One of the most photographed places in the world has to be Walt Disney World. Personally, as a photographer, it is one of my all-time favorite places to photograph.
This probably comes as no surprise, right?
Yet, in the past I often found myself wondering what the rules regarding photos and cameras at Walt Disney World entailed.
If you are planning an upcoming trip, you undoubtedly probably have plans to take pictures in the parks.
You too, might be wondering the same thing I have in the past. Walt Disney World explains their camera rules on their website, prohibited items and so forth on their website, but you have to dig through some non-camera related items.
Let’s make things simple for you and explore, what, then, are the camera rules for Disney World?
1. Camera Phones are Allowed at Walt Disney World
Thank goodness Walt Disney World doesn’t ban cameras from entering the parks.
It would be so, so, SO, difficulty to keep cameras out, let alone camera phones.
As a majority of people have camera phones on their person at all times, you can bet these little babies are found about ever 2.5 feet in the parks.
Therefore, feel free to bring along your cell phone (and the camera it comes with) in all Walt Disney World parks!
2. DSLR Cameras are Allowed at Walt Disney World
Whew, thank goodness for this one! My go to camera in the parks has always been my DSLR.
We of course have our camera phones on us at all times, as well. There is just something about having a nice clean image to work with for editing once we get home.
Plus, I love enlarging our photos from our trip and find that my camera phone, although great, just doesn’t really do the best job.
My go to camera is always my trusty Canon Mark iii. I secretly (or not so secretly, now that I’ve told all of you) call it my baby.
My first baby, that is!
3. GoPros are Allowed at Disney World
GoPros are such an interesting invention.
I mean everyone has a cell phone these days that can record both video and stills. Why would you need an extra device to bring along with you?
Once you see a GoPro in action, I am sure you won’t have any question as to why people get one.
It’s basically the set-it-and-forget-it contraptions of the camera world. You strap that baby on and you can get a really sweet view of your adventures in the park.
4. Monopods and Tripods are Both Allowed at Walt Disney World
Be sure to bring in a tripod if you’re trying to capture any of the firework shows.
Having the ability to use a slow shutter speed with less camera shake can really make or break these shots!
5. Selfie Sticks are Not Allowed at Walt Disney World
This is a biggie.
Selfie sticks were banned in Walt Disney World several years ago. The reasoning behind the decision was not unjustified.
Selfie sticks, while great for getting everyone in a photo, can be really distracting. Instead of watching where you’re going as you’re filming your group, you could potential injure yourself or another guest.
Aside from that, one of the worst places guests were using selfie sticks were on rides at Disney World.
You know how you are supposed to keep your arms and feet inside the moving vehicles at all times?
Well, imagine a selfie stick extending outside of the ride. It might not be your arm, but if it gets hooked on something and your gripping that selfie stick pretty hard, you could get hurt rather badly.
Aside from self injury, you could injury another guest if your selfie stick goes flying. Or you could ‘hurt’ the structure of the ride itself.
I’m sure having a selfie stick laying across the track of, say, Rockin’ Roller Coaster would cause more of a traffic backup than the ride itself talks about.
Just stick to follow the camera rules at Disney World, and you’ll be good.
6. Drones are Not Allowed at Disney World
I’ve always thought drones were neat. Possibly a little freaky, but neat nonetheless.
Neatness aside, Disney World does not allow drones inside of their parks. They cause too much of a potential risk or hazard.
Imagine your sitting along Main Street, USA inside of the Magic Kingdom, watching the Festival of Fantasy parade.
You decide you want to get a sweet overhead shot of the parade, so you let your drone fly overhead.
It just so happens at that exact moment, the Maleficent dragon float is coming down Main Street.
Fire shoots out just as your drone gets to eye level with the dragon.
Sadly, your drone is a drone no more. Instead, it’s a crispy pile of ash in the middle of the most magical place on earth.
Okay, yes, this situation might be a tad dramatic, but drones can run into buildings, hurt other guests and easily get lost at Disney World.
It’s best to play it safe and keep the drones at home. Let Maleficent breath fire on some unexpecting Floridian bugs instead!
7. Large Camera Kits are NOT Recommended at Walt Disney World
When you’re at Walt Disney World with your family or friends, odds are you don’t need a ton of equipment to document your day.
As a matter of fact, when we hit up the parks, I prefer to only have one lens in my bag, two tops.
What’s the main reason I keep my bag light?
Those cameras and lenses get really heavy if you’re carrying around a ton during the day. You might be so caught up in your day that you don’t end up switching your lenses much anyhow.
Plus, if you come into the parks with a camera, a backup camera, two speedlites, a light meter, a reflector and 7 lenses, odds are you’re going to send up some red flags to security as you enter the park.
Security is going to want to know why you have so much gear and ensure you aren’t planning to conduct some massive photoshoot for commercial purposes. If you have a good explanation for each piece of equipment in your bag, you’ll probably be good to go. Just know there might be a hold up at security.
Play it safe and keep all the extra stuff back home or leave it in your hotel. You can always switch out the gear you take with you each day. If you really want to get a specific shot and need some special gear, just make sure you’re ready for some possible in-depth questioning before you enter the parks.
Conclusion for Must Follow Camera Rules at Disney World
As long as what you are creating is for family memories and to document your trip you are probably going to be okay at Disney. This is in comparison to photos you plan to market and sell for commercial purposes.
In other words, bring along that camera phone or DSLR and start capturing the magic! You’re going to love looking back on all the pictures from your trips.