In recent years, Disneyland Paris fans have enjoyed various enhancements to the photography services offered in the park. The most recent of which was little over a year ago with the introduction of Disney’s PhotoPass. It went someway to harmonise all of Disneyland Paris’ photo locations. Next month, another improvement arrives; and this time it’s a huge update. PhotoPass+ is the next generation of a product that is a huge-earner for Disneyland Paris. Although not yet released to guests, I got given the opportunity to test it out as part of the Ratatouille fan preview event.
Guests will buy a box with a PhotoPass+ card contained within it along with two mini-cards – a package that will cost €49,99 and will be activated upon checkout; once activated, guests will have ten days to add their photos to the pass. We just got given the single pass, so I cannot comment about how multiple cards adding to the pass simultaneously operates – however the smooth running of the system indicates this should not be a problem. So, how does it work? Fujifilm will store all your photos for one year on their website, Disneyland Paris will also keep your photos on site for seven days (You may still purchase prints on-site in the classic way). I used the application which is available on iTunes for Apple devices and on Android.
Once downloaded, the application will ask you to create an account, this will also be usable on the PhotoPass+ website, therefore it is advisable to sign up. Linking the PhotoPass+ to your account could not be simpler, type the code below the bar code and voilà! The benefits of this can be huge, the biggest being the ability to scan for your attraction photo via a QR code reader included in the application. Be careful, scanning this will only get you a lower quality version of the image – if you would like the high-resolution image, simply present your card at the photo counter and they will link it to your account. This is instant. If you do not have internet connectivity and would like to add the lower-quality image, make a note of the number and add it when you have a WiFi connection. Alternatively, ask for it to be added at a photo point in either park or in the hotel stores. I will admit to being very impressed with this system, the results were instant and have come out well.
When taking photos with characters, again, present your card to the photographer and wait. It could take a while, but the results are perfect. I am very happy with my high-resolution photos. Some photos can take a very long time to be added, but Fujifilm can add them manually to your account by sending a quick e-mail, as can Disneyland Paris and photo retailers.
That is not to say that there aren’t any bugs in the system – there are! Sometimes other people’s photos may find their way into your account and occasionally the application throws up unexplained errors when reading QR codes; at this stage, however, I am willing to put that down to the testing period that we are currently in.
To access your photos, nothing could be simpler – on the application Disney and Fujifilm have provided an option to save photos to your camera roll. This is an ideal option for those wanting to send them as a tweet or Facebook update.
To unlock the full resolution, visit the official website and click ‘Download Photos’ – they will be delivered in full high-resolution to you in a zipped folder. You can also order a variety of goods at reasonable prices to be delivered to your door. However shipping costs must be lowered, as €12 for a print to be delivered is unacceptable, especially as there is nothing stopping me getting it printed at my local photography store.
To work at its best, we can only hope Disneyland Paris offer roaming photographers to capture some real holiday magic away from the forced character poses – this would also widen its appeal to a much larger audience.
Overall, PhotoPass+ is a welcome addition to Disneyland Paris and, if managed well, should turn a real profit for them. Having tested in constantly for two days in a variety of different photo situations, I can confidently say that I will be investing in this on a future trip (Be advised – the card knows when it was activated and so will not add any back-dated photos!). Any issues are minor and easily fixable before launch. I’m very happy with my photos, I hope you will be too when it launches later this summer.