PHOTOS: Automated PhotoPass Cameras Now In Use at Star Wars Launch Bay Meet and Greets in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Jessica Figueroa

PHOTOS: Automated PhotoPass Cameras Now In Use at Star Wars Launch Bay Meet and Greets in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Jessica Figueroa

PHOTOS: Automated PhotoPass Cameras Now In Use at Star Wars Launch Bay Meet and Greets in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Welcome to Star Wars Launch Bay in the aftermath of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Kylo Ren is off marching through Batuu and Darth Vader has taken back his rightful place inside his original meet and greet location.

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Back in March, we reported that automated PhotoPass cameras were being introduced at select Walt Disney World meet and greet locations, and it seems the ones that were installed at Star Wars Launch Bay meet and greets have finally been set up and activated.

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Darth Vader’s automated PhotoPass features this two-camera setup with faux control panels and even an exhaust vent at the top.

These automated cameras take guests’ photos instead of PhotoPass photographers by way of embedded, multi-level cameras within a themed box.

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Character Attendants are still present during your experience as they help guide the meet and greet and direct guests to stare and smile at the PhotoPass box.

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The camera is be positioned in the room to take photos throughout the duration of the interaction with the characters.

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Upon exiting the meet and greet, there are two stations where you can tap your MagicBand or scan your park ticket and Memory Maker card to load your photos onto your account.

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Even the kiosks are themed, with control panels, buttons, and space-like siding and accents.

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In case you’re wondering how the photos come out, here they are:

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“You guys have GOT to try the Mustafarian Roll at Oga’s Cantina.”

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As you can see, the camera just takes photos on timed intervals, so you get a lot of mid-action shots, plus some out of frame shots.

Many readers have written in expressing their concerns for the increasing lack of PhotoPass photographers in the parks, especially after the implementation of other PhotoPass boxes at other meet and greet locations like Tinker Bell’s meet and greet in the Town Square Theater. What do you think of these new PhotoPass automated boxes?

20 thoughts on “PHOTOS: Automated PhotoPass Cameras Now In Use at Star Wars Launch Bay Meet and Greets in Disney’s Hollywood Studios”

  1. When I was at MK a few weeks ago they were using a photopass photographer instead of the automated system at the Mickey and Minnie meet and greet in town square. Is that just special because of the birthday theme/joint meeting opportunity? The automatic photopass machines were covered over near the exit.

  2. I am not in love with the automatic photo boxes, I feel like you lose a lot of the excited shots or the oh my gosh it is them!!!!! Because it is is timed instead of a human seeing what is taking place and being sure to snap a bunch of photos then. I also felt like I didn’t come away with very many good posed photos with Tinkerbell.

  3. I went to Disney World last week and got the automated pics. 90% of them were just a cluster of people who had their back to the camera (we had over 20 pics with Chewie and the only useable ones are the 2-3 group shots). It doesn’t work well with character meet and greets. Would work better for something more static. I also forgot to scan my Magic Band after Kylo Ren and missed out on those pics. Not very happy with this change.

  4. These are AWFUL. My daughter likes visiting Tinkerbell when we have the time. We have AMAZING photos from before the box was installed, and terrible ones since. I’ve voiced my opinion to guest service, and I hope more people do as well. The box only works if you have older guests. Any toddlers and young kids, forget it, your pictures will be flat, bland and forgettable. None of which should be used to describe Disney.

  5. No thanks. I like to interact with the Disney photographers. They’re fun. They snap the shot at the right times. Sorry random intervals just doesn’t do it for me. Also, will the app let you know if you get the machine or real person?

  6. I do not like these at all. Some of my favorite photos of my children when meeting characters would not have been captured without a human photographer like the first interactions and hugs. I do not want to rely on timed photos and blurry out of focus mid movement photos. You are paying a lot of money for the photopass. I want good photos and special moments that a human captures. I also thinks it will take away from your interaction with the characters.

  7. I see its place. It keeps people moving and saves salaries long term from a company standpoint. I will say however that my favorite Disney pictures are ones where a very savvy photographer caught Disney magic. I am talking about 4 excited girls talking about slumber parties and building a snowman with Anna and Elsa. A little girl dressed as Tinkerbell meeting Tinkerbell talking fashion advice. My niece with hands on hips because Donald pulled her hair (gently). The things that make me want to buy Memory maker is the talent of a photo pass photographer catching a memory. Otherwise I can hand my phone or camera to the attendant and have them snap a photo of my family with a character just as easy as an automated system.

  8. Sad news for everyone, except for greedy Disney managers.

    WDW is well known for their very customer friendly castmembers. They make our days at the park so much more enjoyable. These machinesare just the beginning of Disney getting rid of ‘expensive’ castmembers? Who needs humans when all you need is a machine to get customer’s money….

  9. This is so NOT ok – a box can’t get that split second when a kids see Mickey for the first time or when Snow White pays special attention to a kid having a meltdown or the grandmother’s face when she sees her favorite character knowing it will probably be her last time a box can’t capture what a professional photographer ( as stated when you purchase Memory Maker) can.

  10. Not overly impressed by those photos. The theming is nice and all, but real humans have qualities no automated equipment can really duplicate. One could very much end up with just a bunch of garbage shots. One of the reasons I invest in photopass memory maker is so I am guaranteed some of my vacation pics will look really good. So- disappointed by this development over here.

  11. All of my favorite memories if my children meeting characters would not be captured to the level that they were with machines. I hope Disney rethinks this. I would be super disappointed to find favorite characters without a live photographer. Disappointed at the last visit because Mulan did not have a photographer, maybe it was just the time frame we went.

  12. We don’t mind splurging $170 during 5 day trips, but if we are using FPs to meet a character with our paid Memory Maker and we get stuck with sucky automated pics… we may RISE to RESIST!
    The whole point of over-paying for Memory Maker is to ensure the priceless pics are captured; random clicks < $170.

  13. Wow, this is so disappointing… There’s absolutely no way that a box will be able to do as good a job as the real and amazing human photographers. I got some amazing shots with Kylo a few years back in this location, they really did a great job and I have varied shots, close ups etc as it was just me rather than a large group. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a lot of disappointment from missed moments.

  14. I am very disappointed in this!! Not a fan of human interaction being replaced with an automated camera. The pictures truly lack any feeling or emotion. There is no way that a stationary box can reproduce the movement, emotion and quality that the photo pass photographers do. Come on Disney…the main difference in your parks and all the others (and the secret of your success) are your cast members and high quality customer service. This is a huge fail in my eyes and I really hope the automated cameras are a huge fail for others. Go back to photographers that care and can capture the emotions of the character meet and greets. Also allow the photo pass photographers the ability to keep their job.

  15. I think it’s a shame they are removing the personal touch of a human behind a camera in favor of a machine. It’s not surprising, but I still feel like the powers that be are missing one of the biggest things that make Disney parks so great—the people.

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