The Walt Disney World Resort is in the process of rolling out a new system called PhotoDownload for on-ride photos available in the parks in conjunction with the existing Photopass system.
Our initial assumption was that the system would be basic: you’d note your photo number at the ride exit, walk up to the counter, and they’d scan your existing Photopass card and you’d be on your way and buy the photo later at home should you so choose.
It does not work like that at all.
The above easy-breezy version of the new system integration had been tested at Epcot’s Test Track attraction. A more complicated version of the system has more recently been tested at the renovated Space Mountain attraction in the Magic Kingdom. This more complicated system apparently won out.
With the new system that is being deployed to all attractions offering on-ride photos you must purchase the Photopass version of the on-ride photo immediately upon exiting the attraction. Disney calls this purchasing a “PhotoDownload” in proper nomenclature. The Cast Member at the sales location will then add it to your existing Photopass card or give you an attraction-only Photopass card/code that only accesses that particular photo for download through the Photopass website.
The PhotoDownload can be purchased on its own at the attraction’s retail location for $14.95, or as part of package including an 8×10 print ($18.95) or two 5×7 prints ($21.95) Pricing is standard across all attractions that offer on-ride photos.
Once back home, you can access your photo either via standard your generic Photopass with pre-purchased on-ride PhotoDownload added or by using the dedicated on-ride Photopass card/code. There is a 30-day limit to access the Photopass account in question and a 10-day window to properly download the PhotoDownload file once the account is accessed.
You must buy the PhotoDownload version of the on-ride photo at the attraction exit. You cannot buy the PhotoDownload seperately through the Photopass website later like with other in-park photos. Subsequently, as the photo cannot be added to the account to be purchased later, you cannot absorb the cost of the individual on-ride photo into the purchase of the $150 Photopass CD.