by Character Diva
When I first found out that Disneyland had gotten rid of its Photopass+ program, I was devastated. I LOVED Photopass+, and was a little suspicious on whether or not their new Photopass One Day package would be worth it. Fortunately, a couple months before our last trip to Disneyland, they released a second Photopass option? Photopass One Week. While it is not the same as Photopass+, our family decided to try it out? so here?s how it compares to Photopass+, as well as the pros and cons of picking Photopass One Week over Photopass One Day.
How it compares to Photopass +
No CDs- Unless you had already bought a Photopass+ Package and were grandfathered in, the new Photopass program (both Photopass One Day and Photopass One Week) no longer mails you cds. The only option to obtain your prints are to download them digitally, or print them while you are the parks. Stock photos of the different characters or locations have also been discontinued and are no longer provided with your package.
You Can’t Customize Them at Home- Remember all those fun autographs and cute borders you used to be able to add to your prints from the comfort of your own home? That option is gone. The only places you can add autographs, borders, or do any other editing of your images is in the Disney Photoshops themselves (Main Street Photo Supply Co. in Disneyland and Kingswell Camera Shop in California Adventure). Now personally, unless my family is taking a break or a nap or something, I am not willing to sacrifice my park time just to add borders or autographs (particularly since I?m not an Annual Passholder and only get to visit once every year or two). If you are a local and go on a regular basis (though depending on what Passholder membership you have, your pictures might be included for free), and depending on what your party is doing (if you’re trying to burn time before World of Color or while everyone else is eating or napping), than by all means, go add your borders. But if not? Well, I suppose you can always settle for Shutterfly’s Disney options or scrapbook them at home.
You Don’t Have to Pre-Order It- If you’ve ever bought Photopass+ in the past, you know your best deal was to order it in advance and save $30. This is the one thing I really like about the new program- because it’s the same rate, you can decide to purchase it before, during, or after your trip. Don’t like how your photos turned out? Or didn’t take as many as you thought you were going to? Or maybe you have the opposite problem and LOVE all of your magic shots and have decided you can’t live without them, or maybe you took a TON of pictures! Because you’re paying the same rate, you can decide whether just taking pictures on your phone or camera is the best option, or if it’s better for you to get the one day or one week option. You can feel confident that you’re not wasting money (either by spending too much or missing out on the pre-order savings), and can truly get what package works best for you and your family.
It’s Cheaper- Photopass+ used to be $99.99, unless you pre-ordered it at least two weeks in advance, and then it was $69.99 and was good for a couple of weeks (if I remember correctly, 21 days, more time than almost anyone I know spends on a Disneyland vacation). Photopass One Day is currently $39 and Photopass One Week is currently $69 (a more realistic amount of time you’d spend at the parks, and for a cheaper price).
What’s Included- All of your pictures during any 7 day time frame (or 1 day, depending on which package you buy). This includes any character meals (with the exception of Storyteller’s Cafe which is the only character meal that doesn’t have Photopass photographers), Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (Anna and Elsa’s Boutique is located in Downtown Disney, and therefore does NOT have photopass photographers), the Jedi Training Academy, the Wilderness Explorers Induction Ceremony, any ride photos where your pictures have been taken (such as Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin’ and Tower of Terror) and any pictures in front of a Disney weenie or character meet and greet where you see a photopass photographer. Are you participating in a runDisney race? Good news! If the dates fall in your 7 day time frame, those pictures are now included in your package as well.
Photopass One Day vs. Photopass One Week
Photopass One Day is exactly that- you pick any one day from your vacation and order those pictures. This option is best if you’re only going to the parks for one day, or if there’s a day where you get some particular wonderful shots, take a ton of pictures, or have limited money to spend.
Photopass One Week allows you to take all of the images from any 7 day period. If you want pictures for 2-7 days, this is the best package available. The cost for even 2 days is still less than buying the One Day package twice, and like any good deal, the more days (or at least the more times you use it), the better deal it becomes for you and your family. Disney Diva Tip: You have to be VERY careful when you select the dates. It will ask you which date you would like to start from, and if you select a date in the middle of your trip (or worse at the end) you will be given a 7 day range beginning with that date and will possibly miss out on photos. Of course, you can always call Disney Photopass’ phone number and explain your mistake and pray that they can help you, but just to save yourself the time (unless you really want to listen to some Disney elevator music in the background), just pay close attention when making your purchase.
Know Before You Go:
Here are some other important details I feel like you should know ahead of time.
Getting Your Images- There are two ways to get your Photopass images: 1.) You can have them linked to your Disneyland app on your phone by having the photopass photographer scan them on your app. 2.) You can get the old-fashioned plastic card from your photopass photographer. I actually did both. While I did use my phone quite a bit, sometimes when my phone was taking forever to load (or when my battery was really low), I would just have the photopass photographer hand me a card. Also, some events, such as the Jedi Training Academy, will just automatically hand you a photopass card that will have the code for all of the images from that particular performance. If you get a card, you can either just use the same plastic card over and over, or you can have them give you multiple cards at each location, just make sure not to lose them! If you do lose them or for some reason they don’t show up under your account, you can contact Disney photopass by phone or go into one of the camera shops and have them locate your missing pictures, but you really don’t want to take time away from your trip if you don’t have to, so just try to be careful. Disney Diva Tip: If possible, try and take your own pictures with your own camera or phone at the same time. That way if any do go missing for whatever reason, you can tell them when to search and what you’re wearing and get your images a lot faster.
How to link your photos to the Disneyland app- Once you have downloaded the official Disneyland app or set up an account on the Disneyland website, you will need to set up a Disney account if you don’t already have one. This can be done through the app directly, or under the Annual Passholders tab for the Disneyland Website. Once your account is set up, can find the place to scan your Photopass Code under your main profile (this is where you’ll also see the image of whatever character you chose to represent yourself. Just click on the Mickey Mouse icon that says Photopass Code, and ask your Photopass photographer to scan the code that appears. From there, your photos will be linked to your account automatically. If you are trying to link a code from the photopass card, click on the link that says, “Scan to Link Your Photos” and you can center the code and it will automatically scan it for you. If that doesn’t work, or if you have an attraction photo ID, you can manually enter those numbers in this section as well.
How to Upload Ride Images- Unlike before where you had a cast member scan your photopass card, there is now an easier way to upload your images to your account. Simply take a picture of your ride photo on the screen outside the ride (something I recommend doing anyway) and then as mentioned above, go to your Disney account and type in the code. This will apply your photo immediately without needing to ask a cast member for extra assistance.
Magic shots- This is my favorite part about Disney Photopass, and the number one reason for me to buy it. I have to be honest, some of the pictures photopass photographers have taken of my family have been horrible- some photographers are great and will go all out to make sure you have the perfect shots, that everyone is smiling, not blinking or having hair in their face, or truly trying to capture the extra magic. Others I feel are only there to get paid and kill time, or rush you through because they have a long line consisting of everyone and their brother trying to pose in front of the castle. In those cases, I feel that I might as well save the money and just use my own phone or camera. But the difference with magic shots are they are those special images that you can only get with Disney Photopass. So what is a magic shot? A magic shot is an image where a Disney photopass photographer tells you to pose in such a way, and later on, when you check your account, Disney magic has occurred such as Tinkerbell appearing in your hand, Pascal appearing on your arm, you are holding a bunch of Mickey Mouse head balloons, or even fun holiday images such as you pulling out a poisoned apple from a cauldron. As I mentioned before, I personally love these shots and the Disney magic that comes with them, and to me, it makes all the difference in the world. Disney Diva Tip: If you want magic shots (and I highly recommend getting as many as possible), you have to ask a photopass photographer. Of course, there is the rare photopass photographer who will suggest you strike a particular pose without prompting, but in my experience, this is really rare, so it’s best to ask yourself. Also, don’t stress if the images don’t appear right away. Because they are getting that special magic, it takes longer for them to be processed, so as long as it hasn’t been over 24 hours, you should be fine. Just try and be patient, and keep checking back in your Disney account.
Disney Visa Cardmembers- Do you have a Disney Visa Card? You are still entitled to your complimentary Disney Visa photos, whether you buy the Disney Photopass package or not. The good news is, all of the downloads are included; the bad news is, you only have a small window to take pictures before they close for the day, so make sure to check ahead of time and leave plenty of time to get your pictures taken. Kylo Ren is currently available for the Disneyland Star Wars Meet and Greet (though I have heard that it will be switching back to Darth Vader soon), and either Minnie, Daisy, or Stitch are available at the California Adventure location. Disney Diva Tip: With the California Adventure location, you never know which character will be there. Of course, you can ask the cast member if it is possible for you to wait until a certain character shows up or find out when they are expected to return, but just know that one of those three characters will appear at random and can be switched out at any time.
How to View Photos- Generally it takes about 20 minutes (more or less) for your pictures to appear under your account. Each set of photos will appear under their own tab, so for example, pictures of Snow White from Fairytale Hall will appear under “Snow White” while pictures of Goofy will be under “Goofy”. However, if you had magical shots done, Magic Shots will appear under “The Magic of Disney Parks”, just remember, because you’re adding that special Disney magic, this can take HOURS (and up to a day)…. so as hard as it to wait, try and be patient.
How to Order and Download Your Photos- To order your photos, from the app, click on the series of photos (such as “Woody” or “The Magic of Disney Parks”) and then choose from unlimited downloads of Your Photos for One Day, One Week, of This Photo, or link to your Annual Passport (assuming you have a passport that qualifies for free unlimited downloads). You can also go to the Disneyland website and pick which package works best for you here. Make sure to pay attention to your expiration date however! Disney only stores your pictures for a limited time, and while they do offer an extension package for an additional $19.95, it’s best to save the money and order them within the time frame. Once your package has been purchased, you can then order and download your photos (and if choosing the Photopass One Week option, choose when to begin your seven day time period).
So there’s my advice and review about Disneyland’s Photopass One Week and how it compares to the old program, Photopass+, and the other option, Photopass One Day. Let me know if you have any other questions! And if you’re ready to book your next Disneyland vacation and get tons of FREE help from an AUTHORIZED DISNEY VACATION PLANNER, contact Patricia Payne from All For Dreams Travel. As I mentioned before, all of her services are free to you, and she can help you with everything from transportation, to hotels, to tickets, or answer any general questions you need. Click here for a free quote.