In this article
- What is PhotoPass+?
- What About MaxPass?
- Where Do I Start?
- What Are My Four Options to Choose From?
- I want the One Day Option. How Can I Buy It Online?
- I want the One Week Option. How Can I Buy It Online?
- I want the $99 or $119 Collection. How Can I Buy It Online?
- How Do I Link Photos to My PhotoPass Account?
- What About Attraction Photos?
- What Do the Prints from My Character Meal Look Like?
- What About Dining Print Vouchers and Discs?
- What About Character Meal Images?
- Where Can I Edit My Photos? I Want To Add Stickers and Boarders.
- I have a Signature Plus or Premier Annual Pass. What are my PhotoPass Benefits?
- What about runDisney Races?
- What Else Should I Know?
What is PhotoPass+?
Simply put, PhotoPass+ is Disneyland’s photography system. It was designed for Disney parks so that everyone in your group could be captured in photos. Rather than having that one person who holds the camera or mobile device missing from your entire trip history, he or she can now be seen! It’s a Disney miracle.
Throughout the park, you’ll find PhotoPass+ photographers in iconic locations, with characters and more. Having a photographer take your photo is free. After your photo or photos are taken, the photographer will give you a PhotoPass+ card that looks like this:
Hold onto this card. If you choose not to use your mobile device for PhotoPass+ (we’ll cover that option soon), do your best to keep this card handy so that you can give it to the next photographer….and then the next….and the next…….so that all of your images are in one place. You could essentially get a new card with every new photo taken, but you’ll be putting yourself at risk for losing the cards and then also, it will be a pain to scan or enter them all in once you link the card(s) to your PhotoPass+ account.
What About MaxPass?
MaxPass is now offered to guests for $10 per day, per person. This option allows a guest to select FASTPASSES on the Disneyland app and it also gives the guest full PhotoPass privileges for the day of purchase. This includes photos from around the park, attraction photos and those taken at character meals. Prints are not included.
If you are purchasing MaxPass only for the PhotoPass privileges, everyone in your party may join you in the photos. Or, you can add photos to your account that you are not in. You can ask the stranger next to you to stand in for a photo if you wish. Disney does not designate which photos qualify for your MaxPass/PhotoPass purchase.
If you have an Annual Passport that includes MaxPass/PhotoPass privileges, you do not need to enter the park in order to use PhotoPass outside of the park, such as at a character meal.
For more on Maxpass, visit this link.
Where Do I Start?
First, you must have an account to use or buy a PhotoPass product at Disneyland. It’s simple and free.
Second, download the free Disneyland app if you don’t already have it. I encourage you to use this for dozens of reasons during your visit, above and beyond the PhotoPass+ option. It’s a fantastic tool for character locating, attraction wait times, the entertainment schedule, dining reservations and cancellations, etc. There is no need any longer for 3rd party apps. The free Disneyland version is most accurate and easiest to use. (You don’t have to use the app to manage your PhotoPass purchase. You can handle it all online if you wish.)
Download that here:
Now, read through the rest of this post to find how it all works. Choose one of the four options, as detailed below, and proceed on with your purchase as recommended.
What Are My Four Options to Choose From?
Click on this image for a comparison of the four options.
(This package is not currently available since MaxPass began, which includes the same one day PhotoPass privileges for $10 a day. More on MaxPass here.)
This package is good for 1 park day at one or both Disney parks. 1 park day = Any or all images between open and close at the Disneyland Resort. (It does not equal 24 hours total.) You have 45 days from your first day in the parks to download your images. Cast members will help you redeem your purchase in the park after you take your first photo. An activation button will appear after your first photo is scanned into the app. Simply choose that photo and select “Activate” to get started.
If you pre-purchase the One Day package on your app or online at home before your visit, don’t panic thinking you’re activating it and wasting your days outside of the park. You physically cannot activate the package without attaching a photo taken by a PhotoPass+ Photographer. You didn’t push any wrong buttons. 🙂
Disney PhotoPass+ One Week – $78
This package is good for 7 consecutive days. You will have 45 days from your first day in the parks to download your images.
Purchase this option from the Disneyland website before your visit if you wish. In order to purchase the One Week option online, you will have to log into or create a profile on the Disneyland website, as I mentioned above. When you purchase the One Week option, your Disney profile will hold this purchase in your account. It knows you bought it. You can’t see proof of it on your account, which is really confusing, but it’s there. You will receive a confirmation email for your purchase, although you won’t be able to activate the purchase until you enter the park. Keep that confirmation email in a safe place just in case you have to reference it. But, you won’t. Your account has it.
Once you enter the park (or go to a character meal) and take your first photo with a PhotoPass+ photographer, scan that card into your mobile device and then you’ll be set up for your visit. Your mobile device will load the package onto your app after that first photo is scanned. I told you it was there!
(I know this is weird. But, it’s how the One Week option works.)
Notes for this package:
This package includes digital downloads of all Disney PhotoPass photos in your account at time of redemption. This means that you receive ALL of the images in your PhotoPass account for up to 45 days. You will receive a product code redeemable at the Disneyland website/PhotoPass for unlimited digital downloads of all PhotoPass photos that are viewable in your account at the time you redeem the code.
*Why would you buy this package? – If you’re already planning on purchasing the One Week option and you have a character meal scheduled, this option is a good value. For only $21 more, you’ll receive the voucher for the dining print package (a $32.95 value) and the resort gallery disc, which will give you hundreds of photos from around DLR. No need to take your own photos around the park. Take home a professional’s instead. If you are at the parks for more than 7 days, this package is an excellent value.
*When should you buy this package? When you should you activate it? – Purchase the package upon arrival to the Disneyland Resort, either on your first park day or prior to your character meal so that you can collect your prints when you dine. (If you’re dining before your first park day.) Do not activate it until your trip is complete. When you activate it, the system will gather all images from the 45 days prior and add them to your account. So, activating the first day won’t work. At the time of purchase, you will receive the voucher for your character meal prints and the resort gallery disc. Scan all of your images into the app or online during your visit or after. Then, once you activate (with the code given to you at the time of purchase), the system gathers all your images. Until you activate, your images will appear with watermarks online and on your app.
The $99 Collection can only be purchased at a Disney PhotoPass Sales Center, any dining location with PhotoPass Photographers and all attraction locations with on-ride PhotoPass photo capture.
****Beginning January 1, 2017, guests with a valid military ID who purchase a 3 or 4 day park ticket may purchase this collection for only $49.50. Such an awesome value. Purchase anywhere the $99 Collection can be purchased. Check the Disneyland website for more details.
Notes for this package:
This package works exactly like the $99 Collection and includes all of the details listed above. In addition, you will receive your own disc with your own images burned onto it for you to take home and download/share, etc.
The $119 Collection can only be purchased at a Disney PhotoPass Sales Center. Do this at the Main Street Photo Supply in Disneyland or the Kingswell Camera Shop on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure.
Unlike the $99 Collection, you should not activate the $119 purchase until you are walking out of the park, as your disc (and digital account) will include all images prior to that very moment of activation for up to 45 days in the park. You must be in person to activate this Collection so that the cast member can physically hand you the disc with your images burned onto it.
I want the One Day Option. How Can I Buy It Online?
Go to the Disneyland website and sign into your account.
Under “Things to Do”, click on PhotoPass.
Find this page:
Click on One Day or One Week to purchase at this point. With either option, you will not be able to activate the purchase until you scan in your first image in the park. So, don’t panic. Your day or week is not starting with your purchase here.
I want the One Week Option. How Can I Buy It Online?
Follow the same process as above.
I want the $99 or $119 Collection. How Can I Buy It Online?
The $99 Collection must be purchased at a Disney PhotoPass Sales Center, any dining location with PhotoPass Photographers and all attraction locations with on-ride PhotoPass photo capture.
The $119 Collection can only be purchased at a Disney PhotoPass Sales Center. Do this at the Main Street Photo Supply in Disneyland or the Kingswell Camera Shop on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure.
How Do I Link Photos to My PhotoPass Account?
Start with the card or cards you collected. To link your photos from your card to your account, enter the 16-digit PhotoPass ID found on your PhotoPass card in the Disneyland mobile app or at Disneyland website/PhotoPass. After you enter the numbers, your images will appear in a matter of moments or hours. Rarely hours. But, be patient. There are a lot of people at Disneyland.
If you have pre-purchased a PhotoPass package, your images will appear without a watermark. If you have not purchased a PhotoPass package, your images will appear with a watermark. No worries either way……you’ll still see the photos.
What About Attraction Photos?
You can link attraction photos to your account by entering the 8-character Photo ID found at the attraction photo preview wall after you exit the ride.
Don’t try to do this after you stumble off of the Incredicoaster. Snap a photo of the image with your mobile device and fix your hair. If you’re like me, you look like a hot mess after that coaster.
Enter the Photo ID at a later time. (I usually collect mine for the day and then enter all at once.)
Regardless of which purchase you make, you will own your images to print and share as you wish.
What Do the Prints from My Character Meal Look Like?
The Character Meal Print Voucher from either of the Collections will be exchanged for prints from your dining experience. The prints will be given to you at the end of your meal. Prints include one pose and 4 qty 4″x6″ and 1 qty 6″x8″. They come in a cute folder from the restaurant and look like this:
Note: Occasionally, the print quantities/sizes vary at character meals, but this is the basic idea. They’re quality photos printed and brought to your table while you dine in case you want to purchase.
What About Dining Print Vouchers and Discs?
Here is what the Dining Print Voucher (included in the Collections) looks like. You will receive this upon purchasing either Collection in the park. Each Collection includes one voucher for character meal prints. If you have more than one meal scheduled, you may purchase the prints from the subsequent meals at the time you dine. They’re $32.95 a set. The voucher can be redeemed at the following character dining locations:
Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel
Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends at the PCH Grill at Paradise Pier Hotel
Ariel’s Grotto in California Adventure
Minnie’s Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn in Disneyland.
Learn more about all of your character meal options before visiting. And, note that the 5th character meal option, the Critter Breakfast at Storytellers Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel, does not include the PhotoPass+ option of any kind.
What About Character Meal Images?
Character meal images are included in all PhotoPass options – MaxPass, One Day, One Week, the $99 Collection, the $119 Collection. The images from these events work a bit differently because the image won’t be scanned into your device or card. You will be given a code (similar to one that you use on attraction photos) to enter into the system to retrieve your image(s).
That code looks like this, below. Once you show confirmation of purchase for any of the PhotoPass+ options (including MaxPass), a piece of paper with a unique code on it – like this – will be given to you. That code is attached to the image(s) you took at your character meal.
Follow the simple instructions on the card to enter the code into your app to retrieve your images.
Note: If you are dining prior to entering the park, where you would purchase MaxPass, make a note of the location, time of dining, and any other small details you can recall. After you enter the park and activate MaxPass, you may stop by one of the photo shops on site to retrieve the image(s) from your early dining experience. The PhotoPass photographers at the character meals will not release your code until confirmation of MaxPass is shown, thus the second stop to grab those images. If you prefer to wait until you get home, you may call PhotoPass at 407-560-4300 to retrieve those images.
If you have a Signature Annual Pass or a Signature Plus Annual Pass, you will also receive these character meal images. Click on “Profile” in your Disneyland app and your pass is listed, allowing you to confirm your Signature Pass. (More on this in a section below for Signature Annual Passholders.)
Where Can I Edit My Photos? I Want To Add Stickers and Boarders.
Editing images is easy to do on the free Disneyland app. Crop, change filters, add stickers and borders! Check out this post for lots of details and a walk through of how the editing system works. Currently, it’s only available on mobile devices. When/If they add it to the website, I’ll update this post.
If you purchase the One Day or One Week option upon arrival and have the actual images loading on your mobile device, you may edit them at any time.
If you purchase one of the Collections, you will need to wait on editing because during your visit, you will only see watermarked images in your app or online. You will not be able to access the actual images until you activate the purchase, which should be the last thing you do before leaving so that your Collection includes every image possible from your trip. After you activate your Collection and the images load on your app, you will be able to edit them.
Regardless of whether you purchase the One Day, One Week or a Collection, you will not see edited images saved to your app or online gallery. When you finish editing an image, your mobile device will prompt you to save it. Do that. Otherwise, it vanishes. Edited images will not save to a Disney product.
If you are not using the app, you may visit either of the Photo Shops in the parks to have a cast member add boarders and stickers to your images. You will have to purchase the print(s) for such images, as the edited versions won’t be available for download in your packages. Print prices can be found later in this post.
I have a Signature Plus or Premier Annual Pass. What are my PhotoPass Benefits?
All your Disney PhotoPass photos and attraction photos are now included in your Disney Signature Plus or Disney Premier Annual Passport benefits.
(Disney Signature annual passes used to offer PhotoPass and all guests who keep this pass current will continue with the PhotoPass privileges. However, new Signature annual passes will not include PhotoPass.)
You’ll need to do two things to access your images on your mobile device and then also retrieve photos at the park easily:
- Be sure you have the Disneyland app downloaded on your mobile device.
- Be sure to have your Annual Pass linked to your Disneyland app.
When you have that in place, you can use your PhotoPass option easily throughout the day. It works just like the PhotoPass options available to purchase. Check out some photos of what you can do.
Go into the app and find PhotoPass from the main menu. Click on the PhotoPass option:
Find your most recent batch of photos and scroll down for those from previous visits. View those photos, share them, edit and more.
From this screen, you can click on “Find Photographers” to see exactly where photographers are currently. Click on “Link Photos or Purchases” to scan a PhotoPass card to your app.
Click on “Enter an ID” to enter the code for an attraction photo since there is no option to scan it. If your PhotoPass card won’t scan, you can enter it here, too. Enter PhotoPass+ purchases here, as well.
When I went to enter my first attraction code, I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to enter it into that rectangle space under “Enter the ID number”. Like, about 20 minutes. I was almost in tears. (Technology will make me cry before anything else in the world.)
Like a grown up, I handed my phone off to a friend declaring my app was broken. He promptly entered the code exactly where it says “Enter the ID number” instead of the rectangle space below and the image arrived. I felt smart.
When you have your photo taken with a character, offer your mobile device with the QR code pulled up to scan. If you don’t want to constantly be pulling this page up, take a screen capture of this code and in decent lighting, it will work, too. That screen looks like this:
Finally, if you are trying to retrieve digital images at a character meal and need to share proof of your Signature Annual Pass or Signature Plus Annual Pass (most passes don’t note the AP name), click on “Profile” under your name from this screen, which is the first to pop up when you enter the app and click on your selected character at the bottom.
Let’s take a look at the One Day option, which can be bought and activated on the app.
Be sure you have the free Disneyland app. It looks like this:
In addition to Town Square, Main Street, Sleeping Beauty Castle, with characters, and at select character meals, you can find PhotoPass+ photographers on the move around the park. Look for them in each of the following locations:
At Disneyland Park:
- New Orleans Square
- Mark Twain Riverboat
- Mickey’s Toontown
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
At Disney California Adventure Park:
- Buena Vista Street
- Hollywood Land
- Cars Land
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
You can use the free Disneyland app to locate photographers. Click on PhotoPass at the menu along the top of the screen:
Scroll down through this post from Disney for a map showing where to find photographers in both parks.
Here is what a PhotoPass+ photographer looks like. They always have the light khaki vest on:
What about runDisney Races?
PhotoPass+ photographers will be capturing your runDisney race photos on the track. Those photos are included as part of an active Disney PhotoPass+ One Day or Disney PhotoPass+ One Week purchase. runDisney will provide instructions on linking up to 5 race bib numbers to your PhotoPass account. The One Day package will suffice for the race and will cover you for it and a park visit that day. If you’re staying longer than one day, the One Week version will be more cost effective.
What Else Should I Know?
- If you are interested in, but unsure of the PhotoPass+ One Day product, don’t pre-purchase. Collect images via the free PhotoPass card throughout your visit. Then, once you’re finished and home, review all of your images online. You will have 45 days to do this. They will be organized per day, so you’ll be able to choose which days are worth purchasing and which are not. Some days might include only one or two photos worth keeping. Skip that purchase, buy the images individually, or consider the week purchase if enough justify the cost.
- Multiple PhotoPass cards can be added to the PhotoPass purchases, so scan several at a time whether you’re purchasing in the park or from home. (This means that if your party splits up, anyone can grab PhotoPass cards throughout the park to add to your purchase.)
- Because the park does not have wifi, your mobile device will eat data throughout the day if you choose to pre-purchase PhotoPass+ and use the QR code for images. If you’re worried about this, don’t use your mobile device and instead use the free PhotoPass card provided by the photographers in the park. Upon returning to your hotel room or even back home, load the cards to your mobile device or online.
- Reviewing your day’s photos from your hotel room each night of your trip will allow you to see if any did not load to your account. (This happens randomly….it’s not a perfect system…..images get lost sometimes.) If this happens, you may visit the photo shops on site to see if they can find an image that you’re looking for. (By narrowing down date/time/location, etc.) If they cannot, at least you’ll be able to recreate the image since you’re still onsite. If you wait until you get home to review all of your images, you’ll miss that chance.
- If you get home and realize an image is missing, call the PhotoPass team to see if they can locate. They always surprise me with how well they do this. Know the date/time/location of when the image was taken and they’ll do their best to find it. The phone number to call is 407-560-4300.
- Most special events like the Halloween Party will include PhotoPass photographers. Images taken at these events will be included in any PhotoPass package purchased.
- Pricing for printed photos can be found here: (photo coming soon)
- Magic Shots are included in your PhotoPass+ product and should appear in your images once you purchase. A magic shot is created when a PhotoPass+ cast member drops in an image after the photograph has been taken. You will pose in the parks pretending to see a Disney character (for example, Tinker Bell in someone’s hand) and then once the image is downloaded to your purchase, the image will be complete with the Disney character. Magic shots are taken in select areas of the park. Ask your photographer if he or she can do one for you.
- Confused as to why one set of options is PhotoPass and one is PhotoPass+? I asked cast members and was told essentially that PhotoPass Collections are not “+” since you’re not actively using the app to run the packages. The One Day and One Week options are “+” because they are designed to be activated and managed on the app.
- If you decide to upgrade the One Week or One Day packages to one of the PhotoPass Collections, you may still receive the printed photos from one character meal (since each Collection includes a voucher for prints from one character meal). Those will be printed at the photo shop in the park.
- If you have any issues with PhotoPass+, let Disney know by calling 407-560-4300.
- Remove bags or backpacks if it’s convenient for your photos.
- Take your sunglasses off.
- Back your stroller up from the photo if kids are able to stand or be held.
- Be creative with your line up and don’t always stand in the same place. Mix it up or ask the photographer to place you.
- Have fun! Be happy or goofy……you’re at Disneyland…….no need to do the school picture, perfect posture pose. Or be disgruntled like my 10 year old in all of our photos. Totally up to you. Characters at Disneyland will show you all sorts of ways to pose if you ask them for tips. In fact, they each have a signature pose. Check out my characters post for more ideas.