Picture this: you’re on a family vacation in Disney World, and you’ve gotten your group all lined up in front of Cinderella Castle, ready to snap a pic when you realize that someone will have to actually take the picture.
That’s where Disney PhotoPass and Memory Maker comes in. PhotoPass and Memory Maker are services that allow you to get your picture taken by Disney’s photographers all over the parks and download your on-ride photos, as well. But when do these services become worth it? How much money do you have to spend and how many photos do you need to buy before you break even? Let’s take a look.
An Overview of PhotoPass and Memory Maker
Let’s start with a brief overview of the two offerings. PhotoPass is Disney World’s photography service. PhotoPass photographers are stationed all over the parks and are available to take you and your family’s photos. After your photo is taken (whether that be by a photographer or on a ride), your photos will appear in the My Disney Experience app. If you haven’t paid for Memory Maker, the photos will have a Disney PhotoPass watermark on them when they appear in the app.
By purchasing Memory Maker, you are able to download your photos from the My Disney Experience app without that watermark. You can also pay for and download the photos individually, as well as purchase hard copies of your photos.
How Much Does It Cost to Get My Photos?
If you want to download or have printed copies of your photos, the price will vary and be dependent on which route you take. Memory Maker for one day costs $69. If you want to use the service for longer than a day, you can purchase Memory Maker at least three days before your vacation for $169 or $199 if you purchase it after that three-day mark.
If you want to purchase your photos individually, prices will vary. It is $16.95 to download a single image. If you want to purchase printed versions of your pictures, then the prices are as follows:
- Set of Two 4×6 Prints (Glossy or Matte) — $18.95
- Single 5×7 Print (Glossy or Matte) — $18.95
- Single 8×10 Print (Glossy or Matte) — $20.95
For our purposes, we are going to compare the cost of single-image downloads to Memory Maker as a whole, as Memory Maker does not include printed versions of photos.
So, When Will I Break Even?
It’s time to crunch some numbers! If you purchased the One-Day Memory Maker at $69 for the day, you would need to purchase at least 5 individual photos (at $16.95 each) from your day in the parks in order for Memory Maker to be worth it.
If you are staying for longer and purchase Memory Maker at least three days before your trip for $169, you would need to purchase at least 10 photos to make the price worth it. If you’re staying long enough, having 10 pictures to download would be a breeze.
If you don’t purchase it ahead of time and buy Memory Maker for $199, you would need to buy 12 pictures to break even or save money.
If you’re staying for three days or more and think that you’ll get your picture taken with PhotoPass photographers frequently enough, then Memory Maker is probably worth it. If you only want to use the service for two days, then we’d recommend purchasing the One-Day Memory Maker twice rather than the full Memory Maker, as you’ll save money that way.
Is It Worth It?
There are PhotoPass photographers stationed all around the parks, in front of park icons like Cinderella Castle and the Tree of Life, at character meet-and-greets (so you can have that picture of that hug with Mickey forever), and sometimes you’ll see them hanging out in unique photo areas that you might not have thought to take a picture before. There is also a PhotoPass Studio in Disney Springs where you can take some photos in front of a backdrop and PhotoPass locations at both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach (though keep in mind that Blizzard Beach is currently closed).
Disney World PhotoPass photographers can also do things called “Magic Shots” which are special Disney enhancements and touches that are added to your photos once they’re taken, like Tinker Bell flying overhead, or a cauldron full of witch’s brew in front of you.
Purchasing Memory Maker also adds a little bit of ease to the process, as the photos will already be available for you and ready to download, rather than you having to go into the app or website and purchase your images individually.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to whether or not the price is worth it for you and your group. If you’re someone who likes having a lot of pictures — and everyone in the picture — then Memory Maker may be worth it for you. It is also worth it if you think that you will take and want to download and keep lots of photos throughout your trip.
Are you planning a trip to Disney World? Be sure to check out our realistic budget for your 2023 Disney World trip, as well as some easy mistakes to avoid while planning your next Disney World vacation.
We’ve also rounded up some of the best things to do in Disney World without a park ticket, for any non-park days you might have. Make sure to stay tuned to AllEars for the latest Disney updates!
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Have you used PhotoPass and Memory Maker in Disney World? Let us know in the comments!