I love to make our Disneyland vacations as magical as possible, but I love documenting the magic through photos even more. Whether it’s a meet and greet with our favorite character, our first time on a new ride, or our 100th time visiting our personalized stone in the Main Entry Esplanade- you can bet I have a photo of it. I make it a point to take a picture in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle each time we visit. I do this for several reasons: to document who we’ve traveled with, what season it is, and also my kids growing and changing through the years.
While planning our most recent trip I decided to re-imagine our traditional castle photo. Sometimes documenting the magic takes a bit of extra planning, but in many cases, as in the photo below, it’s well worth it. I had an idea of what I wanted to do and set out to execute on it by doing the following:
- I registered for the Annual Passholder Early Entry Special Event. Having an extra hour in the park before it opens to the general public is worth its weight in gold–especially when traveling with small children. The lines are significantly shorter and popular photo spots are rarely crowded.
- I planned ahead and chose outfits that corresponded for both kiddos–I prefer solid, whimsical colors or those that match with the season that we are visiting, i.e. pastels in spring or red and green during Christmas.
- I purchased personalized Ear Hats in advance of our early entry to be sure that I would be prepared if a photo opportunity arose.
On the second day of our vacation just before rope drop (the official opening time of the park on any given day), I noticed that the castle was completely deserted. I quickly realized that this was the exact opportunity I had planned for. We rushed the kids over, arranged Ear Hats, and started snapping picture after picture. As is customary with a six and three year old I had many outtakes, but was thoroughly pleased with the last shot of our mini photo session.
My favorite photos are those that are slightly unexpected or different from the norm (i.e. a large group directly in front of the castle, which is our norm and completely has its place). There are some very simple ways to re-imagine your favorite subjects, location, or event at the park which include, but are not limited to: taking the picture from a different angle (i.e. up high or in this case off to the side), standing behind the action or subjects, and lastly try to keep the background as distraction free as possible. I accomplished all three in the photo below and couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome.
Do you have a favorite photo spot at the Disneyland Resort? I’d love to hear about it and all of the ways you re-imagine your photos each time you visit. Please be sure to leave a comment below.