with Courtney Slazinik
10 Disney World Photography Tips
10 Disney World Photography Tips

When heading to the happiest place on your, your may start to wonder how you will capture all the joy and emotion you and your family will experience. Read over this list of Disney World photography tips to help capture your vacation. These tips are meant to help you capture the moments but I encourage you not to miss the moments because you are too busy capturing them. Please put your camera down and live in the moment. Yes, you want images to remember the trip but your kids will want you to be a part of it as well.

Disney World Photography Tips


  • No.
    Take one lens

    It is so tempting to bring all your lenses since you don’t know which one you will need and when you will need it. The struggle is real. I get it. Instead of being a sherpa, choose one lens to take on the trip or at the very least out for the day. I choose to only take my Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 for the whole trip. Since this is a zoom lens I was able to capture images close up or including more of the scene. DSC_9710

  • No.
    Set your settings while you wait

    Taking photos on the ride (a slow ride without water) is a great way to capture the joy on your kids’ faces as they experience Disney World. However, you don’t have time once the ride starts to fiddle with aperture and shutter speed. Take the time while you wait in line to point your camera in the direction of the ride and get your settings ready.

  • No.
    Details, details, details

    Capture the crowds, the food, the wait times. Disney is full of interesting details all over the parks. By capturing these unique little shots they help tell the story of your trip better when you print your images into your photo books…and yes, you need to print these images. DSC_9701 DSC_9603

  • No.
    Show movement

    Disney World doesn’t stop moving. Play with your shutter speed to show all the energy and rides. You don’t need a tripod for a shot like this. Steady yourself, lock your elbows, and take the shot. If you are able, rest your camera on a trash can or something sturdy if you need to. Play around and see what you can capture. Read more about how to use slow shutter speed to create motion blur.DSC_9143

  • No.
    Get in the photo

    You were there! You deserve to be in the photos. I don’t care if you look like a mess, get in the shot. Either hand your camera over to your husband or take the shot your self. For this shot, I put the focal point on the center, make sure the aperture was stopped down enough to get us both in the shot and took the photo. It is one of my favorites from the trip. DSC_9525-2

  • No.
    Don't forget video

    I’m slightly obsessed with video at the moment. Honestly, I think I took as many videos as I did images. There is something about hearing your child’s laughter and seeing the wind in their hair that adds to the memories you are capturing.

  • No.
    Get down low when take pictures with characters

    I can’t say enough amazing things about how Disney handles the children meeting the characters. They never once rushed us out the door or told me to stop taking photos. I made sure to stay out of the way of the hired photographer. Get down low. This helps you get the view from your child’s point of view. Plus, most characters got down on my kids level while talking to them. This is another good time to get your shot ready while you wait in line. You don’t want to fumble around while your child runs with open arms to hug Mickey and you miss it. DSC_9674

  • No.
    Enjoy your trip - Get Memory Maker

    My husband was on the fence about purchasing the Memory Maker package. He figured I know how to take pictures so why would we pay for that. I told him because I wanted to be in the photos. I LOVED having a photographer around every corner that I could gather up the crew, pose for a photo, and I was in it without the stress of saying “Everyone look at the camera”. Plus, they captured some different shots while my kids met the characters than I did. Keep in mind though, you may still want to take some pictures while you meet the characters because many of the photographers used the flash which isn’t a deal breaker but I wasn’t some shots without the flash which I was able to capture with my camera.

  • No.
    Think outside the box

    Since Disney doesn’t allow tripods I was struggling how to capture the fireworks. I wanted to do something a little different. I decided to take my lens off autofocus and switched it to manual focus. I played around with the focus to create some out of focus shots of the fireworks. DSC_9741

  • No.
    Safety Mom Tip: Take a cell shot

    This one isn’t a photography tip but something we do anytime we got to large places where we could get separated from our kids. Take a picture of each individual child each morning in the clothes they are wearing. This way if you get separated you have a current photo of exactly what they are wearing that day.

DSC_9416 Remember you’ve spent months planning your trip to Disney World, securing your Fast Passes, and making reservations, don’t forget to enjoy it. Put your camera away. Ride the ride with your kids. Hug them during the parades. Live in the moment. We have a tendency of trying to document every single moment. While it’s important to document it, it’s even more important to live it. What other photography tips would you add to the list? Leave a comment below.

Excellent tips for your next trip to Disney! Photograph your Disney trip with these simple steps. Fantastic photography tips for Disney! Excellent tips for your next trip to Disney! Photograph your Disney trip with these simple steps. Fantastic photography tips for Disney! Excellent tips for your next trip to Disney! Photograph your Disney trip with these simple steps. Fantastic photography tips for Disney!
  • Courtney Wager
    January 29, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    Thank you so much for this post! Here’s a big concern of mine: I want to bring my dSLR, but what do you do with it on the rides? I can’t just leave it in a community pile?! Any info is greatly appreciated!

  • Gretchen
    January 29, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    Great tips! We are going in April and I got breakfast reservations in Magic Kingdom before the park opening. I’m really hoping I can get a shot of my girls in front of the castle without a million other people in the frame.

  • Leslie
    February 4, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    I always take my camera on the rides with me, except for rides where it may get wet, like Splash Mountain. But if you have something to put it in to keep it from getting wet, it would be fine to take it on that, as well. As long as it has some protection – padding of some sort – it should be fine.

    • February 9, 2016 at 9:53 AM

      I agree. Don’t leave it in the stroller or anything :)

  • Cara
    February 5, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    We are going in October and in trying to decide whether to take my dslr or just my Sony rx100. I don’t want photography to dominate the trip but don’t want to miss out either. We are doing the photo pass. Did you happen to eat at Askersus? I was wondering if the light was good enough inside with no flash. I have a canon 6D

    • February 9, 2016 at 9:50 AM

      We didn’t eat there. But I had low expectations for the lighting in restaurants :)

  • Heather Whitehouse
    February 5, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    This was wonderful! Thank you Courtney!

  • Carissa
    May 6, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    I don’t know if I want to carry my dslr all the time on my Disney trip. Does anyone have a recommendation for a smaller camera?

    • May 9, 2016 at 5:46 PM

      I don’t personally use any other cameras but I have some friends who love their mirrorless cameras and they are smaller.

  • Sara
    September 25, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Thank you for the tips! We are planning our very first trip in 2017. Can you tell me the exact location you took the first photo…in front of the castle. I love the location and that it’s not crowded with other guests.

    • Courtney
      September 27, 2016 at 3:22 PM

      Thanks so much! If you walk down main street and you get to the end you can turn left and see a garden area. That is where that image was taken :) Have fun!

  • Stacy Kim
    December 18, 2016 at 12:54 AM

    Really great tips! Man, had I had these tips back when I went, things would have went differently. When I went, I just had this company called AdoramaPix take the photos for me, and they’re actually quite nice. If any of you guys aren’t photographers, or just want to get professional photos taken of you, check out this website link:

  • Amanda
    October 24, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Thank you for this article!!! We are heading there in February and I have been on the fence about taking my nice DSLR or just grabbing a point and shoot that’s lighter but it feels almost sinful, lol. Did you find it hard and cumbersome to be carrying your heavy camera around all day? Also, you mentioned not wanting flash, did you take a flash with you? I know there are lots of indoors character greets where the lighting isn’t the greatest so I’m on the fence about bringing a flash but it’s another piece of equipment to carry. Also, as a professional photographer were you happy with the memory maker images you got? Some of the examples I’ve seen are not great quality (out of focus, harsh flash used, limbs cut off, etc.)

  • Debbie Krell
    October 30, 2017 at 12:03 AM

    I have a Canon T1i DSLR, what camera lens would bring to Disney World? I was thinking of bringing Tamron AF 18-270mm. What camera lens would you recommend? I was thinking I might need distance for the safari ride and so on. What are your thoughts?

  • Amanda
    February 2, 2018 at 4:10 PM

    Disney DOES allow tripods actually! It just has to fit into a backpack, that’s all. I am totally taking mine with me, it’s a must have for the fireworks IMO.

  • Brian Parks
    April 21, 2018 at 12:19 AM

    This is correct, Disney does allow tripods. I live about two hours away and I frequent the parks about every other weekend, I’ve never even had my tripod questioned. Now, SELFIE STICKS… that’s another story, and somehow on my last trip I saw 4 families that somehow managed to get theirs in… There’s some great lightweight travel tripods on the market that work wonders for shooting the fireworks at night and even getting some picturesque long exposure shots without adding a lot of weight to your backpack.

  • Tracey
    February 17, 2019 at 7:04 PM

    Fantastic post! We’re planning a trip in December and this will help me a ton.

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