“I’m the photographer of the family, but would love to be in more of our Disney trip photos”
“How can I get a deal on those ride photos?”
“The photo packages at some of the character meals are so expensive. Is there any way to find a discount for them?”
These are some of the questions I get about making Disney trips even more memorable. So here’s a question for you: Have you thought about purchasing Photopass+ for your next trip at Disney World or Disneyland?
But what exactly IS PHOTOPASS+, how do you use it, and what are the benefits?
PHOTOPASS is a FREE picture-taking service provided by Disney. Our blog has previously covered many of the benefits of PHOTOPASS (click here ). But in a nutshell, you’ll get a special PHOTOPASS card. You use this card around all the parks when you see the Disney photographers to get your mug captured in a variety of locations.
PHOTOPASS photographers are located around the parks, often in PRIME photo spots. Some offer special photos, called MAGIC shots, in which a Disney character or scene is magically added to your pose. Those can be really fun!
Then you’ll log onto the PHOTOPASS website, enter the card number and see your pictures. Then you can edit, share and purchase a CD to save your photos forever. (Photos are only available for 30 days, so most people wind up buying the CD).
When you walk around Disneyworld, you’ll notice photographers like
<<——these guys all around the parks.
Disney’s Photopass+ works in the same way as the regular card, but gives you more photo memory opportunities, such as ride photos, some character meals, and photos from special experiences (like Pirate’s League).
Currently included in Photo Pass + are Photos at Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock’n Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, and Dinosaur. Character meals included in Photopass+ can be found at 1900 Park Fare, Ohana, Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Tusker House Restaurant, Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, and Princess Storybook Dining at Akershaus Royal Banquet Hall. Jedi Training Academy, Pirate’s and Pals Cruise, and Pirate’s League are special experiences also included on the Photopass Plus.
If you’re visiting the parks multiple days, expect to enjoy the rides or plan on dining with the characters, the Photopass+ can be a great money and time-saver.
I know what you’re thinking… where and how do I get my hands on this wonderful card??!!
- I can add it to your Disney vacation package. At the time of this blog, it cost $199, but I can get it for you at a discounted rate (generally up to $50 off).
- This Photopass+ package can be ordered any time, up to 14 days, prior to your vacation. Even if you are planning to go in December 2014, you can pre-order the Photopass+ package now.
- It must be note that if you were to buy any of the photos individually, they cost around $15 each (even for the digital downloads) and dining and special experience packages start around $30 each. This pass can really save you money in the long run – especially if you’re a shutter-bug like me!
OK. Now here’s where things can get confusing and why I decided to write this blog in the first place…
Within a few weeks after you order, you’ll get a package that includes this:
Open it up and you’ll find these:
You’ll notice that there’s no Photopass+ card inside. See that red piece of paper? That’s the Photopass+ VOUCHER. Put this in a safe place, preferably with your Disney vacation folder where you keep your resort and/or package confirmations, flight confirmations, etc. This MUST come with you to Disney. Do not discard the CD or the case. You’ll need that later.
Reason being: When you get to Disney, you’re going to exchange the voucher for this:
This is the actual Photopass+ Lanyard/Card you’ll use to get all those wonderful ride, meal and special experience photos (as well as all the magic and other poses from around the parks). This card expires fourteen (14) days after activation. There is currently NO way to extend this expiration.
There are several places around the World to exchange the voucher for this lanyard. Some Deluxe resorts have Photopass kiosks. If you are not staying at one of the Deluxe resorts, then you can exchange the voucher in the parks.
WDW RESORTS WHERE PP+ VOUCHERS CAN BE REDEEMED
Resort locations have limited operation hours.
Animal Kingdom Lodge (Zawadi)
Polynesian Resort (Trader Jack’s)
Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (M. Mouse Mercantile)
Yacht and Beach Club Resort (Beach Club Market Place)
PARK LOCATIONS WHERE PHOTOPASS + VOUCHERS CAN BE REDEEMED
Magic Kingdom (Box Office Gifts in Town Square Theater)
EPCOT (Camera Center in Future World)
Hollywood Studios (Cover Story on Hollywood Blvd.)
Animal Kingdom (Garden Gate Gifts)
Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon (May-September)
Downtown Disney (PHOTOPASS Studio)
***HOT TIP: It’s IMPORTANT to note that if you have an early morning dining or special event reservation at any of the locations listed above, you should make a plan to get your exchange done prior to it. This way, your meal photos will get linked to your card. However, a few people have reported that some Photopass Photographer cast members at the dining locations have been able to exchange the vouchers and activate the cards. ***
***ANOTHER HOT TIP: Print out the receipt from your Photopass+ purchase and bring it with you. Should you somehow lose the voucher, this will prove your purchase and the Disney Cast Members at the PHOTOPASS shops should be able to assist you.**
The PHOTOPASS+ card expires fourteen (14) days after activation. There is currently NO way to extend this expiration. (However, I recently uncovered a secret, semi-workaround for this. Stay tuned for the next Photopass installment or email me if you really need it quick!)
The PHOTOPASS people will also punch holes in the card to indicate the expiration date of the card (located on the back of the card):
***HOT TIP: Take a picture of your lanyard (both sides). On the back of the card you’ll notice a long number. You’ll need this number later to link this card to your PHOTOPASS account. SHOULD you somehow lose this card, you’ll at least have the card number to link the photos to your account. AND, if you lose the card, the PHOTOPASS center may be able to get you a replacement and transfer all the photos to the new card.***
The whole process only takes about 10 minutes; however, depending on how crowded the parks are, the process may take longer. So be sure to allow yourself some time.
Now you are ready! Wear this lanyard around your neck (It’s beautiful isn’t it? Goes sooo well with the walking shoes!). Whenever you find yourself wanting to get a photo with a PHOTOPASS photographer, just pass it to them. They’ll scan it and take your picture.
Do the same when you are at a character meal (like Tusker House or Cinderella’s Royal Table) or special experiences (like Pirate’s League). Make sure you give the photographer your pass. You’ll not only get actual printed photo packages, but the digital downloads as well. You’ll get a receipt for the photos and you’ll notice that there is no charge. SAVE THIS RECEIPT anyway. If the digital download doesn’t appear on your account, this will help the PHOTOPASS people find them.
At the rides, note the Ride Photo Number on the TV screens at the end of the ride. Bring this card to the photo kiosks nearby and tell the CM the ride number. The CM will bring up your photo to review, scan your card, and give you a receipt. Again, SAVE THIS RECIEPT in case the photos somehow get “lost.”
**HOT TIP: while you are still in the park after a special experience or meal, go to the PHOTOPASS location and spend a minute to review your photos and make sure they are all there. Sometimes photos DO get “lost” or mis-scanned. Disney gets so much right, but nothing is perfect.**
And there you have it. Now you won’t be wondering what to do when you get that little piece of paper in the mail.
When you get back from your AMAZING Disney vacation, you’ll have 30 days to review and order the Photo CD. I plan to walk you through those steps in the next Photopass installment for the blog. However, as a quick overview, you will log into your PHOTOPASS account and link all your PHOTOPASS cards to your account. Then you can review and edit photos (add borders, text, crop, etc) and save them as new pictures to your account. Finally, you’ll order your Photo CD.
Remember earlier above I said to save that other CD box and its contents? Well, inside there is a promotional code that you’ll enter when you are ready to purchase the CD. This will “zero out” the cost of the photo CD (since you pre-purchased it). Once your order is complete, you’ll receive your Disney Photo CD containing all your wonderful Disney memories in a few weeks. Please be sure to open your CD when it arrives to check and be sure it’s OK and the contents are correct.
**HOT TIP: Depending on the number of photos you have, you may be able to download a compressed or ZIP file containing all your photos and order a back up CD for an additional $20-$30. Many people do this instead of just the CD. A few people have reported that CD’s have arrived broken and if it’s beyond the 30 day mark, it’s not easy to get all the photos recovered.**
Thanks for following along today! If you have any other questions, please feel free to add them to the comments below and I’ll answer the best I can. Enjoy your trip!