Did you miss me? I know I’ve been about on Instagram and twitter, but I have had a little blogging break whilst I spent some r&r time with the family. Well, we are now back from a fantastic family holiday in Orlando, Florida. I kinda wish this was a vlog, so that you could see the smile that seems to be permanently on my face since we’ve been back. I’m battling serious jetlag, but this is a small price to pay for the amazing adventures we’ve just been on.
We have been to Walt Disney World in Florida before, in fact this is our sixth visit as a family (can you tell we love it?) but this is the first after a three-year break. As we have been so many times and each of those times visiting the six parks of Walt Disney World (WDW) I thought I would write a series of blog posts. Hopefully this will give you a little insight on all things Disney in Florida, including what my recommendations are in terms of planning and tips whilst you are there. I know sometimes planning a trip to WDW can feel daunting, but honestly with a just a small amount of planning (and a few hints and tips) it’s the kind of holiday you will remember forever, and one you will definitely want to repeat!
First up I wanted to let you into what I feel is a bit of a secret that people don’t realise in the UK I think. If you purchase a WDW adult Ultimate ticket in the UK and Ireland, it includes Memory Maker, which is a great saving as it normally costs $169 on the gate. If you get a code when you purchase your tickets, USE IT!
What’s Memory Maker I hear you ask? Well, when you go around all of the theme and water parks (including Disney Springs) you will notice Disney Photographers. They are easy to spot, as they all wear the same uniform. They are there to take and record all of those magical moments you have. So simply ask them to take your photograph. Honestly, don’t feel embarrassed, that’s what they do every day. You can find them in iconic places throughout the parks, at experiences and when you meet the characters during your stay. Also capturing special moments, like when Miss A met a few of her absolute favourite characters – Tinkerbell and Minnie Mouse.
It’s so simple to do, you simply tap your magic band on the device each photographer has. The images are then transferred to your My Disney Experience account, so you can edit, download them and share them with family and friends, for FREE. If you are on a ride, just look out for the mickey head symbol, and hold your band against that to record both images and animation depending on the ride.
I don’t know about you, but I am hardly ever in photographs, as I’m the one who takes them, and sometimes I don’t want to take a bulky camera around with me, so just use my phone, and then I’m worried my battery will go flat. The beauty of Memory Maker is that the photographers are dotted around, in all of your favourite and iconic places to record the magic for you.
Not just images though, there are videos :
As well as special ‘Magic Shots’:
Once home I’ve now downloaded over 400 photographs, plus lots of mini videos. Candid images and memories that I simply couldn’t have captured myself. How great is that! So even if you purchase it at the gate, it works out great value for money, I think.
I have a few Memory Maker tips for you, to help you get the most out of it.
First I would make sure to download the My Disney Experience app. Using the app you can find out where all of the photo opportunities are, on the handy map. Its simple to read, and tells you where the photographer, ride and character experiences are throughout the parks are. You can view the images almost immediately on the app too, as well as download and share. It’s very clever technology.
If you have a photograph in mind, just ask! I wanted to get one of my girls in front of the castle in Magic Kingdom, wearing their mouse ears. Even though I tried to take it myself, I’d not managed to quite get it. So I asked one of the photographers, and he was able to get it straight off the bat.
Adding special digital animation, sometimes even giving you props, these photographs are professional quality and best of all great fun! Keep in mind when you are in the parks they are unlimited too. All the photos you have taken are magically stored in your online account, ready for you to download when you get home, So no need to worry about your storage running out.
They are even in the water parks, where you really don’t want to have to bring a camera.
Here is a top tip not many people know. If you head to Epcot there is also a photobooth that you can use Memory Maker with too. It’s in the shop as you leave Figment’s Journey through Imagination at Epcot.
I love how WDW and Memory Maker is for everyone, including my teenage daughter, who was so happy to pose on photographs. I even managed to have a couple of photographs of us on our own, which is very rare and totally special.
Well I hope that helped and de-mythed Memory Maker a little for you. If you do have any questions please let me know in the comments, as I will be answering them at the end of this series, and it would be great to include as many of my readers questions as possible.
This post is in partnership with Walt Disney World. All opinions here are my own
Here are the posts in the series so far :