Memory Maker and Photopass Plus: What’s the Difference?

I’m going to move away from debate for a day and go over something that is new in name but not in concept to Disney World and My Disney Experience and that is Memory Maker.

Memory Maker

On the face, Memory Maker is the second update to the original Photopass system.  The first update was Photopass Plus.  In the few years that my family has been going to Walt Disney World on an annual basis, we have seen this program go from Photopass to Photopass Plus and we will be making our first trip with Memorymaker later this year.

This article is going to do a basic comparison on the old Photopass Plus and the new Memorymaker packages.  What has improved with Memorymaker and what features that were with Photopass Plus that are no longer included in Memorymaker.

Comparison between Memorymaker and Photopass+

Price: Memorymaker: $149 if bought in advance, $199 full price

 Photopass+: $149 if bought in advance, $199 full price

Pre-purchase expiry (days before trip): Memorymaker:  3 days

 Photopass+: 14 days

How to Order: Memorymaker: Linked automatically to MagicBands.  Pictures scanned to MagicBands and available to view instantly

Photopass+: Voucher mailed home.  Guest must bring voucher to Walt Disney World and redeemed for Photopass+ card.  Guest receives redemption code to order CD after vacation.

How do I get my pictures when I get home: Memorymaker: Unlimited digital downloads available for 45 days.  Backup CD can be bought for an additional $29.95.

Photopass+: CD mailed home after guest entered CD redemption code.

Can I edit online photos?: Memorymaker and Photopass+: Both programs have access to the borders, stickers, etc.  In Memorymaker, this are available on the My Disney Experience site.  In Photopass+, these same options were available on the Photopass+ website.

How are my ride and dining pictures scanned?:  Memorymaker: The person who added/paid for the Memory Maker to the vacation must either be present or go back within 24 hours to have the pictures scanned to their MagicBand.  This important especially for attraction photos.  The person who made the Memory Maker account needs to be available to scan the photos to their MagicBand even if they don’t ride the attraction.

Photopass+: There was one Photopass+ card per voucher which was used to scan ride and dining pictures.

What pictures are included?: Memorymaker: Digital pictures from: 1900 Park Fare, Chef Mickey’s, Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, ‘Ohana Breakfast, Spirit of Aloha dinner show, and Tusker House breakfast

Ride photos: Buzz Lightyear, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Test Track

Photopass+: Digital AND Printed pictures were available from the above dining locations and attractions.

Refund: Memorymaker: Only if purchased as part of a Magic Your Way vacation.

Photopass+: Refundable within 14 days of receiving voucher in the mail.

As you can see, the program has a lot of similarities and some very important differences.

The most important similarity is the price.  A lot of times when big companies release a “repackaged” product, it’s an easy time for them to increase the cost.  Disney did not do this in this case.  Memorymaker still costs $149 if you pre-order and $199 is the full price.  That said, there is a subtle difference.  Guests can order Memorymaker up to three days before their vacation starts.  Under the old Photopass+ system, it was 14 days.  The longer lead time was needed to process the order and ship the order out to the guest so they could receive the voucher before they left for their vacation.

I like this change for two reasons.  First, my family forgot to make the Photopass+ reservation for one vacation and had to pay the full $199 price.  Second, no more standing in line waiting to redeem the Photopass+ voucher for a Photopass+ card.  Disney never had an “express” line for voucher redemption.  Long lines could be a problem for a simple voucher redemption.  Memorymaker eliminates these problems.

Another big difference is how guests receive their pictures especially their dining and attraction experiences.  Under the old Photopass+, guests would receive a physical copy of their dining pictures.  Attraction pictures would be added to their Photopass+ account but physical copies were available for an addition fee.  Now under Memorymaker, guests only receive a digital copy of both their attraction AND dining experiences.  This cuts down on the cast member interaction during your meal coming over to drop off your pictures.

For most meals, this doesn’t really bother me.  I’m already having a start-stop meal because of character interaction, I really don’t want another start-stop for a cast member to drop off the hard copies of my pictures.  However, there is one exception: Chef Mickey’s.  In the photo package at Chef Mickey’s, there would be recipes for some the meals in the folder so guests could try to recreate the “Disney magic” at home.  This was a nice touch.

Another big difference is how the attraction photo scanned.  The person who created the Memory Maker account is the only person who can have the attraction photos scanned to the account.  With the Photopass+ system, there was one Photopass+ card which could be given to the person who was riding the attraction and then the attraction could be added to the account immediately after the ride.

Dad is getting reports from people that the person who created the Memory Maker account is NOT the only person who can have attraction photos scanned to the Memory Maker account.  Anyone who is on the reservation can have the attraction photos scanned.  This saves the account creator the inconvenience of going to the attraction to have the photos scanned on the account if they did not ride the attraction.  THANKS FOR THE UPDATES, READERS!  Dad appreciates it!

Last similarity/difference is how guests receive their photos when they get home.  With Memorymaker, guests have 45 days, one additional 15 day extension can be purchased, where they have unlimited digital downloads of their Disney photos.  With Photopass+, guests received a CD with all of their vacation photos.

On the whole, Memorymaker has made some improvements from its predecessor Photopass+ especially as photography become more and more digital.  However, there are still some things from the “less digital” era which Memorymaker leaves behind.  Some people like receiving a CD or photos that can hold in their hands and feeling the photo paper.  You can’t feel photo paper when you hold a picture when you look at it on your phone, tablet, or computer.  So that will be missed.  For people who more in tune with the digital era will see Memorymaker as an improvement while those less in tune probably wish that Photopass+ remained in place.

How do you feel about Memorymaker compared to Photopass+?  What has your experience with Memorymaker been like?  Let Dad know.

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Thanks for reading!

5 thoughts on “Memory Maker and Photopass Plus: What’s the Difference?”

  1. For the rides all you have to do is link your parties magic bands. Last week our kids did the thrill rides, all three of them, we automatically had three of the same picture. I also had them get the photo number and scan a band. We got all the ride photos, even those where I wasn’t even in the park with them.

    1. I’m hearing the same thing, now, about the ride. I was basing my information on information given to me when I made my reservations late last month. If it has changed, I will update the article.

  2. I’m happy you covered this because I chatted with someone online and they never quite answered my question. Now I understand what I’ll be paying for and getting with the Memory Maker package.

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