PhotoPass has been changing a lot these days and thus, some of this information is no longer applicable. Please see our most recent and frequently updated information for DISNEYLAND and DISNEY WORLD
Disney’s PhotoPass is a service many of us love. Disney now has an additional Photopass service called Photopass+. It could be a little confusing which to choose, so here’s a breakdown so you can decide what to use on your next trip.
Disney World: If you preorder before your trip, the Photopass CD will cost $119.95. You can preorder the CD at any point before taking the first picture of your trip. If you don’t preorder, the CD will cost $169.95.
If you preorder before your trip, Photopass+ will cost $149. You can only preorder Photopass+ at least 14 days before your trip, since they send you a package through the mail (though I’ve found it takes a lot quicker than 2 weeks to receive this package. But 14 days is what Disney suggests.) This package includes a voucher for your lanyard, a code for your Photopass+ CD to use after your trip, and a CD with stock pictures from Disney World. You must bring this voucher to one of the Photopass stores in a Disney park to receive your Photopass+ lanyard. If you don’t preorder, you must go to one of the Photopass stores in the parks, and Photopass+ will cost $199.95.
Both the Photopass and Photopass+ can be preordered at this link.
Disneyland: There is no special deal for preordering a regular Photopass CD at Disneyland. The CD will cost $69.95.
If you preorder before your trip, Photopass+ will cost $69.95 (yes, the same price as the regular Photopass!) As with the Disney World version, you can only preorder Photopass+ at least 14 days before your trip. Everything here is the same as the Disney World version, except there is a CD with stock pictures from Disneyland instead. You must bring this voucher to one of the Photopass stores in a Disney park to receive your Photopass+ lanyard. If you don’t preorder, you must go to one of the Photopass stores in the parks, and Photopass+ will cost $99.95.
If you use regular Photopass, you can take pictures in the parks for as long as you want to get added to the CD. So if you’re really lucky, and taking a 3 week vacation at Disney, all those pictures will end up on the CD. Since I go often, I usually combine trips taken over several months (for example, Sept, Nov, and Dec trips) onto one CD. Since the pictures expire after 30 days, if you want to do this, you will have to get an extension on your pictures, and a 15 day extension costs $19.95. But this will still work out cheaper than having to order a new CD for each trip.
For Photopass+, you can only take pictures for 14 days, starting with the first day you turn in your voucher. On the lanyard you receive, they mark the date, and the Photopass photographers check this before they take your picture. So if you are planning a longer trip, or you want to combine trips, Photopass+ may not be an option for you. However, on the Photopass facebook page, they say your Photopass pictures can be from any time, but ride and meal pictures must be in those 14 days. When receiving your Photopass+ lanyard, they specifically tell you about the 14 day limit for all pictures, so I’m not sure which is correct. I would rather be safe than sorry about losing pictures, but it’s a little confusing!
BOTH Photopass and Photopass+ will contain all the pictures that the Photopass photographers take in the park, including magic shots. If you are unfamiliar with all the magic shots you can get, check out the recent post I did about it! You can also add borders to your pictures on the website once you get home with either service.
ONLY Photopass+ will let you add ride pictures. Each ride picture normally costs around $15, so this can add up quickly if you didn’t have Photopass+. You can add ride pictures as many times as you want. So if you ride Space Mountain 5 times during your trip, you can add every one of those pictures to your Photopass+! If your party splits up during the day, and someone goes on a ride who doesn’t have the lanyard, just write down the photo number, and you can come back later in the day with the lanyard to get it added to your Photopass+.
At Disney World, the ride pictures you can add to your Photopass+ are:
• Space Mountain
• Splash Mountain
• Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
• Tower of Terror
• Rock ‘n Roller Coaster
• Expedition Everest
• Test Track
At Disneyland, the ride pictures you can add to your Photopass+ are:
• Radiator Springs Racers
• Space Mountain
• Splash Mountain
• Tower of Terror
• California Screamin’
ONLY Photopass+ will let you add the picture they take at the start of a character meal. This does not include the characters that come to your table during the meal because Photopass is not with those characters. But at certain locations, there is a character you meet before being taken to your table, and you will receive those pictures. Other meals only take your picture in front of a background.
Each character meal picture normally costs around $30. Just one character meal photo will make Photopass+ worth it if you are preordering. Not only does the character meal picture get added to your Photopass+, but you receive the photo package at the end of the meal, as well! (This was a nice surprise when we used Photopass+ at Disneyland, I didn’t know that was included!)
At Disney World, the character meal pictures you can add to your Photopass+ are:
• 1900 Park Fare
• Ohana (Breakfast)
• Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
• Chef Mickey’s
• Cinderella’s Royal Table
• Tusker House (Breakfast and Lunch)
• Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue
• Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
At Disneyland, the character meal pictures you can add to your Photopass+ are:
• Surf’s Up Breakfast at PCH Grill
• Goofy’s Kitchen
• Ariel’s Grotto
• Minnie and Friends Breakfast at Plaza Inn
Hopefully this post has helped you decide whether to choose regular Photopass or Photopass+ for your next trip. Since we all do Disney differently, I can’t make that decision for you.
I used Photopass+ for the first time during my Disneyland trip in December. Unless you are going to Disneyland in under 2 weeks, I think it’s the best choice to go with the Photopass+. The preorder price is the same as the regular Photopass, so it’s a no brainer! The photographers seemed excited to see the Photopass+ lanyard, and as a Photopass vet, it seemed like they took more pictures than normal. We ended up with 481 PhotoPass pictures, before edits! Being able to get our picture from both times we rode Radiator Springs Racers, our favorite ride, was a huge plus since we definitely wouldn’t have bought the ride picture both times. We also did three character meals, and we probably wouldn’t have bought all those pictures either. I came away from that trip a huge fan of Photopass+.
Since I go to Disney World so often, and combine trips for my Photopass CDs, I haven’t tried Photopass+ there yet. However, for my trip next month, I decided to go for it! I know I probably won’t have another Disney World trip until the fall, so it doesn’t make sense to combine trips. I have an ADR at Tusker House, so I can get my character picture on the Photopass+. And I still need to get a ride picture on Space Mountain (my first ride ever was in January, and I didn’t even take a picture of the picture! Total scrapper fail!), and maybe another ride or two during that trip. I’m excited to see if the Photopass photographers will take as many pictures as the Disneyland photographers did when seeing the Photopass+ lanyard. I’ll have to report back after my trip!
P.S. Be sure to check out our Capturing Magic Podcast episode with lots of tips for getting the most from PhotoPass+
Heather is an annual passholder that loves coming up with excuses to take a trip to the World. Follow her adventures at Disney on twitter and instagram. Visit her website, I Love Characters, to see pictures of the almost 200 characters she’s met at Disney World and Disneyland.