TouringPlans is pleased to welcome guest author Amy Crockett.
Walt Disney World is a photographer’s dream: iconic landmarks, classic attractions, immersive worlds, fascinating wildlife, beautiful gardens, adorable characters, foodie feasts, and the happiest faces on earth! Whether you’re a photography enthusiast, social media star, or just want some nice pictures to remember your trip by, you’ll have plenty of chances to get some great photos. Here are 10 photo ops that will keep your camera coming back again and again:
- Train Station: Just after you’ve entered the tapstiles at the Magic Kingdom, you’re met with the cheerful sight of the WDW Railroad station, and you know you have arrived! The red brick, green shingles, and wrought-iron accents begin to take you back to the turn of the century, and the gorgeous garden in front (which changes seasonally!) includes a not-so-hidden Mickey in the landscaping. This is a very popular spot to stop for photos, not only because it is classic, but also because it is literally the first thing you see. Arrive early to avoid the masses or check back later in the day.
- Cinderella Castle: It’s one of the most photographed sites in the world for a reason! As you walk down Main Street U.S.A., you can’t help but be awed by the classic fairytale castle rising up before you, complete with towers, turrets, and a moat. No matter how you feel about the recent “glow up” or the new 50th anniversary décor, Cinderella Castle is a wonder to behold. Whether you opt for a Mickey-eared selfie or gather your entire group, a castle shot is required. You can also try a photo from the side or back of the castle; they are equally spectacular but less photographed.
- Classic Fantasyland Attractions: Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Tea Party, and Prince Charming Regal Carrousel are left off many touring plans because they are considered “slow-loading” rides. However, one of the benefits of being slow-loading is that you have time to get your phone out and take a few pictures before the ride begins. While these attractions might not be the most innovative, they are opening day classics and undoubtedly adorable, which makes for great, nostalgia-inducing photos. Cozy up to your bejeweled carrousel horse, snap a colorful teacup selfie, or smile along with everyone’s favorite flying elephant.
- Spaceship Earth: Also known as the EPCOT globe or ball, this geodesic sphere is the park’s icon and makes a nice backdrop for photos. For something different: get a photo of Spaceship Earth with the new fountain out front, time it just right to snap a photo as the monorail goes past (2 icons in one photo!), or take some photos at night when it is lit up in brilliant purple, orange, and pink.
- Global Landmark: EPCOT’s World Showcase is home to 11 different countries, complete with scaled-down versions of some amazing cultural landmarks. Where else can you pose with the Eiffel Tower, the Chinese Temple of Heaven, Venetian gondolas, a Japanese pagoda, a London phone booth, an Aztec pyramid, and more, all in one day? While you eat or drink around the world, make sure to photograph your travels as well!
- Millennium Falcon: It’s the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy and I heard it can do the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs! Even if you’re not a huge Star Wars fan, the Millennium Falcon is iconic, and you’re sure to be impressed by the scope and attention to detail the Imagineers put into building it as part of the Galaxy’s Edge expansion. Full disclosure: I haven’t actually been able to see it in person yet, but I’m sure getting a picture will become a must-do on all future trips!
- Tree of Life: Animal Kingdom’s centerpiece is a breathtaking work of art. Standing 145 feet tall and featuring over 300 hand-carved animals on its trunk, take some time not only to explore the tree and pick out the different species represented, but to snap some photos with your favorites.
- Wildlife: The wilderness must be explored… and photographed! And with over 300 species living onsite, Animal Kingdom is the place to do it. Make sure you have your camera ready on Kilimanjaro Safaris – you never know what animals you will see and how close they will get. Or try the Maharajah Jungle Trek, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, the Oasis, or other exhibits throughout the park where you can go at your own pace and get photos of a wide variety of animals in action.
- Mickey Mouse: If you didn’t get your picture taken with Mickey, did you even go to Disney World? He’s the one who started it all, so it’s worth a wait in line to get this photo. Mickey is available to see at all 4 theme parks (each one in a different outfit), so you’ll have ample opportunity to strike a pose with the big cheese himself, whether socially distanced for now or up close when meet and greets start again.
- The Food: Classic snacks such as Mickey ice cream bars, Dole Whips, and churros make for really fun photos. On our last trip, my sister made it her mission to get a picture with a Mickey bar (our favorite treat) in each of the 4 parks (mission accomplished)! If you have a more refined palate, Disney is a foodie photographer’s paradise. The EPCOT festival booths always have tons of Instagram-worthy dishes, or capture something otherworldly, like Batuu’s blue milk or Pandora’s desserts. Food photos are always a crowd-pleaser.
Bonus Photo: It all started with the Purple Wall, but has grown into many more Instagram-able accent walls popping up all over Walt Disney World. Using one of these walls as a background is a great way to highlight your unique Disney style. Find a wall that speaks to you and strike a pose.
These are just a few of the things you’re sure to want to capture during your magical vacation. Taking photos is a great way to remember all the things you saw and did at Walt Disney World. Just don’t get so preoccupied with taking the perfect picture that you forget to take a moment to soak it all in!
What are your favorite things to photograph at Disney?
Amy Crockett is a native Michigander who works at a library by day and dreams of Disney by night. Planning Disney trips is her favorite thing in the entire world to do (apart from the trip itself)! In addition to all things Disney, she loves reading, musical theatre, playing tennis, traveling, and cheering on the Detroit Tigers.