The holidays at Walt Disney World Resort are one of our favorite seasons to visit. The resort feels extra magical with festive decor, entertainment, food and more. It's also the perfect chance to capture these lovely memories with lots of photos. PhotoPass photographers are ready with festive settings, Magic Shots and even studios with virtual backdrops. There are plenty of holiday photos at Disney World to enjoy!
Holiday Photos at Disney World
There are lots of chances to get festive photos at Disney World throughout the four parks, resorts and Disney Springs. PhotoPass photographers are in extra locations this holiday season to capture fun Magic Shots and perfect poses in front of the trees. Plus you can always snap a selfie or ask other frogs to allow everyone to get in the photo. Your family holiday card will be extra magical this year!
New this year, there are special 3D photo opportunities available at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. Some of them are even available during regular park hours, including this festive backdrop featuring Mickey and friends! You can find this photo-op by Tomorrowland Terrace.
While a photo in front of the castle is always a wonderful choice for celebrating a trip to Disney World, Main Street, U.S.A. looks extra magical at night all lit up and decked out for the holidays. While we typically recommend getting closer to the castle, it can be nice to get more of Main Street. At night, you'll often find one photographer facing away from the castle. During the holidays, the larger-than-life tree makes a perfect glowing background.
Attending Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party? There are lots of exclusive photo opportunities, such as opening a present, holding a lantern with TinkerBell inside or even Cinderella's slipper!
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney's Hollywood Studios gets in the festive spirit with lots of fun decor and entertainment offerings. We love posing by the big tree in Echo Lake while admiring the large ornaments, and of course, how festive Dinosaur Gertie looks! Sunset Boulevard is also a great spot for photos at night with the star wreaths and the special holiday projections on the Tower of Terror.
EPCOT gets lots of additional photographers stationed throughout the park for the International Festival of the Holidays, especially in most of the countries in World Showcase. Notably, there are photographers at the large tree by the entrance to World Showcase.
In the Odyssey pavilion now through Dec. 24, you have an opportunity to meet Santa. We were very impressed by the grand backdrop in this new location, and the large sleigh allows everyone to sit or stand in the photo.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
The holidays at Animal Kingdom start off with the large tree and 3D photo-op at the entrance. Of course, you can always enjoy a photo in front of our favorite tree, the Tree of Life!
During the holidays at Disney Springs, PhotoPass is available when meeting Santa, now through Dec. 24. There is also sometimes a photographer by the large tree in Town Center, but we haven't seen any yet.
The big highlight of Disney Springs is the PhotoPass Studio, offering a professional set-up and even virtual backdrops!
Holiday Magic Shots at Disney World
Magic Shots provide an extra element of fun to getting photos taken at Disney World. PhotoPass photographers can add a bit of pixie dust to photos, so you'll pose and later you'll find out what fun Disney character was added to your photo.
While there are always a variety of Magic Shots available, there are extra fun holiday ones this season! At select locations at each of the four parks, holiday Tinkerbell is available. There is also holding mistletoe, blowing snowflakes and even being in a snow globe! Exclusively at Animal Kingdom, there is Meeko peeking out of a present. Over at EPCOT, there are fun Magic Shots throughout World Showcase, such as Chip 'n' Dale or festive "Frozen" characters in Norway.
As locations may vary, be sure to ask your PhotoPass photographer if they offer any holiday Magic Shots!
Disney's PhotoPass Studios
An incredibly underrated service for photos at Disney World is the Disney PhotoPass Studios. With three locations throughout the resort, the studios offer professional backdrops and props, making for the perfect portraits. Disney World has small locations at Magic Kingdom at Sir Mickey's and Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, along with a larger location at Disney Springs.
The location for Magic Kingdom is very central, but also easily missed! It is in Sir Mickey's shop, conveniently across from Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. They usually put a snow backdrop up in the winter, and always have lots of fun props to pose with. The Disney Springs location even offers virtual backdrops so you can get a variety of magical backgrounds! They have quite a variety of regular and holiday backgrounds.
None of the locations require reservations so it is just first-come, first-serve. We've never had to wait more than 15 minutes typically. It's a very convenient way to get great photos with no one in the background.
Tips for Photos at Disney World
Here are some additional tips for capturing holiday photos at Disney World!
- Taking photos with PhotoPass photographers is toadally free, but you will need to purchase a photo package in order to download or print your photos. We highly recommend purchasing Memory Maker, which allows for unlimited photo downloads for your trip — and even includes the linked family and friends — so you stop at as many photo opportunities as you would like!
- Want to have your own family photo shoot in the park this holiday season? Then consider booking a Capture Your Moment photo session. For an additional cost, you'll have your own photographer for an individual 20-minute set.
- Don't froget about the resorts! Many resorts are decked out for the holidays, including elaborate gingerbread displays. We always have to make a stop at the Grand Floridian to see the incredible tree and large gingerbread house. There was even a PhotoPass photographer by the tree when we last visited!
- At a spot with no PhotoPass photographers? Get creative with selfies or ask someone to take your photo. You can always (carefully) prop your phone up and set a camera timer.
- In addition to these holiday spots, be sure to check out our top ten PhotoPass stops you won't want to miss!
Does your family have any favorite holiday photo spots at Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!