Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Pictures at the Disneyland Resort

Guest Writer Wednesday

Christmas Pictures at the Disneyland Resort

By: Matthew Bassett

Christmas is approaching fast and families are starting to think about their yearly Christmas cards. Like many Disney obsessed families, we spend a vast amount of time at the parks every year. When thinking about those pictures you want to include in your Christmas card we ALWAYS want to include pictures from the parks.

The biggest question for us becomes where in the resort do we find the best Christmas themed family pictures. Here are some traditional suggestions:

1) Take a picture by the Christmas tree on Main Street. The tree is so tall that you will either have a distorted view of the tree with the family in front or you will only see the six feet of tree so you can see the family. An alternative idea is to take the family on top of the Main Street railroad platform and take a picture overlooking the tree from across Main Street. Another alternative would be to take a picture at the DCA tree as it isn’t nearly as crowded as it’s Disneyland counterpart.

2) Take a family picture by the castle. The castle has been dressed up with snow for the last few years. The trick to get the best family shot is to avoid standing in front of the castle. Move to one of the sides and get a picture avoiding your favorite people who you will never see again.

3) We love to get pictures with the characters. During the holiday season you can usually catch the characters in their Christmas best. Some of the best suggestions are to find Santa Goofy in the Big Thunder Ranch are or the Winnie the Pooh characters in Critter Country. We have also found luck in finding other characters in the Big Thunder Ranch area over the last few years. The shortest lines are typically those in Big Thunder Ranch and Toontown. If your really have to get a picture in another location you might want to talk with a Disney photographer to get some tips to save you some time.

4) We have to take a family picture with Santa. Santa can be found in the Big Thunder Ranch but the lines are usually really long unless you line up before he officially starts to greet guests. I recommend going to DCA and visiting with Santa at the Elias and Company store. In the past, DCA’s Santa was dressed out in his surfer best but with the relaunch of the park he has changed his attire for his traditional best! The best part is that the lines is about 10 times shorter than Disneyland.

What do you do if you want to get a “non-traditional” picture? Here are a few suggestions.

1) Head to Bug’s Land in DCA and take a picture next to the gigantic ornaments. Stack one of the kids on Dad’s shoulders to get the scale of the ornaments as you’ve been shrunk down to the size of an ant. I have a great family picture of my one year old son on my shoulders that I jokingly took.

2) Some of our favorite Christmas pictures were the silliest pictures we took. Head into one of the shops and try on the different hats. Get one of the Cast Members to take a picture of the family. Make sure you all try on the best Christmas ears or the stocking hats. Have fun! This picture doesn’t require you purchase the hats as long as you put them back when you're done.

3) Head to the hotels and Downtown Disney! All three Disney hotels and Downtown Disney get decked out in Christmas gear. You can get some time away from the crowds and explore the rest of the resort. Find a Christmas tree or some other decorations to take your family picture with.

4) Take the family to It’s a Small World at night. Bring a tripod and take pictures with all of the lights. This is one of the best places to take pictures at night in the park. The tripod will help reduce the fuzzy pictures. You can also utilize lenses that use image stabilizer technology.

5) Don’t forget to take a picture in front of your favorite attraction. Some of the attractions, like Splash Mountain, will get some Christmas theming that will add to your family picture. Regardless, taking a picture with the family in front of your favorite attraction will be a great story to share with your friends and family.

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