Learn the secrets for taking magical pictures with these 6 Disney World Photography Tips and prepare before you head on Disney vacation or cruise.
My family and I have annual passes. I don’t normally take my “big” camera because I try to pack as lightly as I can for Disney, but this was a particularly special occasion, my youngest’s birthday! Naturally, I wanted to get great photos for the scrapbook! 😉
We first might want to talk about these looming questions…
Can I bring a camera into Disney World?
The answer is yes, although there are rides and attractions that prohibit the use of your camera but be on the look out for signs that will inform you of this. Other than that Disney welcomes you to capture all of the magical memories of your time spent at the parks and attractions.
How do I take Good Pictures at Disney World?
One way to take great pictures at Disney World is to prepare and know your camera! I would say don’t just take it out of the box and bring it along – take some time to learn your camera settings and know your camera a bit so you are comfortable.
Try to capture neat angles, think of original ideas for pictures and remember to capture the details along the way! There are so many great detail shots at a place like Disney that will truly bring a scrapbook or memory book to life!
Disney World Photography Tips
It can be intimidating and cause a small amount of anxiety (if you are anything like me). I hope these small tips will help alleviate some of that anxiety!
1- Ask a Stranger! Never underestimate the kindness of strangers! Most are very happy to accommodate you for a family photo! Thank you so much to the sweet young woman who offered to take this so I could join my tribe for this shot! Usually this is offered so that you will return the favor and allow for a family/group photo of their own!
Plan ahead for your family picture! Consider family t shirts that coordinate or match, this is a lot of fun and usually everyone is happy to oblige (within the family because we are at the happiest place on earth!)
Followed by choosing my favorite family photo when we got home so I could place it in my new Disney photo frame! I also love the Disney photo magnets as gifts or just a simple memory to have in our home.
2- MAMA get in the Shot! At certain “landmark” areas in the park, you’ll find an official Disneyland photographer. They will happily take a photo of you and your family with your own camera as well! I think this may be my very first family photo in front of the floral Mickey!
3- Kids and Characters! If your children want photos with characters, the best place to find them is Toon Town! Hop on the train! You’ll be sure to do plenty of walking so save your feet when you can! Toon Town is so colorful and whimsical as you’d expect! There are a lot of great spots and “props” for kids to play on and grab your photos!
The characters have “ambassadors” to assist them throughout the park. We saw that Goofy was out having a visit with his guests, but walked away just before it was our turn. His ambassador had Goofy’s schedule, as well as the other characters, with her and assured us that he’d return very quickly. When Goofy returned, I actually asked if he could face and pose in a different spot than he was originally standing in. The light was better in another area and they were very happy to accommodate me.
Other guests are very good about waiting until you’ve gotten your shots so that they don’t photobomb you!
Having your kids in their favorite characters shirts or with Minnie/Mickey ears is always a fun added detail to your pictures!
There are some character lines that are longer than others and the lines will go through their homes! The furniture and items inside the home are playful and provide other photo opportunities that you may not have thought of before. When I saw my birthday boy in Minnie’s vanity, I had to grab this sweet intimate shot, but what you don’t know is that also reflected were a large group of people wearing matching shirts. I used a soft black brush to fill in the mirror in photoshop, nothing really fancy.
4- Action Shots on the Rides! Most rides are too difficult to get shots when riding, but King Arthur’s Carousel isn’t one of those rides! Just be sure you brace yourself in between the horses and stand with your feet wider for more support. If you are shooting in manual, just be sure to watch your shutter speed and adjust depending on the ride. On the carousel I was moving with my subject and used a shutter speed of 1/400. Of course, he was not interested in having his photo taken! Ugh! C’est la vie! (At least for a photographer’s kid, right?)
5- Find the Right Light! It’s really difficult to get shots in the harsh sun around the park and it’s not always possible to wait to get a shot during the “golden hour” (an hour before the sunsets), but shade is your friend! You want to make sure you find a spot where the light is even across your subject and not dappled (spotted). Look for side paths without heavy traffic. You’d be surprised how many you can find! I passed by one mother near Snow White’s wishing well taking photos of her boys on a side path to Cinderella’s castle dressed as a knight and a dragon! Super cute!
If you will be at Disney at night here are a few extra tips on taking pictures at night! Go Here-> 5 Tips on Taking Pictures at Night in Disney
6 Make Good Use of your Time! Another great tool to use for your day at the park, a FREE app called Mouse Wait! It gives you a pretty accurate wait time for rides. (linked for your convenience) It also has menus for most of the eateries around Disneyland! Hungry/grumpy kids are never fun to photograph! It’s saved my bacon a number of times!
I hope these 6 Disney World Photography tips will help you document your own magic on your next Disney vacation or Disney cruise!
**Gear used: Nikon d610, Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8
Teresa @ Crafty Wife says
My husband and I are huge Disney people and we have annual passes to Disney World! We love the Disney parks! I have to say that I agree with all of your tips! Most people are really great about asking to take a photo for you and we always take advantage of that and the Disney Photopass Photographers. It’s the only way I’d ever be in any of the photos! haha
I hope to make it out to visit that Disney adventure soon. I also want to go to Aulani in Hawaii! I’ve had friends stay there and love it!
These tips couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m heading over to Disney World in December for our first trip with our daughter, and I want to capture every magical moment. Pinning! 🙂
I hope you guys have a great time! How exciting!
Kristin @ MOMentous Moms says
Great tips and Great Photos! I had no idea if you asked they would take pics with your own camera. That is wonderful to know, that really cuts down on the pressure of buying.
Tiffany Khyla says
These pictures are absolutely magical and make me want to go to Disney. I haven’t been since I was 8! So long ago. I invested in what I like to call a “selfie stick” which is basically like a tripod but you hold it out in front of you to take pictures. If you strategically place it, you can’t even see the stick! It’s great for vacations. It takes the selfie concept to a whole new level.
Michele Bailey Sylvester says
Thanks, ladies! The fam and I will be headed back again soon when it’s decorated for CHRISTMAS! <3
Ashley ~ 3 Little Greenwoods says
Wonderfully tips! Especially “get the mama in the picture”!
I’d love for you to share this post at my Show Me Saturday party. We are live now!