So today, I'm going to talk a bit about the Photopass at Disney. For those who don't know, the Photopass is a photo card that is available from any Disney Portrait Photographer anywhere in the parks. It's a small card with an electronic scan signature that logs all your professionally taken pictures to one place for you to have, use, or leave behind. The card itself is free, however, getting the pictures has a small fee associated with it, depending on what you choose to purchase.
First off, one small bit of advice for those going...and I'll be as subtle as I can....GET THE PHOTOPASS!!!! Okay...not so subtle...but I believe this is the best..the absolute BEST thing that Disney does to help you get the most Magic out of your trip. The card is free, and taking pictures is free, so there is no harm in it whatsoever. The best part is that these authorized photographers (like my college friend Dan!) have the best spots for picture taking in all of the parks!! It is a win win for all involved, so definitely stop, get a picture taken, and get a card.
Next bit of advice would be to pre-order a CD of your pictures. This, again, is a small cost, but very worth it. The CD includes all pictures associated with your Photopass ID# as well as some stock photos that are included for you to use (with certain limitations outlined in the CD's use policy). As an added bonus, you can associate multiple cards to one CD. For example, our good friends and neighbors Allen and Mairo as well as Melissa and Matt and us all went to Disney within about 4 weeks of each other. We all got Photopasses, and linked each of our cards together, but only ordered one CD. Then we copied the CD for each other and all had a great time looking at each other's pictures. It saved costs as well as got us some great pictures of our close friends.
Many times, it's these professional photos that are the most memorable. The best photographers will keep snapping pictures of you, your family, or your kids in various situations, linking them all to your Photopass account. Lots of the best "candid" shots we have of our little princess are the ones where the photographer just kept snapping pictures while our girl was interacting with the characters or while we were waiting for something else (like a crowd to move out of the short, or something similar). It's definitely a more magical thing to see these photos, not knowing that they were taken.
Another great feature is the ability for you to go online after the photos have been uploaded by Disney (within hours in some cases) and be able to edit, right there on their website, the photos for your use. For instance, you can add things like borders, characters, messages, backgrounds, or even change it from color to B&W, all before you place the order for your CD to be delivered.
Lastly, and this is very specific to the pass itself, for those who are like me a lose things all the time, the pictures can even be retrieved if you lose the card. We lost ours at Hollywood Studio once, and all my wife had to do (yes...she did this...she was actually the one to lose the card. Normally, it's me....) was head to the nearest Photopass office (generally at the front of the park) and ask to find the pictures. As long as you know the last time (approximately) you took a Photopass picture with a photographer, they can search and you can then retrieve all the pictures to be linked to a new card. How cool is that! No worries about losing a memory card, erasing a memory card, losing a camera, running out of film (I know...who uses film any more!) or anything like that. It's all there, ready for you when you get home to make a great scrap book of your trip!
I'm sure there is something I missed, but that gets you the gist of it. Definitely worth the time and money, and I think it only adds to the Magic.
Until next time, have a Magical Day!!