Although I knew I would be taking my nice camera to Disney, I also knew it would be as easy to just hand off to someone to take family photos for us, and I also didn't want to lose time at character meet and greets passing off the bulky thing, so that is where the PhotoPass came in very handy for us.
There are two types of PhotoPasses available:
- PhotoPass: Cost is $119.95 if you pre-order, or $169.95 after your vacation. This includes all digital photos that the PhotoPass photographers take.
- PhotoPass+: Cost is $149 if you pre-order, or $199.95 after your vacation. This includes a photo gallery with some 400 stock photos of Disney (characters, buildings, etc), a code to order a PhotoCD (not just download the images), and includes photos at dining locations and from rides.
We go the PhotoPass+ CD in advance of our trip as a very generous gift. And overall we were pleased with what we got for the price. Digital downloads are $10 a piece if you order on your own and then each ride generally runs you somewhere between $15-$25 if I recall correctly. I would recommend the PhotoPass to most people, and I would recommend the PhotoPass+ if you are a into the thrill rides and character dining experiences.
A few things to consider though:
- The PhotoPass Photographers really just snapshot style images, you can't expect that those truly magical, lifestyle type of photos will be what shows up on your disk.
- The PhotoPass Photographers are really everywhere throughout the parks. You don't have to seek them out, and it is quick, so we tried to stop just about every time we saw one in a new location.
- If you are traveling with young children, and won't be riding the rides that offer attraction photos, upgrading to the PhotoPass+ might not be necessary. Most of the rides that are valid with the PhotoPass have height restrictions so unless you are doing a rider swap you won't be able to take advantage of those rides and photos.
- You are able to edit all of your photos and add logos, character signatures, and borders which give them a little personality.
- With the PhotoPass the photographers start shooting as soon as you begin walking toward the characters during meet and greets, and those make for some great memories.