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Top 10 Photo Ops In Walt Disney World

Photographs are my absolute favorite vacation souvenir from Walt Disney World.  This got me to thinking about my favorite places to take photographs in the World, and the places that have become traditions for my family marking the kids’ growth through the years.  Here is my list for can’t miss photograph locations:

10.  Park Icons

NOT counting Cinderella Castle (spoiler alert! We will get to that later).  Here I’m talking about Spaceship Earth at Epcot and the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom.  You can take your own photo here or let Disney’s photographers compose something special for you.  One fun photo is where someone is holding the ball like Atlas on his back.  We always take a park icon picture—as if we are documenting having visited that park.

9.  Resort Door

Okay, this one is quirky, but every trip we take a photo outside our resort room door.  I’m not sure why we did it on our first trip, but we did.  We were at Port Orleans Riverside and the mousekeeper had set up a display of the boys’ “guys” in the window that you could see from outside.  So, we parked the stroller with the 10 month old, had the four year old stand beside it and took a photo of the window that included the door and the room number.  For some reason it stuck and we take a photo every trip of the kids outside our door that includes the number.

8.  Signs

Throughout the parks and resorts there are any number and variety of signs that are interesting in design, and that state where you are at that moment in time.  It is like a caption for your photo.  Two of our favorites are found in the Animal Kingdom.  On our first trip my then 4 year old posed sticking his head in the mouth of the jaguar/leopard/cheetah spotted animal on the Rainforest Café sign—it was cute so we continue to repeat it.  We also took a photo with the welcome sign at Chester & Hester’s Dinorama that stuck as a must do.

7.  Park “Props”

You know all of those great details that the Imagineers added to the parks to make it believable and immersive?  I love to take photos with them.  In Magic Kingdom it might be Snow White’s wishing well, Cinderella’s Fountain, or the Pirate props in Adventureland.  World Showcase has plenty of places, but we are drawn to the totem poles in Canada.  And Animal Kingdom has carts and bicycles and more to pose with.

6.  Holding Tink

One of the many “magic” shots that Disney Parks photographers take is when someone in your family (or everyone) cups their hands and looks at them with awe.  Then, when you view your photos online Tinker Bell magically appears in your hands.  There are many other magic shots holding Simba at Animal Kingdom, or pointing at Stitch in the pavement at the Studios, but I have a soft spot for Tink.

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5.  Statues

Whether it is because you are paying homage to the men who made the parks come to life, or because they make a nice marker of growth, posing with park statutes is another way to document your visit. My favorite was the bench with Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse when it sat in the center of Town Square with the castle in the background.  I would book an 8:05 Crystal Palace reservation just to get that shot.  Then they moved the bench, (boo!) but we still pose with it.  The Partners Statue with Walt and Mickey further down Main Street in the hub is another great place to pose.  In the Studios you can find the busts of many famous Hollywood personalities for your photos (including Walt).

4.  On an Attraction

Not all attractions have a photo that is taken automatically, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your own.  Now, heed the warnings, “No Flash Photography” because it is disruptive to everyone around you, but turn the flash off and have some fun.  The photos I took of my 7 month old son mesmerized while riding it’s a small world for the first time are priceless.  We usually end up with a photo of everyone wearing 3D glasses at one of the attractions, photos of our scores at Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story Mania, pictures of our “movie” at the end of Spaceship Earth, you get the idea.  Don’t take pictures of just the attraction, but of your family enjoying the attraction.  Now, for those attractions that take your photo for you, you can have even more fun.  And with those included with your Memory Maker package add-on you can really get into it.  Our favorite is Test Track (hint the camera moved outside with the refurbishment).  We’ve done all kinds of crazy, silly poses.  Don’t forget to view them on your way out and download them with your Magic Band if you have Memory Maker (or purchase them individually if you don’t and they are must haves).

3.  The Height Checkers

This is a very technical term.  At each attraction where there is a minimum height requirement you will find a height stick that is themed to that attraction.  Why not start taking a photo of your toddler standing by the stick way before they are close to reaching the height?  Then when the happy day comes when he or she is tall enough to ride you will have it documented through all of your trips the journey it took to get there.

2.  With the Big Cheese Himself

Everyone wants to meet Mickey, after all, it all started with a mouse!  There are plenty of opportunities to meet Mickey and have your photo taken with him—even in different costumes.  Character meals are good choices—just make sure there aren’t too many dirty plates and glasses in the photo.  Mickey also has plenty of meet & greets in the parks.  At Epcot he is in the character spot in his traditional tuxedo, at the Studios he is in the Animation area as Sorcerer Mickey and at the Animal Kingdom he can be found in his safari gear with Minnie in the Adventurers Outpost.  At Magic Kingdom, Mickey dressed as a magician can actually talk to you!

1.  The Castle (I know you guessed it already!)

The quintessential Walt Disney World family photo is with the castle.  You can go at this from many different angles and each one has its own pros and cons.  I prefer to have the least distractions in the photo as possible, so I often opt for a side angle.  My favorite place is the PhotoPass location they have set up to the right of the castle going down to the rose garden.  It isn’t straight on, but it isn’t far off and you don’t have anyone else in your photo.  There is also a nice do-it-yourself spot going toward Liberty Square from the hub where you can pose with the moat behind you so it is mostly you and the castle—there are trees there too, so it isn’t completely unobstructed.  And I always like to get a daytime shot and a nighttime shot, the castle is gorgeous when it is all lit up.  Of course the pose on Main Street USA is always popular—that is why there is a photographer every 5 feet!  And don’t forget, if you have an early morning breakfast reservation at Magic Kingdom—take some time to take photos while the park is nearly empty.

What is your favorite photo location at Walt Disney World?  Or where do you take a photo every trip?

About Sarah Chapman

I am a long time Disney fan since I was hooked on Walt Disney World with my first trip in 1987. Since that time I’ve tried experiencing everything I can in the parks, with a total of 30 visits and counting (I’m always planning my next trip) to Walt Disney World—not to mention Disney Cruise Line and even (shhh!) Universal Orlando and Sea World. I’ve turned my Disney obsession into a profession helping others plan their magical vacations as a Dream Vacation Maker at LBAC Travel. I am a work at home mom to three wonderful boys, and each one has been properly indoctrinated with all things Disney. Walt Disney World is definitely our “Laughing Place.” Look for me on Facebook at Facebook.com/SarahLBAC for updates, discount announcements, tips, tricks and planning advice for your next vacation. You can also find me on Instagram (sarahdreamvacationmaker) and Pinterest (sarahlbactravel).