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We celebrated their 200th show with a balloon drop on the MouseStation (you'll have to take our word for it, we forgot to take pictures). We realized that there's probably over a solid week's worth of audio between all of the shows that we've recorded, and we've actually spent months worth of time working on the podcast.
In this week's feature, Mark talks with Maggie Varnadoe, Manager of Marketing and Communications for PhotoPass, about what's going on with the service.
Disney's PhotoPass allows guests to accumulate all of their photos taken by Disney photographers into one account, and they can view and buy them either in the parks or at home on the Web. The service has been up and running at Walt Disney World for three and a half years, and at Disneyland for about a year and a half. They've got close to 900 photographers at Walt Disney World and close to 300 at Disneyland.
The new professional portrait service that PhotoPass offers will let you take your time at a resort and get some great portrait photos of your entire group using some of the best scenery of the resort as a background. The service has so far been launched at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Saratoga Springs Resorts, and by summer should also launch at the Beach Club, Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can also use the resort locations to view and purchase your photos. If your vacation is the only time that you have your family together, it's a great chance to get those family portraits taken.
The "magic shots," where characters are added to your photo by Disney magic after the photo is taken, are being greatly expanded. Some new ones let guests have a sword fight with Captain Hook, duck to avoid being hit by the characters riding on Soarin' and the hitchhiking ghosts from the Haunted Mansion following you home.
There is an expanded selection of borders and other enhancements available on the PhotoPass web site. There is also a bunch of new merchandise options on the site including photo T-shirts, photo mugs, canvas prints, photo mouse pads, photo key chains, etc. Also coming soon will be photo calendars and photo ornaments for the holidays.
Guests can also upload their own photos to their PhotoPass account to mix and match their own photos with the PhotoPass photos in creating their special merchandise. Also, at the Town Square Exposition Hall at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and the Bank of Main Street at Disneyland, you can have PhotoPass upload your own photos to your account for you, associating the photos to a PhotoPass card, so that you can save time uploading your photos to the system. Note that this is not an archive service, and it'll only be added to your account. You should save the photos off yourself before deleting them from your camera, either to your laptop or other device, or by using the photo CD machines, which are not located at the PhotoPass counter.
If you want to save your photos so that you can erase your memory card, use the Photo CD maker equipment that's still located at the Town Square Exposition Hall. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
The PhotoPass operation has a counter service location inside the Town Square Exposition Hall. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
PhotoPass photographers are also located at the water parks, to get some shots that you wouldn't be able to otherwise.
Disney has now added customization to the PhotoPass site, including the ability to cagegorize photos by park. PhotoPass photos will be automatically included in the proper category for you. There is also a "Favorites" category to help to weed out your best photos. Other new functionality will be coming online soon.
Don't forget to send us your thoughts and suggestions for PhotoPass, which will automatically enter your for an additional chance to win one of three PhotoPass giveaways!
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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.
Thank you for listening!
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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).