How to Maximize Your Memory Maker Purchase
Updated: Apr 20
How to Maximize Your Memory Maker Purchase
I love Disney’s Memory Maker. In case you are unfamiliar with it, it’s a package add on you can purchase that gets you unlimited downloads of the pictures taken by a PhotoPass photographer when you are at Disney World.
Not just one picture, but ALL the pictures. I’m talking pictures taken of you on any attraction, ones taken with the characters, and more. They are high quality pictures, it allows you to be present in the moment and not have to watch it unfold from behind your phone or own camera, and YOU get to be in the pictures too.
They also capture more than just you and the family cheesin’ it up with your arms around each other next to Mickey. They capture the whole interaction, from your kids faces as they approach their favorite characters in awe, to the treasured hug from Mickey, and the conversation as it unfolds.
(2020 Update: Character greetings are on pause because of COVID. But they will return!)
All PhotoPass pictures.
Sure, you can bring your own camera and hand it to the PhotoPass photographer and they will happily take your picture with it. However, you would miss out on all the interaction shots and ride photos. And who knows what the quality of that shot would be. (2020 Update: PhotoPass photographers are currently not allowed to use your personal devices to take pictures for health and safety reasons. )
And there are things you can do to make sure you really maximize your Memory Maker purchase, making it that much more worthwhile to purchase. Here they are:
Seek Out PhotoPass Photographers
The Disney World app will easily help you make the most of your Memory Maker purchase.
When you are at the parks, click on the park map in the app and hit the drop-down menu at the very top, middle of your screen. Choose PhotoPass and voila! There it will show you where the PhotoPass photographers are currently hanging out.
No need to go out of your way to find them. Just hit the ones you will pass on your way from one attraction to another. There will be several of them out there. You never know which photo location will turn out to be your favorite.
Take Some Magic Shots
Getting a whole bunch of group shots smiling at the camera? BORING
Take some magic shots and spice it up a little.
Magic Shots are pictures taken of you in a variety of locations and a Disney character is inserted into them later. (Not much later, just as long as it takes for the pictures to appear in your My Disney Experience account.)
Some of them could include Tinkerbelle chillin on your hand in front of the castle, the Haunted Mansion Hitch Hiking Ghosts standing next to you, or Jack Jack shooting lasers out of his eyes while you stand by in shock.
Always ask the PhotoPass photographer you are with if they do Magic Shots, and if so, what they are. Then ham it up for the camera if they do!
I’m a big fan of acting out for the scene, making silly faces, or pretending you are interacting with the character they will be adding in.
The photographer should be able to give you some good ideas on how to interact with the character and tell you exactly where it will show up in the photo so you can do it right.
They are super fun and way more exciting than your typical stand and smile shot everyone comes home from vacation with.
Don’t Forget to Download the Ride Pictures
Select attractions take your picture while you are on the ride, including 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Dinosaur, Tower of Terror, and more. Some of them even take a video.
All of these are included in your Memory Maker purchase, so don’t forget to download them. They should show up automatically, or you will scan your MagicBand to collect them.
Then everyone back home can laugh at Dad’s terrified face as he is plunging down Splash Mountain with you.
(2020 Update: Make sure your mask is on during the ride. If you remove your mask or it accidentally slides down off your nose and mouth you will not receive your ride photo.)
Oh, and the Makeover and Character Meal Pics
If you are scheduled to eat at a number of the character dining locations or your child will have a makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or Pirate’s League, you’ll want to get Memory Maker for sure. It gets you all photos from select dining locations and makeover appointments.
2020 Update: These are on pause but will come back later I'm sure!
Get a Free Family Photo Session at a Photopass Studio
Head to the Disney PhotoPass studio in Disney Springs and have a free family photo session with a variety of backdrops and props. There are lots to choose from, including virtual Disney scenes shot using a green-screen technique. All photos taken during this session are included in your Memory Maker purchase.
You don’t need a reservation to do it, just grab the fam and head on over. This is a definite must-do if you are traveling in a large group of people you don’t see very often and want to capture the memory.
I recommend doing this on a non-park day so it doesn’t eat up precious park time.
Update for Aug 2019: There are now three PhotoPass studio locations: the marketplace at Disney Springs, Sir Mickey's at Magic Kingdom Park, and on the second floor of Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel. However the Disney Springs location is the only one with Disney-themed virtual backdrops.
2020 Update: The PhotoPass studio at Disney Springs is OPEN!
Buy It Ahead of Time
If you are still unsure it’s worth it for your family, you can absolutely wait until you arrive to make sure. However, you will pay $30 more for it than if you just added it to your package to begin with. So get it from the start and pay the lowest possible price.
Get It - You Won't Regret It!
It is entirely possible you will walk away from your Disney World vacation with hundreds of photos to download in Memory Maker. And those will be your favorite souvenirs for years to come, not the stuffed toy or t-shirt you bought, wore a few times, and gave away.
I always make a photobook of our trips when I get home and they are usually full of PhotoPass photos. I love looking back through them now and again. My kids do as well. It brings back so many memories and feelings of our time there. I treasure those books.
So take my advice and get Memory Maker on your next trip. You won’t regret it!
I am a travel agent with Magical Vacation Planner and can help you plan an unforgettable vacation with your family. Email me, head to my Facebook page, or set up time to chat if you’d like to start planning your magical vacation.
Or head here to download your copy of my free Disney Vacation planning worksheets.