Coming Soon: 10 Must Take Photos

By Adam Hansen on March 19th, 2012   |    Posted in:  News   |    36 Comments

We are excited to announce our newest project today on Disney Photography Blog. Next week we will be releasing a new series of eBooks that we think readers of this site will enjoy. We are calling it the Disney Photography Blog: 10 Must Take Photos. Each edition will focus on a single Disney park and will list what we feel are the 10 photos you must take when photographing a park.

We will be launching the project by releasing the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland versions next week. We have been compiling lists of shots that we feel are the “Must Take” shots from each park, but now we want to hear from you.

What are YOUR “Must Take” shots?

Let us know in the comments what your “Must Take” shots are at the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland. We will be picking a random user for both parks that will win a free copy of every eBook in this series!

The books will have an all new layout that we have not used before for eBooks that we think really showcases the photos well. We will then include where we suggest you should setup for these shots, some tips for when you take the photo and some general information.

This is a question we get all the time from readers of the site and we are excited to be compiling a full collection of “Must Take” shots.

Win the entire collection for FREE

Remember, let us know in the comments what you “Must Take” shots are at either the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland and you could win the entire collection of books for FREE. Comments will be accepted until Monday 3/26


  1. Emily   |   Mar 19, 2012

    My must take shots at the Magic Kingdom are as follows:

    The Cinderella Castle at the golden hour/ blue hour, at preferably three different angles. It can be challenging to find unique views of a well photographed and recognized structure.

    The Tomorrowland entrance with the attractions in the background with a wide angle lens at night. Preferably with a long exposure as not to catch the throngs of people walking around Tomorrowland.

    Cinderella’s Carousel at night with the castle in the background. It’s a much frequented photo spot for me.

    Lastly, I enjoy photographing the intricate details of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. It has a special connection to the days when I would visit the Magic Kingdom when I was young. :-)

  2. Heather   |   Mar 19, 2012

    Dole whips. Wherever I might be enjoying them. I’ve been having fun playing with foregrounds and backgrounds, but the star of the photo has to be the dole whip!!!

  3. Dogstardaddy   |   Mar 19, 2012

    At MK, a shot of the Castle from somewhere mid-Main street is a must for me. I try to capture the crowds of the day, and the weather. Astro Orbiter at night and the parade/fireworks always make for colorful shots. At EPCOT, I always get a shot of Spaceship Earth with a monorail passing through. The gardens in China and UK are a must, plus I’m still trying to get the ever elusive perfect shot inside the Energy pavilion. At AK, all I shoot are the animals, but I’ll get them everywhere I can. I especially like the gorillas when they’re out. At Studios, a twilight shot of TOT, and lots of close ups around Star Tours.
    I’m a big one for photographing the resorts as well. Lobby shots of whatever hotel we’re staying at are a must.

  4. Julia Marsh   |   Mar 19, 2012


    I am the family photographer. I am not a techno geek when it comes to photography, but know the basics. Here are our must do photographs at Magic Kingdom.

    1. Beginning of the day/trip shot of the family out front at the Let Memories Begin Sign at Front of Park
    2. Picture of Castle – with family in ears
    3. Picture of Castle- no family hopefully no crowds (usually a different angle, time then the first)
    4. Dumbo
    5. The best snack/meal of the day
    6. picture from the parade
    7. At least one character
    8. If someone has a meltdown, they automatically get their picture taken. (Might not help with the meltdown, but provides comedy for years to come)
    9. Train picture
    10. Funny ride picture
    11. Exhausted picture.

  5. Steve Burns   |   Mar 19, 2012

    Must-take photos:

    Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney World Railroad. That was hard when they had the walkway to Tomorrowland closed, so I am excited to see that it is open again.

    Epcot: Spaceship Earth, of course.

    Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Chinese Theater, which isn’t as easy as it used to be in the old days.

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom: The Tree of Life, especially from right underneath it.

  6. Caitlin   |   Mar 19, 2012

    My must take shots in Disney World are my family in front of Cinderella Castle, signs in Adventureland and Tomorrowland, the sunset from the monorail, scenery near Expedition Everest, and fun spontaneous shots of the friends and family that I’m with.

  7. Katie   |   Mar 19, 2012

    My must-take pictures are Cinderella’s Castle (often from Tomorrowland side), combination of attraction + fastpass (my favorite of these actually comes from ToT where my brother hopped in and made a scared face just as I was taking the picture), and a picture with Goofy at some point. I also love the Star Tours queue. I keep trying for an inside-Haunted Mansion picture, but with the NIkon d40, I think luck plays a large role…

  8. Angela Greer   |   Mar 19, 2012

    I always try to take a picture of the partners statute with Cinvpderella’s castle in the background and also Cinderella’s castle with the Christmas lights. At Epcot, the topiary at the front of the park with Spaceship Earth on the background.

  9. Katherine   |   Mar 19, 2012

    My must takes at Magic Kingdom
    1. The Main Street Train Station from the view of the front gate upon arrival to the park.
    2. Cinderella castle from the view of the garden on the walkway to the right of Main Street to Tomorrowland through the Tomorrowland Noodle Terrace during the day.
    3. The German style buildings in Fantasyland between the queue to Peter Pan’s flight and Columbia Harbor House.
    4. The Liberty Bell in Liberty Square.
    5. The bridge that leads up to the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse after you’ve entered through the turnstiles at night with the lights.
    6.Space Mountain and the rest of Tomorrowland at night from the top of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse at night.
    7. Space Mountain up close at night.
    8. Astro Orbiters at night.
    9. The Mad Tea Party while people are riding at night.
    10. The Tinkerbell during Wishes.

  10. Jazmin   |   Mar 19, 2012

    My Must Take photo is at the Magic Kingdom.
    From the Main Street Train Station balcony (facing Main St). You get all of Main Street and Cinderella Castle. You can get a really great shot with a wide angel lens.
    I have to shoot this all the time since it gives me that ‘I’m there’ feeling when I see it once I get home.
    You can even get a nice shot with your family at the bottom by the Emporium.

    My 2nd must take photo is in Animal Kingdom. I don’t know what its called but it’s a private area that gives you a full clear view of the Tree of Life. (There is a bridge to the right). This spot is awesome for group shots or just to capture the beauty and detail of the Tree of Life.

  11. Traci   |   Mar 20, 2012

    A picture of my son in personalized Mickey ears holding a Mickey balloon, facing the Partners statue with castle in the background. I plan to transfer it to b&w and just color in the blue of the balloon (& maybe ears). (It was his first visit & the only picture I truly wanted, unfortunately I had to rely on photopass photographer for it who wasn’t as cooperative as I had hoped BUT will make it work)

  12. Traci   |   Mar 20, 2012

    Also like to take pictures of the bunch of balloons on Main Street (amazing how many they can hold! :0)

  13. Stephanie   |   Mar 20, 2012

    I take a lot of the photos mentioned about, but the one photo we always take is of my son with the Indian. He used to be on Main Street, but the last time we were there, they’d moved him to Frontier Land. I also make sure and get a photo of our hotel room, before we trash it.

  14. Nancy Plog   |   Mar 20, 2012

    The icons at all the parks are always a must have, but would have to say the one that still is a priority is the Magic Kingdom castle. Doesn’t matter if it’s during the day or evening… one can never have too many shots of the castle.

  15. Donna McPherson   |   Mar 20, 2012

    All things castle, tree of life, sorcers hate, spaceship earth. Beyond that. I love the Universe of Energy. You can get the flowers, water and entrance. I love to walk up to the land and on the left side frame Journey to Imagination through the trees. Haunted Mansion from the board walk with the water as foreground. I could go on.

  16. Jenny   |   Mar 20, 2012

    Some of my “must take” photos at Magic Kingdom are… my husband and I in front of Cinderella Castle, the partners statue with castle in the background, Liberty Square Riverboat with reflections on the water and the Haunted Mansion in the background, a dole whip (yum), Splash Mountain, and I have to take shots of the fireworks.

  17. Todd   |   Mar 20, 2012

    Tomorrowland at night. It doesn’t get any better!

  18. Chris   |   Mar 20, 2012

    A must take at Disneyland would have to be of my son in front of or while riding one of the Railroad Trains. He’s 3 and loves trains. Then, of course, I’d like to get a shot of my kids in front of the Partners statue and the Sleeping Beauty Castle. I’d like to take my family to WDW in the next few years… then there’ll be much more Must-Take shots!

  19. Eliza   |   Mar 20, 2012

    My must take photos at Disney World are:

    1. Cinderella Castle (especially at night)
    2. Wishes fireworks
    3. Tomorrowland at night

  20. Wesley Lowe   |   Mar 20, 2012

    I have taken a picture of my daughter in the POTC queue in front of the bars every trip since she was 6. She is now 15. My other must take picture is Cinderella castle from the bridge to Liberty Square. I just love the reflection in the water.

  21. Rebecca   |   Mar 20, 2012

    I always like to get a photo of the 4 icons at night when they are light up, and then see how many different angles/colours I can get.

  22. John   |   Mar 20, 2012

    My must takes are the castle from the bridge to Liberty Square, Tomorrowland at night and a twilight shot of Tick Tock Croc and his lantern at Peter Pan

  23. Rob   |   Mar 21, 2012

    Must take shots for myself and my family are:
    1: In front of Spaceship Earth (photo pass spot in front of the flower bed in front of SE)
    2: a shot with Cinderella castle in the background from the Tomorrowland bridge
    3: A shot on Sunset Blvd with the Tower of Terror as the background
    4: family shot with Mickey
    5: a shot in front of the Pirate’s Mast in Adventure land
    6: Main Street USA from the Train Station balcony
    7: Floats in the Main Street Electrical Parade
    8: The every important balloon shot with Cinderella Castle in the background.

  24. Arielle   |   Mar 21, 2012

    My must take photos at Disneyland are:

    1. Mickey’s Toontown
    2. Partners statue
    3. Storybook Land

  25. Ben   |   Mar 21, 2012

    A must take photo for us each trip to WDW is our son attempting to pull the sword out of the stone in front of the Prince Charming Regal Carousel in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. It’s a great way to capture how he has grown from visit to visit.

  26. Jon   |   Mar 21, 2012

    Must have at WDW MK
    1) Mickey’s face in the flower bed in front of the train station.
    IT says you made it. Even better if you have a train pulling in or stationed .
    2) Main St to the Castle from the train station
    3)Castle : a) with Friendship statues b) from the Concord bridge c) from the Crystal Palace Restaurant e) from the wishing well
    4) Entrance to Adventure Land
    5) Tiki room Pagoda from just outside of the boys room in the Swiss FTH.
    6) Iconic Jungle Cruise “back side of water” or Space Mountain from inside the monorail as it pulls into the MK station
    7)The Liberty Belle from Tom Sawyer’s Island as it rounds the Haunted Mansion. Head on shot if your at the barrel bridge, makes a nice water break on the bow.
    8) The HM from the Liberty Belle. Interesting U front and new queue.
    9) The open clock in It’s a Small World
    10) Entrance to Tomorrowland at night great neon.

    It’s just too tough to boil down to 10 shots that says WDW MK
    I have 10 shot in each Land not to mention night shots. I couldn’t do it with film cameras. Thank G-d for digital

  27. Laura H   |   Mar 21, 2012

    Any chance the book will be out before next Wed? We’re leaving for DW, and I would love to have it as plane reading!

    Our must-have photos:
    1. kids asleep on the bus after a long day at the park
    2. in front of Cinderella castle
    3. highest score on Buzz Lightyear
    4. fanciest or yummiest dessert
    5. pouty faces when we have to go back home

  28. Angie   |   Mar 22, 2012

    My must take photo has to be Tomorrowland. Everyone loves Cinderella’s Castle, and it is high on my list too, but I love the shots of Tomorrowland with the neon lights at night is my top one. There is just something that is mesmerizing about those colors.

    I have not perfected the art of taking these pictures. Many here do a much better job that I do, but I still have to take them every time I go.

    Don’t forget the night-time parade. Can you tell I like lights?

    Sadly, I have never been to Disneyland, so I can only give you my must have photos for the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Maybe someday!!!

  29. Crystal   |   Mar 22, 2012

    Our must-take shot is the entrance to Tomorrowland, shot from the bridge from the hub at night. Nothing beats that iconic entrance sign against a backdrop of the dark night sky & Tomorrowland’s neon.

  30. WILL   |   Mar 22, 2012

    my must take at
    MK: castle from splash, castle from mid main street, tommorowland sign, adventureland sign, HM
    epcot: sea gulls outside the seas, spaceship earth from entrace and from world showcase plaza, japan temple, canada hotel
    dhs: mickey hat, tower, indiana jones sign, muppets plaza (where miss piggy is in fountain)
    ak: tree of flife, everest
    DL: sleeping beauty castle, partners statue with castle in background, HM, new orleans sq entrance
    DCA: condor flats sign, paradise pier at night, mickeys fun wheel at night and WOC, tower

  31. Michelle   |   Mar 23, 2012

    Is there any other picture to take but the castle from Main street? I just don’t think you can take to many pictures of the castle. One of my favorites was from on the Dumbo ride and capture the back side of the castle:( !

  32. Michael   |   Mar 24, 2012

    The answer to the question “What’s your must take shots at the Magic Kingdom?” includes one of the castle from main street. So many people are trying to capture that initial feeling of entering the park and seeing the castle. I wonder how many families come home from their trip only to find their shots of the castle lost a little magic along the way.

    Oh yah and Pooh. A picture of your child(ren) with him is a must.

  33. Christy   |   Mar 25, 2012

    So excited for the new e-books! LOVE the Fireworks and Christmas books! MK is by far my most favorite park to photograph (even though I’m just a beginner). Other than the castle and Main Street photos, I must get photos of Wishes! I can’t wait to try the new techniques and the ND filter! Thanks for all of the great information!

  34. Don   |   Mar 26, 2012

    1. I’m forever trying to get just a little bit better picture of the 4 park icons.
    2. I’ve got to do the Kilimanjaro safari every time we visit. A lways looking for that amazing animal photo op.
    3. Vehicles. The Liberty Belle, the Train, the Monorail.
    4. Something I’ve never photographed before. Every time we go back, I manage to find something new.

  35. Adam   |   Mar 31, 2012

    Thanks everybody. We have notified the winner of the free set of e-books.

    There were many great responses which have given us ideas for future parts of the series!

  36. Jenn   |   Nov 9, 2012

    Snapping a picture of the castle right before the drop on splash mountain and a picture on the tea cups



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