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Disney World PhotoPass Changes- How will it impact your trip in 2019 and 2020

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There are two things I have from my childhood Disney trips- my autograph book (with a vintage 90s pen that no longer works) and a small photobook filled with old photos shot on a disposable camera.

I love those memories.

So when it came to adulting for myself – I knew I wanted to capture those memories too.

Thankfully, we’ve got the Photopass options, and connected with the Memory Maker, I’ve got the perfect digital scrapbook where I can pick and choose what high quality pictures I want with ease.

I can get great pics of my kids, I can watch them grow up at each trip to Disney World.

It’s really a magical thing!

And even when the kids aren’t with me, I still take advantage of the Photopass opportunities (scratch that- when the kids aren’t with me I DEFINITELY take advantage of having more pictures of me looking put together and not like I just solved three fights and spilled my starbucks on main street)

So it saddens me to say that some changes are coming to Photopass that aren’t going to benefit many people at all.

In fact, these changes could be the tipping point for people opting out of the memory maker option.

Let’s see what’s in store for our beloved pictures!

First things First- would PhotoPass be worth it if everything was automated?

This is a valid question.

What if there were no photopass photographers to snap the pic?

what if…

  • All the pictures were automated?
  • Everything was based on one point of view?
  • All the pictures were from a box that couldn’t direct everyone in the picture into place?

here’s the thing- in a few select places, all the questions above are TRUE.

and I’m going to show you a really embarrassing photo of what happens when you have a box taking the pictures and not a person.

Prepare yourself-

YALL 😫😫😫

I’m all for nursing my baby but that picture is ridiculous! And yes, I laugh about it now- but seriously? Babe was 2 months old, I was rocking the post partum mom bod, and we were taking a much needed big family trip to the happiest place on earth.

No Worries, because I snapped a selfie with her. But it makes you wonder- if my selfie looks this good…

A real human photographer wouldn’t have captured the picture above- and even if they had, they would have made up for it by getting some good candid shots and closeups.

If there was a photographer there, I would have never ‘been in the way’, as I could have taken my screaming hungry baby behind the photographer.

But you can’t do that with the box on the wall.

And the box isn’t moving out of the way for you to sneak out of the shot.

So I was stuck walking in front of the box, and it was a really rushed experience with tink because of our group size.

But this isn’t about me- let’s talk about the changes coming to PhotoPass.

So what are the changes coming to PhotoPass Spots in 2019 and 2020?

If you saw my photo above you know I’m talking about a BOX.

The box is on the wall in the character spot, and then instead of a human scanning your magic band or card, you go to a kiosk type setup where you can see your picture and scan your band.

This is currently in place at several locations like Tinker Bell on Main street and Kylo Ren in Hollywood Studios.

the Cast Member said ” look at this droid- it’s going to take a picture” and the group before us she was trying very hard to explain to a child why they needed to look at the box.

BUT

they are planning to replace other character spots too

Most recently they have installed kiosks at Mickey’s character meet at Town Square and I am devastated. 😭

How will a box ever capture sweet close ups like this?

How will a box ever get the emotion of seeing your beloved Mickey?

What’s worse, is they are going to be rolling these out all over the parks.

The Epcot Character Spot is getting “revamped” but I suspect they are breaking up the four characters there to have their own meeting spots with boxes.

Maria from minniemariamouse was one of the first people to report on the changes to the current PhotoPass setup.

I reached out to her and this is what she has to say

“I have memories I look back on that make me tear up… dancing with Mickey, having him show me his favorite magic trick, a giant hug where my smile is undeniably best bday ever worthy. A box can’t capture that. But it also ruins the magic by making Mickey or whomever stop your moment to tell you to pause and look into a box for a staged photo instead of capturing a real moment”

And that’s such a valid point. How weird is it for the handler to be like, “ok look at the box on the wall for your photo?”

I don’t stand in line saying, “I’m going to take my picture with Mickey!”

I say, “I’m going to MEET mickey”

Sure the pictures are important, but it’s also being able to connect with your character.

Yes, we like posed photos- but what about the candid photos, they unexpected ones that you didn’t realize the photographer shot. The personalized touch.

Here’s what pictures will look like going forward when you use a box.

Staged, distant and impersonal. I know that it doesnt appeal to me, especially for a character like Mickey, and if your like me, it won’t be a fun addition to your long awaited (and very expensive) vacation to the house of mouse.

Here’s the Box I spotted at Magic Kingdom Town Square (Where Mickey Meets Guests with hour long waits and hard to get Fast Passes)

Photopass Preview Box at Town Square for Mickey, they currently already have one for Tinkerbell.

So what can we do?

Many people have taken to Instagram to voice their concern with the hashtag #savephotopass and #savephotopassphotographers

You can also reach out to Disney and send an email at

wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com or guest.services@disneyworld.com

I encourage everyone to do this and I’ve sent one in today with my disappointment over how this has been handled (very subtly) and what I believe will be a poor decision in the long run. I will let update this post when I get a reply.

Still Not Convinced? See what some Disney Fans have to say about #savephotopass

View this post on Instagram

Photo credit: an ACTUAL PhotoPass photographer, not a machine! It looks like disney is starting to roll out more photopass machines at character meet spots instead of having a cast member take pictures. So the machine will automatically take a picture on a timer. Resulting in less photos, and less quality. A machine can’t capture the great moments you have with a character. Tinkerbell at MK has had a machine for awhile. And now it seems Kylo Ren at Hollywood Studios has one, and Anna and Elsa at Epcot will soon get one too. Thanks to @minniemariamouse for doing this research! Many of my photos on this page actually were taken by PhotoPass CMs. I love the service and they are very much a part of the magic of Disney. So I’m definitely sad to see this change happening more. If you don’t like it either, go to guest services when you’re in the parks and complain. And make your own post on here to spread the word and share your feelings! (Feel free to tag me in those so I can share them for a wider reach!) β€” What’s your take on replacing photopass cast members with machines? β€” Bow tie and suspenders from @sweetlookscollection! Use GEOFFREY15 for a discount with them! β€” #disneyworld #disneyphotopass #photopass #wdw #disneyphotos #disneycharacters #mickeymouse #minniemouse #nowmorethanever #itsagoodtime #getyourearson #magickingdom #hollywoodstudios #epcot #charactermeetandgreet #disneynews #disneychanges #disneyblogger #disneystyle #dapperday #sweetlookscollection #sweetlooks #sweetlookssweeties #brandrep #wdwnews

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Let me here from you-

Do you like the idea of the box?

Is having an automated picture a good trade off for what would be a shorter wait (and a quicker meet and greet?) Snap the pic and go kinda thing?

Let me know on social media or in the comments- tag- #savephotopass

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