There’s been a quiet change at Walt Disney World that many guests are not happy about. In several locations, PhotoPass Photographers have been replaced by automated PhotoPass boxes. You, your gang, and the character will get into the correct spot, you will be instructed to smile, and several photos will be snapped. You will then scan your MagicBand so that you will be able to get the pictures from your My Disney Experience account.
As you might guess, this change has not gone over well with many people. I have heard a lot of complaints that the new system does not allow for the special moments that a human photographer will capture, like when a child first sees Mickey and gives him a hug. I have also seen some of the pictures. The ones that I have seen have been off center and honestly, not very good. Then again, the pictures that I have seen are from people who are complaining about the PhotoPass boxes. They aren’t going to add great pictures in a complaint.
I have not experienced one of the PhotoPass boxes yet, so I cannot give you any insight. So far, they are only at indoor locations, including Town Square Theater at the Magic Kingdom and Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Are the automated PhotoPass boxes here to stay? Will more be added? Time will tell, but chances are that they will not be going away anytime soon. Instead of removing the boxes after a trial period, more have been added.
I would recommend that you hand your phone or camera to the Character Attendant, in addition to using PhotoPass. He or she will still take pictures for you, and that special moment could still be captured. Remember that it is not the Character Attendant’s fault that there isn’t a human photographer. If you want to complain about it, send Disney an email. Don’t take it out on someone who is just doing his or her job, and had nothing to do with the decision.