When you visit Walt Disney World, the company’s marketing department wants you to think about your Disney Side. What really matters to you, however, is the underlying goal for every vacationer. You want to create memories that will last a lifetime. And in the social media era, you can share your happiness with your friends by proudly displaying your photos on services such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. Your loved ones can live vicariously through you when you visit Walt Disney World and vice versa. Vacation imagery remains a keepsake of memories from happy days. It’s simply more interactive and shareable now.
If you plan to visit the world’s most popular amusement park, you are probably wondering about Memory Maker. This service leverages the many Walt Disney World photo opportunities as well as the technology in Magic Bands. The premise is simple. For one low price, you can get as many pictures as you want taken by professional Disney photographers. The pictures are usually taken in high profile settings such as gorgeous restaurants or set against amazing backdrops like Cinderella’s Castle and Spaceship Earth. We are discussing images that truly qualify as showstoppers. All you have to do is notify a Disney employee that you want a picture taken, identify yourself as having Memory Maker, and take the picture. You can even get special types of pictures taken that cannot be duplicated anywhere else, something explained in detail below.
The cost of Memory Maker is the primary sticking point. Disney charges $199 to do the same that your cellphone does for free. If you order more than three days prior to your arrival, the price does drop to $169, which is a sturdy 15 percent discount. At $169, your pricing decision comes down to how much you plan to use the service. What you’ll want to do is take note of every Disney photographer setting up shop across the various parks. A lot of them are hidden in plain sight, by which I mean that there are a lot more photo opportunities than you have probably realized during previous visits. Unless you look for them, you barely even notice they’re there.
1. Impeccable Picture Quality
So, what are the advantages of Memory Maker? Have you ever been sitting at a table service meal when a Disney photographer walks over to make a sales pitch? They offer you a special, deluxe version of the picture they asked (maybe even forced) you to take outside the restaurant. And they assure you that they are practically giving it away at the cost roughly $30. Well, if you have Memory Maker, they will give it away, at least at participating restaurants and shows. Included in your package are Chef Mickey's, Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, Tusker House breakfast, ‘Ohana breakfast, 1900 Park Fare, and Spirit of Aloha.
The picture you took prior to entering the building has been automatically uploaded to your account, something you can proudly exclaim to the salesperson interrupting your meal. Don’t be rude about it, of course. They’re only doing their job.
Still, this is the beauty of Memory Maker as a service. These are pictures that Disney considers so good that they won’t blink at charging you thirty bucks for one. Yes, you get a little care package included, but the picture is what they are really selling. For the price of six such keepsakes, you can ask every Disney photographer you see to take as many pictures of you as possible. If you spend a week at Disney, this number should exceed 100, all of which will be high quality images worthy of a picture frame. To wit, just looking at my desk right now, I see no fewer than four such Memory Maker framed photographs plus a pair of collages. The $169-$199 sticking point may dissuade you, but once you get past the sticker shock, you can really make it up in (picture) volume. I don’t care if I’ve just gotten off a water ride and am dripping wet. If I see a Disney photographer, they are going to Memory-Make for me.
Best of all, Disney offers some of the best photography training in the world. Their experts will find a way to show your good side, even if you have the face of Cruella De Vil and the hair (well, horns) of Maleficent. I’ve had professional pictures and Glamour Shots taken. Nothing holds a candle to the artistry of Disney photographers.
2. Disney Magic Shot
Disney photographers have the ability to spice up your theme park images. If you ask them to do so, they can incorporate certain Disney characters in the shot, thereby providing photographic evidence that you’ve met Stitch and lived to talk about it. Other characters from The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Princess and the Frog, Frozen, Star Wars, Cars, and Monsters, Inc. are all options. If you don’t want a character, you can also add butterflies or balloons to your picture or give yourself wings. Recently, Disney added actual animation to some Magic Shots. Your kids will LOVE those.