Planning for Disney World (and the Memory Maker!)


I like to plan. I get waaaay too excited about planning, actually. Especially for trips. This past fall, when we knew our Disney vacation was coming up, I was a Disney-planning maniac.

I looked up the crowd calendars for each day we’d be there, so that we picked the right park for the right day:

I researched restaurants:

and made a lunch reservation for each day we’d be in the parks:

I looked up which fast passes were hard to come by and which rides you don’t need them for:

I found out that resort guests get to book their fast passes 30 days earlier than everyone else (and therefore take all of the hardest-to-get fast passes). And the resort guest get free parking and Magic Bands too. So, we looked into resorts, but called to book for the best deal:

And I looked up the details for how to do “child swap” (AKA Rider Switch), and figured out how to get more out of our fast passes:

I found these “touring guides”, which had great ideas for when to hit each ride, and what time of the day to try to schedule fast passes for:

I even found a handy little chart that listed good places to kill time while the rest of your party is on a nearby height-restricted ride, although, we never used it because we never waited more than 15 minutes for a ride. In all five days. (“Planning pays off!”, she shouts!)

I figured out all the cool things that Magic Bands can do, (including automatically saving photos and videos from rides you were on!):

I also looked up Disney’s Photo Pass service, and researched Memory Maker:

BUT, no matter how hard I googled, I couldn’t find a sample of a family’s Memory Maker pictures (and maybe a little review about whether or not it was worth the cost). I wanted to see just what types of pictures you end up with if you buy the Memory Maker package. If the pictures weren’t going to turn out much better than I could’ve taken on my iPhone, I didn’t know that it would be worth it. (Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m pretty good with my iPhone camera.)

We ended up purchasing the Memory Maker, and I’m VERY glad that we did.

So, I decided that I will be that person, to fill the internet’s void of a massive amount of one family’s Disney Memory Maker pictures. It is my solemn duty.

We were at the parks for 5 days. When I downloaded the files from Disney, there were 867 images/videos linked to our account. (There were videos from rides we went on, the pictures we had taken with photographers, and then some really cool stock photos/videos from any events or shows that we went to, just based on our magic bands being nearby.)

We tried to make it to a lot of character appearances and we decided early on that if we ever passed a photo pass photographer without a line, we’d get some pictures taken. (We weren’t opposed to waiting in line though, because even when they did have lines, they moved very quickly and gave us just enough time to wipe food off of our faces.)

We also wanted to get some more candid photos, so that not all of them were just us looking at the camera with the same face. When my husband and I would trade off going on a ride, the other one would often take the kids to a photographer to get some pictures taken. Those are some of my favorites.

I love the way they turned out and I’m excited to make my favorite ones into a photo book and/or slideshow. That’s my next project. If I ever get around to making it, maybe I’ll post it here.

For now, here are some of my preliminary favorites from our Disney Memory Maker package:

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There are sooooo many more really good ones, but these were just some of the ones I had easily accessible!

Disney World really is magical when you bring your little kids!



One comment

  1. Sarah Jayne says:

    Oh I love this! Thanks for all the tips! We’ll be making sure to put them to good use when we go in about a month. This makes me wish so bad that we were going for more than just one day. But even just one day at one park will be amazing! I can’t wait! You’re making me so excited!

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