Disney, Photography, Travel

Getting Photos in the Disney Parks at Night

e3a96311c2351349adb597bab86a0e8bA few years ago, before we started having babies and traveling to Disney became 3000% more difficult, Kyle and I took a last minute trip down to Walt Disney World. I had more free days at the time than he did, so I went down two days early and did a little work before he flew down to meet me.

I knew that I wanted to take a bunch of photos while I was down there, so I loaded up with my fancy camera and fancy lens and a bazillion memory cards. I also grabbed my tripod on a whim and I’m so happy that I did! I got some amazing photos of the parks at night by setting up the tripod and leaving the lens open.

It’s true that I had to carry it around, but my tripod folds up into a pretty small carrying case and doesn’t weigh much. I can slip it over the straps of my camera bag and it just lays along the top like it’s supposed to be there. I’ve also carried it on the side of my tech backpack on other trips because it fits into the pocket that’s meant for water bottles. (This is also a good way to carry it onto airplanes.)

I can’t find the exact one that I own, but this one on Amazon is pretty similar. Note: I had never used the tripod for this type of photo before and I was manually pressing the button on the camera, which did lead to a little shaking and blurring. I’ve since bought an inexpensive remote for my DSLR which makes these photos a lot more crisp and also lets us be in them if we want!

Here’s a look at some of the night shots I took while I was down there:






IMG_6473You can see more of my night shots from Disney’s Hollywood Studios here.

Save this vacation tip for later by pinning this post:

Disney Vacation Tips: How to Take Clear Park Photos at Night

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  • Reply Hope

    When I was scrolling through my blog feed and saw these images, I assumed it was for the Disney Parks blog. These look great Carly!

    June 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm
    • Reply Carly

      What a compliment – thanks, Hope!

      June 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm
  • Reply Susanna Perkins

    Wow amazing photos! I especially love the one of the teacup ride. Can you tell us what kind of camera you were using?

    June 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm
    • Reply Carly

      Thank you! I was using a DSLR camera I bought back in 2006 – the Canon Rebel XT with the standard lens (Canon’s EF-S 18-55mm, f3.5-5.6 zoom lens). It’s a great camera, but I’m there are much nicer ones out there by now!

      June 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm
      • Reply Christina

        I have that same camera, still takes really nice pictures though.

        I am going to do this next time. I take my ‘good’ camera with me but I hate lugging it around in the parks. I think if I set aside a day to focus on picture taking I’ll be happy I did especially since my next trip is for my mom’s 65th. — Thanks for the idea!

        June 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm
  • Reply Kate

    I did wdwcp too. Love your pics! Check out my Disney blog 🙂

    June 16, 2013 at 7:08 pm
  • Reply Meridith

    I never have this kind of luck with night photography. What camera settings did you use?

    June 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm
    • Reply Carly

      I slowed the shutter speed down until it was open for 1-2 seconds and then experimented to see how much light I could get without flooding the frame. The tripod is the real secret, though – it makes all the difference!

      June 19, 2013 at 7:20 pm
  • Reply Dave

    Hi Carly, I don’t mean to take anything away from what you’ve done here, it’s some fine work, but do you know who Tom Bricker is? I bet if you checked out some of his tips at your photos will from cool to awesome. He’s a master of fireworks and other night photography (as well as other day parts).

    June 20, 2013 at 8:00 am
    • Reply Carly

      No, I hadn’t seen that blog before. Thank you!

      June 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm
  • Reply Jenna

    These photographs are amazing!! So beautiful!

    July 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply Esmer

    I have been looking into getting a remote trigger for my camera. Can you please let me know what type you have?

    January 2, 2014 at 4:44 pm
  • Reply Sean @DisneyDayByDay

    Great shots and advice on the tripod. We usually just take a bunch and hope one or two come out, thanks to digital photos these days :). We also need to invest in a remote.

    January 7, 2014 at 9:50 am
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