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SATURDAY SIX Photography Spotlight: A Look to the Skies ABOVE Theme Parks

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a special look at theme park photography! Regular readers of this fine blog series know how much we love and respect some of the hardest working people in this community: theme park photographers. Whether it’s battling Mother Nature herself to get their perfect shot or knowing exactly what type of Disney plush pairs with food, these unsung heroes risk life and limb to get us the photos which we treasure while trudging through our mundane work days.

We’ve seen so many gorgeous pics of the parks taken from ground level, and we’ve seen even more spectacular photos taken 3,000 feet in the air by @bioreconstruct in the blogger high-in-the-sky helicopter, but today we’re going to check out some great photos taken of the world that exists above our theme parks, starting with…

# 6 – The Moon

Despite being something ubiquitous that we see just about each and every day of our lives, photographs of the moon mixed with theme parks can be extremely special. Because the moon has different phases, there can be various striking images taken of it by the right photographer. Here are some of our favorites…

(photo by @bdh_photos)
The moon above Expedition Everest. (photo by Benjamin Hendel Photography)
A rising moon behind Rip Ride Rockit. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
A sliver of the moon seen above Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
The Pharos Lighthouse at IOA shines above a crescent moon. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
This half moon seems like a cracker that is about to feed a neon parrot above Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritavile at CityWalk. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
One of our favorite things about Disney parks is the way Imagineers use designs like forced perspective to “trick” our minds into seeing something that isn’t 100% on the level. Here photographer @bioreconstruct has an amazing photo of a Rip Ride Rockit guest “grabbing” the moon.
A moon behind Krakatau as it erupts in Volcano Bay. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
A full moon shines above EPCOT at twilight. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
A full moon seen from inside Diagon Alley. (photo by @braindud92)
Optimus Prime “points” to a supermoon. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Close-up view. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
The supermoon rises above Disney’s Contemporary Resort. (photo by @bdh_photos)
Beautiful. (photo by @bdh_photos)
The progression of a lunar eclipse – taken in a 40 minute span – as seen above Orlando. (photo by @bioreconstruct)


# 5 – Planets

While most of us park goers aren’t astronomers, I think most guests would enjoy being able to see other planets from inside the theme parks. The good news is that you can. The bad news is that since most of us aren’t astronomers, we don’t know when or where to look. Thankfully, our national treasures – the trusted theme park photographers – have us covered…

“To infinity and beyond!” or at least Venus… (photo by @bioreconstruct)
The planet Venus as seen between the pyramids of the Imagination Pavilion. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Is Mickey Mouse about to grab Venus? (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Venus appears almost dead center in this sunrise picture at Volcano Bay. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Here we have the Moon and Venus seen above the “floating mountains” of Pandora: The World of Avatar. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Venus and Saturn seen in the sky as Universal was building the London facade for Diagon Alley. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Mars (top), Venus (bottom), and the Moon seen above Hogsmeade Village. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
With Dr. Doom’s Fear Fall seen in the far background, we have a whole row of things to look at here. From bottom to top there is the moon, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus. Two stars left of Venus are part of the Leo constellation. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Venus, Jupiter, and the moon can be seen in this sunrise photo taken of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

Using time lapse photography, in this case 1 shot every 5 minutes, we can track the moon and planets movement. Note the reflections on the water.

(photo by @bioreconstruct)
Here we see Venus and Jupiter hanging out behind Fun Spot America in Orlando. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Venus and Jupiter as seen between a coaster at Fun Spot America. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Venus, Saturn, and the moon seen near Rip Ride Rockit. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
This photo was taken at Rip Ride Rockit five days later, and you can see how much lower Saturn has become in comparison along with the moon moving “away.” (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Here’s one for all you Flat Earthers. The moon and Jupiter see in Disneyland Paris. (photo by @bioreconstruct)


# 4 – Star Trails

You would be surprised at how much a star moves, even in just 30 seconds. When taking a picture of a Star Trail, the photographer takes hundreds of long exposure photos (probably 5 to 30 seconds, depending on conditions) over a period of 45 minutes or longer. The photographer then uses software to stitch them together into trails.

A star trail above the former Universe of Energy. (photo by @bdh_photos)
A star trail at the Japan Pavilion in EPCOT. (photo by @bdh_photos)
A star trail at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. (photo by @bdh_photos)

If you find Star Trail photos as interesting as I do, here’s a video on how to create your own:


# 3 – Orion

Even for those of us not steeped into the world of astronomy, thanks to Hollywood we generally have at least heard of the constellation Orion (and “Orion’s belt,” a grouping of three stars within Orion). First let’s take a look at what the Orion constellation looks like, and then we’ll check out some photos of it taken from the parks.

image via Sky Safari
Orion seen above the France Pavilion in EPCOT. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Orion above Pandora: The World of Avatar. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Orion seen above Disney’s Contemporary Resort. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
(photo by @bdh_photos)
Orion’s belt seen from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. (photo by @bdh_photos)


# 2 – International Space Station

Believe it or not, even the International Space Station has been seen above our beloved theme parks!

Time lapse of the International Space Station above The Incredible Hulk Coaster. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Time lapse of the I.S.S. above the Swan and Dolphin. Taken at twilight, this was a combination of 64 images, with 1 taken every 2 seconds. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Arrow pointing to the I.S.S. with the skyline of the Universal Orlando Resort below.  (photo by @bioreconstruct)
The International Space Station seen in almost the direct center of this photo taken in Diagon Alley. (photo by @BazTastic77)


# 1 – Lightning

For most people, when lightning strikes it still produces a visceral reaction. It is fascinating to see in person, and just as stunning to see in photograph form. For us theme park fans, lightning is a double edged sword. Just being in the area of lightning can cause many attractions to be immediately shut down for safety reasons, but it also can produce some awesome moments…

Lightning strikes the Magic Kingdom. (photo by @braindud92)
Spaceship Earth looking like the world’s largest plasma globe. (photo by @bdh_photos)
This lightning striking beyond the Imagination Pavilion almost looks like Godzilla is coming… (photo by @bioreconstruct)
(photo by @bdh_photos)
Gertie in the foreground with eerie lightning in the back. (photo by bdh)
Lightning at Universal Studios Florida. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at CityWalk. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Volcano Bay. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
Crazy lightning illuminating The Incredible Hulk Coaster. (photo by @bioreconstruct)
This appropriately scary lightning was seen above the fountains of a lagoon show at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. (photo by @bioreconstruct)

So there you have it: The SATURDAY SIX Looks at the Sky! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles covering the latest from the Disney Outlet Stores. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following: 

SATURDAY SIX SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: An in-depth look at theme park photography

Special Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, the bio-est of all reconstructs @bioreconstruct, the incredible Benjamin Hendel of @BDH_photos, Mickey Dude Jeff @Braindud92, Captain Cruiseline Scott Sanders of the world famous Disney Cruise Line Blog, my personal protege Hunter “Elvey” Underwood, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and Nick, hot shot Michael Carelli, and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will  enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.

The Big Dipper as seen from a JET. That’s why there is only one @bioreconstruct.

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One thought on “SATURDAY SIX Photography Spotlight: A Look to the Skies ABOVE Theme Parks

  • These are some amazing photos! Thanks!


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