WDW Photography December Photo Trip: The Report!!

By Cory Disbrow on January 25th, 2011   |    Posted in:  Disney Photo Spotlight   |    9 Comments

Hello Readers and a warm welcome from me to the new site! I want to thank Adam for the very hard and dedicated work he put into the redesign, as none of this would be possible without him. We have so many big things planned with version 2.0 and we’re off to a great start already!

For today’s post, I wanted to give a mini Trip Report of the December Photo Trip that DPB held from December 5th through the 9th. While the weather was very cold, we still had a wonderful time and made tons of great memories. And pictures too!

On day one, we had a meet at DHS for the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. I knew this was going to be the most populated night of the week, but I had no idea that when I arrived at Dinosaur Gertie that there would be roughly 30 people there! It was a huge honor to see that many readers and friends there, and it absolutely made my day! We then proceeded to shoot around the park and enjoy each others company.

On the 6th, we had a very special event. We had a special Q&A session with three legends in the Disney photo world. They were Bob Desmond, Alain Boneic, and Lee McKee. They talked Disney and Photography to about 25 of us inside of Segway Central in EPCOT Center. It was a very exciting talk that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Thanks to Bob, Alain, and Lee for talking to us, and special thanks to Jeff Nickel for securing us Segway Central! After the inspiring talk, we all went to go shoot the Peace on Earth tag of Illuminations.

On the 7th, we had a smaller group that walked around Animal Kingdom, and captured some shots of all the animals. I was lucky enough to borrow a 2x extender from my buddy and DPB reader Don Sullivan to take some shots on the walking trails.

We then headed over to EPCOT for another crack at capturing the epic bursts of the Peace on Earth tag before most of us called it a night. That is, except for Larry White(the official DPB cookie monster, more on this later) and a few others.

The 8th brought upon a little bit nicer weather and some blue skies for a day at the Studios. We were lucky enough to be joined again by Bob Desmond, who spent the late morning and early afternoon telling us more riveting Disney stories, and then schooling us in what makes a good photograph. Thanks again to Bob for coming out and showing us how it’s done!

We then made our way over to Magic Kingdom, and caught a spot for Wishes. We decided to shoot over in front of the Crystal Palace on Bob’s recommendation, and it was a great place to shoot. Not as crowded as Main Street, and it led to a nice and new perspective on Wishes.

We then closed out Magic Kingdom getting in our long exposures, and once we walked out of the turnstiles, the security guards collectively had a sigh of relief as their long night was over!

The 9th was an exciting day as well, as it was Prime Lens Day at EPCOT and then the Magic Kingdom! This was a day that was sponsored by our friends over at Touring Plans in which everyone in attendance shot with only a fixed focal length lens. This challenged everyone’s eye for composition, and as seen in Tom’s post over on the Touring Plans blog, brought along some great photos as well.

After Prime Lens Day turned into night, it was time for us to enjoy Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. And so the legend of Larry as the cookie monster began. Larry White, a member of the DPB team, has quite the affinity for the cookies and hot chocolate given out at the Christmas party. So, he decided to make a stop at I think every single location. Some said he couldn’t do it, but if I recall correctly, he did, and for that, we thank him! Oh yeah, some picture taking happened that night too. Holiday Wishes was shot by about 12 of us, as we basically made a barricade of tripods on Main Street! We then enjoyed the Christmas parade, and then some stayed, and some (like me) were ready to call it a very cold night.

The next day, we all walked around around Magic Kingdom, soaking in our favorite attractions and taking pictures until we all said our goodbyes at lunchtime, in my favorite restaurant, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.

All in all, this trip was a dream come true for yours truly. I spent time with great friends, both old and new. I took thousands of pictures. I was in my favorite place on Earth. You couldn’t ask for much more, well except maybe warmer weather. So, thanks to everyone who came, and thanks to everyone who reads this site. You’re all an inspiration to me, and you give me the motivation to continue shooting, to continue to write articles, and to try my best to help you all take better photos in Walt Disney World. So, why stop there? I’ll be in WDW from March 1st until March 4th, and I wanna have another get together. This one won’t be quite like the December trip. It will be a little bit more informal. With the exception of March 3rd. On March 3rd, at 10AM underneath Spaceship Earth at EPCOT Center, we’re going to have a Disney Photography Blog meet. That is the second day of the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival, so I figured there would be no better place to shoot and enjoy each other’s company than there. So, watch our Plancast for more details. We’ll see ya real soon, and enjoy these shots of some of our friends in action in December! Oh, and if anyone has any other stories to tell from the trip or more photos of the group, do so in the comments!!


  1. Rick   |   Jan 25, 2011

    I was upset I could not make the meetup originally and now even more upset from reading how great it was! Hopefully I can make the next one that is scheduled, I know there was talk on twitter about a meetup in October for the 40th celebration.

    Can you share some of the stories that Bob told or will that be for a future post?

  2. Tom Bricker   |   Jan 25, 2011

    Although I wasn’t able to be at the vast majority of the meets, I want to really thank everyone for the work that went into the Segway Central “Pros” Meet. That was probably one of the most fascinating discussions I’ve ever heard, and really made me want to improve my photography.

    The March meet really has me tempted. Really tempted…

  3. Rob Holman   |   Jan 25, 2011

    I was down there during the time and think I saw a number of your group in MK, I kept on remarking to my wife about all the L glass . . . In that 2nd to last photo, is that 70-200 a 2.8 or 4? Interested in getting the 2.8 – but not sure how huge it will be on camera.

  4. Cory Disbrow   |   Jan 25, 2011

    Rob, she’s using the f/2.8 IS Mark II. It’s a phenomenal lens!

  5. Brenna   |   Jan 25, 2011

    I hate I will miss the March get together by 5 days. After reading this I got so excited when I saw a March possible meet up. Oh well, maybe one day soon!

  6. Susan (DigitalSLG)   |   Jan 25, 2011

    Oh the memories…great report Cory!!

  7. Larry White   |   Jan 26, 2011

    A great time was had by all for sure. Here a link to a few more pics of the flickrites during Prime Lens day;


  8. Michelle Schaefer   |   Jan 30, 2011

    Love the website…just discovered it and its great! I love the shots of the Peace on Earth tag at Epcot. I just returned from ‘the World’ a week ago…we were there the 8th – 22nd and we must have just missed the Illuminations with the Peace on Earth tag :( We’re hoping to head back in December so I will make sure to catch it then. Got so excellent photos of Wishes though!
    Keep up the great work…thanks for sharing! And I absolutely whole heartedly agree about it being the favorite place on Earth to be…its truly my happy place!



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