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StitchKingdom Definitive Guide to Disney's Photo Pass

Jump To: Disney's PhotoPass News |Introduction to PhotoPass | How PhotoPass Works | Photographer Locations | Special PhotoPass Sessions | PhotoPass Magic Shots | Other PhotoPass Opportunities | Uploading Your Own Photos | PhotoPass Tips | Viewing PhotoPass Photos | Editing PhotoPass Photos | PhotoPass Products | PhotoPass Savings | PhotoPass Support

The PhotoCD Pre-Purchase Offer Has Officially Returned! Full Details In The Saving Money Section.

News About Disney's PhotoPass

This section is dedicated to news about Disney's PhotoPass which wouldn't quite fit in elsewhere with the page. It's not meant to replace any section so please continue to read the entire page for additional updates (which will typically be highlighted in red).

Introduction to Disney's PhotoPass

Most amusement parks have teenagers rush at you as soon as you enter the park to take a 'free' must-have souvenir photo that they hope to charge you an arm and a leg for before you leave. In contrast, Disney's PhotoPass has grown from modest roots to offering the best of the traditional service without incorporating the worst. While prices for individual prints are still cringing at best, newer features and options have driven the overall price way down. Gone are the days when Disney's PhotoPass photographers would ambush you to take your photo, now it's almost become a game hunting them down sometimes.

In a nutshell, the service is a network of Disney's PhotoPass photographers spread all over the four main parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios) and two water parks (Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon) at Walt Disney World and both parks at the Disneyland Resort (Disneyland, California Adventure) (it is currently no longer offered at the New York City World of Disney). Disney's PhotoPass is currently unavailable on the Disney Cruise Line ships but is perpetually rumored to join eventually. Having your photo taken is absolutely free with no obligation to purchase so - other than a little time - you don't lose anything by trying it. Best yet, you don't need to make any financial decisions for up to two months after your vacation! In addition, Disney's PhotoPass photographers (or a nearby Cast Member) are always willing to use your own camera if you have one.

How Disney's PhotoPass Works

Sometimes the hardest part about using Disney's PhotoPass is finding a PhotoPass photographer - the rest couldn't be any easier. The first time you have your photo taken, you will be handed a Disney's PhotoPass card. The card has a unique 16-digit alphanumeric code on it that the Disney's PhotoPass photographer scans in via a two-dimensional barcode that links all the Disney's PhotoPass photos s/he takes to that individual card. Note the code is more important than the card itself, so take extra care by recording it either by taking a photo of it with your own camera, writing the number down, sending it via a text message, etc. Some guests write some sort of contact information on the card itself in case it gets lost, but that's relying on someone else to find it and to make the effort for you.

Disney's Photo Pass Cards From the Water Parks, Walt Disney World and Disneyland

Good news for those wishing to obtain the small Disney's PhotoPass wrist card pictured above. Traditionally only distributed at the water parks, they are now being distributed at the Pixie Hollow Disney's Fairies meet & greet in the Magic Kingdom's Toontown Hall of Fame.

Part of the genius of the system is that there is no limit to how many cards you can have and combine at a later time. That means if your group separates, each group can have its own card combined with everyone else's online later on. Also, should you forget the card in the room or lose it (glad you wrote the number down now?), you can ask for a new card. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes it's easier to just ask for a new card than dig through a deep and over-stuffed cargo pants pocket. Some guests have been known to use their cards for multiple trips, but it's completely unnecessary and in fact might cause an unforeseen issue as changes are made to the system.

But what if you want to re-use Disney's PhotoPass cards from a previous vacation? Here's something to keep in mind: When you add a Disney's PhotoPass card to your disneyphotopass.com account, it's part of that account forever, even after the photos are deleted. You can verify this by clicking on the My Account link on the disneyphotopass.com website. So this means if you want to re-use a card, first insure that you can still access the account that the card belongs to. According to Disney's PhotoPass, using a previously registered card will not affect when new photos get deleted as the countdown begins once the photos are actually viewed online, regardless of when the card is associated with the account.

It's been said that while the number of photos is unlimited, the system has an issue with seeing beyond 999 photos on one particular card. While rare is the case someone will be able to get that many photos taken in total, I recommend a more practical approach and perhaps simply getting a new card every few days of your vacation.

As they are taken, photos at Walt Disney World are wirelessly transmitted to the Disney's PhotoPass system where possible. This means photos can sometimes be ready to be viewed in the parks within minutes although sometimes it can still take up to 24 hours to view them online.

Where to Find Photographers

Finding Disney's PhotoPass photographers can sometimes be tricky as their numbers can fluctuate in response to crowd levels. When the service first began, the costumes worn by Disney's PhotoPass photographers actually varied between parks.

For the most part, this has been unified, although accessories may vary, especially with the weather. One major exception to the uniform however is that worn by photographers on Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom.

Costumes Worn by Disney's Photo Pass Photographers

Generally speaking, you can find them on the paths with the park's icon in full view for a backdrop. In Magic Kingdom, this means a few up and down Main Street, by the rose garden and even on the bridge to Tomorrow Land. At Animal Kingdom, in front of the Tree of Life. In Epcot, you should practically be tripping over them as soon as you enter the park. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, popular spots include Hollywood Boulevard with the Sorcerer Hat in the background and Sunset Boulevard with the Tower of Terror in view

You may find them in other spots or specific attractions as well. Another popular, but not consistent place to find them is at character meet & greets. Sometimes you can almost always count on them being there, sometimes they're scheduled to be there only at certain times and sometimes there aren't any at all. As a rule of thumb, it'll be great to find them, but if you have your own camera, you may not want to leave it behind ? just in case.

Disney publishes maps of the four major theme parks with icons noting popular Disney's PhotoPass spots. You can view them as well as download a PDF version here.

You'll also find them at some dining locations, taking photos of guests in front of a sign or with a greeter character. These photos are for photo packages available later for purchase only (or included in the cost of dining at Cinderella's Royal Table). You cannot have the photographer take photos using your card, but you will be free to use your own camera if you have one. Incidentally, if you dine at CRT/PSB or purchase the photo package, you can add it to your Disney's PhotoPass account or product, but more about that later. Also, please note this will be the only location at the restaurant you'll find a Disney's PhotoPass photographer. They will not be inside the restaurant taking photos.

Special Disney's PhotoPass Photo Sessions

For Disney Visa cardholders, a special free private meet & greet is offered daily 1:30 - 4:30 pm at Epcot. Located in the Innoventions West building, just past the Where's The Fire? and Play It Safe exhibits is a curtained off area. Guests with card in hand may join the line for their own private meeting with 2 or 3 of the fab five. Not only will there be a Disney's PhotoPass photographer onhand to take as many photos as you wish, but each account (up to 2 accounts per family) is entitled to a free 5x7 print available later at the Camera Center. While each account is limited to one print a day, cardholders are free to visit multiple days of their vacation if they wish. Depending on the Cast Member at the Camera Center, many guests have reported to be able to receive a print of any Disney's PhotoPass photo instead of the Visa meet & Greet photo, especially after expressing disinterest in the latter. At Disneyland Resort, you can find the Disney Visa meet & greet operating for the first hour and a half of the park's opening in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area of Disney's California Adventure, by Monsters, Inc.

Disney Resorts Private Photo Shoot - You can arrange for private 30 minute photo sessions with a Disney's PhotoPass photographer at the Grand Floridian, Beach Club, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge. The session includes around 40 photos (limited only by time) taken around the picturesque resorts and their beaches. Please note that as of September 1, 2008, Portrait sessions at the resorts are a separate entity from the Disney's PhotoPass system in the theme parks. While both Parks and Portraits use the same system for their photos, they are separate products. There is also a new pricing structure in place, which is as follows:

Disney's PhotoPass Portrait Session Photo Package - For a price of $49.95, you will get your choice of one of the following packages: (A) 8x10 (2), 5x7 (3); (B) 5x7 (2), 4x6 (4 sets of 2); (C) 5x7 (7). You will be able to choose the pose for each print, so you can have up to five different poses for Package A, up to 6 different poses for Package B and up to 7 different poses for Package C

Disney's PhotoPass Portrait Session PhotoCD - For a price of $99.95, you will get your choice of photo package as explained above plus all of the photos on a PhotoCD.

Note you will not be able to enhance the photos on the Portrait Session PhotoCD, but you will be given a PhotoPass ID to use on disneyphotopass.com to make any desired edits/enhancements and future purchases.

Reports from guests who have participated in the photo sessions are overwhelmingly positive, although guests are under no obligation to make a purchase if they are not satisfied with the photos. Available times are seasonal, starting daily at 8 am until 7 pm or sunset, whichever comes first. Call 407-824-1700 to make reservations up to 30 days in advance or for additional information.

Additionally, you may encounter Disney's PhotoPass photographers in common areas of these resorts, such as the lobby, particularly during seasonal periods such as the Holiday Season. In these cases, the photographer may take photos for you at no charge.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Photo Boutique - Located inside Guest Relations at Downtown Disney Marketplace and Castle Couture behind the Castle in the Magic Kingdom, small photo studios are set up for photo sessions primarily for guests who have purchased packages at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, however these studios are available for free use to any guest, even if they haven't had a BBB appointment. In addition, the rose garden at Magic Kingdom is also used for BBB photo sessions. Use of the studio is free of charge and requires no reservations, however priority is given to BBB patrons.

Disney's Photo Pass Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique's Photo Pass Studio at Downtown Disney's Marketplace Disney's Photo Pass Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique's Photo Pass Studio at Magic Kingdom's Exposition Hall

Disney's PhotoPass Magic Shots

Of course it wouldn't be Disney without some magic. Disney characters can find themselves magically superimposed on your photos. Don't be afraid to ask to have the photo taken either.

Magic Shots are often limited to certain times and locations and can be further restricted based on various factors, the least of which to simply avoid overloading the system. A Disney's PhotoPass photographer is trained on a particular shot and poses the guest in a specific way. When the photo is received by the Disney's PhotoPass processing center, the subject line for the photo tells a Cast Member to manually insert the respective character into the photo with placement and size based on the guest's pose and position.

For your benefit, we offer as much information and sample photos of the magic photo shots whenever possible. The photos and order in which they are displayed are randomly chosen with a maximum of four examples per magic shot photo displayed. If you find this site to be useful, we ask that you kindly consider donating your magic shots to help out future guests learning about Disney's PhotoPass. Please email original, borderless Disney's PhotoPass magic shots to [email protected] Thanks!

Other Disney's PhotoPass Opportunities

Attractions - At this time, only Test Track at Epcot, Space Mountain and Magic Kingdom and Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios have incorporated Disney's PhotoPass technology into their ride photo systems.

At Test Track, after exiting the attraction, guests can locate their ride photo on a bank of monitors and insert their Disney's PhotoPass card into a slot (which has an indicator that momentarily turns from red to green upon successfully crediting the photo to the card) to claim it. There should be a cast member at the monitors to assist any guests that may be having difficulties as well as to distribute new cards to those who need them.

Disney's Photo Pass Test Track Attraction Photo With Border Options

The Test Track photo border is one of the options when viewing the photo online or purchasing it in the parks.

At both Space Mountain and Tower of Terror, guests have a few unique options to take advantage of, each requiring a purchase of the photo (unlike with Test Track which does not require a purchase)

All of the above options include receiving the photo on a specially-themed Space Mountain PhotoPass card which can be used just like any other Disney's PhotoPass card.

It's expected that more attractions will include support for Disney's PhotoPass in the future, but it's likely to appear on newer attractions before the older attractions receive this feature.

Dining - Guests who dine at Cinderella's Royal Table and/or Princess Storybook or purchase (approximately $35) a photo package at another of the dining locations where a photo package is offered are in for an additional treat -- those photos can be added to Disney's PhotoPass and subsequently treated like any other Disney's PhotoPass photos. You'll actually have access to all of the photos taken by the Disney's PhotoPass photographer, not just those for the prints you purchase. The main photo will have a Disney's PhotoPass ID number (should start with EVNT) and the guest can now claim those photos either at a Disney's PhotoPass service location or on their disneyphotopass.com account as if it were another Disney's PhotoPass card.

Dining locations that offer photo packages are as follows:

Cinderella's Royal Table even has its own special Disney's PhotoPass borders available:

Disney's Photo Pass Cinderella's Royal Table Photo With Border Options

Disney's Photo Pass at the Jedi Training Academy Jedi Training Academy - A Disney's PhotoPass photographer is on hand to take photos during each Star Wars Jedi Training Academy session at Disney's Hollywood Studios. If your child is a participant in one of the training sessions, you can go to a Disney's PhotoPass center such as the Darkroom on Hollywood Boulevard near the park entrance and have your child's photos added to your Disney PhotoPass card. There are even some special Star Wars borders available.

American Idol Experience - Guests who audition for and make it to the stage to perform for the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios will also be covered by Disney's PhotoPass Photographers during the experience and performance.

Uploading Your Own Photos at the Parks

With the Express Upload Service, you can visit one of the Disney's PhotoPass centers and have photos from your own camera uploaded directly into the Disney's PhotoPass system. You will be given a Disney's PhotoPass card which is linked to your uploaded photos, which you must claim within 30 days of uploading, after which photos will be stored online for 30 days. Note that this service officially requires purchase of the Disney's PhotoPass Personal Archive CD.

Disney's PhotoPass Tips

Viewing the Photos

If you'd like to view the photos on site and optionally purchase prints or another Disney's PhotoPass product, you can do so by visiting the camera centers located towards the entrance of any of the four main parks (Exposition Hall in Magic Kingdom, the Camera Center at Epcot, Cover Story / The Dark Room at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Garden Gate Gifts at Animal Kingdom). You can also visit County Bounty in MK's Toontown, guest relations at Downtown Disney and the Disney's PhotoPass kiosks located at the resorts that offer private portrait sessions.

Alternatively, you can view photos online by creating an account at http://www.disneyphotopass.com. You can create the account at any time before your vacation if you wish. Even if you don't have access to the internet on your vacation, this will allow you to share your adventures with your family at home as long as they have the account information. Of course you will have to guide them through adding your cards manually, but at least even if you lose the card from this point on, the photos have been claimed and saved.

An important thing to note regarding disneyphotopass.com, however, is that you are time limited to how long your photos are available online, so keep this in mind when you make your decision. You have 30 days to claim the photos by adding the card number to your account and/or viewing the photos online and the photos will then expire and start to be deleted 30 days from that point. Once photos are deleted from the Disney's PhotoPass account, chances are dramatically slimmer that they can be restored. Note that if photo is set to expire June 12, it will expire at midnight at the start of June 12, so your last real day is June 11). Photo storage extensions are no longer free upon request, but can be purchased in blocks of seven (7) and fifteen (15) days as needed by selecting the extension product from the product list, placing it in your shopping cart and completing the purchase. The prices are currently $4.95 and $9.95 respectively.

Editing the Photos Online

Note: If you plan on ordering PhotoPrints, you may want to consider doing so while at the parks. At the kiosks, Disney's PhotoPass Cast Members have a lot more freedom in working with enhancements. For PhotoCD, however, all enhancements must be performed online.

You have several options when editing and enhancing Disney's PhotoPass photos online and can easily turn dozens of photos into hundreds. It can be a very time consuming process with many taking the full 30 days and then some to do all the desired editing, so try not to put off the process once you add the cards to the account.

Note that once a Disney's PhotoPass card is associated with one account, it can not be added to another account. What some guests who wish to duplicate photos between accounts like to do is visit one of the Disney's PhotoPass locations while on site and have the photos copied from one card to another (if you do this, make sure to double-check that all of the photos remain associated with both cards). If for some reason, a card becomes associated with the wrong account, have the account incorrectly with the card contact Disney's PhotoPass and request that the photos be transferred to the correct account (specify the correct account's email address).

The following are some tips on how you can make the most out of the editing process:

Disney's PhotoPass Products

Saving Money on Disney's PhotoPass Products

Contacting Disney's PhotoPass

The Disney's PhotoPass support team may be reached either via the Contact Us link found at the bottom of the disneyphotopass.com, by email at [email protected] or by phone at 407-560-4300 (from 9 am - 1 pm EST, voicemail other times). Disney's PhotoPass can also now be found on both Facebook and Twitter (for information only, not for support). Missing photos should be reported only through the Lost PhotoPass Card/Photo form.

Disney's PhotoPass Support Forum

Have any Disney's PhotoPass specific questions not covered here or have additional information or comments? Please share them with us on our Disney's PhotoPass Support Forum!