Home » The 7 Most Iconic Photo Spots at Walt Disney World

The 7 Most Iconic Photo Spots at Walt Disney World

hyku, Flickr (license)

One of the most surprising draws of a trip to Walt Disney World is that it remains one of the best places in the world for shutterbugs. Now, with everyone carrying a passable camera in their pockets at all times, photography has exploded as not only a fun hobby, but something Disney is uniquely amazing for.

Sure, everyone takes a picture of Cinderella’s Castle or the Main Street Train station — and some might even pull over to get a shot of the Walt Disney World entrance gate. But while those are certainly popular shots, they aren’t the photos that have become iconic images of Walt Disney World.

Let’s go a bit deeper and try to find some specificity. Here are seven photos that everyone takes of Walt Disney World at least once.

The Spaceship Earth phone wallpaper shot

 hyku, Flickr (license)

Image: hyku, Flickr (license)

Spaceship Earth is an achievement of human engineering and brilliant attraction design. It is also super fun to take pictures of, as its fascinating shape and reflective surface give it an otherworldly look.

The most popular portrayal of Spaceship Earth, though, abstracts the building so that only one piece is shown cutting through the photograph. Usually taken at night, the goal of this photo is to serve as the wallpaper on one’s phone — with night photographs particularly showing off how gorgeous OLED screens look.

The monorail passing in front of the Imagination Pavilion

 tcwmatt, Flickr (license)

Image: tcwmatt, Flickr (license)

Everyone loves the Walt Disney World monorail, and while it opened with the park in 1971, it has come to be closely intertwined with Epcot and its futuristic mission.

One reason for that is, of course, the fact that the monorail runs directly through Epcot’s Future World. Providing an aerial view of the park, the monorail is something everyone experiences at least once. But, even more commonly, people love taking its picture.

And, if there’s one iconic monorail photo, it’s of the monorail passing by the I.M. Pei-esque pyramids of the Imagination Pavilion. Yes, there are lots of photos of the monorail and Spaceship Earth, but this one requires a lot of patience and great timing, so it gets bonus points. That is as Disney as it gets.

Spaceship Earth through the Japan Pavilion

 hyku, Flickr (license)

Image: hyku, Flickr (license)

The Disney Parks are filled with amazing architecture, but one underappreciated aspect of that architecture is how it can often play together in the same field of view.

Disney is very aware of this fact, and they usually design their buildings such that they fit together when viewed with the naked eye. The camera, unfortunately, flattens the world down into a two-dimensional image — forcing that interplay to appear a bit more simplistic.

Put plainly, if you stand in the right spot, you can fit Spaceship Earth inside a bit of Japanese architecture. It’s super fun to do, and you’d be lying if you said you hadn’t done it yourself.

Blurry Space Mountain with the lights on

 harrisonh1, Flickr (license)

Image: harrisonh1, Flickr (license)

Everyone loves Space Mountain. The idea is so beautifully simple that it seems impossible for anyone to dislike it. But while everyone can agree that Space Mountain is awesome, there’s something that is even more universally true:

Space Mountain with its lights on is extremely cool.

On occasion, maintenance workers need to turn on the work lights inside Space Mountain’s show building to perform repairs or evacuate riders. Because the Tomorrowland Transit Authority passes right through the building, such work allows riders the opportunity to take pictures of the ride’s inner structure fully lit.

But, because of the speed of the TTA and the relative darkness of a show building, most of the photos come out blurry. We’ve all been there — but they’re still super cool. 

The purple wall


Image: Disney

Despite the fact that the Magic Kingdom boasts Cinderella’s Castle, the monorail, the Walt Disney World Railroad, Main Street USA, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and so on, one of the most popular places to visit in the park is … a purple wall.

Originally just a wall in Tomorrowland, the advent of the photo sharing app Instagram gave the wall an entirely new reason for being — that is, people look amazing when they pose for pictures in front of it.

Disney has since repainted the wall slightly to add a more interesting background pattern, but it remains one of the biggest Instagram spots at Walt Disney World. 

Disney doesn’t just sell experiences anymore — it sells experiences for you to show off to your friends. The purple wall is the best example of that. 

The Mickey Bar shot

 harshlight, Flickr (license)

Image: harshlight, Flickr (license)

The Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar is a treat that is synonymous with Walt Disney World itself. For some, grabbing a way-too-cold treat and walking down Main Street USA is as close to perfection as life affords.

And so, when you find yourself in that perfect situation, you have to take a picture of it — usually with the Mickey Bar in the foreground and something amazing and Disney-y in the background. But, sometimes, the bar just stands for itself.

This shot is one of the few that requires a depth-of-field adjustment, but considering the artsy results, it’s worth it.

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 frankfranc, Flickr (license)

Image: frankfranc, Flickr (license)

But if there’s one shot that everyone at Walt Disney World wakes up in the morning dreaming of capturing, it also happens to be the one with the highest degree of difficulty: The picture that looks right out of a Walt Disney World ad.

It’s not enough to take a picture of Main Street USA with the Castle in the background. Most of the time, there are thousands of people, balloons, cars, and even parade floats blocking the view. But, when you picture Main Street USA, that’s not what you picture. You picture it as an empty street with a perfect view.

Everyone wants that TV ad-version of Disney World, and although it requires some work, the results are totally spectacular. Maybe you nail the fireworks coming up in just the right spot, or you capture the ending tableau of the parade at just the right second. In one moment, everything comes together, and you get a photo that could be a brochure unto itself.

What about you? What photos do you see people taking over and over? Which is a photo you try to capture every time you visit Walt Disney World?