Everyone loves photos that capture family memories and Disney has you covered with an amazing extra called Memory Maker. l will let you know I get Memory Maker included as part of my annual pass. I don’t want that to discount anything I say here, but for the sake of transparency, I wanted to share that inclusion. That said, I weigh the price of Memory Maker (and its value to us) into our cost when it comes time to renew. I consider it that important to our trips.
What exactly is Memory Maker? To best explain, I’ll first need to introduce Disney Photopass. Photopass is a photo service where photographers inside Disney parks take snapshots of your trip and save them to an online database. From this database, you may purchase copies of these photographers’ photos of your family, ride videos and photos, and even custom borders for your photos. Purchasing Memory Maker gives you prepaid rights to all Photopass media from your trip without worrying about individually purchasing these pictures.
There are a good few reasons why you should do Memory Make, way more reasons than why you shouldn’t. In the interest of a good argument, I will give you some pointers at the end to help you save every dollar if Memory Maker isn’t in the cards for you. If you have the extra to spare, there are a few reasons we see Memory Maker as one of the best values in Walt Disney World.
1. The math is simple, really. At the time of this article, Memory Maker advance purchase is $169.00. This price includes every ride photo, ride video, and any picture taken by a Photopass photographer in the parks. Compare this to the Photopass digital download price of $15.00 per picture, and it’s easy to see the savings in the pre-purchase of Memory Maker.
2. Two words… Magic Shots. The most exclusive and unique feature of Photopass photography is most certainly the Magic Shot. The photographer, thanks to some Disney Magic, brings some of your favorite Disney characters and props to your photos. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, check out this awesome Magic Shot with Chip to give you the idea.
3. Photopass photographers know the parks and photo spots better than anyone. On our honeymoon, we met Chris, an Animal Kingdom Photopass photographer. We saw Chris walking the path between Africa and Asia and asked if he could take our picture (anytime we see a photographer not doing something, we always get our picture taken – maximize your value). As it happens, he was just leaving his post location for his break and a line had formed for the next photographer. Chris pulled us aside and said he had a favorite “less popular” place he would love to show us. To this day, these pictures from Chris are some of the best pictures we have of each other. Chris made lots of magic and a compelling argument for Memory Maker.
4. These photos make for a really amazing photobook of your trip. There are tons of photobooks online in varying sizes styles and prices. You will certainly have loads of fun reliving your trip and putting together a one-of-a-kind book. The best part is having the constant link to that specific trip. It is certainly an easy and relatively inexpensive way to give yourself a lasting memento and it really helps maximize the value of Memory Maker when you don’t just leave the photos on your computer to get lost in the shuffle.
5. The “odd man out” argument is certainly a very good one to make. Most vacation pictures have some poor family member or friend on the other side of the camera taking the picture. Of course, you can always ask another guest in the park to take the picture for you, but those pictures can be so hit or miss with a good camera and a random user. Using a Photopass photographer ensures everyone is in the picture, together.
This brings us to a big ZADD Pro Tip: Photopass photographers WILL be happy to take pictures for you using your camera, but there are downsides to this (no magic shots, less familiar equipment, and they may be using a special lens or technique).
In conclusion, I 100% recommend Memory Maker with no hesitation. The quality of the pictures tied to the memories they will spark make this a no-brainer for us. It is the best addition you can make to your vacation package because, once downloaded, these photos will keep that vacation alive forever.