PhotoPass+ vs Disney Memory Maker

Written by Jessica Ma'ilo. Posted in Disney Parks, Park Wise, Walt Disney World

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Published on July 10, 2014 at 2:00 am with 11 Comments

Having just returned from a vacation fully immersed in Walt Disney World’s MyMagic+, I was finally able to experience all of the new components firsthand.  Our last trip to the World was October 2013 when MyMagic+ was rolling out in bits and pieces, but Legacy FastPass and PhotoPass+ were still in place.  Being a PhotoPass nerd, I was slightly apprehensive about MemoryMaker since I received different answers each time I chatted with the help desk.  For your planning pleasure, I’ll share our experience with Walt Disney World’s Memory Maker (which may or may not be completely different in the coming months).

 

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What’s Included

With PhotoPass+, guests received all of their PhotoPass shots in addition to the photo packets and digital images taken at select dining locations and digital copies of any on-ride photos.  Now, with Memory Maker, guests will receive all of their PhotoPass shots and digital copies of dining photos and on-ride photos.  The physical picture packets at the restaurants are no longer a part of the package, however, they are still available for purchase at those locations that take them.  I will say I was initially annoyed with this “takesy backsy” from Walt Disney World.  However, I personally don’t actually do anything with those photo packets, they just end up in a stack next to the photo albums, so it wasn’t a huge loss for me, but it may surprise other guests who were used to receiving them.

 

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Get Photo Wise: You still receive a release to print the images, so save some cash and print them out at your local discount store or via your favorite online photo site.

How to Claim Your Pictures

In the olden days, guests would receive a PhotoPass card.  In order to retrieve photos, the number on this card would be entered into the site.  At time of publication PhotoPass cards are still available, despite many help desk claims to the contrary, but guests can now scan their MagicBands and the photos are automatically populated in your account.  A really nice addition that went live when we were there was the ability for MagicBands to be scanned while on the attraction eliminating the need to stop by the PhotoPass desk post-ride.  I was a bit paranoid the first few times, but when I checked online, our ride photos were exactly where they were supposed to be.

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Get Park Wise: If you do not have a MagicBand, you will have to stop by the PhotoPass desk to claim your digital images, as the RFID cards do not have the capability to be scanned at long distances like the bands.

 

Sharing with Friends

With PhotoPass+, it was extremely easy for extended family and friends to split the cost of the disc and have everyone’s images included.  Everyone had their cards, entered their numbers and that was that.  With Memory Maker, everything is linked through MyDisneyExperience.  Being there for just over two weeks and having coinciding vacation dates with a few friends’ families, we wanted to be able to share Memory Maker.  In order to do this, each person must be linked via MyDisneyExperience.  This can be done by sending email requests via the app or web site.  Once you’re linked, everyone’s images will show up in each others’ accounts.  The guest who purchased Memory Maker will be able to download all images that show in his/her account.

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Receiving Your Pictures

With PhotoPass+, guests had the option of receiving a disc with their images or downloading (if they had under a certain number of photos).  Memory Maker offers downloadable images for all guests, no matter how many images are in their account.  Physical discs are available at an additional cost.

Are you a PhotoPass fan?  Will you be trying Memory Maker?

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About Jessica Ma'ilo

Jessica is a special education teacher by day and blogger and Fairy Godmother Travel agent by evening. When not supervising play dates or sleepovers, she can be found creating, sewing or singing. She loves hitting the Disney Parks, and she and her family escape to the World and Land as often as they can. She can be contacted at [email protected], and you can also check out her family blog, Magic, Memories, Mayhem.

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  • TheBig2na

    We used both and were impressed. As long as you can share the cost we will use it. We havent done much with all of the pictures we got anyway. may print them and put them in an album but as you said, the physical ones just sit in a drawer. This new service may be better because usually if you see a photo and its good you buy it, now you can print it at home for a nickel

    • http://magicmemoriesmayhem.com Jessica Ma’ilo

      We luckily always travel with friends and family (staying together or in the same resort) or our dates overlapped with friends, this time my little guy’s teacher and a high school friend of mine and her family were there at the same time, and we were rooming with a friend and her daughter, so between the four families, the price was decent. PhotoPass+ did allow you to print images at home, as well, so I’m glad that aspect is a part of Memory Maker!

  • almandot

    How about the price difference? Memory maker is $200 ($150 if you purchase in advance) to get all photos from your vacation digitally.

    Photopass(and photopass+) was $100 for the cd with all your pictures. It was upped to $150. And is now upped to $170.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the concept of both is exactly identical. They take pictures and put them on an account. The difference is that they scan your magic band instead of your photo pass card(ideally you lose the magic band less but if I’m not mistaken it costs money to replace your magic band but a new photo pass card was free).

    The ride photos are included finally(they did this with test track under the old photo pass system and chose to never expand it. they also did free digital photos at buzz lightyear in disneyland and chose to never do that again also).

    So all in all.. isn’t it the same thing with a new name and a price increase? What am I missing that makes this a new service rather than a pre-purchased photopass package?

    • http://magicmemoriesmayhem.com Jessica Ma’ilo

      The products (PhotoPass+ and Memory Maker) are/were both part of the PhotoPass service, so the idea is very much the same. However, there are some logistical differences as well as inclusion changes between the products. I don’t want to rewrite the article in this comment, but I outlined the major differences.
      As far as cost, a PhotoPass CD was $169; $119 pre-purchase (formerly $99 pre-purchase and, if I recall correctly, $149 on property or post-trip), while PhotoPass+ (which included the PhotoPass CD, as well as digital ride photos, digital dining photos and physical dining photos) was $199 on property; $149 pre-purchase, as is Memory Maker. There is a price increase from PhotoPass but the cost for Memory Maker is the same as PhotoPass+ was. Clear as mud?

  • almandot

    I understood your outline I was just emphasizing that, to me, memory maker is the same product with a new name and it’s come with a general price increase(now reflected in the old name product as well), and other than something minor like the physical dining photo packages not included, is that accurate? I only bring it up because the hubbub with Disney PR when memory maker debuted was how this was a big rollout for an amazing brand new product it was that let families get all their pictures from the vacation digitally and my initial reaction was.. they could already do that.

    • http://magicmemoriesmayhem.com Jessica Ma’ilo

      I don’t recall too much attention to Memory Maker as an unprecedented product. As I’ve mentioned, there are some logistical differences that make Memory Maker a more convenient product with the RFID on-ride scanning, no need for cards, etc., so while the end result is a really similar product, it’s not just the matter of a name change.

  • Barbaraann

    I am traveling to Disney World solo, in exactly 39 days, and I have always been a big fan of Photopass. However, I hesitated spending the money for WDW’s Photopass/Memory Maker. It is so expensive. My vacation package was already costing me enough money. However, I happened to see the special package which included a free Memory Maker. I jumped at that deal, and switched my package months ago to include it. I am excited to be able to try Memory Maker free of charge. Let’s see exactly how many photos I can accumulate on my account. I just returned from a 5 day visit to Disneyland, and I came home with 219 photos on my photopass CD. I am hoping to do much better at Disney World, seeing that there are 4 parks, and I understand there are a whole lot of new Magic Shots.

    • http://magicmemoriesmayhem.com Jessica Ma’ilo

      I have no doubt you’ll top that number, especially if you’re seeking out the photographers. Have fun and happy “say Mickeeeeey!”ing!

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  • Susan Hughes

    Here are the new Magic Shots available at The Disneyland Resort:
    At Cars Land there’s Flo, Lizzie, and the Dynaco Helicopter. At Disneyland there’s Chip from Beauty and The Beast and Pascal from Tangled.
    And of course there’s no way they’re going to forget about Frozen. Olaf is available…anywhere at both parks. He just needs to be shot with a general background. Perhaps a row of trash cans will work?

    • http://magicmemoriesmayhem.com Jessica Ma’ilo

      Thanks for the list. You might want to post this on the general PhotoPass article since this one is likely to attract Walt Disney World planners as opposed to Disneyland.