Personally, some of my favorite photos of my kids come from any of out travels, and the magic at Disney seems to create some fantastic photo opportunities. Here’s some tips so to help you get some fantastic shots at the most magical place on Earth.
Decide what you are going to take pictures with. Are you going to use your phone, a point and shoot or a DSLR? Personally I use both my phone and my DSLR, but there are plenty of people who just use one or the other. Make sure you have the equipment you need, otherwise you’ll be searching for a camera store on vacation!
Know your camera before you go. If it’s new, make sure you know the basics because that magic happens quickly and you don’t want to be trying to adjust the settings and miss the shot!
I can’t recommend getting the Memory Maker enough. Every trip we have had over 400 photos taken from the Disney photographers and with all the extra edits you can do it’s well worth the money. This last trip I didn’t use my camera when the kids visited with a character unless there wasn’t a photographer present.
Use the character guides. They are at the front entrances of the park with the park maps, and each of them tells you where to find character meeting spots and the times the characters are there.
If you are looking for a specific character or location, ask one of the park photographers. If they don’t know, they can find out for you.
Be creative with your shots and look for different angles and lighting.
Patience is truly a virtue, and you’ll need it at Disney. It’s possible to get some great shots without extra people in them, but be prepared to wait and have that camera ready!
Some of my favorite picture ideas are:
- hanging off the trolley on Main Street USA
- wearing mouse ears while eating ice cream
- back shots of the kids looking at Cinderella’s Castle
- in front of the Tree of Life over by Africa in Animal Kingdom
- on the carousel
- eating popcorn watching the parade
- getting pixie dusted at the barbershop on Main Street
Don’t push a photo op with your kids, whether it be with a character or something else. It’s not worth a melt down, trust me.
Remember to be IN some of the pictures! Ask the park photographers to take your photo. Many times they will happily use your camera/phone to take the picture, even if you have a Magic Band to scan.
If a park photographer takes your photo, ask them if they have any magic extras. It’s super fun to see what they come up with!
Don’t wait until the last day to grab a photo – take it when you see it. Sometimes plans change and you might not be able to get the photo, or you’ll forget. One trip I had the perfect photo planned with Sam and Mickey – and we ended up having to fly back 2 days sooner to beat a massive snow storm.
Make sure to be in the moment and not worry about the perfect photo to share. Some of my favorite photos are moments that I snapped as they happened.
Let your kids take the lead. After we went on the Under the Sea ride, Sam really wanted to meet Ariel. However, the girls didn’t so Ken took the girls back to Tomorrowland, and I took Sam to see Ariel. The photographers wanted to know how I bribed Sam to see Ariel, and I told them it was his decision. Every time he sees the photo of him and Ariel he smiles!
And a bonus – if you can book a character breakfast, look for a time when that park doesn’t have extra magic opening hours. If a park doesn’t open until 9am, and you have an 8am reservation you can enter the park at 7:45am – and pretty much have a portion of the park to yourself. This last trip we had an 8am breakfast at the Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom, and were able to get shots of the kids up and down Main Street and in front of Cinderella’s Castle without a crowd!