Q&A: How does the PhotoPass CD work?

Question: I have a question about photo pass as I don’t really understand it. I want the one that is approx $200 and i don’t know whether i order it before or when we get there, when should we get it and where from? I understand you get all the pictures on the disc and there is no limit to how many, but that also when you get home you can add borders to this and then they post you the disc? How do i do this from the uk and do I have to pay postage for this? Is that facility worth doing from the uk? we go to florida on 15 Oct 2012 arriving at POFQ approx 5:30pm.


Here’s how it works. Order the CD in advance, using this special offer link - it is cheaper (and you can cancel for a full refund after your holiday if you change your mind). You’ll create an account on DisneyPhotoPass.com to do this. Then go on holiday, have a fab time and take as many photos as you like/can possibly manage in all four of the parks and occasionally at the water parks. The first photographer you use will give you a PhotoPass card, which you present to every other photographer and they scan, so all your photos are saved to the same account. If you forget it at any point, just ask for another – you can add as many cards to your account as you like.

When you get back home, within 30 days, log-in to your account on DisneyPhotoPass.com and input the number(s) on the back of your card(s). You are then able to view all of your photos and apply any edits you want to – which provides you with the original plus the edited version. This includes saving them into different photo sizes, in case you have a particular album in mind, or want them blown-up, or apply borders and graphics. There are lots of different borders, which vary depending on where and when they were taken. For instance, there are different options between the parks and for if you’re there during particular festivals/time of year – for instance, at the time of year you’re going you’ll probably have some Halloween options and maybe some Food and Wine Festival options for photos taken at Epcot.

When you’ve finished editing, you go to check out as normal, and it will automatically take off the cost of the CD and just leave you with the cost of delivery – which I seem to remember being approximately $15 to the UK. Your CD will arrive in about a fortnight. Keep a look out for any offers though, they sometimes offer free delivery.

If you’d like to avoid the cost of the delivery or get them quicker, you can forget the pre-order and pick up the CD while you’re at the park – just go to one of the photo shops near to the entrance of each park with your PhotoPass cards and they print the CD for you there and then. However, you won’t have the time to make your edits this way – I haven’t done it, I’m not even sure you’re able to edit here at all. And it also makes no sense financially as you won’t get the cost savings of the pre-order.

There are currently two options for the PhotoPass CD – the regular CD (usually $169.99, or $119.95 at this link) or PhotoPass+ ($199.99, or $149 at this link). The regular one allows you to get as many pictures as you can from around the parks. The ‘Plus’ also enables you get any pictures you get at the following dining location added to your account: Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, 1900 Park Fare, Chef Mickey’s, ‘Ohana (breakfast) and Tusker House (breakfast).  You can also get the photos from Cinderella’s Royal Table and Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall added to your account, even though you’ll have a printed copy of these as part of the cost of the meal. You can also add the photos taken on Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest and Dinosaur.

I should mention that the PhotoPass is quite derisive between Disney fans. You can ask any PhotoPass photographer to take a photo with your own camera, and therefore can still get some ‘all family’ pics without paying. The quality of the photos is also mixed – some are excellent, others are more average it just depends on the photographer. However, I’m not in that camp. While we don’t tend to get it these days (there’s only so many of the same pics you want), we did on our first few trips, and we found knowing that we’re going to pay for the CD makes us stop and get many more photos than we usually would. The photographers also generally take more time with you for the PhotoPass, so you get more, plus they have ways to add something special to your pictures J

A few final tips:

  • Ask the photographer to take a couple of photos of the same shot – in case one doesn’t turn out or you have your eyes shut. Many will do this automatically, but some won’t.
  • If they’re not too busy, you can ask to have a few poses as well.
  • If you’re in the same place at another time or day, have it done again – the photographer might be better or the light can be, so the photos can be different
  • Take a photo of the back of your PhotoPass card with your own camera. When it comes to accessing your pics, it’s the number on the back you need, not the card itself. So if you lose the card, you can still get the photos – just ask your next PhotoPass photographer for a new card. When you come to order your photos, you can merge the two accounts together.
  • Don’t worry about taking your PhotoPass card with you to the waterparks. the photographers there have a smaller version, on an stretch bracelet type thing that you can slip round your wrist, so you don’t lose it. I actually prefer this, so once I have one, tend to use that as my main card so I don’t have to get the other out all the time.

I hope that clears up how it works. If you’ve got any follow up questions, as them in the comments below, or feel free to submit a new question in the Q&A section.


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