Tips for Leveraging Disney’s PhotoPass Service

As a Vacation Planner, I frequently get questioned about whether Disney’s PhotoPass and Memory Maker are “worth it,” aka a “good value.” Clients sometimes feel conflicted because they are convinced they can get good enough pics with their smartphones.

To get straight to the point, PhotoPass and your smartphone are not the same thing and will not yield the same documentation of your memories. Both are solid options and have their positives and negatives.

Having candid photos taken without a photographer are certainly some of the best ways to document those fleeting moments. However, having some high quality and unique photos are what set PhotoPass apart from do-it-yourself photos. While PhotoPass service does have a fee, it does provide you with nearly instantaneous high-res photos that don’t require editing, asking a stranger snap your photo or require you to search around for “good spots” to grab you pictures. Disney has already scouted so many great locations for you and have someone there on the ready!

Defining Disney PhotoPass and Memory Maker

Memory Maker, is the name of the product that can be packaged with your Walt Disney World Travel Company package. This product allows you to have access to all photos your travel party takes with a PhotoPass photographer inside the parks, Disney Springs, as well as all on-ride photography. Typically when purchasing this service in advance you will save up to $30 (as of the time this article is written). I believe this is a great value for a few reasons.

  1. How often can you get your family photographed by a third party for under $200, including all digital high-resolution downloads?
  2. There is an abundance of photographers ready and waiting for you in the parks.
  3. A quick scan of your phone or MagicBand and your family can be on the way to documenting so many moments of your vacation. Forget trying to find a trustworthy person to take your phone or camera to snap your photo.
  4. No need to have jump drives and SD cards on-hand to upload photos from your personal devices or having to stop and upload your photos to your cloud accounts so you can clear space off your phone. PhotoPass Photos can be downloaded anytime during or after your trip (up to 30 days after your trip you may access and download all your images).

How to maximize your experience:

Tip 1: Use your MyDisneyExperience Filters

Obviously, if you see a PhotoPass Photogragher with little to know queue, I highly recommend stopping to do the photos! Worst case, you don’t love the result— but you tried. You never know when they will turn out to be the best of the best.

The best hack (without really being a hack) is to leverage your search filters in your MyDisneyExperience app. You can filter by Category of item you are searching for (i.e. Attractions, Restrooms, PhotoPass) as well as the park you are in. You can then filter via a list or by zooming in and out on your app map and clicking on the pins. This is the best way to find photographers if you are having a hard time seeing them in the park.

Sure, with Memory Maker you receive all your on-ride photos but there is so much more to having this at your disposal. Think of it as having a photographer with you during your entire resort stay. There are literally dozens of PhotoPass photographers throughout the theme parks and Disney Springs. There is a filter on the MyDisneyExperience app that will allow you to see exactly where photographers are near you.

Super Zoom and a little bit of extra pixie dust.

Still photo from Disney’s PhotoPass Super Zoom location in the Hub at Magic Kingdom park

Tip 2: Take family photos early and late

This is the most crucial tip I can give a family—stop and take a family photo ASAP when you enter the parks. I am guilty of skipping this recommendation and later regretting not doing it. Take into account your child’s excitement and energy first thing in the morning, the temperature outside, the position of the sun—all of which play a role into the success of your photo shoots. Regardless if you have Memory Maker or not, even those selfies will be impacted by these environmental factors.

Another great time to take photos is after you have taken an afternoon break. Maybe you power napped, took in some pool time, took a shower and got everyone loaded up on snacks. Like the early morning, your family is likely much fresher now than they have been since early morning. Additionally, typically early evening has a wonderful shift in the sun and temperature. Sometimes you get lucky and there is a breeze and the afternoon rains are gone!

Capture Your Moment: Disney’s latest addition to PhotoPass Services

Capture Your Moment is a new PhotoPass service that rolled out in 2021. Annual Passholders, or those who have purchased Memory Maker for their trip, have the ability to schedule 20 minute one-on-one sessions with a PhotoPass Photographer in the Magic Kingdom for an additional fee. Capture Your Moment currently costs roughly $50 for each 20 minute session you book. The best thing to compare this to would be for a mini-photo session you may pay to do with a photographer in your local community. This is an opportunity to have an interrupted time in the park with a photographer at your disposal. And with Memory Maker or Annual Pass, you receive all the photos digitally for your immediate use upon completion of the session.

If you have questions or would like more information about PhotoPass, Capture your Moment or booking a Walt Disney World vacation, please contact me.

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About Crush on the Magic

I'm a Midwestern mom that embraces fun whenever possible! Crush on the Magic is focused on all things Disney and Universal Destinations. I'm here to provide insights for all Disney/Universal vacationers, from the theme park regular to the once-in-a-lifetime trip goer, this site is for you! Thinking of booking a trip? I am happy to provide my expertise at no additional charge. Contact me at or complete my no obligation form at