Today we'll be talking about Walt Disney World, the happiest place on Earth! Disney sure has a lot of rules and policies. That's how they keep their parks and resorts pleasant and desirable for guests to visit. Walt Disney World Resort near Windermere, FL is a major vacation destination for people around the world. If you're looking to plan your next Disney vacation and would like some family portraits taken in and around Disney, you're in the right place! Before you hire a photographer or decide to take some photos yourself, you should know that Disney World has specific policies regarding photography within its parks. Spoiler alert: They do allow you to bring large cameras and lenses, but there is a limit to what type of gear you can bring into the parks. Also, Disney has photographers at the parks that will capture photos of you as you enter each park and this is truly a great option for a few quick snapshots. However, you may opt to hire your own professional photographer to attend the park with you for a 30-minute or 1-hour private photo session (when I say private, I mean your photographer is just there for you).


Absolutely, and this is a really fun idea! It is truly a wonderful way to capture the magic on your Disney family vacation and preserve those memories forever. That said, there are some important things to keep in mind.

First, you and your photographer will need a valid ticket and reservation to enter into whichever park you choose. The cost of the ticket may be built into your photo session fee or you may be required to separately cover your photographer's ticket or admission into the park, in addition to the photographer's session fee.

Next, you should keep in mind that Disney parks are very popular and therefore very crowded depending on the day, time of day, and season. This means that it may be challenging to capture certain images in your favorite photo spots if those locations are crowded at the time of your shoot. You can't ask other guests to move out of the way. However, if other guests observe you attempting to have photos taken and are aware that they are in your way, they may be courteous and move out of your way on their own. People can often surprise you and may be much nicer than you think!

Additionally, if your photographer enters the park with a large camera bag or extensive gear, Disney security may have to conduct a more thorough search of their bags and gear which may take up additional time. I know you're excited to have your photos taken at Disney. Believe me I get it! but please be patient and be aware that this may slow things down while your photographer is entering the park.

Finally, while having your portraits taken at Disney for your own personal use is totally acceptable, commercial use of those images is prohibited. This means that you may not sell any images taken at Disney even if they are photos of you and your family. The photos are yours to keep forever, but please do not attempt to sell or profit from the images.

Also, here are some more general guidelines that Disney has regarding photography:

Personal Photography: Guests are generally allowed to take personal photos and videos for their own non-commercial use throughout the parks. This includes using smartphones, digital cameras, including DSLR and mirrorless cameras regardless of size, camera lenses, and handheld video cameras. There's really no restrictions here for personal photography so long as you're otherwise following Disney's rules and not interfering with other guests' enjoyment of the park. In fact, Disney even encourages photography within their parks!

Tripods and Monopods: While personal tripods and monopods are permitted in the parks, there are restrictions on where they can be used. Tripods and monopods cannot be set up in areas that obstruct pathways or disrupt the flow of guest traffic. Additionally, they may not be used on attractions or during live shows. Again, make sure if you do have a tripod or monopod that you're not interfering with other guests! Always be courteous. Also, and this is very important, selfie sticks are not allowed!

Large Cameras with Detachable lenses: Although I've never personally experienced any issues bringing my professional photography gear into Disney parks, guests and photographers using larger photography equipment, such as DSLR cameras with large detachable lenses, may be subject to additional scrutiny. Security may want to check your camera bag and visually inspect your gear before allowing you into the parks. Disney may also restrict the use of such equipment in certain areas or during specific events. They will not permit equipment to be used for large commercial productions, including without limitation, large flashes or strobes absent special permission.

Commercial Photography: As already briefly discussed in this article, commercial photography, including photoshoots for weddings, engagements, and other special occasions, may require prior approval and permits from Disney's Special Events team. This ensures that professional photographers adhere to Disney's guidelines and policies.

Photopass Photographers: Disney offers the Photopass service, where professional photographers stationed throughout the parks can take high-quality photos of guests and their parties. These photos can be purchased and downloaded through the My Disney Experience app or website. To be honest, PhotoPass is amazing! This is a great way to go for some quick snapshots around the parks to document and capture your time spent at Disney without worrying about bringing your own photographer. However, these photographers will typically be set up only in certain areas around the parks and cannot move with you to other spots of your choosing. If you would like to have photos taken in a specific location around the parks where there are no PhotoPass Photographers stationed, bringing your own professional photographer for a portrait session may be a better option to help you capture those memories and provide a more well-rounded photographic experience!

Character Meet and Greets: Guests are welcome to take personal photos with Disney characters during meet and greet experiences. However, Disney PhotoPass photographers are often available to capture these moments as well. See section above regarding PhotoPass. Either way, you can't go wrong. Disney encourages guests to take photos during their time at the parks!

Respect for Others: Guests should be mindful of other visitors when taking photos and videos. This includes avoiding blocking walkways or obstructing the views of other guests during parades, fireworks shows, and other performances. Treat others as you would like to be treated and keep in mind that everyone is also there to enjoy the parks!

It's essential to review Disney World's official policies and guidelines on their website and speak to your photographer before your visit to plan your photoshoot and ensure a smooth and enjoyable photography experience while respecting Disney's rules and the experiences of other guests. Happy park hopping!