Memory Maker: Worth the cost?

Cost:  Current price is $149 for advance purchase (must buy at least 3 days before first use), or $169 if purchased afterward.

Past Experience:  In prior years, we always decided to skip purchasing Memory Maker because it just didn’t seem to have enough value for us to spend that extra money on it.  We would still have the photographers take some pictures, and when we got home would just order one or two of our favorites, which cost a lot less than buying the whole shebang.  Plus, I took plenty of pictures with my own camera, so I just didn’t see the need to pay for something so similar to what I had taken.

Then, this year’s big family trip came along.  At the beginning, I hadn’t planned on spending the extra for Memory Maker.  However, a few days before our trip I had a change of heart.  Since this was such a special trip with all of my family going, and something that may not happen again, I wanted to capture as much of it as possible.  So, I decided to give it a try to see if it really was worth it or not.

Features:  One of the first things I noticed was that the shots would show up almost immediately on the My Disney Experience (MDE) app.  Nice!

The next thing I saw was the ability to download and share:

Save & Share

Now, I try not to be one of those people who shares every single second of their vacation on social media (although I do enjoy when others do that!) so I only shared a few times.  Still a nice feature though!

Also, if you are traveling with others, as long as you’re connected as friends through MDE and have given the right to share PhotoPass photos, everyone’s pictures will show up to view and download.

The next cool feature would be the videos they give you.  A couple of the rides we went on had videos associated with them.  After we went on Tower of Terror, I just scanned my MagicBand at the exit.  I had heard that they take video of you on the ride, but didn’t realize the cool way they put it together for you.  I’m the lunatic whose arms shoot up in the air when we drop:

When we went on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, there was no place to scan your band.  Somehow they were able to pick up my band, and the ride photos showed up automatically in my account.  Both intriguing and concerning at the same time…Big Brother is watching you!

Also, some of the still photos had animations that they put in, which were kind of cute:

 

Another feature is the ability to look up where the photographers are on the MDE app, so you can take full advantage of your Memory Maker:

Find Photographer

You can also link photos if you receive a separate PhotoPass card, or have the photographer scan the bar code right on your phone:

Link Photos Link Photos 2 Link Photos 3

 

Regrets:  One of my regrets is that I didn’t get any of the special Magic Shots that some of the photographers do, especially when we were at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!  Those are only available during the party, and it would have been nice to have.  It just completely skipped my mind until it was too late.

One other regret was a misunderstanding that happened while we were meeting Jack Skellington and Sally at the Halloween party.  I handed my camera to the girl and asked her to record everything.  For some reason she thought that meant I didn’t want any PhotoPass photos taken.  So, all I have from that experience is the video and one poor quality picture from my camera.

One lesson I learned the hard way…with PhotoPass you get good pictures every time!  My shots really don’t compare.  I really need to upgrade my camera if I want better ones of my own:

IMG_0455 (2)

Final Thoughts:  So, has this experience with Memory Maker changed my mind?  Well, sort of.  While I did enjoy having it for this trip, I really think it depends on what kind of trip you have planned.  The next time we go, we will most likely have a very relaxed trip with very little park time.  In that instance, it really wouldn’t make sense to spend the money on it.  I’ll have to see how I feel when our next “big” trip rolls around, but I will say that this experience will definitely make me consider it more than I would have in the past.

If it’s a once in a lifetime trip or a special occasion, I would say go for it!  If you are a frequent visitor, have your own high-quality camera, or aren’t going to the parks, then probably not so much.  If you do, just make sure you get the most out of it with as many shots as possible!

So what are your thoughts?  Do you purchase the Memory Maker?  Do you find it is worth the cost?  Let me know in the comments!

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