The past two years of lugging my dslr and related equipment around the resorts and parks have taught me a few things. Here are a few tips I have compiled for travelling safely and more comfortably with your camera while vacationing at Walt Disney World. They aren’t in any particular order – just random thoughts I put into a list. Maybe there will be something here that is helpful to you.
My Top 10 Tips for Camera Safety and Comfort in Walt Disney World
1. I use a Tamrac Adventure 6 backpack to carry my camera, flash attachment, extra lens and batteries, etc. It is the perfect size – just big enough to hold everything I need, but still small enough to be comfortable all day long. I used to use a shoulder bag but after 3 days of carrying it around I found that my back really started to ache. I haven’t had that problem at all since I switched to a backpack.
2. Inside my backpack I carry a small kitchen size garbage bag just in case of downpours. It takes up very little space and I’ve only ever needed it once, but boy was I glad I had it when I did. It made a perfect raincoat for my backpack. I got totally drenched running from the awning at the International Gateway entrance of Epcot to the Friendship loading area just a few feet away – seriously, it was raining that hard. But my backpack and all my gear stayed perfectly dry. That bag is also handy for wet rides like Kali River Rapids.
3. On rides where it doesn’t fit well into the holder they provide for personal items, I just put my backpack on the floor with one of my feet through one of the straps. For instance, this works well on Expedition Everest.
4. Be aware when standing in lines with a backpack. I’ve never had any problems but it is possible for someone to get into your pack without you knowing it. It’s not something I would fret about, just don’t be a space cadet either. If you’re in a situation that doesn’t feel comfortable, take the pack off and carry it in front of you. A trick I discovered while travelling in Europe is to weave the strings attached to the zipper pulls through each other. It’s a pain if you have to get in and out of your bag a lot but there’s no way someone can easily open your pack without you knowing it either.
5. Keep in mind that when you’re using your camera there is a lot happening around you that you can’t see or might not notice. Be aware of your environment so that you don’t trip over small children or get run down by an ECV. Try to get in the habit of keeping both eyes open when you are looking through your viewfinder.
6. If you’re not carrying your camera on your neck, be sure to wrap the strap around your wrist for added protection, especially if you are taking photos on rides.
7. When it is on your neck, remember to hold onto it when you bend over (like to tie your shoe or look at merchandise) or you may bang it into something.
8. Another major improvement in my comfort level was when I switched to an Op/Tech camera strap – wow, was that ever a good find. Your camera will feel much lighter with this cushioned strap.
9. Be careful when using the viewfinder if you are taking pictures on bumpy rides (like on the Kilimanjaro Safari). Getting bumped in the face with a 3-4 pound weight doesn’t feel that good, this I know from experience!
10. Don’t ever let your camera out of your site. For instance, don’t leave it in your stroller while you go on a ride or leave it on the table when you go to get more napkins. Just always be aware of your camera – it’s easy to get distracted.
My best advice is to think of your camera as you would a newborn and you’ll be fine. Well, I might not put a newborn on the floor of my Expedition Everest car but you know what I mean! What tips can you think of to share? Send them in and I’ll put together another list.