I knew that we absolutely were getting Disney’s Memory Maker on our latest Walt Disney World Trip from the moment that RJ told me he booked us a trip back in October. RJ wasn’t convinced. To pay an extra $149, for the Memory Maker, on top of the already pricey Disney World Vacation was hard to justify to him. (If you purchase at least 3 days in advance it’s $149, otherwise its $169.)
We had some excellent pictures from our 2014 Disney trip…but we had Molly, an actual photographer, with us, and this time it would be just our little family. I talked to another mom, at our church’s mom to mom sale, who had just returned from WDW the week or two prior. And she completely regretted not getting the Memory Maker. That solidified it. We were getting the Memory Maker. (If you want more info on the Memory Maker, read more here on the official Disney website.)
I am so glad that we did. Here are my top reasons why you absolutely need the Memory Maker on you Disney Vacation:
- You will actually have pictures of yourself with your family. This was huge for me. I’m an iPhone picture addict. And the only pictures I am really in are selfies, or pictures RJ takes of me with the kids, so knowing that we would be guartanteed pictures of our entire family was huge for me. Now, I set some low expectations for getting that “perfect” family photo, because, I know my children. But we got a couple great ones.
- Awesome photos of experiences. If you’re even thinking about doing Jedi Training Academy, get the Memory Maker. The Photo Pass photographers took thousands of pictures of the Jedi Training and we got a handful of great ones of Eli in all of his Jedi intensity. It was hard to get a decent picture in Enchanted Tales with Belle, too. The parents all sit on benches in the back and the kids are on the floor up front, so the Photo Pass photographer is crucial there. You can also add your ride photos!
- You don’t have to worry about losing or breaking or lugging around your really good camera. My husband was pretty convinced that we should just borrow a DSLR camera to use on our trip. But, I was totally against it. If it got broken or stolen we would have to replace it. Lugging the heavy camera into every line, while we are trying to keep two wild toddlers in check does not sound like a fun time to me. Plus, I didn’t want to have another thing to pack.
- You don’t have to stress about getting the perfect photo in front of the castle the second you walk in the Magic Kingdom. Because, you will have plenty of other opportunities when you’re kids aren’t itching to get the the dumbo ride for the 5th time. I think we stopped 6 different times to get photos in front of Cinderella’s Castle and got maybe 2 shots that I would frame.
- Since you paid for it up front, you’ll make sure to stop and actually get photos taken. Some days we only stopped at a few different locations to get pictures, but other days, we have so many. We even stopped to get a couple photos of just RJ and I while the kids napped. (Bonus: Sometimes they add extra magic to your photos, like Tink in our hands.)
- You can actually enjoy the moment and not worry about snapping pictures. This was especially helpful for me when I was taking Emaline to meet all of the characters, seriously, all of them, while Elijah and RJ went on rides. There is no way I would’ve got a decent photo of her with the princesses if it was just me. And with bigger characters, she often wanted to be held at first, so with just me and her there would’ve been zero chance of me getting a photo.
- You’ll probably print the pictures out instead of just leave them on your phone, because, you paid for them already. Who else is guilty of taken hundreds of photos on their iPhone and then never printing them? I know I’m not the only one, so fess up. The only downside to this, is you’ll probably just want to print them all…I haven’t printed any yet because I’m having a hard time narrowing it down! I’m trying to chose one picture of Emmy and Cinderella for her princess room…and I really can’t. You have 45 days to decide!
- If it’s pouring out, you can keep your iPhone safely tucked away. Elijah was so excited about the rain and that we all had rain ponchos on, which reminded me that a little rain (really a lot of rain) isn’t going to ruin a day in Disney Word for my tiny humans, so I couldn’t be upset about it. I wanted to snap a selfie, but since it was pouring, I just asked a photographer on the way to the Frozen Sing-along. When it’s raining, the Photo Pass Photographers do take cover, but they can take an adorable shot of your family in rain ponchos.
- Character Meet and Greets. My iPhone photos of the character meets never turn out well, especially when they’re indoors. The character meets are usually dimmer, and the Disney photographers have flashes. I really wish they had photographers in the character meals. It’s hard to actually eat breakfast and snap photos of your kids with their favorite characters. That is my only complaint about the Memory Maker service.
- Super easy to get the photos. The photographer snaps your photo, scans your band, and then you can view the photos on the My Disney Experience app. The photos show up really quickly most times, so we could look at them while we waited in line for other attractions. Just make sure your husband connects to the Park wi-fi, otherwise you will get a nice big cell bill from using all of that data. You can even download them right to your phone and share them on instagram, because the photographer definitely got a better photo of that Mickey Mouse embrace than you did.
Have you used the Memory Maker on your Disney trip? Did you love it? Or are you on the fence about getting it for your next vacation? Let me know in the comments!