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Do you have questions? We have answers! Each week, a Diva or Devo will share some of our best tips with you as we answer some of your questions. This week, Soarin’ Diva answers some of your most common questions!

1)  “If I first use my Memory Maker on July 5, will I still be able to add pictures on August 4?”

You have up to 30 days after the first time you download a photo to your account to take pictures, then Memory Maker photos must be downloaded within 45 days of the first day you download pictures.  This means that if you take your first Memory Maker photo on July 5, the last day you can add pictures on is August 3, because that will be exactly 30 days after your first photo added to your account.  You have a total of 45 days to edit and download all your Memory Maker photos before they expire, so make sure you get them downloaded!

Soarin' Diva & Devos with Halloween border at Tower of Terror

Soarin’ Diva & Devos with Halloween border at Tower of Terror

Soarin' Diva with a magic shot holding Chip. I used a Chip & Mrs. Potts border on this as well.

Soarin’ Diva with a magic shot holding Chip. I used a Chip & Mrs. Potts border on this as well.

2)  “Is purchasing Memory Maker really worth the cost?”

This is a question I hear a lot.  The cost of Memory Maker can be considered pretty high by a lot of people, so we really need to consider what you get for the money and is it worth it to you.  Every year, my husband and I have the debate, do we want to purchase Memory Maker this year, or just use our DSLR?  Every year, we come up with the same answer…yes, let’s go ahead and buy it, and I’ll tell you why.  Let me start by giving you the price if you don’t already know.  If you purchase at least 3 days in advance, you can get Memory Maker at a slight discount for $169, if you want to purchase it to use immediately, the price is $199.  Disney makes improvements to Memory Maker every year, this past year adding videos along with the pictures that are snapped of you on the rides.  The videos are of you, the guest and anyone in your party, on the rides Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, and Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios.  I hope they add more videos soon, but for now, these are the only rides that have videos.  The videos are short, but well done, I especially love how the TOT video immerses you into the storyline.  Also included in Memory Maker are all of the shots taken of you and your party on any of the other rides, as well as any photo’s you have had the PhotoPass photographers take.  Many of the PhotoPass photographers can do what is called “magical shots” as well.  They add in cute characters, such as Tinkerbell or Chip, from poses taken of you that you won’t see until you go to review your pictures.  We had several cute magical shots taken last year and we love them all.  When your vacation is over and you review your Memory Maker pictures, you also have the option of creating as many copies of a photo that you want and add as many different borders and stickers from the available templates as your heart desires.  This is actually the only thing that really bugs me about Memory Maker.  As advanced as Disney is, it takes an INCREDIBLY long time to add a border and sticker to just one photo, I really think they could use an update to the system so it doesn’t take so long to do editing.  Other than that, we are huge fans of Memory Maker.  We come home with literally thousands of shots with it that we normally wouldn’t have without it.  It’s worth it for our family, you just have to ask yourself, is everything that comes with it worth it to your wallet.

3) “My family of four is planning a trip to Disney World and my parents are coming with us.  My parents will be staying in a different room at the same resort.  My family wants to use the dining plan, but my parents don’t feel like they will eat enough to warrant using the dining plan.  If we are in the same party, are we required to all use the dining plan, or can they opt out?”

We actually came across this situation with our family and my husband’s parents a few years ago.  My mom-in-love barely eats anything, so it really wouldn’t have paid off for her to put out the money for the dining plan, unlike my family (we are HUGE advocates of the dining plan.)  Since your parents are staying in a different room, then no, they are NOT required to use the dining plan with you.  If, however, the entire party is booked in one room, and you are set on using the dining plan, then everyone booked in that room must use the dining plan.

4)  “We have purchased the dining plan for our WDW Resort vacation, but will be bringing our own breakfast, as the dining plan only includes two meals a day.  The room at the resort we are staying in doesn’t have microwaves, are there any microwaves available to guests in the resort restaurant?”

This is a great question!  We usually just take pastries or items we can eat cold for breakfast.  This last year, however, we got a little crazy and decided to make a big batch of sausage balls that could be eaten quickly.  We have never actually needed the use of a microwave before, but to our delight, we have discovered that there ARE microwaves AND toasters available for guest to use at every resort food court.  Yay!!

5) “I recently heard about Character Palooza at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Can you tell me the days and times that it takes place?”

Meeting Gepetto at Characterpalooza

Meeting Geppetto at Character Palooza

Soarin' Divas young Devo's ready for battle with Mulan and Mushu at Characterpalooza

Soarin’ Diva’s young devos are ready for battle with Mulan and Mushu at Character Palooza

Soarin' Diva and her Devo with Mr. Smee

Soarin’ Diva and her Devo with Mr. Smee

Aahhh, this one is a heartbreaker for me.  If you haven’t heard of Character Palooza, you’ve missed something special.  This is an event at Hollywood Studios, usually twice a day, where they would bring out characters, some of them rare, without warning or letting anyone know which characters would appear.  There is no PhotoPass photographer for this, but a CM will take pictures of you with the characters with your camera, and if they are able to sign autographs, they will.  It doesn’t last long, maybe about 15 minutes, but it’s so worth it.  We discovered Character Palooza before our trip last year, so we were able to take advantage of it.  There is a blog and twitter feed that had a breakdown of the schedule for when and where the characters would appear.  We lucked out and were able to meet a favorite of mine and my husband’s, Mr. Smee (absolutely LOVE me some Smee!), as well as Geppetto, Snow White, Princess Tiana, Mulan and Mushu.  Character Palooza is still going on, but unfortunately, word got out to too many guests and it became overcrowded.  They are no longer meeting at a set place or time, you will just have to hope for some pixie dust that you happen upon it at the right time.

Are you ready to start planning your magical vacation and enjoy all that Disney has to offer, but you aren’t sure where to start? Contact our recommended travel agent, Patricia at All Dreams for Travel, and she can do all the work for you. Best of all, all of her services are FREE, all you have to do is click here to request a quote!