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Walt Disney World and price hikes go together like Tinkerbell and Peter Pan. You just can’t have one without the other. Though we’d all like it if a trip to Walt Disney World suddenly became less expensive overnight, with both prices and admission rising year over year, it seems that the market (at least currently) can bear the rising cost of a Disney vacation, which means costs will continue to go up. 

However, Disney made the rare decision yesterday to actually drop the price of one of its service products: the Walt Disney World PhotoPass Memory Maker. Effective immediately, the standard Memory Maker package (which can be used by guests on the same day as it is ordered) is now priced at $169, down $30 from its previous $199 price point. The advance purchase Memory Maker package, (which has a 3 day delay before it can be activated and used), was also cut and is now priced at $149, down $20 from its original $169 price point. Guests who have purchased the advance Memory Maker package at the higher price are now being issued a Disney PhotoPass gift card to make up the difference.

Interestingly, this price drop is actually a return to the original Memory Maker pricing that was in place prior to December 2014. So what has changed in the past year that would make Disney voluntarily lower the price of this service? And could more price drops be coming in the future? Let’s take a few minutes to examine what might be motivating Disney to make this pricing change... 

1. The PhotoPass product has lost its value 

Before DSLRs became standard carry ons for guests around Walt Disney World, the PhotoPass photograph had some serious value. Professional photos of your family on vacation were a great souvenir, and the unlimited nature of the Memory Maker package helped guests feel like their family vacation was one big photo shoot, with guests stopping and posing all around the park to get the most out of their purchase. 

However, a lot has changed over the years. Increasingly guests are now equipped with cameras that produce photos that are either equivalent to, or perhaps even better than, those that the PhotoPass photographers have. Not only does this mean that guests can take superior pictures of their vacation on their own, but they can also hand their camera to PhotoPass photographers at their favorite Walt Disney World spot to get the same or better quality photos for free without paying a cent (and with no downloads required). 

Complicating matters even further is the fact that PhotoPass Memory Maker is now included with all annual passes sold after the most recent price hike, diminishing demand among a large chunk of park-goers. Though the price of the original Memory Maker was prohibitive for many annual passholders, the possibility of selling to this group is now completely gone, for as long as Disney decides to include Memory Maker as a part of annual passes. 

With all these factors combined, it’s a wonder why anyone would pay almost $200 to download photos taken during a Walt Disney World vacation. The fact that there is any demand at all for this service is a little astonishing, and though Disney is likely trying to test the waters for any uptick in demand with a lower price point for Memory Maker, we'd wager there's actually something much different going on here... 

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Comments

For any UK or Irish visitors, Memory Maker is now totally FREE with any purchase of a 2016 Adult Ticket. This is outstanding value for money and Memory maker is automatically added to your Magicband ready from the start of your holiday. Enjoy!

See website here:

http://www.disneyholidays.co.uk/walt-disney-world/deals/memory-maker/027/

'Enjoy an unlimited number of digital photos taken at these locations:

Disney PhotoPass Photographers
Available throughout the Walt Disney World Resort at some of the most iconic locations.

Attraction Photos and Videos
Relive the memories of some of our most thrilling rides with Attraction Photos and Videos.

Magic Shots
Magic Shots adds some extra magic to your photos after they’re taken by adding Disney Characters and other fun surprises.

Dining Photos
Don’t miss out on special photo opportunities, available at select restaurants and dining experiences across the Parks and Resort'.

Just returned from WDW this week and I took over 800 photos with 4 of my own cameras! These included my iphone, a waterproof compact and an SLR - and I STILL purchased the Memory Maker - and I was reading the T&Cs over and over again as I thought I had picked the wrong product as I wasn't aware the price had dropped - it must of happened that very day!!

I worked it out that as long as I picked over 11 photos I had got my money's worth and in the end after downloading all 382 photos from the Memory Maker site, I reduced this down to 62 Disney taken photos I just couldn't do without! So yes, well worth the money and even better now they have reduced the price!

I hope that Disney studies these comments. If so they will find that almost all come from their customers who visit the park one time or less per year. Of course the PhotoPass could be a great opportunity for them. It has been a totally poor idea to now "include" this service with the annual pass contract. Why would I as an annual pass holder want to have these pictures taken when I visit the park 10+ times per year. Very quickly it becomes "enough is enough". Yet the price of the annual pass has increased significantly due to forcing this package onto the annual pass customer. This year I have said enough is enough and have refused to renew. Soo long Disney.

I am a pretty good freelance photographer and have better equipment than these guys have. BUT theirs is certainly good enough and find their composing to be good. Also I can be in the photos. I'm not comfortable having others do these photos randomly. Also, 200 bucks? That's the food price for a day. 200 or 150 for a week vacation is an OUTRAGEOUSLY good value. Now I'm free from carrying in my big camera and tripod for those night shots.

My wife and I opted to get Memory Maker on our honeymoon In September/October. Totally worth it. Always someone on hand to take photos without having to bother other holiday goers, to capture some incredible moments. Did't have any problems with waiting for in queues for photos, and this includes Mickeys not so scary halloween party nights when the park was nearing capacity.

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