Photopass/PhotoDownload rolls out to On-Ride Photos at Walt Disney World

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The Walt Disney World Resort is in the process of rolling out a new system called PhotoDownload for on-ride photos available in the parks in conjunction with the existing Photopass system.

Our initial assumption was that the system would be basic: you’d note your photo number at the ride exit, walk up to the counter, and they’d scan your existing Photopass card and you’d be on your way and buy the photo later at home should you so choose.

It does not work like that at all.

The above easy-breezy version of the new system integration had been tested at Epcot’s Test Track attraction. A more complicated version of the system has more recently been tested at the renovated Space Mountain attraction in the Magic Kingdom. This more complicated system apparently won out.

With the new system that is being deployed to all attractions offering on-ride photos you must purchase the Photopass version of the on-ride photo immediately upon exiting the attraction. Disney calls this purchasing a “PhotoDownload” in proper nomenclature. The Cast Member at the sales location will then add it to your existing Photopass card or give you an attraction-only Photopass card/code that only accesses that particular photo for download through the Photopass website.

The PhotoDownload can be purchased on its own at the attraction’s retail location for $14.95, or as part of package including an 8×10 print ($18.95) or two 5×7 prints ($21.95) Pricing is standard across all attractions that offer on-ride photos.

Once back home, you can access your photo either via standard your generic Photopass with pre-purchased on-ride PhotoDownload added or by using the dedicated on-ride Photopass card/code. There is a 30-day limit to access the Photopass account in question and a 10-day window to properly download the PhotoDownload file once the account is accessed.

To recap:

You must buy the PhotoDownload version of the on-ride photo at the attraction exit. You cannot buy the PhotoDownload seperately through the Photopass website later like with other in-park photos. Subsequently, as the photo cannot be added to the account to be purchased later, you cannot absorb the cost of the individual on-ride photo into the purchase of the $150 Photopass CD.

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R. A. Pedersen

R. A. Pedersen is the author of The Epcot Explorers Encyclopedia and runs the blog. He has been a research contributor to the Blog since 2006 and functions as sort of an all-around news desk and project-tracker.

21 thoughts on “Photopass/PhotoDownload rolls out to On-Ride Photos at Walt Disney World

  • The Test Track option is a MUCH BETTER way to do it. Too bad that’s not the way it is going to be. I was looking forward to the rest of the rides using that method.

  • Fail. A hunch tells me they would see an increase in revenue if tied to the $150 Photopass. I would buy it if it included the on ride photos at all parks.

  • I’m disappointed as I just purchased the CD late last week for our upcoming trip with the understanding that the ride pictures would be included. Costing in those added to my choice to pre-purchase the CD.

    Disappointed that now I won’t be getting all that I was offered when I gave them my money.

    It’s one thing to go into a purchase knowing what you’re going to get but something completely different when they offer it and then after purchasing change their minds. Unfortunately this is one time I feel Disney didn’t make a very fair/wise decision.

  • There is no photo great enough for me to spend $15 for it. It seems ridiculously expensive in a place where most things are expensive anyway.
    I will miss having the Test Track photo on my photopass. At $99 I don’t think the CD will remain a good value for me.

  • Sounds short sighted. when I was at the land earlier this year I notieced everyone just took a picture of their instead of buying thier photo. You would think they would want to make it easier to buy photos and this isn’t it.

  • they want more money thats why

  • Are they changing Test Track to make it fit with the rest of the buy a download at $14.95 scheme, or are they keeping it the same?

    I would definitely buy an add-on to add unlimited ride photos. When we started getting photopass, we stopped buying ride photos to save money (and I think we ended up spending less…). Photopass allows us to get everyone looking nice; by comparison, often someone’s not looking right (or blocked by another guest) in a ride photo. Also, we are 6, so we don’t even all show up in the ride photos (except Test Track, Tower of Terror (which my mom is least likely to ride), Splash Mountain, and Dinosaur)–there’s no way that multiple downloads of Space Mountain photos are in the cards at $14.95 a pop!

  • We just visited Dollywood, where they’ve rolled out a new on-ride photo deal: buy a ride photo on a special USB for about $25, add other photos on that and subsequent visits for $6! That’s how you get people to spend more on ride photos. I’ve always wondered why parks jack up the prices of ride photos. I’d buy many more if the price was reasonable.

    Note on the Photopass preorder — buy for $99. If you don’t like any of the pictures or don’t feel you get your money’s worth, they will refund your purchase.

  • Disney greed got in the way of this one again. We like to buy the Disney photopass CD as we can get some great shots. On our last trip we were able to add our Test Trck pictures to the cd which was a nice bonus and made us more likely to keep purchasing the CD. Would have liked the option to add all the ride photos to the CD to add more value to it. This choice by Disney to not allow this is rather disappointing.

  • We just got back from Disney, and we, once again pre-ordered the photo CD. The pics turned out great, but it was hard to find photographers at Epcot for some reason. Also, I think my expectations of the photographers keep going up.
    It is sad not all rides are like Test Track. LOVE THAT ONE!!!
    Also I agree, the character meals should be photo pass as well.
    Would also like them to come up with some new borders/accents.
    Would like to put the characters signature and design on one photo.
    Gees, I want alot!! BUT it is Disney, where dreams come true!!

  • I was a bit disappointed with Photopass during our July visit. We did the pre-purchase CD and many, many, many photo opportunities were excluded from the pre-purchase CD. The Luau +$31, Character meals +$31, ride photos +$15. It just seems that the all inclusive aspect of the photopass has great big wholes in it!

  • That’s fine, but they should also have an option to get unlimited ride downloads to add to your photopass package. Offer a discount on the whole thing if you purchase them all together. (50-75 dollars for the ride photos then offer the photopass photos at a discount when you get the photopass CD like when you pre-purchase it.) One of the major selling points for the CD for us is the fact that you don’t have to worry about which photos to choose at the time, AND you dont have to wait in line to make a purchase each time you get a photo taken. You just get them all on the CD and have it delivered later. They could and should do this with the ride photos too.

  • I honestly, for the life of me, cannot understand how people pay $15 for ONE of those pictures. It is so outrageous. And $22 for two 5x7s! $150 for the CD!

    I understand people may want their whole family in a shot, so why not just ask a CM or another guest to take your picture? It won’t have all the graphic frills of the photopass picture, but it’s free!

    The popularity of photopass is a mystery to me.

    • One year we had a few photos taken by PhotoPass photographers, thinking maybe if something came out nice, we’d buy one of the outrageously priced photos. When we got home, almost every single photo we had taken came out great. If we had bought them all, it would have cost more than the pre-vacation deal on the CD ($99). The next year, we just decided to take them up on the pre-vacation CD deal. We learned one very nice benefit of it: photos at the water parks. You don’t have to carry your camera to the water park, and you can get post-ride pics. We also got a nice pic of our son body surfing in the wave pool at TL, and family shots in the lazy river. Maybe not persuasive enough of a reason to get the CD if you weren’t inclined to otherwise, but still, now we have family photos at the water parks, which is nice.

      Also, we like to have multiple whole-family shots taken because it can be hard to get everyone’s faces all looking nice at the same time. It’s just easier to ask the PhotoPass photographer than try to flag down random CMs around the parks.

  • Yep, I don’t see the benefit either. We always buy the prepaid photopass CD, so it looks like we’ll continue to not get the ride photos. Bummer, but such is life.

  • I got a great picture of my girls on test track with the first option. But I didnt have time to really look at it till I got home. Thats what made me buy it. I’m sorry to hear it can’t be done that way.

  • Short sighted thinking. I would have been prepared to buy a photopass bundle if it included ride photos. I would have been willing to “buy” right at the time of getting off the ride (same as you do now). But with it being basically an add on price, I don’t see the benefit.

  • Well the only problem I see is that you can’t have 2nd thoughts about it. I would have liked the initial photopass option better


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