures.
Enter Photo Pass.
Theme parks make it all too easy nowadays to have your photo snapped by a park photographer. They snap your photo, hand you a cool card with a barcode on it, and off you go. Each time you get photographed, you hand them the card, they scan it, and your photos all magically appear in one easy spot for you to not only relive the fun you had, but to purchase your memories.
That’s where the Memory Maker comes into play.
The Memory Maker is, in a way, a photo package. When you purchase the Memory Maker, you get to download digital copies of all of your photos from your trip. Yes, you heard that right. ALL of your photos. Every single photo that was taken by a park photographer, or captured on the rides that snap your photo. All of them.
YES! Even those photos are included in your downloads! And it doesn’t stop there!! You get fun little animated videos like these, too!
And you can add borders, stickers, and even autographs to your photos, too! All that fun stuff is included in that one price, which means you can enhance your photos to your heart’s desire!
You can see here on the Memory Maker page, that you can purchase the package ahead of time and save a little money. This package is the best if you are planning more than a day’s visit to any of the Disney World parks. Also, be sure to stop by any of the Memory Maker stores throughout the parks and check on their single day Memory Maker package. We were only at the Magic Kingdom for one day, and we were not going to be visiting any other parks during our long weekend in Orlando. The single day package was only $69.99 compared to the $199 package for more days.
The best thing about the higher priced package is that once you activate it through the Disney World app or website, you have 30 days to collect photos from any of the parks! However, you only have 45 days from the date the photo is taken to download or order prints. This is important to keep in mind if you do, in fact, continue taking photos throughout that 30 day period.
Now that you know the wide variety of photos that are included in the Memory Maker, and how it works, I’m sure you’re curious about how much you would actually use this package. I was, too. In fact, my husband and I were honestly going to just have the photos put on our card, and choose a handful to print for our walls, album, or anything else we chose to plaster these photos on. Boy am I glad we didn’t do that! Before we purchased the single day package, we had already been to three photo stops, two of which included our daughter meeting characters.
After we got done with the third photo stop, we decided to see how many photos we actually liked, and we were shocked to already see that we easily had a handful of photos that we wanted to purchase. If we were to buy just one of those that we liked, it would be $18.95 for ONE 4x6 photo!! For five dollars more than the price of the single day package, we would have only been able to purchase four 4x6 prints. FOUR.
I know what you’re thinking. But will I truly want more than four photos from our day? Well, that depends.
Our trip was not only for our daughter’s fifth birthday, but it was also all of our first time visiting Walt Disney World. Having grown up in San Diego, my husband and I have been to Disneyland hundreds of times, but Disney World? No, this was our first.
Not only that, but our daughter is at the age where she will remember meeting the characters that she watches and loves. She will remember that Princess Tiana let her feel her soft gown, and that Mickey Mouse sang to her as he danced with her. Having only a few photos of those experiences would have meant that we missed out on being able to let her relive that day and all its magic again and again.
Okay, but don’t the photographers take photos with your camera or phone, too? Yes, they absolutely can. And they do it without a second thought. They are very quick to oblige, and to help you out. And you know what? We actually did that at the first character meet. We handed the photographer my iPhone, and asked them to take a photo. And they did a glorious job.
They even took extra photos aside from the traditional one you see above. But after hitting five photo spots, taking my own photos around the park, and only being four hours into our 14 hour day, my phone battery was already at about 65%. Because I was also using it for FastPasses, and as our guide through the park. My phone would have been dead long before our day was over if I had continued at that rate!
Another perk of not using your phone at every stop is that you don’t take yourself out of the moment. I didn’t want to spend $70 for photos I wasn’t sure I was going to like, and that I wasn’t sure I would even want to purchase. But when I look back on that day, moving from one photo spot to the next throughout the day, I realize I didn’t have to worry about finding someone to snap a photo of us. I didn’t have photos of just my husband and daughter, or just my daughter and me. We have photos of all of us, all throughout the day, and that rarely happens when we’re on vacation. Not to mention being able to be lost in the world of our daughter as she was meeting all her favorite Princesses, talking to them about cake, singing with Ariel, I got to be in that moment with my child instead of worrying about capturing it on a camera. Because someone else was doing that for me.
We even happened upon a photo studio set up in the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique, and found out those photos were also included in the Memory Maker package! Total score! Our little princess LOVED her mini photo shoot in her new Cinderella dress and tiara! And this mom loved seeing her face as we flipped through those photos, and that sweet little munchkin said, “Oh, wow!!! It’s so beautiful!”
At the end of the day, I was glad we sprung for the Memory Maker single day package. It kept the magic alive throughout the day, and took a lot of stress off this photographer and her need to capture everything on camera. Not to mention we got some pretty cute animated videos and fun photos from the whole day tossed in the mix.
Oh! You’re probably wondering how many photos we walked away with from that day, aren’t you? Well, I didn’t lie, we did spend 14 hours at the Magic Kingdom that day. We had photos taken at a lot of the photo stops, as well as the studio photos you saw above. When all was said and done, we left the park with over 200 photos, bought and paid for, that we can print time and time again, and in any size we want.
So, is it worth it? You bet your ears it is!