Savvy Disney World visitors know all about Disney’s PhotoPass service and how purchasing Memory Maker can help to capture your precious vacation memories.
But, even the most informed Disney World travelers don’t always know about the cool PhotoPass Portrait Studios you can use – all for free!
These conveniently placed studios let you snag fun (and sometimes ridiculous!) photographs that you can add to your Memory Maker or, if you don’t have Memory Maker, purchase separately.
Here’s how they work…
First, some basics
If you’re new to Disney World planning, the term “PhotoPass” may be foreign.
Simply put, PhotoPass is the name of the free photography service offered by Disney.
Throughout the parks, guests visiting Disney World can find PhotoPass photographers stationed at popular photo spots (like in front of Cinderella Castle, the Tree of Life, Spaceship Earth, etc.).
PhotoPass Photographers will take your photo for free, and if you’d like, they’ll even take your photo for you using your personal camera or phone.
You can then review your photos in your My Disney Experience account. If you want to download or print them, however, you’ll have to pay for them.
Memory Maker is the most popular way people purchase their PhotoPass pictures because it includes unlimited downloads of all the photos taken in the park for 1 price, currently $169 if purchased ahead of time or $199 if you buy it after you arrive.
(There’s also a Memory Maker One Day that you can purchase inside the My Disney Experience app for $69.)
And when we say all, we mean all photos taken in the parks, including ride photos and any Magic Shots you might have taken with PhotoPass photographers.
Memory Maker isn’t cheap, but it can definitely be worth it if you are intentional in taking pics, including taking advantage of the portrait studios because all pictures taken at any of the PhotoPass studios listed below ARE included with Memory Maker.
Disney PhotoPass Portrait Studios
The PhotoPass Portrait Studios at Disney World are free for anybody to use; however, unless you have Memory Maker, you’ll have to pay to download or print the photos
Reservations are not required for the Disney World PhotoPass studios; photos are taken on a first-come, first-served basis and anybody is welcome to have their photos taken!
The Wandering Reindeer
Location: Norway Pavilion of Epcot
Backdrops available: primarily all Frozen-themed, including an icy forest
Props available? No, but there are Magic Shots
The newest PhotoPass Studio can be found at Epcot, inside The Wandering Reindeer, which is located in the Norway Pavilion.
This studio is conveniently located near Akershsus restaurant, which is an extremely popular character meal hosted by several of your most favorite princesses.
Since dressing up is popular when dining at character meals, it makes sense to have a studio nearby so that you can grab some pics of everyone looking extra cute.
Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs
Location: Disney Springs in the Marketplace section
Backdrops available: a wide variety of green screen options, including princess and park specific scenes (ask the PhotoPass photographer for current selections)
Props available? Yes
If you’ve ever found yourself over by the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, you might have seen the PhotoPass studio and wondered what it was.
Not only can you swing by here to preview or purchase photos you’ve taken in the parks (if you don’t have Memory Maker and/or My Disney Experience), you’ll also find 2 indoor studios with virtual backdrops available.
Now, this is where it gets fun.
Virtual backdrops are PERFECT for family photos, but they are also the perfect thing for slightly less formal portraits, like this one:
Or this ridiculous one (yes…that is a dinglehopper she is combing her hair with):
And this is only a small selection of the backgrounds (and props) available.
We’ve seen backdrops themed for nearly all the princesses, ones with holiday themes, and even some that show other Disney parks (like Disneyland).
Royal Portrait Studio in Magic Kingdom
Location: Sir Mickey’s behind Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom
Backdrops available: a fixed backdrop/scene that includes castle windows overlooking the woods
Props available? Yes
Another favorite studio is the Royal Portrait Studio in Magic Kingdom.
Located inside Sir Mickey’s, this studio offers guests the opportunity to take pictures with a fixed castle-esque backdrop.
There are 2 spots inside for photographers to work, and the space here is a lot more limited when compared to the Disney Springs studio, but it is still a lot of fun.
Disney’s Grand Floridian
Location: 2nd floor of the Grand Floridian
Backdrops available: a fixed backdrop/scene
Props available? Yes
Again, the backdrop at this location is fixed (and not the virtual one like you’d find at the Disney Springs location) but these backdrops do make for lovely portrait-style photographs.
Planning a visit to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique?
If you are planning a visit to one of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations, we highly recommend you set aside time to get some photographs taken at one of the studios afterward so that you can capture the moment while hairdos and outfits are still fresh.
The same is true if you’re dressed up for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Grab some pics before the party gets started!
Final thoughts on Disney’s PhotoPass Portrait Studios
- If you have already purchased Memory Maker, a visit to one (or all!) of these studios is a great way to maximize your purchase.
- Consider planning ahead for photos by wearing matching shirts or costumes.
- Visiting during less busy times (like first thing after opening) makes it easier to try out different props, backdrops (at the Disney Springs location), and groupings.
- A visit to one of the studios is a great way to commemorate a special event or birthday, graduation, etc.
The following products and services give us a commission on sales.
Get our free Quick Start Guide
Have our guide delivered right to your inbox with our 6-step Disney World planning process to make it less overwhelming. Snag our free guide ➡️
Take our course
Check out our course that will help you learn all about Walt Disney World planning with dozens of videos and downloadables for each step along the way. Get access now ➡️
Our recommend travel agency
We partner with Small World Vacations, Diamond Level Authorized Disney Vacations Planners in business since 1996. Get a quote now ➡️
Want to stay deluxe on a moderate budget?
It’s 1 of our top fave ways to save! By renting DVC points, you can stay in deluxe accommodations for a fraction of the price. Check availability ➡️
Private car service
Quicksilver Tours will transport you in style. They assist with luggage at the airport, provide car seats, and include a free grocery stop. Book your car ➡️
Need a stroller, wheelchair, or scooter?
Buena Vista Scooters is a company with a great reputation who offers in-person resort drop off and pick up of strollers, scooters, and wheelchairs. Book your rental ➡️
- 2024 Guide to Easter at Disney World - February 23, 2024
- How to Ship a Package to Your Disney World Resort (w/ Addresses) - February 21, 2024
- 2024 Kids Guide to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - February 20, 2024