Fun fact: World Photography Day is celebrated each year on August 19th. And every year since 2016, Walt Disney World has recognized the day with its own sort of celebration, dubbed PhotoPass Day. It’s a day full of rare character opportunities, Magic Shots, and fun props throughout the four parks and Disney Springs and brings out the treasure seeker in each of us as we jump from location to location in search of the shots that are most important to us – whether for simple appeal, nostalgia, or plain old rarity.
Walt Disney World posted the list of what would be available in each park and in Disney Springs in advance of the event at this link. For ease of reference, here are quick screenshots from Disney’s own site of what we knew to expect in each location:
I had kids and a husband at home so I couldn’t spend the entire day grabbing photo ops. Instead I went over the list and opted to spend my morning and early afternoon in Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs. Here’s what I got along the way!
I started the morning in Epcot, first grabbing the “Thank the Phoenicians” prop shot at Spaceship Earth. (I’m a diehard SSE girl.) This was taken with a fisheye lens, which always makes me a little uneasy since they have to get up in your face to take it – but I love how it turned out, especially since the PhotoPass photographer was willing to do the pretend selfie shot for me.
Then the Baby Groot Magic Shot at the Guardians of the Galaxy construction wall (honestly one of my #1 priorities for the day since I adore GOTG, Baby Groot, and this particular wall):
Then the “Just Keep Swimming” shot at The Seas (good advice for all of us, yes?):
And finally the meet & greet with Cruella Deville:
- This was the PhotoPass picture…
- But I was so happy that I gave my own phone to the assisting cast member, because what she managed to grab of our interaction was so. much. better. I was like “gurl you are ALL IN with that fur coat in this weather.”
The Cruella meet & greet was a good lesson for everyone in this line. It was hot as heck out Sunday morning and this meet and greet at the U.K. Pavilion in World Showcase had us waiting in full sun without any real shade or water access. This is an area of the park that doesn’t usually see park guests other than those walking through to Future World from International Gateway until World Showcase opens at 11 a.m., so we were on our own as far as tracking down shade and water. If you plan to tackle PhotoPass Day in the future, learn from our experience and know to bring your own cold water and lather up with sunblock at the very least.
Every country in World Showcase was also doing a passport style country Magic Shot, so I grabbed my two favorites before I left…
Next I hit Hollywood Studios.
I was there for one key reason: The Tower of Terror suitcase prop shot.
- First I got got this meh shot…with 1000 people in the background:
- But then I noticed that the 2nd photographer was getting a bit more creative, so I hopped back in line and got these. The last shot here might just be my favorite of the day. (Note the remaining red hair from Steampunk Ariel on Friday. Lol)
And since I was there I couldn’t leave without the green army man Magic Shot in the new Toy Story Land.
- I got the official version back near Slinky Dog Dash, in the spot overlooking the ride’s second launch.
- But despite the chaos around me I almost like the one at the entrance to the park more. The PhotoPass photographer wasn’t even officially doing it but took me out into the main entrance area to snap it.
And then before I left I grabbed the PhotoPass Day prop shot itself. You know. For this post. 😉
And then I was on to Disney Springs, where they had the other picture that I wanted the most. The beloved Peter Pan shadow Magic Shot. They were taking this at the wall between the Lego Store and World of Disney. And here it is!! I’m definitely partial to the second one since the pose better mirrors his shadow.
Then I grabbed the “original selfie” outside of the PhotoPass area. I’d also gotten this one at the France pavilion in Epcot but it never popped up on my account, so I was glad I doubled up here.
And then, last but not least, I hit up the PhotoPass area at Disney Springs, located next to Ghirardelli. I’ve raved about this place before – and they had some special “magic” backdrops for PhotoPass Day, including a Main Street balloon picture that was lots of fun.
She also asked me who my favorite princess was. I went with Ariel since I was still rocking the red hair from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloweeen Party on Friday night.
And that was a wrap!!
While the next PhotoPass Day likely won’t be until August 2019, I think there are some lessons to be learned here for any PhotoPass experience in the parks.
- In case I haven’t mentioned it 100 times before, if you have an Annual Pass, take advantage of the free PhotoPass perks!! They are amazing!!
- Always keep an eye out for creative photographers. If I hadn’t been willing to hop back in line, I would have been woefully disappointed with the one overcrowded and unimaginative Tower of Terror suitcase pic that I got at first – and that prop had been the only reason I’d trekked to Hollywood Studios.
- Never be afraid to ask a photographer to play with one of your ideas. This is how I got the Phoenicians selfie style fisheye pic – and also how I got the green army guy shot at the entrance to Toy Story Land. They turned out to be two of my favorite pics of the day.
- Never hesitate to give your own phone to the assisting cast member at a meet and greet. The pictures might be less professional looking – but sometimes you end up with some amazing candid shots like the ones that I got with Cruella DeVille. And, speaking of Cruella DeVille…….
- Always keep your own complaints in line. It was hot as heck in that Cruella meet & greet line. And then Cruella’s “friend” walked out in a fur coat and it very quickly put our own discomfort into perspective.
Did you head out into the parks for PhotoPass Day?? I would love to hear about your experience and see your favorite shot!!