Is buying Disney’s Memory Maker worth it?

Is it worth it to buy Disney’s Memory Maker?

If capturing photographic memories of your vacation is a priority, then it is most certainly worth it.  Now let me explain.

First we have to address what it is – and how much it costs.

What IS Disney’s Memory Maker?

Memory Maker is the package that you can buy at Walt Disney World Resort to give you the ability to download all of your PhotoPass photos and videos.  These are the pictures and videos taken by the Disney photographers and on select attractions.

MM - Pixie Dust Fan and Sebastian

How much does Disney’s Memory Maker cost?

For one day – the current price is $75.00 USD

Advanced purchase (more than 3 days in advance) is $185.00 USD

Memory Maker $210.00 USD

For the most current pricing visit Disney’s official site here

Should you buy Disney’s Memory Maker?

Of course ‘worth it’ is very subjective.  It has many factors considering what is important to you, and how much money you’re willing to spend for it.

In my opinion, if you are visiting for more than 5 days and are willing to stop at PhotoPass photographers to grab some fun shots, then it is absolutely worth it!

Figment Photopass Bomb

When Figment shows up – that’s my favorite time!

I have 5 reasons why I think it’s worth it to buy Memory Maker at Walt Disney World

1.  Everyone is in the picture

You’ve spent all this money to have your whole family or friends together for this epic trip and all of your pictures are selfies or someone is missing.  If you’re good at selfies (I am not) then you can get everyone in, but not a good background.  If you can find a stranger to take your picture, you’re getting one or two shots and hope that they know what they’re doing.  With the PhotoPass photographers they are professionals using professional equipment to get you all in the shot, and sometimes when you’re not even paying attention.

Photopass Meeting Alice

I didn’t even realize they were taking pictures while we were talking

2.  Magic shots are so fun

Some photographers have what is called “magic shots”.  Some are a fun surprise when your pictures are available for viewing, and others you are expecting because you need to have a fun pose to create them.  Either way – they are FUN!

Animal Kingdom Photopass Tree of Life

You might feel silly posing, but the pictures are so fun when you see them later!

Memory Maker - Pixie Dust Fan and BB8

How cute is this pic with BB8? And how sunburnt am I???

3.  You get the attraction photos

How cool is it to get a picture of yourself ON the attraction?  It might be right at the point when a Dinosaur jumps out at you, or a ghost – or it might just be some fun shot of you winning on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  Whatever it is – it’s a picture that you couldn’t get yourself.

Competing on Buzz Photopass

Trying to capture the winning moment!



4.  You can SHARE it with your friends and family

You can share this with up to 25 members of your Family & Friends who share media with you on your My Disney Experience account. That makes it even more economical if you’re travelling with other friends and family.  I do know of some people who link up on social media to split the costs – but I’m not sure that I would feel comfortable doing that with strangers.

MK Photopass Zoom

You can get a video that zooms in and out on you in the Magic Kingdom. How cool is that?

5.  The PhotoPass photographers make the pictures different than you would on your own.

I have had the pleasure of interacting with SO MANY great photographers over the years.  They make me laugh and have made me do so many silly poses that I have some fantastic shots that I would have otherwise not gotten.  I always ‘pose’ the same way when I’m getting a picture taken – I think we all do that don’t we?  But these photographers can make you step outside of your comfort zone and just have FUN with it!  

Rainy Main Street Photopass

Posing in my poncho on Main Street. I would NEVER have posed like this if it wasn’t for the photographer.


Sure, you can buy all of these photos individually if you wanted, but why limit yourself?  Having ALL of your memories captured and available for download is the best way to re-live the trip when you get home. 

One night a photographer took a shot of me watching the fireworks!


Even when the weather is unbearable – there’s always time for a photo.  I managed to get one at the famous purple wall while trying to catch some shade from the heat!

Do you think it’s worth it?  Have you bought Disney’s Memory Maker before?

    Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort – should you stay here?

    Saratoga Springs Winners Circle

    I am a big believer in enjoying your RESORT while at Walt Disney World and not just being focused on the parks.  The resorts offer a bit of a different kind of holiday, with pools, shops and food to be enjoyed outside of the parks.

    Should you go to Walt Disney World and NOT go to the parks?

    Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa is one of the best resorts in my opinion for a “vacation outside of the parks”.  The proximity to Disney Springs offers a multitude of shopping, entertainment and dining experiences close by, while still being “far enough” for a little solitude and relaxation.  It’s a leisurely walk over to Disney Springs or there is a boat you can take that launches from just behind the main building.

    Boat Dock at Disney Springs

    The boat dock at Disney Springs

    The resort was inspired by a late 1800’s New York retreat famous for its spas and horse racing.  Horses are represented all over the resort, but the lobby has the best nod with the famous Disney horses being showcased throughout!

    Disney horses Saratoga Springs lobby

    This one looks like Destiny from the movie “Enchanted.”

    Angus Merida Horse Brave

    Decorated for the holidays, this is Angus – Merida’s horse in the movie Brave

    The amenities and recreation at this resort should not be overlooked, they have a wide variety of things to enjoy.

    Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course

    This course has hosted the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour and USGA events (I have no idea what most of those things are, but a golf pro could tell you!).  The 18-hole course was rated 4 stars by Golf Digest and has some pretty big accolades online.  There is a pro shop with some impressive merchandise that even a ‘non-golfer’ who was a Disney fan would love.

    Saratoga Springs Golf Store

    While I was getting a tea one day in the shop I met a lovely local lady who said her husband loves to golf and this was his favorite course.  Once a week he would come to the resort to golf and she would get a coffee and enjoy the shop and wander the grounds.

    Bike Rentals

    Admittedly this one is not for me, but it does look like fun when I have seen others do it!  You can get individual bikes or surrey bikes (fit for 2 -6 people).  When you can get people to come together to pedal somewhere, it just looks like family bonding at its finest!

    Saratoga Springs Bike Rentals

    Jogging Trails

    They are all over Walt Disney World resorts, but I just really try to stay out of the way!

    Running trails Saratoga Springs

    Basketball Court and Tennis Courts

    Admittedly – I don’t even think I’ve seen these on my multiple stays!  But they are there and you can get the basketball or tennis racquets at Horsing Around Rentals.

    Playgrounds and Pools

    There are 2 feature pools and 3 leisure pools at this resort.  Whether you want a waterslide, play area or quiet time – there is a pool suited to your needs.

    Senses Spa

    Facials, massages, wraps and relaxation is what you’ll find at the onsite spa.  Check the times before you go as some of the services may be unavailable.

    Horsing around rentals

    Horsing Around Rentals

    Movies, arcade, board games and more – there is activities suited to everyone at this resort.

    This is absolutely a resort that you could visit and not go to the parks at all.  While I always advocate for a balance of parks and resort time, you could absolutely spend a week here and not visit the parks at all.

    This is a Disney Vacation Club Resort and offers studios, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units as well as Treehouses!  (click here if you want to know what Disney Vacation Club is).  I have yet to stay in a Treehouse but have enjoyed the studio, 1 and 2-bedroom units.  The rooms have been updated and are bright and inviting – the furnishings used to be a lot darker.

    There are laundry rooms if you have an extended stay or just want to go home with clean laundry (I love doing that, it makes unpacking easier).

    The main building has a gift shop that has merchandise as well as some grocery items you might need.  It also has a quick service spot for food and desserts that I always seem to enjoy!

    Saratoga Springs Quick Service

    Quick service seating

    Do you want to know more about why we love Disney’s Saratoga Springs?

    On episode 126 of the podcast, Carrie and I did a full review of “Is Saratoga Springs right for your vacation plans”.  You can find the episode here or wherever you listen to your Disney podcasts.

    Have you ever stayed at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort?  Check out the YouTube below of a 2 bedroom unit!

    Disney’s Copper Creek 1 Bedroom Villa

    Disney Wilderness Lodge CourtyardDisney’s Copper Creek 1 bedroom villa was an upgrade I wasn’t expecting.  I was staying at Wilderness Lodge for 1 night before transferring to the Beach Club.  Since it was just me, I had arranged for a standard view studio for the night.

    When I arrived at the resort at 7pm – my studio wasn’t ready.  The lovely cast member was doing everything she could to contact someone in mousekeeping to get the room cleaned.  I was tired after my flight and I really just wanted to get in to my room, but it wasn’t her fault.  I left my luggage with bell services and went shopping in the gift shop for a while, I can’t complain about having time to shop.


    About 15 minutes later I was coming out of the shop when she called me over – my room was ready.  She winked and said “enjoy” and told me to take the elevators at the end of the lobby to the 7th floor.

    Copper Creek Room Number 7117

    When I opened the door to room 7117 I could have fallen over.  She had upgraded me to a 1 bedroom villa!  This huge room was all mine for the night, and I was over the moon.  I couldn’t help but think how great this place would be for families.

    Given that Wilderness Lodge is just a boat ride from the Magic Kingdom, it’s always been a great location.  If you were going to spend time at the Magic Kingdom, but also wanted to be ‘away’ and not on the monorail line – this resort is perfect.  Don’t miss the opportunity to stop by Geyser Point Bar & Grill for some drinks and terrific views.  It’s just so relaxing!

    If you had planned to eat a few meals in your room, or really just want to spread out – these 1 bedrooms are a home away from home.

    Walking in to the room you can see the full kitchen equipped with everything you could need to make a full meal.  The dishwasher, full stove and fridge – it was all there.

    Copper Creek 1 bedroom villa living room

    The living room/dining room were spacious.  Enough space for a family to chill after a meal or at the end of a long day.  That’s what these units are great for, just hanging out.

    Pixie Dust Fan Amazon Store

    Shop my wish list of products!

    There’s a bathroom with a vanity and stand-up shower, but the best part is the second vanity area with a HUGE soaker tub.  This tub was deep, if I had been there longer, I may have tried it out.

    Copper Creek Villa Soaker Bathtub

    The bedroom was spacious, plenty of storage space and another TV to watch from bed.   The villa has a balcony off of the bedroom, and a second from the living room.

    I loved this unit and will recommend it to anyone who is looking to stay near the Magic Kingdom but not on the monorail line.  While the studios are great, this is the perfect option if you wanted a little more room.  I took a full video tour so you could see everything!

    Let me know what you think!

    5 Reasons To Stay At Disney’s Bay Lake Tower

    Bay Lake TowerDisney’s Bay Lake Tower is one of my absolute favorite places to stay when I visit Walt Disney World.  While all of the resorts have their own unique charm and benefits, Bay Lake Tower has everything that is important to me – and then some!

    Here are my top 5 reasons I love Disney’s Bay Lake Tower!

    1.  Proximity to Magic Kingdom

    You can’t beat this proximity, there is NO other resort that’s closer to the Magic Kingdom.  You have to walk PAST Bay Lake Tower if you’re walking from the Contemporary!   There is nothing like being able to walk to the park, and better yet – LEAVING after fireworks and not having to get on a boat, bus or monorail?  Priceless!

    The other benefit of being so close is being able to watch the fireworks from pretty much anywhere.  If you splurge for a Theme Park View you’ll be blown away, but even if you didn’t – you can see the fireworks from anywhere out front really.

    Bay Lake Tower Fireworks

    Seeing the fireworks from Bay Lake Tower – it’s that close!

    2.  Proximity to the Contemporary Resort

    I think if I had to pick 1 resort as my all time favourite it would be the Contemporary.  I don’t know how much of it is nostalgia, but it has some pretty terrific stuff that makes it my favourite.  Staying at Bay Lake Tower you get the benefit of being able to walk over and jump on the Monorail, shop in the fantastic stores, eat at Contempo Cafe or have a drink at the Outer Rim.  Can you say table for 2 at California Grill and I can walk back to my room after?  Ya, it’s that close – and it’s wonderful!

    3.  There is nothing IN the resort itself

    This may sound like a drawback, but it isn’t.  There is no food court or restaurant or even stores in Bay Lake Tower.  The only thing is the Top Of The World lounge for Disney Vacation Club members on (you guessed it) the top floor.  Otherwise, it’s just resort rooms.  What that means?  No one has any reason to be in Bay Lake Tower if they’re not staying there.  No crowds, no loud hallways – just peace and quiet!  Of course it has a pool, laundry room and games – but nothing of ‘fun’ inside the resort.

    Bay Lake Tower Pool

    The pool at Bay Lake Tower

    4.  Room Variety

    The ability to book a studio, 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom comes in VERY handy for my family.  When we travel as an extended group – we like to stay together and normally get the 2 bedroom.  We have a full kitchen in there so that we can make breakfasts and the living room makes it comfortable for us to hang out as adults when the kids have gone to bed.  I have YET to stay in a 3 bedroom… but I’m working on it!

    The 1 bedroom units also feature 2 full bathrooms.  This is the PERFECT set up when we have 4 adults, there’s nothing worse than 4 us trying to share the same bathroom!

    The only thing that I wish was a little better was the configuration of the studios.  They didn’t utilize the space very well – it’s really only suitable for 2 or 3 adults maximum.  If you go with 3 or 4 adults, you better REALLY like each other!  Otherwise, I would suggest staying at the Contemporary Resort where the rooms are MUCH bigger than the studio at Bay Lake.

    Bay Lake Tower Living Room

    Part of the living room at Bay Lake Tower

    5.  Being IN The Bubble

    When you arrive at Walt Disney World, you enter the ‘bubble’ as I like to call it.  It’s the place where you cross the threshold and the outside world doesn’t exist, at least that’s what I try to do.  When you stay at one of the Monorail/Magic Kingdom resorts, you are REALLY next to the magic.  You can hear the train whistle in the park, you can see the boats on Bay Lake and at night you can see the fireworks.  Being ‘surrounded’ by all of those sites and sounds really do drown out the ‘real world’ just for a bit.   Yes, you can feel this way staying anywhere on property, but being THAT close to the Magic Kingdom just gives it that little extra Pixie Dust.

    Check out the 1 bedroom at Bay Lake Tower and tell me what you think! 

    Sailing concierge on a Disney cruise, is it worth it?

    Sailing concierge on a Disney cruise, is it worth it?

    DCL Concierge Check InI really believe that having over 40 years of personal experience visiting Walt Disney World is one of the things that makes me qualified to give advice about Disney vacations.  When it comes to Disney Cruise Line, I have had experience sailing in various categories of staterooms, but I hadn’t sailed Disney Cruise concierge.  How could I tell people if concierge was worth it if I hadn’t tried it?  My mind was made up, I needed to sail concierge in a 1-bedroom suite on the Disney Dream – for research purposes of course.

    Research is key when you’re a travel blogger

    My sister, our two friends and I left Walt Disney World after 8 days in the parks and drove down to Port Canaveral. Being concierge meant that we did not have a specific boarding time and we could check in at the concierge desk (where there was no line).   After checking in, we were able to relax in the lounge area in the terminal reserved for concierge guests.  Once the ship was cleared – we were led on board and up to the lounge on deck 12.

    What is inside the concierge lounge on the Disney Dream?

    In the concierge lounge we were treated to mimosas and some nibbly treats.  We met our 3 hosts who had a custom itinerary printed out for us that included our Palo brunch and Castaway Cabana reservations that were booked by the pre-arrival team. They told us about the 2 happy hours that were hosted each night in the lounge offering drinks (alcohol and non) as well as what kind of food and snacks were available throughout the day. We were told that if there was anything we needed, we only had to ask.

    DCL Mimosas

    We enjoyed the conversations (and the mimosas) but were so excited to go and see our stateroom!  We left the lounge and were thrilled to see our stateroom was right across the hall which turned out to be super convenient for getting tea in the morning and bottles of water throughout the day.

    I had the chance to look in the 1-bedroom suite before, but walking in to that room knowing it was mine for 4 nights was an incredible feeling!  When we opened the door there were gasps from all of us, I believe the word “wow” was used about 67 times in the next 10 minutes while we explored.

    DCL 1 Bedroom Suite Living Room

    The living room

    How big is the 1 bedroom suite on the Disney Dream?

    The suite was larger than I remembered and I hadn’t realized there were 3 closets in that hallway.  There was a dining room, living room area, desk, bedroom and 2 full bathrooms.   The master bathroom was like something out of a magazine with a TV in the mirror, separate shower stall and a bathtub so large I could have practiced my backstroke!

    We decided it was time to check out the concierge sun deck to see where we might spend our time if we ever left our room during the cruise!  We went back through the lounge to grab some bottled water and headed upstairs – that’s when the ‘wow’ word was used another 14 times!  There were sun loungers, comfy chairs, sunscreen and a hot tub – all for concierge guests only.  I knew we would be spending some quality time in this area!

    Before the sail away party started I knew I was in trouble.  We had been on the ship for only a few hours and I had already decided that cruising concierge was worth the cost.  I spent the next 4 days enjoying all of the benefits of cruising concierge.  From the fabulous table locations in the dining rooms to the parting gift they left in our room, they really treated us like royalty.

    Now that I’m home (and my Visa bill has come in!), I am able to look back with a more practical view to determine if I would do it again. In my opinion, sailing concierge is definitely worth it if you put a high value on convenience, luxury and service.  The Disney Cruise Line has exceptional service for everyone, but sailing concierge felt like it had some extra pixie dust for me.

    If your budget allows for it, I would highly recommend it.   There is only one thing that I have to caution you on – once you sail concierge, you may not be able to sail any other way!  Contact Playcation Travel to book your next cruise!

    Have you sailed concierge?  Would you do it again?

    Check out our video review here: