Top 10 Places to take Pictures in the Magic Kingdom
by Jason Pascarella
This is Part 1 of Jason’s Top 10 Places to Take Pictures at Walt Disney World. Check out his Epcot Top 10 here!
Coming to the Walt Disney World for the first time as a photographer may appear as a daunting task as what to take pictures of and where. Hopefully this article will help you out with answering those questions a little easier. The first park we are going to tackle is the beautiful Magic Kingdom, it has so many great photo opportunities that it’s hard to narrow it down to just ten places. The list is in no particular order, just starting at the front of the park and working our way back and around.
#1: The Train Station
The Magic Kingdom train station is the first building you will see once you scan your ticket at the gate and this is the first location that you should take a picture of. Once you go through the tunnel under the train tracks you should look for the stairs that take you to the second floor to the train station. When you get to the second floor, you can look down at all of Main Street USA and at the end of Main Street, you will be able to see the Cinderella Castle. This spot is good to take a lot of pictures during the parades or during the fireworks but beware it always fills up quick so get there with plenty of time to spare if you want a great spot right up to the railing.
#2: The Partner Statue
Any direction of the Partner Statue of Walt and Mickey in the shot is a great capture. The angles I would like to highlight is; the first is obvious and it’s the front on approach with the castle in the background, this give you a great capture of the Partner statue with the castle outlining it. The second is at the side with Adventureland behind you and Tomorrowland in the background behind the Partner Statue, I recommend you stand on the curb and use a lens that can go 200-300 mm range to get that close up shot. Since I don’t have a lens that zooms that close I got up close to the Partner statue and the Tomorrowland sign was lower then it would have been if I was farther back. These shots are great night and day but the Tomorrowland angle I would highly recommend do at night because Tomorrowland at night is so much better because of its bright and colorful lighting effects.
#3: Cinderella’s Castle from the Fantasyland Bridge
The bridge heading to Fantasyland goes over the water which makes castle pictures so much better because especially with this angle you can make it look like you’re the only person in the park with having that water and grass in the foreground. I highly recommend this spot for sunset shots because the sun goes down right behind the castle which gives the sky an explosion of colors making great photos. This is also a great viewing spot for the fireworks, you get to see most of the projections and some great firework over the castles pictures.
#4: Cinderella’s Castle from the end of the Liberty Square Bridge
This spot is very similar to #3 spot but it’s just on the other side of the castle. Heading towards Liberty Square on the right before the quick service restaurant, Sleepy Hollow, the spot is where the walkway to the castle meets the bridge. You can either go wide angle and get the bridge in the frame or you can go vertical and get the castle with water underneath. This spot gives great reflection shots from the water below, but it is near a pretty narrow walkway and may get crowded from the amount of people passing through the area. This spot can also work well in the early morning for those sunrise shots and low crowd levels.
#5: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train looking to the castle
This spot is a little tricky to find but its to the right of Mine Train as you head towards Circus it will be on the left. You will see some of the Mine Train Track and in an opening you will see the castle pop up between some trees and that’s the spot. This spot is really incredible in the evening with the sun setting behind the castle you can get some incredible rays shots and if you have a long exposure you can get so great action shots of the mine train cars zooming past with that sunset in the back. This same shot during the day you can get a lot of great stop motion shots of the mine train cars with a faster shutter speed.
#6 Ariel in front of the Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid
In front of the Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid, there’s an Ariel carved into the front of the ship with Prince Eric’s castle in the background, this makes for a nice shot during the sunset because of the nice orange color off of the buildings. The detail around this attraction are amazing, between the building’s precise architecture and a hidden gem in this attraction is the hidden Mickey that is only visible a certain part of the day when the sun casts a shadow from some rocks in the queue.
#7: Tomorrowland from the Tomorrowland Bridge
On the Tomorrowland Bridge you have a great view of the land and all the lights at night make for a great capture. This also may be a very crowded area so it may be best to grab this picture at the end of the night when there’s not as many people. Unfortunately since they took out the original Monsters Laugh Floor sign the picture isn’t as full as it use to be but it has a more wide open look to it. It’s also a challenge to get the new Monsters Laugh Floor sign in the right exposure with the rest of the picture because it back light is so bright. To accomplish this you may have to take a couple different shots with different exposure levels and then later stack them in photo editing to get it all to come out in focus and in the right exposure.
#8,#9,#10: The Mountains
Splash, Thunder, and Space Mountains are the most iconic attractions in any Disney Park and personally my favorites. The mountains have so many different angles that make them look amazing but these views are some of my favorite. For Splash Mountain, the spot is right in front of the drop of the attraction to the right and this gives you a great view of the drop and the night sky. You just got to watchout for the spotlights that might put glare on you pictures, using a lens hood to avoid that is a helpful tip. For Thunder Mountain, the spot is near the exit to the attraction at the upper left, look out that looks over the mountain and Rivers of America is on your right. This is a spot is usually not crowded at all because its a little out of the way. At sunset you can get some awesome colors. Space Mountain is a tough one because there are a lot of great angles inside and outside the park that makes Space look epic. The one angle that is my favorite of Space, is not in Tomorrowland at all, it’s actually in Fantasyland in front of Gaston’s Tavern. When you’re there and you look towards the direction Tomorrowland you can see Space rise over the circus tents of Storybook Circus. You can put the Gaston statue in the foreground to use.
Like I said before there are a lot of spots to discover and photograph while in the Magic Kingdom but these were some of my favorites. The real challenge is to find a unique spot of your own that you haven’t really seen anywhere and could make great potential for beautiful shots. Some of these locations were inspired by other talented photographers I follow but I have spent quite a lot of time in the park trying out and searching for what seems to be a great subject for a shot. I hope these locations and little tips help you out the next time you find yourself in Magic Kingdom. I would also love to see if you tried out any of these spots I listed or any new ones. If you want to direct message me your results I would love to see them.
Jason P. (WDW Kingdom Master Contributor)
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