An Instagrammer’s Guide to Magic Kingdom

Whether you’re taking casual family photos or doing an elaborate photo session with friends, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom offers the perfect setting for a photoshoot! From the vintage vibes of Main Street to the whimsical details of Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom’s themed lands, elaborate decorations, and extreme attention to detail makes a wide variety of photo backdrops possible. This post offers the ultimate photo guide to Magic Kingdom, breaking down the best spots around the park to capture the perfect photos, along with the best time to take those photos!

A Brief Introduction to Magic Kingdom

Before diving into the numerous photo spots around Magic Kingdom, let me provide a bit of background information about the park: Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney World’s original park and opened in 1971. The park is designed in a “hub and spoke” model and divided into 6 distinct “lands” or themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland; each land provides a unique theme and story to tell its guests. Not only is the park extremely immersive, but also extremely popular. According to Forbes, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom ranks as the #1 most visited theme park in the world and welcomed over 17 million guests in 2022.

A view of Main Street, U.S.A. from the train station.

A Photoshoot Plan for Magic Kingdom

Like many vacation destinations, the best time to get photos at Magic Kingdom will be early morning. At this time, guests will still be arriving, so there won’t be as many people in the parks compared to the afternoon or evening! During some of my visits, the Magic Kingdom has opened Main Street, U.S.A. as early as an hour before the official opening time, which gives Guests time to enter, shop, eat breakfast, and head to the castle to watch the opening show. (Disclaimer: It’s not always a guarantee that they’ll open Main Street, U.S.A. this early.)

So what does this mean? Arrive earlier than you think you’ll need to! If you’re driving, you’ll need to budget time to get through parking, riding the tram to the Ticket & Transportation Center, going through security, riding a bus, ferry, or the monorail to the entrance of Magic Kingdom, and then scanning your ticket. 

Once you’re in, it’s time to take photos! I highly recommend getting to Main Street, U.S.A. as early as possible to take full advantage of this pre-opening time, especially since less guests will be in the park.

Bonus Tip #1: Along with the early opening of Main Street, USA, you can also get into Magic Kingdom early by reserving a breakfast reservation for a time before the park’s official opening time. This will get you into the park before the regular day guests and even into Fantasyland (should your breakfast reservation be at Be Our Guest), which is otherwise closed off until the official park opening time. This offers a great opportunity to grab some great photos in areas that are usually crowded the rest of the day.

Bonus Tip #2: Pay attention to the crowd calendars when planning your visit. Visiting at peak times throughout the year means you will have more crowds in your photos, which can be worked around with smart photo angles or avoided (almost) completely by timing your photoshoot at the right time of the day.

Where to take Photos on Main Street, U.S.A.

Welcome to Main Street, U.S.A., where guests take a step back in time into the early 20th century. Themed around Marceline, Missouri (Walt Disney’s hometown), Main Street, U.S.A. offers a charming backdrop for vintage-style photos, along with a stunning view of Cinderella Castle. Photos along Main Street, U.S.A. with low crowds are easier in the morning, but will become progressively harder throughout the day, as all guests must go through Main Street, U.S.A. to both enter and exit the park.

Photos Along Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street offers multiple locations for great photos. Personally, I recommend first going upstairs to the train station to get photos overlooking Main Street, followed by photos near the Firehouse and Town Square Theater before moving to the side street next to Uptown Jewelers. This little side street is hardly ever occupied (even later in the day) and is not only the perfect spot for a little peace and quiet, but is also a cute spot for photos.

Cinderella Castle

At the end of Main Street is, of course, Cinderella Castle. There are several spots to grab your photo in front of the Castle, with multiple PhotoPass photographers lining Main Street and the “Hub” (the circular area in front of the castle) to help assist.

For the best photo with Cinderella Castle, I recommend not taking a photo directly in front of it, but rather to the side near the turrets. These side views make it easier to get the entire height of Cinderella Castle in the frame, as well as not having to worry about the height of the stage (if you were to take photos directly in front of the castle).

Additional areas for great photos of Cinderella Castle include the bridge to Tomorrowland (where you can often find a PhotoPass photographer to assist with a photo) as well as the walking path to Fantasyland, which can be found on the left-hand side.

Additional Photo Spots on Main Street

While the main photo spots are listed above, here are some additional photo spots to consider during your visit!

  • Inside Main Street Confectionery: Full of pastel colors and yummy sweets, there are plenty of cute backdrops to choose from inside this store!
  • Holding Balloons: There are plenty of balloon vendors up and down Main Street. Ask nicely and they’ll let you help hold the dozens of balloons for a fun photo!
  • Main Street Buildings: Along Main Street, you can also use the gift shop buildings as cute backdrops. However, expect your photos to have other guests in the background, as this is the only walkway in and out of the park.

Where to take Photos in Tomorrowland

Photo Credit: Brian McGowan

Tomorrowland is a vision of the future and features inspiration from sci-fi, outer space, and more! Home to classic attractions like Space Mountain and the Instagram-famous Purple Wall, there are plenty of photo opportunities located within Tomorrowland!

Outfit Tip: If you’re coordinating your outfit to Tomorrowland, the best outfit colors for this area are silver, blue, purple, green, and white. Also, anything futuristic or retro-futuristic!

Taking the main bridge entrance into Tomorrowland (from the Hub), you are greeted with an arching silver “Tomorrowland” sign across the bridge, quite an impressive sight and perfect to take photos under! This bridge also offers a gorgeous view of Cinderella Castle. In fact, you can usually find a PhotoPass Cast Member along the bridge to help with photos with Cinderella Castle in the background.

“Purple Wall” and “Galactic Purple Wall”

Right after the bridge (quite literally) is the famous “Purple Wall” and “Galactic Purple Wall”, which is located in the walking path between Tomorrowland Terrace and the main entrance/bridge of Tomorrowland. The Purple Wall is so popular that not only does it have its own (unofficial) Instagram account and hashtags, but it has been featured on a variety of merchandise, including a Loungefly backpack, and is what started the popular Disney Instagram Walls trend!

TRON Lightcycle Run

Near Space Mountain, you can find TRON Lightcycle Run. Opened in 2023, TRON Lightcycle Run has not only proven to be an extremely popular ride, but also has multiple photo opportunities! Examples include in front of the Tron sign leading up to the ride (where a PhotoPass photographer can take your photo) and (perhaps best of all) an identity disk photo on the ramp leading up to the ride entrance. This photo requires the help of a PhotoPass photographer (who has the identity disk prop) and can take your photo.

Bonus Tip: This area is covered with a large canopy, which helps disburse the light and prevent harsh shadows in your photos!

Additional Photo Spots in Tomorrowland

While the main photo spots are listed above, here are some additional photo spots to consider during your visit to Tomorrowland!

  • Space Mountain: Space Mountain is an extremely popular ride and has an iconic building, but be warned… it can be difficult to get a low-crowds photo due to its placement!
  • Nighttime Photos of Tomorrowland: Love nighttime photography? Tomorrowland is even more stunning at night! Take a nighttime photo along the main corridor of Tomorrowland for a stunning photo.

Where to take Photos in Fantasyland

Fantasyland is perhaps the most popular land in the Magic Kingdom, filled with nostalgic nods to our favorite movies and characters, along with whimsical details of the stories we know and love. Fantasyland is also home to large number of classic Disney rides, including Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, It’s a Small World, and more. In 2012, Fantasyland was expanded with “New Fantasyland” featuring 3 new areas themed around “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Little Mermaid”, and “Dumbo”. Because of so many themed areas, there are many different color schemes to work with here photos and coordinating outfits.

Cinderella Castle and Cinderella Fountain

The first section of Fantasyland we’ll be looking at is directly behind Cinderella Castle. You can get an amazing view of the back of the castle here, as well as Prince Charming Carousel. This area is also a great spot to play with the angle of the camera to get the medieval architecture of the buildings and the castle in view. It’s a popular photo spot in Magic Kingdom and you may have to wait for crowds to disperse, but it provides an enchanting backdrop for photos! In this area, you can also find Cinderella Fountain. Angle the camera correctly and the crown (in the mural behind Cinderella’s statue) will be placed on her head!

Rapunzel’s “Tangled” Restroom Area

If you enter Fantasyland through the castle (which is open between shows) or to the pathway to the left of the castle, go left past Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small World to enter a small area that is themed around the movie “Tangled”. This area features Rapunzel’s tower, a small waterfall, some lanterns, and buildings that hold Tangled-themed restrooms (and are perhaps the best-themed restrooms in Disney). However, if you’re planning on taking photos in this area, I highly recommend this spot being the first of the day as it will get crowded quite quickly, making it difficult to get photos in the area itself unless you’re just taking pictures with the walls Rapunzel painted.

Bonus Tip: Return to this area at night for a PhotoPass opportunity with one of the lanterns!

Outfit Tip: This area is a must-do for photos if you are “disney bounding” with a Tangled outfit! Additional colors that go well in this section are purples, blues, pinks, and yellows.

“Beauty and the Beast” area

The movie “Beauty and the Beast” was released in 1991 and became an instant classic. With the New Fantasyland expansion in 2012, it offered guests the opportunity to become more immersed in the movie, with areas to explore including Belle’s cottage, Beast’s castle, and Gaston’s tavern.

Outfit Tip: If you’re coordinating your outfit with this area of the park, I’d suggest yellow, blue, or red (based off of Belle’s yellow dress, Belle and Beast’s blue outfits, and Gaston’s red outfit).

Photo opportunities in the Beauty and the Beast area include:

  • Belle’s cottage
  • The bridge leading up to the Be Our Guest restaurant
  • Gaston’s Tavern
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant
    • Restaurant Exterior
    • Ballroom (interior)
    • West Wing (interior)
    • Gallery (interior)

Photo Tip: If you’re planning on taking photos inside of Be Our Guest, I would suggest trying to get one of the earliest breakfast reservations or the latest dinner reservations, as this will minimize the number of people in the restaurant.

“The Little Mermaid” Area

Released in 1989, “The Little Mermaid” has been a long-time favorite for many Disney fans. This area of New Fantasyland is smaller compared to “The Beauty and the Beast” area, but does feature a ride, a meet-and-greet with Ariel, and a booth used by Disney Vacation Club. 

Photo opportunities in The Little Mermaid area include:

  • Prince Eric’s ship (located outside “Journey of the Little Mermaid”)
  • Waterfall (Ride Queue)
  • Prince Eric’s castle

Storybook Circus area

The third area of the New Fantasyland expansion is Storybook Circus and features “Dumbo the Flying Elephant”, Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station, Big Top Souvenirs, and Pete’s Silly Sideshow.

For this area of Fantasyland, bright and bold colors are the way to go. For patterns, I would suggest finding something with stripes or polka dots, as these patterns are used commonly throughout the mini-land and would complement the area well.

As you enter Storybook Circus, the large “Storybook Circus” sign that marks the entrance is a must-take photo, along with photos with the circus tents behind you. 

Another cute and classic photo can be captured while riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant. However, if you don’t want to wait in line, another great idea is to take a photo of your subject looking up at the ride as it spins above them.

An additional area of Storybook Circus that is often looked over is the stroller parking area to the left of the restrooms, near the back of Storybook Circus. This area has some great posters hanging up and props around that you could pose with.

Additional Photo Spots in Fantasyland

  • Turrets and Archways: There are a set of archways set behind Prince Charming’s Carousel that are often used for character meet-and-greets throughout the day. This area works great if you’re wanting to work Fantasyland’s architecture into your photos.
  • Prince Charming Carousel: Prince Charming Carousel is an amazing photo spots, but is also hard to get photos in this area with little-to-no crowds. If this is your #1 spot for photos, I highly recommend making the earliest dining reservation possible for Be Our Guest and taking photos in this spot on your way there. If you don’t get a dining reservation, head here immediately after the park opens.
  • Peter Pan Mural: This photo spot may be difficult, as this is where Peter Pan and Wendy often do character meet and greets. At other times, however, this area is empty and the area around it isn’t blocked off, allowing it to be used as a mural backdrop.
  • Mad Tea Party Attraction: A photo spinning in a teacup is a classic Fantasyland photo!
  • Cinderella Wishing Well: This fountain can be found on the path leading from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland. This is a great spot to not only get photos with the fountain, but also with Cinderella Castle!

Where to take Photos in Liberty Square

Continuing counter-clockwise throughout the park, we arrive at Liberty Square. This area is themed around 18th-century America during the Revolutionary War. Muted colors and/or patriotic outfits work best for this area. 

Main Area of Liberty Square

Unless you head to this land immediately after park opening for photos, it will be hard to get photos with the area as a whole (without crowds). Instead, try taking photos in the doorways of buildings, along with the porch with rocking chairs.

Haunted Mansion

At the back of Liberty Square is the Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion takes on a more dark and morbid color scheme compared to the rest of Liberty Square. (Or even the rest of the park, in general.) 

Outfit Tip: If you’re coordinating your outfit to the area around Haunted Mansion, then gray, black, and dark green, blue, and purple will work best for your Haunted Mansion outfit. 

Photo opportunities around the Haunted Mansion include the mansion itself, the hearse, and the gravestones that line the wall as you exit the attraction. Depending on what you’re interested in, there are also a few opportunities in the queue, but these are harder to photograph due to the lack of space and time in an actively-moving line (unless you’re willing to let other Guests pass in front of you). Additionally, depending on crowd levels, parts of the queue may be closed.

Additional Photo Spots in Liberty Square

  • Gazebo: Tucked in a small corner to the side of Liberty Square is a gazebo. Mary Poppins sometimes meets here.
  • Entrance Signage: While entering Liberty Square from the Hub, there is some signage with some crates that offer a photo opportunity.
  • Liberty Belle Riverboat: Timing plays a key role in this photo, but at different points in Liberty Square (and Frontierland), you can capture a photo with the Liberty Belle Riverboat in the background before the vessel goes for another trip around Tom Sawyer Island.

Where to Take Photos in Frontierland

Frontierland is a rustic-themed area and features some classic Disney attractions, such as Country Bear Jamboree and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Outfit Tip: For coordinating outfits to Frontierland, warm earth tones work best, such as red, orange, and brown. 

Main Area of Frontierland

Frontierland doesn’t get too busy early in the morning, which makes it great for getting photos in the area as a whole. You can also take some great photos along the long porches that line the buildings in Frontierland, as well as photos with Big Thunder Mountain in the background.

Tom Sawyer Island

Some additional spots for photos are the trails and bridges on Tom Sawyer Island, an area of Frontierland accessible via a raft. However, Tom Sawyer Island doesn’t get too busy throughout the day since it’s cut off from the rest of the park by the water, which limits the traffic flow. In this case, I wouldn’t recommend Tom Sawyer Island being your first spot for photos since there’s little opportunity for crowds to build up in this area.

Additional Photo Spots in Frontierland:

  • Liberty Belle Riverboat: Similar to Liberty Square, there are a few spots in Frontierland where you can catch a photo with the Liberty Belle in the background, but timing plays an important role.

Where to take Photos in Adventureland

Known for classic Disney attractions like The Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean, Adventureland has a wide range of theming for photos!

Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse

Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse offers a plethora of photo opportunities, especially as it offers some unique overlooks on Adventureland and even Cinderella Castle!

Orange Bird Wall Mural

The Orange Bird mural was added to Adventureland in 2021 and makes the perfect opportunity for a photo op! Found next to Sunshine Tree Terrace, you can coordinate with an Orange Bird-inspired outfit or a Dole Whip!

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is an iconic attraction at Walt Disney World and its elaborate themeing makes it the perfect spot for photos! Find photo opportunities outside of the ride, with the clock tower and crows nest and ride signage, along with the area to the right of Pirates of Caribbean (in between the gift shop and the walking path to the restroom). This area next to Pirates of the Caribbean is another great area where you can play around with props in your photos, such as a compass, telescope, or gems and gold pieces.

How to Take Great Photos in Magic Kingdom

This brings us to the end of our photo journey around the Magic Kingdom. Not only is the Magic Kingdom an amazing place to visit, but the elaborate theming makes it a perfect place to take photos! If you liked this guide, be sure to check out these posts:

Before you leave, let me know what you think about Magic Kingdom’s best photo spots. Which are your favorites? Did I miss any that I should include in this post?

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