It's a common misunderstanding that taking photos is memory maker. Memory maker is just one of the ways to purchase your photos. Photopass is the service where you take or get photos and they are 2 different things. Of course if you take a photo you probably want a copy of it but memory maker is not the only photo purchase option. This will hopefully help you understand the photo and video options that are available at Walt Disney World. Also some advice can be found on the end with some common scenarios if you are really confused and not sure what you should do or how to get the best price. Note to Annual Passholders: when reading, the photopass section is how you take/get photos and share them. This works the same for everyone not matter how you paid to get copies of the photos. Photopass (taking pictures at Disney) Photopass is all of the photography taking options that are available at WDW. It includes the following options. Photographers found around parks, waterparks, resorts, Disney Springs and sometimes even some special resort meals (usually character but can be anywhere and don't plan on photographers at meals unless it said they would be there when you booked the meal reservation). Ride photos and Videos. some rides automatically take photos and some even take videos of you on the ride. Photobooths. Spread around WDW is some photobooths (there is no official list of where they are but look in resort arcades and around the boardwalk and sometimes you spot them in the parks). They've been converting them from money only to money or photopass so some of them aren't photopass yet. New options being tested. In 2016 there was a test of a self service photopass kiosk that would take your photo without needing a photographer. It might still be out there so keep an eye if you want to get photos everywhere for them. Sometimes they just pull them out for special events, parties or special days like anniversaries. Photopass is FREE for anyone to have their photo taken. There is nothing to buy, sign up for or do to have a photo of you taken. If you want a copy of that photo then you have to purchase it but more on that later. The photopass section of the disney website and currently on the android app (apple coming soon) you can also edit, make copies to make different edits and adjust the photos, add some extras to them, clean them up, crop, etc. If you have traveled to disney prior to 2013/2014 you probably remember when you had to signup, pay in advance and then use the photographers. This is no longer the case and you can use photopass as much as you want with no prior commitment. Pay attention to the memory maker section of this post as there is an advance purchase discount to get all photos but it is not a requirement to use photopass anymore. How do I use Photopass? Any of the below instructions that include using your magicband or cards, anyone in your mde account including the kids can be the one to scan their card/magicband. If you are linked to other people who have their own MDE account, they can also scan. Only 1 person in the MDE or linked accounts needs to scan. You can link your accounts after the picture is taken so if you didn't know this, don't worry just link your accounts up when you have a moment, even if it's after the trip. (pictures expire after 45 days unless annual passholder where it's 365 days) Photographers: After you take your photo with them, they will scan your magicband, park ticket, annual passholder card or resort card (if you hate magicbands and requested a card). In the event you have none of these, let the photographer know and they will scan a photopass card and give that to you and you can use that the rest of your trip as well. You will need to link the photopass card to MDE so don't loose it as it has the card number on it. You do this from the website. Sometimes they may hand you a photopass card even if you have a magicband or other card. Sometimes the system is acting up or they are in a spot where the camera couldn't wireless upload the photo right away. This is the backup to ensure you get the photo, just take the card and link it to your account when you have a moment from the mde app or website. They photo may not appear if you do it right away but should appear later in the day. Rides: If you have a magicband, rides with photos and videos will automatically link to your photopass account and all you have to do is ride. If you are using a card, you will find video screens with ride photos after the ride, you must find your photo and scan your card at the screen (it'll make sense when you see it) to claim your photo. If you don't have a card or magicband, just get a photo with a photographer before you ride and they will give you a photopass card you can use for photos. You can also stop by the photo store found near the park entrance of every park to get a card that way or purchase a magic band. Non-magicband warning: Some rides do not have video screens at the end to claim your photo, you must have a magicband to get them for those rides. These rides are Seven Dwarves mine train and Frozen ever after. more rides are expected to be added to list as new rides open or old rides get a major refurbishment. You can only get ride videos with a magicband. At this time tower of terror and seven dwarves mine train are the only rides with videos. Video wall to claim the photo after Rock and Roller Coaster when not using a MagicBand. Photobooths: Follow the booth instructions but generally it works like any other photo booth where you scan your band or ticket/card and take photos. If the photobooth is not in the park, you might be able to get a card if needed from the resort front desk or guest relations at disney springs. Not all photobooths are converted to use photopass yet and they do also take money. If you have memory maker, why spend more money though? Buying Photos / Memory Maker / Annual Passholders If your planning to use the photopass service or found yourself using it while on your trip, you probably want a copy of that photo to save and use. Now you need to purchase something to get the photos that were taken during your trip. Prices listed were valid on 12/21/2016 when this was last edited. Digital Download only options: Per Photo. $14.95 including all copies/edits of that photo. All photos taken on the same day. $59 One Day Memory Maker(*1) All photos taken on your trip. $149 before trip(*2), $169 after trip. Memory Maker. Annual Passholders. Most annual passholder options include free digital downloads of photopass photos. If you have this, you do not need to buy options 1, 2 or 3. You already have it. MILITARY SPECIAL: military members can purchase Memory Maker for $84, through Dec. 19, 2017. This is all photos unlimited downlaods. Purchase in person only at WDW and bring your military credentials to any guest relations located at every theme park and disney springs. you do not need to purchase before taking photos so do it at your leisure but must be purchased in person so take advantage of this before you head home.. (*1) One day memory maker only appears before your trip if your buying a 1 day ticket. After your trip, it will appear in the download payment options on photopass website. You can''t see it until you have a photo in your photopass account (MDE account). (*2) before trip means you purchased it 3 days before the first photo was taken. If your buying it on friday and taking pictures on saturday, sunday, monday and tuesday then photos on saturday and sunday would not be included in the pre-price. To get all of them in this situation, you need to pay the higher price. If your purchasing it 3 or more days before the first photo is taken then you get them all at the lowest price. There is also options to get photo cds, dvds, mugs, cups, calendars and anything else disney will think you might buy from them. You can also take the digital download and use cheaper companies on the internet or your local photo printing options and get mostly the same stuff. there is no pre-purchase options for these things so you'll see the added cost after the trip. If you're only looking for a couple pictures in each park, you can purchase 9 single photos before memory maker becomes the better price if you paid the pre-trip price. 11 if your paying the post trip price. This is buying the photos, you can still take 900 photos while there but you may only want to keep a few of them or didn't like them when you saw them. this is harder to know ahead of time but some families like to take 1 or 2 photos of the family at each park, this would be cheaper then memory maker. Ride photos are just going to show up, you may not want them at all. Yes it's confusing but if you know you want all the photos you can get, memory maker or getting an annual pass is probably your best option. You can combine different purchase options if it fits what your family is after to get the best price If you're only going to be at WDW for 2 days, then you can purchase option 2 for both days after your trip and get all the photos for less money than option 3. If you want all the photos from a ticketed event like MNSSHP or MVMCP and then a couple photos from the other parks, it might be cheaper to buy one day memory maker for the party day and then buy the additional photos. Do the math on what it costs if you didn't buy unlimited memory maker to find the best price. If you want every photo you can get from disney, get memory maker and get it pre-trip for the best price. Combining options generally works best for the family that only wants a couple photos or just photos during a special event or short trips with only 2 park days. Taking your own Photos It wouldn't be complete if we didn't remind you that you can take your own photos at Disney. Photopass photographers will generally be more than happy to take your photo with your camera or phone to get everyone in the photo. Also I find other guests more than happy to take the photo. Photopass photographers tend to be in the way in the best spots but it doesn't mean you will get bad photos on your own. Please keep in mind your in a crowded theme park. Disney isn't a non-theft bubble and don't be the next person to take to social media begging that the photo card from a stolen camera of the only pictures of your trip. Protect your belongings and I hate that I have to post this but it happens and heartbreaking to read that someone has no photos of their trip because of a short lapse in judgement. Hiring a Professional Photographer Disney offers professional photographers for photo sessions around WDW, weddings, surprise engagements, etc etc etc. These are not part of photopass or memory maker and you can find more information on the Disney Fine Art & Photography website. (just click on portrait or wedding in the upper right corner depending on what you want them for). Keep in mind that a disney photographer has some options you can't do on your own. Empty parks, before-after opening time slots. Professional photos on empty rides. No clue on what they might charge for this, but I've seen some amazing photographs that only disney themselves can make happen. I've heard mixed stories of using non-disney professional photographers for weddings. If your getting a non-disney wedding photographer for a Disney World wedding make sure you inquire what your options are for photography/videography. Questions and Answers: Q: I haven't traveled in awhile and I remember having to buy photopass and photopass plus to use it, has that changed? A: Yes, disney no longer requires an advance purchase to use the photopass service. You can get a discount on copies of the photos by buying memory maker in advance ($20 savings). if you know you'll be taking enough photos to make that the lowest cost package for digital copies of the photos. There is no requirement to pre-buy photos before you can use the photographers anymore. Q: I purchased memory maker and it's asking me to pick someone that will be using it. We will all be using it. A: Don't confuse taking pictures with downloading your copy of them. What the website is asking for is who will be using memory maker to download your photos after or during your trip. you must pick 1 person and that person (or their mde account login) will be able to activate it, download the photos. Also this is the person who will be able to download the edits for no extra cost but the edits much be made by them. Q: I have an annual pass but don't see memory maker in my MDE account. A: You get unlimited photopass downloads, not memorymaker. It's the same thing but you will not see anything in your account but photos will just download with no extra costs. Q: How do I find a photopass photographer? A: They will be in an official Disney Uniform/Costume, holding a camera with a band scanner on their waste. They will usually have a tripod. Most of them will be dressed like the first picture shows but some areas they are themed to fit into the area they are working but still be obvious they are photopass photographers. You can also use the MDE app under photopass to get a list of locations that a photopass photographer is available (and directions for the quickest way to walk over to them). Q: What are Nikon Picture Spots, Kodak Picture Spots or picture spots? A: Picture spots are currently called Nikon Picture spots and is locations around Disney Property where they think you can get a special just your family photo with great background. These are take your own photo locations but sometimes you'll find a wandering photopass photographer also at them. Kodak was the old sponsor so if you knew them by that name, they have been rebranded when nikon took over as the camera/photography sponsor of disney. There will be a small sign saying it's a picture spot with a sample picture of what it could look like. To find them and plan them into your trip, see the Disney Nikon Photo Spot website. They also appear in the MDE App under guest services. Look for the camera on the map and there does not appear to be a filter to show only the cameras at this time. Q: Can I print the photos myself or bring them to get printed for less money than Disney offers? A: Yes for non-commerical/personal/family usage. No for commerical use. The prices earlier in this post are the cost to get a digital copy of the photo. Prints and other options from Disney would be more money. pro-tip: while there are a couple items offered for Disney you can't get elsewhere, most people will find it cheaper to buy the digital download and take care of printing needs on their own. Q: What is the photo quality? What's the largest size I can get prints of? A: They are using high end cameras and giving you the photo in a very high res jpeg format. According to @Mnrlred you can print up to 16x20. Larger and your results may vary. Q: Do photos expire? A: Yes, photos expire 45 days after they were taken. Annual Passholder with photopass downloads the photos expire after 365 days. Q: Does Memory Maker expire? A: Yes, you can only download photos for 30 days after you activate it. don't activate it until your ready to get the photos. Q: How do I activate memory maker? How do I buy one day memory maker after my trip? A: When you select download on the photo, if you have memory maker already it'll ask if you want to activate it. If you don't have it, it'll show you purchase options including buying it (and the one day version). If your an annual passholder, there is no additional steps and you can just download the photos. Q: I didn't use memory maker and I can't get a refund, did I just make a huge mistake? A: No, memory maker only expires after it's activated. You can use it for a future trip and it'll remain in your account until you use it, even if that is years later. Q: I purchased memory maker and decided to upgrade my ticket to an annual pass. Can I get my money back? A: Yes. Let the guest relations cast member know you have memory maker on the account and they will include that in the upgrade saving you the cost of memory maker. They will only do this if upgrading to Annual Passes that include photopass downloads. (I don't know why you would upgrade a ticket to the other types of passes but it could happen so it's included here). Q: My photo expired before I downloaded them, can I still get it? A: If there is a problem with the photopass site, don't wait for the pictures to expire to complain to disney. Contact disney right away and if they can't make it work and they expire, disney will take care of you and getting your photos. If you know someone that has an annual pass that is willing to help you out, just link your mde accounts together. The photos will reappear in their mde account as long as it was taken within 365 days. They will not be able to download any edits you made, but they can help you out with new edits and downloading the photos. If you don't know someone with an annual pass, you can buy an annual pass yourself and any photos that were taken within 365 will reappear in your photopass account. This can be a pricey way to get them but sometimes it's worth the cost. Don't forget that many people tend to be closet disney fans that travel a lot. Ask around to coworkers, friends and family you might be surprised that you do know someone with an annual pass and never knew they visited disney so often. Q: Can I use memory maker for multiple trips? A: Maybe. If you can take take photos on the first trip, wait to activate memory maker downloading your photos before they expire and then take your second trip before memory maker expires you can get both trips with 1 purchase. Pro tip: Price your tickets with an annual pass instead if your going that close to each other. you might be surprised that an annual pass is cheaper than tickets and then you get included photopass downloads and don't need to buy memory maker at all and you save money. Q: Our trip isn't for awhile, how often does the price of memory maker increase? A: Memory Maker is actually one of the few things that has gone down in price at disney. Back in 2014 they increased it $20 for pre and $30 for post but in 2016, they went back to original prices. For the foreseeable future, I think we're at the price it's going to remain but anything can happen. Q: We have people with all different MDE accounts, can we see each others photos? A: Yes, use the friends and family link account options to link all the accounts together and photos anyone takes with photopass will appear to everyone they are linked too. Q: My child is going to disney for a competition/performance, can I see their photos? A: Yes, groups traveling to disney, disney gives instructions for how to invite everyone to make their own mde account. Same as above, just link your accounts together. (yes you want your child to have their own account in this situation so they can manage their trip without you). Q: Can a family member that isn't traveling with us see the photos while we're on vacation? A: Yes, if they have their own MDE account just link them up, the can check it every day to see new photos that appear. If they don't have their own mde account, they just need to make one and then link them. Q: We had a family fallout during our vacation, how do I stop them from seeing my photos? A: Unlink them but that will stop you seeing their photos that might include you that you do want. In the friends and family section under their name you'll see the option to not share photos with them. they cannot override your setting. Photos that are in their account you cannot do anything to block them. Q: So I just need to link accounts, buy memory maker and everyone can take photos? A: No, anyone can take photos at any time. Memory maker is a purchase a copy of the photo option and has nothign to do with getting photos taken. Q: If I buy memory maker, everyone can download all the photos? A: No, only the MDE account that purchased memory maker can use memory maker to download photos. You can share the login information if your comfortable with that or send everyone a copy of the photos after you download them. Pro-tip: think about sharing that login closely you do have credit cards attached to your account and they can see future plans you may not want them knowing. If you do, change your password as soon as they are done to ensure they don't keep using it without you knowing. Q: Someone linked to my account edited the photo, can I download their edits with my memory maker? A: No, only the MDE account that has memory maker can download edits made from that account. You'll need to remake the edits on that account to download them with your included memory maker. Q: This is my first trip I don't know if I will take enough photos to buy memory maker. A: It only takes 9 photos to save money with memory maker. If you take a family picture in each park and waterpark, your already at 7 photos. Now if you take a second one next to somethign you really enjoy your over 9 photos. It really doens't take much to save money with memory maker. pro-tip: Is spending $20 more after the trip going to break the budget if you end up taking lots of photos? You cannot refund an unused memory maker but you can pay $20 more if you needed it. For me, $20 isn't going to hurt the cost of the trip if I went thinking I wasn't going to take photos and need it. not using it and wasting $149 is a bigger deal to me since I can't get a refund. Q: I have pre-trip memory maker but it would have been cheaper to just buy the photos other ways, can I save money now? A: Technically no. But if you know your taking a future trip, you can save memory maker for that trip and just buy the photos with other payment options. It'll cost you more right now but after your second trip you'll have saved some money. There is no "do this" type answer, it's going to come down to personal situation and what you want to do. Q: A photo is missing!!!!!! A: fill out the form on disney's website for missing photos answering as much information in it as possible and they will find and link it to your account. Q: i've seen amazing lying on the ground with the castle photos, how do I get this?!? A: There is usually a photopass photographer near casey's and the ice cream shop on main street that is not using a tripod. They are usually the photographer that will jump to the ground with you to get that magical photo. They may not be able to get it during crowded times so early morning and end of the day is usually the best times to try to pull this off. HELP ME!! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO BUY! If you are a military member or traveling with one and it is not Dec. 20, 2017 yet, buy nothing in advance and purchase the special unlimited memory maker at a military discount price of $89. Purchase can be made before or after any photos are taken, and you purchase it at any guest relations found in the 4 theme parks and disney springs. Bring your proof of military credentials with you as they will be checked. more details on what you need to bring can be found at: (link coming soon, trying to locate one) If you are an annual passholder or traveling with one, buy nothing in advance as they already have unlimited downloads at no extra cost. If it is someone you are traveling with, make sure you like MDE accounts together so your photos will share and they can access them. They will be the one to download and send you a copy of the photos. If you are only going to be at disney for 1 or 2 days, buy nothing in advance. If you have under 3 photos for each day then just buy the photos for the best price. If you have 4 or more photos for any specific day then buy the one day memory maker (not available until after the trip) for each day with 4 or more. Then buy the other photos (3 or less) for the other day. If both days have 4 or more, then get one day memory maker for each day. If you have more than 2 days, you should read below for a better recommendation. If you are taking a trip and know you only care about photos for a specific day, then buy nothing in advance and buy just the photos after the trip if you have 3 or less or one day memory maker if you have 4 or more for that specific day/event. This is great for frequent travelers who only want photos during a special ticketed event during the trip or someone who suddenly decides to attend a ticketed event. If you are only interested in 1 or 2 photos in each theme park or a total of 8 or less for the entire trip. buy nothing in advance and just buy the photos after the trip to save money. This is great for the family that have the photographer in the group to take photos but you still want to get some family photos with everyone in the picture and let disney take those photos for you. If your planning to visit a lot of character meet and greets, memory maker purchased pre-trip is usually the way to go. If it happens to be only on a specific day like a fall holiday party event then buying nothing and one day memory maker purchased after the trip would be the way to go if you don't plan to take many other photos on other days. If you're planning to head to Walt Disney World and use all the photographers, ride photos and video and just take advantage of what Disney offers. You should get memory maker pre-trip price. If you are staying offsite and plan to keep all the ride photos, I recommend you also consider getting MagicBands. They save time vs claiming the photo and on the most popular rides, it is the only way to get the photos of those rides (7dmt, fea). Onsite guests get an included MagicBand with their resort stay for everyone. If you're not sure if you will use the photographers, buy nothing but use the photographers as little or as much as you want on your trip. When you get home you can make an intelligent choice on how to pay for them for the least amount of money. while it would have saved money to get memory maker in advance, it's only $20 more to get it after the trip. This is a great choice for someone who has never been to Disney and doesn't know what to expect. If you are a person that loves to have photos of everything, scrap booker or do anything special with vacation photos, then getting Memory Maker pre-trip price is probably a great choice. Even if you are not sure how much you would use photopass or how many places you would want disney to take your photo you probably already know what your going to do with your personal photos after the trip and if it fits in your budget, it's a great way to get more photos with all family members in the photo. HELP ME, I AM STILL CONFUSED WHAT TO DO WITH PHOTOS AND MEMORY MAKER Take a deep breath it's ok and yes confusing. If your going to be taking a lot of photos with using disney photopass, you are going to but memory maker with the pre-trip price for the best price. If your on the fence, it's probably best to buy it but if you don't mind spending $169 instead of $149 after the trip, then go ahead and skip it and you can buy it after the trip if you went photo crazy or do the math for the best price post trip to get the photos if you used it, but didnt go crazy. No matter what option you end up going with, the important thing to do is make sure all the MDE accounts for everyone in your group are linked. This will spread the pictures between everyone no matter who uses their band or card to get the photo taken/rode the attraction with cameras. You can do this post trip and no photos will be lost but for trip planning needs, you really want them linked for other options like meals and fastpass. 1 or more people in your traveling party has an annual pass. Almost all annual passes include free photopass downloads. If they are willing to download the photos and send them to everyone there is nothing you need to purchase. Just link your MDE accounts together and have a great trip! 1 or more people in your traveling party is considering to upgrade to an annual pass. If you know you want to take a lot of photos, the person who is or considering to upgrade their ticket to an annual pass should buy memory maker. If they do upgrade to an annual pass, let the guest relations cast member know when you do the upgrade and they will apply the cost of memory maker towards your upgrade. It will cost you no extra. If you aren't sure if you are going to take photos or know with certainty that you are upgrading to AP, then buy nothing and after the upgrade they will have full AP access to all photos not only during the trip but any pictures shot up to 365 prior to the upgrade. 1 MDE account: (1 family) If your traveling group is 1 family and you all are on the same MDE account for your reservation, there is nothing extra to do to prepare your accounts. Go have a great vacation, get the ride and photographer photos as much as you want. If your planning to make use of the disney photographers, get memory maker ahead of the trip for the best price and have a great trip! Multiple mde accounts: (multiple families, extended families, friends of family, friends of friends, etc etc etc). If your traveling group is more complicated and there is multiple mde accounts then you want to link your mde accounts together if you haven't done so already. Once you can see each others fastpasses and reservations, you are linked and good to go. you do this from the friends and family list on mde (app or website). In the event of a very large group where you have friends of friends of friends. You will find those other people appear in friends and family after you have linked to the main person. The big thing to get right is make sure you get everyone's mde account linked to yours that is traveling together so you don't miss any photos. Now the person who purchased memory maker, is in charge of downloading and handing out copies of all the photos. If you want that to be you, then it needs to be purchased with your MDE account. Remember if the person who does have it flakes out, you can still buy it after the trip to ensure you have the photos for yourself. I used a travel agent, we don't have an mde account speak to the travel agent, you probably do and didn't know it. or make your account and use the reservation confirmation code to link it to your new account. A good travel agent should have told you what to do right away so it's best to bring it up with them ASAP. Conclusion. This is an area where disney's confusing marketing about how the system works gets more people to purchase memory maker even though they might have lower cost options. I hope this helped.