Have you got an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida? Instagram (and every type of social media) is full to bursting with Disney World pictures. Even though we know we’re going to take hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures while we’re on vacation, sometimes we want to make sure we get the very best shots. The ones that become classic, instagrammable Disney vacation pictures. The ones that those Disney bloggers always post that make us wish we were at Disney. Yeah, okay. So that could very well be referring to me. Now anyway. But I also remind you that for most of my life I lived in Virginia and followed all those other Disney bloggers and Cast Members and wished I was there too.
The idea for this post came when I was doing research for a trip to Europe that is coming up at the end of July. I came across articles for Instagram worthy picture spots in London and Paris. And I thought, hey! We need a list like this for Disney World. And I could write that list! Being so immersed in this little Disney World social media bubble, I can tell you every iconic picture you need to take while you’re here. Some are classic Disney magic. Some may be basic white girl poses. It doesn’t matter whether you’re actually basic. (or a white girl lol) There is a certain level of cheesiness that is allowed when you are in the most magical place on earth and feeling like a kid again.
Click on any of the pictures to go to the Instagram of the poster. And give them a follow if you like their account- these are all some of my favorite Disney Instagram accounts.
1) Classic Castle Shot
If you go to Disney World and don’t take a picture of the castle, did you even go? This shot is a must, and easy to choose as our first Instagram worthy shot in Walt Disney World. Take it from a Disney Instagrammer, people always, always love the castle shots. Daytime, sunset, during the projection show, holiday decorated, it doesn’t matter. She always looks great and any iPhone can snap a picture that looks fantastic. Of course pro photographers like these first two listed below take it to a whole other level of awesome. TIP: My favorite time to grab a pic of the castle is about 30-45 minutes before sunset. The clouds are gorgeous and dramatic and it sets the perfect backdrop for the castle.
2) Mickey-Shaped Treat
We all know that everything tastes better when it’s Mickey shaped. There are so many yummy treats to try at Disney World, but the most Instagrammable has to be Mickey shaped. Try the Confectionery at Magic Kingdom on Main Street for the most seasonal choices.
3) Hub Grass and chill
If you aren’t very familiar with Magic Kingdom in Disney World, you may not have heard of the hub grass. The area between Cinderella’s Castle and main Street is called the “hub” since it’s the centerpiece of the park and the entrance to all the other lands lead off from the hub like spokes on a wheel. The Hub Grass is a somewhat recent addition of two large “lawns” that are actually fake grass meaning you can feel comfortable sitting here with no dirt or grass stains but still look as though you are at one with nature. It also happens to photograph really well, and you can get a backdrop of the castle or Main Street depending on your angle.
Locals made “Hub grass and chill” a thing since they come so often to the parks they don’t have to do the frazzled tourist rush for the rides. They can sit and relax with Starbucks (practically a requirement for hub grass) and people watch (aka take selfies and stage photo sessions). It’s the number one way to feel like a Disney World pro.
Alex and Ani is a jewelry company that makes charm bracelets. They have a Disney collection that has gotten hugely popular among Disney fans. You can’t wear just one of course, they are designed to stack and be worn in a big group. It’s genius really. At about $40 each you’ll be dishing out a good chunk of pocket money to collect a set of all your favorites. And of course, they come out with new ones all the time. Photograph them in front of a classic Disney World icon for maximum effect. Add in a customized magic band for even more props.
5) Meeting Gaston
There are so many amazing character meet and greets at Disney World. If you are a regular reader of my blog you know how I feel about taking time to meet characters. But one character seems to stand out from the rest in terms of Instagram popularity. That’s Gaston (from Beauty and the Beast), who’s found in new Fantasyland near his statue and tavern. His egotism and over the top cheesiness makes him hysterical to talk with. He also seems to have no limit to the creative photos and interactions he will do with guests. This guy has actual fangirls who wait in long lines for his sets each day. Meeting him is worth the wait. You’ll come away with great memories and a fantastic Instagram post. Warning: he’s a bit of a camera hog in a selfie as you’ll see further down. Just a heads up. 😉
6) Starbucks and Disney
Is it too early to get basic? I did try to ease us into this one. Let’s be honest here people. The fact is, we all love Starbucks. And we all love Disney. And touring Disney World requires a lot of energy meaning that caffeine may be an actual necessity. If it’s hot out you can cool off in Starbucks (they always pump their AC high) and get a refreshing drink. If it’s cooler weather (it does happen- it’s just brief) then a warm beverage is just the ticket. Even if you don’t usually ‘gram your ‘bucks at home, when you’re at Disney World it’s allowed. And, dare I say, even encouraged. So go ahead and whip that camera out before you drink up. We won’t judge. ***Also: Bonus points for putting a Disney name on your drink or “Princess” in front of your name.
7) Spaceship Earth (aka the Epcot Ball)
There is something about this geodesic sphere, that is so subtly photogenic. I say subtle, because at first you don’t think it’s all that special. Then you take more pictures of it. Maybe from different angles. The whole ball from a distance. Part of the triangle pattern close up. At sunset. At night with the colorful lights. In the bright reflective sun. In the rain. And you start to see how different it can look. You can get really artsy and creative with these pictures. No matter which ones you decide to post on Instagram they will look great.
8) The Purple Wall
Some things start off kind of stupid and then end up actually being a thing that sticks. The purple wall is one of them. It’s located in Magic Kingdom near The Laugh Floor. It’s a pale purple blank wall that really doesn’t look like anything special. Except it is. I thought at first it was only because it had become popular to post a selfie or a full body picture of yourself at the wall. And yes. It is mostly that. But, it also happens to photograph really great. It’s a flattering background color on everyone, there’s good indirect lighting there, and its just out of the way enough that you don’t have an audience watching you. Meaning you don’t feel as dumb taking 487 selfies to get one that’s actual worth posting to Instagram. (Or is that just me?) It has it’s own Instagram account, and is also featured quite a lot on another Instagram account (WallsofDisney) that highlights the walls in all Disney Parks that make great photo backdrops.
9) Disney World Outfit of the Day (#OOTD)
We know there’s a ton of official Disney merchandise sold in the parks. But Disney World pros, locals and superfans don’t want to wear what all the tourists are wearing. I guess it’s kind of like being from NYC and wearing one of those I heart NY shirts. It’s just not done. I mean, yes, we all do buy some of the parks merch, but we tend to gravitate toward small and handmade businesses that cater to Disney-inspired clothing designed by and made for fans. If you want to find some of these makers and designers, you’ll find lots of them highlighted in many of these Instagram accounts that I have featured in this article. Since they are usually run by one or two people, they don’t mass produce their items which means the popular ones sell out very quickly. As in minutes. I know right? Who’d have thought? Primarily these are t-shirts and tanks. You’ll also find ears and buttons listed on their own further down.
The more you can combine these various items the better your Disney outfit of the day will be. Quotable tee, with a custom pair of Mouse ears, a fun button, some of those bracelets we mentioned above, and you’ve got yourself a great outfit for the parks. Lay them out flat in an artsy attractive way (called a “flat lay” photo) and you’ve got yourself a Instagram post that says, “I’m going to Disney World tomorrow and this is what I’m wearing and look how cute this is and prepare for a huge spam of Disney World pictures of me wearing all this stuff”. Bonus that you can take these pictures before you even go to Disney (while you’re packing) and get a great way to remind yourself of your vacation outfits for the trip. That’s what I call a win/win.
10) Disney Buttons
When you go to Disney World they have several different styles of buttons you can have for free. First Visit, Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, I’m Celebrating… are the main ones throughout the year. You can personalize these by writing on them with a sharpie. Maybe with your name, or what you’re celebrating. There’s also some handmade sellers who design their own Disney-inspired buttons that you can buy. Again, like I said above, these are unique and hugely popular because they are special order items that not everyone has. You can photograph your cool buttons to showcase what your trip is about, or a special message, or a season or special event that’s going on. It time-stamps your picture and makes a unique Instagram post.
11) Disney World Balloons
I always take a ton of pictures of the balloon bouquets at the parks. They are just so magical and such an iconic part of the Disney experience. Some people like to show them on Main Street, some get a real close up of the balloons for a nice little artsy detail picture. The gold star balloons at Hollywood Stdudios look great in front of the Tower of Terror. You can even get a “magic” shot from the Disney Photopass photographers who will insert balloons into your photo like you see my friend Lindsey and I doing below.
You can also ask the balloon sellers to let you hold the strings to take your own picture with the real balloons. They will still hold one end and move to the side so you can take your picture. Keep in mind this is at their discretion, so if it’s very busy or very windy and they are struggling to keep them untangled they will probably say no.
12) Dole Whip
If you aren’t familiar with this classic Disney World treat, then you need to put it on your list of must dos for your next visit. It’s pineapple soft serve ice cream and you can get it swirled with vanilla ice cream (think Dreamsicle only with pineapple instead of orange) or you can get it as a float with fresh pineapple juice. It’s available at Magic Kingdom in Adventureland or at the Polynesian Resort at Pineapple Lanai outside the pool area. Whichever way you try it, make sure to snap a pic for your Instagram.
13) Character Selfies
Character photos always get a lot of Instagram love but selfies seem to get the most. Maybe it’s because you are getting up close and personal with the character, or you’re seeing them in a more candid style shot. All characters are very familiar with selfies and will know just what to do when you ask for one. They may call your phone a “magic mirror” or say they’ll take a “shellfie” but don’t worry they are pros at it. ***Oh and bonus points to Lex for getting a snapchat filter on her selfie with Pluto.She wins all the Instagram. 🙂
14) Mickey Ears
As I mentioned with the outfit of the day, custom Disney anything is where it’s at. This goes double for the Mickey Ear headbands. You can buy them at the parks of course, but you will see so many people wearing the same ones that maybe you’d like to be a little unique. Or you can have your favorite character or movie represented. The other plus to the custom ones is they are much more comfortable to wear all day. Disney’s are very tight on your head and end up giving me a headache after a few hours. There are lots of Etsy shops that sell many different styles and prints. Check out some of these Instagrammers to see who’s ears they are wearing for ideas. But whichever ears you wear, get a picture of them like these below for a great Instagram photo.
Up until now most of these have been geared toward solo pictures. But there is a very popular Disney World Instagram group shot option. Now, many of you travel to Disney World with your family and all your group shots will be more of a “family photo” vibe. Which is awesome and if you have little kids there’s no end to the adorable shots you can capture.
This is for those who will go to the parks with a group of friends. Ideally a group of attractive friends. Who are super photogenic. And love to take lots of pictures. And are wearing cute outfits for possible spontaneous photo shoots. If you happen to be hanging with a squad like this, then you need to take a picture like these. You can even tag it #squadgoals if you’d like. All though, I’ll be honest with you- people are all ready going to hate you just a little bit. You may not want to call yourself #goals. (let someone else say it in a comment if you like). Unless you are using it ironically. Or you really want people to kind of hate you a little but also want to be your best friend too. In which case, carry on. —–>#goals #squadonpoint #blessed #baes #bestdayever #myfriendsarecuterthanyours #ifIwasyouIdwanttobemetoo Note: the ones featured below do NOT tag like this or come off obnoxious at all which is why I follow them 🙂
As you may have all ready noticed, these 15 things can be stacked. Meaning the more of them you can combine into any one Instagram post, the more you become a Disney World Instagram superstar. For example:
Starbucks + Custom Ears + Custom Buttons + Iconic Park Background
Starbucks + Hub Grass + #squadgoals +Classic Castle Shot:
Custom Ears + #charmedarms + Classic Castle Shot
Custom Ears + Starbucks + Custom Button + Hub Grass + Classic Castle Shot (seriously 5 things in one shot. Whaaaat?)
And that concludes our long and exhaustive list of how to be a Disney World Instagram success. This post took forever to hunt through my favorite Disney Instagrammers and find the perfect posts to highlight each item. But now that it’s done I love how fun it is to look through and see all the fun trends and people that have become my favorites to follow on Instagram. We are all Disney fans at heart, trying to showcase the magic and wonder of coming to a place like Disney World. This is for the superfans like me who not only want to come to Disney World, but they want to do it like a pro. Have a magical time on your next trip here amd have fun finding all those Instagram worthy spots. Please leave me a comment if you enjoyed this list and share it with others!
And if you aren’t all ready make sure you follow me on Instagram for lots of Disney World magic and fun!