How to never miss a good photo opportunity at Disney World

This wasn’t my family’s first trip to Disney World. We went a few years ago before our kids started school.

I remember on the last visit seeing a bunch of professional photographers scattered throughout the parks. For the first day, we avoided them completely because we thought they were going to try to sell us a bunch of expensive photos.

Only later did we realize that these professional photographers only enhance your entire Disney experience. This is because of something Disney calls the PhotoPass.

What is a PhotoPass?

If you don’t know what a PhotoPass is or how they work, allow me to give you a quick breakdown. A PhotoPass is a credit-card sized card that contains a unique code. Any time you see a professional photographer in a Disney park you hand him or her your PhotoPass (if you don’t have one, the first photographer you talk to will give you one for free). The photographer will then take a bunch of pictures of you and then scan your PhotoPass card.

Disney PhotoPass

Here’s where it gets awesome. When you get home, you can jump on the Internet, go to the Disney PhotoPass web site, enter the code on the back of your card, and see every photo taken of you by a PhotoPass photographer on your vacation.

The PhotoPass has a ton of advantages to it. Namely:

  • The professional photographers take great pictures
  • Your entire family can be in the picture (no more “hey where’s Dad in all of these pictures?”)
  • Disney photo editors can enhance your pictures by adding elements into your pictures (see the balloons in my sample picture above)
  • You can enhance your own photos by adding borders, Disney characters or the year you took your vacation

Now one thing about PhotoPass still stings a bit. The pictures are expensive. But as I mentioned earlier, on our last Disney trip, we only used the PhotoPass photographers sparingly. I didn’t realize until we were back home that despite the high cost of the individual pictures, you can actually order an entire CD of every picture taken with your PhotoPass.

Disney PhotoCD

Yes, the CD is expensive. It is currently selling for $149.95. But considering one 5 x 7″ print is $12.95, individual prints can add up a lot quicker. Plus with the PhotoCD, you can order however many prints you want as often as you want. And from your local drug store or online print retailer. With the PhotoCD, Disney gives you full copyright release on all of the photos.

A smarter Mr. Noobie

So armed with all of this knowledge from our first Disney trip, my family and I stopped at just about every PhotoPass photographer we came across. The pictures turned out great and I can’t wait to get the full PhotoCD!