I've used Photopass countless times, but for this trip, I decided to try MemoryMaker. I had some interesting experiences with it, so I thought I'd do a follow up to my post a few months ago on Photopass+ vs Photopass, with comparing it to Memory Maker. Unlike Photopass+, Memory Maker is only available at Disney World, not Disneyland. The websites for your pictures at both parks is now completely different, so you can't combine a WDW and Disneyland trip into one CD, even if you are using Photopass in both parks.
The main difference with Memory Maker is that you don't order a CD of your pictures, it's download only. You also don't receive a CD with stock pictures of Disney World in advance, like you do with Photopass+. The pictures expire 45 days after the photo was taken, no matter when you look at them on the site (in the past, the expiration date started when you added the pictures to the site when entering your photopass card.)
You can purchase a 15 day extension to make them available for 60 days. Once you download (which I'll explain more later in this post), you can continue downloading for 30 more days. With Photopass+, once you downloaded or ordered the CD, that was it. You couldn't change any photo edits or download them again.
If you preorder Memory Maker, it's $149. This is the same pre-purchase price as Photopass+. However, with Photopass+, you need to preorder 14 days in advance, since they send you a voucher. With Memory Maker, you have until 3 days before your trip to order. If you preorder less than 3 days in advance, your pictures from the first days of your trip will not be included in your download, so be sure to pre-order early enough to get the per-order price AND all your pictures!
If you don't preorder, Memory Maker is $199. I promise, you won't be able to miss seeing the displays selling Memory Maker, not just in the parks, but in every resort and Downtown Disney.
There is also a flyer for Memory Maker in the package when you check in…they really want you to get Memory Maker!
Like Photopass+, all pictures taken by Photopass photographers, magic shots, ride pictures, and character meal pictures are included with Memory Maker. When I was considering Memory Maker in December, the cast members said that you don't receive the hard copy of the photo package at the character meals like you do with Photopass+. I didn't have a character meal this trip, so I'm not able to confirm that. For more information on which character meals and rides are included, be sure to check out my Photopass/Photopass+ post.
When you preorder Photopass+, they send you a voucher, which you redeem in one of the camera stores in the parks. With Memory Maker, they send you a confirmation number, which you bring to one of the will call windows at any of the parks (Downtown Disney has a will call window as well, so I'm guessing you might be able to pick it up there, too?) They give you a Memory Maker card, which is basically the Photopass cards we're used to getting.
I thought one of the points of getting Memory Maker was that it would be linked to my magic band, but I had to specifically ask the cast member about doing this. She tried to link Memory Maker to my magic band, but it didn't seem to work. I would have thought that since I ordered through the Disney site, that it would automatically link, but this wasn't the case. She tried several times, and even had me try it (the back of the card has a QR code that takes you to the site to link the band, and there's instructions in the pamphlet they give you), but she said the computer wasn't showing that it was linked.
She told me I had to go to the My Magic+ help center to fix the issue, but that I could use the card in the meantime. So, after taking a few Photopass pictures at the entrance, off I went to the My Magic+ help center in Epcot. I have had a few minor hiccups with My Magic+ (this was my third trip using My Magic+ and the magic bands), but nothing really big enough that I had to visit one of the help centers. I feel bad for the cast members here because I know guests put them through a lot. So I'm very patient and don't blame them for my issues. But…I was in here for an hour. On the first day of my trip. When all I wanted to do was head back to the World Showcase and eat at the French Bakery since I really hadn't eaten yet, and was up since 3am, and it was already after noon, and…yea, I didn't want to be there. But I was still extremely patient. Which the cast member seemed to appreciate (again, I've seen the way some of them have been treated with all this my magic+ the last few months.)
When I walked into the help center, there were 6 guest relations cast members, and the area was empty (it says a lot that they have opened several of these around the parks, in addition to guest relations.) It took a while, but after 2 cast members played around, they were finally able to link it to my magic band.
The main reason I decided to try Memory Maker this trip is because I heard that you can download pictures to your phone while you are in the parks. This sounded really cool, and then you could instantly post your Photopass pictures to social media. So I asked the cast member how this worked. She had no idea. The second cast member had no idea. I asked if anyone had asked about this before, and they said no, they haven't had anyone ask any questions about Memory Maker. I might have done better going to the camera store where the Photopass cast members were, but I had no idea I'd have to be here for so long.
We tried to get it to work on their iPad, but you can't click on any of the pictures. So they concluded that you can only download all the pictures. But there were still hundreds of pictures (including all my edits) from my trip a month earlier on the site, and I didn't want to download several GBs of old pictures to my phone. The cast member called Photopass support, and that was when I waited at least a half hour. At one point she said, you might as well sit down, which is never a good sign, lol. Finally, she said he was working on deleting my old pictures. Then she asked for my cell number because he would call me when he was finished deleting the pictures, and would be able to talk me through the download process. I was worried I might get a call while eating or on a ride, but I didn't get a call all night. Or…all trip. A few days later someone called my home phone (of course, I was many miles away) saying the pictures had been deleted, but nothing about how to download anything.
Later that day, I went to Hollywood Studios, and decided to ask there how to download pictures while in the parks. They said no, you can't. You can download them on a computer, but not your iPhone or iPad, since it doesn't have flash. I don't know if you can download them on Android, I didn't think to ask (I was probably a little annoyed that I wasted 1 hour already lol.)
SO…no, you can't download pictures and post them immediately. Since you can download pictures as often as you want, if you bring a laptop with you, then you can download them each night, transfer to your phone, and post them. But that's not what I was expecting, so it was a bit of a letdown.
You can download all your pictures at once, or you can download individual pictures. And since you can download as many times as you want, I like that you can download all your original pictures first, then make some edits (adding borders, signatures, cropping different, etc) and download those pictures.
Downloading your pictures is pretty easy. On the photopass site, you'll see a “Download All” button.
Just click on that, and a screen will pop up, explaining again about how you have 30 days to keep downloading any pictures once you do your first download.
Once you confirm you'll get to the page where you can download your pictures. Usually you'll have to refresh this page, since the it takes a few minutes for your downloads to be ready. I like that it's broken up into parts that are around 130MB, so you don't have to worry about downloading a few GBs and then having a problem and have to completely redownload.
Downloading individual pictures is easy as well. Just click on the picture, and then “Download.” It will download immediately, though I don't know why it downloads as a zip file instead of as a jpg.
Also, a general Photopass site tip, if you have your Disney experience account linked with other friends and family members, you'll see their pictures as well. The default is to show all of these pictures, so if you want to only see your own pictures, make sure you click this off.
I also wanted to note that this was the second trip where I had them only scan my magic band for Photopass pictures (other than the first few pictures before they linked it to my magic band), and I never had a problem. This is something I was concerned about, but it seems to be working much better lately. Both trips I had a few pictures missing, but this happens to me EVERY trip. Once I contacted Photopass through the site, the pictures were found and added. And this time, I didn't have to wait until they responded back to me like in the past. I went and downloaded all my pictures, and when they added the found pictures, I just went in and downloaded each individually.
An edit to my original post, it looks like Photopass+ HAS been replaced by Memory Maker. Regular Photopass seems to still be available, but not Photopass+. I'm still hoping at some point that they'll add Memory Maker to the My Disney Experience app, and that you WILL be able to download pictures immediately.
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 over 200 characters she's met at Disney World and Disneyland.