So, one of the newest offering from Disney for the 2013 season (actually, it was talked about in November of 2012, but who's counting!), is the additional option of the PhotoPass + that can be added to your vacation. For those unfamiliar, let me start with a little bit about photos at Disney...and if you'd like to read more, I reviewed the PhotoPass previously on another blog entry, so feel free to peruse that as well, as I'm more than likely going to miss something.
For most Disney vacationers, the biggest memory maker is the photos. Taking pictures of the scenery, the magic, the fireworks, and the general jubilation that comes from a Disney vacation. For us, the photos provide the needed fodder for next year's autograph book (look for my next post for this info!), or at the very least, our scrapbook/photo books that we keep of each trip. One big issue, however, is that either me or my wife are out of almost every picture! Of course we are! One of us has to take the photo, right?? Well, the PhotoPass along with Disney's very talented group of professional photographers makes this an issue of the past. Throughout the parks (both at the Disneyland and Disney World parks, as well as Aulani), there are wonderful cast members with tan photographer's vests that are set up at the best locations to take pictures. They are also at all the character greeting spots, character meal experiences, and parade/fireworks locations as well. The process couldn't be easier. Unlike those other photographers in other parks that pressure you as soon as you walk in for a photo, these photographers are no pressure. In fact, you'll soon find your self waiting in a line to get your photo taken! Weird..I know...but totally worth it. When you get your first picture of the trip taken, ask for a PhotoPass Card and then hang on to it. Each card has a unique QR tag that the photographers log each time they take a picture. Just get with a photographer and hand them the card. Do it every time! With out Fail!! Don't lose the card!! Then, when you are done with the trip, all of those pictures are available for purchase/download when you get home. You can customize them with borders, or special messages, and you can even get some stock Disney images that you can use (privately, of course) in your memory books.
I know what you're thinking....Why would I pay for photos when I own an awesome camera??? Well, you may be right, but somewhere, somehow, you are not going to get the shot you want. As I said before, someone is out of the picture, or you have to trust someone else to take the shot for you. At Disney, I honestly feel most people can be trusted, but just in case, it's always better to hang on to your own property and leave the photos to the professionals.
Okay...lets get down to brass tacks, shall we? What is the cost for this Magical service from Disney?? Well, the good news is the card is free. Yes...free. Completely Free!!! The pictures are even taken for free!! Where the costs come in is when you want to download or print the photos. Even then, Disney offers an option to pre-purchase a CD with all the photos you take during a 14 day period as well as many stock photos just for giggles. The current price of the CD is $119.95 pre-order, or $169.95 on sight or after. Definitely pre-order this CD. It's worth it...trust me!!
**Quick Tip!! If you, your family, or your close friends are all visiting at the same time or close to the same time, get a separate card for each group or family. Then, after pre-ordering the CD, you can link each of the cards up to one PhotoPass account and then get copies of the CD made for your family. Then you can each have everyone's pictures from the trip..all on one CD!
The other option available is the PhotoPass+ option. This is another case of pre-order prowess and, in this blogger's opinion, well worth it. The cost is slightly higher (although, with the pre-order pricing, it's not bad at all for what you get), $149.00 per, but the benefits are definitely there. Here is what the PhotoPass+ option gets you:
All the Benefits of a standard PhotoPass CD Plus:
1) Additional Stock Photos unique to PhotoPass+
2) Photos from selected Character Meals included (this is an extra cost for standard PhotoPass holders)
3) Downloadable photos from selected attractions (again, an extra cost for standard PhotoPass holders)
4) Photos from other Disney Experiences, i.e. Bippity Boppity Boutique, Pirates League, etc. (again, not included in the standard PhotoPass. Also, these experiences are an extra cost above the park entry.)
Should you get it? Short answer is yes. If you are planning on photo's being any part of your memories of your Disney Vacation, then either of these is a great options....I might even go a MUST HAVE for your Magical Vacation. Explore the options, do the research, do your due diligence before you go. The PhotoPass and PhotoPass+ options are two that make the Magic happen at Disney.
I've included a few pictures below of my own family and some of the things you can do with the options on the PhotoPass.
Until next time, Make Each Moment Magical, and Always be looking for your Enchantment Destinations!!