Magical Blogorail: Disney Photography Tips

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Red Loop. Today we are sharing tips to get great photos on your Disney vacation.


We all like to get our pictures taken with Disney characters! But with the long lines and the short time available for posing, it can be hard to get anything other than the standard stand-and-smile shot like the one above.

So today I’m here to help you one and all break out of the same-old same-old with tips on how to get great character photos:

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Photograph Characters on Their Own

This is perhaps one of the hardest things to achieve due to the popularity of the characters, especially with the youngsters, who tend to rush up almost before the last guest has cleared the posing area. But with patience and good timing, a great shot can be had!

The one above was taken just before the meet-and-greet officially opened, so Aladdin and Jasmine were waiting off to the side, away from the crowds.

    

The picture of Mary Poppins was achieved through the miracle of cropping. A little guest was rushing over to the Practically Perfect Nanny when I saw my opportunity. With just two feet remaining between this shot and the inevitable hug-filled greeting, I had room to isolate my subject in post-editing!

Donald was easier, as he was on the way down the ramp from the Aztec Temple in the Mexico Pavilion. He saw me lining up the shot and struck this pose. Thanks Donald!

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Photograph Characters Interacting

Photo Credit: The Mousekatools Mom

We all know Olaf loves hugs, so this shot really plays to his strength. With everyone in on the premise, we have a great , and heartwarming, moment captured forever!

    

Most face characters will take the time to speak and interact with each guest, especially if the guest is a cute little child! Both Alice and Mary Poppins took the time to engage these little girls. One with a conversation, and the other by putting the little one to work! Can you imagine how thrilling it would be to hold Mary Poppins’ umbrella?

These kinds of shots capture a moment in time that will never be repeated by your child, and not exactly by another child. This makes each shot priceless!

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Photograph Characters in Close-ups

If you just have to have the obligatory stand-and-smile shot, make it more interesting by cropping out the extra stuff that does not add to the finished product. Legs, for example, aren’t that interesting and so can be amputated in post-editing.

Another tip for making this kind of shot better is to, if possible, choose a neutral background. Nothing can wreck a great shot like an unintentional photo bomb from some other park guest who is unaware they are in the frame. Hence the weird facial expressions or nose-picking moments that are all too common among the background extras when taking a character shot!

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Photograph Characters Being Funny

Photo Credit: Home is Where the Mouse Is

Welcome to Alice in Funland as she introduces this guest to a new way of getting an autograph! As you can imagine, this was fun for the subject, and is much more interesting for those who will look at the picture later.

Photo Credit: My Pixie Dust Diary

This is a nice shot because it shows a bit of the personality behind the character. Chip is being silly as he helps his littlest poser obtain the same height as her brother. Mischievous. And priceless!

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Photograph You Being Funny with Characters

Photo Credit: Love Our Crazy Life

Doing something funny with a character is a great way to get a unique shot. Of course, if you want to try the pose above, you might want to bring your own apple. I’m just saying.

Don’t be afraid to really ham it up! Most costumed and face characters love it when they get a ‘live one’ to break up the shift.

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Utilize PhotoPass Add-ons

If you’re OK with spending some extra money to get the professional shots from the PhotoPass Photographers, be sure to check out all of the great add-ons and fun extras available to you.

For example, you can add borders:

You can add Disney characters, and pretend they are posing with you, or photo bombing you:

And don’t forget the ride photos. Because a ride is a character too!

And last but not least, be sure to ask your PhotoPass Photographer if they can add any special elements to your picture in post-production. Like this:

Photo Credit: My Pixie Dust Diary

I hope these tips have given you some ideas for your next photographic adventure at Disney!

For more Disney photography tips, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Red | Disney Photography Tips Loop:

Robin Williams

RIP Robin Williams

Robin Williams

The world mourns the loss of Robin Williams, who was the Genie in Aladdin.

The shocking news out of yesterday involved the passing of Robin Williams, who died at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide.

For most of my generation, our first exposure to Robin Williams was when he was cast on the show Mork & Mindy.  I know for me personally, his comedic genius was so good that he literally had me crying with laughter at times.

Some of my favorite movies of his include Good Will Hunting, Hook, in which he plays a grown up Peter Pan, Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, and perhaps my favorite, Good Morning Vietnam.

As my friend Kathleen put it so clearly, if you are so sad that you are thinking about ending your own life, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 800-273-8255.

My prayer for this day is for Robin — for his salvation, for his family, for their Peace, for their Comfort, for their Strength, and for their Love, as they all come to terms with the horrifying reality that their dad, husband, loved one is gone.  My prayer is also for all of those that are suffering, that they wouldn’t feel like they have no other choice, that they would speak to someone, anyone, and that they would seek help.  Don’t glorify the way that Robin Williams died.  Don’t copy his final performance.  Don’t think that this is a good way out, because it isn’t.

My friends, remember Robin Williams for the laughter that he brought to a lot of us, not for the sadness by which he left this earth.  Emulate the comedic genius if you want, but don’t emulate the way he died.

Robin Williams

Image ©Disney

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

52 Days: Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Magic Carpets of Aladdin

The Magic Carpets of Aladdin are our choice for #Day52 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!

Hello everyone, and thanks for taking time to stop by today as we explore the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, our choice for #Day52 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown!  This ride is built on the mold of Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and the Triceratop Spin, and even Astro Orbiter in that you sit in a ride vehicle — in this case, a magic carpet — and you can propel yourself up or down based on the controls on the vehicle.  While this isn’t an attraction that we ride every time we visit the Magic Kingdom, it certainly qualifies as one that we have enjoyed in the past, and who knows, we might even ride it this year as well!

One of the things you need to keep an eye out for — whether you are going to ride it or not — is the camel that is positioned with the sign as you approach the ride.  If you don’t pay attention to him, you may find yourself a little wet, so pay attention!

Do you and your family enjoy the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, or do you pass this by on your way to the Enchanted Tiki Room?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!  Go out and make today and every day a great Disney Day!

98 Days: Mickey’s PhilharMagic

Mickey's PhilharMagic is one of my favorite shows at Disney!

Mickey’s PhilharMagic is one of my favorite shows at Disney!

When it comes to shows, and incredibly cool ones at that, not too many rank higher than today’s choice for our #DisneyWorldCountdown.  We are at day 98 in our countdown, and today we are taking a look at Mickey’s PhilharMagic — that incredible show that combines great music, incredible scenes from some of your favorite Disney movies, wonderful smells, and Donald Duck!  Located in Fantasyland next door to Peter Pan’s Flight, Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a great way to get in out of the Florida summer and cool off, relax your feet for a while, and take in all the music you love from such movies as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and many more!

One of the columns just to the right of the movie screen.

One of the columns just to the right of the movie screen.

When it comes to great music, incredible movie scenes, and wonderful smells, Mickey’s PhilharMagic is right up my alley.  Tell me, what do you think of it?  Is it your kind of show, or do you skip by it?  Let me know in the comments below, please, and thanks for stopping by My Dreams of Disney, where we strive to turn My Dreams of Disney into Your Dreams of Disney!

 

 

Where Have All the Disney Princes Gone After the Movie?

The camera pans to a large leather-bound book. It has gold leaf edges complete with a hand-painted scene on the cover. It depicts a beautiful maiden in the arms of a handsome Prince. The music swells as the cover of the book is opened to reveal the immortal fairy tale words: ‘Once upon a time, in a Kingdom far, far, away, lived…’

You know the rest. Snow White; Sleeping Beauty (above); Cinderella; they all got their start this way. Along with just about every other cartoon soon-to-be Princess! But this storybook opening isn’t the only constant to be found in feature-length animated fairy tales.

The other constant is the minimal role of the Prince himself. Usually he is a handsome young man (unmarried, this is very important) who just wants to find true love. He happens upon a peasant girl who sings beautifully, talks to animals, and is drop-dead gorgeous! Oh, and some very powerful person hates her and is bent on destroying her. If I was a Prince looking for my lady fair, I’d want to know this going in, but that’s just me.

Next comes the duet (how do they both know the words?) the loss, the chase, the harm/death sequence, all concluding with a kiss. Oh, and a marriage with the obligatory ‘Happily ever after’ tagline! But this entire plot manages to take place with the Prince getting about 10 minutes or less of screen time. When all is said and done, the Princess is in our hearts and the Prince is all but forgotten.

Until Disney decides to include the Princess in a parade or stage show in the Parks. Then she needs some eye-candy on her arm and our Prince is resurrected for a brief cameo. When a new Princess appears, her Prince fairs a little better. He gets to stick around for the Meet-and-Greet, but only for the first few months. Then he is ‘fired’ and sent back to the pages of the storybook he came from.

          Enjoy it while you can, boys!

Why does Disney DO this?!?

I first started to ponder on this when I heard about the ‘firing’ of Flynn Rider from the Rapunzel meet-and-greet. When that happened, I tried to remember if there were any real Prince meet-and-greets. Answer: None. Nada. Zip. Not even one.

Well, Aladdin manages to hang on over at EPCOT, but usually on the arm of Jasmine. So we’ll call him Mr. Exception for now (but that’s still Prince Ali A Bu Bu whatever-whatever to you).

Aladdin was posing alone at Disneyland in 2013

With the popularity of the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique and it’s propensity for pumping out little Princesses by the carriage-load, am I the only one who sees the marketing and photo-op potential of a Prince meet-and-greet right next to the exit? And I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to believe that a few of the little Princesses’ mommies would get a kick out of snuggling up to Prince Eric or Prince Charming themselves = Girls Day Out at the Prince Meet-and-Greet!

Come on Disney! Give the old Princes a new lease on life. Let them have their day in the sun. After all, some of them had to fight long and hard to get their lady fair (albeit, mostly off-screen), so the least you could do is give them some face time! OK, it’s true the ladies can find some beefcake to pose with while running the Princess Half Marathon, but making women run for miles until they’re hot and sweaty before you let them pose with gorgeous men might not be as appreciated as you think!

Of course, I’ve never heard a Prince complain about this. Maybe they’re at home in their Man Cave in the basement of the castle enjoying Pay-Per-View wrestling events and drinking mead. Maybe they’re laughing at how their Princess is out there getting mauled by long lineups of strangers for nothing but a ‘Thank You’. Maybe they’re thinking to themselves: “It’s good to be the Prince!