Disney's PhotoPass

I'm a sucker for photos, but I'm not the best photographer in the world, and my photos never quite capture the beauty and magic of the places I've been to.  If I could afford to drag a professional photographer on my vacations, I probably would, but fortunately, you don't have to at the Disneyland Resort.  Their PhotoPass system is a great way to get professional quality photos of your family (including the family member that's always stuck holding the camera!) in front of all the best Disneyland Resort landmarks.   Here's how it works:

1) Look for Disney PhotoPass photographers stationed at locations around the Disneyland Resort, and ask them to take your photo.  By the way, the PhotoPass photographers are super discreet, they won't walk up to you and try to sell a photo like used car salesmen -- what a relief! -- so you have to walk up to them and ask.

2) After they take your photo, the photographers will hand you a PhotoPass card with a unique code on it. It looks like this:

PhotoPass photographers in other locations can scan that card when they take your photos, or they can give you a new PhotoPass card, it doesn't matter since you will consolidate them all online.  Also, if you get your photos taken at a Character Dining event, you can get them uploaded to your Disney PhotoPass account.

3) After your Disneyland Resort vacation, go online to www.disneyphotopass.com and create an account.

4) Claim all your photos by typing in all the codes from the PhotoPass cards you gathered.

5) You can edit photos --  crop them, enhance, add Disney-themed borders -- and save as a new photo.  You can also share them via email, Facebook or Twitter.

6) Choose only the photos you want, or none at all.  You can purchase individual prints, photo products like mugs or calendars or photo books, or photo downloads. 

If you are doing a family reunion and want lots of group photos, I think the best deal of all is their Photo CD -- for $69.95, you get a digital download (or photo cd) of ALL of the photos that the photographers took of you!  Even if you're a big group and want to split up, just make sure each group has a PhotoPass Card, then gather all the cards at the end of your trip and consolidate them into a single PhotoPass account.  Photo downloads are $14.95 each, so you'll start saving after your 5th photo.  Note, however, that PhotoPass also sells a Photo Archive CD and Photo Gallery CD, so make sure you're purchasing the photo cd you want!

Here's what I love best about the PhotoPass Service:

* You get a professional photographer take your photo, so you end up with a really good quality photo. 

* Photographers are stationed at the most picturesque spots around the park, and they tell you exactly where to stand in order to get a picture-perfect shot.

 * You can spruce up your photo with cute Disney-themed borders and stickers. 

Check out this cool special effect:  when we took the photo above, the photographer asked 3Po to hold out his hands and asked Alfie and me to pretend we were gawking at something in his hands.  When we saw the photo online, lo and behold, they had photoshopped Tinkerbell into the photo!

Best of all, there's no need to ask a stranger to take your photo in order for the whole family to be included.

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary PhotoPass CD. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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