PhotoPass Experience with runDisney

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When the event guide came out for the Dark Side weekend, the best news EVER for a runDisney enthusiast was shared.

PhotoPass photographers would replace Marathonfoto as the official race photographers. The internet rejoiced.

SW photopass Darks Side

Now, I don’t hate on Marathonfoto. They did me some solids in the past with searching out particular pictures not showing up in my account. But the cost of their packages, especially for a multi-race weekend, were simply crazy pants.

This news was most welcome because the race photos were now part of Memory Maker, which was now part of my Annual Pass.

Who says Disney doesn’t give you things for “free?”

Well… sorta. They did increase the price of the APs and all that, but hey, at least there was some value added in the form of pictures.

But how did they do as race photographers?

photopass rundisney experience dark side challenge

How PhotoPass worked

All pictures were manually tagged. I talked to a PP at Epcot on Monday who said by 8:45 am that day, the process had been complete. (Some pics of mine are still missing… sooo… read on about that).  But that’s pretty amazing if you think about it!

You couldn’t link your race bib numbers until the system can find a picture of you. So pre-linking would not work; you had to wait until after the race to link your numbers.

You had time to purchase and link-up. The pics were not gone within 24 hours if you delayed.  I didn’t link mine until Sunday night and all my 5K pictures from Friday were there.


There were not as many photographers milling around pre-race in my opinion. This was not a bad thing!

Normally you are aggressively accosted by MF folks asking to take pics as you walk through the staging areas.  This time around, I was only approached by one- and she didn’t even make me stop walking to take the pic.

pre race PP with a banana

They were also in attendance for the character pictures.

You could have your own phone used as well and I did, just in case something went wrong with the process.

But PP did a great job!

PP Pre race with Darth Vader

Race Pictures

There were TONS of photographers on the course.  TONS.

And rD made a great show of letting you know when one was coming up. They used neon green balloons to mark a photo spot. Most locations had bright lights set up as well (no more dark pics!) and due to the threat of rain the photographers had a green pop up tent to sit under.

pp green tents rundisney dark side

It was “easy” to get a picture this go around: just look for the balloons and move to the side if you wanted to be in one!

I die, 24885.

PP 10K dark side runDisney

PP dark side half AK rundisney

PP photogs were also at each character stop.  I can’t speak about the 501st stops since I did not stand in any lines for those awesome folks, but it looks like they might have had photogs for some of those opps as well.

I know the official Disney characters and props were manned by PP.

PP storm troopers rundisney 5K

Speeder Bikes runDIsney dark side pp


Finisher photos FTW!

I have skipped these in the past because frankly I’m too cheap.

You know I love my medals and taking pictures with them, but hey, for a $15 download the iPhone shot will do.

But not this time.

john yanni pp kessel run finisher pic

I love love love that I got a picture with my two favorite people to drag me through races. I love me some Yanni and John! (Since John is a photographer himself, he tends to be left out of the race shots but we made sure to pull him in this one!)

The PP folks were also at all the character stops as well in the post-race area.

There are a few pictures I remember mugging, er, stopping for that I do not see in my account. I’ve read on Facebook that you can call PhotoPass, describe what you were wearing, and they may be able to hunt up any missing pictures.

It might be worth a shot.

Overall, I’m giving the experience a big thumbs up.  If Tink runs as smoothly (different park, different photographers) then I think Disney made a move that benefits runners by switching to PP.  ETA: a friend with PhotoPass info confirmed that Florida PhotoPass is traveling to Tink. This sounds like great news!

Here’s the link to purchase your 1-day PhotoPass at Disneyland.

What did you think of the PhotoPass photographers on the course? Are you happy with the change?

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  • Neula says:

    Can you get friends’ race photos too? My sister has an AP, and it would be nice if we can get all of our pictures with it in January.

  • Kristin says:

    I was pleasantly surprised with how good the race pictures turned out. I think the lighting on the course really helped. I also liked the bright green to alert you when to start running for a picture… you can’t be walking, right? 🙂

  • Laura says:

    I was thrilled, I have more pictures than I have ever had in past races. This was a nice perk for my annual pass. Can’t wait to see how Tinkerbell turns out.

  • Kirsten says:

    For Tink, do I need to preorder the one day photopass or can I get it after?

  • Kristin says:

    I didn’t get any crossing the finish line. Only the ones at the end of the race. I tried called, waited 45 min on the phone, they said they would look but not too happy. With marathon I got great pic. Fingers cross they will find them!!!

  • Krista says:

    Thanks for the post! Looking forward to having PP at the Tink Half in May at DLR!

  • mike says:

    i was one of the photographers tagging your photos (about 350k in total by the way) and if your bib was not readable in the picture chances are that you will never see it unless you were running with friends and their’s was. you can search thru all of the untagged ones but i would not recommend that unless you have a lot of free time on your hands. there were some great photos that had no bib #’s because they were covered up or you were at the wrong angle to get the whole number. we had over 100 photographers tagging non stop all weekend to get them to you quickly.

    • patty says:

      Thanks for the hard work, Mike! Tell your coworkers they did a fab job as far as I’m concerned!

      • Jani says:

        tagging race photos is no joke! I’ve done it for a few races that a friend of Patrick’s worked and those races were no where near the craziness that is rD!

  • Ann Tomaschik says:

    I got nearly tramped a couple of times because of those green balloons I was running on the left and someone cut me off and came to a stop in front of the photographer. I liked when they weren’t marked. It’s an “action” shot not a posed mid run shot…lol. Overall though it was good. Still missing a bunch of photos and some of my friends still can’t get their photopass numbers to connect at all. hiccups in the system, but it’ll get better. I’d also prefer a race background to a cheezy overlay. I used to stop for those medal photos with MarathonFoto I’ll be skipping them with RunDisney and will figure out something else. I just don’t like the look. Too generic.

    • patty says:

      Eh- they did that to me too even with MF. Full stop. Pose. Thumbs up. Run. lol People! ha. I prefer the backdrops of the past as well- they are not as clever as what we had before.

  • Chuck says:

    Hi Patty-Is there a way to view the untagged photos? Our family took a few together that the photographer showed us and they were really worth searching for.

    • patty says:

      I don’t think so. I would call PhotoPass directly and see if they can search gif you but from what I can tell there is not an unidentified folder option like before. Which stinks!

  • Mindy says:

    YAY I’m so happy about this for Tink!

  • Tim says:

    Does anyone know, if you purchase PhotoPass One Day+ for the race, will it include your park pictures from that day too?

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Patty Holliday

If she isn’t chasing her four kids around Northern Virginia, Patty is chasing four bars on her phone to share her authentic and fun stories on social media and her blog, My No-Guilt Life. She’s also one half of the Marvel Moms, an online community for discussing the Marvel fandom. You can catch up on her runDisney fun at No-Guilt Disney.

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