Disney Memory Maker replaces PhotoPass and PhotoPass+ at WDW (Updated)

Today, Walt Disney World launched a new photography product called Disney Memory Maker, which replaces the PhotoPass CD and PhotoPass+ offerings. Disney Memory Maker is fully integrated into the My Disney Experience website, and information on the website suggests that it should be included shortly in the smartphone apps as well (as of this morning, there was no mention of Disney Memory Maker in the iPhone app, and no update download available). So what is Disney Memory Maker, and what does this change about purchasing and using Walt Disney World photographs? (Note: At this point, Disney Memory Maker appears to be a Walt Disney World-exclusive product. Disneyland will continue to sell it’s current PhotoPass products).

First, nothing at all changes about getting photos taken. There will still be PhotoPass photographers scattered throughout the parks, ready to take photos of you and your family at various PhotoPass photo spots (though the Photo Spots are in the process of being updated as well, with Nikon coming on as the new camera sponsor at Walt Disney World, replacing Kodak). But Memory Maker does add some new options to how the photos that are taken can be linked to the guest’s account. In addition to the existing PhotoPass cards, photos can be linked to the guest account via a Magic Band or a Memory Maker card. It is important to understand that ONLY the guest to whom the Memory Maker entitlement is assigned can link photos to the Photopass account using their Magic Band – this is mostly significant for retreiving ride photos, because the person holding the Memory Maker entitlement may not always be on the ride. (This is where the Memory Maker card comes in handy).

You can also reassign the Memory Maker entitlement from guest to guest within My Disney Experience. The entitlement can be linked to anyone who has a My Disney Experience account and is in your Friends & Family list. And the entitlement can be reassigned multiple times. HOWEVER, the Memory Maker entitlement will be locked to the account to which it is assigned as soon as any photo is downloaded (and downloads will be accessible the same day that photos are taken, so be careful with whom you share your Memory Maker entitlement, and be sure that no one starts downloading your photos until the Memory Maker entitlement is assigned to the guest you want to have it. (Updates after the jump).

Which brings us to the question of which photos are part of the Memory Maker product. The answer is that the same photos that were part of PhotoPass+ appear to be part of Memory Maker, EXCEPT that Memory Maker is a digital-only product. So you will no longer get free photo prints at character meals (though, as of now at least, there has been no information released that changes the policy of including the Cinderella’s Royal Table and Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus printed photos as part of the cost of the meal experience). But digital versions of every PhotoPass photographer photo, character dining photo, and attraction photo are included as part of the Memory Maker package. Note that attraction photos must be retreived as described above, within 24 hours of riding the attraction.

The Memory Maker package does NOT include any physical media at all in the price of the package – no more free PhotoPass Archive CD. PhotoPass Archive CDs will still available, but at an additional cost. At the moment, the price of the Archive CD is unclear, as the PhotoPass website still lists the old version of the PhotoPass CD for sale, presumably because most of the people they’re selling to right now have already had PhotoPass photos taken and are looking to purchase a disc of the photos that already exist. On the other hand, Memory Maker photos can be downloaded multiple times and will be available online for 45 days from the date the photo was taken (though Disney reserves the right to change that time frame). The Memory Maker Package downloads can be manipulated online to be cropped properly for a varity of print sizes, up to 16×20 photo prints. If photo downloads are purchased separately, without being included in a Memory Maker Package, they cost $14.95 each. So if just 10 of your photos are print-worthy, that would appear to justify the $149 Advance Purchase price. In order to qualify for the advance purchase discount, you must purchase your Memory Maker package at least three days before the first photo is taken that is covered by the package. If you decide to purchase Memory Maker at the last minute, for $199 you will have access to photos taken the same day as the package is purchased and thereafter.

Additional Information (12/10/2013):
Just a few upates based on information that has come to light since writing this post.
1. Any Magic Band that is on the same reservation as the Magic Band to which the Memory Maker entitlement is attached can be used to add photos to the Memory Maker account associated with that reservation. This takes care of the situation where the entitlement is linked to a parent’s Magic Band, and the children ride an attraction that offers an on-ride photo without the parent. The child SHOULD be able to get the ride photo linked using the child’s own Magic Band.
2. I’ve now seen confirmation that the stock photos that were included with PhotoPass+ are NOT avaialble for online download. The only way to get the stock photos going forward will be to purchase a $29.95 CD Backup for your Memory Maker photos (which, while slightly annoying, is cheaper than buying the Stock Photo CD alone separately).
3. We still don’t really know anything about how Memory Maker will work for offsite guests for the next few months, until we get past this interim phase where Magic Bands are only being distributed to onsite guests and are being tied to resort bookings instead of just to tickets.

What do you think of the Disney Memory Maker product? Will you be more likely to purchase this product than PhotoPass+? Do you use PhotoPass photographers?

27 thoughts to “Disney Memory Maker replaces PhotoPass and PhotoPass+ at WDW (Updated)”

  1. Thanks for the details. So for clarification: if I have 20 people I’m linked to on the MDE app/website….and I buy Memory Maker before the trip (and I am the entitled person), any of my linked friends/family can have access and download the pics throughout our trip because I bought the Magic Maker package? Or will they have to buy their own package still? I am asking because I was going to give everyone Photopass cards that are linked to my Photopass account and then make them CD’s after. Looks like I don’t have to now if they can access and download the pics on their own? If this is true, that’s actually great news for me! 🙂

  2. Audrey – that does appear to be the case right now. I would caution you about having them access and download the photos during the trip, because once you download a photo, you lock the Memory Maker entitlement to whichever Magic Band it is tied to at that moment. But other than that, as far as I can tell, you can allow all 20 of those people to access your Memory Maker PhotoPass photos with the purchase of just one Memory Maker package. Disney does explicitly state in Memory Maker description that the sharing terms and conditions are subject to change. So if they feel it’s being abused, I can see them limiting access to some maximum number of Friends & Family in the future. But for now, I think they’re hoping that the Friends & Family accessing your photos will choose to purchase prints and/or things like calendars and coffee mugs through the PhotoPass store, so the more people access the photos the merrier.

  3. I have to retrieve my ride photos within 24 hours of riding the ride? Not sure I like that stipulation. Never had to worry about this with Photopass or Photopass+.

  4. Terry – that’s actually identical to current official policy. They’ll usually try to help you identify and add older photos, but they don’t make any promises. That’s why I suggested having a different person hold the Memory Maker card than the person to whose Magic Band the entitlement is assigned. That way, the card can be used to retrieve ride photos if the person with Memory Maker assigned to their band doesn’t ride.

  5. Thanks, AJ. I agree with what you’re saying. But I was also thinking that they might be trying entice people to buy the Magic Maker package BECAUSE you can add many people to your account and therefore have more potential pictures that you’d probably want to own. In the old system, I could have entered in 20 FP cards onto my account and given them to my friends and all the pics would have been on my account and I could download them onto the CD. This was my plan actually. I am getting married at WDW in Feb and was going to give my bridal party a FP card that was linked to my account and then give them their pics after. With this new system, as I said, it makes it easier to have the pics in one place. If this new system does work like that, I will definitely tell them that NO ONE can download any pics yet. LOL

  6. Heading to WDW next week and purchased a photo pass+ I was told it came with a disc of over 400 stock disney photos. Is that still available with this new plan?

  7. Jo- If you’ve already purchased PhotoPass+, you should be given the option of keeping PhotoPass+ or switching to the Disney Memory Maker package. The two packages are VERY similar. The only major differences are: a few hard-copy photos that are part of PhotoPass+ that are NOT included in the Memory Maker package (such as the photo taken before you’re seated at some of the character meals); you can use your Magic Bands to connect PhotoPass photos to your account with the Memory Maker package; and you get both a longer period of time to access your photos online and more download opportunities with the Memory Maker package.

    With regard to Ralph’s question, the status of the stock photos remains a bit muddy right now. Disney’s site doesn’t say anything at all about the stock photos, but most reports suggest that the stock photos will only be available as a separately purchased CD, and not as part of the Memory Maker downloads.

    Ultimately, this is all about going digital. The only physical things Disney wants to be shipping to PhotoPass customers are custom-print items.

  8. Even if you’re staying off-site, all admission tickets either have RFID chips embedded in them or can be exchanged for an RFID-embedded card at guest relations.

  9. is there a list of what attractions participate in the memory maker program. and, as long as I scan my band within 24 hours of riding the ride, can I download the picture after I return home?

  10. Sorry I didn’t get back to this sooner Glenn. The list of attraction photos included with Memory Marker is: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Tower of Terror, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, and Test Track. And yes, the whole idea is that the photos get linked to Photopass, which is now integrated into My Disney Experience. So when you get home, you log into your My Disney Experience account and all of your Photopass photos (including the ride photos) are there for downloading. You can download them as many times as you want, for up to 45 days after the photo was taken.

  11. I am still a bit confused about the Memory Maker. Can anyone that is linked to your reservation add photos to the Memory Maker account? We are heading down in August 2014 and we are traveling with another family that have a separate reservation. If they are linked to my account and I have the Memory Maker on my account, Will they be able to add photos with their Magic Bands?

  12. No. My understanding is that, if you’re linked, they’ll be able to view your photos. But only Magic Bands that are part of your reservation can add photos to your Memory Maker. If the people with whom you are traveling want to have their own digital photo downloads, they’ll need to purchase their own Memory Maker package. You CAN, however, add photos of them to your account with your Magic Bands.

  13. Actually I can clarify because I just used it a few weeks ago with much success. I went down there for my wedding so I had a LOT of people linked to me on Family&Friends link on My Disney Experience. Each family had their own reservation but we were linked online. They all stayed on property with a MagicBand. I bought the Memory Maker ahead of time. I can see all their pictures taken by a Photopass photographer and they can see their own as well. I am able to download them ALL as part of my Memory Maker package. There’s around 900 pictures on there from this trip. I told them all to add their own borders and such if they wanted, and I will download them and put them on a disc for them. This new program is great, I think. And I think it will increase sales of the MM package. Now, I have not attempted to download yet…so hopefully that goes smoothly. LOL

  14. Hi Audrey! Did you have any issues downloading your pictures ? We are going to WDW in August for my cousin’s wedding and am planning to purchase the MM and split the cost with 2 other families. Your previous post just answered my question as to wether I will be able to see the other familie’s photo whose been added to my MDE account as family and friends but have their own reservation, so thanks. Now I am curious to find out if there will be issues downloading them. I think in this case Being able to see the pictures is one thing and downloading it is another . I’d appreciate your reply. Thanks

  15. I have not tried yet but it seems pretty easy. I’m giving people some time to add borders and such. I need to download them by next week so I’ll let you know!

  16. Audrey – I’m heading down to WDW in a couple weeks. Our travel arrangements are similar to yours. Multiple families. Multiple reservations. One Memory Maker. Please clarify, were you able to share “attraction” photos with all linked family and friends on other reservations? Or could you share only pictures taken by PhotoPass Photographers?

  17. Oh sorry, I forgot to get back on here. Yes, I could get everything, including attractions without a problem. Downloading all the pics was very easy and no problems at all! I had over 1000 of them!

  18. Audrey, you said that attractions were not a problem. On the Disney website it says “Attraction photos can only be linked to your Disney account if Memory Maker is assigned to you. Your family and friends cannot link attraction photos to their Disney account.” How did you get all of the attraction photos linked into your memory maker if you were not with the people that rode the attraction? Thanks

  19. Sounds like I’m getting less for the same amount of money. Call me old fashioned but I liked having a CD Disc to back up photos and I really felt like receiving the prints from dining experiences made the Photopass package a good deal.

  20. AJ, I’m still a little confused. My family and my sister’s family are going to Disney World in late June. 2 different hotel reservations. My sister has already bought the memory maker package. We are already linked as family in MDE. Can I simply walk up to a Disney photography, have them scan my magic band, then later that night, download, edit, print the pictures for free from my MDE account because my sister has the memory maker package. I think you told Chris, that the other family would need to buy their own, which makes perfect sense to me. However, Earlier you told Audrey something different. Is the difference the photopass card vs magic bands? Are you saying,that if my sister gets a magic band photopass card links it to her MDE and I do the same, and then I re-use that photopass card again, and again , then we could ‘buck’ the system and only buy 1 memory maker package?

  21. It’s me again. In short, I want the ability to edit, download (for free) pictures of my family from my sisters memory maker package, though my own MDE account. I can’t believe it would be possible. I assume my sister could edit/print download the pictures of my family herself, then burn a cd and send it through snail mail, but I really want the ability to edit, download the pictures myself.

    Thanks for your quick response. I can’t get a clear answer out of anyone

  22. OK, here’s the way I understand that this is working:
    1) If your MDE accounts are linked as friends, you can VIEW photos in your sister’s Memory Maker. You cannot edit, download, etc.
    2) Everyone on the same reservation as your sister can add photos to your sister’s Memory Maker via Magic Band. If you collect PhotoPass cards (you can actually re-use one card for most purposes), your sister can add the PhotoPass card numbers to her Memory Maker account. This is because the PhotoPass cards aren’t linked to anything until a person plugs those numbers into their account. Magic Bands are already linked to an account (so it’s obvious that you’re not on the reservation that has the Memory Maker entitlement attached to it).
    3) Once all of the photos are collected in your sister’s Memory Maker account, she’ll be able to download the whole lot of them, and can upload them to a Dropbox or Copy online sharing service, burn a CD for your, etc.

    As I understand it, there are only two ways to get the ability to edit (meaning add the cool Disney backgrounds and effects) and download the photos yourself:
    1) Get your sister to share her MDE user name/password with you, so you can access the account that has the Memory Maker attached to it. (Just be careful – I imagine you could cause all kinds of a mess if more than one of you was accessing the account at the same time).
    2) Buy your own Memory Maker

  23. YES, AJ is 100% correct. I will add one thing…your sister can remove herself as the admin of the Memory Maker and give you downloading privileges. Then you and only you would be able to download and edit. I do not recommend doing this. Keep it simple. Do what AJ said. Have her download all the photos after the trip is over and then she can give them to you. If you want to add borders and such, she can do that before she downloads them…or after. You have 45 days to download the pics from the date the first picture was taken, and then another 30 from that point before Memory Maker expires. I know this for sure (long story but trust me). So she can download and re-download if you want her add borders and such. I had over 1000 pics that I downloaded and gave to people in my group. I would not recommend downloading and editing while you’re still there only because you’ll then only have 30 days from that point to get them all editing and downloaded.
    You are not bucking the system. I think this is Disney’s way to trying to get more people to buy MM. By allowing all people who are linked together to get pics, it’s more enticing. PLUS the ride pics. Who knows…if it backfires on them perhaps everyone will need to buy their own. But for now, take advantage!!

Leave a Reply