Disney PhotoPass 101

I was looking through pictures from our family Disney trip in 1992 recently and I noticed something very interesting.  My mother isn’t in many of the pictures from our trip, and there are not many pictures of the whole group of us.  Disney has tried to solve this issue by offering the Photopass program.   Throughout the Disney parks, there are dozens of professional photographers at the best locations who are waiting to capture your family photo.  These locations are usually character spots or great photo opportunities near the most iconic Disney Parks symbols.  The process is simple: the photographer takes your picture and then scans a Photopass card.  This card can be reused throughout your vacation by giving it to each Photopass photographer you come in contact with, but if you don’t have one on you, just ask for another one, as multiple cards can be added to your account.  On our last 5 day trip as a family of 4 we had over 500 pictures after adding various borders and Disney logos.

Photopass card

[HINT – When you receive your card, make sure to take a photo with your camera/phone of the back of the card as a backup in case you lose it. The numbers on the back are what you need to be enter into the site to load your pictures.]

Magic Shots

Some of you might be saying, “Couldn’t I just hand my own camera to the photographer to take our picture?” and the answer is “Yes, of course!”.  In fact, we have done this often, mainly due to the fact that the PhotoCD isn’t immediately available, and we like to share our photos with friends/family through social media and Photopass photographers are happy to oblige.  One of the main differences between your camera and the Photopass cameras are “Magic Shots”.   These photos are taken in specific poses and later a surprise (usually a character) is added directly to the photo.  It is a very cool feature that adds to your experience,


Three examples of magic shots Chip, Stitch and Tinkerbell 
(Borders can be added to any picture online before ordering as well)

We have taken advantage of the PhotoCD through Disney in every one of our trips since it was offered.  Although it is an added expense, it takes the pressure off of taking out your camera and asking someone to take a photo of the whole family.   We still used our DSLR camera and iPhones for candids in places that there were not photographers, but some of our best shots were done by the professionals.



Regularly $169 – Special offer – $119 (SAVE $50) http://www.disneyphotopass.com/specialoffers/wdwphotocdlearnmore.htm

The PhotoCD only includes the pictures taken after you have signed up for the offer.  So if you pre-order the CD it will create a credit for the CD in your Photopass account.  Once you have added all of your photos and editied them  with borders and other character enhancements, you will be able to download the pictures immediately using this credit for free, or ask for CDs to be mailed to you standard shipping for $4.95 extra.  If for some reason you change your mind for any reason at all, you can get a full refund within 90 days of your pre-order.  So this package is worth pre-ordering and you can decide later.

NOTE : You must register the serial number(s) of your PhotoPass(es) online within 30 days or they expire. Your photos are taken off the website exactly 30 days after you register.


Regularly $199 – Special offer – $149 (SAVE $50) http://www.disneyphotopass.com/specialoffers/wdwppp.htm

PhotoPass+ has all of the benefits of PhotoCD, with the added benefit of all of the pictures from attractions: Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Test Track (w/o PP+), Expedition Everest and Dinosaur.  The other benefit are the photos from select dining locations: 1900 Park Fare, Chef Mickey’s, ‘Ohana (breakfast), Tusker House (breakfast), Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue.   Cinderella’s Royal Table and Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall are also included although hard copy are already included in your meal cost, you can  add the photos to your PhotoCD.

Note: You must pre-order this at LEAST 14 days prior to your vaction as you will be getting a package in the mail with a voucher that you will need to use on your trip.


About DW Dad J.R.

DW Dads are FREE Disney Vacation Specialists who are affiliated with Magical Adventures Travel, LLC. J.R. is a married DW Dad of 4: Jack, Charlie, Liam & Tommy.

3 thoughts on “Disney PhotoPass 101

    • Steve – Thanks for your question – Its basically a $30 difference. $199 for Photopass+ and $169 for PhotopassCD. With the links we provided you can save $50 off of each now, so it would make them $149 and $119 respectively.

  1. We just came back from Disney and did not know about the PhotoPass+ feature. We would have loved to capture the pictures taken while on some the rides; e.g. Splash Mountain, Everest, etc. I guess we’ll know better for next time! BTW – Great idea about taking a picture of the back of the card. I am always worried about losing the card and then losing the photos! Love this!!

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