Everything about PhotoPass and Memory Maker.

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by Accident, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2015
    6/7/2017: PRICE INCREASE ON MEMORY MAKER TODAY. $169 pre trip, $199 post trip (military discount does not appear to have changed)
    6/7/2017: One day memory maker price has not changed but it has been moved so you have to buy it from the MDE app and you get to it by opening a photo and going to purchase it. One option will be all the photos from this date for $59.

    It's a common misunderstanding that taking photos is memory maker. Memory maker is just one of the ways to purchase your photos. Photopass is the service where you take or get photos and they are 2 different things. Of course if you take a photo you probably want a copy of it but memory maker is not the only photo purchase option.

    This will hopefully help you understand the photo and video options that are available at Walt Disney World. Also some advice can be found on the end with some common scenarios if you are really confused and not sure what you should do or how to get the best price.

    Note to Annual Passholders: when reading, the photopass section is how you take/get photos and share them. This works the same for everyone not matter how you paid to get copies of the photos.

    Photopass (taking pictures at Disney)

    Photopass is all of the photography taking options that are available at WDW. It includes the following options.
    • Photographers found around parks, waterparks, resorts, Disney Springs and sometimes even some special resort meals (usually character but can be anywhere and don't plan on photographers at meals unless it said they would be there when you booked the meal reservation). Resort photographers are mostly found in the decorated lobbies around holiday time of the deluxe resorts. Don't be shy to ask them to take your photo, that's why they are there and will walk your group around the lobby for the best spots.
    • Ride photos and Videos. some rides automatically take photos and some even take videos of you on the ride.
    • Photobooths. Spread around WDW is some photobooths (there is no official list of where they are but look in resort arcades and around the boardwalk and sometimes you spot them in the parks). They've been converting them from money only to money or photopass so some of them aren't photopass yet.
    • PhotoPass Studios. There is a photography studio located in the marketplace at Disney Springs.
    • Personalized StoryBook. PhotoPass Studios offers a personalized storybook with custom photo session at PhotoPass Studios (see above for link).
    • New options being tested. In 2016 there was a test of a self service photopass kiosk that would take your photo without needing a photographer. It might still be out there so keep an eye if you want to get photos everywhere for them. Sometimes they just pull them out for special events, parties or special days like anniversaries.
    • GameDay Photos: (coming soon, gathering more information on this ESPN Wide World of Sports photopass option)
    Photopass is FREE for anyone to have their photo taken. There is nothing to buy, sign up for or do to have a photo of you taken. If you want a copy of that photo then you have to purchase it but more on that later.

    The photopass section of the disney website and currently on the android app (apple coming soon) you can also edit, make copies to make different edits and adjust the photos, add some extras to them, clean them up, crop, etc.

    If you have traveled to disney prior to 2013/2014 you probably remember when you had to signup, pay in advance and then use the photographers. This is no longer the case and you can use photopass as much as you want with no prior commitment. Pay attention to the memory maker section of this post as there is an advance purchase discount to get all photos but it is not a requirement to use photopass anymore.

    How do I use Photopass?

    Any of the below instructions that include using your magicband or cards, anyone in your mde account including the kids can be the one to scan their card/magicband. If you are linked to other people who have their own MDE account, they can also scan. Only 1 person in the MDE or linked accounts needs to scan. You can link your accounts after the picture is taken so if you didn't know this, don't worry just link your accounts up when you have a moment, even if it's after the trip. (pictures expire after 45 days unless annual passholder where it's 365 days)


    After you take your photo with them, they will scan your magicband, park ticket, annual passholder card or resort card (if you hate magicbands and requested a card). In the event you have none of these, let the photographer know and they will scan a photopass card and give that to you and you can use that the rest of your trip as well. You will need to link the photopass card to MDE so don't loose it as it has the card number on it. You do this from the website.

    Sometimes they may hand you a photopass card even if you have a magicband or other card. Sometimes the system is acting up or they are in a spot where the camera couldn't wireless upload the photo right away. This is the backup to ensure you get the photo, just take the card and link it to your account when you have a moment from the mde app or website. They photo may not appear if you do it right away but should appear later in the day.

    Interactive Attractions:

    Some attractions like Jedi training, Belle, or Pirates may have a photopass photographer that is taking a ton of pictures of everyone doing it together. They will usually hand you a photopass card which will have all the photos that were taken, including ones that are not your family/group. you can link the card and deal with the photos that are not of your family or you can take the card to any of the stores that have photopass screens to review your photos. These are stores that sell picture frames, pics, cameras, film, etc. (list of exact stores coming soon to help you find them, there is 1 near the main entrance of every park to get you started in case you don't have time to wait for my full list).


    If you have a magicband, rides with photos and videos will automatically link to your photopass account and all you have to do is ride.

    If you are using a card, you will find video screens with ride photos after the ride, you must find your photo and scan your card at the screen (it'll make sense when you see it) to claim your photo.

    If you don't have a card or magicband, just get a photo with a photographer before you ride and they will give you a photopass card you can use for photos. You can also stop by the photo store found near the park entrance of every park to get a card that way or purchase a magic band.

    Non-magicband warning: Some rides do not have video screens at the end to claim your photo, you must have a magicband to get them for those rides. These rides are Seven Dwarves mine train and Frozen ever after. more rides are expected to be added to list as new rides open or old rides get a major refurbishment.

    You can only get ride videos with a magicband. At this time tower of terror and seven dwarves mine train are the only rides with videos.

    Video wall to claim the photo after Rock and Roller Coaster when not using a MagicBand.


    Follow the booth instructions but generally it works like any other photo booth where you scan your band or ticket/card and take photos. If the photobooth is not in the park, you might be able to get a card if needed from the resort front desk or guest relations at disney springs.

    Not all photobooths are converted to use photopass yet and they do also take money. If you have memory maker, why spend more money though?

    Current tests happening (updated 2/21/2017):

    MK: Near Rapunzels Tower between small world and haunted mansion, once dark you can take a photo holding one of the illuminated lanterns. There is a restroom there but they are angled to be you and the ones that are hanging.

    EPCOT: At China in the world pavilion you can have a photo taken with an illuminated lotus blossom flower. (Unknown if this is available during day, might be a dusk or later option).

    MK: During some holidays and ticketed parties, in the back of MK between meet ariel and big top there is a large door that is always closed. You may find several cast members with a photopass photographer and this strange pole they move behind you. This is a dynamic background photo themed for the day/party/season. This is not every night but if your back there when dark, don't forget to look. It will be happening in front of the door and obvious they are out. (note: I've done it 3 times, I didn't' like the photos and it's a very pixelated background and looks like you took it anywhere. this is an ok to avoid/skip option.)

    Buying Photos / Memory Maker / Annual Passholders

    If your planning to use the photopass service or found yourself using it while on your trip, you probably want a copy of that photo to save and use. Now you need to purchase something to get the photos that were taken during your trip.

    Prices listed were valid on 6/7/2017 when this was last edited.

    Digital Download only options:
    1. Per Photo. $14.95 including all copies/edits of that photo.
    2. All photos taken on the same day. $59 One Day Memory Maker(*1)
    3. All photos taken on your trip. $169 before trip(*2), $199 after trip. Memory Maker.
    4. Annual Passholders. Most annual passholder options include free digital downloads of photopass photos. If you have this, you do not need to buy options 1, 2 or 3. You already have it.
    5. MILITARY SPECIAL: military members and retirees can purchase Memory Maker for $84, through Dec. 19, 2017. This is all photos unlimited downloads. Purchase in person only at WDW and bring your military credentials to any guest relations located at every theme park and disney springs. you do not need to purchase before taking photos so do it at your leisure but must be purchased in person so take advantage of this before you head home..
    (*1) One day memory maker only appears before your trip if your buying a 1 day ticket. After your trip, it will appear in the download payment options on photopass website. You can''t see it until you have a photo in your photopass account (MDE account).

    (*2) before trip means you purchased it 3 days before the first photo was taken. If your buying it on friday and taking pictures on saturday, sunday, monday and tuesday then photos on saturday and sunday would not be included in the pre-price. To get all of them in this situation, you need to pay the higher price. If your purchasing it 3 or more days before the first photo is taken then you get them all at the lowest price. This does not apply to the Military Special Price, all photos pre or post purchase that aren't expired will be included.

    There is also options to get photo cds, dvds, mugs, cups, calendars and anything else disney will think you might buy from them. You can also take the digital download and use cheaper companies on the internet or your local photo printing options and get mostly the same stuff. there is no pre-purchase options for these things so you'll see the added cost after the trip.

    If you're only looking for a couple pictures in each park, you can purchase 9 single photos before memory maker becomes the better price if you paid the pre-trip price. 11 if your paying the post trip price. This is buying the photos, you can still take 900 photos while there but you may only want to keep a few of them or didn't like them when you saw them. this is harder to know ahead of time but some families like to take 1 or 2 photos of the family at each park, this would be cheaper then memory maker. Ride photos are just going to show up, you may not want them at all.

    Yes it's confusing but if you know you want all the photos you can get, memory maker or getting an annual pass is probably your best option.

    You can combine different purchase options if it fits what your family is after to get the best price

    If you're only going to be at WDW for 2 days, then you can purchase option 2 for both days after your trip and get all the photos for less money than option 3.

    If you want all the photos from a ticketed event like MNSSHP or MVMCP and then a couple photos from the other parks, it might be cheaper to buy one day memory maker for the party day and then buy the additional photos. Do the math on what it costs if you didn't buy unlimited memory maker to find the best price.

    If you want every photo you can get from disney, get memory maker and get it pre-trip for the best price. Combining options generally works best for the family that only wants a couple photos or just photos during a special event or short trips with only 2 park days.

    Taking your own Photos

    It wouldn't be complete if we didn't remind you that you can take your own photos at Disney. Photopass photographers will generally be more than happy to take your photo with your camera or phone to get everyone in the photo. Also I find other guests more than happy to take the photo.

    Photopass photographers tend to be in the way in the best spots but it doesn't mean you will get bad photos on your own.

    Please keep in mind your in a crowded theme park. Disney isn't a non-theft bubble and don't be the next person to take to social media begging that the photo card from a stolen camera of the only pictures of your trip. Protect your belongings and I hate that I have to post this but it happens and heartbreaking to read that someone has no photos of their trip because of a short lapse in judgement.

    Hiring a Professional Photographer

    Disney offers professional photographers for photo sessions around WDW, weddings, surprise engagements, etc etc etc. These are not part of photopass or memory maker and you can find more information on the Disney Fine Art & Photography website. (just click on portrait or wedding in the upper right corner depending on what you want them for).

    Keep in mind that a disney photographer has some options you can't do on your own. Empty parks, before-after opening time slots. Professional photos on empty rides. No clue on what they might charge for this, but I've seen some amazing photographs that only disney themselves can make happen.

    I've heard mixed stories of using non-disney professional photographers for weddings. If your getting a non-disney wedding photographer for a Disney World wedding make sure you inquire what your options are for photography/videography.

    Questions and Answers:

    Q: I don't understand what you mean by link MDE accounts or my/their photos:

    A: When this post refers to someones photos, it means their MagicBand, Photopass card, hard ticket or resort card(optional by request) was used to scan both in person and wirelessly on a ride.

    You only need to link accounts if you use more than 1 login to get into the disney website or mobile app. If you do use multiple accounts, then go into friends and family and add any guests that are missing from your list. This is how you link together accounts. to make sure everyone can see all the photos (and change fastpasses, adrs, etc) everyone should check the list in their account and make sure nobody is missing. Don't assume that if you see someone in your list, they see you in their list. If your really confused how to do this, call disney and ask for them to assist with linking everyone together.

    Q: I haven't traveled in awhile and I remember having to buy photopass and photopass plus to use it, has that changed?

    A: Yes, disney no longer requires an advance purchase to use the photopass service. You can get a discount on copies of the photos by buying memory maker in advance ($30 savings). if you know you'll be taking enough photos to make that the lowest cost package for digital copies of the photos. There is no requirement to pre-buy photos before you can use the photographers anymore and you can also post purchase photos or a download package like memory maker.

    You also still get a copyright certificate which you will download with the photos giving you permission to print the photos with a third party.

    And since it's been awhile, there is still calendar, scrap book, cups, cds and other options you can purchase with the photos. you order these from the photopass website after or stop at the stores on property with photopass view stations (camera store on the map, app). There is 1 in every theme park and disney springs at least. Note the pricing changes when you have memory maker. Basically you pay for the download of the photo + the value added souvenir cost. If you can save money on the download like using memory maker it will make the souvenir cost less. Basically, don't skip memory maker pretrip discount if you plan to get a cd, it will make the cd cost much less. Of course you can save money by downloading the photos and making your own cd.

    Q: I purchased memory maker and it's asking me to pick someone that will be using it. We will all be using it.

    A: Don't confuse taking pictures with downloading your copy of them. What the website is asking for is who will be using memory maker to download your photos after or during your trip. you must pick 1 person and that person (or their mde account login) will be able to activate it, download the photos. Also this is the person who will be able to download the edits for no extra cost but the edits much be made by them.

    Q: I have an annual pass but don't see memory maker in my MDE account.
    A: You get unlimited photopass downloads, not memorymaker. It's the same thing but you will not see anything in your account but photos will just download with no extra costs.

    Q: How do I find a photopass photographer?
    A: They will be in an official Disney Uniform/Costume, holding a camera with a band scanner on their waste. They will usually have a tripod. Most of them will be dressed like the first picture shows but some areas they are themed to fit into the area they are working but still be obvious they are photopass photographers.

    You can also use the MDE app under photopass to get a list of locations that a photopass photographer is available (and directions for the quickest way to walk over to them).

    Q: What are Nikon Picture Spots, Kodak Picture Spots or picture spots?
    A: Picture spots are currently called Nikon Picture spots and is locations around Disney Property where they think you can get a special just your family photo with great background. These are take your own photo locations but sometimes you'll find a wandering photopass photographer also at them.

    Kodak was the old sponsor so if you knew them by that name, they have been rebranded when nikon took over as the camera/photography sponsor of disney. There will be a small sign saying it's a picture spot with a sample picture of what it could look like.

    To find them and plan them into your trip, see the Disney Nikon Photo Spot website. They also appear in the MDE App under guest services. Look for the camera on the map and there does not appear to be a filter to show only the cameras at this time.

    Q: Can I print the photos myself or bring them to get printed for less money than Disney offers?

    A: Yes for non-commerical/personal/family usage. No for commerical use. The prices earlier in this post are the cost to get a digital copy of the photo. Prints and other options from Disney would be more money.

    pro-tip: while there are a couple items offered for Disney you can't get elsewhere, most people will find it cheaper to buy the digital download and take care of printing needs on their own.

    Q: What is the photo quality? What's the largest size I can get prints of?
    A: They are using high end cameras and giving you the photo in a very high res jpeg format. According to @Mnrlred you can print up to 16x20. Larger and your results may vary.

    Q: Do photos expire?
    A: Yes, photos expire 45 days after they were taken. Annual Passholder with photopass downloads the photos expire after 365 days.

    Q: Does Memory Maker expire?
    A: Yes, you can only download photos for 30 days after you activate it. don't activate it until your ready to get the photos.

    Q: How do I activate memory maker? How do I buy one day memory maker after my trip?
    A: When you select download on the photo, if you have memory maker already it'll ask if you want to activate it. If you don't have it, it'll show you purchase options including buying it (and the one day version). If your an annual passholder, there is no additional steps and you can just download the photos.

    Q: I didn't use memory maker and I can't get a refund, did I just make a huge mistake?
    A: No, memory maker only expires after it's activated. You can use it for a future trip and it'll remain in your account until you use it, even if that is years later.

    Q: I purchased memory maker and decided to upgrade my ticket to an annual pass. Can I get my money back?
    A: Yes. Let the guest relations cast member know you have memory maker on the account and they will include that in the upgrade saving you the cost of memory maker. They will only do this if upgrading to Annual Passes that include photopass downloads. (I don't know why you would upgrade a ticket to the other types of passes but it could happen so it's included here).

    Q: My photo expired before I downloaded them, can I still get it?
    A: If there is a problem with the photopass site, don't wait for the pictures to expire to complain to disney. Contact disney right away and if they can't make it work and they expire, disney will take care of you and getting your photos.

    If you know someone that has an annual pass that is willing to help you out, just link your mde accounts together. The photos will reappear in their mde account as long as it was taken within 365 days. They will not be able to download any edits you made, but they can help you out with new edits and downloading the photos.

    If you don't know someone with an annual pass, you can buy an annual pass yourself and any photos that were taken within 365 will reappear in your photopass account. This can be a pricey way to get them but sometimes it's worth the cost.

    Don't forget that many people tend to be closet disney fans that travel a lot. Ask around to coworkers, friends and family you might be surprised that you do know someone with an annual pass and never knew they visited disney so often.

    Q: Can I use memory maker for multiple trips?
    A: Maybe.

    Memory Maker is only good for the property it was purchased for. If you are doing multiple trips to different disney parks around the world near each other that offers memory maker, you must purchase them for each property.

    For multiple trips to a single disney property, If you can take take photos on the first trip, wait to activate memory maker downloading your photos before they expire and then take your second trip before memory maker expires you can get both trips with 1 purchase.

    Pro tip: Price your tickets with an annual pass instead if your going that close to each other. you might be surprised that an annual pass is cheaper than tickets and then you get included photopass downloads and don't need to buy memory maker at all and you save money.

    Disneyland Pro Tip: It's actually not very expensive to upgrade your annual pass to include Walt disney World and that would give you free downloads if your doing both coast trips. The opposite is not true and you most likely will find tickets + memory maker in anaheim is the better deal.

    Q: Our trip isn't for awhile, how often does the price of memory maker increase?

    A: Memory Maker is actually one of the few things that has gone down in price at disney. Back in 2014 they increased it $20 for pre and $30 for post but in 2016, they went back to original prices. For the foreseeable future, I think we're at the price it's going to remain but anything can happen.

    However in june 2017 they went back to the higher price, we'll have to see if it lowers again. not sure $20 will make me wait to get it as I tend to forget little details like this by waiting to buy it closer to the trip.

    Q: We have people with all different MDE accounts, can we see each others photos?
    A: Yes, use the friends and family link account options to link all the accounts together and photos anyone takes with photopass will appear to everyone they are linked too.

    Q: My child is going to disney for a competition/performance, can I see their photos?
    A: Yes, groups traveling to disney, disney gives instructions for how to invite everyone to make their own mde account. Same as above, just link your accounts together. (yes you want your child to have their own account in this situation so they can manage their trip without you).

    Q: Can a family member that isn't traveling with us see the photos while we're on vacation?
    A: Yes, if they have their own MDE account just link them up, the can check it every day to see new photos that appear. If they don't have their own mde account, they just need to make one and then link them.

    Q: We had a family fallout during our vacation, how do I stop them from seeing my photos?
    A: Unlink them but that will stop you seeing their photos that might include you that you do want. In the friends and family section under their name you'll see the option to not share photos with them. they cannot override your setting. Photos that are in their account you cannot do anything to block them.

    Q: So I just need to link accounts, buy memory maker and everyone can take photos?
    A: No, anyone can take photos at any time. Memory maker is a purchase a copy of the photo option and has nothign to do with getting photos taken.

    Q: If I buy memory maker, everyone can download all the photos?

    A: No, only the assigned person's MDE account can activate and download.

    4/20/2017 warning: Disney will remove your photos from the account if they detect that multiple people are downloading them with the same login. Make sure you review the terms and that they fit in with your plans.

    Q: Someone linked to my account edited the photo, can I download their edits with my memory maker?
    A: No, only the MDE account that has memory maker can download edits made from that account. You'll need to remake the edits on that account to download them with your included memory maker.

    Q: This is my first trip I don't know if I will take enough photos to buy memory maker.
    A: It only takes 9 photos to save money with memory maker. If you take a family picture in each park and waterpark, your already at 7 photos. Now if you take a second one next to somethign you really enjoy your over 9 photos. It really doens't take much to save money with memory maker.

    pro-tip: Is spending $30 more after the trip going to break the budget if you end up taking lots of photos? You cannot refund an unused memory maker but you can pay $30 more if you needed it. For me, $30 isn't going to hurt the cost of the trip if I went thinking I wasn't going to take photos and need it. not using it and wasting $169 is a bigger deal to me since I can't get a refund.

    Q: I have pre-trip memory maker but it would have been cheaper to just buy the photos other ways, can I save money now?
    A: Technically no. But if you know your taking a future trip, you can save memory maker for that trip and just buy the photos with other payment options. It'll cost you more right now but after your second trip you'll have saved some money. There is no "do this" type answer, it's going to come down to personal situation and what you want to do.

    Q: A photo is missing!!!!!!
    A: fill out the form on disney's website for missing photos answering as much information in it as possible and they will find and link it to your account.

    Q: i've seen amazing lying on the ground with the castle photos, how do I get this?!?
    A: There is usually a photopass photographer near casey's and the ice cream shop on main street that is not using a tripod. They are usually the photographer that will jump to the ground with you to get that magical photo. They may not be able to get it during crowded times so early morning and end of the day is usually the best times to try to pull this off.

    Troubleshooting (fixing common problems).

    P: I can't see the photos when someone else scans their magicband or rides without me.
    A#1: you are not linked together or 1 of you removed the other from their friends and family list. To fix, both of you go into the friends and family list on your mde accounts and see if you see the other.
    A#2: The persons whose band was used is set to not share photos with you. They need to go into their mde account -> Family and Friends and select you in their list. In there they need to make sure Photopass photos is checked.
    A#3: Your problem is more complicated and you should ask disney to look into it and fix. If your in the part, a CM at the kiosk or guest relations is the best places to ask for help.

    P: I made edits to photos and the person with memory maker cannot download them.
    A#1: You must be logged in with the MDE account of the person who has memory maker and make the edits. You'll need to redo your edits in their account.
    A#2: You can purchase the photos and download the edits from your account. you'll need to decide which is better for you.

    P: I purchased memory maker and now plan to upgrade to an Annual Pass that includes photopass downloads, can I get a refund?
    A: No, but disney will credit the upgrade with the cost of memory maker. Just tell the cast member when you do your upgrade that you have memory maker so they don't forget to look and apply the credit.


    If you are a military member or traveling with one and it is not Dec. 20, 2017 yet, buy nothing in advance and purchase the special unlimited memory maker at a military discount price of $89. Purchase can be made before or after any photos are taken, and you purchase it at any guest relations found in the 4 theme parks and disney springs. Bring your proof of military credentials with you as they will be checked. more details on what you need to bring can be found at: (link coming soon, trying to locate one)

    If you are an annual passholder or traveling with one, buy nothing in advance as they already have unlimited downloads at no extra cost. If it is someone you are traveling with, make sure you like MDE accounts together so your photos will share and they can access them. They will be the one to download and send you a copy of the photos.

    If you are only going to be at disney for 1 or 2 days, buy nothing in advance. If you have under 3 photos for each day then just buy the photos for the best price. If you have 4 or more photos for any specific day then buy the one day memory maker (not available until after the trip) for each day with 4 or more. Then buy the other photos (3 or less) for the other day. If both days have 4 or more, then get one day memory maker for each day. If you have more than 2 days, you should read below for a better recommendation.

    If you are taking a trip and know you only care about photos for a specific day, then buy nothing in advance and buy just the photos after the trip if you have 3 or less or one day memory maker if you have 4 or more for that specific day/event. This is great for frequent travelers who only want photos during a special ticketed event during the trip or someone who suddenly decides to attend a ticketed event.

    If you are only interested in 1 or 2 photos in each theme park or a total of 8 or less for the entire trip. buy nothing in advance and just buy the photos after the trip to save money. This is great for the family that have the photographer in the group to take photos but you still want to get some family photos with everyone in the picture and let disney take those photos for you.

    If your planning to visit a lot of character meet and greets, memory maker purchased pre-trip is usually the way to go. If it happens to be only on a specific day like a fall holiday party event then buying nothing and one day memory maker purchased after the trip would be the way to go if you don't plan to take many other photos on other days.

    If you're planning to head to Walt Disney World and use all the photographers, ride photos and video and just take advantage of what Disney offers. You should get memory maker pre-trip price. If you are staying offsite and plan to keep all the ride photos, I recommend you also consider getting MagicBands. They save time vs claiming the photo and on the most popular rides, it is the only way to get the photos of those rides (7dmt, fea). Onsite guests get an included MagicBand with their resort stay for everyone.

    If you're not sure if you will use the photographers, buy nothing but use the photographers as little or as much as you want on your trip. When you get home you can make an intelligent choice on how to pay for them for the least amount of money. while it would have saved money to get memory maker in advance, it's only $30 more to get it after the trip. This is a great choice for someone who has never been to Disney and doesn't know what to expect.

    If you are a person that loves to have photos of everything, scrap booker or do anything special with vacation photos, then getting Memory Maker pre-trip price is probably a great choice. Even if you are not sure how much you would use photopass or how many places you would want disney to take your photo you probably already know what your going to do with your personal photos after the trip and if it fits in your budget, it's a great way to get more photos with all family members in the photo.


    Take a deep breath it's ok and yes confusing. If your going to be taking a lot of photos with using disney photopass, you are going to buy memory maker with the pre-trip price for the best price. If your on the fence, it's probably best to buy it but if you don't mind spending $199 instead of $169 after the trip, then buy nothing in advance. After your trip you can do the math on what photos you want to keep would cost to know if memory maker post trip ($199) is the best price. If you like photos or feel this is a one and only trip to WDW, get memory maker in advance for the best price. Photographers and ride photos are plentiful and you will easily get enough to save money.

    No matter what option you end up going with, the important thing to do is make sure all the MDE accounts for everyone in your group are linked. This will spread the pictures between everyone no matter who uses their band or card to get the photo taken/rode the attraction with cameras. You can do this post trip and no photos will be lost but for trip planning needs, you really want them linked for other options like meals and fastpass.

    1 or more people in your traveling party has an annual pass.

    Almost all annual passes include free photopass downloads. If they are willing to download the photos and send them to everyone there is nothing you need to purchase. Just link your MDE accounts together and have a great trip!

    1 or more people in your traveling party is active or retired military

    If it's not Dec 20, 2017 yet, buy nothing in advance and purchase memory maker, military discount from guest relations for $89. Purchase can happen after photos are taken, just stop by one in all 4 theme parks or disney springs when it's convenient. Lines are longest at park closing and park opening. The rest of the day, not so bad.

    keep reading as there are some situations where you don't need to buy it listed below.

    1 or more people in your traveling party is considering to upgrade to an annual pass.

    If you know you want to take a lot of photos, the person who is or considering to upgrade their ticket to an annual pass should buy memory maker. If they do upgrade to an annual pass, let the guest relations cast member know when you do the upgrade and they will apply the cost of memory maker towards your upgrade. It will cost you no extra.

    If you aren't sure if you are going to take photos or know with certainty that you are upgrading to AP, then buy nothing and after the upgrade they will have full AP access to all photos not only during the trip but any pictures shot up to 365 prior to the upgrade.

    1 MDE account: (1 family)

    If your traveling group is 1 family and you all are on the same MDE account for your reservation, there is nothing extra to do to prepare your accounts. Go have a great vacation, get the ride and photographer photos as much as you want. If your planning to make use of the disney photographers, get memory maker ahead of the trip for the best price and have a great trip!

    Multiple mde accounts: (multiple families, extended families, friends of family, friends of friends, etc etc etc).

    If your traveling group is more complicated and there is multiple mde accounts then you want to link your mde accounts together if you haven't done so already. Once you can see each others fastpasses and reservations, you are linked and good to go. you do this from the friends and family list on mde (app or website).

    In the event of a very large group where you have friends of friends of friends. You will find those other people appear in friends and family after you have linked to the main person. The big thing to get right is make sure you get everyone's mde account linked to yours that is traveling together so you don't miss any photos.

    Now the person who purchased memory maker, is in charge of downloading and handing out copies of all the photos. If you want that to be you, then it needs to be purchased with your MDE account. Remember if the person who does have it flakes out, you can still buy it after the trip to ensure you have the photos for yourself.

    I used a travel agent, we don't have an mde account

    speak to the travel agent, you probably do and didn't know it. or make your account and use the reservation confirmation code to link it to your new account. A good travel agent should have told you what to do right away so it's best to bring it up with them ASAP.


    This is an area where disney's confusing marketing about how the system works gets more people to purchase memory maker even though they might have lower cost options. I hope this helped.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  2. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2015
    I added a how to use photopass section after I first posted it.
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  4. Lee Matthews

    Lee Matthews DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2009
    So to check, with Memory maker I can load all my photos and ride videos to my magic band and because it's a paid service, I get full access to download and own them without any limitations?
  5. flatlandcycle

    flatlandcycle DIS Veteran

    Jan 5, 2008
    The service is subject to terms and limited license:

    For the most part no commercial use of the photos.

    Nothing is actually loaded to the magic band. The magic band is more of a tracking device for you in the park. "Guest with ID number XX:XX:XX:XX just had this photo taken, associate it with his/her account..."
  6. Lee Matthews

    Lee Matthews DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2009
    That's ok, she long as I own the photos and can download them to my computer. Most will stay there or go on Facebook and I may get a few printed
    SweaterInJune likes this.
  7. pezgirlroy

    pezgirlroy Mouseketeer

    Aug 29, 2016
    Apologies if this is already addressed but we have already purchased memory maker for our trip in January. It is under my name. If my husband rides a ride without me (which will happen since we have to do child swap), is there a way for his magic band to trigger our memory maker? Does that make sense what I am asking. How do we set that up? Thanks.
  8. gatorlisa

    gatorlisa DIS Veteran

    Mar 8, 2016
    As long as you are linked in MDE, any rides/photos each of you ride will show up in your photos.
  9. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2015
    Just to add if you are all on the same mde account (just 1 account) you are already linked. It's when you get more then 1 mde login that you need to link the accounts and do additional steps.
  10. pezgirlroy

    pezgirlroy Mouseketeer

    Aug 29, 2016
    Perfect. Thanks. Everyone is on my account.
  11. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2015
    Does anyone know if they still sell the attractions only photopass and what the price is? I know for awhile after memory maker came out it disappeared from the website but you could still buy it from the photo store in the park. I haven't heard anyone talk about it lately to know if it's still around.
  12. mikedoyleblogger

    mikedoyleblogger Traded in Disneyland for Magic Kingdom

    Feb 11, 2013
    This was addressed in the last week, but I don't recall which post. The answer was no, the ride-only package was discontinued when Memory Maker was introduced and can no longer be purchased in-park.

    I always think of Memory Maker as a digital "season pass" you can purchase for unlimited access to your Photopass photos, so you don't have to buy them one by one.
  13. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2015
    That's a good description of memory maker. It's still a little confusing as I was also confused the first trip with it, I wanted to save money but I would have purchased a few family photos in each park if I knew I could just walk up to the photographers without buying anything up front.
  14. Penguinempress

    Penguinempress Mouseketeer

    May 11, 2015
    I'm thinking about getting Memory Maker for my upcoming April trip and this post was really helpful. Thanks!
    Accident likes this.
  15. maranara

    maranara Mouseketeer

    Dec 8, 2006
    We have Memory Maker purchased for our upcoming trip...does anyone know what the print quality of the pictures is? I'm specifically wondering if the file size is large enough to print clearly at 8x10 or 5x7 (or even larger!). THANKS!
  16. Mnrlred

    Mnrlred Earning My Ears

    Oct 21, 2013
    You can print up to 16x20 without losing image quality. Above that, your results may vary!
    maranara and Accident like this.
  17. UpToNoGood

    UpToNoGood Earning My Ears

    Mar 1, 2016
    I've already purchased Memory Maker for our upcoming trip in January. It'll be just my little 5 year old and me, so I'd be at the mercy of other guests if I want pictures together without MM. We are traveling down at the same time that my older son's HS band and choir will be there and performing at Disney Springs. I've ordered my older son a magic band (they stay off property for very logical, strategic teen control reasons and will receive tickets each day for a single park). My younger son and I will be on property. If I hook that spare magic band into my MDE account, any time my older son has it scanned or whatever by the Disney photographer, his photos should show up in my account? Am I reading and understanding that correctly?

    I'll see my older son a little bit during his trip, but he'll be mostly doing his own thing. I thought it would be fun for him and his friends to get good Disney photographer group photos along with whatever they take with their phones. Since I'm already paying for MM, we might as well get some good use out of it.
  18. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2015
    This one is a little more tricky because your talking about a group and a teenager who will not be around you. Usually a group going to disney, disney recommends you make an mde with eveyone and then invite them to link or make their own mde account. If that happened or is happening, then you want to go the route where you also link your family mde account to his. that'll help keep his tickets, magicbands and such in order. It'll also give him an mde login to keep up with the group and they can adjust things without seeing everything about your family and that's where trying to link the group into you mde account becomes messy.

    Now if they aren't going to be sending out that invite then you understand it.

    Now no matter which way you go, the big thing is even if someone else in the group scans their band or ticket, he wants to also go up to the photographer and get his band scanned too. He might link himself to friends but because your not linked to the friends you may not see the other photos with him in them. you might want to prep him with a quick, "volunteer to scan your ticket/band" or tell the photographer "we're in a group, can you scan mine for the photo also". teens can be quirky and silent when they have to ask for something and they aren't sure what to say.

    I know it's confusing..

    A little more info on linked accounts. it seems like your giving up a lot of control of your son for your future family trips but it really links the accounts and nothign changes for things like adding a ticket, fastpass, adr etc to his account in the future. The first time with mde and bands when I went on a father daughter trip, we tried to do it under 1 mde account. She would go off on her own and want to adjust fastpasses or things alone and needed to use my login and when we both went in, things got messy and I had to keep logging back in or she did. We gave up after 2 days and we went the multiple accounts and using MDE become so much easier and better. She also could see the rest of the family so we'd be resting somewhere and I could say something like, what about "ride x", do you see any fastpasses for it and off she went and I got more rest :) For me, I still buy tickets, add adrs, etc and her name pops up exactly the same as when she was in my account and I can control the planning and she can use the app for ride times, maps, directions, tweaking her fastpasses and things she needs when doing rides without the rest of us.. It's a really a slick simple to setup but confusing to explain and understand what to do system.
    UpToNoGood likes this.
  19. heathersmom05

    heathersmom05 Earning My Ears

    Jan 14, 2009
    We are staying at Shades of Green so won't have magic bands. If we decide to get memory maker would it be helpful if we got one magic band to share for the ride photos or do we all need magic bands?
  20. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2015
    You only need a magicband if you want the ride photos for seven dwarves mine train or frozen ever after. If you don't you can do it without spending more money on bands.

    To answer your question, I can give a more specific answer if you tell me who is in your traveling group, ages and if they are all 42" and taller and would be riding the coasters or thrill rides. The answer varies because the ride photos are a photo of the ride car your in and some of the thrill rides it's more likely to not be in the same car. Basically you need 1 band per ride car depending on how you split up to sit on the ride.

    I generally recommend just getting the kids the bands for keepsakes and that usually works out perfectly unless there is only 1 child and then you really want to get a band for the adult less likely to sit next to them as well. the adults can pass the band around as your getting into the ride so there is 1 band per ride car (note it's the ride car/boat, not row). kids tend to get jealous of not having a band so I don't recommend leaving them out and getting only the adults.

    You also need to consider if your family might split up. Who would be paired with who if you wanted to do different things and mom and dad went with a different child or didn't want to ride.

    to not have to worry about this or make rides complicated processes, get everyone a band.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  21. Indee96

    Indee96 Earning My Ears

    Jan 19, 2015
    Thank you for this info! We are planning our first Disney Trip in April and have Memory Maker. So just to clarify, my husband and kids are all on my account and therefore they can get pictures done on rides/without me. And my sister and her family are linked to my account so I can see all of their reservations etc so they can "share" my memory maker and I can download any pics they have taken for them? Even if we're not together? There's nothing else I need to do besides have us all linked (visible when I check friends and family on MDE)?

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