The Disney parks are one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. After all, they’ve got thrilling rides, amazing foods, our favorite characters, and so much more. But not only are the parks an amazing place to visit, but the theming and attention to detail makes it perfect for photos, no matter what time of the year you’re visiting. This Instagrammer’s Guide to Magic Kingdom breaks down the best Instagram spots around Walt Disney World’s original park: Magic Kingdom.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored or endorsed by The Walt Disney Company or Walt Disney World resort. All views and opinions are my own.
The Basics of Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom was Walt Disney World’s original park and opened in 1971. 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 it’s guests.
A Photoshoot Plan for Magic Kingdom
I recommend arriving as early as possible to Magic Kingdom in order to get the best photos. During some of my visits, the park will open Main Street, U.S.A. as early as an hour before the official opening time of the park, which gives people time to enter, shop, grab some breakfast, and head to the castle to watch the opening show. (However, I would like to point out that it’s not always a guarantee that they’ll open Main Street, U.S.A. this early.)
If you’d like to enter earlier, I recommend making a breakfast reservation before the parks official opening time, which will get you in before the regular day guests and even into Fantasyland (should your Breakfast reservation be at Be Our Guest), which is otherwise closed off until official park opening. This gives you a great opportunity to grab some photos before the parks get more crowded.
After taking photos along Main Street, U.S.A. during this pre-park opening period, along with some photos in Fantasyland on your way to breakfast (if you chose to make an early reservation), I recommend prioritizing which areas of the park you want to visit first and then follow them along in that order, so that you know where you’re going to make the most of your time.
Tip: Pay attention to the crowd calendars when planning your visit. It can give you a good idea of how busy the crowds will be during your visit, which can help you plan your photoshoot around the park.
Main Street, U.S.A.
Main Street, U.S.A. is themed around Marceline, Missouri (Walt Disney’s hometown) in the early 20th Century. Even if you’re not doing breakfast reservations, getting photos on Main Street, U.S.A. is quite easy early in the morning, but it will progressively become harder throughout the day, as everyone must go through this area to both enter and exit the park.
Bright colors work best for this area, with 50s outfits coordinating with the theming and architecture of the land perfectly. I recommend getting photos near the Firehouse and Town Square Theater first, then afterwards moving to the side street next to Uptown Jewelers. This little side street is hardly ever occupied, providing some nice peace and quiet from the business of the park, as well as a cute spot for photos.
At the end of Main Street, U.S.A. you have the “Partners” statue (featuring Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse), as well as the Cinderella Castle.
For the best photo with Cinderella Castle, I recommend not taking a photo directly in front of it, but rather off to the side. On each side you’ll see small towers that have a covered area underneath. The one on the right is my favorite for photos with Cinderella’s Castle. 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 as you would for photos directly in front of the castle.
Tomorrowland is a vision of the future. Silver, blue, purple, green, and white are the best outfit colors for this area. I recommend first taking photos along the bridge into Tomorrowland, which provides a unique photo opportunity with the Tomorrowland sign, as well as a great angle of Cinderella Castle.
This land is also the area that contains 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. This wall has is so popular that not only does it have it’s own (unofficial) Instagram account and hashtags, but has been featured on a variety of merchandise. This is perhaps the top photo location you should visit in Tomorrowland during your visit.
Fantasyland is perhaps the most popular land in the Magic Kingdom, containing a large number of “classic” Disney rides that we’ve come to know and love, such as: Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, It’s a Small World, etc. Because Fantasyland is divided up into smaller “mini lands” following the Fantasyland expansion a few years ago, there are many different color schemes to work with here.
Directly behind the castle is the first area of Fantasyland we’ll be discussing. Light-toned colors and pastels work best in this area. You can get an amazing view of the back of the castle here, as well Prince Charming Carousel. Here you can play around with the angle of the camera to get the medieval architecture of the buildings and the castle in view.
If you’re entering Fantasyland through the castle (which is open between shows) and go left past Peter Pan’s Flight and It’s a Small World, you will enter a small area that’s themed around the movie “Tangled”. This area features Rapunzel’s tower, a small waterfall, some lanterns, and a set of restrooms that are perhaps the best themed restrooms in Disney, as to how well themed they are to the area. The architecture fits in so well to the area that unless you already knew, you’d never guess that’s what they are.
Some colors that go well in this section are both bright and soft-toned purples, blues, pinks and yellows.
At night, there is also a PhotoPass opportunity with one of the lanterns. 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.
However, if you were to walk to the right once going through Cinderella’s Castle (or if you’re entering Fantasyland through Tomorrowland, then to the left), you would arrive at the Mad Tea Party. This is also a fun place to take photos, especially if you do one of yourself spinning in the teacups.
If you were to head towards the back of Fantasyland, you would arrive at the Beauty and the Beast-themed section, a Little Mermaid section, and Storybook Circus.
In the Beauty and the Beast section, there are a wide variety of colors you can play off of. If you’re wanting to coordinate with the movie, I’d suggest yellow and blue or red and brown.
Some of the scenery you can play off of here is Belle’s cottage, the bridge and castle leading up to the Be Our Guest restaurant, and the village, which has some additional cottages, as well as a fountain dedicated to Gaston. However, the best photo opportunities are inside the Be Our Guest restaurant, where you can dine in the Ballroom, the West Wing, or the Gallery. If you’re planning on taking photos in this area, I would suggest trying to get one of the earliest breakfast reservations or latest dinner reservations, as this would minimize the number of people in the restaurant. Also, the color themes of each room are drastically different, so I would recommend looking at some photos in advance to plan what you’re going to wear.
The Beauty and the Beast section is also a great and easy area to play around with some props in your photos. I recommend bringing along a rose or book that you can incorporate into your photos.
To the right of the Beauty and the Beast section, we have The Little Mermaid section. This area is very small, only featuring a ride, meet-and-greet with Ariel, and a booth used by the Disney Vacation Club. However, getting photos in front of the ship, waterfall, and Prince Eric’s castle are some beautiful spots to consider. Warm colors would work best for this area, but if you want to play around with aspects of the movie, you could also go with green, purple, and red, blue and black, or purple and black.
Once again, if we were to go right of The Little Mermaid section (towards Mad Tea Party and approaching the edge of Tomorrowland), we have Storybook Circus. This is perhaps the section of Fantasyland that you can have the most fun with as it in terms of outfits, poses, etc.
For this area of Fantasyland, bright bold colors is the way to go. For patterns, I would suggest finding something with stripes or polka dots, as that seems to be what is most often used in this area, and would compliment it well.
For the best spots to take photos, I would suggest the first one being with the large “Storybook Circus” sign that marks the entry of the land, as well as photos with the circus tents behind you. Another cute and classic photo is of people riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant, although if you don’t want to wait in line, another great idea is to take a photo of you looking up at the ride as it spins above you.
An additional area 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. These photos are featured above.
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 work best for this area. Unless you arrive first thing in the morning for photos, it will be hard to get photos with the area as a whole, so try using the doorways in the photos, the signage in the entry way (featured below), or the Liberty Belle Riverboat in the background.
At the back of Liberty Square, we have the Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion takes on a very dark and morbid color scheme compared to the rest of Liberty Square, and even the park in general. Grays, blacks, and dark greens, blues, and purples will work best in this area. However, the only photo opportunities in this area is the mansion in the background, 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. Additionally, depending on crowd levels, parts of the queue may be closed.
Moving on from Liberty Square, we enter Frontierland. Frontierland features some other classic attractions, such as Country Bear Jamboree, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
The best colors for Frontierland are warm, earthy tones, such as red, orange, and brown. This area 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 get some great photos along the long porches that line the buildings in Frontierland, as well as photos with Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain in the background.
Additionally, you could take a raft over to Tom Sawyer Island for photos along the trails and bridges. However, this area doesn’t get too busy throughout the day as it’s cut off from the rest of the park by water, which limits the traffic flow, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it being one of your first stops of the day.
The last land that we’ll be discussing is Adventureland. Known for attractions like The Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean, this area has a wide range of theming, similar to Fantasyland; because of this, a wide range of colors works for Adventureland. However, I would suggest steering away from a plain black-and-white (like I did during my phtotoshoot) as it contrasts too much with the bright colors of the area.
Some great photo opportunities can be found at the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse (especially at the top, which has a great view of the castle in the background), the bazaar (the area around The Magic Carpets of Aladdin), and the area to the right of Pirates of Carribean (in between the gift shop and the walk path to the restroom), which is indicated in the photo below.
This is another great area where you can play around with props in your photos, such a compass, telescope, or gems/gold pieces.
This brings us to the end of our Instagram journey around the Magic Kingdom. Not only is it an amazing place to visit, but it’s amazing theming makes it a perfect place to take photos.
If you liked this guide, be sure to check out this guide for Epcot!
So 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?