The New Year has come and gone and all of those resolutions should make for less self indulgence, right? Not today. Losing those 10 pounds can wait but this post celebrating my favorite photos I took from the previous year can’t! So hunker down with your favorite candy bar and the most unhealthy drink you can find, it’s time for our Top Ten Disney Parks Photos of the year! If you opt for a healthier snack, more power to you.
2022 saw me in Disney Parks more than ever but in less of them than usual. That’s because we live local to Disneyland now and weren’t able to make it to Walt Disney World or one of the international parks at all. That led to many nights at Disneyland or California Adventure, grabbing dinner and going on a ride or two. It’s really lovely! But that doesn’t always lead to the most purposeful photo taking, which is something I hope to remedy in 2023. While I’m eager to get to a few more parks in the next year, there’s still more to capture my imagination at Disneyland, as well. I just need to make sure I actually do that.
Now that I’ve spent two paragraphs propping myself up, I should say that I don’t see myself as a great, or even good, photographer. There are much better photographers that I admire throughout the Disney blogosphere. This remains a hobby that I use to augment this site and am hopeful that people enjoy them. I deeply appreciate anyone who takes the time to look through these (or any post on the site) and would love to chat more about the hobby in the comments, if you’re so inclined! Let’s get to some honorable mention photos.
No photo from the last year makes me laugh more than this one. We were at a Grad Nite Reunion at California Adventure, my camera settings were accidentally flipped to black & white (which I typically despise) and before I knew it I had this photo of a very lanky Mike Wazowski.
I like both of these photos, just not quite enough to crack the top ten. The top one had the good fortune of a long exposure with someone walking through the shot with a lightsaber. Adding these toys to Disney Parks has made photography at night a frustrating and exciting experience all at once. Anyway, that keeps the foreground somewhat interesting, with a pretty background behind it. The bottom one would have made the list if it weren’t for that darn attraction fence!
I had very few entertainment photos on the list so I felt the need to shout out the Main Street Electrical Parade. The mine train seems like one of the easiest floats to photograph in the parade and I like the reflection on the ground.
The last honorable mention is this photo of the flower market off of Disneyland’s Main Street. This is one of my favorite places to relax at night and I like how sharp this photo turned out. I wish there was a little more to it though. The overcast night didn’t help things.
Show me someone who doesn’t like dinosaurs and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t like fun. Primeval World on the Disneyland Railroad should be protected at all costs, showcasing dinosaurs doing all sorts of things. These two are sharing a meal. Like most ride photos, this was shot at a very low aperture and a low enough shutter speed that I’m surprised this turned out as sharp as it did. I was pretty lucky with the timing and seat location, as they can cause some screwy things to happen with photos on this section of the train.
Disneyland in the spring is so beautiful. The flowers around the castle hub turn a vibrant pink that matches the icon’s paint job. With all of the color abound, it’s not hard to take a decent photo. I like the branch acting as a frame to the castle, with the green and royal blue offsetting the pastels. Honestly, the spring colors deserve the accolades here more than the actual photo taking.
I don’t want to admit how much time I spend on the Golden Zephyr, trying to plot out cool photos to take. Most of them don’t turn out very well. Even this one has some nits to pick, which is why it doesn’t end up higher than 8th. That said, it’s wild and exciting! I took down the shutter speed as low as I could and tried to sit as still as I could. One of those things is much easier than the other! I’m happy with how it turned out but am excited to try again!
People often question why would I lug around 25 pounds of camera gear on a Disney day. Heck, I question it. No one asks about the benefits. Outside of a surprisingly good stamina, even when I haven’t dropped those New Year’s resolution pounds, and having people think I’m more important than I actually am, there is one clear benefit. Parade performers look at me.
I said last year that I’ve been trying to take more photos of Splash Mountain. That remained true this year and I ended up with my favorite capture yet of the wonderful alligator band! I think these guys stand a decent chance of ending up in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. If not, who says no to them being a worthy addition to a Country Bear Bayou Jamboree? Please!
I don’t get tired of photographing Disney Parks but it is hard to come up with something unique in regards to the castle. That made this night special, as Fantasyland emptied out earlier than usual and the back of the castle was completely void of people. I like the symmetry here as well as the few things that throw off the perfect symmetry.
I’m not sure this truly belongs in the top 4 but sometimes the skies just cooperate and it makes for a really pretty photo. There’s not much going on here out side of getting the sunset right. Cotton candy skies aren’t the norm in California as much as they are in Florida but every once in a while you catch it just right!
Of everything that happened in 2022, Fantasmic’s return was among my favorites. Since then, I’ve seen the show almost ten times and haven’t gotten any less enthralled with it. Photographing Mickey in all his forms throughout the show is so fun and the finale always produces some gems. This is my favorite of them from the year, with him remaining in focus while the water erupts in front and the smoke lingers behind.
This is my personal favorite, even though I have it in second place on the list. I’m having a hard time describing why. The framing and leading lines work out very well and the focus landing just below the log adds some intrigue. But I’d be lying if there wasn’t some nostalgia involved. This photo feels very final, one that I’ll be happy to have down the road.
Halloween season adds a different shade of colors to play with on Main Street, with the yellow glow of the lights fitting right in with the décor. In this case I overexposed the photo a little bit to add more reflection off the ground, while keeping the aperture open. The criss-crossing tracks will always be a favorite subject of mine!
Happy New Year and thanks for looking at my photos! Here’s to another year of them!
What was your favorite photo from this group? Let us know in the comments below! Planning a trip to a Disney Park? Check out our guides to help you along the way! Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney. If you enjoy what you’re reading please subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email and like our social media pages. You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Have a great day!
Categories: Top 10 Lists