2019 Walt Disney World Holiday Photo Opportunities

Christmastime is my favorite time of year to visit Walt Disney World. All the resorts and parks get dressed up for the holidays. Unique photo opportunities are found everywhere.

Back in 2017, Disney’s Hollywood Studios‘ Christmas Tree was moved from in front of the Main Entrance to Echo Lake. It created a beautiful location for the tree made even more magical at night.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Christmas Tree 2019
Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Christmas Tree reflected in Echo Lake at night in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/16-35VR, 5s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Late at night after Hollywood Studios closed, I found Echo Lake had become very still as the water spillage from the boat was turned off. This created reflections of the tree, boat and Dinosaur Gertie along with the floating Christmas tree ornaments. I used several long exposures and found 5 seconds balanced out the lights the best without too much being blown out.

With most of Epcot’s Future World under construction this year, Disney made the decision to concentrate on World Showcase for the holidays with the International Festival of the Holidays.  Many of the countries share their holiday traditions with Storytellers.  They are very entertaining and colorful souls. Not to mention photographic.

Epcot World Showcase Storytellers
Epcot World Showcase Storytellers from top left: United Kingdom’s Father Christmas, Norway’s Christmas Gnome Julenissen, France’s Pére Noel and American Adventure’s Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. All taken on a Nikon D750 camera and 24-120VR Lens with Fill Flash.

As I indicated in the caption above, I used Fill Flash to fill in the shadows as each of these storytellers are out in the open with little to no shading except for Santa Claus at the American Adventure pavilion. Fill Flash also adds the twinkle to their eyes.

Over in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney added several new holiday treats including a version of the Tree of Life Awakenings with a series of wintry tales.

Tree of Life Wintry Tale 2019
One of the wintry tales being projected on the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/50mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 10000, EV 0.

On this evening, I did not have a tripod with me so I used the fast Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens and high ISO to capture one of the projected scenes at a hand-holdable shutter speed.

The Walt Disney World Resorts have special holiday decorations and displays. At Disney’s Boardwalk Inn Resort, they have a Gingerbread display in the lobby featuring the Boardwalk Bakery and other restaurants on the Boardwalk.

Boardwalk Resort Gingerbread 2019
Disney’s Boardwalk Resort Gingerbread display featuring the Boardwalk Bakery in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 280, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

I did not get to the Magic Kingdom at night on this trip but I still soaked up the holiday atmosphere on Main Street USA with the hanging Christmas wreaths on all the store fronts.

Main Street USA Wreaths 2019
Christmas wreaths hanging down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/640s, f/6.3, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 100mm Focal Length.

This is just a few of the wonderful things and events to photograph at Walt Disney World during Christmastime. Searching the All Ears website will turn up even more fun events and experiences.

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Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

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