Walt Disney World
Photographing Walt Disney World
This is very unlike the other travel blogs in this series. This article features tips for photographing Walt Disney World. So, no beaches, or grand vistas in this one!
Walt Disney World in Florida consists of 4 theme parks Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, plus 2 water parks Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. There is also a large shopping, dining and entertainment area called Disney Springs. This all set within Disney owned land, which is around the size of Greater Manchester.
As you’ll know if you’ve been, or looked at the books and websites when planning a trip there is a lot to do. If you like taking photographs there are many excellent photo opportunities.
For this blog I have picked some of my favourite places and experiences, with some of the photographs that I have taken on my trips. If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World and like to take a camera with you when on holiday then I hope you find this article useful.
Around Walt Disney World
Here are the main places and things that you’ll will want to photograph, with some thoughts and examples of each.
As you enter the Magic Kingdom you will walk up the iconic Main Street, a classic American street. Straight ahead of you is the much photographed view of Cinderella’s Castle. You may get a better photograph by finding one of the angles off of the main hub, where there are gardens in front. This will hideaway some of the many people moving around this busy section of the park.
Magic Kingdom Parade
Find a shaded spot to stake out your viewing spot for the daily afternoon parade at Magic Kingdom. The route and scheduled time will be shown on a free map that is available at the entrance. Capture all the action, movement and colour. Get some wide shots and then zoom into some of the individual performances.
This was the second park to be opened, the main symbol of Epcot is the giant ball, which houses the Spaceship Earth attraction. Away from Future World there is the World Showcase that is set around a large lagoon. Set around the water are 11 pavilions, each one with shops, shows, food and experiences representing a different country. Featured countries include, America, China, Norway and United Kingdom.
A good time to visit Epcot is during spring’s Flower & Garden Festival, where you’ll find topiaries of Disney characters and special exhibits.
Re-live the golden age of Hollywood at the Disney Park that is devoted to music, film and small screen. There’s always lots happening on Sunset Boulevard, which leads from the main entrance along to the Tower of Terror ride at the far end.
Galaxies Edge is the new Star Wars land at Hollywood Studios. Look out for photo opportunities of the First Order marching with Stormtroopers, along with character shows and fireworks.
Arguably the best themed of the four parks. The Africa and Asia sections are particularly good. This park is one of the best examples fo the incredible Disney detail, which you can photograph. If you’re lucky to find a quieter spot you can photography the quality of the theming of this park.
The focal point of the Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life.
An essential Disney experience of the parks are of course the characters, from Mickey and friends to princesses, along with many other heroes and villains. To photograph them you can stand in line for a meet and greet or go to a character dining experience. I find that the best photo opportunities come from the action shots during shows and parades. The event listing leaflet for each park lists where and when these take place.
Magic Kingdom is one of the best places to photograph them, with shows at the castle and regular dance parties. The shows are often repeated through the day so if you miss a shot, or want a different view just wait for the next show.
This area is modelled on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. It’s open to all, even if you haven’t got a Disney Park ticket. There are hotels, shopping and restaurants, with a wooden boardwalk. The Disney hotels by the water are beautifully themed and designed. Don’t worry if you’re not staying at one of them, you can have a wonder around the public areas.
Boats connect the Boardwalk with Epcot and Hollywood Studios. It is picturesque and often quiet during the day.
There are two water parks with Typhoon Lagoon dominated by a large lagoon that has a shipwrecked boat and a giant wave pool, plus Blizzard Beach which is themed as a ski resort, with chairlift, along with water slides that look like ski runs.
Top 5 Disney Photography Tips
Get up close the action with a zoom to allow you focus on individual performers and characters during live entertainment. This will help especially if you have people watching in front of you.
Use a higher shutter speed to capture the fast-moving action.
Get to the parks for when they open, they’ll be quieter ideal for getting some wider shots without lots of people in.
The characters are great and will pose for you once they see your camera
As well as the wide shots look for some close ups of the wonderful level of Disney detail in the parks.
The Magic Of Disney
There are many Disney photographers that will photograph you around the parks. You can pay for downloads of these images, or buy a photo pass to get all of the pictures. If you like taking photographs on your holiday and you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida then hopefully you have found this a useful guide for planning the photography for your trip.