Disney Picture Expectations

I envision the perfect picture when I am planning our dream vacation to the happiest place on earth; my smiling family, dressed in matching clothes and Mickey ears, standing directly in front of the iconic Cinderella Castle on Main Street!

High expectations of wonderful pictures are often quite different from reality and the outcome can be disappointing.  Here are five tips to consider when creating expectations for your best Disney pictures:

Say Cheese! 5 Tips for your Disney Picture Expectations, Going Out the Door

Cast members have a way of catching the unexpected shots.

1. Memory Maker

We always pre-purchase Memory Maker for $149.00 which is worth every penny! Memory Maker allows you to take full advantage of Disney PhotoPass Service by providing unlimited digital photo downloads and covers every person in the group for all the parks as well as some of the resort hotels and restaurants. The best part is that even when your party splits up, everyone has the opportunity for fantastic pictures with different settings and characters. The pictures are instantly available on the phone app so you can keep track of your crew and view their pictures. Awesome!

Say Cheese! 5 Tips for your Disney Picture Expectations, Going Out the Door

If you spot a Disney cast member with a camera, get in line! The staff is fun and willing to take almost any shot requested. The quality is excellent and large images can be printed. I order all the pictures on CD and send one to our grown children after each wonderful Disney vacation. Our last CD had over 800 images!

Say Cheese! 5 Tips for your Disney Picture Expectations, Going Out the Door

Our tiny Elizabeth and her aunt’s riding the 7 Dwarves Mine Train. Arms in the air make the train go faster!

2. Distractions

The larger the group, the less ‘perfect’ pictures there are. I personally love the photos when our little ones are doing the ‘unexpected’. Everything in Disney is captivating and it is easy to get distracted during picture time! It is an unreal expectation to think that the babes are going to be paying attention and smiling into the camera for every shot. Sometimes, their lips are saying cheese but their eyes are following a Mickey shaped glowing balloon or other Disney fun!

Say Cheese! 5 Tips for your Disney Picture Expectations, Going Out the Door

3. Clothing

Some families manage to wear magical matching t-shirts every day of their trip and I am sure they have darling photos! Although my son’s family Disney bounded every day of our last trip by choosing an outfit influenced by a Disney character, the rest of us ranged from summer dresses to cut off shorts. My favorite pictures are always the ones where our clan is dressed in what makes them comfortable and happy.

Say Cheese! 5 Tips for your Disney Picture Expectations, Going Out the Door

4. Timing

The first pictures of the day are usually the best because the group is refreshed and excited for the day! There’s also a better chance of the kid’s clothes being clean,  not having ride hair and hopefully, you are not soaked with sweat yet.

Say Cheese! 5 Tips for your Disney Picture Expectations, Going Out the Door

5. Whose in the shot?

When you have 5 kids and 6 grands, trying to get everyone together for a photo is like herding kittens, and I am THRILLED if we manage to get one shot a day with everyone! I encourage our adult children to separate for their own family time with pictures each day which can be instantly shared on Memory Maker. We meet for one big character meal daily and try to squeeze in an extended family picture which works well for our Disney crew.




Going Out the Door, Photo pass, Disney World


Pictures are a huge part of our adventurous Disney family vacations. While professional photos of my family are extremely important to me, I also treasure informal snapshots of ice cream faces, sleeping babies, excited cousins telling each other about the rides, and the grandkids playing together.

As the mother of five grown children and six grandchildren, our Disney family trips are priceless to me. It is a time for the entire family to gather together and play without the stress of work, phones, cooking, or cleaning.  I get very emotional as I look at the pictures of these beautiful human beings.  It’s not about the clothes they have on or if every single person is in every shot.  They are my humans and they are happy.  That’s the picture I want! If you enjoy visiting with other Disney friends, please join us on Going Out The Door Disney Facebook page.

You can find other Disney blogs by Angie Roberts Harris at Going Out The Door..com