Walt Disney World is introducing another option for fans using its PhotoPass or Memory Maker photo plans. Starting this month, there's a new way to book time with a Disney PhotoPass photographer in advance, saving you the wait for a shot in front of the Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle.
Using the castle as the backdrop for engagement photos, baby gender reveals and family reunion shots has become a staple, creating sometimes long lines as people queue for time with the photographers that Disney has stationed on the hub above Main Street USA. So think of this new option as a paid Fastpass for Photopass.
For $50, you get a 20-minute session with a Disney photographer, who will consult with you about available locations and what you want to capture, just before your time begins. Right now, the "Capture Your Moment" option is available only in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, but it's hard to imagine that Disney won't expand the program if people buy it.
Fifty bucks for 20 minutes isn't bad rate at all for time with a professional photographer, and you can book additional 20 minute increments if you want more time. And you still need to have a Photopass or Memory Maker plan to get your prints or digital downloads. (Unless you just hand your own camera to Disney's photographer, which I suppose you can continue to do under this option.) Bookings start February 10 and will be available by calling +1-407-939-7758.
I suppose that you could continue to queue up and wait for time in front of the castle without booking the $50 session, but frankly, I've always thought it a bit unfair that people who just want a quick photo have to wait while another party sets up a complicated, 20-minute shot. If Disney can steer guests who want more involved photo sessions to book the paid spots, that could cut the waits for people who just want a simple family snapshot in front of the castle.
If Disney assigns additional photographers for these paid sessions, that is. Disney has replaced Photopass photographers with "photo booth"-style automated photography at some meet and greet locations, so this announcement might stoke fear among some Disney fans that paying for a human photographer might some day become the only reliable way to get time with one.
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