Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Disneys Photo Pass - Is it worth it?

Over the past few years, Disney has started something called their 'Photo Pass' system.
The basic idea is that at each of their parks, they have photographers with professional cameras spread out at all the popular scenic locations and with certain (usually popular) characters.
If you want a photographer to take a picture, you just walk up to them and they will get you and your party into the best position and start snapping away with their nice lens. When they are finished, they will give you a plastic card that they digitally scan so that you can access your pictures online later.
Once online, you can crop, add borders and special effects to your photos and then purchase them in the size you would like.

Here is an example of an added graphic

The benefit of this system is that your group can finally all be in a picture together - because one of you isn't fiddling with your own camera! Plus, the pictures are usually flattering because they are taken in good light or with a great flash. They are also really good at catching those extra special moments as they start snapping the second you approach a character.

Usually, the photographers are also more then happy to snap a picture with your own camera. But it really depends on the cast member you get, as they would obviously prefer you buy the photo they took.

The Photographer in Tinks Hollow was excellent. He snapped approx. 15 pictures of our sons meeting with Tink. Some of our favourite images by far!

It all sounds great, right? It is, but it comes at a price, and its expensive. If you were to buy only a couple of pictures you are looking at well over $30. However, at the Disneyland Resort you can buy a CD of all the photos taken over your whole trip for $59.00. My advice - use the photographers every single chance you get and buy all of them on the CD.
We did this on our last trip and it was totally worth it. We used the same plastic photo card for our entire group (although you can add on with others...), paid the $59.00 to download the whole CD (to avoid shipping costs), split the cost between us, and then printed off as many as we liked at our local WalMart. We got some really great pictures from it and it ended up not costing a whole lot.

I know for Disney World the CD is alot more expensive - $169.00 if I remember correctly. Reason being, they have alot more photographers around and they also have alot more parks for photo opportunities. We had well over 100 pictures on our card with only 2 parks. I'd image if you did like we did, you could easily get 300 photos at Disney World. But again, you would need to use a photographer every time you saw them.

I had a conversation with a cast member at the photo store on Main Street and they told me that the average family only had about 25 pictures on their cards. They were very impressed with the amount that we had taken and said they wished more people did that, since that was the whole point.

I do have one grudge with the system however, and that is about ride photos. You can get your pictures from different coasters added onto your CD but they charge you like $5.00 just for that one photo. So not worth it in my opion. We were those bad people who would take out our own digital camera and take a picture of the picture.

But besides that, we are fans of Disneys Photo Pass and will more then likely purchase the CD again.

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