Have you ever struggled with getting that perfect shot of your whole family in front of the castle? Or wished you could get that shot of just your party and the Millennium Falcon with nobody else in it (unless Chewbacca photobombs you, of course)? Well, you can put your camera down and live in the moment thanks to the Disneyland PhotoPass photography service. You can also get that perfect, in-focus character shot with your whole party in the picture — minus unwanted fingers or awkward angles — with Disneyland PhotoPass. Just let the Disneyland PhotoPass photographers use their professional equipment and expert eye to take the photos. Then, you can download the quality images when they appear in your account. We know you want those awesome professional photos, and here's how to use Disneyland PhotoPass to make magical memories without it costing a ton of green!
First of all, if you think you will want to download photos, be sure to purchase Genie+ for the day of your visit. You can purchase in the Disneyland app! If you have a multi-day trip planned, you might look into the PhotoPass+ One Week plan so you can get all of the Disneyland PhotoPass images from your visit. Below, we discuss all the options available to you!
Answers to Common Questions about Disneyland PhotoPass Service
How does Disneyland PhotoPass work?
You'll find Disneyland PhotoPass photographers located throughout the parks at iconic photo spots, some places you might meet characters and at character dining locations. The photographers sometimes even walk the parade route with signs for your party to hold while they take your picture!
Whenever Disneyland employees take photos, they can scan the photo code in the Disneyland app on your phone or hand you a PhotoPass card. Scanning in the app makes for the easiest way to access your images. You can then view the images through the app, on your computer or at the new Photo Concierge location in the Esplanade just outside Disneyland Park. The PhotoPass Service Centers such as Photo Supply Co. in Disneyland and Kingswell Camera Shop in Disney California Adventure have closed. The Photo Concierge being outside the parks is convenient if you discover you need to get help with photos but do not have a park ticket. It's the place to go if you need to troubleshoot any PhotoPass issues.
You can link your PhotoPass card to your account on the Disneyland app to capture images and view them after your photo is snapped. It's not complicated. The photos may appear anywhere from a few minutes to a few days after they are taken. Magic Shots seem to take longer than other shots to appear, so keep checking the app for new images!
Can I download all the photos from one day for a flat fee?
Yes! A new paid service called Genie+ launched in fall 2021. It offers unlimited PhotoPass downloads for $20 per day. If you do not have Genie+ + and go to download a photo, it costs $14.99 per photo. So Genie+ is toadally worth it to get the professional and on-ride photos that day. Genie+ also comes with other cool benefits, such as being able to make ride reservations to use the Lightning Lane through your smart phone. You can purchase Disneyland Resort tickets pre-loaded with Genie+, or you can purchase Genie+ in the Disneyland app each day you want to use it. There is no Magic Key annual add-on yet.
If your main reason to get Genie+ is to get the photos, you can purchase for just one member of the party if you like. Use that person's app to load all the images. But if you all want to use the ride benefit, you all need to get Genie+ at $20 per person per day.
What if you have an unused pre-COVID ticket purchased with MaxPass? That's a good question. We recommend calling Disneyland ticketing at (714) 520-6222 or (714) 781-4636 to hear about options. You can also submit an inquiry to Guest Services via email (select "Disney MaxPass Refunds" from the subject drop-down menu). You'll need your ticket numbers and to submit your inquiry before your tickets expire.
What is PhotoPass+ One Week?
Do you have a longer trip? Another option is the PhotoPass+ One Week. For $78 you can all you photos taken for a week. It costs $78 for seven consecutive days. It is just for photo downloads and does not include the ability to make Lightning Lane reservations through the Disneyland app. You can call (407) 560-4300 to learn more about the One Week plan.
Do I need to download the Disneyland mobile app?
Yes, you really should have the Disneyland app. It's pretty hard to operate in the Disneyland theme parks without the app these days even beyond PhotoPass. We highly recommend it, because it's an important tool for managing your day at Disneyland! Using the app makes the entire experience easier. Download the free Disneyland mobile app.
You can purchase Genie+ through the app or purchase PhtotPass+ One Week online. You can purchase PhotoPass+ in advance. You can activate it by tapping Link PhotoPass+ Purchase. It will be good for images captured beginning at 6 a.m. PT the day you want activated.
A new feature is that you do not have to purchase in advance. You can purchase for your day (or days) in the 45-day time period that follows, should you look at your photos and decide you have to download them! It hoppens! How many times in the past did we froget to get a PhotoPass package and see our great images a day later only to have to pay for each download? That time is over!
You can show the PhotoPass photographer the PhotoPass code right from the app after you take your pics. The photographers can scan codes for multiple people in the picture. Or, one person can scan and share with the others. To view the photos, click the three lines in the bottom right-hand corner of the home screen. Click Photos. You can then view the photos, link an attraction photo, link a PhotoPass card or show a PhotoPass code.
There are advantages to using the Disneyland mobile app with PhotoPass. The images will load straight into your account, saving you time and a few steps. Once photos appear in the app, you can edit them with filters, cute frames, stickers and borders. You can download them by clicking Save or share them on social media. With Share, you can also e-mail or text them to friends and family members.
We enjoy viewing our photos on our phones while still in the park. In fact, at times we have noticed that some photos did not load. We were able to get help from a cast member at Photo Concierge to locate them by pinpointing the location and approximate time we posed for the photos (front gate between 12 and 12:30 p.m, for example). We found them, and they loaded right into our app!
These are some of the benefits of using the Disneyland app:
- Eliminate the Disneyland PhotoPass card (no risk of losing it).
- Purchase Genie+ through the app.
- See the images right on your device.
- Find a current map with locations for all of the Disneyland PhotoPass photographers in the app.
- Scan PhotoPass codes from existing cards right into the app using your phone’s camera.
- If you froget to hand a photographer your phone and they hand you a PhotoPass card, you can just scan the code within the app on your device right away.
- Store all of your images in one place rather than having them on separate cards.
- Easily take advantage of in-app photo design and editing features.
- Store all of the photos taken by different family members in one spot by scanning their PhotoPass cards.
- Immediately share photos on social media, or via text and email.
- Edit photos in the app.
- Purchase photo gifts through the app.
- Use the new free Disney Genie feature (different from Genie+) to help plan your day.
- Check wait times.
- Mobile order food.
- Manage park reservations.
- Make dining reservations and join walk-up availability.
Can we capture on-ride photos?
Yes, PhotoPass includes hi-res ride images. Remember to type the number at the top of the photo into the app after you exit the ride. Rides such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Incredicoaster, Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission BREAKOUT! and Radiator Springs Racers have cameras that snap you while you're riding.
On-ride photos make a fun memory of you screaming on Incredicoaster or before you go over the hill on Splash Mountain. Sometimes the photos allow you to see how much fun your tadpoles are having — or just how terrified they really are — when you see their faces in the photos! To access the hi-res quality ride image, just type the ID number above the ride photo from the monitor into the Link Attraction Photo section of the Disneyland app. We find it easier to snap a picture of the screen (including the ID number) and type it into PhotoPass so we have a record of it just in case things do not load properly. The color and clarity are much better in Disneyland PhotoPass, and it does not include all the other numbers and words seen on the monitors.
What are Magic Shots?
A Magic Shot will sprinkle a little Disney magic into your photo. If you would like to add some fun elements (say, balloons or a character) into your shot, you can ask a photographer for a Magic Shot. You won't know what you'll get until you see the photo, just like magic! We are suckers for Disney magic. We jumped for joy when we saw our Magic Shots with the surprise characters and design elements added. So fun! You can also get a short animated video with a favorite Disney character to introduce your digital photo. Ask your photographer about these options.
During holiday times, such as Halloween Time and Christmas time, there are special holiday Magic Shots. They are so much fun! If you want a Magic Shot in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, they are called holograms there, and the PhotoPass photographers are called imagers.
Are PhotoPass Photos included during parties and special events?
If you attend a special event that is held after the park closes and has a separate ticket, PhotoPass photos are usually included! That goes for the Disneyland Halloween Party — Oogie Boogie Bash — and the Disneyland After Dark events. Take advantage of that!
Are PhotoPass Photos included with character dining?
PhotoPass photos are now included with some character dining experiences. You can get a photo with Minnie Mouse at Plaza Inn. You get just your party without Goofy at the moment at Goofy's Kitchen (before the pandemic, Goofy got in the shot). Storytellers Café does not offer PhotoPass. The Disney Princess Adventures brunch at Napa Rose used to include an indoor farewell photo with a princess, but that may have moved outside for now.
Are Keepsake Portrait Package downloads included?
In Fantasy Faire at Disneyland, there is a toadally adorable photo studio in Fairy Tale Treasures where you can get your tadpoles' pictures taken. It's temporarily closed, but this photo shoot normally takes walk-ins based on availability. It's especially popular after doing the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience (also temporarily closed) when your princesses or knights are looking their royal best. The package comes with prints, but the digital download of all the photos is included. You'll receive a PhotoPass code to link and then you can share the adorable pics with others and print them out wherever you like.
How much does Disneyland PhotoPass cost?
Getting your pictures taken and viewing them (with watermarks) is free for all guests. If you do not have Genie+ and want to download images, it will cost per image. The prices vary! You can buy just one photo for $14.99, but it is cheaper to pay a flat fee for all of the photos taken during one day with Disney Genie+. That flat fee is $20 for one day or $78 for seven consecutive days.
When you first view the images without a plan, they will have a watermark on them. If you have purchased PhotoPass or Genie+ (or if you buy an image), the watermark will disappear. If you buy the One Week plan early in the trip, all of the photos for that week will load without watermarks for immediate sharing on social media. You can then download them to your phone, tablet or computer for your personal use. Print images yourself or order prints through the Disneyland PhotoPass site. You can also share on social media directly from the app or view on your computer.
If you are ordering a PhotoPass+ One Week plan, be sure to select photos from your first day as your start date, because that picture you choose starts your week of photos. Photos taken before that date will still have watermarks. Rookie mistake! If you have a multi-day trip and only purchased Genie+ for one of the days, only the pictures taken during that day will be available for free downloads. The other days will have watermarks on them. For the one-week plan, call (407) 560-4300 or order online.
The prices to purchase hi-res digital files that you can download and share are as follows and are subject to change:
- One photo: $14.99 (if you do not have Genie+)
- One day of unlimited photos and videos with Genie+: $20 (from 6:00 a.m. on day of purchase until 5:59 a.m. the next day)
- One week of unlimited photos and videos with PhotoPass: $78
- Expiration Extension (for an additional 15 days): $19.95
If you want PhotoPass photos and do not care about Lightning Lane app features, get Genie+ for one person. That $20 helps you save money over buying individual photos. You can get by with one Genie+ purchase per day per family. If you purchase Genie+ each day for three days or fewer, you'll save over the Genie+ One Week Plan. But, If you are going for four to seven consecutive days, then the One Week plan is the cheapest. Just be sure to use the PhotoPass holder's account (scanning their PhotoPass code in the app or scanning PhotoPass cards into that account) when taking photos. Then, that person can download or share with everyone else from the app via text, email or social media. Keep in mind that pricing is subject to change.
If you are planning on downloading many PhotoPass photos, you might decide in advance if you are going to concentrate on just one day of PhotoPass photos or take pictures the whole week. See what works for your budget. We frogs like to plan and budget how much money we want to spend on souvenirs and extras in the park. We love skipping the lines with Genie+, so we get it every day of our journey because the ride benefit is worth it to us. Lucky for us, the PhotoPass benefits come with it.
If you are looking to save money, you can just purchase Genie+ on select days of your journey and focus on using PhotoPass, getting iconic shots and riding Genie+ rides those days while focusing on other experiences the other days of your trip.
You can order photos from your phone in the park or do it online once you get home. You are free to print the images wherever you'd like (your printer, Costco, etc.). There is a link online to purchase photo gifts.
You can customize and crop the images right there in the app. You can add words, Mickey's signature, characters, the year, special occasions and more. You can also purchase photo souvenirs.
What about Disney Visa and debit cards?
If you have a Disney Visa or Chase Disney debit cards, you can get free PhotoPass photos, even if you do not have Genie+. There are two exclusive locations in the park to take these photos. In normal times, you get to meet characters. For right now it's your photo with a background and includes a Magic Shot. You can find the Disney California Adventure location in Hollywood Land behind Hollywood Lounge. Look for the Disneyland location in Tomorrowland. It's at the exit for Star Wars Launch Bay, across from the entrance to Autopia. The images will appear without watermarks in the app.
What if I have a Magic Key pass?
Genie+ does not have a Magic Key add-on annual fee. But there are occasionally free PhotoPass opportunities with Magic Shots for Magic Key holders. Keep an eye out for those. There was a fun Chip 'n' Dale Magic Key photo opportunity over the holidays. Check the Magic Key Portal in the Disneyland app for the latest benefits and to view any free Magic Key PhotoPass opportunities. Of course, Magic Key holders can purchase Genie+ for any day to get all-day PhotoPass benefits.
How long can you view the images?
You have 45 days (from the day taken) to view and purchase the pictures. Be sure to download the images right away because Disney will not store them for you online. There is no way to save them in PhotoPass long-term. You can purchase an additional 15 days for $19.95 if you need to buy yourself some time. You can download the hi-res images in the Disneyland app to your cell phone/tablet, or you can download directly to your computer.
Will the photographers take pictures with your camera?
Normally, yes. During Disneyland's reopening period, they were not allowed to. Now it is up to the the cast member. They may not want to touch your phone or camera at this time. Respect their decision if they are not comfortable taking your camera. You may ask a park guest to take your picture, and if so you should offer to capture their family too. Spread the magic!
In a more normal world, PhotoPass photographers will always cheerfully use your camera to take pictures of you in addition to the Disneyland PhotoPass pictures with their camera. You can have the best of both worlds by having your images while also having professional photos from the photographer's camera to choose from, just in case your images do not compare favorably to their photos. Or maybe your photos are great, and you do not need to spend the money. Either way, it is nice to have the option.
A bonus for using the photographers is that they can add special surprises such as Magic Shots to the Disneyland PhotoPass images. We love Magic Shots and especially enjoy seeing different ones during different holiday seasons. There is a new The Child Magic Shot available in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge! Avengers Campus has some Magic Shots too!
An advantage to using the PhotoPass photographers is that they shoot a lot of images, ranging from posed to candid shots and vertical to horizontal. They may also help you pose or get the right positioning. They do this every day and know what works best. When meeting a character, the photographers get shots of the hugs and initial greetings that you might miss with your camera. When posing in front of the Millennium Falcon, they position you so that you have a shot of you and the ship without others in the shot. They may direct you for cool poses that you'll enjoy seeing later.
One of the great parts about using the PhotoPass photographers is that you do not have to experience Disneyland through a lens. You can leave the pics to them and be part of the experience, too, rather than an observer or recorder. The person who always takes the vacation pics often gets home to find out that there is no historical record of them on the trip in the hundreds of photos of everyone else. Jump in the picture so the whole family can be part of the fun!
Where can I find a Disneyland PhotoPass photographer?
While locations vary, you can find photographers by the entrance to the parks, at iconic photo locations, sometimes — but not always — at character meet and greets (which are temporarily unavailable, but here are some tips on finding your favorite characters), on the parade route and at the entrance to some character dining. You may identify them by their professional digital cameras and cast member name tags. Ask for a photo — they will be happy to oblige. Consult park maps and the Disneyland mobile app to find up-to-date locations.
Below are a few places you might find a photographer at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Keep in mind that Disney PhotoPass photographers’ availability may vary. We find that the ones wandering the park are more available in the morning and daytime than at night in some locations, which is good for catching some nice posed shots before the roller coasters and water rides have had their way with your hair. Nevertheless, we frogs call wind-blown roller coaster hair a good hair day even if it does not photograph well. Any day you can hop on a roller coaster is a good day!
At Disneyland Park, locations vary, but you usually can usually find PhotoPass photographers during normal park operations at:
- Main Entrance
- Partners Statue
- Minnie’s House Character Experience
- Mickey’s House Character Experience
- Main Street, U.S.A. Train Station
- Royal Hall Character Experience
- Mad Tea Party (daytime)
- Sword in the Stone
- Town Square
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Mark Twain Riverboat
- New Orleans Square
- Sleeping Beauty Castle
- Winnie the Pooh Character Experience
- In Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: Garrison, Millennium Falcon, A-Wing/X-Wing, Marketplace Entrance and The Child Magic Shot (in the entrance to the market)!
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- In front of holiday-themed decorations such as the giant pumpkin, Headless Horseman or Christmas tree during certain times of the year
At Disney California Adventure Park, you can usually find PhotoPass photographers at:
- Buena Vista Street
- Paradise Pier Character Experience
- Cars Land Entrance
- Pixar Pier Bridge
- Pixar Pier Character Experience
- Route 66
- Cars Land Character Experience
- Toy Story Character Experience
- Cars Land Overlook
- Storytellers Statue
- Hollywood Land
- Grizzly Peak Airfield Character Experience
- Hollywood Boulevard Character Experience
- Buena Vista Street Character Experience
Note that traditional character meet and greets are not operating at this time and there may be fewer PhotoPass photographers about.
With these tips, you should feel confident that you can take advantage of the benefits of Disneyland PhotoPass to add some magic to your next trip! What questions do you have about Disneyland PhotoPass? Be sure to get a hoppin' deal on discount Disneyland Resort tickets from Undercover Tourist.