In short, Disney’s PhotoPass service allows guests to view and purchase digital photos taken by professional PhotoPass photographers throughout their vacation. Photopass photographers are available at Character Greeting locations and throughout the parks, most notably at the park entrance and other locations that provide a perfect backdrop for a special Disney photograph.
Before I had small children, I didn’t give a second thought to this service. Although I appreciate photography, I don’t appreciate being the subject. Other than a picture of my husband and me taken by my stepson on our familymoon, I can’t find a picture of either of us at Disney prior to us bringing our young children.
Now that we have small children, documenting their Disney World trips in pictures is a must. How could I not have a photograph of my son’s first ride on Dumbo or the sweet and touching photograph of him meeting Mickey with his college-age brother?
Why do I love PhotoPass so much?
- Because I’m the only mommy who forgot to bring her camera and capture her son’s first horseback ride at the “Fun with Horses” class. Because I’m the mommy whose camera always seems to have a dead battery when I try to capture my kids doing the cutest things ever Because when I do have a working camera, I cannot seem to master the delay inherent in digital cameras so the pictures are either blurry or a candidate for the delete function. Because I am challenged at photography. Although the quality of the PhotoPass photographs varies with the photographer they are all good and some are great.
- Enjoying the Moment. When I’m trying to take photographs, I’m so intent on trying to make sure everyone is in focus that I often miss out on part of the experience. Knowing that Disney PhotoPass photographers will capture an image of my toddler touching Pluto’s nose means I can relax and just soak up every detail of the experience.
- Splitting Up? No Problem. On our multigenerational Walt Disney World trips, it is not unusual for us to split up for parts of the day. There’s no fighting over the PhotoPass card since Disney allows you to link multiple cards to a single PhotoPass account. I can use one card when my oldest meets Donald Duck while grandma can use another to have her picture taken with our little guy in front of Cinderella Castle as they make their way back to the resort room for an afternoon break.
- Christmas Shopping Made Easy. The Disney PhotoPass site allows you to purchase not only your PhotoPass photographs but also other customized products. One year I created custom calendars and Christmas tree ornaments. A few short clicks and a credit card number later and I had made a large dent in my Christmas shopping list.
- Sharing the Memories. At some of the character dining experiences, PhotoPass photographers are on hand to take a picture of your dining party. If you purchase the photograph that is brought to your table during your meal, the digital version can be added to your PhotoPass account so it can be shared with family and friends.
- You Just have to Ask. PhotoPass photographers are often very willing to take a photograph with your own camera if you ask.
- The Discount. Guests can pre-purchase the PhotoCD that contains all their digital photographs and save $50. Visit http://www.disneyphotopass.com/previsitoffer.aspx.
- Professional Portrait Service. Have a professional portrait taken of your family at one of the following five resorts: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Resort, and Wilderness Lodge. To book a session, call 407-934-4004.
- Test Track is a Freebie. After riding Test Track, you can download the photograph taken of you on the ride to your PhotoPass card.
And most importantly…
Capturing my family’s vacation memories forever. Priceless.
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You can follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer or become a fan of Beyond the Attractions on Facebook.
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