On our recent trip to Disneyland one of my goals was to take as many memorable photos as possible. I wanted to document all our special moments including the little ones.
So before we left I looked at lots of Disneyland photos on Pinterest, that I would like to replicate with my family. And of course pinned them to a board, in case I needed a little inspiration while we there. I am not a professional photographer by any means, but I do take pride in capturing a great photo. One that makes me smile every time I look at it. And that is what I was hoping to do on our trip.
I don’t own any fancy cameras, in fact I no longer own a camera at all. All of the photos from our holiday were taken with my phone, a Samsung S10. I also used my phone to edit the photos; cropping and using filters.
I took 2,784 photos on our holiday, most of these were multiple shots of the same moment. I like to take several photos at a time. As the likelihood is you will get one or two great photos and the rest might be blurred or someone will blink. This is one of the reasons I love taking photos of my children from behind, no blinking or funny faces to contend with. I also had moments on our trip where I was the person suddenly dropping down on one knee to get the right angle (I of course checked no one was going to crash into me first). Changing the angle, and taking the photo from below or even above can get some really great results. Especially when you’re trying to fit Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in the background.
There are so many magical places to take amazing photos in Disneyland. From the moment you walk through the gates, to the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars Galaxies Edge, and all the small and precious moments in between. Here are some of our favourite photo spots:
Main Street U.S.A.
There is so much fun and excitement when you step foot in Main Street U.S.A. it’s almost impossible not to take a photo. From the customary pic in the centre of the street to the details of the shop fronts there are some great photo opportunities.
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
The area surrounding Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is of course a must have Disneyland photo opportunity. A fantastic tip I read before leaving, was to take photos of the castle from the side instead of directly infront. This eliminates or at least reduces people in the background and gives you a beautiful view of the castle. I took most of my photos from the right-hand side of the castle near Snow White’s Grotto. Including one of my favourite photos from our trip.
There are so many beautiful photo opportunities in Fantasyland, each with their own unique piece of Disney charm. I took a lot of photos in Fantasyland especially on the day of the kid’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover. It is such a magical place. My favourite photos in Fantasyland were taken riding the King Athur Carrousel, spinning round and even lining up for the Mad Tea Party, in front of the White Rabbit’s door, going ‘whale watching’ on the Storybook Canal and taking in the view of It’s a Small World.
Shrink down to the size of an elf or fairy when you enter Pixie Hollow. The oversized flowers and mushrooms make the for cutest photos ever! You might even meet a real pixie!
Looking for some fun family photos? Head on over to Mickey’s Toontown. With lots of fun, brightly coloured props located all around the area, it’s easy to get a cute photo of your little ones. Follow them through the house walkthroughs and you’ll discover some sweet little photo ops. I absolutely love the photo I took of my daughter looking out the window in Chip ‘n Dale’s Treehouse.
Want a great memory from the wild west? Then head over to Frontierland. Our must have photo opp in Frontierland was watching the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad train speeding past. We took this awesome shot of the train thundering into the tunnel from the wooden bridge to the side of the ride. There are also some great spots for a great photo in the ride line, outside the shops and along the Rivers of America. Don’t forget to jump aboard the Sailing Ship Columbia for some pirate inspired fun pics!
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Take a raft trip over to Tom Sawyer Island and get back to nature. From waterfalls and rope bridges to pirate treasure, there are many beautiful photo spots in this area of Disneyland and lots of adventure too. You might even be lucky enough to get a snap of a passing pirate ship heading down the river.
Let your little ones explore Tarzan’s Treehouse in Adventureland for some super fun photos. From the amazing view at the top of the treehouse to the adventure playground at the bottom you are sure to capture some precious moments. Time for Dole Whip? Make sure you enter the waiting area in front of the Enchanted Tiki Room for a shorter queue and some more fun photo spots. And don’t forget to set sail on the Jungle Cruise for even more magical memories in Adventureland.
Tomorrowland has some very cool photos spots especially at night. Make sure to visit this area in the evening for some very futuristic Blade Runner-esque type shots. The Astro Orbitor also looks amazing in the dark. During the day visit the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage for some lovely shots of the Matterhorn Mountain, we also got a great photo of the Matterhorn with the submarines in the foreground from the ramp leading up to the Monorail.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
The frontier planet of Batuu, definitely has an otherwordly feel to it and it’s distinctive architecture makes it a perfect location for memorable photos. The Millennium Falcon is of course the ultimate photo spot for any Star Wars fan. I personally found the balcony area in front of Docking Bay 7 to be the perfect place to get the perfect shot of the iconic ‘Hunk of Junk,’ both during the day and at night. With beautiful lanterns adorning the ceiling, the marketplace was another amazing place for a great pic. In fact there are so many amazing sights from ancient architecture, to spacecraft and droids and even curious creatures around the planet of Batuu you will hard pressed not to get a great photo.
Character Meet & Greets
The kid’s meeting their favourite Disney Characters at Disneyland for the first time made for some perfect photo opportunities. Not wanting to miss the perfect pic, I chose to stand back and take lots of photos of the kids approaching the character. This way I was able to capture their genuine reactions, which made for some beautiful photos. Sometimes my husband and I would join in the fun and a cast member would take a group shot for us.
Some of our most special moments were the experiences in Disneyland. The three that we booked ahead of time were the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop. Even the Build Your Own Lightsaber area in Tomorrowland made for a cool experience. It was fun documenting these moments, capturing the expressions of joy and all the details of the creations we made. I took a few videos too.
Don’t forget the details
Some of the best Disney memories are the small ones. From the cute details in Critter Country, to the ice creams from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor. The balloons, the signs, the hidden Mickeys, the first taste of blue milk, the smiles and laughter, even your sleepy little princess having a much needed nap by the river. These small moments can be the most magical of all.
Make sure you take some photos at your hotel too! I love being able to look back at the place we stayed and remember all the fun times we had there.
Over the 9 days we spent at Disneyland and California Adventure we took so many amazing photos and captured lots of precious moments and unforgettable memories. We can’t wait to do it all again! I would love to take photos in some of the same spots each time we visit.
I hope some of our photos inspire some of yours!
To read more about our adventures in Disneyland click here, or if you would like to know where we stayed, take a look at our review of the Hyatt Regency Orange County, a hotel we just loved staying at!