A few days ago, TouringPlans blog contributor (and my good friend) Krissy posted a fantastic article breaking down the information, costs and benefits of using PhotoPass+ during a trip to Walt Disney World. Inspired by her post, and my own trip to Disneyland last week, here is a look at some of the similarities and differences between the PhotoPass+ service at the Disneyland Resort.
As with PhotoPass+ at Walt Disney World, this service in Disneyland provides you with the pictures taken from PhotoPass photographers dispersed throughout Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, along with pictures from certain attractions, dining experiences and special events. You PhotoPass+ card can be purchased on site from one of the Photo Centers within the parks for $99.95, or can be pre-ordered 14-days in advance from the Disney PhotoPass website for $69.95. The pre-order package from Disneyland provides you with the following:
- A voucher to exchange for the PhotoPass Plus card – voucher can be redeemed at the following Disneyland Resort Photo Centers: Disneyland: Main Street Photo Supply; Disney California Adventure: Kingswell Camera Shop
- A photo gallery on CD (stock images)
- A unique code to download all images from the PhotoPass Plus card to PhotoPass CD
- Print packages at select dining locations – Ariel’s Grotto, Goofy’s Kitchen, Disney’s PCH Grill, and Plaza Inn (breakfast).
- Digital photos from select attractions – Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin’, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
After exchanging your voucher, you will receive one PhotoPass+ card, which is a hard, plastic card attached to a lanyard. Only PhotoPass pictures scanned onto this card will be available to download once you redeem the PhotoPass CD code from the PhotoPass website. This is also the only card which Cast Members can add photos received through dining or attraction options. However, if members of your group obtain traditional PhotoPass cards from photographers, they can be added to your primary PhotoPass+ card by visiting one of the Disneyland Resort Photo Centers before the end of your trip.
Is it worth it?
This question can be difficult to answer, as it depends on how you and your family weigh the tangible and intangible factors which determine worth. Looking deeper into the cost:
- A “standard” PhotoPass CD – which is included in this package – costs $69.95
- Print packages at Dining locations (~$30/each)
- Digital images from attractions ($14.95 value per image)
With these figures in mind, let’s evaluate PhotoPass Plus for a family visiting Disneyland for a week:
- They purchase pictures from all the the attractions feature on-ride photos (5 x 14.95 = $74.95).
- They dine at all four of the locations that feature a photo package (4 x 30 = $120)
- After arriving , they decide to purchase a PhotoPass CD since they enjoyed all the pictures they’ve had taken throughout their vacation ($69.95)
This brings the total to $264.90. By purchasing the Disney PhotoPass+ package in-park, you would save $164.95, and by pre-ordering, you would have a savings of $194.95. As you can see, the cost of the PhotoPass CD is the same as the pre-order price for the PhotoPass+ package, so if you believe your family would be likely to purchase the PhotoPass CD for your vacation, it is definitely worth it to pre-order PhotoPass+ to include digital copies of your ride photos, even if you do not plan on participating in any of the dining locations which include a photo package.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I recently returned from a trip to Disneyland. My husband and I were traveling alone, and it was also our first trip to the west coast Disney parks. In addition to wanting my ride photos, I also wanted to make sure that we had a number of pictures of the two of us together in Disneyland, without having to rely on self-taken shots or hoping that the individual to whom we give our camera was able to successfully capture a shot of the two of us. By placing our pre-order and having the PhotoPass+ card from the start of our Disneyland trip, we also made a more conscious effort to stop when we saw PhotoPass photographers and have our picture taken. In 3.5 days, we acquired 90 pictures, including our ride photos, which breaks down to a cost of approximately $0.78 per photo. For our situation, I definitely think the cost was worth it, and this would prompt me to even start considering whether PhotoPass+ would be a smart investment for our next trip to Walt Disney World.
Have you or would you use PhotoPass+ for Disneyland?