Hi friends! Faison here, and today I’m taking over Once Upon A Mickey Bar and talking about my top five must-do photo opportunities in Magic Kingdom! (Scroll to the end of this post to check out this handy map up close!).
If you follow Katie’s shop @onceuponamickeytee on Instagram, you’ve definitely seen my photography work; I’m a professional photographer who 1.) loves Once Upon A Mickey Tee, and 2.) loves everything Disney. I’ve been a professional photographer for close to three years now, but it was only within the past nine months that I’ve lived in Orlando and have had Disney within driving distance (and oh boy, is it great!). As soon as we moved to central Florida last summer for my husband’s job, I was taking our son, Walter, to Disney at least twice to three times per week as a fun way to spend the weekdays while my husband worked/works his long hours at his hospital. I had originally started an Instagram account for Walter’s Disney days for friends and family back home in Texas, but it has flourished into something so incredibly wonderful: I’ve met so many friends, including Katie, through his Instagram account and I couldn’t be more thankful for the friendships and bonds made through @waltsdisneyadventures. And thanks to Walter’s Instagram account, I’ve found some really great places for photo ops in Magic Kingdom that are absolute must-do’s if you’re headed to Disney.
Spot 1: Main Street USA - balloon photos
Go in the late morning when balloon handlers are out!
Main Street is one of those really magical places because there are so many sensory things happening at once: you see the iconic castle, walk past the Confectionery and smell the amazing sweet smells of candy, chocolate, and other wonderful sweets, and there are colorful bouquets of Mickey-shaped balloons dotting Main Street. Mickey balloons are my favorite souvenir from Magic Kingdom because, well, it’s a balloon! If you don’t want to carry one around with you in the parks all day, taking a photo with a bunch of these happy balloons is just as great (and hey, you get a fantastic Instagram/Facebook photo out of it!
Getting a photo of yourself “holding” the giant bunch of Disney balloons is great, but there’s another fun way to get those fantastic Mickey happies in a photo- have them as your photo background! Ask the balloon handler if they’d be willing to lower the balloon bunch close to the ground to get this look, and voila! Aren’t these photos the cutest?! Just a quick side note: the balloon handlers don’t start walking Main Street until around 10am, sometimes 10:30am, so go hop on a ride and then make your way back for this photo op!
Spot 2: Hub Grass Green Shots
Go any time for great shots!
There are several reasons why I love the Hub Grass in Magic Kingdom, and it isn’t just because you have a fantastic view of the castle! The Hub Grass is at the end of Main Street as you’re walking toward Cinderella’s Castle, and it’s a grassy (read: Astroturf) area on either side of the street. It’s gated, it has shady spots, and is perfect to just take it easy and relax from the constant hustle that is Magic Kingdom. If you’re looking for a great place to photograph your Disney Starbucks, maybe do a flat lay of your Minnie ears, or even just to take a photo of the castle, the Hub Grass is the place for you!
Spot 3: Cinderella's Castle spire- unique castle shot
Go between 1-6pm for the best light!
It was only recently when I found this sweet little spot on the right side of Cinderella’s Castle, and oh my goodness, am I glad that I found it! I really adore this shady space because 1.) it’s shady and keeps the glare off of the subject (you!), and 2.) it really gives a fun and different background to your photo. I’m all about unique angles of the castle, and this perfect spot certainly lives up to its “unique” factor!
Spot 4: the bridge to Liberty Square from the Hub
Go between 8-10 am for the best light!
Ahhh, this bridge on the way to Liberty Square is probably my favorite spot for castle photos, and it’s unfortunately the one spot with the most restrictive shooting time- the light is best between 8-10am because the sun isn’t as high to create a lot of shadows from the trees above. Another perk for shooting early in the morning at this spot is because there are less park guests walking through in the early morning. Sure, there are still plenty of park guests that can walk through your shot, but it isn’t impossible to snag a few quick photos!
Spot 5: the back of Cindy's Castle- the stunning windows
Go as early as possible for the least amount of guests in the background!
I’ve always loved the beautiful windows on the backside of Cinderella’s Castle, and I feel like it’s a really under-appreciated backdrop for castle photos. Unfortunately, this photo op is pretty tricky to get without having a ton of fellow park guests in the background, so go as early as possible to get this shot… like, make this your first photo stop after rope drop first thing in the morning. The hustle to the castle will be worth it for this snap though, I promise!
Alright friends, you’ve got my top five photo opportunities in Magic Kingdom! There are wayyy more than just five spots for photos, and I’m always looking for fun new spots to shoot- if you have a special place that you love to snap photos, I’d love to hear about it! I always enjoy talking about anything that involves cameras or photography, so if you have any questions about how I shoot or questions about your camera, or even just to say hi, drop me an email- it’d be a joy to hear from you! Thanks for reading today, and I hope to see you in the parks soon!