So, this year I decided to give Memory Maker a try. I also down-sized my camera and purchased a smaller, hand-held, can fit in my pocket, camera. I had magical visions of walking into Magic Kingdom, with nothing but the clothes on my back, my Magic Band, and my camera in my pocket. I even contemplated leaving the Nikon at home. Because I often have, why didn't I bring my camera remorse, the few times I have decided not to bring it, I decided against leaving the Nikon home, but it ended up never coming out of its bag the entire trip.
When deciding on whether to purchase Memory Maker, I wondered if it was worth the added expense. Would there be photographers in enough places? Would their photos be crappy? Will my family be even more annoyed because we'll inevitably have to wait in a line for the photographers, especially in front of those special spots like the castle on Main Street.
I know I'll never be the kind of person that can go completely camera-less to Disney, so I felt good about knowing that I'll still be able to get the photos of, say, the fireworks, or character dining experiences, or those moments we were in the park and it was virtually empty, using my hand-held camera. And I did.
So for me, my camera was a backup and Memory Maker was a bonus. The ride videos and photos alone are worth the expense because to buy those individually is, well, priced like everything else in Disney. This is especially true for us because we did the extra morning magic thing and had photos and videos to document our marathon riding experiences on the Seven Dwarf Mine Train.
I give Memory Maker a YAY. Even if you like to take your own photos, there are times when having them taken for you is such a great thing. Plus, knowing you already paid for all the photographer photos and 'magical photos' motivated me to be sure to ask the photographer to take several photos and to add magic to them.