On our recent trip to Disneyland and California Adventure 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 and California Adventure 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 or the Pixar Pal-A-Round in the background.
There are so many magical places to take amazing photos in California Adventure. From the moment you walk through the gates, to the Pixar Pal-A-Round, and all the small and precious moments in between. Here are some of our favourite photo spots and opportunities:
Buena Vista Street
There is so much fun and excitement when you step foot in Buena Vista Street it’s almost impossible not to take a photo. From the beautiful fountain in front of the Carthay Circle Restaurant to the details of the shop fronts there are some great photo opportunities. Including a fun pic with the Headless Horseman if you happen to be there during Halloween.
Stepping into Cars Land is like stepping into another world. Cars Land is filled with awesome photo spots and opportunities. Taking in the view of the Radiator Springs Racers is a must do. You might even be lucky enough to capture Lightning McQueen in the background. Some of my favourite photos spots in Cars Land included; walking beneath the stone arch, all the awesome, vintage inspired signs (don’t forget to get another pic of these at night!), the Cozy Cone Motel and with the tractor at Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.
The Pixar Pal-A-Round is a must have California Adventure photo opportunity. Taking some advice from the internet, I took my photos of the Ferris Wheel from the stairs in the Paradise Gardens Park area. It is a nice quiet spot without as many crowds and you get a nice clear shot of the big wheel. We also took a few shots from the Pixar Pier area near the Incredicoaster and don’t forget to get a pic at night when it is all lit up. So pretty!
Pixar Pier is such a fun place and has lots of fun photo spots! From the iconic Pixar Pier sign, to all the action of the rides, you are sure to get a great photo! One of my favourite photos from our trip is my son Max with the Incredicoaster speeding past behind him. So fun!
The Grizzly Peak area of California Adventure is so picturesque! It’s almost like you stepped into a national park. There are so many great photo spots in this area and it’s a great place to rest your feet on a hot day. Once again, my fav photo from this area is of Max, in this pic he is watching the Grizzly River Run ride near the Mill. I just love it! The kid’s loved having their photos taken with all the bears. So fun!
Character Meet & Greets
The kid’s meeting their favourite Disney Characters at California Adventure 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.
The Little Moments
Some of the best Disney memories are the small ones. From the cute details in Cars Land to the ice creams from Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats. The rides, the signs, the hidden Mickeys, their first ever Mickey Mouse pretzel, the smiles and laughter, even your little one spotting a Dumbo stencilled into the concrete. 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!
Like some Disneyland photo inspiration? Check out this post. To read more about our adventures in Disneyland and California Adventure 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!