Disneyland…the happiest place on Earth! It’s no secret how much I LOVE Disney (I really should blog about it more) + whenever I’m not photographing weddings, portraits, etc…that’s exactly where you’ll find me!! But, did you also know Disneyland is also the MOST photographed place on Earth? If I did a search on Instagram of Disneyland, chances are I’m going to see a lot of photos with the same background. I’m talking about the Sleeping Beauty’s castle, the Small World IG wall, the Polka Dot wall in Toontown, the Partners statue, the floral Mickey at the entrance…Now, before you get huffy, let me first say, I LOVE all of these photo spots. They’re iconic + synonymous with Disneyland. I GET IT! But, there are so many other backgrounds that don’t get as much love + I just wanna share them with you because we’re friends + friends don’t let other friends take the same photos as a gajillion other people =) I want your photos to be fun, pretty + different but just have enough of the Disney magic that people will be like, “Hey! Is this at Disneyland? Cool!”
So here’s the first installment of my Disneyland photo blog series: “Where else to take pictures at Disneyland that’s NOT so obviously Disney” (I probably could’ve come up with a more concise title with less words but ehh…you get it)
Also, special shout out goes to Tylyn who endured running around the parks carrying 5-6 outfits in her backpack + having to smile happily about in 90+ degree heat…You da REAL MVP! Check out her Insta here
MARK TWAIN RIVERBOAT
There are so many areas in this little space you can get creative! In the photo above, you can see New Orleans Square in the background + if you’re familiar with the parks, you can easily tell exactly where you are. This is just the landing dock…
The riverboat is another location that has so many options for backdrops! Not to mention it’s MOVING so you can get so many different backgrounds in one ride! Plus, depending on when you shoot, the middle level has a great area that has super awesome light + you know how photographers love their light…
2. NEW ORLEANS SQUARE
With this location, you’ll put your patience to the test because depending on when you’re there, this is a high traffic area. From people exiting Pirates to those who are just trying to avoid the traffic in front of Rivers of America, this area can get busy but if you time it just right, you’ll get a nearly empty area + you’ll feel transported to Bourbon Street/Port Royal…wherever you wanna be!
3. HAUNTED MANSION COURTYARD
Sometimes I feel like this area gets overlooked because, unless you’re standing in super long wait lines when Haunted Mansion transforms to Nightmare Before Christmas, no one ever really spends time here. Sure, people pass it when going to the train depot or to get fast passes but there’s a charm to this courtyard that’s reminiscent of grander days of Southern belles + fancy balls.
4. RANCHO DEL ZOCALO
You read it right, friends…RANCHO DEL ZOCALO…the restaurant! There are so many little niches you can tuck yourself into! Venture out in front of the restaurant for a beautiful garden backdrop + sit on the fence to enjoy that afternoon glow (or is it glow from the sweat after being at Disneyland all day?) From beautiful succulents to warm bricks, this is a great spot to switch up your standard Thunder Mountain photo + you can grab a bite afterwards! WIN/WIN
5. RIVERS OF AMERICA
This is another spot that’s tricky because of the crowds however as you’ll see below, it’s great to include them because crowds are also extremely iconic of Disneyland. You’ll never be at Disneyland + not have a TON of people surrounding you (unless you’re at an exclusive private Disney event which in that case, can I come too?). For me, even though this is a walkway, depending on which angle you’re shooting you can get New Orleans Square in the back, Haunted Mansion, Tom Sawyers Island + Pirates….plus, maybe it’s because I’m so familiar with this brickwork but if I saw it…I’d immediately know this was taken at Disneyland…
Thanks for joining me on today’s blog post! I have more areas to post about but let me know in the comments below where YOUR favorite spots are to take pics at Disneyland!
Also, I’m always into booking sessions at Disneyland so if you're into park sessions, contact me for pricing + availability! You could show up on the blog!!
Also, check out a BTS look from this shoot by Dale Castro with Fattykine Films