My Favorite Photo spots at Walt Disney World

Jan 18, 2023

In March of 2022, we spent a week at Disney World for the first time as a family! I chronicled our experience for WRAL and now want to share some magical photo spots at Disney World.

I was really dreading the trip. I was sure it would be a very expensive way for our kids to argue and complain in a different place. Long lines, humans acting selfishly, and did I mention long lines? BOY WAS I WRONG!

I share more about all the reasons it was awesome in this post. My husband did all of the planning. He loves planning vacations. Thank goodness. I carry the emotional and mental load of kid appointments, school paperwork, deadlines, and all that stuff. The last thing I want to do is think about coordinating a vacation. I just want to show up. We make a great team that way.

Our trip was truly magical. We did all the things. I fell in love with the Dole Whip (make sure to get it with the vanilla swirl). The best part…we were completely immersed in a fantasy world where there were no clothes to wash, meals to cook, gas tanks to fill up, work deadlines, or draining daily tasks. We could focus on just being together and having fun.

I’m so ready to go back! (Check out my list of what to pack for Disney World here.)

My Gear and Photo Strategy

There was no way I was going to leave my professional camera at home. I brought my 50mm and 35mm lens with me to the park with an extra battery. I left all of my other gear at home.

At first, I was intimidated by the crowds and wasn’t sure I would have the space I needed to take stunning portraits.

But…there are some easy ways to make it look like you have the entire park to yourself!

I could have spent hours just taking family photos around the parks. But, I knew I had to go with the flow and make the most of opportunities like the parades and ice cream breaks for fun photos. We opted for the Photo Pass. We prepaid for the pass and it allows you to take advantage of all of the park photographers, “magic” photos, as well as ride photos. The images are uploaded to your Disney App within a few minutes (maybe an hour or two for the photos with special effects). The Disney Parks Photo Pass was crucial for me to actually be IN the photos and not have an extra 3,000 images to edit when I got home.

Magic Kingdon – Main Street Favorite Photo Spot

One of my favorite spots to take photos at Disney World is right on Main Street. The candy shop backdrop, shaded portico, and bright blue trim gave us a quick and easy spot for photos. Thankfully it wasn’t too crowded to take a step back and capture the scene. It was also a great spot for close-up portrait spots.

Main Street at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

Favorite Photo Spots at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is much more open so there isn’t always a nice evenly shaded spot. That said, when you walk in and see the amazing Tree of Life, head around to the left. There is a small path behind the tree that offers some beautiful light. It was nice a quiet too so we didn’t have to worry about a crowded background like you do in the very sunny area in front of the tree.

Behind the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World

There are so many places in Pandora as well (The Avatar-themed section of Animal Kingdom). There are several Disney Photo Pass photographers around this area to take advantage of the beautiful creations. My five-year-old was much more content keeping her feet on the ground, so we took advantage of the park photographers while my husband and oldest daughter enjoyed more thrilling rides.

Pandora at Animal Kingdom – Walt Disney World

My favorite photo spot at Epcot

Epcot is stunning! We were lucky enough to be there during the Flower and Garden Festival. If you can go during the festival, it’s a can’t-miss. Disney World is already manicured to the nines. Toss in designer topiaries, floral displays, and garden surprises…WOW! You could take photos all day!

If I had to choose one spot that was my favorite, it was in France as we waited for the ice cream shop to open! The yellow stucco, even light (even at noon!), and topiaries provided a simple background for some of my favorite photos of the trip. And since we were stuck waiting in line, my daughters had no choice but to oblige me with a mini photo session (a bribe for ice cream of course also goes a long way).

Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival – 2022

Don’t miss Star Wars -Galaxy’s Edge

Disney has created the most immersive experience in Hollywood Studios – Galazy’s Edge. It is visually stunning during the day and even better at night. I’m not a full-out Star Wars nerd, but this had me ready to jump in and fight with the Resistance and take down some Storm Troopers.

I also may have LOST MY MIND when I saw Chewbacca and ran to get my family. We went back to Hollywood Studios our last morning there and I was able to somewhat recreate a photo of my husband with Chewee from when my husband was there 25 years prior! (and look, he’s even wearing a striped shirt again!). (silly internet isn’t letting me add the photo….stay tuned)

If you head over first thing in the morning, most people are jumping in the lines so you have most of the detailed area to yourself. My youngest didn’t want to tackle the rides, so we pretended to be hiding from the First Order.

The details of each building are perfected to the tiniest splotch of paint. The bathrooms are even themed (but thankfully come with running water and soap). I had so much fun just enjoying the atmosphere.