Photopass vs Photopass+


 PhotoPass has been changing a lot these days and thus, some of this information is no longer applicable.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 

 

PhotoPass 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.

COST:

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.

TIMING:

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!

PICTURES:

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.

Getting a Photopass picture in front of the castle with my 5K medal from that morning

Balloon Magic Shot at Disneyland

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
• Dinosaur
• 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’

Our first time riding Radiator Springs Racers!

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

With Mickey at Surf’s Up Breakfast

MY VIEW:

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.


About Heather

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 , instagram, and facebook. Visit her website, I Love Characters, to see pictures of the over 240 characters she’s met at Disney World and Disneyland.

  • Jeanne B.

    Thanks for this post!! Only one other question I have is… is there any other cost involved with either package once you get home and order your photos? That’s the confusing part to me. When they talk about “ordering your photos.. 5X7’s, adding frames, etc.”, will it cost me any additional money after the initial layout for Photopass OR Photopass+? Is downloading free? Does a CD or printed pics cost extra? Just trying to make sure I understand all the costs!! Thanks again! I’m learning so much from all of you!!

    • Laura

      If you preorder online before your trip, everything is charged at that time. When you get home, all you have to do is go through your photos and make sure they’re all there (if any are missing, they’re really good about finding them). The frames the blurb talks about are just digital overlays for your photos, which you can save as copies that come on the cd when you order it. After you have all the photos you want loaded, you just add it to your cart and use whatever code Disney gave you when you ordered. No additional shipping charges are made for the cd; I’ve never needed my credit card at this point in the ordering process. The package includes all the fees. If you want to order any additional photo products, then there would be a shipping charge for those at the time. I don’t think there are any additional charges if you decide you want prints while you’re in the parks, and those won’t affect your package.

      If I remember correctly from ordering a few weeks ago, with Photopass+ you have the option of getting everything as an immediate download or as the cd. Photopass+ will let you download your ride photos right away even if you order the cd. The price of the package includes the cd, so I just get the cd since then I’ll have a backup without any extra work. Although if you don’t want to wait for your photos, the download seems like a good option. I think it’s either/or on the download/cd.

      • Jeanne B.

        Thanks Laura!! That info really helped!!

        • Steph

          If you want any physical prints while in the parks OR from the site, they are extra.

          I have been getting the downloads as long as they have been offering them, because I like instant access 😉

  • Laura

    Great article, Heather! I’d just like to mention one other option that I’ve really only seen advertised in the parks – Attractions+. It’s all the ride photos for something like $45. If you’re not doing a lot of dining with the photo option, it might be a better deal to get the photo cd and Attractions+ separately. I don’t really know how it works – I think after your first ride with photo you buy it at the counter? Has anyone done this option before?

    • Yes! I was going to write about that, but decided to just stick with the two main packages. It includes the same rides as photopass plus, and also is only for the 14 day period. If you do a ton of rides, or maybe if you are going with a large group that will need to get lots of ride pictures, and don’t want to get any other Photopass pictures, then it seems like a good deal. It’s still cheaper to preorder the Photopass+ than get the regular CD and Attractions+ package, though.

  • Hi! Thanks for the information. I am about to visit WDW and i have already preorder the traditional photopass. Do you have any idea if i can upgrade it to the + version ? Thanks again.

    • Yes, you can upgrade to the plus version! Just call them or contact them through the site. 🙂

  • Angela

    Thanks for the great information. I have used photopass on my last two trips but I have a question about photopass+, If your party splits up can you combine photopass cards given by the photographers or do you have to use the lanyard?

    • Yes you can! 🙂 The only times you must show the lanyard is for the ride and meal pictures.

      I actually did this one time in Disneyland. I was in the park alone for an hour or so, and went to meet Merida. It wasn’t until I got in line that I realized my mom had the lanyard. I added the photopass card they gave me there to the site, and it worked fine. 🙂

    • Steph

      I’ve done it a bunch and it works fine. We’ve also taken photos of our ride photos if the lanyard hasn’t been with us and gone later and had the numbers added. As long as you go the same day, it works perfectly!

  • Steph

    Hey Heather! I’ve done PhotoPass+ now SEVEN times between the two parks and I will say that the DL photographers get far more excited about the PhotoPass+ than the WDW photographers do. The DL photographers called it “the awesome pass” or “golden ticket” things like that. Their faces always lit up when they saw me pull that card out.

    I think that it’s because DL is such a locals annual pass park that they don’t see it quite as often as the PhotoPass photographers in WDW do. There aren’t too many local AP holders that are getting PhotoPass+ before their day trips.

    I’m interested to see if you have a similar experience.

  • Alison

    I was given a free photopass+ on my last trip to DL. I was stopped just inside the gate and asked if I was willing to complete two on-line surveys to get all my photos free. Of course I said yes. We had pictures taken everywhere multiple times. It was a great bonus to our trip. I will now stop and talk to the survey takers near the gate. You never know what they may have to offer.

    • Heather

      Wow, how lucky is that!? 🙂

  • Steph

    How cool is that!? I will always stop for DL and WDW surveyors unless I’m in a hurry for a meal reservation. 🙂 Love them!

  • Kev

    I’ve just arrived back and what great info you give, much better than the disney site!
    Can I ask one question, going through my photos, do I add each photo individually to the basket? Also, do they all get saved as 4×6? Thank you

    • If you are getting the CD, then no, you don’t have to add anything to the basket. When you add borders, unless you change the size, they are saved as 4×6. But otherwise, you will receive the original, full size of the picture

    • Steph

      Just adding that everything Heather said about the CD’s is the same for downloads. 🙂

  • Shanna

    Are you only allowed one lanyard? We are going on a big family trip in November and due to the age differences in some of the children, we will not be together most of the time. We want to get the photopass+ but don’t want to waste the money for rides and even dinners as we are not eating together every night. Thoughts?

    • Yes, you only get one lanyard. You can pass it around to those who will be riding or doing the character meals. Any regular photopass card can be used for other pictures and added later.

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  • Gem

    I really enjoyed reading this- Thank you.
    I have one question I cannot find the answer to…

    From Day 1- how many days can I take photos for? We are in WDW for a whole month.
    If I visit on 1st/Month when can I take my last photo to get them all on the same disc?

    Thanks

  • carmen

    WMDP-C7G6-C6H7-N3P9

  • Shandee Madsen Hicks

    Maybe I just dont understand the photopass+ fully. So does the $69.99(preorder) include a CD of all of your pictures? Or do you have to purchase the pictures separately?
    If so, do they send the CD to you after your trip?
    I have never used a photopass in the past and we are going the first week of october to Disneyland. It is my toddler and husband’s first time and I am trying to figure out the whole photopass idea. TIA

    • GothicRosie

      Per the Photopass FB page: “Disney PhotoPass+ Includes:
      PhotoPass+ Card and Lanyard
      A gallery CD with over 300 stock photos
      A unique code to create and order a PhotoCD with all your photos online atDisneyPhotoPass.com
      Select Dining photos
      Select Attraction photos”