Why you should purchase a Memory Maker at Walt Disney World: Review

Throwing out $169 for pictures may seem like a high price to pay, but purchasing Disney’s Memory Maker (advance purchase price: $169; regular price: $199) is worth it.

What do you get?

1. All photos taken by Disney PhotoPass photographers

11169938_10204386439033641_4243657927817853037_nThis means everywhere you see a Disney PhotoPass photographer, usually wearing a khaki vest and holding a Nikon camera, is up for grabs. When I first used the MemoryMaker in 2014, PhotoPass photographers were usually at the front of the park (near each park’s landmark) and at character meet and greets. When I visited in 2015, I noticed that PhotoPass photographers seem to be in more locations and in those locations for longer periods of time.

Where can I find PhotoPass photographers (usually)?

Magic Kingdom:

  • Main Street, U.S.A. — Leading up to the castle and near the founder’s statue
  • Liberty Square — Side view of castle
  • Tomorrowland Entrance — Side view of castle
  • Frontierland — Exiting Big Thunder Mountain
  • Fantasyland — Near Ariel’s castle

Epcot:

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Fountains at FutureWorld
  • France — Fountains
  • France — Eiffel Tower view

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Park Entrance — Great Movie Ride in the background
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios Archway — near the entrance to Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Tower of Terror

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Ticket Kiosks — Before entering the park, many like to snap a picture under the Disney’s Animal Kingdom sign
  • Tree of Life — Various angles
  • Expedition Everest

2. All photos from character meet and greets

10603785_10204386453233996_828113591478815383_nNot only do PhotoPass photographers snap posed pictures at character meet and greets, but they also capture candid shots. These candid shots can be difficult to capture if you don’t have someone else in your party dedicated to snapping pictures.

11181213_10204386274189520_3606817736356252130_nCandid shots are usually my favorites (above). If you don’t have someone in your party taking pictures for you, the blueberry (a term used for Disney character handlers in blue shirts) will take a picture for you. Usually, they do a great job. I’ve also had blueberries take completely out-of-focus pictures that may or may not contain the subjects (ahem…Darth Vader meet and greet last year…ahem). Using the photos from the Disney PhotoPass photographer guarantees the photos will be high-quality shots.

3. All ride photos

11112295_10204386435913563_9037740285948348139_nYes, you will receive every photo from every ride you venture on that takes your picture. Every ride does not take your picture, but many popular attractions do. If you link your MemoryMaker to your Disney MagicBand, then you don’t have to visit the photo kiosk following the ride. Your MagicBand already knows you were on the ride! It’s fun, convenient, and a little creepy.

Rides that take your picture:

Space Mountain
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Seven Dwarves Mine Train (you can’t view these photos following the ride, but they show up on your MemoryMaker…as does a video)
Splash Mountain
Tower of Terror
Rockin’ Rollercoaster
Expedition Everest
Dinosaur
Spaceship Earth (doesn’t show up on your MemoryMaker, but you can email this photo for free)
TestTrack

Did I miss any?

4. Photos with a bit of magic

1467248_10204386484674782_6579620180324435906_nSome of your photos will have some fun effects treated with Disney magic. You don’t know what the effect will be until you look at your photos!

With the MemoryMaker, you get all of your photos digitally for one price. After your trip, you will have about a month to download your photos. You can download the photos once, but you can make as many copies as you would like for your party. One traveling party only needs one MemoryMaker!

If you’re tired of asking strangers to take your picture, it’s time to get MemoryMaker. My husband HATES having pictures made, but knowing that pictures were quick and easy with a PhotoPass photographer made them WAY more manageable. Plus, he liked getting the ride pictures.

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How to keep your phone charged at Disney

Yesterday in the parks, I dropped the ball. Like a noob, I didn’t charge my phone all the way before arriving at Walt Disney World resort. Then, we were so busy going from fastpass to fastpass, I didn’t have a chance to find a charging station. 

Not today, y’all! 

This infographic from Walt Disney World will help you (and me) keep your phone alive at the parks. Plus it features A Goofy Movie, aka the most underrated Disney film of all time. Powerline forever! 

  A few other ideas:

  1. Turn down the brightness on your phone. This can be done in Settings. 
  2. Obviously remember to charge your phone before leaving for the parks. 

Be sure to follow me and my fully charged phone on Instagram, @tarabullburton, to see my trip! 

Try new things, but there’s nothing like the classics at Disney

As I’ve mentioned, I’m jetting off to Walt Disney World today. I woke up promptly at 6 a.m. (we are not leaving for several, several hours). 

My previous post shared trying new things at Disney, something I like to do every time I go. Below, though, I’ve shared some of the old favorites I can’t miss. Nostalgia makes the heart grow fonder, right?

  1. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant   

This is our absolute favorite restaurant. The theming is spot-on, and the food is always delicious. We are spending our anniversary dinner here! My favorite? Chicken Parm (I don’t eat beef/pork, so the classic spaghetti and meatballs is a no go for me). I previously wrote a review of Tony’s here

2. Dumbo the Flying Elephant – 

 
Probably my first favorite Disney ride, Dumbo never disappoints, and it’s a Disneyland/WDW original. Plus, you get great views of Fantasyland and Storybook Circus. With the expanded Dumbo ride at WDW, wait time has improved. Plus, there’s rarely a long wait late at night at Magic Kingdom.  

 As you can see, I’ve been a Dumbo fan for QUITE a while. Hint: I’m the small child. 

3.  Dole Whips – 

Dole Whips, available at Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom and (new) Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom. Soft serve pineapple ice cream from the kings of pineapple, Dole, is a must. I always opt for the Dole Whip Float, soft serve pineapple ice cream served on top of fresh pineapple juice. Dole Whips and Dole Whip Floats both count as snacks on the Disney Dining Plan! 

4. Space Mountain as many times as possible –  

 

I love riding Space Mountain over and over (and over and over) again. I remember waiting forever to be able to ride it (I was a short child and a short adult). When I finally could, I was amazed. The darkness makes it incredible, and the last drop (you know what I’m talking about) makes me scream every time. If you’re lucky, sometimes a cast member will let you ride it back to back without getting back in line. It pays to be friendly! 

5. Soarin’ – I’ve been giving the MK a lot of love, but my favorite Disney attraction of all time is Soarin’. I rode it for the first time at the ride’s original home in Disney’s California Adventure before Soarin’ opened a second location at Epcot. I was upset to see Food Rocks go (there was something special and nostalgic about this musical concerning nutrition), but I loved gaining Soarin’. The technology, images and music (which played at our wedding) are perfect. I cry every time. 

6. Spaceship Earth 

 

An Epcot original (that’s sensed been reimagined), Spaceship Earth is visually amazing and one of the most iconic park figures. The ride inside, narrated by the lovely Judi Dench, celebrated human innovation (or communication, depending on if you accept the update or not. Communication is the original theme, as the ride was once sponsored by AT&T). As a journalism major and media professional, the excitement of the printing press and the first newspapers are my favorite parts of the ride. 

These are just a few of my Disney favorites. Be sure to follow along on Instagram (@tarabulburton) to see my trip! 

Always try new things at Disney

My husband and I are jetting off to Orlando tomorrow for our Disney anniversary trip, or disneyversary. We will have been married for a year Sunday, and we are excited about celebrating at our favorite place. 

  
I’ve started a new tradition when I go to Disney. I strive to try something new every time I go. What’s new for this trip? Check out my list below. 

  1. Backstage Magic Tour – For the first time in forever, I am going behind the scenes at all four WDW parks via the Backstage Magic Tour. I can barely contain my excitement. I’ll write a full review after my trip! 
  2. Star Wars Galectic Breakfast – On our actual anniversary, we are dining with the Star Wars characters! This will be my fourth Star Wars Weekend and my husband’s second.   
  3. Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party – I enjoyed the Epcot Illuminations Sparkling Dessert party (below) on my bachelorette trip last year. We’re looking forward to an up-close view of Wishes with yummy desserts.  
  4. Disney Fine Art Photography Session – Since we are celebrating a momentous occasion, we booked a mini photo session with Disney Fine Art Photography. I’ll share the pictures once we get them. Hint on the photo location: it’s the grandest resort of all. 
  5. Chefs de France – We’ve never eaten at the Frenvh restaurant in Epcot. I always thought I was too picky of an eater for it, until I found out they have grown-up macaroni and cheese as an entree. Yum! 

In addition to these planned novelties, we will be sure to engage in new and spontaneous adventures, too. Be sure to follow along with my trip on Instagram, @tarabullburton. 

New feature: Vacation Planning

Are you feeling stumped as you work to plan your Orlando theme park vacation? I now offer vacation planning services under the Vacation Planning tab at the top of the page. You can also click here to learn more.

I have traveled to Orlando to visit the theme parks over 4o times, and I lived in the area for three months while interning for SeaWorld. I’ve planned and booked vacations to the area for the past three years, planning for a variety of budgets and groups of people (friends, families, couples, etc.).

Pricing

  • Consultation (Preliminary email/phone calls to discuss budget, dates, goals, etc. No booking.): Free
  • Booking (Includes hotel, flight, car rental, theme park tickets, dining reservations, entertainment, etc.): $40

If you’re ready for me to plan the vacation of your dreams, simply fill out the form below!