Photopasscard The Disney PhotoPass service is a special feature that Disney offers.  Located throughout the Walt Disney World Resort are special Cast Members.  You will be able to notice them because they wear special camera outerwear, have their cameras at the ready, and are located at areas of the parks and resorts that allow for great pictures with a landmark in the background.

Some of the pictures I’ve gotten with the help and assistance of the Photopass Photographers are absolutely incredible.  However, the ultimate question remains…

Is Disney’s Photopass Service worth the cost?

When people think of Photopass, they generally are thinking of the PhotoCD that you can order — that PhotoCD contains all of the pictures that you have had taken and stored on your Photopass cards (they look like the picture at the top of the post).

If you purchase a PhotoCD credit prior to your vacation start date, the cost of the PhotoCD is $119.95.  The normal price if you purchase it after your vacation starts is $169.95 — so you save a good $50 off the price.  Still, $119.95 is a lot of money, and that’s what I paid for my PhotoCD for our trip in 2012.  The PhotoCD cost for our trip in 2011 was $99.95 by comparison, so it went up $20 from 2011 to 2012.

With that purchase, though, you get to add borders and other special affects to the pictures that the Photopass photographers take — and if you purchase the CD credit, the objective at this point becomes to get as many pictures from Photopass Photographers as you can!  Your credit covers all of your photos, whether it fits on one CD, two CDs, or 20 CDs.

With the Photopass pictures, I was able to use the special affects to turn pictures such as this one:

Photo taken by Disney Photopass Photographer

Photo taken by Disney Photopass Photographer

Into this photo, which I think is really neat to be able to do:

The same photo, after editing for borders and special affects!

The same photo, after editing for borders and special affects!

Disney’s Photopass Plus Service

In addition to the regular Photopass service, Disney has expanded on the Photopass service by introducing the Disney Photopass Plus service.  If you elect to purchase this service, which costs $149 if you order at least 14 daysbefore your vacation start date, or $199.95 if you order after your start date, you will receive the following benefits:

  •  Unlimited Photopass Photos in your account*
  • The ability to customize your photos with fun Disney borders*
  • Magic Shot photos*
  • Photos from select dining locations
  • Photos from select attractions
  • Photos from other Disney experiences
  • Your Disney PhotoPass+ card for Photographers to recognize

*These benefits are included in the regular PhotoCD offer.

In addition to the PhotoPass Plus service for Walt Disney World, you can order it for Disneyland as well.  You get the same benefits listed above, but the cost is only $69.95 if you order it at least 14 days before your vacation start date.  I imagine that it is less expensive because the parks are smaller.


For my family, the Disney Photopass service is a good idea in the following scenarios:

  1. If we are traveling to Walt Disney World with groups of people that we have never been with before, and who have never been themselves.
  2. If there is a special event or reason for our trip.
  3. If we have any inside information that something Magical might be planned for this trip.

However, if we are traveling to Walt Disney World — or even Disneyland — by ourselves, we have already decided that we won’t get the PhotoPass CD.  We have a good camera, and I take a lot of photos, and the PhotoPass Photographers will also take photos with your camera, so the expense isn’t something we spend our money on very often.

If you are interested in purchasing one of the Disney PhotoPass services, you can do so by clicking on the link to go to the Walt Disney World PhotoPass+ page or the Disneyland PhotoPass+ page.  These pages will allow you to order the CD or the PhotoPass+ service at the Pre-Arrival Price.

Do you and your family purchase either of the Disney Photopass Services?  Why or why not?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by today!





About the Author

Mike Ellis ()

Mike has been a Disney fan since his first trip to the Magic Kingdom in 1979 when he was 11 years old. Since that first trip, he has seen parks open, lands close, and attractions come and go, but one thing remains the same, his love for Disney is as strong as ever. His Disney adventures caused him to start My Dreams of Disney because he wanted to document for his family and friends all of the special Disney Memories he has enjoyed with his family, and since that first post in 2010, Mike's hobby has become his passion! Now a Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations for six years, Mike has helped many of his readers plan and have incredible Disney vacations of their own. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and . Also, connect with us on our Pixie Vacations by Mike Ellis Facebook page to submit a quote request or learn more about all of your possible vacation destinations!


4 Responses to “Is the Disney Photopass Service worth the cost?”

  1. I love the concept of it, but there is no way I would pay that much for a picture. We were just at WDW mid April and of course we always get our picture taken from the Disney photopass photographer (PPP), this time was the first time in a long time we waited in line to see a character, my 2.5 year old loves Mickey, and it was Mickey, Minnie and Pluto all at Epcot. #1 after waiting all of that time the Photographer for Pluto disappeared, so they didnt take our picture and the photographer with Mickey did a horrible job. My sons head was turned in all of them with the family. Luckily we always take our camera because there will be times you want pictures and the PPP wont be there. It is just easier and cheaper to use your own camera. I still get the Photo pass card just in case…but NEVER have I ever found a picture worth paying that much for. :)

    • Holly, we went years without buying the service, but two years ago we bought it and last year we bought it because of the family and friends we had going with us. I don’t anticipate us buying it again anytime soon, but it was nice those times. Thanks for commenting and reading!

  2. I love the Disney PhotoPass actually, because those are the only pictures that have all of us in them. Photos we take always have Mom or Dad missing. I know, the PhotoPass photographers will use your camera, but I find it easier to just hand over the card.

  3. Love the photpass cd, although liked it better when it was $150 and included a photoalbum. But since there is only three of us it is the best way to get really good pictures guarenteed of us. Love adding the borders, etc. I did not get it our first trip and I ended up spending almost that much alone in ordering pictures from our photopass. With the CD you own all the pictures and can order them any size from any photo printer.