How To Get The Best Disneyland Photos Ever – CM086

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How to get the best Disneyland Photos Ever

How to get the best Disneyland photos ever using PhotoPass! Updates on their new pricing plans, new app, new magic shots, new animated magic shots, inspired photographers, and so much more!

Steph: Hey, everyone. Welcome to Capturing Magic. I'm Steph from, and I am here today with Heather [Winfield [00:00:08] from Hi, Heather.


Heather: Hi.


Steph: Thanks for being here today.


Heather: I'm excited we're back.


Steph: I know! Me too! It's exciting. We're also here today with Tanya Hickman, who has a new and exciting thing she's going to tell us about right now. Hi, Tanya.


Tanya: Hi! Yes, since I stopped digital-scrapbook designing, because that was the place that I was always sending people to, I started a new blog called


Steph: Oh, fun.


Tanya: It's pretty much just stuff I like. It's a lot of Disney stuff, but it's some everyday life stuff too. It's all the Disney moments and the stuff in between. I talk about Disney artists that I like, Disney stuff that I like, regular life stuff that I like. It's just a place to dump some thoughts.


Steph: Fun! Tell us the address again for that.




Steph: Perfect. Thank you. I want to be sure and thank our listeners for being here today. Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it, and we are really excited to be sharing everything that's going on in Disney, PhotoPass, Memory Maker world, because there's a ton of it, on some new changes. I'm excited to talk about it. You ready to jump in?


Tanya: Yes, we are really excited to be back. Thank you to everybody that begged us to come back.


Steph: Yeah. You're begging us to come back, and then also Heather's and Tanya's incessant nagging.


Tanya: We were just ready to do it without you. We were just going to do it ourselves.


Steph: That would have been fine. People would have come. Also, a new thing that we're going to have on the website with the podcast, instead of just show notes, there will actually be full transcripts on this site, so people can read it if they want, or they can listen to it. Either way, and if there's something they need to search for quick, it'll be easy to do that in the show transcripts, ha-ha!


Heather: Ooh! It's so exciting.


Tanya: Fancy.


Steph: Yeah. Alrighty, so Disneyland is what we're going to talk about today. They have been rolling out product after product, new thing after new thing, it seems like, since about December, January.


Tanya: Yep. Lots of new stuff.


Steph: Yeah. Okay, so the first thing we want to talk about is the new iPhone app that they rolled out. I believe it was in December. I was in the parks, actually, when they rolled it out. I was so excited to be there. How lucky was that? What do you guys … How is it working for you? We've all had at least one trip with the app.


Tanya: It seems to be working fine. My main issue is I have Sprint as my carrier, and I get the worst service in the parks compared to everybody else, so while I can still check the wait times, and make food reservations, and do all that stuff, it takes me a lot longer than it does some people, and there'll be times in the park where I don't have service at all, so they need to add wi-fi if they want us to use that app.


Steph: That's true. That's a really good point.


Heather: Yeah. I just used it when I was just there a couple weeks ago, so it had been rolled out for a while. Because with the Walt Disney World one, I remember getting on at first, and it was not good, and it's gotten better, so I don't know if this one was just as good when it started, because it worked pretty well for me. I was able to … I made dining reservations. I cancelled them. I was able to see, like you said, the wait time, or the FastPass time, and that was really nice. The character times, though, were not correct, so I had a couple of issues with that, where I walked all the way from the furthest part of the park, and then, of course, they weren't there, and they're just like, “Oh, well, you know, they're not here today. App's wrong.”


Tanya: I do like that you can see when the FastPass return-time distribution is. That's really nice. I don't want to have to walk all the way to Space Mountain to see that I can't get on it until [9:00] at night. I can just look in the app and see that they're distributing ones for [9:00] at night, so I don't have to walk all the way over there. That's nice.


Steph: Yeah. You know what's really interesting to me is the only thing I use the app for was PhotoPass. That's it. You guys are talking about all this other stuff; I'm like, “Wow! It does that too? Really? Wow!”


Tanya: No, don't get me wrong. We PhotoPass'd it up while we were there, but we did actually use it for other stuff. I made dining reservations and I checked FastPass times.


Steph: I did do dining … Go ahead.


Heather: When we were trying to find the different shops, because when they had AP Days, and we never heard of this shop, so we would look on the map.


Tanya: Yeah. Like, What shop is that? Yeah, we were able to look on the maps and everything.


Steph: Yeah. I was able to do dining. I did do dining with it, but other than that, I used it to download photos, so let's talk about that. Let's talk about how it works with PhotoPass. You can scan your PhotoPass barcode with it, and then link it up to PhotoPass that way, if you've purchased a PhotoPass or if you have an annual pass that has PhotoPass in it, and then you can also download photos, so how did it work for you guys doing that? Did it work?


Heather: Well, I had a pass. I had an annual pass. It didn't have PhotoPass on it, so I looked through it. After the trip, I added a couple of pictures, but it has all the watermarks. I saw it on Tanya's, so she can talk more about that.


Tanya: Yeah, they're all on my app. All of our photos are on my app. They download fine. I can view them fine, that is, if they all show up.


Steph: Yes! That's my beef with the app. Here's a little trick that I figured out. The photos show up fast when it's working, but sometimes it'll stall, and it'll just sit there and spin and spin and spin and spin, and I thought, well, it's because I'm in Disneyland, and everyone talks about how bad the internet is. No, because it even did that once I left the park and was on wi-fi.


Heather: Yeah, the Disney World one does that too. I know we're not talking about that today, but yeah.


Steph: What I figured out you have to do is log out and log back in, and then it reboots it, so every single day, I had to log out and log back in.


Tanya: I never even thought about doing that before.


Steph: Yeah. Well …


Tanya: Thanks, Heather.


Heather: I just scroll down on the thing, and keep scrolling, as having to try to reload and reload, and finally it'll work.


Steph: I just figured out if I logged out and logged back in, then the photos would show up. Sometimes, they were honestly almost instantaneous, that they would show up in the app. We would get photos taken in … Even to the point that I was able to, one time … Because I take my little printer around with me to do the thank you cards for cast members, and I was able to … We had some amazing PhotoPass photographers, I have to tell you that. They, wow. They've really improved things over the last year there, I have to say, really a lot with the photographers. We had a couple that were really good, and so I made them little thank you cards, but I was able to print, download a photo that they had taken of us onto my phone, and print it, because they were just that quick. It was instant.


Tanya: My only … I like it. I like being able to download the photos. I like being able to view the photos, because if a photo doesn't turn out, then I can go back and retake it. I like when they're there right away, but because we took so many photos, I felt like trying to navigate through them in the app was a little daunting, having to scroll and scroll and scroll to find a specific photo, and then having to swipe to see the couple photos, and then there were some that didn't show up at all until I actually logged into the computer, and they were in the computer, but they never showed up on my app.


Steph: Oh, interesting.


Heather: Yeah, and the other thing is if you're an annual pass, you have your pictures from a year, so that really takes a long time, and then when you're on the computer, it's like you have all those pictures, so on one hand, it's great that you get to keep your pictures now for a year, but that can also slow things down.


Tanya: Kind of wish that once you download them, you can have the option to delete them out of the system.


Steph: What I would like to see is … Because in order to download them, you do have to select them one by one. You only have the option to select them one by one or select all, and my last trip alone, we had 430 photos from a three-day trip, and then there's the trip before that still in there, and the trip … There's over 1,000 photos in there now in PhotoPass. I wish we had the option to select a date range and download all of those at one time. I'm fine with them all staying in there, because I'm a photo hoarder. That's the one thing I'm … I'm okay with them staying in there, but I would like to be able to select a date range, because selecting 430 photos one by one takes a really long time.


Tanya: Yes, it does.


Heather: The great thing is when you're in the park, and then, for example, the meet-and-greet areas are always inside. They're always all full lighting, and so usually the PhotoPass pictures come out well, so you can just quickly have that and then not have to deal with, okay, I need to edit this a lot before I can post it, so it's great to have that instant feedback now. That's the thing we had been wanting, remember, for such a long time, and so adding that, I think, was …


Steph: Our very first podcast that we recorded, I think, that was one of the things on my wish list, was to be able to share socially and download them instantly, and we have that now, and I love it. It's awesome, and, for so many reasons, I love being able to share them socially, text them to family that's not with us, and do the printing thing. That was super fun, and the cast members were thrilled with those little cards that I made for them with photos that they actually took of us.


Tanya: Yeah, it's awesome.


Steph: All right. Let's talk about the new animated magic shots at Disneyland. This was added too not too long ago. Super fun!


Heather: Yeah. I don't think we had a podcast where we talked about the animated magic shots, right? I think they added those after.


Steph: Yeah.


Heather: Yeah, so they're all new. Which one should we talk about first?


Steph: Let's talk about where they are.


Tanya: Ooh.


Steph: There's one in front of the train station at the main entrance at Disneyland, and that is the chimney sweeps.


Tanya: Yes. We got that one.


Heather: That was exciting, because I'm such a Mary Poppins fan.


Tanya: Actually, we'd totally forgotten about that one, and [inaudible [00:11:15] it showed up, we were like, “Ahh!”


Heather: I'm like, if I went home and didn't get this one, I would have cried, so that one was exciting to have the chimney sweep from the Soundsational, so it was fun.


Tanya: Minnie and Mickey in front of the Partners statue.


Steph: Yes. That's super cute.


Tanya: That one's really cute. I like how he inches closer to you.


Heather: Yeah. Minnie's taking the picture, and then he's kind of like, “I have to get in the picture with you.”


Steph: Yeah, so cute. Then, in DCA, there's the Newsies.


Tanya: Oh, you mean the one we didn't get?


Heather: No, the one that we got, but hasn't shown up yet. Any of the pictures.


Tanya: We had quite a few of those not show up.


Steph: I'm really sorry. I did not have any not show up, but that Newsies animated magic shot was a challenge to get, and I had to ask several different cast members, and a couple of times, cast members told me, “Oh, no. I … Nope. We can't do that,” and so, finally, I went into the store and said, “Hey, I really want a Newsies animated shot. Is there someone that can do it for me?” “Oh, yeah! Any of the photographers can do it,” he said. “Well, but they're telling me they can't,” so they ended up calling a supervisor in to come and do the shot for me, and they said, “Check in a couple hours. It should show up in the next couple hours.” I even had a couple of photographers tell me that they did it, but I checked, and it was never added. The magic part wasn't ever added, and so I did it again, because they told me that that's actually … The animated ones, they can't add after. If you call them, that's what they told me.


Heather: What? I've had them … Well, I don't know for Disneyland, but Disney World had …


Steph: Disney World, they've added the animated for you.


Heather: Yeah. None of my last trip, now I'm going to another podcast, but none of my animated magic shots have shown up, so I had to contact them, and they were able to add them all.


Steph: They were able to add it. Good. I hope they can.


Tanya: That's interesting. They got to be just an overlay. I don't understand how they wouldn't be able to add that afterward.


Steph: Me either.


Heather: Yeah, because we had …


Tanya: I can add that afterwards. I know how to do that.


Steph: Give me the file! I'll add it myself.


Tanya: I'll do it. All of them.


Heather: We had the same experience that you did, other than going to a supervisor, but I know that … Because Tanya tried to get it.


Tanya: Heather was in line for a character, and I was like, “I'm going to see if I can find somebody to do that shot while she's waiting for the character,” and I found a guy, and I was like, “Hey, you. Can you do the animated Newsies magic shot?” and he was like, “Um, yeah, okay,” kind of looked around like he wasn't supposed to. He said, “Technically, any photographer that takes a landscape or just Buena Vista Street shot, it should be automatically added to it.” That's what he told me.


Steph: I know! That's what they kept telling me too.


Tanya: Yeah, and I was like, “Okay.” He's like, “Let's go over to the Storytellers statue.” I said, “Okay. We'll do it there. That's fine,” so I took the photo, and I was all excited. I'm like, “Great! That was easy. I pulled him over. He did it. It's done,” and, of course, it didn't show up.


Heather: Then, once I was done with the character, that guy was gone, so there was one over by the fountain, and I say, “Can you do the shot?” and she said, “No, I'm not allowed to. You have to find, like, a rover,” and so she said, “You have to find somebody else,” and she went and took all these pictures of me. She went all the way down Buena Vista Street, towards the entrance and everything. She was really great. She found out I'm from New Jersey, so she said, “You came a long way. I'm going to do it, but it has to be fast, because I can't have a line form,” so I said, “Okay! We'll be fast.” She brought me over to the Storytellers statue again, and I saw her changing it on the pad thing, and so she took it. All the other pictures showed up, and no Newsies pictures. This has been over a week. We contacted them and we haven't heard anything yet.


Tanya: I feel like they're being stingy with it, the animated magic shot, like they know people want it.


Steph: I know! It's to make it in high demand. If they make it hard to get, then it'll be in high demand.


Heather: That's like my … That show is my heart.


Steph: I know! It is. You love it.


Heather: Poor Tanya. Any time, the show. It can be towards the beginning, the end. I'm like, “I have to stop and watch this.”


Tanya: I'm like, “I'll be at Starbucks.”


Heather: Give me the magic shot!


Steph: I want the magic … ! Yeah, it's hard to get for some reason, but they're fun. They're so fun, and I love how specific they are to Disneyland. It's not just the same ones that they have at Disney World. I had heard rumors that there was supposed to be a monorail magic shot right inside the entrance of California Adventure. I heard that from a PhotoPass photographer. One of them even took our picture like it was supposed to be added when I was there in January, but it never showed up, and then nobody knew what I was talking about this last trip that I was on either, so I don't know that there really is. It's elusive. That's the …


Tanya: It's the unicorn magic shot?


Steph: Yes, it is!


Tanya: Either that guy was pulling your leg or it just hasn't happened yet.


Steph: Are there any other animated shots, I don't think, that we're forgetting? Do you guys know about at Disneyland?


Tanya: Oh, well, there was the 60th anniversary one.


Steph: Yeah, we can't … They're gone.


Tanya: Yeah, it's not there anymore.


Heather: Yeah, they had a couple of those.


Steph: There were tons, because there was an animated one at each spot. I hope that they'll do something to replace those, because that was way fun.


Heather: Well, on the last day of the 60th, I wanted to try to get them, because I had only got one of them, and I think Tanya had only gotten one of them, and so we wanted to do it, and there wasn't even PhotoPass in front of them on the last day of the 60th.


Tanya: They'd given up. They'd split.


Steph: I had a hard time finding PhotoPass photographers in front of the 60th when I was there in August.


Heather: I thought it was odd that there's a lot of places that normally would have PhotoPass, like the Storytellers statue we're talking about, I've always seen a PhotoPass person set up there, and this whole trip, I never saw one there. It seemed like there was a lot more roving than set-up ones.


Steph: Let's talk about those roving photographers. They have a new name, and they're called Inspired Photographers. They will just have their set. They will walk around and do a little mini photo shoot with you. They do lots of creative portrait kind of stuff. I love it. What did you think of your photos, Heather?


Heather: Oh, I loved it, because, like I said, I started off at the fountain, and she was having me lean back into the fountain. She was on the other side, so you have this whole completely different view than I've ever seen, because you've taken a billion pictures in front of the fountain, so it's nice to have something different. Then she walked me down to where there's a staircase near the entrance of the park, and she had me go up the staircase. She was taking pictures from below. Then she was taking it of just my ears showing up. She was taking it of me sitting on the staircase. All those kinds of fun things. That was definitely a fun thing, because if you're someone like us that goes to the park a lot, and also gets a lot of PhotoPass pictures, you have the same ones over and over again, so to have something different is a really nice thing.


Steph: I totally agree. It really makes it a cherished experience. It totally is an experience, but also, the memories that you have from those photos. I love it. We've done it a few different times in Disneyland. Around the castle, we had an awesome photographer. When I was there with my friends, the younger girls did the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and after we were finished with that, we had a photographer … I just asked him if he would take some pictures on the side of the castle where there's not going to be people behind them. You know where I'm talking about? The left-hand side of the castle, if you're looking at the castle? He was like, “Sure!” and he came over, and he ended up spending quite a bit of time. He did photos on both sides of the castle, actually, and did some of each of them by themselves, some of them together, some of us with each of our girls. Just really, he was amazing. I can't say enough. That seems to be what they're doing. Instead of the mass “Everybody that comes through the park has the same exact shot, and we're just going to hurry everybody through,” they're actually taking the time to do a really good job. These are like Christmas card quality photos, I think.


Heather: We also had … When we were taking pictures, I did the race, so I had the taking metal pictures, and the one photographer by the Partners statue said, “Oh, do you want me to take a picture of that?” and I was just holding up the metal. I wasn't in it. Because they always … You used to have to be in the picture. They couldn't just take a picture of an object, but she told us that now they can. She was great, because she took a picture, like I said, of me holding up the metal, and then we wanted a picture with our bracelets. How long did we try to get a good picture?


Tanya: Years.


Heather: Of our bracelets with a friend of ours? She took these pictures, and they came out really well.


Steph: Oh, fun.


Heather: That was exciting. She took it of just our ears. That was a funny thing.


Tanya: She was super excited. She's like, “We don't have to have faces in the photos anymore! What do you want me to take photos of?” Like, “Here's the bracelets, the metal. Let's do it all!” She was excited.


Steph: Yeah. See, they even did some photos … My daughter had … We went to Build-A-Bear, and she got an Elliott, a stuffed Elliott.


Tanya: Aww! They got an Elliott?


Steph: Yes!


Tanya: I want to go!


Steph: That Elliott went around everywhere with us in Disneyland for two days, and so they even did some photos with Elliott, and it's just adorable.


Tanya: That is so cute. Now I literally want to take every stuffed animal I own just so they can take photos of it all. “Take photos of my all stuff, please!”


Steph: So fun. Okay, what about regular magic shots? What do we have in Disneyland? I'm relying on you for this, Heather, I hope.


Tanya: I don't think we found any new ones.


Heather: No, I …


Steph: There weren't any new ones? Okay.


Heather: They seemed to just keep doing the Tinker Bell and that balloons one.


Steph: The same old … Yes!


Tanya: Oh my gosh. Over and over, those balloon ones. Over and over.


Heather: The one time, I had all my metals ones. It was one of those shots, and then they had me do the Tinker Bell one. I'm like, “I don't want the Tinker Bell one!” when I'm wearing five metals.


Steph: That's funny.


Heather: That balloon one, yeah. They had us doing the thing where you're holding onto the other one.


Tanya: We got a couple of those, sadly.


Steph: I'm pretty sure they have other ones. I did ask them, though. I was like, “Do you have any other ones?” “Well, no, not really.” Really?


Tanya: Oh, yes, they do! They do.


Steph: They used to.


Tanya: We have a favorite PhotoPass photographer. He's a crazy guy named Eric. We found him on our last day, and we were like, “Hey. Just take us around and take some photos,” and he said, “Okay.” He's like, “Have you done all the magic shots?” and he rattled off every one that we have listed on the site, so they do them all. He was like, “Have you done Chip? Have you done Pascal? Have you done the hitchhiking ghost?” He was naming all of them.


Steph: Oh, my goodness!


Tanya: We were like, “Done it. Done it. Done it,” but yeah, he had them all. He was able to do all of them.


Steph: I'm kind of sad, because I really wanted to get Pascal.


Tanya: Oh, yeah. No, they'll do it. They do it. You just have to bug.


Heather: Yeah, because I didn't … None of the other ones, really, were saying it, even if I would ask, and they're just like, “Oh. Here's Tinker Bell! Get the balloons!”


Tanya: It just depends on the photographer. Some of them are more eager to do it, and the other ones just don't want to have to switch over their [inaudible [00:23:06], so it kind of is what it is.


Steph: Yeah, exactly. Did you guys notice at all the equipment looked like it had been upgraded for the PhotoPass photographers? Did it look like that to you, or did it look like the same old equipment?


Heather: Yeah. I've been to Disney World since, I think, when they had switched it over, so I think it looked the same as that to me. I didn't really pay too much attention.


Tanya: Yeah, I didn't really notice.


Steph: Okay. It looked like it was maybe new-ish to me. It seemed like the PhotoPass photographers maybe were a little less frustrated, but maybe that was just in my imagination.


Tanya: We definitely got a few that seemed way more eager than they used to be.


Steph: Yes!


Tanya: I think maybe because they're given more freedom now, so they're like, “Let's do it!” They don't have to just set up on a tripod and take the normal photos. They're allowed to go a little out of the box now, so I think they're a little bit more excited about it.


Steph: Well, I would be if it were my job.


Tanya: Yeah. I would too.


Heather: We had … During Paint the Night, when they have the cards that you hold up, they were really into it. They were running down: “Who wants to take the picture?”


Tanya: It was also the last night, so maybe they were just like, “Our jobs over! We're done!”


Steph: “We're done doing this!”


Heather: Even when I did it a couple days earlier, it seemed like they were a lot more into it, and they were doing it even during Soundsational, but they didn't have the card, which I was disappointed, because I wanted the Soundsational card.


Steph: Oh, they need a Soundsational card, yeah.


Heather: I think they have one, but I didn't see it this whole trip. I'm still trying to get them over there, but they never came over. Even that, they seem to be, “Yeah! I want to take pictures of you sitting there waiting!”


Steph: Yeah, they could do a card or even a Polaroid frame with Soundsational Parade on the bottom. That would be cute!


Tanya: It would be cute.


Steph: So cute. All right, let's talk about this, because you guys saw this advertised while you were there at one of the events you went to: the new in-park photo shoot that they're advertising! That's crazy expensive.


Tanya: I just can't.


Heather: Well, if you win the lottery, you can go and do that.


Steph: Well, tell our listeners about it, one of you.


Heather: Before the park opens … One of them was the Cars Land, so they take you around and take pictures of what I think you can get at any time. If you're in Cars Land when it closes, it's pretty empty, so, for me, I don't really think it's worth it. There's also one in Toontown. My dreams aren't of taking PhotoPass pictures in Toontown.


Tanya: Are all of them before the park opens, none after the park closes? Is it only before the park opens?


Steph: I think so.


Tanya: Okay. I'm going to say, because …


Steph: That's my understanding.


Tanya: How … Do you have the brochure in front of you, Heather?


Heather: Of course, I went in to go get it, and then I forgot it again.


Steph: How much was it? Do you remember?


Tanya: Something like $1200 or something?


Heather: Yeah. I'll certainly get it, that you can put it in the show notes and everything. I can even [inaudible [00:26:19].


Tanya: How long? Like, an hour?


Heather: Yeah, I …


Tanya: Ugh.


Heather: You were there too!


Steph: I think it was an hour. From the information that I read online, I think it's an hour.


Tanya: That's just crazy.


Heather: I think they had … At the AP event, they had the pictures, and they had a PhotoPass person there just to talk to you about it, and so I [inaudible [00:26:41] people …


Tanya: It's nice. The photos look nice, because you don't have anybody in the photos. Your whole family, you can dress up. You can wear what you want to wear, but for $1200, that's just insane. That's, like, maybe $500.


Heather: Keep it. If you're paying for that, I would think you would want castle pictures, that kind of thing. I wouldn't want …


Tanya: Yes. I would want you to take me around the whole park.


Heather: No offense to Toontown, but yeah.


Tanya: Take me around to everywhere that I want to take photos of for an hour. Give me an hour and let me loose.


Steph: I would at least want a castle shot with nobody in the background, because that's the whole reason. For me, that would be the motivating factor, so I hope that they at least do that when they're walking people back to Toontown.


Heather: Well, they didn't have pictures of that.


Steph: You'd think they would advertise that if they did it.


Tanya: Yeah, that would be a definite selling point.


Steph: It would! It would, especially for people that don't go a lot like us. It's somebody, if this is their once-in-a-life trip to Disneyland, they might do it. I'm a crazy person that might do it, if it was my one and only trip, because I love photos so much, and I would so badly want a castle shot with nobody in the background, but if it's just Toontown, not so much.


Heather: Yeah, I think all the times I've been to Disneyland, I have maybe one picture without anybody behind me.


Tanya: Especially because Toontown's looking a little shabby nowadays. It needs to be repainted.


Steph: It is, yeah.


Tanya: It's a little faded.


Steph: It has. That's a good way of putting it. Seen better days, for sure.


Heather: Okay, so I found the brochures, and the pricing is actually $1700 for each of them. The Cars Land one is actually after closing, so that's a little bit better. The Toontown one, it looks like it actually includes Mickey and Minnie, so that's a little perk, I guess. They also say that they include one framed set of pictures. I don't know if that's worth $1700, but at least they give you something else. The other interesting thing is that if you want a CD of the pictures, you have to pay an extra $30, which doesn't make sense, I think, if you're paying $1700. It also says that it doesn't include park admissions.


Steph: Okay, so the last thing that I wanted to talk about was the Frozen Experience PhotoPass, which you guys didn't know about.


Tanya: No.


Steph: You didn't … Yeah.


Tanya: Wait. We didn't … What is it? We don't know.


Steph: Okay …


Tanya: We still don't know.


Steph: You still don't know. The Frozen Experience is they have different levels of you can go have VIP seating for the Frozen show, basically, I guess, is what it is. The least expensive level is the one that I did, and so you go into this, I believe it's Studio or Stage 27, you know that area, back over there, kind of by the Muppets?


Tanya: Uh huh.


Heather: Yeah.


Steph: Back where they used to have Olaf doing the meet and greets and stuff like that. Anyway, you can go in there, and they have activities, and they have snow cone, like, shaved-ice treats that's included, and popcorn that's included, and then one alcoholic beverage, and since I don't drink alcohol, they went and got me a diet coke, which was so nice of them to do that.


Tanya: That is nice.


Steph: Yeah. Then they also have three different … Four different. Three or four different photo spots. Three different photo spots and then Olaf, I guess. Two, and they have PhotoPass photographers there with backdrops, and the trolls is one, and then the ice castle is another, and then Olaf is there, too, to do character meets, and then we got a lanyard with a little thing on it that said that we were VIP pass, and then a collectible pin, an exclusive pin.


Tanya: Oh, Heather, you missed out.


Steph: Yeah, and I believe that that is all. I want to say there was one other treat in there to have, too, and then you can just sit and mingle. We got there … You're supposed to arrive an hour and a half before the show. We had back-to-back princess stuff. That was our princess day, and we did the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and then the character breakfast at Ariel's, and then went straight to this, and so we were late.


Heather: Oh, that's a princess-y day.


Steph: It was princess, yeah.


Heather: That's my kind of day.


Steph: It was fun. It actually was really fun. We got there about thirty minutes before the end of the window, or something like that, which was fine. We had enough time to hurry and grab all the photo spots. Olaf was leaving right as we walked in to go take a break or something, but we were able to eat our snacks and do everything that we needed to do, and then they walk you over to the Frozen show, and you can choose seats in the first few rows, so it worked out great. I was happy not to have to wait in line, and not to have to worry about getting seats, plus we got extra PhotoPass photos, which I love, and then those extra things. It was $50 a person. They have other levels where you can go eat at Carthay Circle, which I thought was a super interesting match-up.


Tanya: For kids?


Steph: Yeah.


Tanya: Well, for $50 … What you got for $50 doesn't sound bad.


Steph: No, I didn't think so at all. I was like, “This actually feels like it's good value for what I … ” Yeah.


Heather: Did you say the thing with the trolls and stuff, those were just backdrops, or were they magic shots?


Steph: It was a backdrop.


Heather: Okay.


Steph: It was more dimensional, so you could actually stand behind some of the trolls. I'll put some pictures in the transcript of the show so that people can see, too, what it looked like, all of those different shots. Are you feeling bad now, Heather?


Heather: Well, we saw the Frozen show, so not really.


Steph: Okay! I love the Frozen show!


Heather: We had issues with the show.


Steph: You didn't like it?


Tanya: Okay, well, hold on, hold on.


Steph: Because I thought it was amazing.


Tanya: Yeah. My family has been raving about it since it started, and I hadn't had a chance to see it yet, and they've been raving about it: “It was so good!” They went and saw it, like, the first weekend it opened, and, I'm not even joking, they won't shut up about it, and so they have talked it up maybe a bit too much, but, to be fair, I went into it, and I was like, “It's going to be great. It is what it is.” I loved the Aladdin show, because that show was great.


Heather: Yeah, I've heard so many great things about it, so I was excited to see it.


Tanya: My couple complaints were it started fifteen minutes late.


Steph: Yeah, ours did too.


Tanya: Which seems to be the going rate right now.


Steph: It does.


Tanya: Ten minutes in, it stopped, and they had something happen, so they had to postpone the show for five or ten minutes. Then, I'm well acquainted with the actress that was playing Elsa, because she used to be in the Mad Tea Party, and she sings very well. She did not sing very well in this show, and it was almost distracting. We and Heather were both kind of like, “Huh.” Even when the show ended, my family was like, “That was not as good as the first time we saw it.” I don't know if it was just a combination of the actors or what had happened.


Heather: It had a very rehearsal feel.


Steph: The technical problems, that ruins the … Sorry.


Heather: Even before that, even before it went on, it felt like they were just going through the motions of it rather than performing it, and so …


Steph: Being it?


Heather: Tanya's family was saying how they didn't seem to have the same chemistry like the ones they had seen, so I don't know if it was that or what, but …


Steph: Interesting.


Tanya: After Heather left, I went back with my family again to see it on Friday, and, again, it started twenty minutes late, stopped ten minutes in, and they cancelled the show altogether.


Steph: Oh, my goodness.


Tanya: Due to a …


Steph: Technical?


Tanya: Technical difficulty, yeah. We could see it. One of the set pieces wouldn't move. It was stuck, so they had to cancel the show.


Heather: Yeah, the day we saw it when I was in line for the character later on in the day, I heard the people behind me saying how the show that they were supposed to see, which I think was the second show, had also been cancelled. They were sitting there, and I forget how long they said, and then they'd just said, “Well, we have to cancel it.”


Steph: Wow! I guess I was really lucky. It did start late, like fifteen, twenty minutes late, but it went all the way through, and it seemed to be without a hitch. I hadn't read anything online about the show. I didn't want to, because I wanted to just be able to experience it the first time there. Normally, I read, and I'm spoiler-crazy. I'm fine with it, but this time, I didn't, and I loved it. I thought it was amazing. I thought it was super magical, all of the special effects, and I loved it.


Tanya: I definitely think it can be amazing. I just think we didn't get a good show or something. I don't know what the deal is. After it getting cancelled on Friday, we went to City Hall just to say something about it, because it kept starting late, there's things that kept going wrong, we've now seen it twice and it didn't go through without a hitch either time. She said almost every day, people come in and complain about it, about how late it starts, how long you had to wait in line, about it getting cancelled, about something happening and postponing the show. It happens almost daily.


Steph: Wow.


Tanya: I don't know if they're just still working out the kinks, or if something had changed.


Steph: Probably all of the above.


Tanya: It could be really good.


Heather: Yeah, but when it first started, though, I hadn't heard any complaints, so that's why it seemed a little odd that as it goes on, it seems to have had more issues, so I don't know what the deal is.


Steph: Maybe they've been changing stuff and it's not working or something.


Tanya: Maybe.


Steph: How long did you guys have to wait in line to get seats?


Tanya: Well, our FastPasses, we were able to just walk up and get. We were able to walk up and get the actual FastPasses, but then they want you …


Heather: Well, we rope-dropped.


Tanya: You rope-dropped.


Heather: We were in the line before even the park opened.


Tanya: On Friday, though, when I went, we didn't rope-drop. We got there at 10, and we were still able to get tickets to the first show, but in the mezzanine, so we weren't in the orchestra, but an hour later, there were still tickets available for the first show. They want you in line, like, twenty to thirty minutes before the show starts, and if you want somewhat decent seats, you have to be there a little bit earlier than that, so you're wasting … Well, not wasting, if the show goes through, but if it doesn't go through, you're wasting 45 minutes standing in that line, waiting to get in.


Steph: Then you're going to have to do it all again, right, or did they give you a pass to come back?


Tanya: No, they don't. You're out of luck. If you miss it, you're out of luck.


Steph: Then you have to do it again in order to see it again.


Tanya: Exactly.


Steph: That would make me grumpy.


Tanya: When we were in that character line, and the family behind us was saying that their show got cancelled, we felt so bad, because the little girl was dressed like Elsa.


Steph: Aww!


Tanya: So sad.


Steph: See, that's what I was worried about, because all of our girls were dressed up as Elsa and Anna. We'd done the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and I'm like, “Oh, please, don't cancel. Please don't cancel.”


Heather: The other thing, at least in our show, that I found interesting, is … Because I've seen a lot of these Frozen shows, like the one they had in the Fantasy Fair, and the Sing-Along, and all those things, and people are really into it, and it seemed like the audience was not really responding to anything. The only time there was really a response was when Hans said, “Oh, if only someone loved you,” people were like, “Ooh.”


Tanya: Yeah, go, “Ooh.”


Heather: Yeah, but nothing else was getting any kind of response, so I don't know if it was, again, the whole chemistry …


Tanya: It definitely didn't get the cheers that Aladdin used to get.


Steph: Yeah, I agree. I was really sad for the performance, for the performers with how dead the audience was, even just clapping at the end of a number. It made me sad for the performers, because that's hard, and it's hard to keep your energy level up when that's what you're performing for.


Tanya: Yeah. Hopefully, it'll get better.


Steph: Alrighty, is there anything else that we, PhotoPass-wise, memory-making, keeping-wise, that we need to talk about at Disneyland, changes?


Tanya: I don't … Oh! I did want to comment, just really quickly, on remember before the app came out, and they were testing out downloading photos to your phone for, like, 99 cents, or for free sometimes, I did notice on Radiator Springs Racers that, if you don't have PhotoPass and you want just the download, they're $12.99.


Steph: Wow!


Tanya: Yeah. I was like, “What the … ?” $12.99. Not 99 cents. Not even $4.99, like they were for a little bit. They're $12.99 now for the download.


Steph: That's a lot of money.


Tanya: At least on Radiator Springs Racers, it is.


Heather: Speaking of that, I notice that the racers picture is different than it used to be.


Tanya: What?


Heather: Did you notice that? Yeah, it looks … It's like a different border or something around it. It looks different.


Tanya: Have to compare. I didn't notice.


Steph: Yeah, I'll have to compare too. I will do that.


Heather: The other thing was Tanya wanted me to remind her to talk about the Tower of Terror.


Tanya: Oh, yeah! The Tower of Terror photo spot that they just added.


Steph: What?


Tanya: Oh, my gosh! I totally … Thank you for reminding.


Heather: It was Friday after I left, though.


Tanya: Well, they started, because they're getting rid of … Well, they're changing Tower of Terror, I should say, so with the start of Halloween, started the Final Check-out whole thing that they're doing right now, so in front of the Tower of Terror sign, they have a whole spot set up for photos with suitcases and a baggage thing. It is super cute, and I would love to show you photos, but mine haven't shown up with the app yet. I had to e-mail them about it, so hopefully they find them.


Steph: Yeah, that's really cute.


Tanya: Yeah, it's a really cute little set-up. When we got there, because we went on the first day, the people in front of us were dressed up as bellhops and they were taking the cutest photos. They took a lot of photos. The PhotoPass photographer spent with each of us, like, ten minutes, taking a bunch of different photos.


Steph: That's so great. You know what we do need to talk about, too, that I totally forgot about? Thank you. I'm glad that you guys helped me remember. The different levels of PhotoPass that you can buy at Disneyland, because that's changed a lot, too, over the past several months. When they launched the app, they also launched PhotoPass One-Day, which is you can just buy PhotoPass for one day, and it's $39, which is a great deal, I guess, if you're only going for one day, but when you go for multiple days, that adds up really fast, which I know most of our listeners, when they go, they're going for multiple days, and we had a lot of people e-mailing and commenting on social media that they were not happy about it, and I did let my PhotoPass contact know, and I also called and let them know as well. They said that they were taking notes, so they did add back in the Disney PhotoPass Collection and disc.


Tanya: Look at you, making changes!


Steph: I like to think it's because of my influence. I kind of doubt it.


Heather: Yeah, but your PhotoPass contact is pretty awesome.


Steph: He is. Okay, and then there's the Disney PhotoPass Collections. The Disney PhotoPass Collection you get for $99, and that includes digital downloads of your PhotoPass photos, the attraction photos, dining photos, magic shots, runDisney photos, all of that stuff.


Tanya: For the length of your stay?


Steph: For the length of your stay.


Heather: For a week. Isn't it a week?


Steph: I believe it's … Let me look. I think you're right. I think it is a week. Yes, it is a week.


Tanya: Nobody really stays more than a week, anyway.


Steph: Not at Disneyland, usually.


Tanya: Yeah, not at Disneyland.


Heather: Except me.


Tanya: $99 isn't bad. You can get your money's worth out of $99.


Steph: Yeah, totally. I used to pay $69.


Tanya: Yeah, I prefer $69, but $99's fine too.


Steph: Yeah, totally doable.


Heather: Way cheaper than the Disney World.


Tanya: Wasn't it always $99, but if you pre-ordered it early, it was $69 or something?


Steph: Yes.


Tanya: Okay.


Steph: They've just gotten rid of that pre-order option. Then you can also get the PhotoPass Collection plus the disc, which is the digital downloads and then also a disc of your photos, I believe is how it works, and that's the difference. It's $119.


Tanya: $20 for a disc.


Steph: Yeah, $120. Then if you have an annual pass that includes PhotoPass, if you have the right level of annual pass that has PhotoPass photos included, then you just get all your photos for the whole entire year. I was surprised that … Because when we went to Ariel's Grotto, they said, “We'll come around your table and explain everything to you.” I'm like, “Okay,” so they came around and were trying to sell me on the prints, and I said, “Hey, I have an annual pass, so what do I get with that?” Because I don't want the prints, right?


Tanya: Yeah, no.


Steph: I just want the digital downloads. They're, “Oh, we'll be right back with your information,” and they brought me back these little cards so I could add that into the app, and we got the downloads included because of my annual pass. It really is included, but when they come around to try and sell you on the prints, let them know that you have the PhotoPass whatever level you have.


Tanya: I'm really surprised they even try to sell the prints anymore.


Steph: I know.


Tanya: Like, nobody … They're just so over-priced.


Steph: Well, they must sell them, though, or they wouldn't!


Tanya: Yeah, that's so true.


Heather: Because they actually print them out.


Steph: They do.


Heather: They come in the thing and everything. You used to have to buy the picture, and then they had the number on the picture, and then you could put that in your PhotoPass, but now, if you have the PhotoPass … I don't know how does it work. You said it includes the dining one too, so if you get that week one, your pictures are included with that, right?


Steph: Right. It does, yeah. It does. There's actually … I'm looking on the website right now, and I kind of misquoted, so there's PhotoPass Plus One-Week, which is $69, and it includes all of your photos for one seven-day period of your choosing. The Disney PhotoPass Collection, which is $99 … Trying to figure out the difference here. I think it's a longer period, is what it is, the PhotoPass Collection. That's the problem, I think, with Disneyland, is it gets confusing, the way they offer things, and there's too many different levels. I think a PhotoPass One-Day and a PhotoPass One-Week would be a perfect solution for them. Don't you guys?


Tanya: Yeah.


Heather: Yeah.


Steph: Anyway, if you go to, there's the complete Disneyland PhotoPass guide. It lays every single thing out for you, how long it's good for, what all is included, even the pixels and DPIs of what the photos are when you download them, all of that good stuff, so you can find it all there. Alrighty, okay, good. Thank you, girls, for being here. I really appreciate it.


Heather: Thanks for having us again. Yay!


Tanya: Yay!


Steph: I want to thank our listeners, too, for being here. If you enjoy the show, please be sure to leave us a review in iTunes. That helps us out a lot, helps us get seen more in iTunes, so if you like the show, help us out that way by leaving a review. We would really, really appreciate it. Let's remind our listeners one more time where to find you, Tanya.


Tanya: You can find me on all social media, username TanyaH666, and you can check out my blog


Steph: Heather.


Heather: On Twitter and Instagram and all of that, I'm HeatherW25, and my site is I Love Characters at


Steph: Perfect. Thank you so much, and we will see you next time on Capturing Magic.