Hands up if you’re always behind the camera. I imagine a good percentage of you out there are raising your hands. (You can put them down for now. You probably look ridiculous to your co-workers right now.) Honestly, I don’t love being in front of the camera, however, when family vacations come around, it’s nice to be in some of the photos! I don’t want my kids looking back at family vacation pictures, scratching their heads asking “Hey, I could have sworn mom was with us, but where is she?”
Picture taking on a family vacation
Many families going to Disney lug around a huge DSLR camera, right? We MUST capture all the beautiful Disney moments. I get it. However, lugging a camera around, sucks. It’s heavy. Damn thing’s always in the way. The thought of losing the damn lens cap stresses me out.
As for my phone, I’ve got no problem whipping it out to get super cute shots of the kids, or Mr. Sunflower with the kids. Yeah, you read that sentence, right? Both sentences, right? I take the pictures of ALL OF THEM during our vacations. Doesn’t matter where we go; how long we go for; what we’re doing; it’s ALWAYS me taking photos. On the rare occasion I ask Mr. Sunflower to snap a photo with my phone, or my camera, I get a whole lot of BLURRY.
Can you say frustrating? I know I can. He’s messed up so many captures of great moments.
What’s the solution? Well, on a regular vacation, I try my best to be patient with Mr. Sunflower, and remind him to make sure it’s in focus. We also learn to just expect him to take 10 photos, and hope like hell one of the 10 is clear. It is what it is, and one day, we hope he’ll figure out how to work a smartphone camera.
Now, on a Disney vacation, it’s a whole different ball game my friends. Whole.Different.Ball.Game.
Ask the important questions when it comes to “extras” at Disney
Disney pays attention to all the details. It also charges in a big way. However, when going to Disney, things are expensive. When it comes to Disney’s “extras,” it’s a matter of weighing out the pros and cons of the perk. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Does this perk offer multiple benefits?
- Are there extra things that come with the perk to make the magic of it even more magical?
- Will this perk lessen some of the stress associated with visiting the Disney Parks?
- Can this perk improve the entire experience for the family as a whole, or will it just benefit one person in the group?
All questions to help with deciding about forking over money for a Disney “extra” like Disney Memory Maker.
Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: Disney Memory Maker
What is the Memory Maker at Disney? It’s a family’s chance to leave the big camera at home, bringing only your smartphone, as well as having everyone in your family vacation photos at every Disney Park at Walt Disney World! Once you pay for the Memory Maker, you receive unlimited photo opportunities at all Disney PhotoPass locations at:
- Magical Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
- Typhoon Lagoon
- Blizzard Beach
- Downtown Disney (NEWLY NAMED Disney Springs in 2017)
- Character dining
Every park has PhotoPass locations listed on their park maps. Once in each park, it’s easy to spot them standing around with their cameras! Ask them to take your photo at each location you come across, and then have the Disney PhotoPass photographer scan your Magic Band, or the Magic Band card. All of the photos go right to your MyDisneyExperience.com account (as long as you connect the information to your band/card.)
The photos come out amazing, as long as people aren’t squinting, or closing their eyes. We did get some amazing shots, and I AM IN THEM.
Extended family traveling to Disney with you?
Extended family vacationing at Disney can be linked to PhotoPass. It’s done through MyDisneyExperience accounts online. Once everyone is connected, the photos are visible, and anyone can download them, or purchase the photos, or photo gifts! Very cool for the grandparents.
Once the trip is over, head to your account to download pictures from your trip. Once the first photo is downloaded, your photos expire in 30 days. What does that mean? If you want to order any through the website, or a photo gift with your photos on them, you’ll have 30 days to do it. After the 30 days, they disappear from your account. They can’t hold them forever! Just make sure you download all of them at one time, and save them to your home computer!
One tip that will come in very handy?
Before leaving Disney, make sure you check your photos in the account. If any are missing, it’s much easier to head to a PhotoPass “store” to ask them to locate the photos, and attach them to your account. Once you leave, it becomes a little harder, and sometimes not possible, to locate the missing photos. You do NOT want to miss out on any shots!
Another HUGE tip
If you purchase this package, which costs $169 if you order at least three days before your trip, or $199 anytime during your trip, hit every damn PhotoPass location at every park you go to. Anytime you see a spot to get a photo taken, GET ON LINE. The lines usually go fast, and you’ll have so many photos in your account, you’ll be sure to have made the cost worth it.
If you think you’ve taken enough, YOU HAVEN’T. Go get more.
- Get photos on different days in the same spot
- Make sure you take photos at different times
Each night, while winding down for the day in your hotel room, look through what you’ve taken that day on MyDisneyExperience.com. Make a mental note to head back to certain ones to re-do shots, because the ones they took have the kids closing their eyes, or squinting.
It’ll be worth it when you get home, and you’ve got more photos from your Disney trip than any one person could ever look at. Half of them will not work, for whatever reasons: eyes are closed; no one is looking at the camera; someone’s shirt is crazy; someone’s underwear is showing; etc.
Some of my absolute favorite shots are the ones taken on our favorite rides! We’d never have these without getting the Memory Maker package. The looks on the kids’ faces are priceless I tell you, priceless.
Magic Shots with Memory Maker
One of my favorite surprises when checking out our photos: Magic Shots. Magic Shots insert characters into the photos. My favorite ones? Animal Kingdom put Pumba and Timone into our photo, and over at Magic Kingdom in front of Space Mountain, we got a little Baymax action in our photo! Little Miss loved how they put her favorite, Tinker Bell, into her hands at Magic Kingdom, too!